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, …

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 …

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 …

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. …

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 …