Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Silver linings

Every couple of months this song makes its appearance on my ipod. It did just that, this morning.

I love this song.


Lot's of shittake goings on here people!

First: Remember that which cannot be discussed?

CHANGE OF PLANS. As a small business, one little thing can have huge downstream affect. (That's the only business lingo I'll use today.) In an effort to create synergy across all  oops, sorry, I HATE it when my MBA starts showing.

So, what was it? We were going to move to Vegas. I'm very happy that we are NOT moving.  To think that the entire move was canceled because of one little thing.

But that is exactly what happened. We had one seemingly insignificant thing happen....and I was THRILLED that it happened. You know those small surprises that we all get once in awhile. Yep. Everything turned out much better than expected....much better than had we made the move.

No move. We are investing here in CO, starting some minor construction work on our existing warehouse; we really need a bigger facility. Until we can find a good location.....which is in the works....we're trying to make the existing location work. We're hiring a number of people and making some other investments: more development work, more everything. We're doing quite a significant investment in our marketing plan.

It's quite exciting.

Heading into summer means heading into our slower months. Although we see other companies contracting at this time, we've found that it's best to make our investments which we see the payoff in the Fall/Winter when we get super busy again.

I'm sort of a geek like that. I get all excited talking about business strategy and marketing plans and growth plans and financials; pretty much everything.

Most of all, I love hearing people's stories. If you have your own story, share it with me.

Trust me. Good or bad. I've probably made every single mistake out there. I've made decisions that not everyone can make or even wants to have to make. Been there, done that, so to speak.

That's work. Then there's personal stuff.

Now that we've hired people, my time in the warehouse will be minimal! HALLELUJAH! Look, I really love working in warehouse. Recently, I've spent so much time there that I've been stressed trying to get my work done...don't get me started about squeezing in training. It's been very challenging.

Next, JMan graduates soon. I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am. He and I have been counting down for months. In fact, we have only ONE MORE DAY OF getting up at the buttcrack of dawn.

Probably the most exciting news is some silly little thing.

Yesterday, I got a little itsy bitsy teenie weenie sliver of hope about a personal situation. This isn't work related, and it isn't a health related issue.

In other words, DO NOT BE ALARMED.

*DO* be excited for me....because well, it's a silly little thing like finding out those annoying neighbors are finally moving and coolest people ever are moving in next door.

Except that's not what is happening. But like that, the situation has been out of my control.  Ahhhh, but there might very well be closure/resolution.

Since this is a training blog (first and foremost). FOUR WEEKS until my first race! EEK! I'm so excited! I just want that first race of the season. My training has been so different. Different than any training since I started triathlon. That's a long time.

I have no goals for the race. I just want to put all the pieces together. Ok. I do have one goal. I forgot about it. I sure would like to run a sub 30 minute 5k off the bike. I ran a stand alone 5k in 27:50 a few weeks back. I can do this.

Until my next meltdown, my dear friends!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Girls chasing Boys

Over the weekend, I was thinking about how much I enjoy triathlon.

One of the more fun aspects is that we (typically) start in waves by age group and/or gender. Because of my advanced years (can you sense the eye roll), I'm usually in the last wave. There's also (usually) not very many of us.

I'm not a fan of ALWAYS starting last, but the one thing it does give me is the opportunity to chase the men in the +45 Age group. It's really fun. I don't do it because they are so damn hot to try to chick anyone, but it really is fun chasing after them. Besides, they are really really nice and supportive.(Don't get me wrong. The women are supportive too, but we're racing each other.)

This becomes even more fun when I know the guys that I'm chasing. Some of the men that I raced with last year....not *some*....ALL of the men that I raced with last year, were/are exceptional athletes. They are all very fast and usually podium. This makes it all the more fun for me to chase them.

I'll be doing PelicanFest this year for my early season (in CO) race. I was ALL geeked up because a friend of mine has convinced me to do it by saying those three special little words, "You can chase me."

Hang on....(1-2-3-4). I mean 4 words. (It's a good thing I'm good looking).

Lo and behold, I register, and he drops out.....siiiiigggghhhh. 

What is up with people this year? It's actually ok. He had a good excuse reason for canceling.

So now, I'll probably be prowling trying out various craigslist master's swims to see if I can flash my boobs  convince anyone to join me. At this point, I'll take a more butch lesbian.

I'm not really picky.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Not really a race report

I finished my most recent training cycle. It was a tri-emphasis with extra focus on running. My swimming has been staying consistent at 3x per week ranging from 9000-10000m per week. This time around my cycling picked up quite dramatically. My running went back into more intensity.

The point of my race today was to find out if I could pace myself by perceived exertion only. Coach told me to leave my technology hidden and just run. Going into this, I knew it was going to be a challenge. I know my zones 1 and 2 very well, but I don't know my upper zones. I knew it was going to require quite a bit of focus on my part.

Doing this, I ended up with a PR. Good right? Who doesn't love a PR? My 5 mile time came in at 47:30.  (BTW: If you don't know how to do this in Training Peaks: go to map & graphs, go to the right side and scroll down to your distance. It will give you the time for the exact distance you did. Why is this important? Last year, my race distance--on my garmin--was 5.08. This year, it was 5.05. I can't really compare those finish times. I need the time it took on both race days for me to run 5 miles. Make sense? If you look up my race results today, you'll see my time of 48:00 for 5.05 miles. Looking at, I did 5 miles in 47:40. It removes the zigzagging distance.) This is how I always get my times and paces, so that I can compare all my races of the same distances.

But, I digress.

I learned a few things while I was at it.

1.) I didn't really do a bad job. When I finished the race, I was thinking that I didn't go hard enough throughout. That part is correct. However, I did increase my effort throughout the entire race. I just didn't go as hard as I could. In theory, I accomplished my goal.

2.) Loss of focus. This has been my issue for years. Short races are easy for me to keep my focus. As races get longer, I tend to space out.

3.) This was the best "running" of this race that I've ever done. First of all, it felt very short which means my fitness has improved. Second, I usually crash and burn the last mile. This year, I didn't. In fact, I ran my fastest last mile EVER, for this race.

There were a few other thing.....but DUDE, I'm tired. I can't remember everything now.

For the next few weeks, I'm getting ready for my first Tri of the year. Then in June, we have my first A race of the year.

UNRELATED to training....
I've been struggling with something.
My A race is the last weekend in June. (Olympic distance)
Two weeks later, I have the Boulder Peak. (Olympic distance)
Two weeks after that, I have a sprint race.

I don't know if I want to do the Peak. There are a couple of reasons why.
First, I registered for this race last year. I didn't realize (at the time) that it was so close to my other races. Why did I register for it? It was more of a whim, I guess.

Second, it's a really big race. I don't like doing big races. I don't like waiting in line to get into a venue. I don't like waiting over an hour to start. I just don't like big races.

As the date gets closer, I'll talk to Coach about it. She might just say, "Grow a pair and do it." I'm cool with that. In fact, I'd rather that she just plain take the decision out of my hands.
If she DOES say "Grow a pair". Well....I've never done it before. I can go into this race with a different mentality than my A races, different goals, etc.

Olympic races are hard. For me, it is the hardest distance. I have never done one as part of training. It's a long distance for a training race.....for me

It would be a good opportunity for me to practice nutrition in the heat.

So, yeah. I know why it's good for me to do. I just don't really want to do it. It's the only race like that. I love my race schedule other than that one race.

And yes. I know that sometimes we have to do things we don't like in order to accomplish our goals.

Now back to our regularly scheduled training....

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Figuring it all out

Mr. Tea came home last night, looked at me and asked, "Why are you so quiet?"

I hesitated for a minute. Then I answered, "I'm lonely."

"Why are you lonely?"

"I've lost a lot of friends in the past few months. I don't feel like I have anyone to talk to anymore."

"Who are you talking about? What happened?"

"Well, you know about S. That relationship needed to end. I'm ok with that. But, then I never see R anymore because our schedules. I used to ride with the guys and J. J has moved out of state now. And, I just don't see how that would work with the guys. And, I like them well enough. I really do. But at the same time, J and I would let the guys ride ahead because they were so much stronger. J and I were going to do an Ironman together, which would have been a blast. I was looking forward to that. And of course, I don't need to tell you about what happened with M. I don't fit in with the stay at homes at masters. There are a couple of women that I like there that are my age. They have kids the same ages, but I rarely ever see them there...again because of schedules. Definitely not often enough to get to know people."

My issue isn't that I don't have people to talk to, email, etc. The point is that I don't have anyone to SEE on a regular basis, go to lunch with, even to just talk to for a few minutes during the day a couple of times a week.

I like people, but it's hard for me to meet people. Now, I'm full on into training. That makes meeting new people even harder.

I'm not really sad about all this in general. It's not something that I think about on a regular basis. Every once in awhile it hits me, like when I pack up my bike for a long ride. Or more specifically, I have a race this weekend. I always do this race with at least one person that I know.

All in all, I'm fine. I just have days once in awhile where I feel it more than others.

Sunday, April 20, 2014


When I did my bike today, I had such a tremendous sense of relief & accomplishment. The past few weeks have been some of the hardest I've had in awhile. Typically, I have to back off at this time of year because I just can't handle the training workload along with the physical work that I have to do during the Easter season.

This year, for the first time ever, I was incredibly determined to do whatever I had to, to make this training volume work along with my work life and getting Justin ready for graduation and all the other stuff that life throws at us. 

Trust me. I was tested. I had one meltdown, but for was actually quite minor. I didn't lose any friends over it, and no one stopped me to ask if I was ok as I walked home crying after a particularly bad run that came at the end of a tough day. 

This weekend was the hardest weekend I've had in a long time. We're all in the same place. We're all coming off our off seasons and hitting our training cycles full on. I know this is not unique to me.

In other words, there were some really ugly training days. The ugly training days make all the good days worthwhile.

Yesterday's long bike wasn't really ugly, but it wasn't comfortable at all. The all out hill repeats at the end of the ride were a special treat for my already tired legs. But, I did them at a speed of about 8 mph.

I got home. I was wiped out. It was my first really long ride outside. Sure, I can knock out a few hours on the trainer and be none the worse for wear. For those of you unfamiliar with riding, the first time you ride outside after being on the comfort of a trainer, it's tough. Your body gets knocked around. You swerve to avoid various things in the road. You ride rough roads and smooth roads. It really wrecks havoc on your body.  I got home, and I was wasted.

The first thing I thought was, "I'm not going to be able to do this 70.3." I can't do this. I'm not going to be able to get through this training. What the hell was I thinking when I signed up? I love the sprint and olympic. There's no reason for me to go longer. 

Then, I pulled up my data, and my VI was 1.2. Oh crap. How am I supposed to get that down to 1.15? (It was a hillier course). 

And I thought about how much I hate technology.

And then, there was some fueling issues. Nothing major, but I didn't quite get my sodium levels right for the ride. 

And I thought about how much I hate having to deal with these nutritional issues. I got home and almost couldn't get my leg over the frame of the bike. 

All of this messes with your psyche. 

So, I showered and ate. 

No. I didn't feel better. But, I stopped thinking about my bike workout, and I started thinking about my route for my long run on Sunday. 

It was hilly, intentionally. It was hard. Really hard. But, I never stopped. As I stared up at the next hill, I just kept moving my feet. I didn't care how fast I was moving.....I was still moving

After the bike hill repeats yesterday, I thought my legs were just going to explode when I was running the downhills. 

It was one of those runs where I just kept telling myself, "Get to the halfway point and turn around. Just get to the halfway point. Then it's all downhill....(figuratively speaking)."

At the halfway point and at the top of a hill, I stopped and covered my face with my hands and thought "almost done".

I was so tired. But I turned around and head back home. 

With 2 miles left, I knew I had one more climb left. ONE MORE. That was it. My training cycle was almost done. 

TWO MORE MILES, and I head into a recovery week. 

I passed a couple walking, and I grunted some form of greeting. 

When I got to the top....which was probably the longest 2 miles of my entire life.....everything just sort of hit me. The entire year of training and where I am now. 

I knew I still had to do one last bike before I could call it a day, but I just felt enormous relief. It didn't matter how fast I went today or how yesterday went. 

It matters that I did it. 

At this point in a training cycle, everyone is tired. Everyone wants to quit. 

But we get through it to a huge feeling of satisfaction....not satisfaction that we went particularly fast or anything, but for the simple fact that we did it. 

It would have been very easy for me to stop for a few seconds at the top of the hill. 

It would have been easy for me to skip the last hill repeat yesterday when my legs were burning. 

Here I am. I'm done and heading into a recovery week before I race next weekend. 

It's not something that's going to show up on Athlinks or in a race report or in any online race results. 

THESE are the days that make THOSE days so much better. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Holding my shit together

At this writing, I'm tired.

But, I survived the Easter rush.

I lost it a few times. For the most part, I HELD MY SHIT TOGETHER. This was our busiest Easter ever, so that is QUITE the accomplishment.

I got my training done. There were days that I really struggled. Now, it's over. Life can go back to normal.

Getting through this season meant that I had to do things that I didn't want to do. I didn't WANT to skip masters. I messed up my eating for a few days (not bringing enough to eat and losing more weight and sacrificing one run because of it).

I'm quite pleased with myself. It's shown me that unless things change at work (which we are working on), an early season 70.3 is probably NOT a good idea. Which means, that it's not likely I'll get do the Boulder 70.3 next year (which was on my to do list). We posted a few jobs today. It really comes down to who and how many people we have on staff next year. We were really understaffed this year. Believe it or not, it's hard to staff a young company. It's too much risk for some people. For others, they can't work in an environment where everyone does a little bit of everything. They prefer a very structured job description. We're not to that point.

But back to MOI.

I can see clearly now. Even though, I'm in a big training week.....I can see where this training train is taking me: To the land of soreness, muchas hunger and PRs.

In two weeks, ON my HALF birthday (which is pretty cool in itself), I have a 5 mile race! You know. The same one I've been doing FORev. Because of that, it's a great barometer for me.

I've also done a lot of thinking lately about my future with triathlon and where I go with it after this year.

No. I'm not getting ahead of myself. I've spent a lot of time training by myself these past few weeks.

This year, I get to decide if the 70.3 is for me. I get to decide if I like it. I get to decide if I want to go further. I get to decide if I prefer the shorter distances.

It's part of a plan that I'd put in place a few years back, but the plan has been changing over time.

I have to admit that I got a little melancholy when I started thinking about doing a full and how I was supposed to do it with a special friend. It's a little sad. It's great to have friends supporting me, but it's something special to do a race with another person or a group. I'm not really interested in triathlon forums. Believe it or not, I don't even have a login for Slowtwitch.

Still a full ironman is in the distance a bit, if at all. I have to go through this race season first.

Meanwhile this year, I have a number of races. Races that I have to define my strategy. I am going to have some personal challenges that I need to deal with, and I constantly go back and forth with how to deal with it. Maybe there will be enough distractions that I don't have to deal with them.

Until then, I'm hoping to get caught up on some much needed sleep this weekend and get ready for my race in 10 days.

And hopefully, have a little more interesting blog posts once know the trash talking, self deprecating posts that seem to define my racing season.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Self Analysis: Training, Recovery, Rest & Nutrition

With everything going on, the one thing that is being prioritized at the top of the list, is my training. I absolutely need it right now. It's my stress release. Even when the workouts are hard, it's my calm in the middle of the storm.

I can't help but compare myself year to year. I've always done it. Doesn't everyone? We want to be stronger or faster each year. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm just crazy, but I don't think I am. Otherwise, why would we even do this insanity?

One of the of the many things that I like about my Coach is that she tells me which days are the "work" days and which days will be recovery.

In this particular cycle, my schedule follows the typical (for a masters athlete): build for 3 weeks, step back week. Within each week, I have 3 "work" days and 4 recovery days. I swear. Those recovery days often feel harder than the work days. In addition to that, she will list out workouts that if necessary, I can skip. This is fantastic. She removes the guesswork. Granted, I haven't had to miss any workouts, except for one optional swim a few weeks back.

During the glorious step back week, I get a full day off, with the option to skip workouts or take more time off if needed, especially if I'm feeling tired.

As we've been building volume, fueling has become more and more of an issue. I think I mentioned here that I lost 5lbs in one week and then 2 the following week. Keeping my calorie intake high is really tough. High....for a 46 year old. It came to my attention this weekend that I probably eat  more than most women in my ag. It's really hard to manage. This weekend, I did really well. During our Sunday Whole Foods visit, we loaded up on very easy and quick foods for me to heat up very quickly.

In addition to daily nutrition, Coach and I have been working on my training fueling. I never realized that my fueling strategy was completely wrong. I knew that I struggled with the half marathon distance. I knew that I struggle with the run during an oly race.

But, I've tried EVERYTHING to get it to work. Apparently, I didn't try everything. Over the past 3 weeks, we have been working with different strategies to see how they affect me. She tells me what to do. I do it. She checks my numbers at the end of the workout and comes back to me with tweaking.

It seems that I was doing the exact opposite of what I should have been doing.

In a way, it's very frustrating. I feel like I'm cramming for a 70.3, learning everything that I can. I feel really bad for putting my coach in this situation. Had I known, what was going to happen, I wouldn't have signed up. I'm sure she's used to people signing up for an Ironman and then signing up with her! Although, I have a lot to learn. At least, I'm not new to the 70.3.

Still, I have a long time until my race: 6 months. AND, I'm excited about it. I really am. As frustrating as some of my fueling issues have been, I'm working through them one at a time. When workouts are difficult (like today's run), I just keep going.

There are ugly workouts. There are fantastic workouts. In some weird-yet-to-be-understood-way, they will all fit together when it comes to my races.

I'm now about 5 weeks from my first race.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The countdown is on

Life has been insane lately. I've taken countdowns to keep me sane. I have a paper calendar. Every day, I put a giant X through the previous day.

1 week left of the Easter shopping craziness.

3 weeks left for school for JMan

4 weeks until finals are complete

5 weeks until graduation

It's been so busy that there are times that I feel like I'm losing all control. Yet, everything is still getting done....except maybe laundry....and grocery shopping. But what the hell? A few days a week of eating out and wearing previously worn clothes....not a big deal. Not until the clothes start to smell, right?

Really though, it's a matter of prioritizing. Right now, JMan's senior year and graduation and EVERYTHING that goes along with that is my first priority. It's been a couple of years since Googs graduated. I can't believe there is so much work involved. It's not just with graduation and dealing with Senioritis and finals and various awards ceremonies, but it's also getting ready for college.

We are short people in the warehouse and can't hire because of things yet to be announced. So, that's priority #2: Helping in every and any way possible, packing, taking pictures, dressing mannequins, taking out trash, sweeping the warehouse floor.

Then, training. I'm getting it all done, even when that means having to train ridiculously early or ridiculously late or missing masters in order to just plain get MY SWIM DONE.

I have virtually no downtime at the moment. HENCE, the reason for the countdowns. When my head hits the pillow at night, I'm exhausted....only to hear the alarm go off, seemingly, minutes later.

On the other hand, I'm getting crazy excited for the things yet to be announced. The first step has been completed. The second step will be done in about July.

In getting ready for that, I've been apartment shopping the Boulder area. We'll be going to Boulder this weekend, to check out the apartments that I've found online.

Why Boulder? It's nestled nicely between the two universities that my sons attend. Longmont is in the mix, but I couldn't find quite what I was looking for there; which is basically a luxury apartment that will pretty much take care of everything for me and that I don't have to worry about when I leave for weeks or months at a time. Broomfield is another option but not quite right because my preference is walking access to as much as possible. Although this move could happen as early as Oct. It could also be delayed for any length of time depending on things yet to be announced.

Besides that, we're looking for residence #2 which has to be resolved around August because of Step #2 (July) in things yet to be announced. 

Following me?

That's all I have time for. Gotta get my run on, so I can get to the warehouse early.

7 days until the end of the Easter craziness.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Good Stuff

I've been wanting to write this post for awhile, but it's so random. It's just a bunch of thoughts that I've had over the past few months. Things have been really crazy for me with work and some personal things. The personal stuff is not at all major. It's just a lot of little stuff that tends to add up.

Here's my list of random thoughts:

1.) For about a month now, I've been using Infinit's  Mud and Nocturn products. I love this stuff. Nocturn is a recovery/protein type of drink that I have before going to bed. The tryptophan means NIGHTY NIGHT. I was previously having a shake before bed, but this stuff. It's fantastic. I personally have to mix in frozen fruit because I'm not crazy about the taste, but some pineapple and OJ and peaches and coconut milk, and I'm good to go. The Mud is one that I have when I wake up. The taste is amazing, and I've given up having coffee in order to have my Mud on Ice.....or blended in the blender. FREAKING AWESOME.

2.) I'm now down 7lbs, which is pretty great because it's all in the form of fat loss. I'm maintaining and getting stronger on the bike. So, it's a good loss. You all know how much attention I have been giving to my nutrition and fueling.

Speaking of fueling....WOW, it's come to light that I have been under fueling in training and races. Coach and I have been working to find the right mix. This weekend, we really nailed it. I've never felt so good during a long workout.

3.) Strength training. One of the things that I felt was missing from my training was strength work. One of the benefits of having a Tri-Coach who is also a Certified Functional Strength specialist is that she has the best strength training routines that are....wait for it.....PROGRESSIVE. As I get stronger and as I just start to knock out the workout, she goes and changes it on me. I love it. I have always loved strength work and had gotten to the point where I just thought it didn't work with triathlon. (I'm completely aware that strength work goes hand and hand with triathlon. I just couldn't figure out how to get it to work without completely draining me for my next workout.)

4.) You are aware of my monster swim breakthrough that I had recently. Based on my 5K PR very recently, my run is also improving. You know how it goes, when you're in the midst of training, that's no time to figure out if you're improving. There are days that I'm tired or days that I feel great. I feel pretty good about where my running is going. The bike is a little different. We did a bike test. Then the week I was supposed to do my follow up bike test, my Quarq died. Unfortunately, I had a terrible experience with their customer service and didn't even get a return label from them until 8 days after my first contact. Once I got the label, they identified that my unit was dead and immediately sent me a new one. I'm a little disappointed that I was unable to do my bike test because I know I've gotten significantly stronger on the bike. (My zone 1 and 2 workouts are now CRAZY easy). Hopefully, we'll fit one in soon.

5.) Race Schedule. My first tri is in May. In other words, it's NEXT month. I'm really excited. I don't have any goals for this race. I just want to see how the pieces are going to fit together.

6.) Early this week, I went onto a forum that I haven't been on in....probably over a year. It was so interesting. I was reading the conversation that took place in 2012. One person said to me, "You're not the same athlete you were a year ago."

I wish I had my training history that I could go back to, but I don't. I would love to go back and read my thoughts on different races. Instead, I thought back to about a little over a year ago and where I was.

I realized that person was lying. I was the same athlete. I'm not knocking the person. They probably said it to make me feel good because they knew it wasn't true. Even back then, I knew it just wasn't true.

NOW, I've changed. NOW, I'm a different person, different athlete.

So, I had a conversation with my coach this week. She mentioned that my goals should be proving something to myself not anyone else. BUT, I don't have anything to prove to myself. I have always believed that I am better than my race times show. I just hadn't gotten there....yet.

I don't doubt my abilities. But there are people who do. It's the same way I built my business. If you tell me that I can't do something, I will work to exceed everything you said I couldn't accomplish.  Triathlon is the same way.

I don't think that's a bad way to race or train. There will always be people who doubt me. I like it that way. I like being the underdog.


See? Completely random and rather pointless post.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Finding your Tough

I love this image because I was absolutely NOT born with beast mode on.

In fact, whatever BEAST MODE involved, I was certain that I completely missed out on that DNA.

I've been doing a lot of reading lately about how "toughness" and "pain tolerance" are learned.  Drive, on the other hand, I think that's something we are born with. Some people are very driven, and some are more laid back. Who knows? I'm not here to argue nature versus nurture.

BEAST MODE: Last year a friend would call me BEAST all the time. In fact, I'm pretty sure he might have even said, "Beast Mode on Tea" at a race. I hated it. That wasn't me. I'm not tough like all those other triathletes. THOSE people who could seemingly push through any amount of discomfort and keep going.

I kind of thought, "Well, I don't have to be a beast. I can do my best with what I have. I can still accomplish some pretty huge goals being me and doing things my non-beastly way."

If you've been following along with my story, and I can count on one hand those of you who have been, you've probably noticed.....I've been changing.

When I started triathlon, every race was a matter of just finishing. As I got stronger, my races became focused on getting PRs.

No matter what I did, I would still get to that point of serious discomfort verging on pain....and I'd back off.
I was afraid of blowing up. I was afraid of not being able to finish.

Even though I was getting stronger, I'd still back off....right at that point. You know the point I'm talking about. It's that point, right on the edge, where we decide if we are able to continue at the pace we're at or if we think have to back off.

Over the past 12 weeks, my running has improved beyond what I even thought was possible in 12 weeks. Getting that taste of success, of snippets of speed, has made me want more. and MORE. I wanted to see what I could do.

I've found that in my speed work, my pacing days, my tired days, my hill repeats, I'm going beyond what I've always thought I could do.

on steroids.

Every day, I go out there, and I don't think about it. I just do it. When it hurts, I go harder. I push myself beyond the limits that I had set for myself. YEARS of self setting limits are starting to fall. I don't go out and say, "I'll hit this pace or that pace". I go out there and give everything I have for that workout, that interval.

I'm faster on the run. I'm faster on the bike.

But, I had one more fear to face. I had to do this on the swim. I'm a strong swimmer, but I've been getting increasingly frustrated at my lack of willingness to put into the swim what I've put into my running and biking.

I finally got mad enough at myself to do something about it. I didn't want to be the lead swimmer in a slower lane.

I wanted to be the slowest person in the fast lane.

So, today....I got into the 2nd fastest lane at masters. The lead guy said, "You want to swim with us today?"

I shook my head. And I was slightly terrified of what I was going to do. I was really mad at myself. If I need to take extra time to rest, I was going to do it. BUT, I wasn't going to underestimate myself. I wasn't going to get out of masters and think "Oh that was a nice little swim."

I have goals to hit. The only way I'm going to hit them is by getting out of my own comfort zone, throwing out those limitations I've set for myself.

I wanted to feel it. I wanted to be as uncomfortable swimming that I have been running and biking.

We took off at a faster pace than I've ever swam.  It seemed like it was only seconds before I was hitting the wall and flipping.

At the end of the first 2 intervals, the lead swimmer would check on me. I told him I was good. We'd take off again. Then, he stopped asking me.

It was hard. I hurt. There were times where I thought there wasn't enough oxygen in the world to satisfy my need. There were times where I thought I couldn't possibly make my arms go any faster or make my kick any stronger. I thought.....I must be holding up the entire lane.

I wasn't. I was staying right with them. The fast swimmers.

I was swimming 1:23 100's. I've swam that pace in open water with the benefit of a wetsuit, but I've never swam that in a pool before. My previous best was 1:30.

A self-limiting 1:30. It was only 1:30 because....well, 1:30 is a great swim time! It's a top 3 AG swim! Who needs to go harder?


I'm finally discovering my own tough, my own BEAST MODE.

Just finishing isn't good enough for me anymore. Setting PRs isn't good enough.

I want more, and I'm going to go until I get it.