The Rundown – You Will Suffer


Whenever I need to give my email address, which includes “train4life” I’m almost always asked about it. Last week when one such exchange took place, the guy on the other end of the phone turned out to be a two-time Ironman, so we talked about my upcoming half. “You will suffer, that’s for sure,” is what he said after I told him about the elevation gain on both the bike and the run. But, he added “you will love it!”

“Loving it” remains to be seen however, I have been kinda loving the sufferfest that is my training. And, let’s face it, anyone who tackles marathons, triathlons, ultras or any other endurance test of the mind and body secretly loves to suffer.

WEEK OF MAY 7, 2018


At least the weather is finally cooperating! I had another week of great running and even my solo long run (13 miles!) was glorious. My runs off the bike are getting better as my legs are coming around to the idea that I will have to run, and run a lot, off the bike.

Tuesday – speed work before strength | 10 x 1 min fast (6:30) | 6 miles overall

Thursday – long run with pick ups before swim | 12.7 miles

Friday – long ride with coach then 20 min run | 2.23 miles

Total = 20.93


Some people have the luxury (yes, that’s what it is) of commuting to work or running errands via bike. Well, I live in the middle of nowhere and work from home but I refuse to let that stop me! Last Wednesday was absolutely gorgeous, I had a two hour ride scheduled and I needed new running shoes, so I decided to bike to Fleet Feet and back. After all, it was only 32 miles roundtrip, involving two states. Why not?

I also had a great long ride with my coach to end the week. Since the elevation gain and distance was considerably less than my race route, I felt like a super woman after 36 miles and even better on my run immediately afterward. It also helped that it wasn’t anywhere near 97 degrees like last week.

Wednesday – 2 hour ride to get shoes! | 31.1 miles

Friday – long ride with coach | 36.2 miles

Sunday – indoor ride (because of rain) for mother’s day | 16.9 miles

Total = 84.2 miles


Life in the pool continues to be good but I’m a little worried I haven’t had a chance to get in the lake. I’m used to open water swims by now but I don’t want my first one to be at the race! I’m going to have to suck it up this week and just dive in.

Monday – endurance swim | 1 hour 13 min | 4,000 yards

Thursday – swim after long run | 1,000 yards

Total = 5,000 yards


Being celebrated for the amazing mother I am.

Seriously though, my boys are the best thing in my life and make me laugh out loud and cry with gratitude (and frustration) all the time. So you can share that joy, I’ve asked them a few questions (separately) about my parenting:

What is my most important job as your mom?

Miles: Being very kind and loving.

Vaughn: Feeding us.

What is the worst thing I have ever done?

M: Not letting us have our iPads during the week.

V: Nothing.

The best?

M: Everything.

V: Everything.

What do you think I do all day?

M: Run and work on your thingys.

V: Work doing blogs and stuff.

What should I do?

M: Write comics with us.

V: Play with us!

What would be the perfect day with me?

M: Going to Jump Off (a trampoline park).

V: Going to Papa T’s (a local pizza place) and getting toys.

It was pretty funny how hard they needed to think about the “worst” thing I’ve ever done since they tell me what a tyrant I am everyday. It was also surprising how hard they each had to think about what I do all day and they didn’t immediately mention “going to the gym” or biking? My favorite was Vaughn’s answer about my most important job as a mom. He’s a boy after my own stomach…



Obviously no one likes to suffer, yet when I think about my own suffering and how much of it I inflict on myself, I started wondering where it all comes from.

The ultimate suffering for me was when my mom died when I was 17. I had no control over it and the pain was beyond anything I had felt before and have felt since. It was unbearable and, although I think about my mom everyday the suffering is considerably less with time.

Suffering and parenting go hand in hand. The moment your child (or children) are born, it begins. They truly are your heart walking outside your body and I definitely try to control the suffering as much as possible. That said, parent suffering is something I would choose all over again since the payoff of happiness and joy is a million times greater than any suffering I have encountered so far.

I miss my stroller runs…kind of, since they were ridiculously hard!

All bundled up and ready to run with mom in 2009. (Miles on the left, Vaughn on the right)


So I started reading The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See for book club.  I don’t want to ruin it for anyone but let’s just say the tea girl’s tribe has very interesting thoughts on twins and parents of twins…and when I say” interesting” I mean horrifying. Lots of suffering.

Anyway…back to happy thoughts and articles…

21 Women Share Their Mother’s Day Memories | Christine Yu | Women’s Health online

I love this article for so many reasons! First of all, I’m #13. Second, one of my favorite people, Christine Yu, wrote it and lastly, more of my favorite people are included it like Natalie, Carly, Paria, Angela, Kara and Amanda. It’s a beautiful gallery of moms remembering the best moments of being one, which is something we can all use!

My first mother’s day was just weeks after the twins were born. I don’t look tired or bloated at all, do I? The Half Ironman has nothing on this…

Notice the boys were already doing exactly the same thing! And yes, I had long hair pulled back into a ponytail. What?


“To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

So far, I have found much meaning in my suffering, so here’s to surviving a 6+ hour race!

How was your week?

Did you celebrate mother’s day?

How have you suffered lately?



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  1. The boys are too funny! I’m amazed at the things that come out of my kids mouths on the regular. And then when you hear something that you say all the time coming out of their mouth? It’s both funny and humiliating!

    1. Yep – so true! Miles says “Jesus!” loudly and with the same inflection and it’s really hard to hear!! Gotta love it.

    • Jess on May 14, 2018 at 6:20 AM
    • Reply

    Love all these throwback pics of you as a new mommy! Did I miss M&V’s birthday this year? If so, wishing them a Happy Belated Birthday!!

    1. Thank you! And their birthday was on April 13 🙂

  2. I don’t know if I love the suffering that comes with a long distance race or parenting, but I love rewards and that feeling of overcoming something really difficult! Altho raising boys is like an ultra that never ends…

    Happy Mother’s Day!
    Wendy recently posted…I Crashed My BikeMy Profile

    1. Agreed and omg yes, parenting boys is absolutely the never ending ultra…and mine are only 9!

  3. I love the questions you asked your kids… do we all secretly like to suffer? I’m beginning to wonder if my days of enjoying that post long-run exhaustion are over… I had a very low key Mother’s day, but your post made me realize that I got to spend mother’s day with my mom, and as low key as that was, it was perfect and I’m grateful for it. Thank you

    1. I’m so glad you realized it’s the simple things (like just BEING with your mom) that make the day special. Thanks Paria 🙂

  4. I love love love this Q&A with the boys! There is also NO screen time here during the week unless it’s homework related! I can’t believe you biked 32 miles to get shoes!! What was the route like? I mean, that is a LONG way. I hope you had an amazing Mother’s Day, and yes, I’ve been suffering a lot lately but more about that on Wednesday… LOL

    1. LOL! Right? The route was pretty flat, with only one section of huge hills, and it’s one I have done many times before so it was fun.
      I’m sorry to hear you’ve been suffering lately mama!! Looking forward to Wednesday so I can give you some long distance love!

    • danielle on May 14, 2018 at 11:22 AM
    • Reply

    wow i love seeing pics of you and the boys when they were babies!!! i can’t believe you had a pony tail, i swear i just thought you had cool hair your whole life not a boring ponytail like me LOL. your boys are so funny, you run and do your thingy’s… bwahahaha!!! their perspectives on life is just remarkable and so fun to read about. i am so in awe of our kiddo and how much she has developed over the last year. this Mother’s Day was the best – especially compared to last year. i can’t explain how much i love being a mom of a chatty challenging toddler! last year i was fumbling my way through the infant stage and still just felt like someone had hit my upside the face with a shovel. this year i feel like more ‘me’ again and the best part is that now i have this little tiny person that i can chat with and watch in wonder and marvel, and most of all laugh at because she is hilarious. like your boys! kids and their words. hahaha!
    yes suffering is just a part of living but if you can find ways to enjoy and embrace the good parts it makes the suffering less suffery 🙂 and i swear 6 hours of suffering is not 6 hours of suffering – it’s a cocktail of ups and downs and highs and lows and i swear i need a cocktail just thinking about it!!! you will ROCK!

    1. Thank you so much Danielle! I keep thinking about you in the sweltering heat of Texas for your half and fulls and I’m like “I can do this!” And yes, parenting only gets better when your little one becomes their own little person you can laugh and have conversations with – there’s just nothing else like it!!!
      And I decided I needed to grow my hair out when I got pregnant since I knew I would be gaining a TON of weight and the short hair would just not be ok!! I haven’t gone back to it since…

    • danielle on May 14, 2018 at 11:23 AM
    • Reply

    and hope you had a marvelous Mother’s Day, Ali!!!!

  5. You ARE a freaking amazing mom, and you should be celebrated! Your boys are zany, crazy, hilarious, and amazing in the best way. And not only did you literally MAKE them, you made them that way–you’s is good people, my friend.

  6. I love reading the Q&A – their answers are so sweet and adorable! Happy Mother’s Day to you! That’s an impressive bike ride! I can’t wrap my mind around cycling through two states in one trip.
    I think I like to suffer physically (or, at least when it’s voluntary), but I am so soft when it comes to emotional suffering. I’m not running a marathon this year and part of me missing out on that type of suffering… but then my husband starting talking about a multi-day backpacking trip on the PCT, so maybe I will get some suffering this summer!
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…Race Recovery WeekMy Profile

  7. The boys are too cute. I love that the worst thing you’ve ever done it take their iPad away. Can you ask them the same things on Father’s Day???

    I know what you mean about Mother’s Day without a mom. I dread Father’s Day every year. I was going to go to a baseball game this year… but I think I’ll just run and drink beer instead. #winning

  8. I am just stuck on the 4000 yards in the pool- endurance swim for sure! Wow!

    I think you’re right about the endurance athletes secret love for suffering- or at least, love for pushing ourselves to that line. Excited for you!!
    Laura recently posted…What type of cross training is best for runners?My Profile

  9. I am currently suffering from horrible allergies, which are annoying but clearly very low on the suffering scale.

    I loved your boys’ answers! This Mother’s Day I felt the love – I received lovely cards from both kids (one in the mail, one in person)…the best part being the heartfelt notes they included. They both wrote “Dear Mommy” which they never call me anymore, so my heart just melted.
    Dana recently posted…What’s for dinner?My Profile

  10. Haha, that was quite an interesting read Vita!

    Your boys seem like a handful! They’ve certainly brought a smile to my face. 🙂

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