Thursday, December 30, 2010


I have officially emerged from my post-Christmas coma. The sparkly-full-of- magic holiday last Saturday left me in a complete catatonic state for the two days following. It's quite remarkable, now that I think about it, that I didn't get sick. {actually...I sort of did get sick. But it never leveled me so I consider that a success.) However, I am also proud to mention that despite being paralyzed and glassy eyed on the couch in my pjs for 48+ hrs after Santa's visit and playing hostess to 30 of my in-laws, I did manage to haul myself up, don layers upon layers of running clothes and bust out a fairly hard 15 miles on Sunday. Twenty minutes after walking in the door, I was back in pjs on the couch. No joke.

Our holiday was full-on craziness. I saw some people yesterday who, when I asked about their Christmas, replied, "Oh it was so nice. Very low key and quiet."
HA!!!!! Mine was not. Not low key at all. And you know what, I like it that way.
We go all out for Christmas in every way possible. My parents did for us when we were growing up and I want the same for my kids. We make loads of cookies, build homemade crafts with greens we cut outside, decorate full tilt, sing songs 'til we're blue, go to parties, fill the house with too many gifts and track Santa until he's in South America. Heck--we even threw the tooth fairy in on Christmas eve!! I am quite sure she helped Santa eat all those Hershey Kiss cookies the kids left for him. And then, on Christmas Day, I hosted 30 members of my husband's family for a little meal. phew....this is making me tired again. That little list doesn't begin to touch the myriad of Christmasy activities and preparations that were happening here. As you all know.... I am not alone here. On top of that, we threw in a birthday for my now 9 year old and um, Marathon training!!!! I sort of forgot about the insantity of December when I picked a January 15th marathon down south.
Amidst all the shopping, parties, basketball games, birthday celebrations and planning, I have been running running and running some more.
I love it.
The weather has cooperated for the most part. There have been a few nasty long runs during which my fuel belt bottles Froze solid and the gels I had made me nauseus. Running sub marathon pace with no hydration and thick gels did put me over the edge a few weeks back. I am proud to say however, that I donned my high heels just hours after that 20 mile suffer-fest and partied the night away. I refused to miss anything this past month!! It's been fun.

Somehow Vacation week is cruising along too fast. The boys are totally enthralled with their buckets of legos and remote control helicopters. I'm finding time to sleep late and feed them breakfast at lunch time. We had a blizzard and we've found our way back to the ski slopes. It's been a good week.

I have been out of blog-ville for quite some time. I couldn't justify the the time it takes to write one. I have read a few but not many.

I have read enough and talked enough to others to say that I have come to this conclusion.

Training for me isn't complicated. It's not stressful or fancy. It's what I do to make me who I am. Racing is in my blood. If I need to miss a workout for some reason (and believe me, it needs to be a GOOD reason) I don't like it, but I know it's not going to ruin the big picture. As long as the rest of things stay intact and consistent. You can't haphazardly skip a workout Monday, Thursday, move Tuesday to Saturday, miss Sunday and do 3 to make it up on the following Monday. Things will start to fall off at that point I believe.
Train consistenly and when you're training, focus on your training.
When you're not training, live a life that supports your chosen hobby and focus on your life.
Try your best not to over think, over analyze, worry and obsess about all the workouts. It will drive you crazy. At least, it would drive me crazy. That's why I choose to 'just work hard.' I am dedicated and try to be smart. I do my best to eat well, sleep well, listen to my aching body parts now that I'm almost , gulp, 41. I enjoy myself too. I really enjoy the work. And, I look at the big picture, I make sure all the components of a good training plan are in place (thanks to my coach Jen I do.....) and then I just do the work. For exacmple, on a Tuesday, I know what Wednesday's work will be. I am always a few days ahead of the plan in my head. I think about my nutrtion and my rest accordingly. If Saturday is a huge day, I will get plenty of sleep on Friday. I even know today, that next Wednesday is a hard day. I have locked that away in my brain so that when it arrives, I am ready. I will follow the plan consistenly until that time and be ready.
I don't know exactly what I'm saying here, or why...... it just seems like people spend so much time worrying about what they are not doing. Instead, try focusing on what you Are doing and do the best that you can with it.
Be Consistent and work hard.
Give yourself a break if life throws a curve ball. Get back at it and start again. You will be fine if you do that.

Happy New Year!!
2011 already?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Where it all starts

It doesn't matter what your friends are doing. It doesn't matter what they think. It makes no difference whether or not your husband thinks it would be fun or if your parents would be proud.

You can't do it for them.
You Must do it for You.

If you want to succeed, it Must come from your Heart.

Before anything else. If you don't have a hot burning desire to dig deep inside and work your tail off, don't bother.
That might sound harsh. I believe it though. Certain things take too much energy and time and devotion to do it wihtout your heart.

Transfer this to anything in your life. It doesn't have to be Triathlon. Or running. Or swimming. But for me, it is. This post is about my sport.

Some people are born with more atletic talent than others. In other words, genetic potential. This is a sweet little gift from your Mom and Dad or Grandfather and Grandmother. If you were born with a dose of talent, say your polite thank yous and move on. Because it takes a Lot more than that. And more importantly, you don't have to have the perfect amount of genetic potential to be the best of the best.

What you need is heart. And skill. And toughness. You can develop your skills. You can study and practice and repeat things over and over and over until you get it right. You can devote months during the winter to improving your run form. You can hire a coach and learn proper swimming techniques. And then you hit the pool or the roads and you dig into that desire that comes from your heart and you practice perfection over and over and over until you get it. That is how you develop your skills. Again, it starts from inside. After all, if you don't want it, nobody is going to motivate you to run back and forth on your driveway doing running drills when it's 32 degrees and snowing!


Have you ever watched someone race who is clearly not showing great bike handling skills. Or maybe she doesn't have the best swim stroke. Does she lean back when she runs or maybe her shoulders are hunched and her arms cross over? And yet, she's out in front or close to it? She's fast!? Maybe you've watched athletes like this so you're thinking, hey! Where are her perfect skills? How is that working?

Let's talk about Toughness.
That factor in sport that I believe is Crucial. It can make or break the race. It propels some people into greatness. It comes from deep inside--from your heart.

Let's get this straight before I go on. Toughness is not inherited. It's not something ones wins in the genetic lottery. You develop it over your life and learn how to put it to use. You aren't Lucky that you're tough. You teach yourself to become tough. You work at it. You fight for it. Once you have it, it's yours to keep.

So, what is toughness?
Have you ever been out on a training run with specific goals in mind. You were out there to hit a certain pace as part of specific training for an upcoming race. It was a key workout. Let's say you were running along getting ready to pick up the pace and hit those goals when Bam! wind. You turned around and a wall of wind smacked you down and force you to reach even Deeper! Mabye for a few minutes you thought, forget it! I can't do it today! This was going to be hard enough with no wind, perfect temperatures and flat roads! Now this!? I'm done.
OR... do you change your thinking and employ a fighting spirit against those annoying winds and just go for it anyway. Race day weather is Rarely perfect so get tough and make this happen. Use your heart and dig deep. It must come from within.

Perhaps you were on a race course, thinking that things were moving foward as they should, when a competitor surprises you and makes a pass.
Do you quit? Back off? Give it up to him and say, "oh's not my day."
HellNo! Not if you're tough.
FIGHT Back!!! Get over that disappointment and jump back into the battle.
Be strong. Be tough. It takes heart.

Have you ever been in a race when you felt the overhwelming urge to just stop. To get off the bike, to walk off the road, or to hide under the shade of a table at an aid station? You know that pull...that feeling that you have nothing left. Nothing. Can you fight it? Did you fight it? Did you reach deep inside and pull out the last little teeny bit of strength to get to that ever glorious finish line? If you did, you are tough too.

Don't ever go out there and think 'you're not talented enough or that you didn't win the genetic lottery' as others may have. That is not what determines succes in my opinion. Does it help? Probably. But how much? You can't measure that. Plenty of people are uber talented but they are as tough as a corn flake and that's as far as it goes.
I love this line from a great book I read. "Your future is determined far more by what you do than what you are genetically."