The Gift of the Present: 2017 Ironman Lake Placid Race Report

Feet up and resting the day before Ironman Lake Placid, I scrolled through Facebook and saw this post from my friend and fellow coach Mary: The next morning, I stood on the beach of Mirror Lake, waiting for the 2017 Ironman Lake Placid to begin. In that moment, I lived a different present than the last time I raced an Ironman, 3 years ago. When I first registered for IMLP 2017, I wanted to chase my Ironman past. I felt like I had unfinished business with Lake Placid. I had goals for Ironman – back in 2013 and 2014 – that …

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, …

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 …