Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fun and Fired Up!

This was a busy, but fun weekend and at the end of it I am tired, a little sore, but fired up!

Friday Pro triathlete Simon Thompson (AUS) came to Chicago to give some talks Fri night and Saturday. Adam met Simon this summer while training with the big boys in Boulder. He is a super fast triathlete and got 10th at the Athens Olympics.....despite 2, yes 2 bike crashes in that race. So that boy can run. I think he won the 70.3 Singapore race and will be racing in Clearwater. Get to the point......he is getting into public/motivational speaking and came to talk at Dick Pond's and to the MSM kids tri team year end banquet.

So, Saturday was our annual MSM club Ride n Tie race...complete with Halloween costumes. Way too much fun, and always a good workout. There is nothing better than seeing a bunch of crazy dressed adults running through the woods jumping off the bike throwing it down and taking off running! This is basically a workout you do with a partner where you alternate biking and running for 10 miles. It is not as easy as it sounds and I was the token one to be Simon's partner. Me,...the one coming off injury and have been doing next to nothing for 5 weeks. However, I love doing this, mud puddles and all, and didn't want to disappoint the I gave it a good effort, did what I could, and Simon and I were this year's champs!!!

Simon's talk to the kids team was very cool. He talked about his experiences (ups and downs) that got him to the Olympics. What he went through, sacrafices he made, to chase his dream. Since I have had my fair share of down moments with racing recently it was cool to hear some of what he had to say about how they can be beneficial in terms of learning, motivating etc. I know this, and as a coach know this, but it was a good reminder that even the super elite....have struggles and bad spells too. He had a video clip that highlighted some of the trials races he did and showed him crossing the line when he made the team. It was the coolest thing to see complete thrill with accomplishing such a big goal and I have to say as an athlete it totally fired me up. So even though I don't have huge triathlon plans next season, whatever I do decide to do I have a new motivation to do the best I can at whatever it is I decide on. In the meantime I am having fun slowly getting back into training.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

True Motivation

When it comes down to it.....what is your motivation to train/ and race? I've been thinking about that a lot lately. This time of year in the triathlon world is always a time to re-assess, set new goals; and as we start to enter the days of darkness and freezing cold there must be something that motivates you to get off the couch bundle up and get out the door to train. This time of year does require special motivation when most of the world starts the steady stream of holiday fun beginning with Halloween all the way until New Years. Several of my athletes lose motivation just by not having a schedule......which is fine and I force that on them this time of year. I look at my 5 yr old. He needs no motivation to play any sport, go to his gym class or sports is just purely fun for him. Is it always pure fun to get up early, train in the cold? Be honest. Not always, so there is some motivation that gets us to do these things that the"normal" people would never do.

Motivation can be from all kinds of sources. Is it a quote? a song on your I-pod? chocolate cake? Here are just a few more:

Reward: Simply put, Pavlov's dog. Motivated by food, treats or some type of junk food as a reward for the training. I've heard lots of friends talk about getting new swim suits to help get their butt in the pool (I have been guilty of this for years. I've admitted to have a thing with swim suits and its good I don't live near Keifer Swim store anymore)

Pure Competition: Motivated purely by the desire to beat so and so. Or for others purely by the desire to....just WIN.

Fear: motivated simply out of fear. Fear of getting fat, fear of getting old, fear of being a no one with out triathlon

Signing up for a race: sometimes I have found people are motivated simply by signing up for a race. Usually this is an Ironman. Knowing you have an Ironman on your schedule may tend to motivate you.

The Goal: motivated simply by having a goal and doing everything you can to try to achieve that goal whether it is getting faster, losing weight, or finishing a race.

To Prove something: motivated to prove to someone you can do it when they don't think you can

The picture above is of me in Queenstown NZ at 2003 Worlds. It was probably my best race ever. I finished 11th in my age group and was the first American in my age group and even won Inside Triathlon All-American for my age group that year. I did this 6 months after having Jack. So, in early June 2003 I had enormous motivation because in 6 months I was heading to the World Championships. So I set out running chubby and with big bouncy boobs that jiggled and a jiggly tummy, can we say ick (sorry to the guys). I think motivation here fell into several of the categories above! I think for me I am typically motivated by the goals I set and to just get faster. I really enjoy the process of setting a goal and then doing all the things necessary to achieve that goal. There are traces of some of the other types of motivations here and there depending on the race time of year etc, like I do like to sign up for 1/2 marathons in the winter to keep the winter training a little more motivating. Racing in a cool place will motivate me, but food and fear won't really do the trick.

Leave a comment on what motivates you. It would be fun to see what motivates others, even if its as simple as your favorite killer workout song. You can be anonymous if you're too shy to re-veal yourself!!!

Stay motivated!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Reality Check

We are back home now after safe and uncomplicated travel. We stepped of the plane Tues morning at 5 a.m. and it was cool and the leaves had changed dramatically in just 1 week. As I stepped off the plane, and left the island life behind, it was like being in a fog or coming out of a dream right back into reality. Traffic, lots of people always busy and in a hurry, laundry, work, schedule etc. You know, normal life that the island escape let me escape and forget for awhile.

Reality is: the stack of mail you pick up at the post office that was held for you and seeing it is either bills or wasted paper for the recycling

Reality is: having to find fleece to wear instead of tanks, shorts and flip flops

Reality is: a stack of dictation and paperwork at the clinic waiting for you

Reality is: forgetting your 5 year olds homework at home

Reality is: hearing people say they have already started Christmas shopping

Reality is: feeling stiff and achy even when you've been barely training

Reality is: realizing you have no goals or races really planned for 2009

Typically this time of year, I have all 2009 goals and races set and thought out. It is strange not having that and feels a bit unusual. I do admit to feeling a little lost and definitely felt a little incomplete on the island of tri-gods during super week without any kind of big goal for 2009. I am sticking to my vacation from competitive triathlon for awhile or at least having triathlon as my main focus. But I realize I am someone who needs and likes having a goal. Just getting into and through PT school was a huge goal for a lot of years. My new goal and focus will be simpler and likely involve mostly just running races. That being said, I am signed up for Triple T ( a 3 day team triathlon race) however, that is just a crazy event completely out of the norm so falls into my category of being ok. I feel myself every now and then falling back into the "I need to do this race, I need to get back to the pool etc" But keep reminding myself that some different type of goals and races are good. Good for motivation, good for change, and good for keeping things simple and balanced. Kona is full of middle aged moms with multiple kids who do Ironman after Ironman and Kona after Kona, year after year and I honestly don't know how they do it. More power to them, but I realized this year that a change is needed and am looking forward to a new kind of reality.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Race Day Photos

Swim Start

Iron Wives

Kuakini Hwy

Adam and Craig McKenzie


Race Day

Cheering for an Ironman is like a race in itself, but you feel pretty pathetic whining about tired feet, being thirsty, or too hot; those thoughts you really keep to yourself considering what your Iroman athletes are going through.

My day started early. I road my nifty green nitro bike down to the swim start. Of course it was pitch black along Alii Dr. so navigating around cars and athletes made it interesting. After wishing Adam well, we found a spot on the sea wall to watch the swim. The waves were crashing around us and so we got pretty wet while waiting for the start.

Once the swimmers were on their way, we made our way to the top of Palani to see them start out on the bike. This is good sized hill, and early in the race everyone was looking good. We screamed and yelled hoping they'd hear us because after heading out of town its a long ride out through the lava without much to look at or see for the next 4-5 hrs.

It was going to be a long, hot day, so we found a nice spot to hang out, have some coffee. We parked it at an outside cafe facing the ocean, and once again saw the dolphins playing, jumping and swimming. We've seen them every day!!! I think they like showing off. Being hot and a little nervous for the athletes made it hard to want to eat, but this was our time to re-fuel, because then the real cheering would begin. We decided to watch the runners start out on Kuakini Hwy. This is an out and back section somewhere near mile 1 and 9, I think. At this spot, there was no shade, and the asphalt was heating up. It was very hot here but we got to see everyone heading out, and then coming back by before making it out onto the Queen K Hwy. Good thing I haven't lost all my fitness, because after seeing Adam go by, I decided to beat Adam to the top of Palani, to cheer him up the hill. So I sprinted that Green Nitro mtn bike that doesn't shift, without being clipped in to the top. I made it there in time, but was out of breath, so I don't know if the cheering did much good. I did beat some buy on a road bike to the top though!!! I was able to ride a long the Queen K for much of the rest of the run, riding ahead and cheering for all those I knew. It got tough for them but everyone did great. Adam finished strong after not feeling well for a section. I was so relieved to see him cross the finish line. It gets so ugly out there as the day wears on, and when you see how much time and effort goes into preparing for a race like this you just want things to go well.

My race wasn't done though. My jog then to be the number one Iron wife was to get food, retrieve bike and gear bags, and order McDonalds!!!

Congratulations to everyone who raced. It was a fun day!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Lets Race Already!

Meal of a Champ

Meeting of the Minds

The bikes and bags are checked the bottles are filled, the training is done, the numbers are on. We have waited around, rested and its finally time to race!

We cooked dinner in last night to avoid the chaos and mayhem in town. My guess is everyone on the island would want pasta for a pre-race dinner so I decided to cook a meal for champions. Keith Dickson and his friend Mark Ward came over to offer their 2 cents on a race plan. We've talked about wind and heat every day. My guess is it will be hot and windy, so just go race and stop thinking!

I will be out trying to cover as much of the course as possible to cheer them on.
Adam is number 1474, Rodney is #623, and Craig is #67. Check them out on

Friday, October 10, 2008

Almost Ready

Bike consult with Anthony

He's in

The suit fits

Here are some sure signs the race is close now!

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Darn good coffee

Green geckos


Dinner party

Sunset in Kona

Here are some pictures from Wednesday. Our days start early, no one seems to be able to sleep past 4 a.m and everyone is falling asleep at 8:30 or 9. While the racers were out training and registering, we headed to the beach to swim/ and body surf. The water is perfect and I had a blast catching waves and swimming around. I swam with a sea turtle for awhile. The beach was packed at noon on a Wednesday with kids and locals? which made me wonder if they go to school here in Hawaii.

Today was much hotter. I took a run/jog from our condo to Keahou bay. There were some amazing views from up and down the hills. A little different than running around cornfields at home. But was HOT. I wanted to jump off the cliff into the water and then run back. I was thinking to myself, I am glad I am not doing this race and I like the heat.

I walked around the expo some and through the Ironman village. I vowed not to buy anything with "Ironman" logo on it. And they seem to find more and more things to brand the name on. Granola? really? flip flops?

We had dinner today with Joe Dirk Friel, Craig and his family and Rodney and Diana. There was an incredible sunset during dinner and this picture doesn't do it justice.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Kona Fun!

A view from the condo/
We had a great time yesterday, I was a bit jet lagged by the afternoon, and can't seem to sleep past 3:30 in the morning but we are adjusting to island time! The good news is that it wont be a problem to wake up race morning.

Yesterday we headed to the pier, the racers were swimming, but Diana and I decided to go sea kayaking! And we had the best sup rise ever out in the ocean. We came upon a pod (i think that's what it is) of dolphins. There were at least 20, maybe more just showing off. Some were dolphin diving with their babies, and some were jumping high into the air and spinning vertically. I am so mad i didn't have my camera out in the boat with us, but it was the most amazing thing!! They just swam around us , and we were so close to them!! At first seeing a dark fin stick out of the water, i'll admit I was a little nervous!!!

I purchased the Wal mart special..."Nitro" green machine bike! Apparently in Hawaii if you have a bike with wheels larger than 18 inches you have to have a license, so I am legal now to ride a bike in Hawaii with a 15 $ purchase for a license!!! This will help get me to the beach, coffee shops, and of course out onto the Queen K on Saturday to cheer everyone on!

We ate breakfast at the famous Lava Java....many pro's in site. I am not star struck by the pro's anymore. Yes, there was a day, but they are athletes just like us, but faster! Adam has been coaching Craig McKenzie, a pro from Australia. I think he was 2nd at IM Louisville last year, and maybe WEstern Aus. IM this year.? He is here to race and is a really nice guy with a sweet wife and 4 month old baby boy! We are hoping he has a good on Saturday!

The looks on their faces are getting a little more serious, a little quieter at times. But so far everyone is in good spirits, healthy, and bikes working nicely! I'm off to go for a run.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Aloha from Kona

After a long day of travel, we arrived in Kona Mon. 7pm (12pm Chicago time). The flights were smooth and no issues traveling. Thanks to Adam's Aussie client Simon L. we were upgraded to first class, Chicago to San Fran, and San Fran to Kona. Can we say wow for leg room! I could actually completely stretch out.

Once we landed in Kona and stepped off the plane, I immediately felt the heat and humidity. Our friends and condo mates, Rodney and Diana A. picked us up and we headed back to our awesome condo. It is a bit down the road from all the triathlon chaos which is just fine, and in return we have a beautiful very new condo complete with pool, Internet access. Rodney and Di are such a cool couple and have joined us on our Tuscon camps. We have 2 racers in the house, I have already been doing leg rub downs but no one seems too nervous yet. My prediction is that will change as each day goes by.

I haven't adjusted to the time. I woke up at 2 a.m and again at 4 a.m.finally staying awake. On agenda for me today, a run in the sun, Kona coffee, finding the farmers market, buy a cheap beater bike at Wal-mart to cruise around on, and whatever else comes my way. I am on island time now!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Eunice B. Rife

My Grandma had a massive stroke on Sunday. She is a Grandma like no other. She will be 92 on Oct 8th, and has lived independently, still driving, still running the driving mower, hanging her clothes out on the line to dry,carrying wood in to the wood stove, you get the idea. She really has been in excellent health for her entire life.

She has a long road of rehab ahead of her but, she is still sharp as a tack and determined to take on this "challenge" as she calls it. Now I see where I get some of my stubbornness, and will to keep training and racing all these years. She was a PE and health teacher and always active. And, she took a huge nasty fall, during the stroke, and landed on the side of her head. The bruise covered her entire face and both eyes. However she didn't break a bone and that to me has to do with her health and bones can stay strong with weight bearing exercise. In fact, I don't' think she has ever had a broken bone. She still road a bike to the garden in her 80s.

This weekend I'll be packing up for Kona. We leave Monday. Adam did find some surfing lessons for me! and I'm going to buy a beater bike at Walmart to cruise around on. Its still cheaper than paying the airfare to get my bike over there. I'll donate to someone or leave it at our condo when we're done. I haven't trained nearly at all. I had intentions to run some, but I have been so busy and crazy with a trip to ohio and back that I decided to rest some more. I'll do a good amount of running on the island!

In the meantime GOOD LUCK to Carmen and John doing St. George Marathon Saturday, To Andy W on his second weekend of the fall fling/ bike racing, and of course to Adam, the IRONMAN racing in Kona next weekend all have worked so hard all year for these races.