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"No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening--it's painful. Yet afterward, there exists a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way." Hebrews 12:11 I find myself at the end of this season, dissatisfied with the outcome, but discontent with the thought of making excuses. It took every day of nearly seven weeks to heal, rehabilitate, and bounce back into my training routine after my bike accident, and I think I managed better than I subsequently bounced off the the brick wall of an elevator shaft in Coeur d'Alene. Some mornings, I imagine I have fast forwarded into my 60s when I wake up as stiff and immobile as a log. Unfortunately, I'm quickly reminded by my 50-something husband that, in reality, I have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about. (One of the disadvantages of marrying someone older and "wiser.") It has also occurred to me how letting a race report go unwritten for a race that took place over a month

The Finish I Never Found

With every triumph, I suppose there exists the inevitable tribulation. When I decided to add the Race the River Sprint triathlon into my schedule, my purpose revolved solely around supporting a local race. I didn't need to wake up at 0300 to drive to Coeur d'Alene, I didn't need to prepare for Ironman 70.3 Canada by racing a small sprint triathlon, I didn't even need the excitement that comes with crossing the finish line. Yet I realized, when lying flat on my back at the intersection of Front and 6th streets, how much I felt deprived of the opportunity to cross it. I blame no one. Perhaps much of the blame belongs on me for taking the risk of racing even a small event the weekend before a race I've invested in so much more time and money. While I have not had the opportunity to confront the volunteer who communicated (or didn't) with the driver of the truck that entered my path as I flew down Front Street at what must have been at least 25mph on my brand new

Ironman Coeur d'Alene 70.3 Breakthrough

I struggle to convey the emotions that finishing the CDA 70.3 last weekend inspired. When I finally found the finish line at the bottom of Sherman Avenue, I reminded myself to turn to the spectators for inspiration. Pumping my arms, gesturing with my hands to suggest the sidelines sounded too quiet, and signing "thank you" with a smile on my face, I entered the finisher's chute to the announcer's voice. His exclamation clear and loud, I heard I crossed the line as first amateur woman. Suddenly, it seemed the heavy feet I'd worked hard to carry swiftly over the pavement through Coeur d'Alene subtly left the carpet. While this moment did not quite fulfill the vision I have longed to act out (of me grabbing the tape and holding it overhead), it certainly stands out as a significant step in my quest to race to my utmost potential. Looking back on my race performance, not much stands out in the swim worth wasting too much time explaining. I am thankful I have n

Victoria 70.3 Grand Finale

From atop Mount Finlayson After three consecutive years of ferrying up to Sidney and driving south into Saanich and Victoria for this Ironman 70.3, Bryan and I have decided this race will mark the last Victoria experience we have for awhile. Yes, the scenery, sites, greenery, and significant agricultural lure continue to interest me, but the population growth, horrendous traffic, and deteriorating roads do not. We marveled at the changes that took place in just three years. For the race this year, race directors moved the start and finish back to the north end of Elk Lake. This allowed for an improved swim, both because of cleaner waters and a more accurate swim course distance. They also maintained the single loop of cycling, which traversed all types of roads and took us through nearly every type of environment this small peninsula of British Columbia has to offer. I appreciated the scenery of this course with the stretches of thick, lush forests that enveloped the road. Finall

Troika Olympic Triathlon

I had plans to write this post no later than one week post race with the idea that I could say it took that long to let my fingers thaw and regain the dexterity to type again. As I sit in a hotel room in Mount Vernon and prepare to depart for Sidney, BC on a ferry in the morning nearly two weeks after Troika, I realize that now, my fingers have not only thawed but actually sport a bit of bronze from the sunshine that radiated down upon us all last week. Leave it to a busy race schedule to hold me accountable to writing my race reports. Leave it to Mother Nature to remind me of the unpredictability of Spokane spring weather. I remember thinking last weekend while riding across sun-soaked pavement how hot I felt, sweat trickling down my face. On the wet and cold Saturday morning Troika Triathlon (sprint, Olympic, long and duathlon courses) happened to fall upon, my sweat mixed freely with beads of water, both falling out of the ski and splashing upon me from passing cars. To marvel at

Ironman St. George 70.3 Race recap

Even before this race began on what happened to be a relatively calm, Saturday race morning, I  struggled mentally. After a meaningful conversation with my coach Friday night over the phone, I sat down and wrote out 10 goals that I planned to use to keep myself focused on each part of the race. Because I'm currently reading Joanna Zeiger's book, The Champion's Mindset,  and because I just finished the part of her book emphasizing the ways athletes can benefit from writing goals, I felt inspired to do it myself.  My goals fell into one of three categories related to procedure, performance, and outcome.  Procedural goals: Glide through the water; blow water out your mouth. Don't swallow air. Stroke the bike pedals efficiently; use more of my butt than my quads. Count my pedal strokes and footfalls when my mind wanders.  Drink at least 3/4 of your bottle loaded with 800 calories of F2C Glycodurance. Ignore the heat and concentrate instead on your foot

Growing Pains

Note: This post has frustrated me considerably over the past 3 weeks, primarily because I cannot quite convey what I want to with the words that keep appearing on this sheet. I wonder if I was ever meant to post it. Yet if nothing else, it will serve as a reminder for me months or years down the road about how I felt leading up to a race with such uncertainty gnawing at my brain.  --- A lot has transpired since February: I've replaced my snow skis for my bicycle. I've "raced" the St. Paddy's Day 5-miler in March and Negative Split 10k earlier this month. Finally, the extra time I have devoted to training has actually encouraged me to do more research on how I should spend my time while not training. I have focused on revamping my diet and determining when and what to eat between workouts, how to also fit in recovery and rest, bolstering and growing my mental strength, and establishing a physical strength routine that will hopefully stave off injury in the fu

BRRC Partners in Pain 5k

A month of skiing on Mt. Spokane nordic trails has embellished this winter for Bryan and me. Yet the opportunity to test our running legs (that have only enjoyed the whirring belt of the treadmill since November) seemed like a great way to experience this Partners in Pain 5k event held at the West Central Community Center last Saturday. A wet and slushy snow had fallen the Monday prior, and Bryan and I wondered about the conditions of the roads. We promised each other taking risks on finishing an early season race did not take precedence over potentially sacrificing the fitness and strength gains we've worked hard to achieve so far this year. Luckily, warmer temperatures descended upon Spokane, melting snow and clearing roads faster than some of the snowplows. Granted, the longest stretch of the course likely benefited from early snowplow attention, as cleared pavement allowed runners the chance to gain speeds not quite attainable elsewhere. During our warm up, which consisted

Glide Pole, Glide Pole

If the number of skiing selfies serves as any indication of our dedicated efforts to traverse Mt. Spokane multiple times each week, then I can assure you that yes, we have successfully embraced the challenges of the sport of skate skiing and continue to enjoy the benefits so far. Barring a swollen ankle and a sore knee, we have driven down the mountain each outing with fewer complaints to tell about than successes. Actually, it seems our efforts to keep track of the temperatures and grooming conditions has proven more of a challenge than anything we've yet encountered. Last week, the snow that never seemed to stop falling out of the sky made the groomer's attempts to provide fresh corduroy for skiers difficult. On at least two occasions, Bryan and I found ourselves on what the website described as "freshly groomed trails" to actually look (and more importantly feel) like 4 to 5 brand new inches of snow. Even our skate skies would not glide very far through that much s