reflections on camp

Group Swim!

Group Swim!

As I sit in the airport, reflecting on the weekend, it’s amazing the friendships that can be formed, and the outlook changed in a matter of 3 days. These are my people. We come from different backgrounds – professionally, experience, skill, financial, etc – but to come together for a love of sport and seeking a healthier lifestyle. This is what a team looks like.

Coach Curt working with us on running drills.

Coach Curt working with us on running drills.

And a team we became again this weekend. We strengthened bonds between each other and formed new ones. We learned a lot during different clinics and even more when we had downtime on the deck or at the brew pub. Everyone got what they needed out of camp. Some people grew as people from a new experience being out of their comfort zones, others pushed their sportz skill limits and found new boundaries to dance on, some found their love of sport again.

My bike crew who helped push me through my loop. What can make me feel this way? My bike!

My bike crew who helped push me through my loop. What can make me feel this way? My bike!

This is why we come to camp. To dedicate a weekend to ourselves. Yes our sport can be inherently selfish, all that time spent on swimming, biking, running and the space between our ears. But we get together with like minded people to share our love of triathlon. It makes us better people overall. We learn to challenge ourselves, to continue to push out of our comfort zones.

Such a great yoga session from Coach Mary.

Such a great yoga session from Coach Mary.

Triathlon helps us figure out what to do when things get hard. Do you toss your bike down the side of the road after another flat? Do you grit it out and change your tire? What about when your legs don’t want to move and your stomach doesn’t want food anymore on the run? Do you stop because that’s the easier way? Or do you keep moving forward and find a way to make it happen? How dedicated are you to your goal?

Bike support aid station!

Bike support aid station!

These are the questions that we face in everyday life. We search for a purpose and a passion, and how much we dedicate to pursuing that passion is in our daily decisions. How are you setting yourself up to be successful?

Thank you Denise for our tasty custom cookies! (photo from Mary)

Thank you Denise for our tasty custom cookies! (photo from Mary)

As I sit and ponder that question, I know that I’m currently burning the candle on both ends and that I can’t keep doing this for long. There are some tough decisions ahead of me, but I will attack them with the same vigor that I attacked the Lake Placid bike course this weekend: one hill at a time.

Valor Triathlon Project coaches!

Valor Triathlon Project coaches!

back in the saddle

Since IMAZ I’ve had a big offseason. After the offseason, I got really sick on my Christmas vacation. Then I pulled a muscle coughing (I literally thought I had broken a rib) and it took forever (we’re talking really only 6-8 weeks but it felt like forever) for it to heal. We adjusted the new start date for my workouts to March 1. Then I got a massive head cold that I’m still recovering from.

Every time I tried to start back up, something would beat me down. I just couldn’t get started and that got me pretty down for a while. That and during the offseason I definitely gained my fair share of weight. It’s hard to feel excited when you just feel, well, out of shape and none of your clothes fit right. The confidence is shaky and I had moments of wondering if the spandex actually stretched that far anymore. Continue reading

improvement

I was reading an article from GoDucks.com (you can find it here) regarding the change to the new season. If you don’t follow the Ducks, the football team had an amazing season with an amazing quarterback, Marcus Mariota, who won the first Heisman in the history of the University of Oregon. Mariota decided to enter the draft with a year of eligibility left. The coach, Mark Helfrich talks in the article about turning the page and how they will be equipping themselves for the next season.  Continue reading

the journey to IMAZ

A year ago I was in Tempe, cheering on friends and volunteering for a spot to register for Ironman Arizona for 2014. Fast forward a year and here I am, sitting in my hotel room,  impatiently waiting for Sunday to test where I am right now.

The journey wasn’t what I expected it to be when I planned 2014. Last year as I had discussions with friends and my husband about where I was during the Tempe trip, it all of a sudden became crystal clear to me that I was in a really bad place in regards to triathlon. I had started to hate it. With two Ironmans planned in 2014, the year wasn’t looking like a good start. I didn’t believe in my coach, hated the workouts, hated the system and this caused me to doubt myself in a way I hadn’t in a really long time. I was broken down. Continue reading

getting started to tri: beginner gear

Triathlon can be super overwhelming. There is all the gear that these crazy people (also known as me) use for not just one, but three (!) sports. How on Earth do you make heads or tails of what you need? I’m hoping to help with what I think can be a very basic list of items to have if you are a beginner testing the waters of triathlon, but extras if you find you really love it.

Swimming: Beginner

  • Swim suit – Go for a quality suit like TYR or Speedo which will last you much longer. It will be cheaper in the end than a cheaper suit which will wear quicker and need to be replaced more often. You can find them at a discount at places like SwimOutlet.com. Buy the suit for the size you are right now. Purchasing a bigger size will cause the suit to drag in the water and actually wear out faster. If you purchase a suit that’s too small or your ideal racing size, yeah, good luck getting that on.
  • Goggles – You want a good, quality pair of goggles. I use the TYR Special Ops. The lens curve means that I don’t have weird corners in open water swims that would happen with flat goggles. Either way, get a good pair. You should be able to press the eyes sockets to your face with light pressure and they should stay on and make a good seal without the use of the strap.
  • Cap – If you are a female or male with hair I’d recommend a swim cap. This helps streamline you and save your hair from all the chlorine damage that will happen. I personally prefer the latex caps over the thicker silicone ones, but find your preference.

Continue reading