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Showing posts from 2019

What do a bruised ego, hormones, and sleep have in common?

Photo by FinisherPix   It would not feel like the end of a season if a post reflecting upon the good and bad of the previous year did not conclude it. My coach asked me to write down a few of my positive thoughts regarding my racing experience as a newly minted professional (supposedly). I have to admit, there exists far too few of them to really devote more than a paragraph of attention to them. However, I can think of at least one aspect of this year to dwell on, one precedant for which I am most happy. Though I did not feel ready to jump into competition this year, I did it anyway. I am willing to bet that many thought I should have waited at least another year, too. If I learned anything, though, I learned that I don't have to quantify my success by my race results. For me, success looked like putting my ego aside, taking two steps backward, and attending to a few more pressing issues first.  One of those most demanding issues involved my knee, which likely origin

Noosa Triathlon - The Grand Finale

I looked out into the surf and watched the waves churn and roll, crash, then churn and roll again. Supposedly, I signed up for this, along with the 7000 other athletes who stood on the shore with me, questioning their own sanity. These Aussies grew up swimming in this insanity on the daily, and their numbers far exceeded that of my fellow Americans. Nevertheless, I puckered up my American ass and tried to stand tall and confident to the waves. I watched Natalie Van Coevorden scheme and plan her strategy, pointing out toward the buoys. Not until the gun went off did I realize that plan involved running at least 100 meters down the shoreline before we jumped into the water. Interesting. I never would have thought to do that, considering my open water swimming experience in ocean rip and waves is virtually non-existent. When confronted with a situation such as this, I have learned to fake it. Pretend I know what I'm doing. I can do it. I can swim with the best of them. Then I jump

IM 70.3 Shanghai, China

When we landed in Shanghai just before 6pm, local time, we did not anticipate another hour and a half of driving to our destination on Chongming Island. Exhausted and hungry, we seemed to accept the news with relative ease on account of gratitude that all our luggage and bikes had arrived unscathed. Driving for as long as we did through the dark in unknown territory, it felt slightly unnerving when the driver started to slow as we approached the hotel. I got the impression this hotel was situated off the beaten path, and when we awoke the next morning to look out our window, my suspicion was confirmed. A look outside our window revealed an orchard down below, and a walk outside the front door revealed a large sanctuary for birds and two large fish ponds. I marveled at the blue sky above and the sunshine that reached me down below. Two of these features we did not experience in Xi'an, and how grateful I felt to witness them so soon into this second adventure.  While this

Ironman 70.3 Xi'an

I have put off writing this report long enough. What actually bothers me so much to keep me from writing about this race, I do not know. It wasn't until I read  Michelle Vesterby's  Instagram post after her recent 4th place finish at Ironman Italy this past week that I finally decided to start compiling my thoughts for this report. She said, "...A s long as you’re enjoying the process there’s nothing called a ‘bad result’ or a waste of time... and sharing the journey with others makes it 💯 % more enjoyable." My first time in China, I only had the experiences and accounts of others to prepare me for what I witnessed. Getting through airport security likely contributed the most to my anxiety. Upon landing, the air quality came in second. Bryan and I arrived in Xi'an just after midnight on Thursday morning. We waited so long for our checked baggage to arrive that we probably could have eaten an entire meal while we waited. Neither of us really expected any less

Healthy Granola

There's a lot of eating going on around here lately. If you know me well, then your eyes are probably bulging from your sockets knowing how much I already eat on the daily. I eat a lot. In fact, I quickly grew accustom to comments from friends, coworkers, and family that sounded something like, "You're going to eat ALL  (drawn out, of course) of that?!" "You're eating again?!" " Didn't you just eat an hour ago?!" Yes. Yes. And, why, yes. Bryan had been requesting some more granola, something I had made regularly a couple years ago but stopped because oatmeal satisfied my breakfast needs and snacking habits. Then, a friend and coaching client gave me a recipe her grandmother used and asked for a healthier version. I suppose my definition of healthy may vary from that of others, but if it includes whole ingredients, healthy fats, and unprocessed sugars, it passes my test. Here, you'll find I used butter (yes, REAL butter) ins

Another local goodie: Priest Lake Olympic Triathlon

I let four years go by without coming back up to Priest Lake to race one of my local favorites. The Race Director, Ken Eldore, reminded all of us just prior to race start of the horrendous air conditions of the past couple years due to wildfires and smoke. To survive the variability speaks highly of a race that celebrated its 10-year anniversary this year, and it seemed Mother Nature did her best to celebrate the accomplishment, too.  Mild temperatures, slightly overcast skies, and calm waters greeted me race morning. Bryan and I opted to ride our bikes the short 3 miles from our accommodations just off Highway 57 to the race venue so we could avoid the parking headache that trying to maneuver a big truck along a narrow road can sometimes create. It served as a great warm up before we racked our bikes in transition and made our way down to the water's edge.  The nostalgia of this race site gets me every time, as memories of walking the same path as a kid with my parents an

Back to racing a local goodie: CDA Triathlon

Never pass up the formal invitation to experience pain. Ever since I ran across the finish line in Santa Rosa, I looked forward to getting back to Coeur d'Alene for the Scenic (Olympic) Challenge Triathlon. Under new ownership and direction this year, the race boasted a few new perks I did not want to miss out experiencing. Rob Liddicoat and his crew (I cannot possibly forget Katy Beck) went above the expectations of many and surprised us with quality race shirts, beautiful medals, fantastic post race food by Cosmic Cowboy, thirst quenching beer, and to top it all off, a ferry ride out to the swim start positioned 1500 meters off shore. I had no excuse to swim off course when the buoy line directed me straight for the arch on the beach to indicate the swim exit. As the only professional woman racing, I was granted the opportunity to start with the first wave of gentlemen, and I accepted the invitation. It turns out the last time I did this race in 2012, I had purchased my first b

Rookie Move #2: IM 70.3 Santa Rosa

Photo courtesy of Higgybaby Photography My ass has sufficiently healed, so I thought it prime time to divulge a few thoughts from IM 70.3 Santa Rosa nearly 2 weeks ago. No, the use of my fingers really does not depend on the status of my saddle sores, but they do type what my brain chooses to think, so here we go. I may have taped down every possible part of my bike I thought might fly off on account of rough roads. I even considered using double-sided tape on my saddle to keep me from getting bumped off my seat. (True story. The effective "stick" of Gorilla brand tape made it quite nearly impossible to pull myself off the seat, however, so I opted against its use on race day.) Though I did not lose any physical components of my bike or myself out there on Santa Rosa's heinous roads, I definitely lost a bit of my sanity. That was crap, Ironman/WTC/Wanda Sports. Complete. Crap. To make excuses, though, would be an insult to the stellar ladies who rode ahead of me,

Free coaching giveaway!

Ironman Canada 2018 As we sit in the middle of July, I think about how the first part of this year has played out and wonder how the remainder of my season will unfold. I figured there must exist others in a similar position as mine, and I wanted to extend the opportunity for a free 4 month trial of coaching to anyone interested in applying. You will have the opportunity to see how I can help guide you through the process of preparing for a race, tackling a weakness, or improving an aspect of training you have perhaps otherwise struggled to conquer on your own. Answer 5 questions and submit before the August 1st deadline. I will select 2 applicants for a 4-month period of free coaching using Training Peaks as a platform for communication. Weekly input will be provided, and further communication will be maintained through email, text, and phone calls. Another perk exists! For every person you refer to me, I will include an additional month of coaching at no cost to you. Finally,

Pro debut: CDA 70.3

I knew this year of racing would be rather underwhelming, probably frustrating, definitely humbling. Yet my optimism for growth in the sport propelled me to toe the line at CDA 70.3 anyway, even when I knew my body did not quite prove physically ready to perform at its best. I have spent the last two months trying to incorporate the run technique Jay Dicharry taught me back in Bend at the end of April. My body has seemed to pick up on the different run form, and my knee seems to respond well, for the most part. Yet continued pain persists, and an overarching lack of power and run fitness has left me falling well short of my typical race paces and capacity for sustaining said speed over longer bike rides and runs. My head has not found great confidence in mediocre training days. While I have remained consistent in the pool, enjoying the sunny days at Witter Aquatic Center with my coach, Derek, and other training friends, Sunday morning's race start exposed a serious shortcoming

Slowing way, way down and attending to the fundamentals

Working on my left VMO with a closed-chain, functional exercise for knee extension, while paying close attention to my right foot and the work of my foot intrinsics to ground my first metatarsal head and keep my arch off the floor.  In high school, I remember devoting twenty to thirty minutes of the beginning of every morning's piano practice to playing scales before delving into larger pieces. This was before triathlon ever entered my world, when my outlet for competition involved preparing three to four pieces each year to perform in front of an adjudicator in MusicFest Northwest, held at Gonzaga University every May. So tedious the attention to fine motor control, phrasing, and timing did practicing my scales on the piano contribute to better performance of larger and robust masterpieces. If you read my blog post from April 3rd about getting back to focusing on the basics , when I pulled out my scale to better come to terms with what actual serving sizes look like and h

When food hits the scale

We have all experienced our own forms of adversity at one point (or many times) in our lives, but have you yet succumb to the harsh reality of portion control? More specifically, do you really know how much, and in what proportions, of food you serve yourself each day? My gut-clenching episode occurred in the kitchen back in January while standing over the small scale I have had stored in my junk drawer. I never should have asked myself just how many grams of peanut butter constitutes a single serving (apparently 32g is pretty standard for nut butters). I tared a small plate before plopping a scoop of what I perceived to be my desired serving size, only to watch the digital numbers escalate well past one serving. Actually, well past two. After letting out one (or two?) mild expletives, I decided I had two options. I cheat myself with whimsical delusions and eat what and how much I want, continuing to wonder if I am meeting my nutritional needs each day. I challenge myself to pay clo