Really, It Is All About the Journey: Lessons Learned from Trainer Road

Winter in New England… It’s cold. It’s unpredictable. It’s long. It can be a roller coaster ride full of jubilation at the first picturesque snowfall to gloomiimg_9406ness over dismal cold days full of hibernation and darkness. Most of my workouts have shifted to being inside on stationary pieces of equipment, which seem to provide much space for rumination. Dreaming of bike rides outside and summer runs in tank tops, I find myself thinking about what lies ahead and how I can get to where I want to be. And more importantly in the meantime, how I can make the best of every day.

Enter my motivating source throughout the dismal winter months: Trainer Road. Trainer Road and I have a quintessential love / hate relationship – for those who are familiar with the program, I’m sure you can relate.   You love it because it pushes you so hard and you hate it because it pushes you so hard. This is why I find it such a valuable training tool. It forces you to push beyond what you ever thought was manageable.

Continue Reading

Kupa’a

 

It’s my 2 year old’s new favorite word. And I have decided that it will be the name of our next dog. Kupa’a – the theme of this year’s Ironman World Championships in Kona. Kupa’a is a Hawaiian term meaning steadfast, firm, and committed. This word is imprinted on my souvenir sweatshirt, on my race poster, and on my hefty finisher’s medal. It will forever remind me of the day, the journey and the commitment I made to take all of this on. I undertook this journey for two primary reasons: to commemorate my 40th birthday and to prove to myself that I could accomplish this feat.

kona2014-770x313

Continue Reading

The Upside of Adversity

 

150219_rudy-project-announces-winner-of-2015-kona-sweepstakes

I have been ruminating over a couple of ideas for blog entries for the past month, depicting my path to Kona.   I had notes jotted down describing various hurdles and highlights I’ve encountered during this journey. The blog entry (which I had already proudly entitled: “One eye on Kona, One eye on the road”) was to describe how I handled training and preparing for this race, which held so many question marks and so many unknowns. How could I do? How would I do? Could I possibly compete? Or do I just race for the “experience of racing Kona”? With training, coaching, teaching, and spending time with my family, I haven’t had too much time to write these past few weeks, so I planned to assimilate my thoughts while on the plane to Hawaii. That was my plan. Continue Reading

Training for a Victory Lap?!

IMG_1476“So how’s the training for Kona going?” Each and every time I get this question, I pause, a bit unsure of how to craft an accurate response. Physically the training has been going as well as can be expected. My body has sent out a few warning signs that maybe it isn’t too keen on training for another ironman right now, but I’ve been able to take care of myself pretty well and stay healthy. In training, I’ve been feeling relatively strong on the bike and consistent on the run. My swimming is “ehh” as it has been for a while, but you can’t be feeling great in every discipline when training for an ironman. Something has got to give. So you would think the question posed at the outset of this post would evoke a positive response, as physically I feel like I’m in a good spot. My hesitation arises from my mindset. My mental game. This is the area where I feel a bit unsettled. A bit uncertain of where I’m at. This unsettled feeling stems from the fact that I’m not quite certain of what I’m trying to accomplish when I toe that starting line in Kailua Bay.

Continue Reading

Ironman Lake Placid 2016: The Mystery that Never Unfolded

 

34_m-100728370-DIGITAL_HIGHRES-1320_059803-2549130

Heading into this race, I had a plan which culminated in a projected finish time. Based on training, I thought I could do the swim in 1:00, the bike in 5:45, and the run in 3:30. Add in some extra time for transitions and miscellaneous other miscues, so sure, maybe I could finish in 10:30. Did I expect the race to unfold this way? Absolutely not! I know that in ironman racing there are so many uncontrollable factors that can and often do interfere with your race plan. I expected this interference to come into play. I was prepared for it.

Continue Reading

The Taper, Two Weeks to Go, and a Twelve-Mile Run

 

FullSizeRender (1)

I’ve made it. Made it to the coveted ironman taper. I’m happy to say I’m still married (thanks to my husband Sam for his unwavering support! J), my kids and dog are still alive and thriving, and my body doesn’t seem to despise me for all that I’ve put it through over the past 8 months. I’ve survived. The very long rides, the runs, the hard swims, and the 5:00 AM (or earlier) daily wakeup calls are slowly winding down. It’s taper time. From here, it’s all downhill until race day. Two more weeks until I toe that starting line at Mirror Lake. Until I line up with all the other hopeful ironman athletes. It all seems so surreal. The event that I have been targeting for months on end is just around the corner. And I feel an odd sense of relief.

 

Continue Reading

The Ironman Nightmares

mdot_magnet_1

The J-months are upon us. We hit the month of June. June leads to July. The ironman is on July 24. It’s amazing how 7 weeks feels like such a short amount of time when you have been thinking about an event and training for it for so many months. The other night I woke up in a panic — my first real ironman nightmare was playing out in my mind. It was race morning. I was casually sitting around with some triathlete friends, when it finally struck me that the race that I had spent the whole year training for was about to start.  At that point I realized my Garmin was almost dead, I hadn’t checked in my bike and I hadn’t packed my gear bags. And everyone was heading down to the water to get ready to start the swim. I found myself madly racing around — plugging in my watch to try to give it a bit more juice; stuffing my gear bags with socks, gels, bars, shoes, anything that remotely resembled a triathlon product; and then slinging my gear bags over my shoulder and racing over to the bike check in, just as I heard that gun go off signifying the start of the race. “NOOO!!!!” I exclaimed and shot out of bed. I knew it couldn’t be true. Me. The one who fills her water bottles and lays out her nutrition the night before a ride. The one who wakes up 3 minutes before her alarm goes off almost every day. The one who arrives to a race 2 hours before the start.   The one who is never late to anything. And here I am dreaming that I am late to the race I have been thinking about and training for the last 9 months of my life.

Continue Reading