ExCouch Potato Turns Ironwoman: Breaking Hearts… But Whose?

Samantha Pruitt

“Don’t you know that breaking up is hard to do…..now I know, I know that it’s true!”

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I have to confess that is my current theme song… for my relationship with my couch, that is. Since I’m in confession mode, I may as well spill the whole bag of candy hearts, right?

Backing up to the sweetness of last year, I shared my ‘Ex-Couch Potato Turns IronWOMan Journey’ with you over six months. As a former couch potato who was 58 pounds heavier than I am today, I expressed my passion and quest for now living a healthy & adventurous life as an endurance athlete. I completed my first 140.6-mile Ironman Triathlon (2.4m swim, 112m bike, 26.2m run) on November 20th in 14 hours and 17 minutes and had never felt prouder (feel free to go back and read some of my blog posts).

Two weeks later, on December 3rd, I ran a 50k trail race (31m) up and over 6,000 feet of the Marin Headlands SF Mountains with members of my www.cctrisportclub.com and had a blast! Then twelve days later, on December 15th, I checked in smiling to Sierra Vista Hospital for a long-planned hysterectomy. As you can probably tell, I’m a girl who really likes a lot of excitement in her life and my 2011 really went out with a BANG!

My hospital stay!

Once home from the hospital, all that excitement and an entire year full of hundreds of hours and miles of physical training went to my head and my body headed straight to the couch. My newly built IronWOman body healed well, despite being cut open in four places so that the Doc and his camera crew could see inside me and take out my no longer needed uterus. However, I was painfully sore and beyond tired. After years of avoidance, the couch became my new home. We reconnected and over the next few weeks I spent a lot of time either asleep in his arms or cuddled up together with a blanket watching tv. Christmas came and went and the family activities stirred me a little bit here and there, but getting Apple TV from Santa proved to be further proof my rekindled affair with the couch was the real deal.

By New Years, I could no longer ignore my tradition of supporting my athletes in their setting of new goals and in my own making of New Years resolutions. Nestled in the warm corner of the couch, I drafted my 2012 personal and athletic goals:

1) Make an effort to dress as the professional I am because living in workout attire each day really is like wearing pajamas to work

2) Spend more time with my sophomore teenager since I just have one more year left before he heads off to college

3) Use the Winter/Spring training seasons to get stronger and leaner at the gym so my big 2013 racing goals become reality (more on those later).

Slowly I got re-inspired and left my couch for a few hikes and bike rides with fellow club mates who I’d missed. Gradually I even started running again. First a walk-run 2 mile combo with the dog. Next a little more run and a little less walk, until at about six weeks post-surgery I was running 3 to 4 miles a day. Still after each workout I headed straight for the beloved couch. I realized that it was time for a serious heart to heart and that if my #3) New Years goal to get lean ‘n mean was going to really happen I had better take serious action. So I decided not only break up with my couch but to trade him in for a new one. A stronger, better looking and more dependable couch who would support my goals. I put away the cuddle blanket and remote control then pulled out my calendar to make a game plan.

Knowing that I was really going to need some accountability and mentoring for my long-term race goals, I decided to reach out to one of my local ultra-running heroes, Luis Escobar  http://blog.montrail.com/2009/02/whats-up-with-luis-escobar/

Over several cups of hot caffeinated legal doping (Starbucks) I convinced him to support my cause. With his high-mileage wisdom and a beautifully wicked grin, Luis was on my dream team for turning this Excouch Potato into an UltraWOman. Now it’s time to get to work strategically building my body and my mind so that in 2013 I can not only do another 140.6m Ironman Triathlon but also do my first 100-mile ultra trail race.

My definition of being an UltraWOman is me taking on bold new physical and mental challenges while building a powerful body, a wise soul and a peaceful mind. I’ve been earning that badge of honor over the last few years and on December 30th had artist Jake Schroder of SLO Traditional Tattoo brand it on my right shoulder affirming my mission.

Ex-Couch Potato is BACK! If you want to join me and Luis Escobar for a local trail run check out http://allwedoisrun.com/ on May 19th. I hope you will follow my candid journey of pain, sweat, bliss and growth. Feel free to email me and share your own 2012 process towards building your best body and life. Together, we can chase our dreams and laugh ourselves through a lot of really tough workouts! WooHoo!


Living the Run is thrilled to publish Samantha’s Pruitt’s weekly blog “Excouch Potato Turns Iron (Wo)Man”. Sam has gone from an overweight and unhealthy coach potato to a fitness fanatic. Pruitt is a Certified Heart Zones Triathlon Coach, ACE Certified Personal Trainer, RRCA Running Coach and USAT Certified Race Director. View Sam’s complete bio on our Bloggers Bio Page. You can read her blog every week on www.livingtherun.com.

Other Excouch Potato Turns Iron (Wo)Man Blogs:

The Ironman Tattoo!

Excouch Potato…YOU are an Ironman!

Tick, Tock, Taper

“Can You Hear Me Now?”

“Coming Soon to a theatre Near You! Nightmares on Ironman Street”

“Slipping into the Twilight Zone”

Happy New Year to Me!

Let Freedom Ring and Women Sing

Healthy fear fuels your fire

Match Maker-Match Maker, send me a match

Sweet athletic dreams are made of Zzzzz’s

If you want to love somebody, love the one your with

Calories In, Calories Out, Repeat

Open your eyes to everyday inspiration

Silly kids… Toys are for Triathletes

A little A.D.D. goes a long way

Embracing my not-so-skinny genes

Building my base one brick at a time

Big dreams take big sacrifices

The Journey Begins

Get Off the Couch, Potato. Sports Productions LLC Central Coast
Samantha Pruitt, Certified Coach & Race Director
Triathlon Club Coach & Ultra Athlete
Sporting Event Productions Management & Training Programs

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