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Ok, ready to hear me rant?

So like a month or so ago I had one of the most infuriating conversations of my life. One of the guys from the kickball team I played on in the fall and I got in an argument. He told me that I was “unathletic” because I can’t really catch or throw a ball. Now, I really can’t catch or throw a ball and I am pretty uncoordinated when it comes to sports like that but I told him that there is a big difference between being uncoordinated and being unathletic.

Him: You’re not good at sports so you are not athletic.

Me: Are you out of your mind? I train for hours and hours every week, I am most definitely athletic.

Him: You don’t play sports, you’re not an athlete.

Me: I swim, I bike, I run. There are 3 sports right there…

Him: Those aren’t sports, that’s exercise.

Me: (starting to get really pissed) Of course those are sports! They are athletic events where athletes compete against each other. You are so ignorant! Someone who does a triathlon is a triATHLETE. I am 3 times the athlete that you are.

Him: Well you haven’t done one yet. (only valid point of the entire conversation)

Me: Fine that is true but I train so hard and I will do one. I’ve run plenty of races. You can’t even run a mile!

Basically neither of us would concede and the conversation ended in an “agree to disagree” way. But that’s not fair! I am right! I’m not just being stubborn here. Triathlon is a sport. Running is a sport. I am athletic. And that guy is an idiot. All facts.

Ughhhh. Ok, rant over. So freaking frustrating though. I do have to say though, it does fuel me to want this even more and work even harder. One day when I am an Ironman (2.4mi swim, 112mi bike, 26.2 mi run) and he is sitting on his fat ass playing video games we will see who is more of an athlete.

Anywayyyyyy….I do have some important news:

1) I went to the doctor today because my knee was bothering me. Turns out it’s my IT band. Physical therapy starts Monday. Tonight I foam rolled my IT band after my workout and it was pretty much the most painful thing ever. Yikes.

2) I started working with a fantastic Triathlon coach! Her name is Kim—she has a blog too and hers is way cooler than mine because she is pretty freaking awesome—1st female amateur and 6th overall female finisher of an IRONMAN. Pretty much my hero. I’m feeling really great about this, the workouts so far have been tough but fun. I know that with her help I will really be able to push myself and realize my potential.

Ok guys, have a good night!

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Hi guys! Boy the past few days have been a WHIRLWIND. I left my house at 6am Thursday morning, spent all day on a plane flying out to Arizona, went to a million meetings, and then back to the airport. My plane didn’t land last night until just after midnight and I didn’t get back to my house until 1:15am…

Fast forward 5 hours and I was falling out of bed to get ready for my FIRST RACE OF THE SEASON!! An 8.1 mile run.

I wore my compression socks on the plane to try to help but I definitely did NOT drink enough water and I think I was a little dehydrated going into the race. Not only was I exhausted but it was 23* and a hilly course. Things started out ok but my legs were heavy and my stomach wasn’t feeling too great. I felt like I was working so hard and at one point I looked down at my Garmin thinking I was going too fast only to see that I was doing a 9:45 min/mile. Ha. Guess not… Since it was so cold I wasn’t getting thirsty and just skipped the first 2 water stations (bad move, I know) and then around mile 5 I started getting really dizzy just started feeling really bad. I took some gaterade from the water station, took one sip, and it immediately threatened to come right back up. I took 3 cups of water and walked a little bit and drank them all which was just so miserable in the freezing cold. I kept trucking along but did walk a little bit during mile 6. During those 2 miles I was just so focused on not puking all over myself that I don’t even know how my legs or lungs felt! Then at mile 7 right when I didn’t know how I would make the final stretch an older man came out of the crowd like an angel and started talking to me….he really pulled me along and before I knew it, I could see the finish line!

I finished the race (my Garmin read 8.22 miles) in 1:21, so a 9:52 mile…by far the slowest I have ever run a race. I crossed with a smile on my face though and that is all that matters.

If you had asked me at any point during the 2nd half of the race how it was, I would have said that it was absolutely horrible, that I have no idea why I run or race. Then, as soon as I cross the finish line I remember why: it’s because the feeling you get when you accomplish something is just unbelievable. At least for me it really doesn’t matter how fast I went, I completed it! I did something that most people can’t or won’t. I did the best that I could do on that day and that is more than enough. And really, if it was easy and I didn’t have to work for it or train for it, I don’t think that feeling would be quite as sweet.

And the best part is…the race wall is growwwwwwing:

So the 2 questions I most frequently get when I tell people that I am training for a triathlon are 1) Why? and 2) How do you do it??

So yeah, it’s definitely tough. My first Tri is 3 months out and I have been following a 16 week training plan which means that I have been fully immersed in tri-training for a month already. Not to mention the “base training” I’ve been doing since the New Year. Training for 3 different sports as well as strength training takes up a lot of time and on top of working a 40+ hour work week there is no way to avoid 2-a-days. I typically do them 3-4 times a week and I’m not going to lie, a lot of times it is brutal. Like yesterday I swam a mile over my lunch break and then biked for an hour after work. Today I did my lifting routine for an hour before work and ran 7 miles (1:08=9:42 ave) after work. This is obviously draining both mentally and physically but honestly sometimes I think the worst part is having to shower twice a day! Brutal.

So how do I do it? Well here are some tips:

1) Just take it one step at a time. I try really hard to just focus on what I am doing and not think about what I did earlier in the day or what I still have to do later on. This way I try to focus all my energy and attention on the task at hand. Obviously this doesn’t always work…like tonight when I was running along at a snails pace and literally almost faceplanted when I tripped over my own feet and thought “well yeah, probs cause you lifted like a bajillion lbs this morning…” As much as I can though, I just try to live in the moment. Also, I remind myself that as hard as it is now its going to be oh so much harder on race day when I have to do all 3 sports back to back, so I should enjoy this while I can.

2) Think of it as training. This is completely a mental trick but when I think “I have to exercise or workout twice today” it is much more demoralizing than if I say “I have to train twice today.” By thinking about it as training instead of just exercise, I can focus more on the big picture. Like if I skip a workout, whatever, but if I skip a training session, crap…I need that to make me stronger for the race. Does that make sense? Probably not, my mind is a scary place.

3) Think about how good you will feel when it’s done.

4) Recover after each workout. I’ve learned the hard way how important it is to streeeeetch ASAP after a workout. Whey protein powder has become my best friend.

5) Motivational quotes. I just love them so much. Here’s a good one: “Whenever you have a bump in the road, whether it’s two weeks or two years, there are so many naysayers. Let it fuel you. Don’t take it personally. Go out and prove them wrong.” I also like this one: “The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.”

6) Write out a training schedule. I do this and then mark down my average and max HR after each workout so I can use that for analysis. When I skip a workout I have to cross it out. Being the Type-A, OCD person that I am it kills me to see things crossed out on my calendar like that so it’s usually just worth it to do the workout for my sanity.

7) Remember old races. Tonight I was really not feeling my run even though I knew I had to do it. So I put on my shirt from the Marshall Mangler race to remind me of just how tough I am. If I can run 5 miles through the woods with my leg bleeding, I can do anything. In case you hadn’t heard that story…I fell and this happened:

Not to be confused with this:

which happened a few weeks ago when I couldn’t unclip from this:

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.”- Confucius.

Well said Confucius, well said.

Hi! Remember me?

Ok, so to be completely honest with you I’ve gotten the urge to update quite a few time over the past few months but I sort of forgot my password! Oops. And it was registered to a random email address I created for this and I couldn’t remember that password either….

ANYWAY…I finally figured all that out and I’m baaaaack.

So, Susan is probably the only one reading this now, so HI!

Ok, let’s do a brief overview of what has happened since we last spoke:

  • I successfully completed the Philadelphia Half Marathon in 2:04, completely CRUSHING my goal time of 2:10. Yeahhhhhhh! It was totally awesome and I loved every single second of it.
  • Then I stopped running for like ever. Maybe 10 miles TOTAL in December and January. To be honest, I haven’t run more than 5 miles at a time since the race. It doesn’t help that my running buddy isn’t allowed to run with me anymore because of his psycho gf, but that is a story for another time.
  • Oh, I ran a trail race with said running buddy. It was 5 miles and called the Marshall Mangler. It was the first time I had ever run on a trail. I tripped on a root within the first mile and fell. Blood EVERYWHERE. Lots of pain too…someone patted me on the shoulder and said “you’re ok, just walk it off.” Ohhhh ok. So basically I was crying/running (not a winning combo) for about 4 miles. Oh, and it was raining. When I finally stumbled across the finish line I shouted “THE MANGLER GOT ME” and now that is what we say whenever something goes wrong. My new policy is that I will never run in the woods again unless I am being chased.
  • I did this cool indoor race called “Race to Anyplace” which was a stationary bike relay and it was awesome. My team finished 226 miles in 6 hours—that is like 37 mph. Hot daaaaamn.

  • Like my guns? Yeah, that’s because I’ve turned into the Hulk at the gym. Like legit—I sort of got into lifting over the winter and am up to deadlifting 145# what up!? I challenge anyone to a drunk pushup contest, anytime anyplace.
  • I became and undefeated kickball champion, and a very defeated dodgeball participant. I also honed my baking skills and have grand plans for The Dancing Penguin Bakery which will open as soon as I get some funding. I am looking for investors if anyone is interested?

Now, for the main event…..I decided to become a Triathlete. I literally live, eat, sleep, breathe triathlon these days. Only a few problems… 1) I didn’t know how to swim and 2) I couldn’t really ride a bike….So December 1 I got in the pool for the first time and subsequently became the laughing stock of the gym. I am not exaggerating when I say that I could not swim 1 pool length (25 yards). But I kept practicing and practicing and today I did 1500 yards in 36 minutes. Hooray!

As for problem #2…I got the bike in the fall, rode a few times, put it away for the winter, took it out for spring, got my clip in pedals put on and FAILED. Like major fail. Total wipeout the very first day, in front of lots of people. So much blood, a nice battle scar now on my knee, and complete fear of the bike. Looks like you get to follow me on that journey to biking success because I am still working on that one.

Finally–running. Knee pain followed by SHIN SPLINTS that started a couple weeks ago. Seriously, WTF. I thought we got rid of that back in the fall. Guess not….I’m back to icing and compression socking like a fool. I did 4 miles this morning and was ok, but it’s sort of a problem that I can only run that far without pain and I have some major races coming up.

Here is the schedule:

April 3- Cherry Blossom 10 mi

May 15- Pittsburgh Half Marathon

June 11- MS 150 mile bike race

June 25- Philadelphia Olympic Triathlon

July 31- Pittsburgh Olympic Triathlon

Ok, so let’s not mention the fact that 1) I can’t run more than 5 miles and have 2 10+mi races in the next couple months and 2) I can’t ride my bike and have a 150 mile bike race in 3 months. 3) I have never swam in open water, can’t ride a bike, and can’t run more than 5 miles and have a Triathlon in 3.5 months.

This should be an interesting few months, that’s for sure…

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