Monday, November 28, 2011

Its beginning to look a lot like......

***.the end of cyclocross season; my legs are covered in bruises, my bike and shoes are caked with mud, my running shoes are lonely and my arms are whimpy in the pool, but I have never gotten tired of riding on the trails this fall, even wet and muddy. This weekend was off from racing and I was out training hard on wet trails and crashed a couple time. I am fine only adding a cut knee to the collection of bruises, but I hope my bike recovers by Sunday for Montrose/ IL state champs. I bent the derailleur.

***winter: there are gloves, hats, leg warmers, and gloves and leg warmers without their mates piled on the dryer, dresser, and in laundry baskets. Its dark early, its grey more than its sunny; I’ve started the routine of drinking coffee in the afternoon, and wearing my coat around the house to stay warm and I saw some snow flakes today.

*** festive 5ks: there are turkey trots, reindeer runs, santa fun runs, or frosty frolics every weekend; I did run a turkey trot on Thanksgiving day on run training consisting of 0-4 miles per week for the past month. I’ve scaled my running way back with hopes of adding a little power to the cyclocross legs. The cyclocross, bike racer guys keep telling me so. So I was well tapered for the North Shore Turkey Trot. I had no speed so didn’t even have the capability of going out too fast and dying like usual. I actually hit each mile within a few seconds of each other. I was surprised to win my AG and finish 10th female, but the sad part is with a pace quite close to what I raced 10 miles at in May.

*** end of 2011/beginning of 2012 ; Ive been busy talking to new clients about next season, meeting with current clients about wrapping up this season and setting goals for next year , catching up with friends at dinner and STARTING to think about my own race schedule for 2012 . Yes its time to start doing that I guess. It seems like I just did that.

*** CHRISTMAS! I went a little crazy, and spent 2 days in zone 5 decorating the house, porch and tree for Christmas. Its done. Its festive. It’s a lot of work and I was tired at the end. Hauling huge plastic bins up the stairs, unloading …then hauling them back down the stairs on legs that had been trying to out sprint Adam on the bike was exhausting. But with 4 weeks to go it is done. I’m in training now to be able to put it all away in a few weeks!

Tis the Season …..Enjoy 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Rising to the Occasion

photo by TippingPoint
True Champions have the ability to rise to the occasion. They can get the job done when it counts. They don’t cave under pressure; they remain calm, execute the plan, take it to the next level, are in the right place at the right time, and fear nothing. Rising to the occasion can happen in a breakthrough workout, local race, world championship event, regional playoff, choosing between hitting the snooze button or rolling out of bed, or speaking up in the grocery store line. When it comes to crunch time, can you rise to the occasion?

Kaneland U8 White Football team didn’t rise to the occasion. They collapsed under pressure not making it to the playoffs. Devasting for 8 yr olds. They gave it their all.
Kaneland White preparing for playoffs
The unfamiliar shoot- out format of play on a late Sunday afternoon took them out of their element. Does this happen to you? Does everything have to be just right in your day to have a great workout, fabulous race, or can you rise to the occasion when its too hot, or too cold or under unfamiliar circumstances because you’ve rehearsed it and practiced it when its hot, when it rains, or when you’re tired.

Cyclocross is in full swing; actually we are down to only 2 races left in the Chicago Cross Cup :( To do well these days in the CCC you either have to win some races or race every weekend. I have finally clawed my way into the 6th place in the Women’s 1,2,3 ‘s of the series after a pathetic start to the season. Racing every weekend presents plenty of opportunity to rise to the occasion and every race is a little different all for the good of making you a stronger racer. I am still learning the strategies, because I have had the tendency to let girls sit on my wheel and do lots of the work (not trusting my fitness and being put in unfamiliar situations.) I came OH so close to the podium in Day 2 of Indian Lakes Races, but probably pulled too much all day and lost it in the last few turns of the race, not quite rising to the occasion. Lesson learned. But 2 4th place finishes in 1 weekend is the best I’ve ever done.
photo by JasonKlein

A client at work and I had a discussion about speaking up in regard to the politics of her son’s traveling team. Knowing when to keep your mouth shut, or speaking up is difficult. Sometimes bringing up an issue can have more long term consequences. Can you rise to the occasion when it’s appropriate? You know, speak up and say what no one else wants to. Sometimes it is appropriate to keep your mouth shut, other times its appropriate to speak up. Rising to the occasion is making the right choice. When someone cuts in front of you at the grocery store line with a cart full more than yours to you say “um, excuse me” I was here first, or do you let it slide, or just mutter it under your breath.

When you volunteer to host a family party to celebrate several birthdays amongst a weekend of football, cyclocross racing, Ironman training, and working with athletes can you pull it all together for a fun celebration with good food, family and friends. Rising to the occasion is doing it with a smile on your face, not caving under pressure, and party planning like a champion. This is great practice for larger events like hosting Thanksgiving or Christmas eve dinner amongst a busy work week, holiday shopping, bike racing, Turkey Trots, Christmas decorating.

don't worry, this isn't this year's tree; I'm not that organized

Practice rising to the occasion each day on small things so when its crunch time you can perform like a champion.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Campton Cyclocross=Halloween on bikes in costumes..

.. I was a Vampire minus the teeth so I could breathe)

This time of year is like its own Ironman. Halloween kicks it off and then it is one party and social event from Oct 31 until shortly after New Year's. Halloween parties, trick or treating, post season race parties, tail gait parties (haven’t been to one in years, but love them), office parties, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s celebrations all with multiple events each for family and extended family and then the make up parties that can’t be scheduled “in season” are made up shortly after the first of the year. I was in a local store today (Nov 1) and looked up only to see greenery hanging with red ribbon and bows. Was that up for Halloween or, did that wait until 12:00 a.m to hang it?

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE a good time and don't need much of an excuse to celebrate. I look forward to end of the season parties, giving thanks, wishing Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

(MultisportMadness end of season party 2010)

However, it takes some serious focus to make it through this time of year in one piece and ready to roll next season. Careful planning is in order or you will do just that, roll right into the New Year. I bought 6 lg. bags of Halloween candy this year to pass out and all but about 2 handfuls were passed out! However my kids raked it in this year and replaced all that was given out with the same amount or more. Honestly it is gross to look at there is so much, and have you ever noticed that when it all sits there mixed together and sits there for awhile it doesn’t taste the same. The chocolate starts to taste like sweet tarts or laffy taffy. The kids will get bored with it and Adam will ask me to hide it and it will be taken to work to pass off on someone bored and roaming the office for a snack.

To make it through Halloween-a-thon and beyond, come up with your own training plan addressing your weaknesses for this time of year, and I'm not talking limiters in swimming biking or running, I'm referring to weaknesses such as Christmas cookies, fudge, rolling over and sleeping in, or sitting by the fire under a blanket. Treat the season like it's an Ironman or marathon event to help keep you focused and headed into the New Year on target.

A few suggestions are:

1.Set a goal: like run a 5k for the first time, or try to PR a 5k; very little training is required and yet it keeps you moving, plus there are so many fun turkey trots and jingle bell runs; and going out for a run before heading out Christmas shopping all day might just keep you sane when standing in those long lines

2. Come up with a holiday nutrition plan: such as: eat breakfast every day and not graze over the cookies first thing in the morning, or no stealing the kids’ Halloween candy, or skip the coffee shops’ peppermint, gingerbread or pumpkin specialty drinks, (unless I just finished long run/ride in the freezing cold, in which case it is earned!)

3.keep track of your workouts; staying honest with what you are doing or not doing can keep you on track. Channel surfing holiday bowl games, climbing the ladder to hang Christmas lights, pressing out Christmas cookies don’t count, (although the many trips up and down the basement stairs to put away all the Halloween/ fall decorations and haul up the Christmas decorations definintely counts!)

4. sign up for a big spring race; nothing like an early season marathon or ½ Ironman to spur you into action and keep you from away from a 3rd piece of pumpkin pie. It’s no fun being out of shape and rolling into the south or west coast to race those tan warm weather ladies.

That being said I m T-minus 2 weeks away from the start of Naper/North masters swimming. Anyone who follows my blog knows by now, swimming hasn't been my favorite the past few years. I used to be better, but I used to swim more. I think a little holiday shopping for cute new swim suits is in order and maybe searching for my goggles should start happening. Part of my Halloween-a-thon training will be returning to the water.