Has it really been a YEAR!?!?

Hello, hola, bonjour! It's been a whole YEAR since my last 1/2 ironman. WHAT!?!? After racing 5 last year (which I loved), I decided (was forced to) to take some time off. That time sent me into a tailspin that lead me to nearly a year off of training and racing all together. I spent my days doing anything but swim, bike, run. I slept, learned how to eat like a human, cried a lot, started lifting weights (putting on 10 lbs - what!?) and learned that letting go is not the same as giving up. 

My 3 months off, turned into 6...then 9. My structured training probably started (loosely) in June(ish), and even with a 1 week "training camp" in Bend about a month ago, never reached more than 1/2 of the weekly volume I was used to last year. 

Going into Santa Cruz 70.3, I had little to no expectations of performance and/or placement. I talked myself into being OK with whatever the outcome was, turning my focus onto the process, enjoying being out there with my peeps, having fun, staying present and executing my nutrition plan. 

We arrived a few days before the race, did a little sight seeing, spent too much time on my feet and eating way more than my nerves would have ever allowed in the past. Race morning, I was calm and not over thinking...leaving me with a lot of extra time and energy. I made it to transition around 5:30, and found myself wandering around aimlessly by 5:45. Too easy. What are all these people doing? Fussing with? It's not that hard. My wave started at 7:10, so I had plenty of time to do nothing before getting my wetsuit on and run around a bit.

pre-swim with Dorris.

pre-swim with Dorris.



I was really looking forward to the ocean swim because I, yet again, had no expectation. Just like with everything else, I had taken the pressure off my swim this year and the added element of the ocean made it much easier for me to stay focused on the moment/survival and not much concern with my time/pace.  I had no idea where I was when I got out of the water, but I was REALLY looking forward to getting on my bike. I LOVE my Diamondback Serios, seriously. 

I might have been a little too excited to get on my bike, I mean the last time I raced was at the world championships, that pace was habitual - oops. The course was hilly, but with the cool ocean air, the effort never felt too hard or uncomfortable, and those views. Before I could think much about anything else, it was over and I was off and running.

I felt GREAT! This race was shaping up to be alright! I stuck with my nutrition and felt pretty amazing (despite a quick potty stop). until about 1/2 way. My effort was noticeable and my knees were killing me from tight IT bands. At mile 9, the pain was too much and I took a walk break through the aide station before continuing the run. This pattern continued for the next 2 aid stations. Finally at mile 11 I came to realize that I had plenty of energy and there was no reason I couldn't run through my discomfort, after all, that's what we're supposed to do. And HOLY SHIT BALLS, I did! YAY - that's a WIN! You see, in years past, by the time I arrived at a race I was so depleted that adversity would completely break me. Not because I was weak, in fact, I was well trained in mental skills and being tough. But I used it all up in training. By the time I got to races I was empty, malnourished, irritable and broken. My race nutrition would keep me going, but my mind would crumble if anything difficult was thrown my way. Not this time. This time I had the energy - and it felt amazing. I felt amazing. 

I'm so grateful for the opportunity to race in Santa Cruz. I'm grateful for my amazing body - every day! I'm amazed at my physical resiliency and strength all the time. How did I get so lucky!?

This year has not been easy, I wouldn't have made it without ALL of you! My family, friends, teammates, sponsors and fans. I love you all with my whole heart! I felt all of you out there. THANK YOU!

Thank you to: Wattie Ink, Diamondback, Blueseventy, Rudy Project, ISM, Speedfil, Powerbar, Herbalife 24, Adventure Wenatchee, Brooks, Swiftwick, The Inner Circle Gym, Arlberg Sports, Ovenell Chiro, Nikki, my Mom Jerri Barkley, my boyfriend Jason Hosking, my coach Robert Flanigan, support crew Marni Sumbal, Roxanne, Cathy Covey and Adam Vognild, and all my Wattie Ink teammates and friends all over the world.



2600 miles

After nearly 8 months of not racing and countless attempts to write a blog explaining where I've been and what I've been going through, I think I'm ready to begin again.

2 years ago, I arrived at Wildflower not knowing what to expect and not knowing a single person. Little did I know how much my life would change. It was my first race as a Wattie Ink team member. For the first time in 6 years of racing I felt like I found "my people" and that I belonged. 

This year things are different. I've taken an off-season for the first time in 8 years and for many reasons it's taken a long time to get back into the swing of things. At first I thought I'd take a month or two off and have everything figured out and I'd be rested and motivated. 8 months later I'm finally feeling rested and though I haven't been doing near the volume of training I had done in the past, I've certainly been busy and working hard at developing lasting change. I've learned to nourish my body with a much more balanced and sustainable approach to nutrition, rest, workload and even training. I reintroduced strength and mobility work, taking care of a few niggles that had bothered me for the last couple years. I've spent quality time with friends and family and am even working on a new business (so exciting!!)

One thing hasn't changed. That first year I felt like I finally belonged. This year I felt no different. It was difficult going into the event not really knowing what I would tell my teammates, I have been working on everything but triathlon and didn't have any races planned. Going into it I was worried about being judged. That didn't happen. Instead of feeling judged I felt included. We all go through ups and downs and we all have to deal with our shit when it catches up to us.

Spectating and helping out sponsors was well worth all 2600 miles of travel. My emotions went from - "triathlon is hard, why do I think this is fun?" - to "triathlon is hard, isn't it awesome!"  The good news is that I ended on awesome and have started laying out some ideas for racing later in the season.

Thank you all for being awesome! I could not have made it this far without you (family, friends, teammates and sponsors) and I wouldn't have the courage to grow and change.


Survivor #NEDawareness #breakfree

I had no idea that my passion became a problem
I had no idea that bullying can trigger disordered eating
I had no idea that my quest for health was making me sick
I had no idea that eating disorders don't discriminate
I had no idea that eating disorders are often overlooked or misdiagnosed

I had no idea that eating disorders are not just "a phrase"
I had no idea that the "perfect" images I see everyday are just digital illusions

For most of my adult life, I have either been anorexic (specifically hypergymnasia) or teetered on the line.  Most everyone I'm close with already knows this without me ever having to say anything, but I feel like it's important for me to speak up about it. With all the success I have had in triathlon and other careers, I easily justified toxic behaviors and an unhealthy relationship with food.

Now is not the time for me to tell you all the details, what I want to tell you is that I am a survivor. I truly did not think I could change, that I was relegated to a toxic mindset and I was a prisoner to my own self-destructive patterns. And I would not have been able to start changing without help.  I didn't know where or how to start, I just knew I was ready to change. Ready or not, without help and outside support, I don't know how it would be possible. Change this deep is profoundly challenging. But possible. There is hope. There is a way out. 

If you or someone you know is suffering, please know there is help. Your health is serious and your life is meant to be lived, break free!

Out of all the statistics I could post here, the most important one is YOU. You are worth seeking help. If you need help finding it, I'm happy to help.


Change is messy

You know how they say change is HARD?  I agree with that, but mostly I think change is messy.  I'd actually rather it was just HARD, hard I can do.  Give me a challenge, and I'll prove I can do it, and do it better.  MESSY is a bitch.   Once I reflected on the past year and recognized what needed to be changed, I got to work.  Since I've never been one to shy away from a project and goals, you would think I'd feel right at home with all this change.  One would think.

However, those closest to me know that along with being a hard worker, I am stubborn.  I guess I didn't realize just how stubborn I could be.  

What I'm needing to change is instead of beating myself as a motivator, I need be more nurturing to myself and to make the effort to nourish my body in order to find the place where I can once again thrive.  How hard could that be? In deciding to make an effort to do just that, I was prepared and called in for back up (helpers), but I wasn't prepared to actually have to deal with the stubborn girl inside that wants to go back to old habits when anything gets HARD.  I'm imagining it's like having a dog train itself.  Being one to not give up when things get tough, I am learning.  In the meantime I'm kind of a mess.  There are great days and horrible days and everywhere in between.

It's teaching me to be patient, even with myself.  It's teaching me change takes time and sometimes growing hurts.  It's teaching me that rock bottom is great place to start building from. It's teaching me that even on horrible days, even I can love me (that's a BIG one). It's teaching me to never forget about gratitude and humility. It's teaching me what hard really looks like.  

Today I read some words from Steven Kotler that reminded me I'm not alone and that my weaknesses are sometimes my greatest strengths.  Isn't that the truth!?

So, yes change is messy.  And sometimes I'm a mess.  And that's ok.  I would rather have a few bad days than a life that isn't MINE.  I refuse to settle for a anything less than a kick ass life and anything less than I know I'm capable of.  Never, ever, ever, ever, ever give up.  Never. Ever.

So... WHERE am I?!?!

Seriously.  Since I decided to actually take on off season this year, for the first time ever, so I would be able to recover from the hole I was in at the end of the season, I decided to throw a million other things on my plate - yay me!

Not really yay.  Basically I'm making a perfect example of things NOT to do if you're trying to recover from putting your mind and body through the ringer.

For the 2nd time since July, I moved. Woof.  Not only that, I changed jobs, replacing the old with 2 new ones.  Of course these changes are for the better and will be paying off.  Soon. I hope.  Of course they will. In the meantime, I'm still pretty tired.  Needless to say, I haven't been keeping up on writing, posting or communicating with anyone.  For that, I'm sorry.  That doesn't mean I don't care or have forgotten how grateful I am to be surrounded by so many unbelievably incredible people.  My heart could burst I'm so grateful!

In brief, I've decided to take a break from personal training at the gym.  For work, I'm waiting tables at 2 of Wenatchee's finest, Lulu's Kitchen and McGlinn's Public House - come see me :)

You can also still find me coaching runners and triathletes over at SETcoaching.com.

More to come, so stay tuned.  I've learned a lot of lessons through these changes that I look forward to sharing with you!

Much love - 


Ironman 70.3 World Championships, Mont-Tremblant

You know when you have one of those days that is disappointing in the way that you can no longer avoid confronting what in your life is not working?  Sort of like the day you know it's finally time to break off a relationship you've been avoiding breaking off because you know it's going to hurt and even though change can be invigorating, it's inevitably hard.

Mont-Tremblant was one of those days. No, I'm not breaking up with triathlon.  

There are a few things I've been avoiding facing because I know it's going to be hard and quite frankly, it's a little embarrassing to admit.  Suffice it to say, I did a poor job nurturing my body this season and Mont-Tremblant left me with no choice but to finally deal with my season of poor choices, pull up my big-girl pants and make some hard decisions.

The race itself was so much fun!  My Mom and Step-Dad traveled with me, and we had a blast!  Our condo was just a few blocks away, making it perfect for commuting to-and-fro the race venue without having to drive - yay!  Plus we were able to cook all of our meals in the comfort of our place, avoiding crowds and lines the whole time we were there.  

As usual, I was fairly nervous race morning, but looking forward to the swim!  Luckily, I was able to scrounge up a Powerbar gel before the start and everything else was pretty much dialed. Though my swim wasn't spectacular, it went by incredibly fast.  I didn't swim fast, but it felt like I did, and that's really "all that matters". 

A few days before I drove the bike course, so I knew I was going to L.O.V.E. it.  What I didn't anticipate was the draft fest.  Seriously? There had to have been 60+ people riding.  Anywho, no sense in working myself up into a French-Canadian frenzy.  I put my head down and rode my little heart out!

Once on the run, nothing felt horribly wrong, I had taken in all my fuel and was carrying my fuel on the run, but it was not happening.  I knew I needed a big run, well w/n my ability, but the day ended up being survival mode.  Just keep moving forward.  That's what I did.  Every kilometer I tried to push my pace, but by the next marker I had slowed significantly.  Never-the-less, I kept "tri-ing" to find that pace rhythm and pace I knew was in me, my body wasn't going to go there.  

Like I said earlier.  Point taken. Lesson learned. My body didn't respond because I had treated it poorly all year.  Before Lake Stevens I made quite a few changes and it worked amazingly! Between Lake Stevens and Mont-Tremblant I was tired, busy and didn't take the time to maintain those changes.   Just as I had not taken the time ALL YEAR.  I'm done making excuses, I'm tired of sabotaging myself.  

Here's to change, growth and learning lessons the hard way. 

The APPLE of my eye

In case you have never been to or heard of my home town, I will tell you, Wenatchee, WA is the Apple Capital of the World.  Mind you, it might be self proclaimed, but it is a well earned title that we take rather seriously!   This year, the state of Washington will grow/pack/ship over 110 million 40 pound boxes of fresh apples for out of hand consumption, world wide.  

I've had the honor of representing the incredibly irresistibly sweet Ambrosia apple and Daisy Girl Organics this year for CMI Growers.  

They have been incredibly supportive, believing in and helping me pursue by dreams, while also providing me with fresh apples to keep my body fueled and belly happy every day!  Thank you SO MUCH!!

Ambrosia apples at Ironman 70.3 World Championships, Mont-Tremblant Quebec

Ambrosia apples at Ironman 70.3 World Championships, Mont-Tremblant Quebec

All aboard! Have apple, will travel.

All aboard! Have apple, will travel.

Since we are in the throws of apple harvest - YAY! YAY! YAY!

I wanted to share with you some recent - incredibly delicious apple-centric recipes I've found.  












Endless lines require snacking.

Endless lines require snacking.

What are your favorite apple recipes?  

Lake Stevens

After 7 weeks off of racing, I was feeling excited, a little nervous with a big dash of confidence.  My body was responding better and better the weeks leading up and I had been making some changes to my nutrition that were making a big impact on how I was recovering and feeling every day.

It was nice to be able to drive only a couple hours and my favorite travel companion, my MOM was able to make the trip with me.  We always have a ton of fun together!

Friday was relatively uneventful, though we did find an AMAZING sushi place, one of the best things about heading to the city - FOOD!  Saturday was spent making a few last minute preparations, including a quick swim in the lake, thanks to Rick who let me swim from his private dock!  Before we left the lake for some rest we stopped for lunch at a place we found the day prior.  I know this is a race report, but I HAVE to tell you about this little treasure.  The Ringing Cedar Tea Tavern.  The food was absolutely delicious and packed full of nutrients!  Believe it or not, there were only 3 menu items, all vegan and gluten free and OUT OF THIS WORLD!  Obviously they had amazing teas, but also smoothies made with coconut meat and all sorts of tasty and healthful ingredients. Our whole day was filled with unexpected treats.

Wouldn't you know it, race morning came much faster than I always feel it should.  Due to the early race start, we were up and eating by 4am, on the road shortly after.  Set up was pretty uneventful and in the blink of an eye we were off and swimming.  It's true what everyone says about Lake Stevens being a great swim, no disappointment here, I LOVED IT!  Truly, I love any time I get to swim in my Wattie Ink BlueSeventy Helix, it's badass!

photo (24).JPG

Though I didn't feel like my swim was blazing fast, I didn't notice very many ladies in front of me, weird. Oh well, tried not to overthink it.As I headed out of transition, I saw a big smiling face looking at me - holy cow - my BF surprised me, driving over from Wenatchee that morning to be there, what a great surprise!

This was the first race with my new additional bottle cage and bottle, it made my life so much easier!!  The addition was a little last minute, so while I waited on my Speefil, my BF fabricated a custom bottle cage for me, he rocks! 

Not only did I not have to stop at any aid stations, but my new fueling strategy increased both my energy. BETTER!  Usually there are quite a few women in my AG that I pass on the bike, but I didn't see very many before I saw the first pro female, so I figured I had a decent position coming off the bike.  was blown away at how quickly the bike passed, but as usual, I was ready to get off my bike and start running.

Just like the bike, I had a new nutrition strategy on the run.  This time, instead of fussing with gels, I used 2 gel flasks, where I had 1 1/2 Powerbar gels each, topped off with water. No gel packets to open (YAY), I was able to fuel more consistently, and the addition of a little water, even though it was minimal, kept me hydrated enough to not have to stop at any of the aid stations.  Usually, the run is the first opportunity to realize where exactly you are in the race, I was leading my AG and had worked my way past 5 of the 8 pro women on the bike, YAY!  This was truly the first run in a 1/2 iron distance that I didn't walk 1 step, allowing me to hold my own, only dropping one position on the run. That's a pretty big win!

Lake Stevens was a 70.3 best time for me, as well as a PR in the 1/2 marathon in a triathlon.  I could not be more thrilled with how everything went down!

Of course, I would not have been able to make it to the start without an army of support!  Big thanks to my coach Cliff English for helping me grow as an athlete and keeping me not only strong, but healthy!  TriMarni for helping me dial in my nutrition. My family and friends have seen me through a lot of ups and downs this year, thank you so much for continuing to believe in me!  My sponsors allow me to pursue my dreams and provide me with the best products on the planet! Thank you beyond words: Wattie Ink, CMI Growers, Adventure Wenatchee, D'Olivo, Power Bar, Herbalife 24, 101 Pipe and Casing, Arlberg Sports, Speedfil, SpiderTech Tape, ISM Saddles, BlueseventyReynolds and Ovenell Chiropractic.

Still Standing

You would think after such an odd start to the year I might be thinking of making a change. It's funny, but that couldn't be farther from the truth.  


I'll start by explaining my Sunday run ritual.  For as long as I can remember I've had a love-hate relationship with long runs.  It took me a good 5 years of practice before I found joy at the other end of those long runs.  That joy became something I craved.  I craved the solitude and peace, the monotony and adventure, finding my edge and pushing beyond what I thought possible.  Lately my Sunday run ritual has taken on a whole new life. Instead of the usual cast of inspirational songs, I fire up my Joel Osteen podcast.  Yes, my Sunday run starts off with a spiritual awakening of sorts.  No matter how I feel heading in, by the time my workout starts I'm uplifted and inspired (usually).  I love it.

One recent Sunday the message was "I'm Still Standing".  You know how you can hear the same message a million times before it finally resonates. Am I alone on this?

Over the past few weeks, I've spent a lot of time trying to make sense of my season and this year so far. It takes an awful lot to leave me discouraged and questioning everything. A LOT. The past few months hit me hard. I found  myself discouraged, questioning my worthiness and the message in my heart. I began to doubt my dreams, not whether they are possible, but doubt my clarity in designing them.  I know, tough stuff. What I came to realize is the message in my heart IS real and my dreams ARE valid.  I WILL bounce back.

That message gave me peace. You see, everyone experiences rain. No one is exempt from storms, from hard times and certainly not from feeling pain!  A true warrior doesn't complain about opposition, a warrior likes a good fight.  Exactly.

Setbacks don't determine my destiny. My mistakes and faults do not make me less worthy of my dreams. My choice is to continue forging forward, on the path laid out before me.  Bounce back when I have set backs and believe that what is in my heart is real, profound and has purpose.

Buffalo Springs Lake

Back when I had the bright idea of doing Buffalo Springs Lake Triathlon in Lubbock, TX, I thought it would be a flat course, rolling at best, with some wind and probably pretty hot.  It was kind of like that, but more like hilly, really windy and HOT HOT HOT!

Have I ever mentioned that I like a challenge?!  I felt good heading into the race.  My Boise blues had been all but obliterated and I was ready to shake loose a solid run performance.

Just getting to race morning turned out to be a challenge in and of itself!

The Friday before leaving, I had a bike fit which showed a pretty significant inefficiency in my right leg.  Further testing revealed my right glute is not functioning, right hamstring is over working and my pelvis is rotated to the left.  This is complicated by prexisting conditions, but definitely fixable. Lucky me, I was able to get a few adjustments at Ovenell Chiropractic, a massage w/ cupping from Nikki and a faścial stretch from Trish at Golds Gym, yay!  My body was as good as could be expected after only 5 days.

By the time I got around to checking my race wheels before packing...I remembered that I was supposed to be making sure they stayed inflated so the glue on my tubular so wouldn't dry out, oops! My rear one was fine, but the front wouldn't hold air. I knew my trusty mechanic at Arlberg Sports had the day off, but I wanted to prepare him for what he was going to see Tuesday morning...with only one day to figure out :) all I can figure is that he enjoys challenges as much as I do!  Probably not, but he handles it well.  Turns out that when I flatted in Boise, the tube got twisted somehow and ended up with a pinch flat, which explains why it wouldn't hold air. Somehow there was a spare tire available and it was replaced and ready to go that afternoon. Whew!  

I figured leaving Wednesday was a bit early for a Sunday race, but my flight was cheap and I extra acclimation time is always beneficial. My flight from Seattle landed in Dallas at about 8:30pm Wednesday, only to find out my flight to Lubbock had been cancelled for "weather", even though there was none to speak of. Regardless, I waited in line for close to 3 hours to find I'd been booked the next morning at 10am.  By that time all the hotels w/n 10 miles were booked and from there, the only ones available started at $200. Since the option of staying at the airport all night and morning didn't sound appealing to either me or my new friend from Post, TX.  We decided to rent a car and drive. By the time we (myself, Marianne and Royce Hart along with their 5yr old granddaughter Matty) hit the road, it was midnight. We did stop at about 1:30 for dinner at the Iron Skillet, otherwise, we took turns driving straight thru to Lubbock...arriving just before 7am.

Exhausted and luggage-less, I was trying my best to remain pleasant...well, human at least. But when I went to pick up my rental car and was told they had given away all the cars...even though no flights had actually come in the night before, it was all I could do to not have an absolute meltdown. Avis came to my rescue with their last car, yay! He could very well have raked me over the coals with the rate, but it ended up being much cheaper than my previous reservation. Win!

It was pretty smooth sailing for the next 12 hours or so.

Later that night, while I was putting my bike together and noticed somehow the screw to the head set had been sheared in half. Wha??  When I took it to the shop (Velocity) in the morning, the mechanic looked at me sorta cross-eyed and said he would take a look at it, but expect it to take a few hours.  Trying again to not panic, I headed to the store to kill some time. No more than 10 minutes later, I received a call from the shop saying it was all fixed up and there would be no charge. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!  Yesssss!  I promptly picked up my bike and headed out to course for a quick ride.  Just outside the park is a lovely gas station, with the most HORRENDOUS port-a-potty I have EVER seen!  It was swarming with flies, no toilet paper nearly full. But I had to go SO BAD… Ok, just hold your breath, close your eyes and hope for the best.  As I walked out, with a probably equally horrendous expression on my face, a fellow racer was there also about to head out on their bike.  With a big Texas smile, she said “HI”, with a tone that said “I know exactly what you just experienced and I’m so sorry!” After a quick chat, we headed our separate ways.  She advised about the prevalence of goat heads, so I tried to stay clear of the shoulder, and managed to only pick up one thorn,  THIS time, my tire sealed up perfectly. Whew.

Hope that was a sign of things starting to turn around.  And they did.

At least until I heard news that my car, back home, had broken down and was being towed to the mechanic. Oh well, I’ll deal with that later.


That pretty much catches us up to race morning.  The night before which, I did not sleep a wink.  I was nervous, in a good, excited kind of way.


Race start was at 6:30a, so most of what happened before then is kinda blurry.

As soon as my wet-suit was on, I couldn’t wait to get in the water. Yup, already hot.  It wasn’t more than 5 minutes into the swim when I started to overheat. GET THIS WETSUIT OFF OF MEEEEEEEE!!!!

Before I knew it, the swim was over and I was on my bike and headed out of the park.  L.O.V.E. that bike course!  It’s just like Boise...except hillier, windier and hotter.  The miles flew by and just like that I was off and running.

Holy hot mess.  The first 2 miles were pretty great, the next 4ish were a little less stellar, followed by struggle city and at mile 11 my brakes were fully engaged.  It was all I could do to keep moving forward.  Though I did my share of walking, I was proud to make it the last 2 miles holding at least a slow jog.  Woof.  A number of factors contributed to my run performance, the largest of which was not following through on my fueling strategy completely. When I was packing up, I realized I had 2 gels still in my pockets (yay, W-kit pockets are awesome).  

What I do know is I take full responsibility for my lackluster performance.   No excuses.  

Despite the performance, I am grateful to have completed the hardest race I’ve ever done. Yay!


I couldn’t have done it, or even made it to the starting line without the best team ever!  

Thank you Wattie Ink, CMI Growers, Adventure Wenatchee, Blue Seventy, Power Bar, ISM Saddles, Ambrosia Apples, Daisy Girl Organics, D’Olivo, Herbalife 24, Arlberg Sports, SpiderTech, Rudy Project, Reynolds, Speedfil, TriBike Transport, 10 Barrell, Hypoxico and SET Coaching!  Much love to my family, friends and amazing community!

Next up, Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens, August 17th.  See you out there!

Seize the stink

For all the time in my life I can remember, I've been really good at never taking the easy way out.  If I can find a way to add a challenge, I will.  When I read Robert Frost as a child, I took his words to heart "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference."  Having an ordinary life has never interested me.

Every ounce of my being craves growth and knowledge.  Maybe it's the farmer in my who realizes that the most rich, hearty, beautiful, resilient, life is cultivated in a lot of stinky stuff. We call it fertilizer.

Make no mistake, this "not so ordinary life", has come with great consequence as I'm nearly 35 years old with not many tangibles to show for it and most of my "assets" are of the 2 wheeled variety.  I wouldn't have it any other way.  Thank you very much.

Sure I've created quite a few messes for myself (and of myself), but without those messes, I wouldn't be where I am today, or WHO I am today.   I've put myself through hell and back to find my strength, let go of my weaknesses, embrace my imperfections and live a life that I hope is worth telling a story about someday.

What am I saying? Life is meant to be lived. Don't be afraid to be messy. It's scary, sometimes it hurts, It's not always fair, you'll fall down.  Get excited, that's the fertilizer, you're about to grow like crazy!


Boise 70.3, thank you.

Boise 70.3 was well over a week ago, in case you didn’t know...or thought I didn’t know my race report is tardy.  Frankly, I don’t know what you all do the week after a race to be able to churn out the blogs...for me, it takes a while to catch up on work, life and processing what went down.

Lucky for you, I’ve now had PLENTY of time.

Race week was a little rocky for me, but a little family time, Wattie teammate time and some me time, I showed up ready to race.  More-or-less.

For those of you who haven’t heard.  The former olympic speed skater Apolo Ohno was making his triathlon debut in Boise.  The first race on his road to Kona this year.  Which also means his coaches were there, Paula Newby-Fraser and Craig Alexander Otherwise, it was just like any other race.  Oh, and other than the noon start time.  

SWIM. Just as every other time I’ve swam in Lucky Peak, the last portion of the swim was choppy as hell!  I handled better than ever. I chalk that up to my training and my custom Wattie Ink BlueSeventy Helix.  Now, if I could only stay on course. I REALLY need to reign that in.  I exited the swim a little slower than I expected, but happy I was able to get in a few extra yards and exit with a smile on my face, WIN.

In other news....

Wetsuit strippers are not my thing.  But, they did provide some shenanigans to keep the crowd entertained.  A group of guy volunteers positioned themselves at the bottom of the “stripping zone” so they had first pick of the “cute girls”, encouraging all the other racers up the ramp. Cleaver.  

Though Apolo has 2 of the most decorated triathletes of all time coaching him, they forgot to mention that once the wetsuit was stripped, he had to take it with him back to T1.  Ha, oops!  He made it up the ramp before Crowie was able to get his attention and send him back to retrieve it.

BIKE. I felt really strong riding my Shiv.  Tempering my aggression with a little patience.  I was enjoying the ridiculously smooth ride on my new wheels, until I nearly lost my tire at the turnaround. Flat. Shit. Don’t panic.  It took me forever to remove what I needed, so (not) cleverly taped to my saddle.  Once I managed that, in a jiffy, I was off and riding again.  I made it about 20 more miles before having to add some more air to my slowly leaking tire and just hoped it would hold until T2.  Whew. Barley.

In other news...

Having a flat tire was pretty good luck, as it turns out!  2 of my friends were involved in accidents during the race.  One walked away a little banged up and shaken, but continued on to finish the race. The other was not so lucky.  Sadly, Steve Lutz of CMI Growers hit one of the water canals towards the end of the ride, lost control and went down. Hard.  He has extensive injuries, broken clavicle, scapula, 7 ribs, bruised lung and abrasions.  Looks like he should fully recover, in due time.  Wishing him a smooth road to recovery!

RUN. And then there’s the run.  In training, my run has improved astronomically.  In training. My first mile was fantastic, right on pace.  Not so gracefully, my mojo slowly unraveled over the next 7 miles and after a little puke sesh, I took a turn for the better.  Somehow I finished with a strong last 4 miles.  In gratitude.  Once I started to feel junky, early on in the run, I turned into a negative-nelly, full of doubt and dis-trust in my body.  I don’t even know why, but between miles 8-9, I remembered gratitude and poured it on myself!  Every time I had a muscle cramp, a doubt, a slowing pace, I closed my eyes and gave thanks to my body.  And I’ll be damned if it didn’t work!  

In other news...

I beat Apolo Ono!

Speaking of gratitude, how awesome is it that I get to race :)  and have such an amazing team of support!  Major league thanks to Wattie Ink, CMI Growers, Adventure Wenatchee, Power Bar, ISM Saddles, Arlberg Sports, D’Olivo, Ovonell Chiropractic, SpiderTech Tape, Herbalife 24, Speed Fil, Blue Seventy, my family, friends and beloved community!

And my coach Cliff English has done such an amazing job, pushing me to continually progress over the past few months.  Thank you SO MUCH!  

You asked. Answers to your questions on weight loss and my nutrition habits.

It’s no secret that I spend most of my days talking about, thinking about and surrounded by some sort of exercise and nutrition.  

Though I am constantly reading and learning about new training methodologies, diet cults and all the gear and gadgets that are sure to bolster performance, by-and-large, the questions I am asked most frequently are the same.

What do I need to do to lose weight?

What do you eat?

Both are simple questions, but they are not that simple to answer.

Let’s dive into the first one.  

What do I need to do to lose weight?  

You’ve heard this answer before, burn more calories than you take in.  That is certainly true.  But, frankly, there’s more to it than that!  

Here are a few actions you can take:

  • Set process goals.  A target weight is great, but how are you going to get there? Set goals that propel you into action.

    • I am going to eat 2 extra servings of vegetables every day

    • I am going to prep all my lunches for the upcoming week every Sunday

    • I am going to exercise “vigorously” at least 30 minutes on Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat

  • EAT!  Starving yourself is a great way to confuse your body, not a successful strategy for weight loss.  At first, the numbers on the scale may change, but your body composition is not following suit. When under-eating, your body will hold onto fat and instead use muscle for fuel.  Additionally you are sabotaging your natural metabolic rate which is dictated by the amount of muscle mass that your body has. With a reduced metabolism, you are even more prone to adding fat to the fat you’re storing.  Not eating enough calories does one thing: it makes you a fat making machine.


  • Get in touch with your body and establish personalized training zones.  Stop relying on the numbers you see on cardio equipment, the calorie burn is rarely accurate. Instead of relying on a machine to tell you how hard to go, you need to learn how hard you can push your body.  Using heart rate zone training is a great method to achieve the results you want.  You won’t ever have the body you want by training at your 100% maximum capacity all the time, nor will you get it if you never get your heart rate higher than 65% exertion.  The body responds best to variable training, so get a heart rate monitor to track your heart rate zones.


  • Get enough SLEEP!  Saying you can “get by” on 5 hours is a lie. You might be able to function, but your body and mind need 7-8 hours of sleep (at least) to function optimally.  Major body replenishment happen as our bodies sleep, among them, the delicate balancing act of leptin and grehlin.  Leptin, our appetite satiety hormone, is produced during sleep.  Not enough sleep, not enough leptin, and, as a result, weight gain.  Grehlin on the other hand makes you feel hungry; it grows your appetite.  Those who don’t get enough sleep naturally have higher levels of grehlin and lower levels of leptin.  To realize not only your weight loss goals, but to more importantly achieve optimal health, it is imperative to have appropriate levels of leptin and minimized amounts of grehlin.  Sleeping more really does help you lose weight.


  • Stop lying to yourself and making excuses.  Start writing down your food and exercise and hold yourself accountable.


  • Develop your self confidence and learn to love your body unconditionally.  Having the perfect body at the perfect weight will never bring you lasting happiness.  Stop obsessing on how you look compared to someone else, on how certain mirrors or lighting warp your reflection, or on how others might perceive you based on how you look.  If you want long-term weight loss, then obsess about the right things. Identify what makes your heart come alive and go chase your dreams.


  • Be consistent.  It might seem mundane to meet your friend for a run every morning at 5am or eat the same thing for lunch every day.  But there is success in simplicity and adopting healthy habits that are easy to maintain.


And now, on to the 2nd question.  

What do I (Sarah Barkley) eat?


I eat real, unprocessed food that is sourced locally and organic whenever possible.  I rely on seasonal produce, high quality protein and nutrient dense healthy fats to round out a balanced diet.  

Once a week I plan my meals and do as much prep work as I can so that when I’m super busy, refueling my body is easy and enjoyable.  I do this process backwards from the traditional method and do my shopping before my planning.  Instead of having a fixed idea of what I need to fulfill recipes, I buy what looks the most fresh and flavorful at the store or farmer’s market and develop my meals and recipes once I know what my available ingredients end up being.

Outside of my daily nutrition, I do utilize supplements to maximize my training and racing.


My breakfast almost always involves:

Greek yogurt, plain, full fat or 2%

Fresh berries or fruit (cherries or chopped apples and pears are especially yummy! Thank you CMI)

Rolled oats or granola


My lunch almost always involves:

Farm fresh or organic eggs


Brown rice


Dinner almost always involves:

TONS of veggies

Delicious protein



Ambrosia (or other sweet, crunchy, delicious variety) apples w/ sharp cheddar

Apples (or a spoon) w/ black magic peanut butter

Pears w/ lavender honey goat cheese

Veggies w/ plain greek yogurt or tzatziki

Nuts w/ dried fruit



As always - Train hard, live well and have fun!




Eye on the prize...or at least up the road

While dishing out some advise to a cyclist on the path the other day who was trying not to hit me while headed straight towards me, I realized it was better advise than I intended.

Clearly a new cyclist, I told him to keep his head up and eyes focused on where he wants to go instead of on what he was trying to avoid.  

We practiced.  He thanked me.  

Then it hit me. I rode away with that statement repeating over and over in my head.  "Keep your head up and eyes on where you want to go."

All too often we get so caught up in everything else that it's easy to lose perspective and get distracted.  This can manifest in many different ways.  For me, I get so caught up in trying to best each workout and/or race, only to beat myself up for not living up to that expectation, my own expectation.  Only to realize afterwards that most of the time I had, in fact, hit the goal I set out to accomplish.  

Do you do this too? Does constant comparison to others leave you discouraged? Do you lose focus and find yourself obsessing over something insignificant like new gear or gadgets instead of your training?  Are you afraid to take the next step towards something even though you've already overcome a million obstacles on that path?

Keep your goals where you can see them every day.  Pick your head up.  Realize how far you've come. Know you're capable of WAY more than you could ever dream. Be grateful..



It's not me, it's you.

Before you get too excited, this is NOT a blog about relationship advise.  You won't find me dishing that out. Ever.

Today, I had a revelation. I do that kind of a lot, it makes me wonder if I have new ones, or if I just have a bad memory.  I know, I know, you're DYING to know what it was.  Well, we have to go back in time to yesterday when it all started.  Yesterday I had a good bit of training on tap.  3 hour race-pace interval ride followed by a 20 min run and a "keep things loose" swim.  Everything started normal (despite sleeping in and getting a late start).  However, about 40 minutes into my ride, my bike computer died (oopsie).  No biggie, for some reason I had decided to wear my HR monitor for my ride too, which hardly ever happens.  To clarify, I have a separate wrist unit for my HR.  Ok, where were we.  Oh yes.  I wasn't really paying attention to my HR until I started the first of three 30 minute efforts and my HR seemed unusually, ridiculously low.  Based on my "perceived exertion", we're talking 20 beats below normal.  WTF?!  No sense in working myself up, I decided to just throw caution to the wind and not use numbers at all.  **GASP**

As I was rolling into transition for my run, I decided to take it to the treadmill and have a little test to see if maybe I didn't know how to bike hard anymore, or if there was something truly wrong with my HR.  Sure enough, running at race pace, my HR was 20 beats below normal too.  

And that's when I started wondering what could possibly be wrong with ME...I didn't sleep that great all week, but I felt like I was catching up.  I don't feel like I'm overtrained.  I'm not super tired or irritable.  My diet hasn't changed.  OH MY GOD, maybe I'm really sick!  What if I have a parasite, or....it could be anything.  Why haven't I noticed before.  Maybe I have, what symptoms have I been ignoring?  My brain and I went rounds all night.  I decided I'd have to at least need another days worth data and I'd determine the following day if there was a serious issue.  2 days is a good sample size for sure, right?

As I was getting ready for my run in the morning, it dawned on me to switch out the battery on my HR strap, you know, just to rule things out.  Ha, what do you know, problem solved. Oh. My.

Why is it that when something seems askew, my immediate and only first response is what did I do wrong?  How many times have I done that unnecessarily?  How many times?!?!  Do you ever do this?  Sure it's okay to double check your actions, but to relentlessly search for a way to blame myself was over-kill.  

It was a big wake-up call that I need to have more confidence in my ability to listen to and honor my intuition.  If my intuition was telling me there was nothing wrong with my body, I need to trust that and move on.

Listen to your gut.  (If you apply that as relationship advise, it's on you, not me.)




Yes, I realize it takes me a bit of time to post race reports.  It for a good reason though, promise.  If I were to post right after the race, all I would likely write about are the things I did wrong...it would be like one giant pitty party.  I hate pitty parties.  

The truth is, I headed into Wildflower with arguably the best fitness of my life.  i've never felt more well trained heading into a race.  No matter how hard I train, it doesn't make me immune from what I would consider a sub-par performance.  

I was thrilled about the course revision and looked forward to seeing where my preparation would take me.  

Race morning went off without a hitch. I arrived at the swim start still reeling from my dream the night before of coming out of the water first.  Though I was fully aware the likely hood of this panning out was slim, I was none-the-less beyond happy with my swim fitness. Despite swimming off course, I still managed to pull off a decent swim and made up quite a bit of time on the first 2 mile run.  

It took me an unusually long time to find a rhythm on the bike, but once I did I felt pretty golden.  So, when I headed out running again, it came as a complete shock that I had nothing.  And I mean nothing.  I tried to remain optimistic that my legs would come around and kept my focus in the moment, but there was no denying it was going to be a long day. And it was.  

The good news is that I did it and in the end, I can even say it was fun.

Though I prefer races that are less "learning experiences" and more feats of strength and will.

I am forever grateful for my incredible team who warmly welcomed me and quickly turned my spirits around by hearing all their stories of triumph.  I'm proud and honored to be a part of such a strong and welcoming triathlon family!  Thank you Wattie Ink!!

None of this race would have been possible without Wattie Ink, Adventure Wenatchee, CMI Growers, D'Olivo, PowerBar, Blueseventy, Rudy Project, SpiderTech Tape, SpeedFil, Reynolds, Arlberg Sports, Specialized, Herbalife, ISM and all my family and friends.



Let me (re)introduce myself

This year is a big year for me!  I'll be turning pro, and for the first time, I will have a team of my own! 

My team, Sarah Barkley Racing, consists of me and all my amazing sponsors and supporters, and of course, all of YOU.  Together we are working towards the common goal of nurturing the fire within all of you to live the life of your dreams.  To get outside and explore, to nourish your body with only the highest quality fuels and to engage with your community and to realize that you are capable of more than you ever imagined. Time to ROCK!  This is an introduction of me and how my life ties in withCMI, the newest member of my team!


Who is Sarah Barkley?

I’m just like most of you.  Really.  Every day I work, I exercise, I eat and try to spend as much time with my family and friends as possible.  I deal with issues like juggling a busy schedule, managing stress, overcoming fear and dealing with a myriad of insecurities.

Just like with most things in life, it’s all a matter of perspective.  Perspective is something I seek quite a lot as a recovering perfectionist.

Instead of sitting at a desk, staring at a computer, I spend most of my day staring at the computer on my bike or the one fixed to my wrist.  My office is, more often than not, the great outdoors, spending countless hours navigating the awe-inspiring Wenatchee Valley. What I consider exercise is an all day thing.  Instead of working it around everything else I need to accomplish every day, I fit everything else in around exercise.  I say exercise, but if you know one or two triathletes, you are probably acutely aware exercise is what we call “training”.  Yes, I am a triathlete.  2014 is my 8th year racing triathlon and will be my first year racing as a “pro”, after a few races as an AG to further develop my racing.

If you’re wondering what "pro" means, you’re not alone, most people have no idea. Basically it means I met a criteria standard that allows me to compete for money ($$YAY$$) in races with a designated prize purse and/or elite field.  

Speaking of racing, I’ll admit, I have some pretty lofty goals for the next couple of years. Which is to say, I have my work cut out for me.  I couldn’t be more excited!  It’s with incredible fortune (and a dash of hard work) to have an abundance of support.  I could not be more thrilled to have CMI on my team, they not only represent my extreme passion for sound nutrition and health, but support me in pursuing my dreams.

Before I started competing in triathlon on a more full-time basis about a year ago, I had a career in the tree fruit business.  Fruit is a pretty big deal in the Wenatchee Valley, after all, it is the “Apple Capital of the World”!  For years I sold apples, pears, cherries, peaches, nectarines, apricots, and more around the country to retail grocery stores and wholesalers/distributors.  Nutrition has always been an important aspect of my life.  Growing up, our meals and snacks were centered around REAL food like fruits, vegetables, fresh meat and whole grains.   Sure we occasionally ate fast food, but it was not the norm.  Over time and through working in the fruit business, my awareness has increased with many things, but one in particular is how many people have NO IDEA what they are eating, not to mention where it comes from.  It has always been a passion of mine to help educate people where their food comes from, how it’s produced, and what it does for their bodies.

Outside of racing, for work, I am an endurance sport coach with the SET Coaching Group and a personal trainer with Gold’s Gym of Wenatchee Valley.  Coaching and helping others not only reach their fitness goals, but to realize their capabilities is incredibly rewarding.

So, you may be wondering what I do with all my free time? Is sleeping considered a hobby? Ok, ok, for "real" hobbies, I'm always up for a new adventure (as long as I'm rested, see #1) and anything to do with either being outside or cooking...did you say outdoor kitchen? Stop it. 

Progress not perfection

Over the past month or so, I have been hit hard with a big heaping pile of my own medicine.  

Isn't it funny how that happens?  

Here's the thing, I, like most of you, am much better at giving advise than I am at listening to it.

Over the past few months, I have made many small decisions to sacrifice my own needs...just a little bit at a time.  I actually thought I was getting away with it too.  Until all of a sudden, I was unable to find a way around, through or over the heaping pile of my own medicine.  I needed to figure out how to swallow it.  So here I am, with this big pile, and just as soon as I started to take a little bite here and a tiny bite there, the whole damn pile fell right on top of me.  At that point I was so exhausted and overwhelmed all I could do was lay there.  Both literally and figuratively.  

Ok, no worries, I've got this  **deep breath**

You see, though I successfully put myself under, I do actually have the awareness and tools enough to get myself out of it, for once in my life.  Though I could very easily sit here and beat myself up over it, saying things like "I should know better by now", "how could I let myself down", "I will never be able to be a good coach if I can't be a better example"...

I choose instead to acknowledge that I messed up, take ownership of it, and take the necessary steps to get myself and my life back on track.  But it takes time, just as it took a great deal of time to put me in this predicament in the first place.  

Despite all my imperfections and mistakes, I choose to love myself anyway.  To love myself anyway. Love myself. 

Since February is the month of "love", what better time an exercise in just that. 

Before making a decision regarding my daily life, training and work schedules, I am asking myself...which option will make you feel the most loved.  This is not easy for me, it feels selfish, foreign and futile.  It takes trust, acceptance that I'm worth it and a great deal of patience.  

Trust. Patience. Love. I can do this.

And if I can do this, so can YOU!  

In honor of yourself, in honor of me and in honor of the month of LOVE, you can do this too!!