Featured Content: Race Reports

Crono Vino Time Trial: Fake it until I make it – or just keep faking it
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...
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I’m Back: 2017 HITS Naples 70.3 Race Report
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...
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Philadelphia Freedom
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...
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Lessons from a Hard Teacher: Vermont 100 Race Report
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...
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2016 Infinitus 88k: My almost first time DNF
2016 Infinitus 88k: My almost first time DNF
It was Dark:Thirty. I was somewhere climbing up the Mt. Moosalamoo Trail in Vermont, about 45-ish miles into The Endurance Society's Infinitus 88k-ish race. Before I started this climb, the nice chap at the aid station informed me, "Just 2.5 miles to the summit of Mt. Moosalmoo!" He was so...
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It Takes An Anvillage: 2016 Florida Double Anvil Race Report
It Takes An Anvillage: 2016 Florida Double Anvil Race Report
"3...2...1...Go!" "Is that the start?" I overheard one of my fellow racers ask. Yup.  I put my face in the blackest water I've ever swum and began my second go-round at the Florida Double Anvil, which is a double iron-distance event featuring 281.2 miles broken into a 4.8 mile swim,...
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Attitude of Gratitude: 2015 Javelina Jundred Race Report
Attitude of Gratitude: 2015 Javelina Jundred Race Report
[This post is my 2015 Javelina Jundred race report which is the narrative of my experience for this race. If you are looking for a detailed course overview that will be posted separately.] "It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up." ~ Eckhart Tolle Gratitude....
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I can’t get no satisfaction: Labor Pain 12 Hour Endurance Trail Run Race Report
I can’t get no satisfaction: Labor Pain 12 Hour Endurance Trail Run Race Report
I am rarely, if ever, completely satisfied by a race result--or training session. Even for the races that seem to go pretty well, it usually only takes me a good night's sleep to start picking apart what I need to do better, how I can improve, and what I did...
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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, …

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 …

Is this Normal?

Several years ago, I wrote about the joy of the first time finish line, as a reflection of my first Ironman. Not many race experiences can compare with that feeling that takes over the first time you cross the finish line of an unknown distance or event. It’s empowering. It’s extraordinary. It’s addicting. But, the road to that first (or second or twentieth) time finish line is filled often with uncertainty, confusion, and a healthy dose of fear. As we get deeper into the season, some of the athletes I coach are doing things they’ve never done before: longest distances, hardest efforts, first time events. …

2016 Infinitus 88k: My almost first time DNF

It was Dark:Thirty. I was somewhere climbing up the Mt. Moosalamoo Trail in Vermont, about 45-ish miles into The Endurance Society’s Infinitus 88k-ish race. Before I started this climb, the nice chap at the aid station informed me, “Just 2.5 miles to the summit of Mt. Moosalmoo!” He was so cheery. I was so dirty. He said that as if those 2.5 miles were regular old road miles, and not Endurance Society FUBARed trail miles. I knew better. I knew those 2.5 miles, while sounding so short and swift, would be long and tortuous. As I climbed this, amidst rocks and …

What’s my story?

Readers, forgive me. It’s been two months since my last post. This is the point where you, my readers, absolve me of my blog transgressions. I’ll wait. … Okay, thanks. It’s not that I’ve been at a loss for words – far from it. My draft folder is FULL of the ideas I’ve had since my last post about the Double Anvil. To mention just a few, I’ve got drafts (soon to be posts) about our run across Zion National Park, what our food shopping list looks like, what it’s like to train for a Double Anvil, how to gear up for a …

It Takes An Anvillage: 2016 Florida Double Anvil Race Report

“3…2…1…Go!” “Is that the start?” I overheard one of my fellow racers ask. Yup.  I put my face in the blackest water I’ve ever swum and began my second go-round at the Florida Double Anvil, which is a double iron-distance event featuring 281.2 miles broken into a 4.8 mile swim, a 224 mile bike, and a 52.4 mile run. Each of these distances are completed in a series of laps: 12 laps for the swim, 37 laps for the bike, and 26 laps for the run. After all of this lapping, there are multiple repeats of food and sleep. This race …

Daddy’s Girl

Seventeen years ago, our phone rang in the middle of the night. I didn’t hear it, so John wound up answering it. He came into the bedroom, “Maria…” I stirred. “Something’s wrong. It’s your mom.” I looked at the clock it was o’dark thirty – maybe 3 a.m.? I picked up the phone and all I could hear was my mother wailing, all of these whirling noises. “Your father died!” she managed to say between her sobs. I felt myself entering a vacuum where I could no longer hear my mother on the other end of the line. I could only …

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 …

Thoughts from an FTP Test

Forgive me, data junkies, for I have been an FTP slacker. It has been just shy of 2 years since my last FTP (functional threshold power) test. Yes, 2 years. I’m not a fan of frequent testing, not only because I don’t like them (which I do not), but also because they require a re-organization of the training schedule. In my training and coaching, I prefer to use prep races and key weekly sessions to gauge improvement and to set “A” race targets. But, even still, some baseline and ongoing testing is needed from time to time. My time had …