Strong Mind – Strong Body

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What happens when you look at your training schedule and the instructions of the ride are as follows: “Ride how you feel.” No specific numbers to try and target. No goals to direct your workout. Just ride how you feel. Why are those types of workouts often the most challenging for athletes?? Why do hard workouts with intense intervals that make you push and push often feel “easier” than light workouts where you are just in cruise control and have no targets other than just to “ride how you feel”?

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Bright Lights, Big City, and a Disqualification…

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July 30th 2017 marked two events in my life. First and most importantly, this date marked my 12th year wedding anniversary with my awesome husband. And secondly this date brought on the Boston Triathlon. This race was a big stage — where the who’s who on the local triathlon scene would be competing. This was a big race for me, where I could see how I could compete with the big guns.   I love these types of races. No one would expect much from me. I could only surprise people. I was excited to see how this mother of three could compete against these big time local elites and pros.

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Cruising Through Life

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I realized this past week that I haven’t written a blog entry since the cold, dark days of January. Yes, life has been very busy with being a mom, a teacher, a coach, and my training. But other factors have been at play as well. I feel like I’ve been cruising through life. My kids are happy (most of the time) and healthy, my jobs have kept me feeling productive and busy, and my training and racing have been quite smooth (knock on wood). In fact, I haven’t felt like I have had a “blog-worthy experience” in quite some time.

Until this weekend…. I was competing in the Mont Tremblant 70.3 triathlon.  My goal for this season was to use Mont Tremblant 70.3 as my qualifier for the 70.3 World championship race in Chattanooga. I have competed in 70.3 World’s in the past, but not since 2007. I’ve qualified for it the past couple of years, but I wasn’t about to plan a family trip to Australia OR leave the family behind for a week while I took a trip to Australia to compete in a triathlon. It just didn’t seem right!! So since this race finally moved back to the USA, this was my chance to go back to this world-class affair. No ironmans for me this year. I was going to see how I could do in my age group at 70.3 Worlds. This was my target for the season.

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The Upside of Adversity

 

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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

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

 

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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.

 

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The Ironman Nightmares

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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.

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Slow Down – Take your Sweet Time

 

FullSizeRenderLast week as I was scurrying around prepping for my LONG ride, my husband stopped me in my tracks and casually said, “How’s it going?” My immediate reaction (which stayed in my head fortunately) was something like “Why are you talking to me right now? I need to get ready for my ride. The sooner I start my ride, the sooner I finish my ride and I have so many other things to do, so I need to start my ride ASAP!” I later looked back at this reaction with disdain. My husband was stopping me to fondly ask me how I was doing and my reaction was one of “don’t bother me, as I have to get ready for my ride.” Wrong. This was just wrong in so many ways. It almost made me sick to my stomach. I quickly realized I needed to take a step back and put things into perspective.

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