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 …

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 …

4 Tips to Find Your Race Week Zen

When race week finally arrives, it’s impossible to avoid the jolt of excitement and anticipation as I make my final preparations to achieve the goals that have kept me moving through weeks on top of months of long, hard training days. It is possible, however, to prevent these race week sensations from overtaking my emotions in a way that hurts the execution of my race plan. As athletes, we should expect and welcome some emotional arousal. But, we need to be on guard against feelings of emotional overload, in the form of anxiety, over-stimulation, panic, or fear. Trust me – I’ve tried it both ways. The latter approach sucks …

Race Morning Mindfulness: I Just Want to Feel This Moment

You may have heard or read advice to “stay in the moment” when racing or training if you want to have a breakout performance, or make the most of a key training session. I know I’ve written about staying focused and being present more than once. But, it’s not common to think about this advice in the context of race morning – the very moment when anxiety threatens to culminate in a potential freak out or meltdown. Obviously, the meltdown scenario has to be avoided at all costs – or it may cost you a positive race day experience. In the chaos …

Mental Fitness and the 4 F’s (Not the 4-Letter F-Word)

[Note: The content of this post was part of a presentation I gave during the DT&N training camp in Lake Placid, on June 5, 2015. I’ve reworked the presentation notes to share here.] “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” ~Zig Ziglar This sentiment reflects my experience over the past several years – as I’ve moved through various goals, from my first sprint to my first double ironman. Working toward each of my goals (and all of the ones in between) has been a journey worth taking. What I have become (I hope) …

Asking questions, seeking answers

After three years of working toward a slot at the Ironman World Championships, the goal became a part of my identity, my decision making, my lifestyle. Now, the race is long done and dusted and the mysteries have been revealed. So, what’s next? My interest in the 140.6 distance has all but disappeared, while my desire to participate more in the ultra world (both triathlon and running) continues to grow. Even so, I haven’t settled on “THEE” goal that drives me. On the one hand, I’m totally okay with that. I’m having a low-stress, fun year of racing and training so far. On the other hand, I …

Boiling Frogs and Gradual Adaptation

Every new distance seems impossible when you first begin to wrap your head around it. Think about the first race you ever signed up for that you thought was really long.  Before you started the training, the race distance probably seemed almost insurmountable, right? I mean, how could anyone go X miles? The very first distance I ran that made me think: whoa, this is going to be LONG was a 6 mile run I did during a high school crew practice, circa 1989. We ran daily, but never that far. But, we had gotten in trouble, so we were punished by running 6 miles, …

Age is a just a number & sex is just a division

Unless you consume absolutely no mainstream or social media of any type, it’s very likely you’ve seen this incredible feat by Kacy Catanzaro, the first woman to finish the American Ninja Warrior finals course. It’s incredible. It’s inspiring. And, it made me weep, thinking of how accomplished, how fulfilled this woman must feel. But, the more I thought about it, the more there was something about the response to her achievement that irked me. The tone in the announcer’s voices, the amazement on the faces of the spectators, the proclamations of utter surprise all about the social webs–including myself at first. The …

Shifting into Beast Mode

The Intimidator half iron was a wake up call. While the race turned out fine, I never found “my gear”. You know the one that gets you to the point where you are in BEAST MODE.  During the bike especially, I found that I had limited mental will to push my edge. And my performance shows it. That is not the way to start the season. But, it did remind me that if I wanted my body to go all-in, then I would need to go head first. I came home from the race, and I knew it was time: X-day is here. I’ve written …