Difficulties


There has been a calamity. Well, maybe not a calamity, but a slow creeping distress. Like the way seeping water slowly cracks concrete when it freezes. 

My training bug has caught a disease. Well, maybe not a disease, but more of a cold. Like the way a sinus infection can gradually bring you down. This winter started off on a good foot, I was learning to embrace the chill of morning air, and the crunch of snow under my steady beating foot. The inches stacked up and thermometer digits found a friend…the negative symbol. 

Minnesota is seeing it’s coldest winter in the last thirty years. I was trying to embrace the change in seasons, and the change in scenery it brought with it, but mother nature decided to mock these attempts. I have traded my running jacket for a treadmill, and the bliss of Felix for a spin bike. Early morning swims mean jumping from the bite of outdoor air to the enveloping chill of pool water, with the burn of chlorine replacing the sleep caught in the corner of my eyes. 

This extended, bitter winter has flat out made training difficult. It’s hard to find the freedom in a run with sunrise, or the joy of a fresh breeze whipping past you as the miles tick by on a long bike, when your environment becomes fluorescent lights and stagnant, sweat laden air. My love for triathlon survives by the experience of these activities, and exploring the vitality of my body in doing so. But part of the battle is understanding, and here it is. So I eagerly await for Spring to come and thaw out this frozen land, and when it does I will find triathlon exposed in a half melted snow mound. 

My bug has caught a cold, but around the corner I see the cure. 

~Kurtis

It’s official. I am registered for IRONMAN 70.3 Racine! This one is going to be a family affair between Andrea, my dad, and my sister. I’m looking forward to it - a nice hot race in July on a flat course. I hope I can run into Andrea along the way, it would be awesome if we could support each other through this experience and to the finish line. 
This will be my first triathlon longer than an Olympic distance. Ironically, I plan on using this event as a warm-up and judge of my readiness for the full IRONMAN at Wisconsin Madison in September. I catch a lot of grief for doing things backwards from my sister (I purchased clip in pedals and shoes before ever owning a bike….), but hey…I have my own style and I’m proud of it. Who says you can’t dive right in - it’ll be my ass on the course numb from pain and cursing my decision to sign up for these wretched, yet exhilarating events! 
~Kurtis

It’s official. I am registered for IRONMAN 70.3 Racine! This one is going to be a family affair between Andrea, my dad, and my sister. I’m looking forward to it - a nice hot race in July on a flat course. I hope I can run into Andrea along the way, it would be awesome if we could support each other through this experience and to the finish line. 

This will be my first triathlon longer than an Olympic distance. Ironically, I plan on using this event as a warm-up and judge of my readiness for the full IRONMAN at Wisconsin Madison in September. I catch a lot of grief for doing things backwards from my sister (I purchased clip in pedals and shoes before ever owning a bike….), but hey…I have my own style and I’m proud of it. Who says you can’t dive right in - it’ll be my ass on the course numb from pain and cursing my decision to sign up for these wretched, yet exhilarating events! 

~Kurtis

For Your Health →

It’s no lie - Andrea and I nurse a pretty healthy sweet tooth. We try to balance this and our health consciousness by satiating this craving with dark chocolate. We’ve even started to make a game of it by trying out new brands, flavors, and various combinations. 

We had a basic understanding of dark chocolate’s benefits and how to weed out the impostor varieties, but this article really helped bring it all to light.  According to the posted article by USA Triathlon, dark chocolate has been shown to:

boost heart health

improve brain function

help relieve stress

decrease cravings for unhealthy foods

and provide many other health benefits.

My sweet tooth, body, and training benefit from this delicious treat! 

~Kurtis

I really want to get back into yoga and I know that Kurtis is excited to feel the benefits of it as well. Here is a reminder to us and anyone else who has lost sight of their NEED for yoga - because it is necessary! 
**Namaste** 

I really want to get back into yoga and I know that Kurtis is excited to feel the benefits of it as well. Here is a reminder to us and anyone else who has lost sight of their NEED for yoga - because it is necessary! 

**Namaste** 

(via migas)

We may not have been to this extreme. Who could run like that? BUT, Kurtis and I were out in a blizzard this morning 2-3 inches when we started and at least 2 more by the time we were heading to work. Luckily, it wasn’t as cold as it has been, but the pelting snow didn’t make things easier. Suited up for extreme conditions (including ski/snowboard goggles) we took on the winter wonderland. People may think we are crazy, but we just keep lusting for more!

We may not have been to this extreme. Who could run like that? BUT, Kurtis and I were out in a blizzard this morning 2-3 inches when we started and at least 2 more by the time we were heading to work. Luckily, it wasn’t as cold as it has been, but the pelting snow didn’t make things easier. Suited up for extreme conditions (including ski/snowboard goggles) we took on the winter wonderland. People may think we are crazy, but we just keep lusting for more!

(Source: taiter42)

4:30AM Wake Up Call


And so it begins…

2 mile treadmill run, core, and arms. Nothing too fancy. Nothing to brag about. But, it is a start! And we woke up and got out of bed! If that isn’t to be celebrated, what is?

Yes, treadmills are the spawn of Satan intent on ruining lives one rotation at a time, but today wasn’t so bad. It helped having Kurtis and his dad there to take my mind off the evilness. I know it is against my character, but I think 4 miles on a treadmill wouldn’t be torture. We will see.

We are currently hoping for warmer weather so that we can get back outside without threat of frostbite (this week’s mornings were an average of -12F). Until then, I shall keep my friends close  and my enemies closer. Prepare to be best buds early morning wake-ups and treadmills!

~ Andrea

The Battle


  • Andrea: 

    I'm going to get back to it. 2014 training, here I come.
  • Body: 

    Um... I don't think so. Don't believe me? Here, have a fever.
  • Andrea: 

    What?!?! No, that isn't fair! Fine. I'll rest this weekend, but come Monday the pavement won't know what hit it!
  • Body: 

    Haha! No it won't! Because look! You slipped and fell and now your knee is swollen and your palm is missing a good chunk of skin. Good luck running or swimming in this state!
  • Andrea: 

    Ha! My knee is basically back to size. Time for a cycle exercise! I'm going to spin my way back!
  • Body: 

    I swear you are HILARIOUS! You thought you could change after work and go to the gym? See that bed? You are falling down on it in 3.. 2.. 1.. Yep. Pure exhaustion is exhilarating, isn't it? Feel it throughout your entire body! Not enough? I'll throw in a headache!
  • Andrea: 

    This is unbelievable! (feeling complete despair)
  • Voice of Reason (aka Kurtis): 

    When you are active, it's easier to stay active. When you rest, it's easier to stay resting.
  • Andrea: 

    I will do this! I can do this! I need to do this! Look out world, active (and healthy) Andrea is back!

Breaking the Cold Snap


The holidays took its toll on mine and Andrea’s training. What started out as an innocent weekend off slid into a few week freeze in our training regimen. Blustery cold, sleepy mornings, busy work days, vacation days, and holiday activities sucked the motivation out from under our feet and gave us excuses to skip runs and avoid the pool like the bloody plague. 

It’s all good though. Breaks are helpful in regaining focus and drive, and both of us needed one. It has been a hectic, but enjoyable last few weeks. We are both looking forward to diving back into training with the joy, and stress, of the holidays behind us. 

This morning we hit it with vengeance, stepping out for an early morning 5k in “feels like” -22F weather. Running is Andrea’s focus area right now, and it was amazing to watch her put down 3 miles in poor conditions after a few weeks off. The tables are turned tomorrow though - we are getting back in the pool (my soft spot) and it’ll be Andrea’s turn to coach me back into form. 

~Kurtis

Sit, Spin, Snowshoe: 3 Approaches to Dialing in Your Off-Season →

Kurtis and I are having quite the roller coaster ride of an off-season: mysterious injuries, illness, life other-than-triathlons getting in the way (yes, there is a life outside of training and racing).

This article provides athletes in their off season the best advice: focus on what you need. It’s nice to know that this time is basically allotted so that those that need a break can have it and it won’t negatively effect their in-season results. In fact, using this time wisely (if not injured or sick) can result in IMPROVING in-season results.

Definitely worth giving a look.

Three planned workouts have been missed over the last few days by Kurtis and me. However, strangely enough, neither of us are feeling too awful about it. Usually guilt will override us, make us feel like we wasted time, but we are beginning to understand something more about living a healthy lifestyle that we are now taking into account. It is more than exercise and eating right, a healthy lifestyle involves emotion, relationships, body recovery/ rest, variety, sleep, and, most of all, love for the life you live. 
We had intended to run a 10 K over the weekend, plus a swim, but as events unfolded, we found that taking care of some errands and spending quality time with each other was what was truly needed - leading us to having a lovely, stress-free weekend.
We also wanted to run this morning, but both of us couldn’t deny the need for sleep. This wasn’t laziness or an excuse. We were both slightly sleep deprived from weekend activities and sleep is essential to health, so we took the hour we had planned to run and let our bodies soak in the rest they demanded.
Personally, I am now feeling better than I have over the entire last week. Usually I can count on exercise to give me a boost, but sometimes you just need to rest (especially when it is this cold out and you are battling some kind of sickness).
So, here is to rest, understanding the all that goes into a healthy lifestyle, and actually practicing it! I’d say we are at a good starting point to live a lovely, long life. 

Three planned workouts have been missed over the last few days by Kurtis and me. However, strangely enough, neither of us are feeling too awful about it. Usually guilt will override us, make us feel like we wasted time, but we are beginning to understand something more about living a healthy lifestyle that we are now taking into account. It is more than exercise and eating right, a healthy lifestyle involves emotion, relationships, body recovery/ rest, variety, sleep, and, most of all, love for the life you live. 

We had intended to run a 10 K over the weekend, plus a swim, but as events unfolded, we found that taking care of some errands and spending quality time with each other was what was truly needed - leading us to having a lovely, stress-free weekend.

We also wanted to run this morning, but both of us couldn’t deny the need for sleep. This wasn’t laziness or an excuse. We were both slightly sleep deprived from weekend activities and sleep is essential to health, so we took the hour we had planned to run and let our bodies soak in the rest they demanded.

Personally, I am now feeling better than I have over the entire last week. Usually I can count on exercise to give me a boost, but sometimes you just need to rest (especially when it is this cold out and you are battling some kind of sickness).

So, here is to rest, understanding the all that goes into a healthy lifestyle, and actually practicing it! I’d say we are at a good starting point to live a lovely, long life. 

(Source: bodydiy, via cadetnursekellytri)