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 …

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 …

Process or Outcome? 7 Ways to Tell if Someone is a Serious Athlete

Many of us have in our minds a picture of what a “serious” athlete looks like, or an idea of what a “good” athlete does. Usually, these pictures and ideas have something to do with chiseled muscles, and speedy movements. *Cue the montage of olympic-esque figures and movements* However, the look or the speed of a person is not the only way (and many times not the best way) to determine the seriousness with which that person approaches the sport. “Seriousness” can be (and should be) defined by more than one’s speed or appearance. “Good” can be evaluated and interpreted in multiple ways. …

Just Do It

Nike had it straight when they came up with this gem: By now, this tagline is cliche. But, think about it this line as if it were fresh, and recognize how powerful the sentiment is. You have a goal that requires hard work. Sometimes, you might not want to do this work. Other times, the work might seem too hard – too far outside your comfort zone. In another moment, there might be fear or anxiety about the uncertainty that comes with training and racing toward bigger and bigger dreams. Think about those moments in light of this line. Now, just …

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 …

On Role Models, Possibilities, and Equality

Outside of my endurance sport life, I’m a professor of Communication Studies at Rowan University, in Glassboro, NJ. (Read: Nerd.) In my research and teaching, I examine how communication creates meaning about “things” – people, places, objects, events, ideas. I know what you are probably thinking: things exist, that can’t be changed no matter how we communicate or think about them. Of course people, places, and objects exist, and events happen. But, how we communicate about these things affects our interpretation of them–regardless of their tangible properties. So, let’s say we’ve got this thing that is a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run. How we think …

Patient Aggression: Reflection on the Year of the Plow Horse

Little did I know a year ago, when I dubbed 2014 the “Year of the Plow Horse,” how much I would come to depend on the characteristics of the reliable ol’ plow horse to make it through some of the more challenging races I’ve done. The plow horse is a strong, sturdy animal. She has a lot of work to do, but she can’t rush through it and burn out. No! The plow horse must be patient as she pursues the goals for the day, the week, the month, the year. The plow horse has been uniquely bred with the intention to balance both speed and muscle, …