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, …

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 …

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 …

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. …

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 …

Beyond the White Line: Ironman Lake Placid Spec-Train-Teering Weekend

In 2009, I was a volunteer at Ironman Lake Placid. It was the first time I saw an Ironman live, up close, and personal. What I saw that day amazed me. A H. M A Z E .B A L L S. There is absolutely nothing like the first time you spectate an Ironman. Personal. Physical. Primal. The energy permeates everything. So does the smell. If you have never watched an iron-distance race, put it on your list of things to do. It will change how you think about the human body and mind. That day in 2009, I had only finished a handful …

Post-Race Analysis: Next Time I’ll Be Bulletproof

The final 10k of Ironman Lake Placid 2013 haunts me. After almost a year, I finally did the type of post-race analysis that I recommend for my athletes. Sadly, I confirmed what I had guessed to be true for the past year: if I had I stayed on the pace I ran for the first 18 miles of the marathon, I would have run from 11th place off the bike into 4th place in the final mile or two, and the Kona slot would have been mine. Instead, I finished in 6th place, and a little under 5 minutes from the glory spot. …

Rational Brain/Emotional Brain: 2013 Ironman Lake Placid Race Report

I wanted so badly for this race report to be a zero-to-hero story, the dream-come-true-story, the local-small-town-girl-goes-big-Kahuna story. I wanted to be the dark horse that no one saw coming. I wanted to be the American Dream equivalent of Ironman racing – work hard, realize your dreams. I wanted to qualify for Kona. But, I didn’t. Despite giving this race everything I had – mentally and physically – I came up short for a Kona slot, 4 minutes and 53 seconds short to be exact.  That’s how far ahead the 4th place woman was. She earned the last Kona slot in …

Ironman Taper Progresses: A Case of Whoa Nellies with a Side of Joyful Weeping

It’s just days from Ironman Lake Placid. And, I’m well into the taper, as I wrote last week. If you’ve ever experienced a taper from endurance training, then you know that it brings with it a range of emotions, from irritability to anxiety to excitement to joy. The irritability stage is usually first for me, and on Monday it hit me pretty hard. I spent most of the day trying to keep myself from hurting someone – especially after the women in the aqua aerobics class hit me in the head and hand with the lane rope. GRRR! But, yesterday’s episode of taper …