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Showing posts from 2016

how the light gets in

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I wrote, five or six weeks ago at this point, about the cautious early work of rebuilding.  The first time this, the first time that, the early steps back towards the chasing-watts-and-puppies life I am accustomed to living not to mention the monumental amount of selfies in a bike kit that show up on instagram as I blunder through the world.  
I went to Arizona - not this past weekend where holy crap some lucky athletes got to experience maybe the best weather in the history of ever - but the weekend of the 70.3.  I signed up for the AZ 70.3/140.6 double a year ago, when I had enough faith in a body that I trusted to plunk down $900 towards a race schedule.  I thought about racing the 70.3 but in the end, I wasn't ready.  I've participated in enough races for one year, and I was not interested in standing on a line until I felt strong, healthy, and deeply fit.  I'm still not.  At that time, I was hopeful that I could build enough to take a chance at the full, and the two-we…

to chase excellence

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I read a lot.  

I always have, I learned how when I was about eleven minutes old.  There's a tale I tell about the first time I ever got in trouble at school; it was for reading books under my desk instead of paying attention in class because I had already read the entire textbook.  For most of fifth grade, my backpack was checked at home before I left in the morning then searched again by my teacher to make sure I wasn't sneaking any books into school; I am, above all other things, the original nerd.
I still read just as much as I did as a kid, I consider it one of the pillars of my own continuing education as a coach.  There are plenty of blogs out there that I read regularly and Jordan Rapp is high up on the list at least in part because I get the sense through his writing that my brain works a little bit like his does.  Detached, scientific, thorough, meticulous, compartmentalization level: expert (he fortunately seems to be missing the piece that makes him Exorcist-style po…

our most generous eyes

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Every year I write a blog post for my birthday.  It’s yet another gleaming moment of self-absorption, I suppose, I made it around the sun one more time so let’s sit down and pound on the keyboard about it for a while. Vanity, thy name is blogger, has everyone else seen how cute my belly button is?  But it is never so much about the post as it is about the very personal reflection that occurs in the weeks that precede it.  Some years it is so easy to crap out the memories, some years it is nothing more than a gleeful description of the life I am lucky to live, and some years it is 11:45 at night and I can’t sleep because I had too many glasses of red wine at dinner with friends and there are only fifteen minutes left in my actual birthday when I spring out of bed and speed-write something in the dark, on the couch with my laptop propped up on the knees of my snowflake sweatpants, wearing my 18-year-old glasses and squinting in the glow of the screen.

I look back at last year’s post wher…

Ironman Coeur d'Alene Run: race report

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The Pat Summitt quote about taking things away was in my head daily leading up to ironman.  He takes away things so we can fly.  When I was tired, or sore, or on a forty-five minute run that felt like how in the living fuck am I supposed to run twenty-six miles next weekend; I pound-signed it at least one bazillion times on instagram in my ongoing quest to irritate the world with asshole hashtags, every time I felt frustrated or stuck or like it was a hopeless and stupid thing to be attempting with the fitness & body I had, I came back to it.  So we can fly.  So we can fly.  So we can fucking fly.
I jogged out of transition as carefully as I could, still rocking the shape of a bicycle with my butt in the bucket and my belly full to the brim.  I rarely look at data on the run in triathlon; I record it so I can send it to my coach and that maybe helps me be 1% more accountable to not getting pissed off and walking when I can't magically run 7:30 pace but I don't look.  We tra…

Ironman Coeur d'Alene Bike: race report

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The first thing I did on the bike was start shoveling bars into my mouth.  I knew that the day was going to warm up & I wanted to get in as many calories as I could right off the bat (warning: be prepared to be grossed out by how much I ate on the bike).  I remember looking down at my Garmin to note that I had an entire Bobo's Bar finished by eight minutes into the ride.  Miniature fist pump inside my head: sometimes it's the little things.
My plan was simply to go by feel and glance at heart rate every now and then.  Nearly all of the riding I had done in the month before the race had been done by heart rate or even effort alone.  The very little work I had done while watching the power meter simply felt like dialing all my internal pacing thermometers back in.  I decided not to look at power at all because I couldn't think of any reason why it would be useful for this particular day.  I wasn't trying to race, I was trying to see how far I could get, and I know wha…

Ironman Coeur d'Alene Swim: race report

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The day before was a bit more stressful than usual.  And it wasn't until I was laying on the ground hidden in my earphones an hour before the race started that I was able to pinpoint why: I was fucking terrified.  I'll admit it.  I know how much ironman hurts.  I'm well-acquainted with the level of suffering it brings, and after volunteering at IM Vineman and IM Boulder, it was fresh in my mind.  I've never gone into an ironman even close to as underprepared as I was at Coeur d'Alene, and it left me feeling a bit at loose ends in terms of what to expect on race day.  
Race morning.  I got in and out of transition early and quite quickly and then hot-footed my way up the hill, away from the madness.  My best races are the ones that start with some quiet time, plugged into a mellow song on repeat, just breathing and emptying my mind.  I made several porta potty trips and chased them all with swigs of Pepto - being worried about my recently-trashed-by-antibiotics GI tr…

to make room for other things

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It seems impossible to try and explain how I went from a month off to an ironman in about three and a half weeks without sounding completely off my rocker.  But writing it down is important for me and I'm sure both of the internet denizens that may still read this blog already understand that I am nuts so off we go and fuck yeah let's kick things off with a selfie and definitely one where there is something in my teeth that I'm not going to bother to photoshop out.
There was no master plan here, this summer, at any point.  When I crashed my bike and started hopping on planes, there were no thoughts in my head about races.  I had a little bit of the tantrum-y I am never going to race ever again! going on (ah, the dramatics of the human experience).  I was signed up for IM Boulder, yes.  I wanted a chance to go back and have a different experience than the one I had last August.  But after I went down in June, I realized that there was no way that I was going to be ready to c…