It's official!

Registration Confirmation.jpg

It's official!

I'm registered for the Stumptown Trail Runs 50k!  Yikes.  

Well, I guess it's really happening!  As I stare down the barrel of the next four months, I have a bunch of plans in place to keep myself injury-free and keep my family happy--starting with doing a bunch of my runs as morning or evening commutes to and from work in order to protect weekend family time. So far, so good--but I'm only in the pre-training plan training plan right now, so I haven't had to run for longer than an hour at a time. 

Stay tuned for March, when I'll be creating MapMyRun routes home from work designed to take me 4 or 5 hours.  Zoinks.

In the meantime, while I slowly build mileage in an effort to avoid injury, I've been experimenting with becoming fat-adapted--essentially eating and running in such a way that my body starts burning fat instead of sugar when I'm running.  (I won't bore you with the details here.)  Important for me is that in order to become fat-adapted, one has to spend the majority of running time at a low heart rate--for me, under 140 bpm--which can be surprisingly hard to do.  I started out having to run 13+ minute miles to keep my heart rate that low, which is just plain boring.  Now I'm down to the 12-minute range, and I'm hoping I can get to a comfortable 11-minute mile before the race.  The bonus of all this slow running is that my runs are EASY, and easy usually means injury-free.  (I really hope I didn't just jinx myself!)

Folks love to debate this fat-adaptation concept on the internet, and the jury is definitely still out on its benefits, but you know how much I love to treat my body like a science experiment.  In this case, I'm hoping that learning to burn fat on my runs will allow me to run longer distances, however slowly, without bonking and without needing much fuel.  That's the magic of fat adaptation, and I figure it's totally made for someone like me, who loves running for hours on end, but who will never be the fastest.   We'll see!


PS: I took a fun, terrible-quality video of a segment of my run home the other night!  I have been collecting little chunks of video from runs to practice using my new YouTube channel (which, I hope, will someday be populated with actually useful videos in which I talk about things, rather than just doing that awesome mid-run heavy breathing.).  Check it out here: 

Guess Who!

Hi friends!  Well, it's been a while.  Let's move on, shall we?  

It's 2018, and I've got two exciting things on the horizon. 1) I'm turning 40!  Woohoo!  2) I'm celebrating turning 40 by finally running an ultramarathon!  You may remember that my previous ultra plan was thwarted by lack of time management and a nasty stress fracture, but I've got plans to tackle both issues this time--I'm sure we'll get to all that over the next 5 months.

Yes, I realize I could celebrate 40 by going on a dream vacation or something, but you know me.  I'll be documenting my journey here on the blog, and I'm hoping to experiment with some video blogs (the kids call them "vlogs," but that's really hard to say).  Anyway, Meg is training for an Ironman, so little sis has to keep up!

So here we go. I kicked off 2018 with a lovely run on Portland's Powell Butte, and I even took a little video so you can see how freaking gorgeous it was.  Let's test things out!

 

 

What's Next? You May Be Surprised (or maybe not)!

I'm sitting here willing my impending cold to just go away. My throat hurts, my body aches, and I just want to take a nap. 

This is my third illness in about two months. I'd blame the start of school and all the germs that come with it—and I am sure that is partly at fault—but I think my immune system is on the fritz. As most of you know, there's been some stress in our family of late—some good, some bad. Stress in itself can compromise the immune system, and add to that the need for constant comfort food, I haven't been nourishing my body the way I should. At the end of a hard day, all I want is a pint of Ben & Jerry's while I catch up on Outlander. 

Jamie "Hall Pass" Fraser

Jamie "Hall Pass" Fraser

Training has been relegated to the back burner as I try to focus on more "important" stuff, like my increasing copywriting workload, family demands, and my marriage (not in order of priority!). Workouts have been missed and my fitness has taken a hit, but all in the hopes of re-building the strong family foundation I need to get me to my next Big Goal.... 

But before I get to that, a story:

The day I finished Ironman 70.3 Coeur d'Alene in June, Bill presented me with a gift: his blessing for me to train for a full Ironman. I was shocked, excited, and terrified all at once. I'd just endured almost 6 hours of racing—was I ready to more than double that? What about the hundreds of hours of training leading up to it?

And even if I could handle the intense training load, could our marriage? After all, we'd just been through a really rocky time. Could we really stay focused on keeping our relationship healthy while I put in 15-20 hours of training each week? Divorce by Ironman is not just a myth—training takes its toll on families, sometimes even breaking them up. I am, admittedly, often selfish, but even I am not willing to risk my family for a one-day athletic event.

Despite the risks, Bill convinced me that he would support me, as long as we kept making progress in our marriage throughout the training period. I could saddle him with chores and childcare, but there could be no backsliding or neglect of our marriage. 

So, I'm taking the leap.

Barring any unforeseen events, on July 29, 2018, I will be diving into Alta Lake in Whistler, BC, for Ironman Canada.

I am hoping you, my friends and family, will support me on this journey. It is the ultimate selfish pursuit, and I expect some of you non-triathletes may be trying your best to withhold judgment, so maybe this will help:

The kids with pro triathlete Andy Potts after their fun run.

When I told my kids I was hoping to do an Ironman, they jumped up and down and said "YES, you can do it!" I told them this meant I might not be able to spend as much time with them; their enthusiasm didn't waver. Yes, I realize that they may be telling a different story 6 months from now as I leave for yet another ride or run, but if my kids come away from this experience realizing that anything is possible with hard work and dedication, I will have accomplished far more than I set out to do.

However, if at any time the training becomes too much for my family to bear, I will defer my entry (an option if I register soon). Ironman will be there for years to come; if I lose sight of what's most important, my family will not. 

Until my training begins in earnest in a few months, I will be enjoying all winter in Bend has to offer. Another season of skiing as much as possible, spending time with family, and generally not being too concerned with TSS, FTP, and MPH (not to worry, Coach: I won't completely abandon my fave acronyms).

Thanks for everyone's support, and stay tuned for more updates!

Coming Clean

I sat down to write my race report for Ironman 70.3 Coeur d'Alene, but as I struggled with how to start, I realized a race report seemed superficial and disingenuous as I struggle with a far more weighty matter: my marriage.

Wedding Day, September 13, 2008

Some might say that I shouldn't be airing my dirty laundry in a public forum, but because I know so many other couples that are also treading water, I thought it could only benefit them. I am not a very public person, so this doesn't come naturally. Bear with me.

Here goes.

A few months ago, I was tempted by the fruit of another (in the words of Squeeze). Some might say I cheated; others, that it was just innocent online flirtation. Whatever you call it, I hid it from Bill, which was a sure sign it wasn't the right thing to do. Fortunately, I put an end to it before it became physical, and came clean to Bill. I regret my actions, and I certainly regret hurting Bill.

But, as the cliche goes, the cheating wasn't the problem itself; it was a symptom of the problem. I was a ticking time bomb.

Since having Carter 7 years ago, Bill and I had grown apart, emotionally. We still held the same values, enjoy the same activities, etc., but the connection was lost. It happened so slowly, so quietly, that we didn't even know it was happening. We lived parallel lives, parenting our two kids, working, training for our various events.... We'd become really good roommates and project managers.

It wasn't until this incident that it became clear I was desperately missing that connection. I'd grown so accustomed to not feeling, to being numb, that when someone made me feel again, it was like everything in the world was brighter. I felt whole. It was the feeling I am sure I had with Bill when we were first dating, but that years of relationship neglect had let slip away.

While I am a bit of a dreamer and romantic, I don't truly believe this feeling I had is something that could be sustained over the long run with anyone, no matter how strong the initial connection. Passion fades. I also don't truly believe that I can magically return to the honeymoon period with my spouse; there is simply too much history, too much baggage. 

Marriage is fucking hard.

I do think that Bill and I are really good for each other, as parents and as partners. I am not willing to give that up without a fight.

So here we find ourselves, in couples therapy, trying to find that connection that we once had. It's a lot of work for something we are not sure is possible, but if it does work, it will be well worth it. What matters is that we are both happy, whatever that ends up looking like.