Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Turning Point

I am at a point in this season where I have come to a crossroads. Where do I go from here? What should I do next? Keep training and racing? I am motivated to, although its also that part of the season where that hard workout and race soreness is taking a little bit longer to go away....or maybe that is because I have spent 2 separate weekends water skiing and wakeboarding. I love doing this but haven't done this in years and... wow, you really use some muscles that are untapped swimming biking and running.

This season hasn't had a lot of direction other than to train, get fit, and race. No big goal to qualify for anything, go to Nationals etc. I wanted to do some different races than normal and race some 1/2's which I hadn't done in a long time. I didn't start the season with a set race schedule set in stone back in January. For some this would drive them crazy not having every race planned to a T for the entire summer and fall. I have to say this was new to me too, but having things a little open ended has been good because it has allowed for some flexibility and room to play around and adjust based on how training is going, time I've had to train etc. But that leaves me where I am now.....in a bit of a strange spot, still motivated to get out there and swim bike and run, but not sure what exactly to do next which isn't a bad thing. I had signed up for Chicago Tri (grr I have a love/hate relationship with this race). It is huge competitive, and close to home, I love the course, but hate the logistics and ordeal it can become. I had signed up for it a few weeks ago, thinking it might fill and it was 1 of the few races I knew I wanted to do. But recently I checked to confirm my entry and I must have been have asleep, short on caffeine or something because I clicked the wrong box putting me in the AG waves, not the elite wave. This would probably start me in wave 36 or higher, leaving the bike course an absolute zoo to navigate and try to go fast. I'm sure I might sound like a princess here , but I just don't want to race it that way. Of course I missed the deadline to make changes in your entry. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise or a sign just to do something else.

So here I am at the start of August trying to figure out whats next.

Another 70.3? ....this would take big travel and bigger $$$ coordinating with back to school schedules etc... but not totally out of the question

Kiss the tri -season good bye, and focus on getting ready for cyclocross (which I am so excited for), and do some crits etc.....not a bad option since all the pools around me seem to be doing their yearly cleaning and maintenance at the same time.

Find another local race I've never done before and make it an adventure

Become a regular person and just walk the dogs....might be fun for 3 days, but then I'd get antsy

Train just for wakeboarding and water skiing...sounds fun but that will be very short lived as summer is coming to an end; and I don't like cold water

All are good options but so hard to pick! In the meantime we are headed off to Michigan this weekend for Steelhead. Nooo I'm definitely not racing although several were really trying to convince me to race again 13 days after Racine. I still don't feel normal so more power to those who can race 1/2's so close together. I'll be coaching and cheering. Good Luck to my incredible athletes racing there Wellman, and S. A. doing her first 1/2 ever!

Monday, July 19, 2010

what it takes

I know what it takes to be world class, and finish at the top. It takes dedicating everything you have, the majority of your time energy and thoughts towards racing to to top. Many sacrafices are made along the way and you become 1 with your goal. I know this because I have followed this path in my triathlon career and had much success making it to World Championships and tops of podiums. Right now though I do not have the time or metal focus to follow such a narrow road. Mostly because I have been there, done that for a lot of years and now there is a lot more going on around me with kids, work, and an Ironman training 20+ hrs a week. In fact someone asked me this weekend when we were geting ready to race in Racine, "I thought you retired". Well I guess I sort of did from that kind of racing/training. But it got me really thinking.

I started this season with no particular goal or accomplishment that I was after other than I was motivated to train and race and see how fast I can go without tipping over the balance point where it stops being fun... my kids say, "mom why do you have your bike clothes on AGAIN"... the house collapses in a hole.... I miss out on too many other things that look fun.....or I have to just invite a babysitter to live at the house because the 2 of us are training like crazy. I've made it to soccer games and practices, hosted a block party and acutally gone to a couple other of our Flamingo Fridays in our subdivision and met our neighbors without workout clothes on. I had a fabulous long vacation that was actually a vacation in which I had fun playing with my kids and family and not stressing about fitting in training. I actually signed up for Racine while on vacation when I was out there without a bike, barely swimming and really not training much ! (mostly because I didn't want to just spectate that race again)

I raced hard in the HOT steamy conditions in Racine and after bad swim. The start was so shallow you had to dolphin a bunch on the way out my goggle filled up, I had to stop and fix them, then I was in a bad position and then I was just plain slow. This started me too far back from the front of my AG. I road strong but smart and caught a lot of girls in my AG. Simon and I have been working on a strategy of not biking my brains out so I can run better off the bike. It has worked but I was about 7 min slower than my best time there. So was I too conservative or ...maybe some lack of saddle time. And BTW I am not exactly sure why everyone loves this race so much. The roads are terrible. They must have run out of orange day glow spray paint in Racine marking all the holes and cracks. I came off the bike feeling great right away and ran strong in the heat and a torrential downpour which was a blast and caught a few more girls. I was happy with my race know I gave it my all and felt strong even on a sticky hot day and knowing haven't tipped the balance point. I gave it all I had with what I have done training, but to be at the top...I know I haven't put in the time. And I am ok with that.

But...I am competitive and it is sometimes hard to accept finishing a few places lower than you'd like.....knowing very well you have the ability to be a few places higher up if you put in the time. So I guess I am my own kind of world class right now..... training and racing, but doing what it takes to keep life in check, and not miss out on some of the fun things going on around me that I would have said no to before.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


On one of my solo long rides recently I was thinking about integrity. Hang with me on this one, maybe the heat and humidity was getting to me, but this post may become deep. A number of strange situations have come up lately both inside and out of the triathlon world that got me thinking about integrity. Details aren't important but 1of these events included credit card fraud on the internet with my card! Who does this and feels good about themselves. I knew integrity had to do with being honest and moral but was curious as to the exact definition so I looked it up.

Noun: adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

I like the part about adherence to moral principles, and soundness of character. It is so easy to act all moral when it come to things that are easy or part of your passion or dream...or if it is to your benefit, but fall short in parts of life that are hard or something that you don't like or care about. In the same respect, its easy to point out the flaws in others without taking a good look inside at yourself. To truly have integrity is to adhere to those moral principles in all aspects of your life, not just the ones you pick.

Being a mom I am constantly telling kids, finish your vegetables, turn the light out when you leave the room, pick up your wet towel off the floor, or try your very best .....but then I sometimes have to check myself; am I doing these things myself. ?? If I want my kids to do these adhere to these principles, am I setting a good example and adhering to them myself or am I just all talk and no action. Same holds true for me as a coach and therapist. Its easy to want others to be honest and moral and treat you accordingly, but are you doing that yourself? and gut check here....throughout all aspects of your life?

Integrity can be seen on the outside by others in your actions and relationships, but integrity can be between you and yourself and what is happening on the inside. Are you honest with yourself; do you uphold the moral character you present to others on all those little things on the inside that no one else can see. Like, did you try your very best on those intervals, do you really have that much time to train for an Ironman, or.... if you want to qualify for Kona or Worlds or Boston.....are you truly willing to do whatever it takes to get there? and what about honesty with your diet/ did you go back for seconds... or eat the whole thing?
Or what about something simple like replacing the toilet paper roll, or throwing out the box when its empty if you take the last one?

Something deep and thought provoking for the next long workout.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Since returning to the Midwest from Oregon its been nothing but humid and hot! I'm not complaining though, it is summer after all and its nice to have it actually feel like summer, plus before I know it I'll be hauling that warm weather gear back out of the closets. NO! I'll take covering up with sunscreen over base layers, hats and gloves any day.

I spent the long holiday weekend sitting on my bum. On the bike that is...working on my biker tan in the heat and getting in a lot of good miles after being off my the bike for 10 days during vacation. I signed up to do Racine, so getting some riding in was probably a good idea! Racine isn't my favorite race, the bike is too flat, but I'm tired of being the cheerleader there so decided to race this year. Last time I raced the 1/2 there it was 107 degrees and the weather channel was featured all the crazy athletes out racing in those conditions. We crawled our way to the lake after crossing the finish line and just floated. Lets hope its a few degrees cooler than that this year.

I was even hot and sweaty leaving the pool last night. I finally made it back to masters in Naperville after being such an MIA masters swimmer. It was good to finally work hard enough in the water to get hot and not have to dodge water aerobics classes or kids doing cannon balls.

And you know its HOT when the Tour is on! Hot for a lot of reasons.... Great competition, amazing bikes and uniforms, fabulous racing, cool accents, and yes I'll come right out and say it great looking legs :) The tour is on in our house 2-3 x a day, and we don't get tired of it. Some of the stages are more exciting and it really heats up when they start to climb the mountains. I can't wait for that. I don't know who my favorite rider of the tour is yet; I have to see the competition heat up some more to pick a favorite.

I was hosing myself down in the backyard the other day after a run where I was melting. My fast version of a pseudo ice bath when short on time and ice. Why can't the Deschutes River run through my backyard in Blackberry Creek that would work so much better. My neighbors were shaking their heads!