Welcome to the Taper!

 

Sooo… taper for Ironman Lake Placid began on Monday! Wahoo! It’s almost here…

At the lake...

At the lake…

As in 9 days!!! (Insert OMG I’m shitty my pants face)

Surprisingly, I’m not super nervous at the moment. I know come next week when I start packing for the big day things will start to set in and the butterflies will begin their high dives in my tummy.

Many people have asked me what my time goal is. Well, I don’t have one. Okay, maybe I do have a secret time goal and no, I will not tell you. I had a good time goal back in January when I began base training, but all bets were off when my knee/IT-band/Hip issues flared up in early May. Honestly, I wasn’t even sure I was going to make it to race day in one piece.

A lot of people told me I should stop training and not race. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? (Have you met me? I’m one of the most stubborn people you’ll meet.) Yes, these people were not tri people. Most of my non-triathlon friends think that I’m crazy for swim, bike, and running 140.6 miles on July 28th in Lake Placid, NY. Yes, I might agree with them. Only slightly though.

I knew the beginning of last year when I began training with the goal to become more competitive in my age group and competing at the 70.3 distance that the Ironman was in my future. It’s been a long journey with a lot of ups and downs, but in the end, I know that it will be worth it. I can’t wait to hear Mike Reilly tell me I’m an Ironman. I don’t care if I finish sub-12 (haha, in my dreams!) or 16:59. This race is just to finish and finish with a smile. (and not in the medical tent)

And then party my behind off afterwards! 🙂

I LOVE training. I love triathlons. I love being active. But, I know physically and mentally I need a bit of a break. I miss my friends. And I miss my poor neglected dog.

Tough life huh?

Tough life huh?

Other than that, I’m ready to race! Azul (my tri bike) had her race tune-up yesterday. She’s a thing of beauty at the moment. New tires, new cassette (decided to put on a 11-28 for IMLP), and a new chain. Let’s see how long this lasts…

I got in a good open water swim earlier this week and will finish up with a couple long (like 2 hours now!) ride this weekend. My running is finally coming along. I’ve been running with a new friend lately and he’s motivating me to run fast, which hasn’t occurred since May. I know my marathon at IMLP is probably going to be a slow crawl. If I could finish under 5 hours it would be a miracle! My goal is to run as far and long as I can until the knee decides she is done for the day and then continue with a run/walk method. Maybe some crawling too… hmmm, I think I’ll put knee pads in my special needs bag.

Story of my life...

Story of my life…

In other news, I am number 552 for the day! So for all you at home, you can track me via the Ironman website and send me good vibes throughout!

~ Happy Training!

Summer Reading

 

 

The Tower of Books

There’s no denying it, but I LOVE to read. My bookshelf is over flowing with books. Most I’ve read, but some I have not (yet). I have a bad habit of starting a book, but when a new, more interesting book is released then I jump ship and begin the new one. So I have a huge stack of half-read books sitting on my table next to my bed just begging me to finish their half-read stories.

I’ve decided I’m growing to tackle that ever-growing book stack, mostly because I’m afraid it may tumble over on me while I’m sleeping. Somehow death by book does not sounds like a fun way to go. So without further ado here is my summer reading list…

Summer 2013 Reading List

1. The Time Between by Karen White – I actually finished this book late last night. I read the entire book within 24 hours and it was just released this past week. I discovered Karen White a couple of years ago randomly at Borders. Her book The Lost Hours caught my attention because it was about horses. Anything about horses tends to get my attention. I purchased it, read it, and fell in love with her writing style. She is a Southern writer and writes about the South. I’ll be honest, I’ve always thought that I should have been a Southern girl. There is something about Charleston, South Carolina that just appeals to me. I’ve ever been there, but hopefully I’ll make the trip there soon. White’s stories are easy to read and fun. A perfect beach read in my opinion.

2. The Color of Light by Karen White – I just picked this up this week too because I haven’t read this one by White yet. By time this blog post posts on Monday I will probably have finished this book too. Love her writing!

3. The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing by Dr. Philip Maffetone – I started this book this past week but got interrupted by Karen White’s new book and thus put this book on hiatus momentarily. Maffetone is an internationally recognized researcher, clinician, coach, and author in the fields of endurance training, nutrition, and biofeedback. He was six-time Ironman winner Mark Allen’s coach for a long time. I’m interested in his philosophy of training and I plan on implementing some of his theories in my own training this coming Fall.

4. The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance by Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney – I’m a huge fan of podcasts, especially Vinnie Tortorich and The Fit, Fat, Fast Podcast. Both podcasts discuss living no sugar no grains (NSNG) lifestyles. The lifestyle intrigues me and I’ve been spending a lot of time recently researching the topic and will most likely making the change to my diet after Ironman Lake Placid. The Fit, Fat, Fast Podcast highly suggested this book and I look forward to diving into the research behind low-carbohydrate diets this summer.

5. Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It by Gary Taubes – This book came highly suggested by Vinnie Tortorich on his podcast. I started reading it and then got distracted by a couple of the above books. So far I have loved this book! It is easy to read, but yet contains a ton of scientific research. I’ve been suggesting this book to a couple of my clients because it is an eye-opener book.

6. Fit Soul, Fit Body by Mark Allen and Brant Secunda – I picked my signed copy of the book last year at the New England Triathlon Expo in Boston. Allen was the guest speaker. I read the first chapter and then put the book down for a while. I look forward to picking it up again this summer.

7. The Healing of America by T.R. Reid – This was actually a book that I read excerpts from for one of my public health classes. The book discussed various health care systems worldwide and what we can do here in America to make health care more affordable and better. I look forward to reading the book from cover to cover instead of specific chapters.

8. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot – As a science geek you’re surprised I haven’t read this yet. It’s been on my list to read for a while now. I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Henrietta Lacks is the source of the laboratory cell line used in hundreds of laboratories across the global for years called HeLa cells. They are actually considered a “lab weed” now because they often contaminate other cell lines. I’ve worked with cancer cell lines before and cell culture is an amazing tool used in research today and we can thank Henrietta Lacks for it. However, she and Henrietta’s family knew nothing about her “immorality” until 20 years after her death.

9. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte – I’m a huge fan of the classics and have been making an effort over the years to read a majority of the most popular ones. This one I picked up when I was in Montana in 2011 and just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

10. 1984 by George Orwell – Another classic. I started the book a couple of years ago and I guess got distracted again. I loved Animal Farm so I’ve decided that I need to read his other most known work.

11. Lance by John Wilcockson – I started reading this over a year ago. Got half way through it and just stopped. I’m not much of a Lance fan anymore. I wonder why? However, I still would like to finish reading the book. He definitely lived an interesting life; however, now I know how things end. Thanks Lance for giving away the ending.

12. How to Master the Art of Selling by Tom Hopkins – Part of being a personal trainer and coach is knowing how to sell yourself. Some people view people who sell themselves as not being humble. Well, if you want to make a living in this industry you have to be able to market yourself and tell people how much of a badass you are. I don’t have any sales background and it doesn’t come easy to me. My boss at the gym suggested I pick up this book and read it. I probably should have read it back in January, but this summer sounds like a good time too…

13. The Fate of Africa by Martin Meredith – I picked this book up during Border’s going out of business sale. I had the intentions of doing my internship for my masters in Africa, but unfortunately I couldn’t make that a reality. However, I am completely fascinated with Africa and hope to travel there soon. One of my main interests in public health is HIV/AIDS and global health. I have read about a quarter of the book, but it’s well over 700 pages long. Lots of history! It’s kind of a dry read, which is why I took a break from it. But I do love history. Hopefully, I’ll make progress in the book this summer.

14. GRE and Word Smart GRE – Yup, I’m studying to take the GREs again. I’m not 100% sure what my future plan entails. I just had an interview for a public health position that I would absolutely love and I’m crossing my fingers that I get the position! However, I am considering the option of going back to school if I can’t find a public health job soon. I took the GREs 5 years ago and now my scores are too old and thus have to re-take them. Yuck!

I have a feeling that I will probably find some other books to read in there somewhere (like Vinnie Tortorich’s book when that comes out!) and will probably not get to some of the above books. However, I really need to get through that stack before it becomes the leaning tower of books! Yikes!

What are you reading? Any good recommendations for summer reading?

~ Happy Training!

USAT Triathlon Coaching Level I Clinic

Ok, so this post is a little late. Like 6 weeks late. But, on the good news… I’m officially a certified USAT Level I Triathlon Coach! Yay!

It's Official!

It’s Official!

Back in April Jen and I took a road trip down to Short Hills, New Jersey for the two-day clinic. I’ll be completely honest, I was dreading the New Jersey location. I was thinking it was going to be in a super sketchy part of NJ and all the people living there were going to be right out of Jersey Shore. My worst nightmare! I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Short Hills is an absolutely gorgeous part of NJ! The streets were lined with sidewalks and trees. The houses were cute and nice. And holy heck the town was hilly! I always thought that NJ was pretty flat, but I guess not. Hence the town name of Short Hills. However, those hills were anything but short!

Day one of the clinic included lectures by all three of our presenters: Jesse Kropelnicki of QT2 Systems, John Petrush of Bay Shore Swim, and Shelly O’Brien of Icon One Multisport. The morning started off with two lectures on exercise physiology and nutrition by Jesse. I was super pumped when I first saw that Jesse was going to be a presenter at our clinic. He is one of the top coaches in the country and is someone who I highly look up too. I must admit that I was a wee bit disappointed with his lectures. Not because they were boring or bad, but because both topics were review for me.

Jesse Kropelnicki

Jesse Kropelnicki

After lunch Joe came in and discussed strength training and cycling skills and training with us. Joe is from Long Island and was your stereotypical Long Islander. He was very interesting to listen to. He was funny, but also very opinionated. His lectures were good. However, I disagreed with him on his view of strength training. He told us up front that we were completely welcomed to disagree with him on the topic since strength training for triathletes is still a rather controversial topic. His view was that “if it ain’t broke than don’t fix it.” He generally prefers not doing traditional strength training with his athletes unless they are injured. His approach with strength training is to do it within the swim, bike, run realm. For example, run or bike hill repeats to build leg strength. I can see where he is coming from. I agree that some strength building within each discipline is important, such as running hill repeats. However, I believe that traditional strength training should be part of an triathlete (or any endurance athlete)’s training plan. I don’t mean they need to do traditional body building style training. That would actually not be a favorable way to train. Can you see Arnold doing an Ironman? That poor carbon fiber bike doesn’t have a chance…

Joe Petrush

Joe Petrush

I much prefer functional training with bodyweight and TRX. Anyway, now that I have left on my tangent I will get back on track! The last lecture of the day was on swim skills and training by Shelly. Shelly is an amazing person to listen to and just a wealth of information. She was by far my favorite person to listen to (which is a good thing because she did all the lectures on the second day). Shelly made each lecture more interactive, which was awesome because sitting in a chair for 10+ hours a day is not my thing. I couldn’t sit for much of the time and kept shifting about in my chair. Secretly, I think all that sitting played a role in my IT-band/Knee/Hip issues.

After the first day Jen and I headed back to our hotel. I headed out for a quick 50 minute run. It was a bit drizzly out, but quite humid. The main roads in the area were busy and we found out quickly that New Jersey drivers were crazy so I headed out to run around the neighborhoods. The neighborhoods were cute and situated on some massively steep hills. Holy cow was my pace slow, but it was fun to run, essentially, hill repeats. After my run we hit up the Cheesecake Factory. It was my first time! Yum yum yum! I had the salmon with mashed potatoes and asparagus. And of course, Jen and I split some Cheesecake, cause ya know it was my first time and all…

Shelly O'Brien

Shelly O’Brien

The second day was another very long day of sitting. On the second day we discussed running, sports psychology and mental training, and how to build training plans. Unfortunately, most of the time Shelly ran out of time during each lecture because she just had so much to tell us. She gave us a bunch of awesome drill ideas for running and swimming. Some of which I have been trying on my own since then and also have incorporated some of them into my own clients training plans.

Everyone at the clinic came from various backgrounds and reasons why they were attending. Some were already experienced coaches and some are complete newbies. We had a few sports doctors and physical therapists too. It was fun to talk to different people and hear their thoughts on the sport and training. USAT recently changed their criteria to get into the clinic. It used to be the first 40 people to register would get into the clinic. Now you have to apply. Over 70 people applied for our clinic and they accepted 40 of us. I’m glad I made the cut!

Here are some interesting tidbits I learned while at the clinic from the various presenters:

  • There is generally a 4-16 beat difference in heart rate between running and biking (average is about 10 beats)
  • It usually takes about 20-30 minutes for the heart rate to settle down after the swim
  • Heart rate is important for training and power meters are important for racing
  • Train movements not muscles (aka functional training!)
  • When working with youth athletes (under age 10) work anaerobic first then aerobic capacity
  • Develop speed and endurance together
  • Develop various skill sets in each sport (i.e. drills)
  • There is no such thing as a good bike and a bad run in triathlon, especially long course!

My favorite is the last bullet point. It is the one that I have been learning over the past year with my coach. If you go out too fast and hard on the bike and burn all your matches then your legs and body are toast for the run. Words of wisdom right there kids!

Crossing the GW Bridge in NYC

Crossing the GW Bridge in NYC

~ Happy Training!

PS – If you’re looking for a triathlon coach then I hope you will consider me! 🙂

Changes

 

Happy Monday! 

Last week was rough for Americans with Boston and Texas. Let’s put the negativity behind us and remember that good always prevails over evil. #BostonStrong

There is a lot of changes going on over here… You’ve probably noticed the new layout already. It is the first of many changes coming through the pipeline. I apologize if anything around the site becomes finicky. I recently went self-hosted and this whole website/internet stuff is all new to me and actually quite difficult. Go figure.

Last week I spent 2 days in a classroom sitting for over 12 hours each day so I can officially become a USA Triathlon certified coach. I will post more about that later this week, but let’s just say that I’m super excited about coaching. Some of you might have noticed my website URL reflects the future of The Rhyme and Reason. I’m currently in the process of taking my test and writing up my business plan. I’m hoping for an official launch of Big Sky Multisport Coaching by the end of May! So stay tuned! 🙂

After my episode with the fever of 102 a couple of weeks ago my passion for training has been renewed. I’ve gotten back on the bandwagon. Training thus far as had it major ups and downs, mostly due to life stresses. This past winter I have been the sickest I’ve been in a very, very long time. It has not be fun and has played a major role in my lack of fitness lately. I’m just now starting to see some of my run and bike fitness coming back. I’ve been very frustrated with the process. The combination of taking last Fall off from injuries and being sick has definitely placed a toll on my fitness and also has affected me mentally. There are many days that I wonder if I will cross the finish line at Ironman Lake Placid this summer. I know I will. Whether it’s on my two feet or on my hands and knees, but I will cross that damn line.

~ Happy Training!

 

Managing It All: A Lesson in Time Management

 

On Saturday I mentioned in my post that I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by everything going on in my life currently. The whole work thing has been super stressful and trying to fit all my training in at the same time can be a bit, how should I put this? Complicated. I have been a bit unmotivated in my training lately because I’ve been exhausted. Both physically and mentally. I work what seems like a zillion hours, which of course is mostly by choice. I like to stay busy. I need to stay busy. It’s how I function. In some strange way I really enjoy running around with my head cut off like a chicken. Strange, I know.

Unknown-2

 

This past weekend was great for me. I crossed a majority of the items off my ever-increasing to-do list and it feels amazing! However, I keep adding more items. Opps! I had a chance to actually sleep. A sleep without having to wake up to an alarm clock to either go to work or train. I also did every single workout I had in TrainingPeaks this weekend! I even wore my TrainingPeaks socks I got from them on my run on Sunday! Yay! I love free socks! Actually, I really just love socks. I wear brightly colored socks at the gym all the time. Most of the time they never match either. I also enjoy wearing knee-high socks, but I have been recently banned from wearing them while working with clients. I guess we have a dress code now?

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Anyway, now that I’m done with my tangent on socks, I must say that I have learned an important lesson in time management. I’ve always been pretty good at it. I’m fantastic at multitasking and I often get my work done well in advance. I also work extremely well under pressure. Hello, Master’s thesis! Last night I sat down in front of my laptop with TrainingPeaks open and my appointment book open to schedule in my workout times. I also had various foods for the week cooking so I don’t have to cook every night.

 

My goal for the week – To do every single one of my workouts this week! NO excuses! As I previously mentioned the toughest thing for me is finding lap pool time open during times that I’m free (i.e. NOT working). I also need to focus on a better diet. Again, the toughest part for me is fitting in dinner since I go from one job to the next. Often times dinner for me isn’t until 9-10pm at night. I’ve gotten a lot better at eating healthier, more filling snacks throughout the day to keep me full until later in the evening, but my metabolism is not really enjoying it and thus the 5lbs that I have put on since August doesn’t want to come off. Of course, if I ever want to reach race weight by IMLP then I have a heck of a lot more to lose!

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(Source)

After this weekend I am mentally renewed. January is over and I’m fully ready to put my best foot forward training in February and beyond. If I ever want to get onto of any podiums this year then I need to focus on my priorities. Obviously a job is extremely important, but so is my training. Ironman is something that I really want to prove to myself that I can do. I was never amazing at a lot of sports like my sisters were growing up. I was okay at lacrosse, but not good enough for college. I rode horses and I will admit that I was pretty darn good at that, but if I ever wanted to compete with the best then I needed to train with the best. I could not afford that kind of training. Believe me, horses are crazy expensive! I’m okay at this whole triathlon thing. I’ve managed several top AG finishes and I’m starting to make my way up the ranks for overall women finishers but I’m nowhere near the best competitors nor where I want to be. I’ve always strived to be the best that I can. I believe that my best is yet to come and I think finishing Lake Placid will show me that I am capable to run with the big dogs in the future. And, perhaps I will fail at it. But at least I failed trying. But certainly, I won’t fail at trying to reach a dream.

~ Happy Training!

 

 

 

 

 

My 2013 Goals

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Yesterday’s post was all about how to set attainable goals. I’ve always been a very goal-oriented person. If I don’t have a goal then I get lazy. Setting goals is really how I got into triathlons. During th summer of 2009 I decided I wanted to be a cyclist on a whim. I would see cyclists ride their bikes by my house all the time and one day I decided that looked fun, plus cyclists seemed to be skinny (an added bonus). So I adventured out to a couple of local bike shops to look at bikes. Holy crap I was sticker shocked! I had no clue how expensive bicycles cost! My first bike was an entry-level road bike costing $900. Now, my tri bike costs more than my car! (Not that my car is worth much, except $1500 to fix it…)

So I started riding my bike, but I had no real goals. Then I heard about the Maine Tri for a Cure. Of course the 2009 race had passed by the time I heard about it so I decided 2010 would be the year I would become a triathlete. And the rest is history…

So here are my goals:

1. Become an Ironman! I don’t think I have to explain this one, but if I have to crawl my way to the finish line then I will!

2. Learn to piss on my bicycle! I just couldn’t get it done last year, but with 112 miles of cycling during Lake Placid then it needs to happen. I know I’m not racing my first Ironman for time or place, but I do have a time goal in mind so bathroom breaks will have to be limited unless necessary. Plus, I know you are all tired about hearing about it!

3. Increase my bike fitness and finally achieve the perfect VI so I can get an A from my coach! This past year I felt like my bike fitness lacked, but I really think I just got a reality check with my powermeter. However, I did learn how to ride my bicycle, aka spinning at a higher cadence in a lower gear and not grinding gears like I used to the previous year. My bike handling skills also need some improvement so I plan to work on those. Ideally, if I have some extra money then I would get a cross of mountain bike, but I’m not sure that’s going to happen any time soon. Also, I want to learn how to clean and tune my own bike (did you hear that Allspeed boys?!)

4. Focus on doing at least 10-15 minutes a day dedicated to mobility, soft tissue work, and core strength. Because I have issues with my hip and feet I need to focus on stretching out my tight calves and increase mobility in my hips and ankle. Foam rolling will also be a key player in keeping my muscles happy.

5. Continue learning and seeking out knowledge and advice from the leading health and fitness professionals so I can continue helping my clients and athletes reach their health and athletic goals. I absolutely love working as a personal trainer and coach. It’s a very rewarding experience.

6. Continue working on achieving a healthy body composition through proper nutrition and training.

So far 2013 has started off on a good foot, minus the fact that my Garmin Edge 800 cycling computer has died and won’t recharge. Hopefully the Garmin Customer Service people will have some good news for me because riding “naked” is no fun. I need my data!

~ Happy Training!

How to Set Attainable Goals

Happy New Years!

Ok, I know I’m a little late, but it’s the thought that counts, right? We’re six days into January and I already can’t wait for the snow to melt and summer to arrive. Time to dig out the cross-country skis though!

January 1st is the time that most people start setting their New Years Resolution. Many of them involve losing weight, getting healthier, and eating better. Statistics show that 64% of people who created Resolutions were still making a valid effort at the end of January, but 6 months later the number drops to only 44% of people.

Personally, I’m not one to make New Years resolutions. I perfer making goals and believe me, I have a lot of them! Goal setting is important in life and also in sports and fitness. Goal setting can be defined as a strategic approach to behavioral change by which progressive standards of success are set in an attempt to increasely approximate a desired standard of achievement. For example, an individual may chose the ultimate goal of successfully completely 10 pull-ups. In order to meet that ultimate standard of achievement, the individual may break the progress into smaller goals, such as completing 10 band-assisted pull-ups, followed by completing 2 strict pull-ups and 8 band-assisted pull-ups.

There are several different types of goals an individual can make.

Process goals are goals that an individual has a high degree of personal control over. For example, the amount of effort one applies during a workout is a type of process goal. Other examples include focusing on and keeping good exercise form and technique and/or positive attitude throughout an exercise routine. Process goals are important for maintenance of exercise behavior and success.

Outcome goals are goals that an individual has little control over. Outcome goals are exemplified by social comparison as in winning or in beating an opponent in a race. Outcome goals are great for individuals who are competitive; however, outcome goals present less probability of success compared to process goals.

Performance goals are more difficult to achieve than process goals and are typically based on a self-referenced personal performance standard for an individual rather than in comparison to another opponent. For example, a person may want to break the 20:00 mark in their next 5k or improve their maximal strength in the squat or bench press exercise.

Goals should be broken down into long-term and short-term goals. Short-term goals provide a strategy to achieve the long-term goal via attainable steps. A long-term goals should be a meaningful pursuit for an individual. The NSCA recommends that short-term goals be made effective yet challenging and has about a 50% chance of success. A short-term goal that is meaningless and/or not difficult enough will allow a person to go through the motions as opposed to investing real effort into attaining the goal.

When setting goals keep in mind the following:

Specific

Measureable

Action Oriented

Realistic

Time Bound

(also known as SMART)

Let’s look at an example. Jill is a sedentary women who weights 200 lbs. She wants to lose 10% of her bodyweight. Ten percent of her bodyweight is 20lbs. Because Jill is working with a personal trainer, she knows that losing 20lbs in one month is unrealistic and very unhealthy. Working with her personl trainer, she devised an effective goal and training plan. Her goal is to lose 20lbs in 6 months. The goal is realistic in that it is healthy to lose about 0.5-2lbs a week. Jill should lose 20lbs in 20 weeks, but she decided to give herself an extra 4 weeks in case she had a bad week or two. Jill and her trainer also created several process goals, such as replacing her normal Diet Coke with a large glass of water and keeping a positive attitude when working with her trainer.

So as many of you start making your 2013 goals keep in mind the above information. For the past week I have been writing up my 2013 goals in my triathlon, professional, and personal life. Of course, I have some lofty goals that I know I may never reach (i.e. KONA!), but it keeps me motivated to work hard in the mean time. Personally, I don’t think there is anything wrong with having some big dreams.

~ Happy Training!

Taking A Risk

“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” 
―   Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

I am not naturally a risk-taker in life. I’ve never gambled before unless you count the time I played poker with my Shawnee Peak boys back in my hey-day. I’m horrible at poker in case you’re wondering. However, I am fantastic at the game of Bullshit. As 2012 comes to a close in less than a month (Yikes!) I have been setting goals in triathlon, career, and my personal life for 2013 and beyond. I’m naturally a Type-A person. I need to plan. I need to have goals. I need to be on time. Or else I can’t function.

In 2013 I’m going to take a lot of risks in my triathlon, personal, and professional life. I guess you could say I’m nervous and sacred. That is probably an understatement because I’m really shaking in my boots about to poop my pants thinking about it. Okay, now maybe that’s an overstatement. But, I think you get the picture.

If you don't know what a Fainting Goat is then I highly suggest that you YouTube it!

If you don’t know what a Fainting Goat is then I highly suggest that you YouTube it!

Last week the PowerBall lottery was at an all-time record high and people were scrambling to buy their $2 lottery tickets for a chance to win a ridiculous amount of millions. I’ve never bought a lottery ticket before. I considered buying a PowerBall ticket last week, but logical told me that it was a fat chance in hell that I would ever win and I was wasting $2. I’m not a risk taker.

For a while I’ve been “putting my ducks in a line” for future ambitions. I have finally decided to take a risk and change some things that I have been unhappy about for a while, but have been too nervous and scared to change in my life. I’m taking a risk. I can’t say what it is yet, due to some loose ends I need to tie up before the New Year, but I’m excited. I’m finally going to bite the bullet and start to follow my dreams and passions in life.

Recently two people have told me that I will definitely succeed in my future goals because I am confident in myself and ambitious. One of them went as far as telling me that I’m one of the most ambitious and hard working persons he has met in a very long time and is impressed because I’m so young. Those comments from those two key people definitely gave me reassurance that I am making the best decision for myself and my happiness. What makes me even more happy is the fact my father is supporting my decision and is willing to help me if I need it. My father isn’t very supportive of my triathlon lifestyle so I was excepting him to lecture me on how I was making a bad decision, but I was surprised that he did not. I think he is realizing that I need a change of pace from my current path in life.

This past year I have begun to realize that sometimes you have to go with the unexpected. Sometimes life throws a curveball at you. Sometimes you strike out. Other times you might get a base hit and on a rare occurrence you might hit a home run. However, you’ll never get the opportunity to find out what you’re made of unless you get up to bat.

baseball

So, take a chance. Get up to bat and just swing. You never realize on how far your dreams can go unless you take that risk of striking out.

~ Happy Training! 

Tentative 2013 Race Schedule

Ok, so that picture just makes me giggle…

The next few weeks are going to be quite hectic and not because of the holidays. I made a good dent in my thesis paper this weekend and I need to buckle down this week and finish the rough draft by this coming Sunday to submit to my professor. I also need to work on my literature review too because I guess it wasn’t detailed enough. I’m a bit annoyed about that actually. I’ve never written a literature review before. Honestly, I find them quite useless. I have my own method of writing papers and it has been quite successful in the past. Why change it now?

Anyway, I’m glad Thanksgiving is over. It’s fun to hang with family, but I can generally only take them in small doses. We didn’t even spend Thanksgiving with my family. We ate dinner at my father’s girlfriends house with her entire family. It was interesting. I have my own crazy family and to be quite honest I’d rather not have to spend time with someone else’s crazy family. Don’t get me wrong, they are very nice people, but it was awkward to say the least.

Wednesday night I got my right hip adjusted by my chiropractor and it was very much-needed. It had been bothering me for the past week and I knew that it was “out.” She “prescribed” yoga for me. A lot better than drugs I would say! I hit up a hot yoga class yesterday at one of my favorite studios. It was awesome and left me feeling pretty relaxed afterwards.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my upcoming 2013 race season and have started putting together my tentative schedule. Here’s the current version at the moment and, of course, it is always subject to change.

2013 Race Season

2/3/13 – Mid-Winter 10-Miler Classic (Registered and revenge race after last year’s attempt at running it while sick)

3/3/13 – Irish Rover 5k

4/28/13 – Wallis Sands Half Marathon

5/4/13 – PolarBear Tri Sprint

6/9/13 – Pirate Tri Sprint

6/15/13 – Patriot Half Ironman

7/28/13 – Ironman Lake Placid (Registered)

9/9/13 – Pumpkinman Half Ironman

 

What races are you doing this year? I’m still sad that Mooseman is no more. 🙁 Although, it is now going to be run by a different race company, but I’m not sure on dates and if the course will be the same, etc. There is also going to be a new Olympic and Half distance race in Vermont the last weekend of June run by the same people who run the Patriot. If it wasn’t the same weekend as IMLP camp then I would probably consider it.

Official training begins January 1st! I made a comment to my boss at the gym on Friday that I was so out of shape after my run Thursday and he was like “are you kidding me?” Yeah, I am very swim, bike, run out of shape, but I can certainly kick butt at squats and chin-ups!

 

~ Happy Training!

 

How Bad Do You Want It

Recently I gave my two bosses at the gym my wish list of equipment I would like, especially for the expansion next year and the athletic conditioning area that will be built, and one of them made a comment that I wasn’t shy in asking for what I want. I’m very much the goal-setting and ambitious type. When I want something I go out there and make it happen through hard work. I know so many people who will constantly “talk the talk,” but they never follow through and “walk the walk.” I honestly find those type of people annoying. There are days I just want to smack them over the heads and yell “just do it all ready!”

Motivation is important in life, especially in the health and fitness world. I wrote a post about a month ago about the lack of motivation I witnessed in a boot camp class at the gym I went to previously. You have to be motivated to reach your health and wellness goals, whether it is a weight lost goal or a sports/performance goal. I always suggest to my clients during our first meeting to sit down and write a goal and why you want to reach it. Why is it important to you? Often times people have some deep meaning to their goals. I tell them that it’s not going to be easy. If you want to lose 20 lbs then you are going to have to work for it. It’s going to require some lifestyle changes and probably some blood, sweat, and tears. When you think you can’t do that last push-up then think about that goal and why you are doing this. Push yourself to do that last push-up. You will not regret it.

The mental aspect of fitness and athletic performance is an area of training that we don’t often think about. The human body is an amazing thing and is capable of much more than we believe it can do. The best athletes in any sport are the ones that can overcome the pain and mental barriers and push themselves to new limits. Most of the time we stop doing something because our brain is telling us to stop, but in reality we can do much more. We need to train our brains to become mentally stronger and be able to work through the pain. I think Ironman is a great example of this. How many times have you seen people push themselves past that pain just to cross that finish line and hear “You are an Ironman” only to collapse into a heap and be carted off to the med tent? What about Chrissie Wellington’s amazing feat at Kona in 2011 when she came from behind after a huge bike crash the previous week to win again? I think that is why I am so drawn to triathlons and Ironman in general. I want to put myself through a world of pain to see how far physically and mentally I can go. It’s not going to be easy, but I am going to put all my blood, sweat, and tears into and come July 28th I will see what I am capable of accomplishing.

I recently came across these couple of videos that I really liked. It reminded me that if I really want something then I need to work for it. I have a lot of goals. Many of them are very lofty and might never happen. But, they will certainly never happen if I don’t try to make them happen. If you want something bad enough you will work your ass off for it. No excuses.

My message today is find that why. Why do you want it? How bad do you want it? What are you willing to give up for it? Once you find that why, work for it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. It will be worth it at the end of the day. I promise.

So what is my why? My mother passed away 3.5 years ago from an extremely rare and horrific disease at the age of 52. It came out of no where. That event put things into perspective for me. It made me start to question what I truly wanted to do in life. My original plan in life was medical school, but I decided against it because I didn’t want to be $200,000 in debt for the rest of my life. It wasn’t until this year that I finally realized my dreams and what I wanted to do in my life that would get me out of bed every morning and go to bed every night satisfied. I want a career where I make a difference in someone’s life. I want a career that makes people realize that they are truly capable and deserving of reaching their dreams and that those dreams are worth fighting for. Most of all, I want a career that when it is my time to leave this planet I am satisfied that I left it making a difference and a better, healthier place. My why is that my mother wasn’t able to live long enough to continue making an impact on this planet so I want to make sure that I am living each day to my fullest potential. Every time I start to reach that dark place I begin to think of my why and begin to claw my way out. That is why I will work for it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I want it bad enough.

How bad do you want it?

 

~ Happy Training!