Recent Posts

What Did You Learn?
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...
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Ghost Rider: In Memory of Steve Pye
Ghost Rider: In Memory of Steve Pye
When people come into our lives we may not immediately realize the impact they will have on our life. But, as we get to know them, as we learn from them, we realize how very important the kindness, generosity and support of friends is to our health and happiness. In September...
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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 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...
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Eat the elephant one bite at a time 
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...
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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...
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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...
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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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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. …

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 …