Shall I Tri?

Swim. Bike. Run. Almost a decade ago I got the crazy idea of getting into triathlons. When living in Seattle, I was surrounded by an active tri community, and the tri bug bit me to. I was working with a coach, honed my swim form, was sweating on the bike like no tomorrow…. as a result, I did sprint and Olympic distances just for the fun.

Moving to Alaska changed my triathlete career quite a bit as I was focusing on mountaineering and winter sports. So even though I had the love for three fun sports, they were on the back burner. Time to time I would hop on the bike, occasionally dip into the pool, and well, running has always been my love. But years went by without any systematic training – no wonder I was always struggling with whatever tri sport I was doing. Obviously swimming is horrible if the form is rusty, and hill climbs on a bike are painful if you do them once in a blue moon.

Over this holiday season one of my friends asked if I have ever thought of an Ironman. Sure. I have thought about it. Many times. But at the same time it is a huge commitment, a great deal of pain in terms of burning muscles – like climbing K2 (more about that later — it is my climbing team’s expedition planned  for the future). This year I started to be like could I, should I …. maybe.

And here I am, equipped with a professional triathlon coach and the plan. Ready to train. Hard. Aiming for my first Half Ironman. Knowing myself, it will not be the last one, though.

So be warned – over the months to come, not only will I be writing about travels, adventures and life in general but be prepared to read about the Half Ironman journey as well. After all, I am thrilled to tackle 70.3 miles – 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride, and 13.1-mile run, which equals to 113 km (1.9km swim, 90km bike & 21.1km run).


Can You Hear The Mountains Calling?

OoIt has been a while since my last posting but I assume I have a good excuse. Traveling. And prepping for travels. I embarked for my 3-week European tour last week, and it probably is not a surprise that the days leading to my departure were rather hectic as I had to get a bunch of things sorted out, farrier and veterinarian appointments scheduled…. on top of my regular work.

My trip started by flying from Nashville to Copenhagen via Chicago and Frankfurt, a quick stop in Copenhagen before the 3-day weekend in Salzburg, Austria. Mountains have always had a special place in my heart as I started climbing and mountaineering a couple of decades ago, and have been involved in mountain rescue, guiding as well as teaching avalanche awareness, technical rescue and just basic mountaineering skills. My first time on Mt McKinley, or nowadays Denali, was also one of the reasons why I moved to Alaska in the first place. To get to climb more, and more of those majestic Denali range mountains. And I sure did. Quite a few times.

This time I didn’t have any major plans for Austria but decided to play it by the ear, with weather permitting. It turned out that some of my old mountain rescue buddies were around. A few Facebook messages and a WhatsApp group message got things going, and the gang was together again. Ellmau, Austria, the beautiful village on the foothills of Wilden Kaiser became our destination on Saturday: ropes were coiled, back bags packed, and mountaineering boots’ laces tightened. And just like that, we were out again. Jokes were flying, stories were being told, and old times remembered while diligently planning every move on our climb.

My heart was full of joy.

The old saying says something about no matter how long it has been since seeing your friends, the true friends can pick up the conversation like they’ve never been apart. This is how it is with these guys. It has been over ten years since our last climb together, and a lot has changed over the years. Marriages, divorces, babies, climbing mates lost on some grueling climbs in the unforgiving heights, new mountains conquered …. some of us made the climbing a professional career, other semiprofessional, others just still climb because they love it and can hear the solitude of a mountain calling their name. Days like this truly remind me how much I miss the mountains and the thrill of climbing. Did you know that I have a fear of heights? And I love that darn fear – it makes me feel so alive.

When Dogs Go Running

Way too early on Saturday morning I headed out to Nashville. With the dog. Ready to put a bib on, and run a race. Mutt Strut is a 5k running (and walking) event organized by Nashville Humane Society, a fundraiser to help the animals they take care of. So a great cause to head out with Sophie.

Running a 5k when surrounded by a gazillion dogs, some behaving better than the others, can be pretty chaotic. So no serious time goal on this run. Although thanks to the fast legs, we managed to run/jog the first two mile-long laps in around 10 minutes. After that my furry puppy got tired. Being an Australian shepherd with nice, warm undercoat, it sure is not easy to run in Tennessee weather when temperature is in mid-80’s (close to 30C) and humidity around 70%. It was sweaty for me as well. On the last mile we jogged slowly, and even walked some as I had to drag the dog behind – I kinda fell like an animal abuser but we made it without heat exhaustion!

Making new friends

Chilling after the run

It was a warm day but we did it!

Such a fun day, and great way to be social with other dogs. After the initial excitement Sophie couldn’t care less about other dogs: sniffing was overrated and playing seemed to be the dummiest idea ever. Instead, after resting a bit after the race, Sophie and I headed to Three Dog Bakery for Sophie to get some delicious snacks. Like who would say no to doggy-friendly, artisan cupcakes?!? Not my dog.

Looks so delicious!


We finished the day by taking a quick dip in a nearby creek. There is not a better way to cool down after a warm day, right?! Sophie at least had a blast – as always. If I had a pool, it probably would be taken over by the dog …. she is a true water lover.

Water fun!