Posts tagged ‘training’

Weekly Photo Challenge – Endurance



Ironman Wisconsin 2006 – 1 second before crossing the finish line


For me, Ironman Wisconsin was the pinnacle of endurance.  Never had I ever undertaken such a task and it proved to be a true test of physical and mental gumption.  It was the longest day of my entire physical life.  The rain, the wind, unseasonable cold weather and the constant deadlines nipping at my heels.

I had one goal and ‘that’ was to finish and ‘that’ I did ~

3 minutes shy of 17 hours.



September 22, 2014 at 12:07 pm 23 comments

before the gun is fired…


she could hear the music fill the air


it’s rhythms infuse her veins.

there was a calling from deep within her psyche

aggressively grabbing


pulling the reins.


she closed her eyes,

harnessed her thoughts,

brought into focus the task at hand –

took a slow deep breath,

clenched her fists real tight


dug her toes deep within the sand.


she stood alone amongst the fold

waiting to break out

– listening –

to an inner voice speaking aloud –

affirmations drowning

her overwhelming self-doubt.




came an instant when sound ceased to exist


the cadence of a beating heart,


every ounce of hunger and fear conjoined

to fight as she waited


the moment of truth

to start…




“Life is like a race which needs to be run,

so get up off of your ass and get it done.”

– Bill McDonald


Ironman Wisconsin 2006

Ironman Wisconsin 2006

April 21, 2014 at 4:59 pm 20 comments

Weekly Pet Challenge – Iron Pee gearing up…


It is never too early to begin one’s training…


iron pee

mommy’s prized hat



SO mommy says…

photo 1-5

beauty rest comes
Iron Pee training

Doesn’t mommy know there is still snow outside?


Please join Sydnee Pee on her weekly training adventure


March 4, 2014 at 12:27 pm 14 comments

way down the lane…

staring down the lane…

standing poised behind the line…

deep concentration…

a mighty orb in his hand…

perchance a strike awaits him?


first match of the season…

November 14, 2013

November 15, 2013 at 3:37 pm 5 comments

swimming through life

Every once in a while, I take a stroll back into the recesses of my blog.  I always find it entertaining and enlightening to see what oozed out of my brain a few years ago.   It is also interesting to see where my mind was ‘spending it’s time’ – the dark basement, upper floors with plenty of windows, in the clouds or in another universe along with dark matter and alien life forms.  Here is a piece I posted on March 8, 2011.  (I have taken the liberty of editing a few bits and pieces.)

Swimming Pool = Water + Lane Lines = Life

‘Life as a swimming pool filled with crystal water and lap lanes framed by lane lines’.

Yes, I know.  It may sound a bit cliché and corny, but for some reason the thought recently entered my mind.  I have spent the better part of two, almost three decades in and around a pool.  I taught water fitness classes, trained for quite a few triathlons, rehabbed countless dance injuries, three knee surgeries and two herniated discs, relieved the discomfort of two pregnancies and countless life traumas – all the while as I was swimming back and forth and back and forth and back and forth.  Never once in those thirty years did I ever see a swimming pool as a metaphor of life.  NEVER.

How is it this metaphor came to be to me?  I was composing an email to a friend and trying to find a way to look at life in a more lighthearted manner.  I wanted to clear the heavy and suffocating air with a splash of water – a little something to stimulate the senses, create a little hope and possibly a smile.  Thus popping into my head….

The Swimming Pool –

‘Life is like swimming in a pool’ – no matter how many minutes, laps or miles, one moves back and forth and back and forth and…  It is an activity that only one person can do for themselves.  You can share a lane, even train with a partner or two but, when all is said and done, it must be you that swims the laps.  Practice makes you stronger and prepares you for whatever event you are training for or goal you may seek.  You may have extraordinary swimming days, middle of the road days or just down right horrible days.  The thing is you never really know until you jump in.

Water + Lane Lines –

Where do lane lines enter into this metaphor?  Quite simply they are there – right by your side.  Depending on your exact location in the pool, there may be one or two, but wherever you may be, a lane line will be present.  The purpose for a lane line is really two-fold.  One can think of them as the painted yellow lines on a highway.  They keep you moving along a straight path.  They can also be a kind of life preserver – a life line, so to speak.  When fatigue unexpectedly arises, the line is there to grab hold.  If you are in the middle of a 50 meter or 25 yard pool, the lane line is a welcome sight – a feeling of comfort and assurance.  It can be used as a momentary place to rest or as a tether.  Whatever the case may be, it is there to assist.

The actual lane line itself, can be one of three things – taut, with a little slack and very loose.  A taut lane line is nice, but not good for the actual material itself.  In time, the fibers on the cable strip away and, as a result, become very flimsy and ultimately rendered useless.  If a lane line is too loose, then it floats all over the place due to the current(s) in the water.  It can also become a hindrance, either cutting the width of the lane or widening it.   Anyway you look at it, loose lines make for a ‘swervy’ swim.  Swerving right and left can be very dangerous if you are sharing a lane.  Getting a head butt by an oncoming swimmer can be very dangerous, not to mention painful.  A perfect lane line is adjusted firmly – not too tight but not too loose – just a little give.  I like to think of it as a graceful wave, sort of like breathing, but instead of up and down, the lane line moves right and left.

Life –

Life is the swimming – the workout.  From the beginning to the end, it can be fun, exhausting, horribly trying at times and rewarding.

So, where is it I am going on this tangent?  The lane lines are our family, friends, teachers, confidants, etc…  They are there for guidance and support.  Sometimes they do get in the way – are a bit intrusive or a hindrance.  Then there are times we need or allow the ‘use’ of them – grabbing hold, supporting and/or tethering the way to our final goal or outcome.  There are times when a workout can be very trying and sometimes the unexpected can occur.  One can get overwhelmed, regardless of how accomplished or experienced a swimmer may become.  A cramp can surprise you without the slightest warning and having a lane line by your side to grab hold is truly a life saver.

My Life…

When it comes to swimming, I personally prefer the lane lines that are not too tight or too loose.  I enjoy the swim and try very hard not to use the lines, but I do take comfort in knowing they are there.  I like to know there is a line – a special someone who I can grab hold of in a paralyzing moment of fear or indecision.  I do not require they swim my workout for me. Only I can swim the laps that go back and forth. I do, however, want to trust they are capable of support and can prevent me from drowning…….. falling into that chasm which will prevent me from reaching the other end of the pool, my final goal or inevitably living my life.

September 25, 2013 at 4:30 pm 9 comments

running with friends

≈ friday night again ≈

≈ youngin’ at soccer practice ≈

≈ early evening sun ≈

≈ friends in spirit tag along ≈

≈ our run flows with the river ≈

friday night sun

Western sky over the Des Plaines River

the pretty river

Southern view of the Des Plaines River

teen deer

A teenage buck carousing on a Friday night.    I love his training antlers.

photo 5

Can you see the little froggy?

friday nite

Back to the trailhead – off to pick up soccer boy.

dedicated to Belinda, Dawn, Mer, Shaun and to ALL of my WP family that live with chronic pain or any debilitating condition.

Your courage inspires me.


September 7, 2013 at 6:08 pm 14 comments

my bike


round and round

the wheels turn-

pushing and pulling pedals.

circles and circles

going far –

miles and miles




forearms resting in aero bars,

water bottles sitting in cages;

the playlist blaring in both ears


a chest pounding rapidly at bay…


10 minute, 20 minutes, 45, 60

sometimes many, many more.

if time is sparse, then less it is

dripping sweat all over the floor.


the mind is somewhere else

thinking of words, memories or things;

thinking about burning the day’s calories


beating up one’s self-esteem.


many times there is reading –

getting caught up with friends


other times there is writing –

spilling out feelings and distress.



a bike is like a friend

it can lift your spirits;

make you strong


challenge you –

take you places

you never imagined




a bike can also kill you –

leave you bleeding on the ground

as you feel your life slipping away



a future


never to be found.





Two weeks after this picture was taken, I had crashed in WI during a training ride – six weeks out from Ironman Wisconsin.  Spent three days in the hospital.  After five hours of surgery, two titanium plates, 48 titanium screws, concussion, scars, getting an xray evaluation of my carbon fiber bike and one year later, I competed and completed Ironman Wisconsin 2006.

September 6, 2013 at 3:42 pm 19 comments

illusion then & now


dreams of fairies, swans and dolls

ruled a childhood

from the earliest dawn.


bobby pins, tulle, satin and lace

created an illusion –

cloaked the scars on her face.


pirouettes, arabesques, and jetes abound –

freedom of movement

in which a life could be found.


the studio and stage –

being her only home,

where the world was shut out


she could feel safe on her own.


dreaming, dancing, LIFE – they are all the same

they create an illusion

of smiles, beauty and grace


the reality is such

no one chooses to see –

it’s what we do to ourselves to be

what you want us to be.




August 28, 2013 at 3:20 pm 14 comments

with mom, sort of


a pair became one

three steps, one blink – he is gone

alone – i do run

where might he be

Peyton was here just a second ago…

August 6, 2013

Running on  the trail with my son Peyton, sort of – We started together, passed each other twice and I found him by the car.  He had been waiting for about 5 minutes. Humph!  🙂

August 7, 2013 at 1:47 am 8 comments

trail running

begins with one step

followed by two and many

a helical path

scent of clover fills one’s nose

my slice of heaven on earth



singing hills trail - 7-25-13

taken July 25, 2013


singing hills trail 7-27

taken July 27, 2013

Both pictures were taken at The Singing Hills Forest Preserve in Lake County, IL

Quite a contrast in weather wouldn’t you say?

July 28, 2013 at 2:32 pm 6 comments

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Natalie Breuer

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