Monday, March 31, 2014

Hard lessons learned

As a business owner, I spend time watching other businesses, not just our competitors. I watch many different types of businesses.

I find it absolutely fascinating to watch what they post on social media and to read their newsletters.

Over the years, I can tell when a business is struggling and when they are successful just by what they post.

Even more interesting than that, I can see the mentality of the owners change as well (particularly when they have some success). More often than not, I see the ego start to blow up. Power starts to go to their heads.

That's really sad to me; because although the owners of the company were the drivers of success, they could not have done it without their employees or contractors or....most importantly: customers. It's always a team effort.

I can speak from experience on this one. Until we started added significant staff, we were small potatoes. We wouldn't be where we are today without our team; we struggle as a team, and we experience success as a team.

Not all business owners can handle success. They are so focused on empire building that they forget how they got where they are. This attitude becomes evident in their social media posts and email newsletters. Instead of talking to or trying to engage customers about how the business owner's service or products can benefit the customer.....all the posts become about the owner/company. Instead of educating customers, the newsletters (in particular) become shoving their greatness down the customer's throat. I see it all the time.

As the owner becomes successful, they become more and more greedy. I've said this before. When your focus becomes money, you lose focus on everything that is truly important.

So, I watch. I watch the story unfold.

I know how easy it could be to just sit back and let revenue roll in, but that's the wrong perspective.

When business starts growing, business owners need to fight even harder for every dollar. Because when they start to focus on how GREAT they are....there are smaller competitors sneaking up on them.....taking away the customers that the Power hungry business owner has forgotten how to take care of.

Those can be some of the hardest lessons to learn.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

You could do it, you know

"You could qualify for Kona"

"What?" I looked up from my book and stared at him.

"YOU.could.qualify.for.Kona." He said the words slowly.

"What are you talking about? Do you know how hard that is? Do you KNOW how fast those women are?"

"YOU are one of those fast women. You could qualify."

"Wait. I'm doing my first 70.3 in SIX years this year. I don't even know how it's going to go. And the training. You know what type of training it takes to do Ironman."

Just then J-Man popped in with, "Yeah, remember....I'm going out for a ride. I'll see you IN SEVEN HOURS."

Me laughing: "Yeah. That."

"All I'm saying is that J-Man is leaving. You have time to train. You're fast. Why not?"

"Maybe next year, I'll do a couple of 70.3's"

"Maybe next year, you should do a 70.3 and an Ironman. You have time to train. I'm just saying, Pick a non Ironman race. Those don't fill up very fast. Do it and see how it goes."

I couldn't respond to that. Ironman really hasn't been on my radar. Even with the boys moving out, I was waiting. We're going to have a lot of free time, and I didn't want to fill "our" time with training. But was that just an excuse? I have the flexibility to do long training days when Mr. Tea is at work.

I had a friend that I was planning to do Ironman with. We were going to do the same race, but that's no longer an option. It was going to give me someone to train with....but that person is gone now.

Could I do it on my own? Could I enlist people to ride with me for portions of a long ride?

We do have Ironman Boulder now. I'm sure I could find training groups or group rides to keep me entertained.

The one thing that was holding me back the entire time was having support from Mr. Tea.

Now, I have that?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Quietly training in the background

Ain't no secret, I've been training with a chip on my shoulder.

Last year, I was told that I wasn't ready to do a 70.3.

Last year, I just missed 1st place at a few races.

Last year, when I shared my goals with someone, I was told, "That's a little ambitious".

Last year, every day I woke up tired, thinking, "I can't do this".

THIS year, I am ready to RACE a 70.3.

THIS year, I'm not missing 1st place.

THIS year, when I shared my goals, I was told, "You can do even better than that. I want you to beat MY time".

THIS year, every day I wake up thinking


I just don't have the capacity to hate a person.

I can be really mad. I can get really sad, but I can't hate another person.

I've been watching (from a distance) a situation. This person did some things (to me) awhile ago that were really not cool. Now, karma is coming back to this person.

Instead of being happy that this person is finally getting what they deserve. I just feel really sad for them.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


I'm one of those people who are rarely inspired by other people. I have a lot of internal motivation and don't usually get all geeked up about racing because of what other people accomplish.

BUT this morning, I woke up to find out that a friend came in first in her AG in Ironman Melbourne; while her husband came in 4th.

Reading her Facebook wall, the comments, really got to me. I was tearing up as I was reading them and looking at the pictures. She is one of the nicest people.

Training for Ironman can't be put into words. If you haven't done one, you'll be given advice. You'll be told, "It's like having a second job." Sure your eyes might light up with excitement when you see 15, 16, 20 hours of training on your plan in ONE week.....but you can't even understand what it is like until you are doing it.

When we triathletes track our friends at these races, it's about more than the finish. It is about all the days that you don't want to get up to get your swim done. It's about all the dirty laundry piling up. It's about leaving in the morning for a long ride/run and not returning until late in the afternoon. It's about your spouse/partner.....and their willingness to cover more chores than normal. It's about mood swings. It's about never seeming to have enough food in the house. It's about lack of confidence. It's about GREAT training days and really really bad training days.

Training for and racing an Ironman is not something that just affects you, it affects your family.

It seems like we are a tightly knit community. We are because we have to be.

We are competitive with each other because that makes us push ourselves even harder. We will openly talk about how we want to beat other. Yet, we're also going to be the first ones to give out hugs when a race doesn't go right for a friend because some times there just aren't the right words.

That's why watching my friend was so amazing. It's everything that went into just getting to the start line.

For those of you sitting there, deciding if you might want to try this triathlon thing....or for those of you getting ready to do your 6th or even 7th Ironman.......get ready for one helluva trip.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Don't be afraid of your power

WAY back in January, when I started working with my Coach, I had made some fitness gains very quickly.

For those of you who haven't worked with a Coach, this is normal. When you move to a structured program based on your own abilities, a Coach will work with your abilities and weaknesses. It's almost like MAGIC. The gains happen THAT quickly. mind had not caught up to where my body was. My mind was thinking, "Ok, THIS effort means I'm going hard, so I need to feel tired."

That wasn't true anymore. Although I was racing faster, in training there were a couple of sessions where I found myself plugging along at old paces.


One day, I opened my email. There was a note from my Coach. All it said was:

Don't be afraid of your newly found fitness and speed.

This quickly became a mantra: Don't be afraid of your power.

Recently, Thursdays have become a tough day. It's the day where I am starting to feel the fatigue of the week; most importantly, it's two days after the hardest day of the week: Tuesday: a long hard effort workout.

I was running yesterday, and it was so hard. I have moved beyond the "wanting to stop" phase when I'm tired. Under no circumstances am I going to stop. I will keep moving even if it means running at a 12:00 pace. (I'm pleased to say, I wasn't even close to a 12:00 pace BUT I wouldn't care if I was).

Those types of days force me to focus. If I don't focus, I swear I would end up walking. 

I AM NOT GOING TO WALK. Hell, I'm STILL technically running. 


The people who want it bad enough will push. Everyone else will give up.

You might think this little bit of motivation got me all jazzed up to go. But, that's not always how it goes. Sometimes, it just saves me from walking.

When I was on the return, I started thinking that THIS RIGHT HERE is my weakness: Being willing to push even harder when I am tired. Being willing to push when my legs were screaming at me to stop. "Please stop. We'll buy you ice cream. You can finish the chocolate bunny. The whole thing....not just the ears....and the Peeps. Take them all. Just maybe a break? Please. Think of us. HAVE SOME SYMPATHY WOMAN."

Oh they hurt.....bad.

I started thinking: Don't be afraid of your power.

If you quit now, you give yourself the permission to quit every time. Don't make that time today. Don't do it. If you slow down now, you are giving yourself permission to quit in a race.

Even when it hurts like this, if you DON'T STOP, and IF YOU SPEED UP, you are teaching yourself just the opposite.

PUSH HARDER when things are hard. Don't back off. It hurts, but it hurts everyone equally. Don't be THAT athlete that you see walking at the end of a race.


I managed to pick up the pace toward the end, dropping :30 per mile. That alone shows I have more inside. I can go deeper into the pain.

Acknowledge it. Accept it. Push harder.

I can do this.

I will do this.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Not the clinical sense.

I know what you're thinking.

" crazy."

One day, I typing up a sob story....(it really was kind of sad though). The next day, I''m bitching about wussies.

I understand how that can come across. Instead of "crazy", I prefer to think of myself as "passionate". Yes, I have extremes, but I think that's just because I care so much. 

I'm not going to explain it away. Yes, I am. I work (primarily) from home. When I go into work, I'm not about to dump my deep "passionate" thoughts on people in the warehouse. Nope, not gonna happen. Instead, I'm going to dump into the internets.

The fact is that I like most people. I get frustrated when people don't believe they can do things. They don't push themselves. I'm talking about in any aspect of life. I know business people that don't take risks or dream big enough, even when they have a GREAT idea. I know athletes that don't push themselves because they don't see themselves as athletes.

And about the friend thing, I know they care about me. I know they do. People (outsiders) have said to me that if those "friends" really cared, they would call or email or something. But, the only people who know what a relationship was about is people in it.

I know. I just know, and it's ok. Of course, I'd rather have them in my life. I'd rather have things the way they were, but I think things could be better now. Sometimes, people are afraid to reach out. They don't have to be. I know because I've done this. (Of course, I've even blogged about it. What haven't I blogged about really?) I was uncomfortable reaching out to people that cared because I was afraid of being rejected.

We have to take those risks in life. Whether it's work or sport or relationships, we have to take those risks. It's scary. If we don't, we end up losing a lot more than we bargained for.

Tough is learned

During a kick set in masters the other day, I had the pleasure of eavesdropping on two other swimmers. They were discussing which races to do.  

The conversation went like this:

"How about PelicanFest?"

"Oh that's too cold"

"What about the Peak?"

"Are you kidding? Too hilly and windy along that stretch."

The first thought that popped into my head was, "Maybe triathlon isn't the sport for you."

I think this point needs to be stressed: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PERFECT RACE. EVERY RACE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT. 

None of us were born with a "tough" gene. We've learned it from training and racing in really bad conditions. 

Last year, someone that I really respect as a person and athlete said to me, "You don't want to do that race. It's too hot."


I've got news for you. I don't choose a race because of its relative ease or difficulty. I pick races based on my schedule and on locations that I might want to visit. 

Anything else is a mental game. Do the training. Follow your plan. Know your fueling strategy. Control what you can control....which is your reaction to things that happen. 

SO many times I've read race reports saying, "That was the hottest race I've ever done" If you read the report, they were looking for an excuse for their slower finish time.

I take issue with this for several reasons:

1.) We race in the summer. EVERY race is hot. WE KNOW your time will be slower. A dry heat is as horrible as a humid heat. Climbing 5000ft is as tough as riding 100 miles of flats....all for different reasons. Last year, I did a race that was 107 degrees when I got on the bike. I messed up my fueling underestimating my sodium needs for that level of heat. (A DRY heat. If you've never raced in a desert type environment, it's a heat that will take your breath away....literally). That was on me, but I didn't feel bad about the race. NOR did I even mention the temps to anyone because I'm not a fan of the "fighter" comments. I don't do this because I need my ego stroked when I finish in tough conditions. My goals way beyond finishing. Finishing in tough conditions is the norm. The unusual is having a perfect race with perfect conditions.

2.) Did you NOT train in the heat? If you did you would have been acclimated. Triathletes should ride and run in the hottest parts of the days (specifically HIM and IM triathletes). Even doing so, we're going to make mistakes. MOVE ON. 

3.) How on earth do you expect to improve if you don't experience at least a little bit of discomfort? Train in a snowstorm. Ride in the wind. Swim in below 60 degrees water. Race in a hail storm. Push your heart rate up. Make your legs burn. Run in the hottest part of the day. Go on a long ride, get lost, run out of fuel and figure out how you're going to get YOURSELF home. WANT to give up.....but don't. 

There is no such thing as an easy race. The assumption should be that the race will be hard.

The sooner you can accept that, the better an athlete you'll be. 

Monday, March 17, 2014


I woke up this morning really melancholy. I woke up missing relationships. It's not that I don't have wonderful people in my life. But I don't think there's anything wrong with missing aspects of others.

I miss the closeness of some of them. I've had (what feels) like a lot of people leaving my life. I know it's not a lot, it's just that they were people that I was close to or were beginning to be close to.

Jenny is gone. Mike is gone. My entire training group from the last year 2 years dissolved.

It just feels like a lot. I feel lost.

It doesn't matter why or how those things ended. It's the loss of having those people in my life. People who I can laugh with during hard training or races. Or email my crazy ideas. People who don't take it personally if I'm in a bad mood and don't mind listening to me ramble on about some business thing I want to do. It's not just about me either. I miss hearing about their lives. I want to know about their races and their families and their work problems.

It's more than just missing the relationship. I miss the people. I miss road tripping with them. I was thinking about my 70.3. That would have been so perfect for a road trip group. Instead, I'll be making the drive there on my own.

I miss them.

If I could, I would ask: Do you miss me? Or am I just a big baby?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

And so it begins

I can't believe it.

Each week, my coach sets weekly goals for me. In my weekly goals for the week, she mentioned that we're in the last week of bike focus, culminating in another bike test.

WHAT?! It feels like we just started, but we've already done run focus/bike focus and now we move into more tri focused workouts (still emphasizing the run might I add).

I'm certainly starting to feel the volume increases. Even though its been subtle, 15 min here and 15 minutes there adds up over the weeks.

I did a little over 4 hours of training this weekend which is the most I've done in quite awhile and a total of 10:15 for the week.

Sunday is always physically tough. It's the end of the week. I'm feeling all the work. Saturday is a longer day. Sunday is a longer day. Yet, mentally it's also the easiest day because I think, "Get through today, and you have a rest day on Monday."

That strategy only works for the next 2 weeks. Then, Monday becomes another training day. That means, I'm enjoying my rest day when I get it because I don't really know what is coming down the pike. I've been a triathlete for awhile. I've been coached for a little while. I know what is coming. Still, I am surprised when I look back at a week and think, "wow, I did that."

Which sort of brings me to my strategy. I typically don't look more than a day or two ahead. I'll look at training volumes by week to get an idea of how I'll need to adjust my own personal schedule, but other than that I focus on the task at hand.

And, I've gotten really good at it. Today my swim was 3 x 1200m. After the hard bike and a long run and a strength training, a 3 x 1200m swim can be daunting. I just take it a 50 at a time and don't think of the next one. I don't think of the one before. I think only of the lap I'm on.

It's a simple strategy, but I know it's hard to do because even at masters, swimmers will see 15 x100's on the board and start moaning.

Take each interval as it is happening. Do the best you can for that interval and move on. When the interval is long (1200m) take it in whatever pieces make you happy.

Take each training day as it happens. Are you riding 10 miles but see a 30 mile ride on your plan in 3 weeks? Don't worry about the 30. Don't think about the 30. Think about the 5 mile run you have today.

"Worry is a downpayment on a problem you may never have."

It might just be an experience thing, for me. If a coach puts a workout on my plan, that means I can do it. 

What more do I need? 

Now, that doesn't mean it will be easy, but it also doesn't mean that it'll kill me.

So, stop thinking about it and do the workout.

Friday, March 14, 2014

There's only one place to start.

When I run, I get all loaded up with positive thoughts and energy. I wish I could just bottle up that shit and drink it down when I'm not so peppy.

I was talking to Mr. Tea, and I mentioned rather casually that I was struggling to get going on my 2nd workout of the day. He looked up in surprise and said, "YOU?!"

I think this really needs to be said. This triathlon life is NOT easy. I don't just wake up every morning with pixie dust flying out of my ass, all excited to go train.

That doesn't mean I don't like it. I LOVE IT. But, I am pretty sure that I'm not alone when I say that there are days that are hard to get going. I always DO, get moving, (unless I'm sick or have some issue that is screaming at me to take a rest day), but we (triathletes) just make it look easy

On my run, I was thinking about that. Do people need to see me struggle? For the most part, this way of life has become a habit. No. It's more than that. It's like breathing. If I don't have two workouts in one day, I feel like my day is WIDE OPEN. Let's not even get started on what I accomplish on rest days.

I thought, maybe it's just in how we define ourselves. 

Each and every one of us IS an athlete. We don't have one hiding inside waiting to be invited out. We ARE athletes. We just need to take ownership of that person. 

You all have been reading my blog for YEARS. I didn't go from A to Z overnight. I've been doing triathlon since 2005. When I talk to my friends, who are now quite zippy on the race course, they have the same story I do:
  • In my first race, I wasn't just last in my wave. I was last in 3 waves behind me.
  • I finished 2nd to last.
  • I didn't think anyone could ride a bike as slow as I did.
We've all been beginners. In the beginning, I had a hard time seeing myself as an athlete. Even though, I'd been running for years and riding and swimming. I just wasn't competitive. I'd swim laps or do a bike tour or even run a race. 

In the past year, I've noticed that people (friends---now ex-friends) have been distancing themselves from me. I'm the "athlete", and they just do it for fun.


I don't get paid for this. I do this for FUN. Yes. I take it seriously, but we're all passionate about something. Triathlon is my something. 

I've said it before. There is NOTHING wrong with exercising for fitness. It's VERY different than training. Training requires a dedication to nutrition, recovery, going hard on hard days and going easy on easy days. It means sometimes having to go to bed early in order to get up to train early in the morning. 

But because one person "trains" and the other "exercises", it doesn't make one person an athlete, and it certainly doesn't mean the other person (the exerciser) shouldn't try to push themselves into becoming stronger or faster. 

When I see someone running, it doesn't matter what they look like. It doesn't matter if they stop to walk. It doesn't matter if they are running slower than I can walk. You know what I call that person? A RUNNER.

When I see someone in the pool. I can tell if they are new to swimming. Or I can tell they've been swimming a long time.....I don't label one as an "athlete" and one as "not". I call them both SWIMMERS.

I know how hard it is to get out there, day after day, to do what needs to be done. If you take that step, you're an athlete. I don't care how fast you go. I don't care how far you go. The only thing I care about is that you don't give up. 

We've all been in last place. 

That's the only place to start. The good news is that you can only go up from there. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Best of me

I've had a change of perspective this week. Or maybe it was more of a reality check.

The first thing that happened was that I woke up on Saturday and Sunday. I was the only one up. This is normal. I get up and have breakfast and do my training.

I don't know why it hit me, but I suddenly realized how much time I am going to have starting at the end of May. Being a triathlete, I can't really think of anything better than having time to train.

I got really excited. There's a little bit of a challenge but a good one to have. Until I start training for my 70.3, I'm going to have time on my hands. I don't know what to do with it.

Of course, we are moving. That in itself will be a lot of fun, decorating a new home. I enjoy that type of thing. It will take time too.

The next thing, and this is so silly. I realized that I was out of almost all of my supplements: drinks, GU's, recovery shakes. I was almost completely out. I went online and bought everything I needed (since most of it, I can't buy in stores). That stuff really adds up.

I don't know why, but it felt so HUGE, like I was really making a commitment to this year. I have the time. I have the resources. I most definitely have the drive to succeed. I have an incredibly supportive and tolerate husband. He doesn't go to my races, and more than likely won't be at my 70.3. That's ok by me.  He is supportive in the ways that are really important. I have some great friends that will be at most of my races. I think that's why the song "Best of You" popped into my head when I was training the other day.

My Coach is getting my best. This is the first time in my life that I can truly give my best. Every year, I give my best given the situation. This is ME, having time and resources to train. HOLY SH*T. I've never had that before.

This makes me laugh just thinking about it, but I felt so empowered.

I took this newly found empowerment to another level. I went on to Twitter and deactivated my account. How and why does this matter?

My thinking is that if people/friends want to know what's going on in my life, they should pick up the phone and call me or email me. Facebook is different because I've taken almost everyone out of my feed and set up my lists. Twitter doesn't allow that. I needed more than just "protecting my tweets". I needed to break the habit of mindlessly checking the feed to see 144 characters of nonsense from people I don't even know. The people that know me....they know how to reach me.

So, I did it. I shut down my account. At some point, I will log back on only so I don't lose my account. Or maybe I won't.

Believe it or not, there's more. I won't go into all of it. There was a lot of  "letting go" of things.

I guess that's all. I really didn't have anything to say.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Lay it on the line

This song was on my ipod during my long run today. My secret is out. I'm a closet Triumph fan. The funny part isn't that I'm a closet fan. The song came on, and I started thinking about my early college years. I spent a lot of time in biker bars. ALOT. This song was playing one night while we were shooting pool. I met a guy who later became my boyfriend....a very short lived boyfriend; as I realized that brains were MUCH more important than good looks. (Even better, there are a lot of men with both). Although Lay it on the Line was out in the late 70's, THIS song was in my prime college years:

Go ahead, judge me. It was a good time, fun times. Remembering them always makes me laugh.

If you want, I can make you a mixed tape.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

One more thing


And here we go....

FINALLY. A bike test. I have been looking forward to this day for a long time.

This will be the first time that I will be training with power zones. 

Personally, this was AWESOME because I got to PROVE (if only to myself) that YES INDEED MY FTP NUMBER IS SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER than.....than.....well..let's just say...previously thought.

It is the ultimate I TOLD YOU SO.

VINDICATED. Even if I'm the only one who knows. (And you guys of course).

Just let me have this moment of smug satisfaction......

Ok. I'm done.

Moving on. Now, I'm REALLY excited. My NEW zones are locked and loaded. All the pieces are in play now.

It's time to start putting them all together.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Whatever it takes, part 3

In case you haven't looked at the calendar, it's March.

That means I am only 11 weeks from my first triathlon. I kept saying, "OH, I'm so excited! I can't wait for my first race." Then BOOM, I realize that I'm less than 3 months from my first race.

Where did the time go?

I, honestly, can't always remember thoughts that I've posted here versus what I think about when I'm training.

For some reason, the song "Best of You" popped into my head when I was running the other day.  On this particular day, I wasn't running with my ipod. I do that randomly, run without any technology.

Right after that, I thought about this song "Whatever it takes".

Months ago, I wrote about doing whatever it takes, whatever I have to do to be successful in triathlon. In fact, it became my mantra. I posted this picture on my computer screen.

When my coach told me to leave the past in the past (not her exact words but basically that's what she was saying) and she wanted me to come up with new mantras or themes or phrases that I could use that would represent where I am now and what THIS year means to me.

I threw out that little sticky note. In fact, I threw out all the little notes I had with my old mantras. I even threw out little sheets with my goals written on them.

Then this week I was running. It was one of those truly bad runs. I had just run a PR race. It was 2 days later. The best way I could describe the run was that I must have looked like I had a stick up my butt. It was so hard to run. The run was short (40 min). It was an easy effort the entire time, but it certainly didn't feel easy. My legs felt like they were being pulled down into the depths of hell. I could hear my breath, labored at best.

I thought for a minute that this is the exact type of run that is very easy to blow off. My body certainly didn't want to be moving, let alone running....errrr.....maybe hobbling was more appropriate.

I know for a fact that a year ago, I would have told myself, "Just run 10 min. If you don't feel better turnaround and go home." Sometimes I did.

The other day, I wasn't going to let that happen. I didn't care how fast or slow I ran. I didn't care that it felt like it took everything in me to lift my legs at every step.

I was going to finish the run: Whatever it took.

Who cares if that was a mantra with a different coach? It's valid today more than it ever has been.

Although that chapter has been closed, I think the feelings and drive that I had then....they are stronger now.

Maybe I don't have to get rid of everything?

There was a lot of good there.

Maybe I could just keep that one little mantra...

Maybe starting with a clean slate doesn't mean forgetting, maybe it means that there's a healthy way to use the past to drive me to even bigger goals this year.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Update: Operation Super Fit

In Nov/Dec, I started researching nutrition. I started making changes very slowly. 

I started with the changes in training fueling based on the research by Dr. Sims.

Then, I started changing my daily nutrition based on additional research of hers.

Then, it was training. A lot of functional strength training and core work. In fact, it was about 5 sessions per week.

Of course, there were also the standard swim, bike and runs.

Everything has been going well because I made the changes slowly. For the past two weeks, I've made the next change: I needed to add more veggies. I know I was slacking. Fruit is no problem, but veggies? I wasn't having enough. The dumb thing is that I like them, but I'd gotten lazy. So, I bought some fresh veggies, cleaned them and froze them for throwing in my smoothies. It was BRILLIANT.

I'm still not counting calories. Instead, at every meal or snack, I make sure that I have a protein, a carb, and a fruit/veggie.

I Pay attention to how I feel. Am I sleeping well? Are my workouts going well?

And, I told.the scale to take a hike. I am not a fan of the scale and rarely weigh myself anyway.

Here's why I did it this way. My thinking is that my goal is to set myself up for the best year of training and racing, specifically for a HIM. (70.3 for my non tri-friends).  My body would adapt and change if I give it what it needs.

The update is that so far it is working well. I've gotten very strong. I'm getting faster. I'm recovering well. Based on how my clothes fit, I'm getting leaner.

Each week offers different challenges with training load changes or work issues, but I can usually adapt pretty well.

Like Molly says, "When in doubt, eat more." That's what I do. (Although, eating right before bed has taken some getting used to; in the long run, I think it is helping).

In our world, the obsession with counting calories and being as "light" as possible has superseded being healthy and strong. I know my way seems weird to those of you who drink diet soda and count points every day trying to figure out how much food you get to reward yourself with after exercising. My view is that I eat SO I can train, not vice versa.

I'm not saying my way is the right way. It is the right way for me.

And I guarantee, it is a lot more liberating.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Relationship Status: It's Complicated

A 5K race report of sorts.

I started training with this Coach about 8 weeks ago. I was in a desperate situation. When I split with Mike, I needed some time to get my head straight. I had intended to take time off from coaching then go back to working with him. Things spiraled out of control so quickly. I contacted him and that was when I realized that we were done.

Here I am on 12/22, no Coach, and I'm heading into a *big* year. I'm doing my first 70.3 since about 2008. I have big goals that I want to hit.

Yet, I had no Coach.

For awhile, I considered doing the self coaching thing through the off season. I thought about that for a day. That just doesn't work for me. The off season is WAY too important to sit back on my ass and just do whatever I feel like. There are too many things that I don't know. There are too many things that I need to learn.

I know I wrote a post about my "interview" process, and how I made the decision to choose the Coach that I did. I won't bore you with THAT process again. The BIG issue was that I wanted someone who didn't know me at all.

Trust me. She had her hands full with me. She has been incredibly patient. I had so much baggage regarding my running. My relationship with running? It's complicated. Yet, she was never judgmental, always patient. And, when I had my emotional breakdown during my first race with her, she never showed any frustration. She talked me through it and was the person responsible for the Ceremony post. I won't go through the details of training. At each prior race, we had different goals. One week, I had to focus on pacing (not racing but pacing). One week, it was ALL whatever speed I want, but do x,y,z during the race. One week, it was the 5k was going to be run as part of a longer day, focus on this and that.

Today's race was to put everything together. Today, my head was in the right place. My pacing was in the (generally) right place.

If I had any doubts, today I knew for a fact that I chose the right Coach.  For being in such a tough situation 10 weeks ago, today was clearly the start of something good.

We talked this week. I had my mental game ready. I woke up this morning with only one thought, "I will have a huge PR today."

The start of the race was  -7 with snow coming down but not really accumulating. I can deal with cold.

When the race started, I had only one thought in my head, "Brain off, body on."

That was it. Pace Pace Pace BOOM.

Like I mentioned, my pacing was decent, always room for improvement, but I was going all out that last half mile. Whatever, I had left.....well, I left it on the course.

My time: 27:50. My first time ever breaking 28 minutes.

The most exciting part of this is that this is what I've accomplished in 8 weeks. My run focus is over, and we're going to be hitting the bike really hard over the coming the weeks in preparation for my first tri of the season in May.

I am so excited.

Let the season begin!