Wednesday, September 29, 2010

'Tis the Season!

for trainer rides, that is. It's getting light so much later. And there's a chill in the air. In an effort to maximize training time, between work and (other) play, this is how my mornings are shaping up, ya know, when I'm not swimming a couple miles before the sun rises...

 And I'd forgotten how much I sweat on the trainer! sheesh.

Tomorrow morning I leave for Myrtle Beach for Halfmax Championships, which serve as the Long-Course 2011 World Qualifiers. By Sunday, I should be reporting whether I'm part of Team USA.

And that kinda scares the shit out of me. I haven't really been nervous about racing this year. And the pressure is self-induced, but I guess I have something to prove. to myself. So I'm hoping the hard work pays off. For the next couple days, I'll be resting and hydrating and race prepping!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Can you hear me?

My morning run was absolutely fabulous. It was about 54 degrees. And breezy. I went out and at about the 2 mile mark, I was a couple minutes ahead of typical time to get there. And by the 3.5 mile mark, it was four and half minutes. And I just felt light. And good. And I'm going into taper week...for the qualifier for ITU 2011 Long-Course World Champs.

But yesterday....Yesterday was a different story. I woke up feeling crappy. And ill.

I get a little too cerebral at times. And I listen to a lot of music. And I like to read. And I enjoy bouncing ideas off others. I find it healing to discuss issues with those I find to have some experience. Or insight. Or knowledge.

So, as I was telling a friend of mine about my busted up self-esteem (and he was attempting to build it back up) I leaked out that I am not one who wishes to re-build myself with the compliments of others. I know (because I learned the hard way) that I can't cling to another's sense of my worth to gain self-worth. And I was sent this quote.
"Self esteem is your capacity to recognize your worth and value despite your human flaws and weaknesses. Your value as a person isn't earned; it isn't conditional; can't be added to or subtracted from. Your essential worth is neither greater or lesser than that of any other human being. It can't be. Self-esteem is about being, not doing. You have worth simply because you're alive" - Terrence Real

And while I could come up with a million little arguements to negate this claim, it led me to much as I don't want someone else to help rebuild my self-esteem, I am more than willing to allow someone else to tear me down. Where's the logic in that? I have allowed nearly every ounce of the good things I feel about ME to go down the toilet because.... why? Because someone I loved felt like I was worth walking away from. And that I wasn't worthy of following through on. And that all the little promises were just words. And everything that was meant to be was just a lie. And I guess I let that sink in too deep.

But one person has never made me into someone. And one person can't keep me from being someone. So maybe I'm just vascillating?

I find myself swinging from angry to numb. And when I'm angry, I want someone to blame. And who's the easy target? Him. But it's not reality. I have allowed it. I am to blame. And, yet, I'm the only one who can forgive myself.

But, just in case you read this, this is what I want to say to you almost every day.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


So, while there are moments when I have the "i haven't screwed up, i've just learned" attitude, there are also times when i have the "if life ain't beautiful without the pain, well, i'd rather never ever see beauty again" kinda attitude.

And, admittedly, I've felt the latter on more than one occasion this last week. I absolutely hate saying this. or typing it, but...

(gasp!) I've lost my love for the bike.

I miss the feeling of weightless speed and climbing hills with ease. and feeling as though I could ride for hours on hours. And I really, really miss having fun riding. I miss laughing so hard I didn't think about the pain in my legs or my lungs. All my buddies are through with their tri seasons. And I have a little over a week remaining until HalfMax. I hate to say this too, but I'm looking forward to being through with structured training for a bit.

I have been getting back on the trainer for some focused rides, particularly since the light is dwindling quickly with the coming of fall. But even then, I'm just getting the workout in and sweating. So I can, hopefully, pull off one good last race.

The real struggle isn't so much the training. It's the pressure that I put on myself to perform. It's becoming a bit much. The fear of failure. The fear that I won't be as good as I know I'm capable. It's giving me major anxiety. I'm worried that my life issues of the summer have interfered with my training and mentality and that I've allowed something to keep me from living up to my potential. And now it's too late to hunker down and get any more fit. Long hard workouts will do nothing to help me now. And will only hurt. So, I think the real challenge of this next race is completely mental. I have to learn to believe. And trust. I've put in the work. Now, I just have to not allow the recent self-esteem beating to interfere with racing.

Friday, September 17, 2010

On failure

To quote Thomas Edison, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that don't work."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sunflower Rev, Night Running, the last tri of the season and other stuff

  - The weather for the Sunflower Revolution 100k was pretty damn perfect. I lost the lead pack fairly early on, but ended up working with a group of guys. We picked up a couple and dropped a couple throughout the course.  I ended up second female overall and finished in 2:41.great race. great course. Amazing food afterward.

 - My teammates totally rocked it out at Rev 3 in Sandusky, taking top male and female ametuer and nearly everyone finishing under 11 hours. Crazy fast people!!

 - There is something about the stillness. The darkness. It makes the miles and hours pass by in a flash. And the hills pass easily underfoot. It's silent except for the trees rustling in the wind and the sound of my footfalls. There is nothing to distract me from focusing on my form save the other thoughts scratching at my skull. Businesses are closed and the stars are just a little bit brighter. I breathe easier. And I feel like I have all the time in the world. This is night running. And I think I'm addicted.

 - There's one last race for me for the season. i think. I have Halfmax, to qualify for Long Course Worlds in 2011. And I'm kinda ready for the tri season to be over. Just a couple more weeks. But there is always the possibility of the Great Floridian full tri. I'm torn as to whether to go for it.

 - And that's because I want to do an ultra. And I'm committed to a 24 hour ROGAINE in November.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


After a very hot and humid summer in Cincinnati, the weather has finally broken. And we have some relief!

It's amazing!

I mean, it suddenly feels easy to breath on a long run. Shoes don't weigh an extra 3 pounds after a few miles. In fact, morning rides actually require arm warmers. OK, maybe they aren't required, but it's definitely more comfortable with them.

I'm loving it. Hopefully it holds for the 100k Sunflower revolution ride in the morn...and more importantly, for all my teammates racing Rev 3 tomorrow. So many of these guys have been an incredible part of my training and life throughout the last year.  Also a shout out to Holly racing Worlds in Budapest and Scott, my uber super Triple T partner, doing IMWI.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Balancing Act

All of life is an experiment, right? And it  takes practice to get it right. And with experimentation and practice, lessons are learned. If there's anything I've learned through my little dance with triathlon is that balance is key. We have to balance focus on three different sports, making sure to not dedicate too much time to one aspect or risk taking away key fitness and speed of another activity. Even with the aid of a coach (or three), it can become daunting. And just when we think we have everything in it's place, life happens and throws everything off-kilter.

For example, early in the season, I dedicated a LOT of training time to the bike. And my bike splits improved dramatically! But my run seemed to suffer. Then, I got discouraged with the results from one race and some life events and my motivation plummeted. I'm ramping it back up, but I'm also trying to remember to throw in some key "fun time".

So, over the long weekend, I went camping down at Red River Gorge, where hiking ensued (yes, that is toothpaste on my shirt, thankyouverymuch)...
and a little knife throwing was done (maybe it's best to not ask)...
and amazing views were seen...
and great company was had (it only looks as though I'm trying to escape :))...

And upon arrival back home, it was to the Cleves Time Trial and out for morning runs and to masters swim practice for some hard work and back to work for a paycheck. Sometimes, it's great to have the kind of weekends that don't involve swim-bike-run and instead include fish 'n' chips and climbs and no showers and lots of laughs, ya know, to help maintain the balance, until life interrupts again.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


That pretty much describes my life right now.

I think it started last Thursday at swim practice. Aaron gave us some crazy sets, seemingly impossible for me. And I made them! (as did a few others) and he was so stoked at the end of practice, he was shouting "now that was INSPIRED swimming!" I'm not sure what was in his G2 that morning...or maybe he really is just a sadist.

Now that I'm thinking about it, maybe the inspiration began before that. I took a chance on something and walked away surprised. In a good way. Ok, maybe a great way. So, I bought my first lottery ticket on Wednesday.

And didn't win shit. But it was my dad's birthday. And we ate Mexican.

So, Thursday, I stopped by my old landlord's house to pick up a package that had been delivered to my old place. And don't ya know, the strangest conversations occur when you aren't expecting them... She and her husband shared something with me that left him crying, her gushing and me wiping tears. In a good way.

So I had a lot to think about on my long run Friday before work. And as I laid in bed that night, I made a deal with myself that if I got up and ran a 5k in the morning and did well, I could go to Brew Ha Ha that night. So, I got up and ran. And I won that 5k!

Sunday, I went down to Ironman Louisville to watch some friends at the finish. I got to see Bree Wee finish with huge smiles and high fives. And I saw men so full of excitement that they nearly knocked over the finish line volunteers. I saw people collapse and get wheeled off to medical. I watched couples embrace, overcome with the emotion that is Ironman...

I had forgotten. Sometimes, we get so jaded because we do this all day every day. And we surround ourselves with others that do the same. We demand more from ourselves. We want to be faster, stronger, better. It's never enough. Sometimes, we forget that what we do everyday is actually pretty amazing.

This was the first time I'd had the opportunity to watch the finish of such an event. And I found myself weeping, watching. It brought back the feeling of crossing that line for the first time. Or even the second. And it made me wat it again. We do it every day, but it's such a special feeling of accomplishment. One long day of swim-bike-run and you walk away a different person.