Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Do it right or don't do it at all

As many of you know, there comes a point in training where the miles get long. You have a lot of time to be alone with your thoughts.

This can be both good and bad. Recently, I've been on both sides of this. There have been days, I've just wanted to quit. So.badly. 

On a particularly bad day last week, I was surrounded by thoughts of: "I can't do this. Who am I fooling? Running around acting like a triathlete? What's the point? Just go home and tell Mr. Tea that you're not going to do the race. It's ok. This running. This heat. The hills. Everyone quits. Just stop."

And that's what I did. I stopped running.

"It's just too hard"  I told myself.

"You're missing too many workouts. You're going too slowly."

"Do you KNOW how fast those women will be at Ironman? Do you KNOW? You're not in their league, no matter how much you train."

I cut the run short. 

This attitude, evidently, came through while I was updating my training log. This set off an immediate email conversation between me 'n coach.

What I realized is that it's always easier to blame everything "else" in your life. But nothing will change until you take ownership of your actions.  

Sometimes, when knee deep in WHATEVER it is, we all miss the forest for the trees.  

So, when coach started going off about this and that. I thought "Of course, all of that is true. But, it certainly doesn't pertain to me. I know all that. I wouldn't make that mistake."

Then, he said something that struck me. It went something like this: Get up earlier. Quit your complaining. It's not supposed to be easy.  Don't give a half-assed effort. Get out there and make the workouts count. Get your head right.

ME? Give a half assed effort? Who does he think he's talking to? I'm not some newbie doing a 70.3 for the first time! Doesn't he know it's hot? Doesn't he know how hard the hills are?

That night I stewed on this a bit. 

The next morning, I realized that he was right. Am I slacking? Absolutely not. Was I cheating myself from hitting my goals?


Then, I came across this quote:

"If you are always allowed to stop training when you feel discomfort, you will find it too easy to give yourself permission to quit." --Jet Li

Coach was right. Jet Li was right.

I was wrong.

I realized that I'd become too hung up on my goal. I lost the joy of just training. 

The thing, THE thing that I loved more than anything. TRAINING for the sheer fun of challenging myself to be better than I was the week before.

Training doesn't have to be perfect. I just have to do it right, give everything I have for that day, that moment when I am doing that THING. If I can't do that, I shouldn't be doing it at all.

I don't know what will happen at Boulder. I DO know that I'd rather miss my goal time and enjoy the path that I took to get there.....than PR and need time off to recover mentally and physically. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Superhero, I am not.

The last, oh, month or so has been very discouraging for me.

Yes, I have been under extreme personal stress. I've had a death in the family, which was one of those "she has 2 weeks to live" type of thing. If you've been through it, it's horrible. 

Then, came the funeral.....nothing like a bunch of Irish Catholics getting together to figure out who the TOP MARTYR is.

Immediately after that, my son Justin had outpatient surgery. No big deal as far as severity, but big deal as in the time committment in changing gauze, giving medications, trying to get him to eat, etc. etc. etc. Really, just plain waiting on him hand and foot. Of course, I'm a mom. I don't mind it one bit. 

Let's see what else I can throw in here, how about WORK. Yea, insane amounts of WORK.


WHERE the hell is this all coming from? As a business owner, it's hard to predict consumer behavior. But THIS. THIS is just insane! (Not bad....just making us rethink our plans). 

With all of this, it's hard for me to catch my breath, let alone get my workouts in.

Everyday, I would say "No more disruptions, starting TOMORROW. Time to get serious."

Well, you can only say that so many times. then, you're just the boy who cried wolf. 

In other shocking news


As disappointing as it is to take this news, i have to accept the reality. Sometimes training is going to happen, and sometimes it's not. And sometimes the workouts are just going to be hard. 

As much as I want to PR at Ironman Boulder, sometimes just thinking about it wears me out. 

Of course, Mr. Tea had to step in with all his logic....because he's the voice of reason.

me, well, I don't know what I am, you choose: hormonal, bitchy, cranky, emotional.....just choose. They're all good choices.

Mr. Tea took me by the shoulders and said, "Look, I've been going through this for years with you. I've never seen you push so hard before. These workouts you're doing. YOU SHOULD be tired after doing them. All I can say is they are complete sufferfests. Everyone has bad sections of training. Just stay the course."

Then, he started making up a rap song that went something like "What you're doing is a sufferfest. But don't give up, just give your best. Cuz there ain't no stopping there ain't no rest.....

By this point, I was laughing too hard to really focus on what he was saying.

I looked at my schedule, family committments, yadda yadda. 

That's when I remembered one of my favorite quotes:

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I will try again tomorrow. ~Mary Anne Radmacher

I'm not finished. Who cares how many times I start....as long as I keep on starting.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Join us at our new forum

Team IronBitch is launching a new forum.

Everyone is welcome! Men, women, fitness fanatics, Ironman triathletes, ultramarathoners, hikers, kickboxers, everyone and anyone is welcome. 

We are a community of people dedicated to friendships and living a healthy lifestyle. Best of all, it's free to join. 

We are just getting started! Give us your feedback, tell us what you'd like to see...we're there for you, errr *us*.

Check it out here

So, Now What?

You're right. It's easier to eat pizza than run on the treadmill. It's easier to 

turn to ice cream than people for support. It's easier to 

say "Fuck it, I give up" than to say "Fuck this, I can do it". I'm not going to sit 

here and tell you day after day that you can do this. If you don't believe you 

can,  then you can't. If you don't want it bad enough, then you sure as hell 

won't achieve it. Take the easy way out and remain unhealthy and continue to 

gain weight because you can't realize you are the only one hurting yourself. I 

didn't say it would be easy. I said it would be WORTH it.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

SAY it with me people.....


What a day!


Recently (on the training front), I've had a couple of issues that really hit my confidence:

First, that horrible OW swim. 

Second, making the switch to a tt bike.

Third....ok, this was not a HIT to my confidence, at.all. Setting my 5:52 goal and then running into problems....well, that hurt a bit.

More than anything, I needed a day where I could reassure myself that I CAN DO THIS. I WILL DO THIS.

Today was the day for making that happen. 

Lemme spell it out for you.


Here's the synopsis: After last week's horrible ow swim, I was SO scared to do the 1 mile swim today. Let me rephrase that, I WAS SCARED SHITLESS. Today's swim was a *race* at Boulder Res. Btw, I assumed it was an out and back. I thought, if I struggle, I will just turn around and head back. 

I almost threw up when I saw it was a loop.


Understand the sittyation? 

Alot of the people are afraid of the swim. I get that. But, the swim is my best event. BEST. If I f*ck this up.....well...nothing really happens. 

I took a few minutes in an empty part of the water and started *meditating* and saying my catch phrases that help calm me down. My HR was really high, so I needed to calm down. 

My favorite phrase and Yes, I know it's a little weird, but I just kept saying "Panic is a vulture on your shoulder. Panic is a vulture on your shoulder." 

It's sort of sing-song....maybe it's NOT going be on Barney, but you gotta do what works for you. 

I lined up at the VERY back on the far right. Everyone took off, and I took a deep breath and just started swimming. After a few strokes, I felt like I was just swimming in a pool. I went very easy, VERY easy. When I got out of the water, my watch said 43 min exactly.....which for me is very slow.

But today was not measured by speed, it was measured in confidence. I gained a ton today.

No matter how afraid of something I am, I know that I will get right back up there and make it right.

Now, I can go into my next ow swim and pick up the pace without fear of freaking out.

Then it was time for the bike. 

Again, I was nervous about riding my tt bike on this course. Would I be strong enough? Could I do the hills? 

WOW! That elevation map makes the course look so hard, but it is very fast, very easy. Ok, maybe not VERY easy, but WAAAAAYYYY easier than where I ride regularly. When I finished, all I thought was "I am going to KILL it on the bike!" I'm going back out a few more times, but I feel pretty confident that I will break 3 hours on the bike. 

Breaking 3 hours? That's what the crazy fast people do. Really. THE crazy fast.

Maybe I can do this afterall.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


There is a hole where a life had been.

Summer vacations and camping trips and the beach and pool.

Do you remember when she lived with us? Do you remember putting up the fence when she was pregnant? Remember how we would get in trouble at the pool? She would yell at us to stop, and we would just laugh...because what were we really doing wrong? Remember that party when she got drunk on box zinfindel because that was her favorite? Remember how we danced to the 8 track tapes? She bought us our first microwave, remember that? We put hot dogs in there and blew them up. Remember how she helped get you, your first job? Remember the cows in her backyard? Remember how mad she'd get because they would wake her up in the summer?

She never missed a birthday. or anniversary.

Did you know that it's our anniversary? 18 years. 

Do you remember.....do you remember when we got her diagnosis?

And it felt unreal. Like it just wasn't possible. It could have been anyone. But this time, it wasn't.

Then came the treatments. 

It's too advanced, but there is this experimental treatment that might work. 

But it didn't work.

Do you remember having to call everyone?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


It's amazing in the world of triathlon how much we look to numbers. Distances, times, paces, number of workouts, heart rate, elevation gain/loss, cadence, stroke count and on and on are a natural part of what we do.

Part of that is finish times. I'm a competitive person, but I'm also afraid of what I can and can't do sometimes. I'm always being asked what my goals are or what my goal time is for Ironman Boulder. I never know how to answer. It's not that I don't want to tell people because I'm afraid of what they'll think of me. 

I honestly don't know. I don't know what I am capable of on race day. When asked what my goal is, I say "To PR" and leave it at that. 

In an off handed sort of way, I told coach that I wanted to break 6:00 before I turned 45. (And yes, I know I don't look a day over 30).

Me being ME, I expected Coach to say, "Honestly, you're about 3 or 4 years away from that. Great goal, though".

Instead, I get this response:
"5:52 - write it down. Tape it to a mirror, car steering wheel, fridge, whatever. See it, think it, believe it. It's yours if you want it." 

Of course, my response back was:

Because that's how I roll.

And in the back of my mind, I was thinking....

Can I pull off a 5:52?

Could I really do that?

I see other women do it, but I'm not other women. I'm Tea. Little ole Tea. Tea, the plugger, the dolphin, the one with the REALLY COOL NEW BIKE.

With this NUMBER 5:52 looming in my mind, I went swimming. 

and I thought....and I thought.....and I thought some more.

Then, I thought.....Maybe I could. Maybe I really could do a half iron in 5:52. Those numbers almost feel weird saying them....and directing them to myself. I mean, once you break into the 5 hour range, to me that's the CRAZY FAST PEOPLE. Those are the people that have showered & eaten by the time I usually cross the finish line.

Could I possibly be one of THEM??

I kept swimming. 

Then, something changed. I went from "Could I really do it" to "How can I make it happen?"

Yea, I'm not the fastest runner, but so what! That's the beauty of triathlon. 


Train to your weakness; race to your strengths.

Any combination of speed in the 3 sports will give me 5:52. I KNOW I'm faster than most women swimming. I KNOW I can hold that spot on the bike.

And the run? Let's just say that I'm no longer going to say "the run is a matter of survival". Nope. Not going to say that anymore. It's my 3rd best event. On the run, all I have to do is stick with the plan and focus. I don't have to be the fastest runner...not when I'm so good in the other two. 

I just can't give up on the run.

Because I have a goal now.

And I'm not embarrassed to answer: My goal for Ironman Boulder? Oh, it's 5:52.