What Did You Learn?

No matter how much experience I gain, there is always something new to learn. That is part of the appeal of endurance sport – it never gets boring. After a race or an especially challenging training session, my Coach Steve Pye’s first question was: “What did you learn?” This question is the best one we can ask ourselves each day if we want to make our path forward on this journey meaningful. This season has rubbed me pretty raw emotionally, physically, and tactically. All of that rubbing has exposed some valuable lessons, which I’m finding especially useful as I make the final, …

Crono Vino Time Trial: Fake it until I make it – or just keep faking it

On April 10th, I received this text from Karl, an athlete that I coach: I clicked the link. I read through the event description.  And, I realized: 1) Karl would do this event, and 2) I should probably hit the “register” button as well. If I’m going to think of myself as a “real” cyclist, then I need to do “bikey” things. But, the thought of showing up at an event for really real cyclists scared the crap out of me. Mostly, I was certain one or more of the following things would happen: 1) I would greatly humiliate myself, 2) I would get my ass …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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. …

Do It Yourself Triathlon Training Camp

John, my husband, is fond of saying, “Triathlon is a winter sport that is played in the summer.” Indeed. Most of us spend a good deal of time training through the winter months, working on limiters, building strength, setting the foundation for when the racing season begins in warmer climes. But, let’s face it: it’s now February, and for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, we’ve been pushing through a few months of the colder temperatures, freezing rain, and piles of snow. It gets old. Am I right? Some lucky endurance sport enthusiasts will take time out for a …

Impossible is Nothing

It was Christmas Eve morning, at dark:thirty. I had scheduled a 4800 yard Swim for myself. Let me be clear: Coach Maria is an asshole. After all, I/she hadn’t simply scheduled a nice steady endurance swim. Nope. It was a hard one. In fact, it was a session that I had done last year going into the 2015 Florida double. But last year, I didn’t quite hit the marks I had set for myself.  When I scheduled this one again for this year, I was clearly looking for a little revenge training. I was determined to hit those marks. But, as I …