I am a cyclist? I AM a cyclist.

I’m coming clean: I’ve been a hypocrite. I’ve talked a time or a dozen about how central our thoughts are for influencing the way that we act. While I walk this talk in most aspects of my athletic life, there is one area where I’ve clearly been lacking – yes, even hypocritical. I’ve said some pretty negative things about cycling. For example, I take credit for the hashtag #BikesArePoopy. More specifically, I’ve said some not-so-nice things about myself as a cyclist. I may have said a time or a dozen that I suck on the bike. I consider a compliment about my …

Eat the elephant one bite at a time 

I started my run on Sunday morning, and I wasn’t more than 20 steps in when I began to hear the voices. My legs are really sore. Why does this feel so hard if I’m running so slow? How am I going to do today’s workout feeling like this? Was that noise my joints popping?!  Ugh. It’s windy.  You know these voices, right? I bet you’ve heard them a time or a hundred. The day before, I had ridden four hours at a base ironman effort – but with a series of FTP intervals interspersed throughout. Fifty-five minutes worth of …

International Women’s Day: Nevertheless, She Persisted

We celebrate holidays because they allow us to celebrate our values and achievements. Consider Fourth of July. This is a pretty big deal for Americans, given our values of independence and freedom. It’s a time to commemorate those values – and to watch fireworks and eat barbecue, of course. For over 100 years, March 8 has been marked as International Women’s Day to commemorate the value and celebrate the benefit that women bring to our lived experiences. Why? Because we value women and the contributions they make to society. We realize that the success of any society – of any world …

Asking the Right Questions: Be a Student of Your Sport

John and I were pretty clueless when we first started in endurance sport. How do we train for a triathlon or marathon? What type of fueling works best, what gear do we need? And that list of questions went on and on and on. We aren’t the type of people who like to revel in ignorance, so we asked questions of more experienced people. A lot of them. We bought books, subscribed to magazines, scoured the web, went to seminars, hired coaches, eventually became coaches ourselves – everything we could do to learn as much as we could to prepare ourselves for …

I’m Back: 2017 HITS Naples 70.3 Race Report

I’m back… I’m back from the edges of overtraining. I’m still pushing my edges – just not tipping over them. I’m back into the thrill of the chase, and working that line between getting enough oxygen and going as fast as I can. And, with my first 70.3 in almost 2 years, I’m back to races that begin and end on the same day. I’m back, baby. I. AM. BACK. You know what? I kinda missed the shenanigans.  Okay, I definitely missed it. A lot. While I did a few shorter races in the Fall, I didn’t really consider myself “back” until I did HITS Naples 70.3 …

Philadelphia Freedom

As I ran the final 10k of the 2016 Philadelphia Marathon, the wind swirled, but thankfully at this point, mostly in a tailwind direction. A smile snaked its way around my face. I felt ah-maze-ing. My careful pacing paid off. I felt the strongest I had ever felt in the final 10k of a marathon. Truthfully: it was the best I had felt running in a year or so! I ran the first half of the marathon with a fair bit of discipline – which is challenging when you feel fresh, and the spectators that line the city streets entice you to push …

A different kind of locker room talk: The power of words

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been intrigued by language. This connection to language is part of the reason why I became a professor of communication, why I write this blog, why I love to read. So, I imagine it will come as little surprise when I tell you that I believe words do matter. Words can hurt us – as do sticks and stones. But, words can also lift us up.It’s up to us – in our use and interpretation of language – to decide what they will do. In this sense, words can be seen actions, as well as paths …

The Turtle Hunts The Hare: Journeys in Finding Speed, Part 2

Ya’ll, trying to get this endurance turtle to become a speedy hare is hard work. Right about now, I’m am cussing myself out for letting what snippets of speediness I had go by the wayside as I trained long, and then longer still over the past two years. Over the past several weeks, I’ve dabbled in the “delights” of shorter course racing with one sprint triathlon (Egg Harbor Sprint Tri) and one olympic-equivalent 7-stage triathlon (Survival of the Mills). These were fun, local races and I was able to race well. Survival of the Mills, in particular, was an incredibly fun race that mixed …

The Turtle and the Hare: Triathlon Style

Two years of super-long course training and racing has made me slow. Perhaps instead of “italics slow” I should say all-caps S.L.O.W., or even the dreaded italics-and-all-caps combo: S.L.O.W.  After a couple of double anvils (double iron-distance) and 100 mile races, I have determined that I can pretty much go FOREVER once I shift into my all-day little diesel pace. It’s definitely my body’s natural physiology and desire to be the turtle – not the hare. Yet, I still have a lingering desire to find my turtle’s inner hare-iness. So, I did what most turtles would do and signed up for Ironman Lake Placid 2017. …

Lessons from a Hard Teacher: Vermont 100 Race Report

“Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lessons afterward.” ~Vernon Law My Vermont 100 experience was a hard test. I’m trying to decide whether I passed or failed. When I grade my students’ work, I assess it based on what I want them to learn and how well their work demonstrates that they’ve learned those lessons. In the case of racing, these “lessons” come in various forms, and one way to assess a race is to think about the goals I set for the race. For Vermont 100, I had my usual tiered set of goals: A) “super secret” goal, …