Tag: Triathlon training

Have you ever thought- ‘I wish I had that kind of motivation!’?

Me, too.

I hear I’m so motivated, a lot. There are a few people out there wishing they had half of my motivation. I’m quite happy to accept these comments as compliments at 4:00 in the afternoon. I feel super motivated then.

wake upBut come morning, it isn’t pretty. I’m no motivational poster child.  Here’s a little taste of what it actually sounds like inside my head in the morning –

“Ugh. Please let me have another hour to sleep…”  [roll over, look at phone – “crap.”]

“I think I really need more sleep.” [do math in head, realize I’ve slept for 8 ½  hours – “crap.”]

“Maybe I need more rest.  I should probably take another rest day. I didn’t have enough rest in my schedule last week.” [review previous week and recall that there were actually 2 rest days for recovery from so much dancing at 3 nights of Grateful Dead concerts – “crap!”]

“I have absolutely no interest in doing intervals this morning! I think I might need a break from training. Maybe I’m just burnt out. When was the last time I really took a break and did nothing? I think I need a break. Maybe I should just find something else?” [well, that doesn’t feel right either – sigh.]

“I’ll just catch up on Facebook and Instagram for a few minutes. “ [this is the most deadly of all the possible morning activities – 30 minutes of available workout time goes in a blink – and not like a decision – it just evaporates]

“Fine, I’ll make tea, but I’m not making oatmeal!” [such fierce protest – shuffle to kitchen. Jason’s already got tea steeping – jerk.]

“Fine, I’ll make oatmeal” [eat begrudgingly]

“I probably missed my window” [check phone – “dang.”]

one quality minute“How are you gonna feel at 4:00 this afternoon if you haven’t worked out?” [Sigh. Get dressed. Get water. Get on bike. Start moving pedals slowly around in a lifeless circle]

“This isn’t going to work. I’m not even in zone 1. This is awful!” [stop Garmin. get off trainer. adjust fan. sit back on bike]

“Just pedal and stop thinking.” [pedal, pedal, pedal, slow pedal, pedal more]

“I like this song.” [pedal, slow pedal, 10 minutes of  warm-up pass]

“You know better than to ask yourself if you want to workout in the morning. The answer’s always ‘no’.  Wrong question! It’s gonna hurt, you’re gonna be uncomfortable – of course your brain doesn’t want your body to do this. But this is how the body adapts and gets stronger. Have you ever regretted a workout once it’s done?… No.” [keep pedaling]

“Just do what you can do today. If it’s short workout – fine. Quality over quantity. Do 1 great minute of an interval; better than doing the whole thing half-assed. That’s it -1 quality minute.” [pedal up to zone 4. stay for 1 minute]

“1 more. You’ve got 1 more in you.” [pedal 1 more minute in z4]

This goes on until the first set’s complete.

You might imagine that I go into the second set inspired with renewed motivation.  Nope. The struggle isn’t as as bad, but I negotiate with myself down to only 10 minutes of the 15 minute interval.
When I get to 10 minutes and am certain I’m “put-a-fork-in-me done – I try for 1 more quality minute and then another and then another. I was fine with not finishing the set as long as each minute was good quality. I finish the set. It’s a good workout. Such a fuss, though!

Not all days are this challenging and some are worse. In the beginning, I didn’t win many negotiations with myself.  It’s not easy.

When I see updates from my friends and team mates doing amazing training – I admit – I wish I had half of their motivation. But I suppose we all have conversations like these. We all have to work hard to overcome our own style mental inertia. It just looks so effortless on someone else.

My Heart was Racing

My heart was racingThe USA Triathlon Olympic-Distance National Championships was this past weekend. My age group wave entered the water at (or about) 8:21. Last winter, with snow frozen to my eyebrows, I wouldn’t have imagined being a DNS.

Saturday morning, I rolled on to the road, earlier than my wave took off, but later than a usual Saturday ride. I wore my full race kit.

My disappointment of not going to Wisconsin had faded. But I wasn’t quite ready to rally around the thought of “next year.  I just wanted to ride my bike and run in the streets, like I had trained to do on this day, somewhere else.

A huffy like mine
Mine was more beat up & had cool stickers w/ my name on the seat. (well, I had lost the x so it was: ALE)

As soon as I finished the warm-up, I let go. No plans, no goals, no target pace (no power meter). Traffic was light and roads were clean – I swear I had a tailwind for the entire 26 mile loop. I rode by feel.  I had palpable moments where I felt like my 9 year old self screaming down the huge hill on our street on my awesome huffy. (yes, banana seat & monkey bars)

At some point the thought crossed my mind that I was doing exactly what I needed to do in honor of the event. I thought about the hundreds and hundreds of athletes who would be there – racing their hearts out.  I felt so impressed by the thought of them, and I felt connected to the journey, even though I was 1,000 miles east of where I’d hoped to be.

My heart felt happy – filled with the spirit of triathlon and age group competition. I love this sport. Since deciding not to go to WI, I’ve sometimes felt like all the hours and training might have been wasted. But flying along in the aerobars – free of fear and enjoying the ride – I could see how far I’d come and knew it wasn’t a waste. I was having a blast – and for me, this is the point of all of my triathlon stuff.  

My leg were tired when I hopped off the bike, but I was determined to hit the first mile of the run at my dream race pace. I kept the Nationals’ athletes in my thoughts – my heart was racing with them.

Cycling Heat & Science

Hot enough to fry an eggIt’s just hot. It would have been ideal if I ‘d gotten out on my bike earlier, of course. But the best ride is the one you get, sometimes. I grab my  mostly white Craft kit and head out during the hottest part of the day.

At least I’ll be moving. I”ll have a breeze. It will be like windchill. In my head I start trying to remember how wind chill is calculated. I have this vague recollection that it was recently simplified so that 1 mile per hour of wind lowers the temperature 1 degree. I keep my mind occupied for at least 20 minutes. If I’m moving at an 18 mph average, then 91 degrees less 18 would be a “real feel” of 73. Heck, that’s totally acceptable.

As much as I try, I just can’t convince myself of this 73 degree feeling.  It is hot.  After an hour, the black on my shorts has heated up. It’s hotter than the heat coming of the black asphalt – at least 110 degrees.  It’s uncomfortable. My skin hurts.

Damn, I’m hot in these shorts!

Wind chillIn case anyone was thinking of using a similar wind chill theory – it doesn’t work.
I got home and googled up a windchill calculator.

What!? How is it possible that 92 degrees with an 18mph wind calculates to 99 degrees? I don’t understand this science. Clearly science can be dangerous in the hands of an amateur athlete.


Turtle crossing!

Why did the turtle cross the road? Why, oh why?! Turtle crossing
(This isn’t a post about my speed in the sudden heat of New England, by the way.)

Around here, in June, there’s an influx of turtles on the road.  I see many turtle casualties on my workouts. It’s sad.

Today, I paused my Garmin to help two shelled travelers on their pilgrimage to the other side. The first one seemed quite happy for the lift.  The second darted in circles, faster than I knew a turtle could move. During my turtle chase I had to flag 3 cars to slow down. Each one passed, nearly missing the remaining shell – I held my breath and couldn’t  look. Happily, I was able to chase the 2nd to the other side where his friend was still hiding in his shell.

I was happy that I had been able to save these little guys. And I spent the rest of the workout wondering why these guys cross in such huge numbers at this time of year. Here’s what I found out:

  • Nesting season lasts from late May to early July, reaching maximum intensity in early June.
  • Male turtles often move among ponds during the spring in search of potential mates, but the amount of movement of male turtles generally doesn’t even begin to approach that of females. Females that hope to contribute to future generations MUST leave the relative safety of ponds and wetlands. 
  • Today, the biggest threat to turtle populations  is being struck by automobiles on roadways. 


  1. Slow down and watch for turtles in roadways!
  2. Help turtles cross roads safely. If you see a turtle crossing a road and it is safe for you to do so, help it cross in the direction it was traveling.
  3. Don’t take the turtle home or move it far from where you found it. A turtle taken to your home is a turtle lost from the local population.
  4. If a turtle is injured, call your local animal control or wildlife authorities.

Please share this and ask friends to slow down on roads with ponds and other bodies of water. 

Thanks so much!