Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Off kilter/ seasons of life.....

Everything feels off kilter.

Fall 2017…. Is this my mid life crisis?!

I write this on Halloween… (already an emotionally difficult day for me, but trying to get it back to being happy)…. And 2 months into fall, I’m not fitting into my life!  I truly feel like things are “not fitting.”  I’m not fitting into my pattern of life and flow and expectations.  I don’t fit my clothes, my sleep isn’t working because my back kills, (my back certainly doesn’t “fit”- can I have a new one!), I’m “off” with knowing how much longer we have Ellie Mae (although every day is such a glorious blessing and I spend so much time petting her beautiful fur and looking into her wonderful eyes thanking her for being her)…

My heart is like itchy though, and uncomfortable and unsettled.  I’m in the middle of nowhere and not sure which part of the nowhere to face.

My last race was end of August and horrible and I hated it and felt horrible, and I wanted to quit, but didn’t, but spent too much time in the bathroom during race, too much time negative self talking, OMG… I needed race season to be over.  I wanted to just be happy and workout and be healthy, but I am in a funk of pain.  I’ve frankly been in daily pain since last November.  It isn’t always 9/10, but sometimes it is.  When it is not, I am teetering on awareness of life’s movements and wondering when the next “catch” of my back or hip will be… or how I will wake up feeling, or if I”ll instead just be up all night laying on a nerve.  I’m worried because I do feel old.  I’ve ALWAYS been so ANNOYED at people saying they are old/feel old… so maybe this is my payback for not being more compassionate and hearing them better.  I feel old and that is kind of fine, except I know I’m not.  I really don’t think I should feel this way at 42, and I am terrified my kids will remember me not as the fit triathlete/fun, playful mom, but as the woman who couldn’t pick up the pumpkin, who they saw struggling to put on her damn shoes, who they could see being moody because I was just in plain ole pain. Ugh.

So, my goals are lacking because I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself, but I am sOO darn uncomfortable NOT having the daily fun of chasing something….. SELFISHLY FOR ME!!  I love it and miss it.  I get to coach people while I stand on the sidelines.  I am so excited for them, but also selfishly a bit jealous…… I wonder if I should have done some of my “bucket list” races already… although I didn’t think I should work on my bucket list races already at age 42.  And I worry… if I cannot train or do the things I want to do, how will I be as good at my job.  I don’t think you have to be the fittest person on the earth to be a personal trainer, but I do think you have to be in the midst of being strong and challenging yourself and trying new things, etc.  Same with racing--- I am so much more “IN” my coaching when I know EXACTLY w hat a race course feels like, what a distance feels like, what training can/ cannot do both physically and mentally.  So, I wonder if I should get a new job (that won’t hurt so much)…. Like a desk job.  But I feel like a 42 year old who doesn’t know anything!  OMG- all I know anymore is what I do!!  What would I even do for a desk job?  I have no CLOTHES for a desk job!  I’d pull my freaking HAIR OUT with a desk job!!!

My tentative hopes… if my back is ok enough to train, to do the things I love.

*I’d love to do a few more marathons.  Big sur is bucket list.  I’d also be interested in doing Chicago, NYC (although I do not like big city races at all, I think they are kind of classics I may enjoy).

*next year:  haven’t decided on Eagleman.  It just crushes me.  I get so so fit.  I am in the best shape ever from jan-june.. and then I struggle to move my body for like 2 whole months after. Ugh. 

*speed:  may spend a season doing ONLY Olympic distance races and try to get some speed up.  I qualified for nationals in august next year, and plan to do that- not too far of travel and I like to go once per location to nationals.

And… I just don’t want my back to go out.

I want to have energy (to be able to sleep at nights), to do what I love, to be motivated as much as I try to motivate others.

I know my training and racing doesn’t “define” me… but I do love it.  I love the joy that it brings to my every day, and I am missing some of that.

Ahhhh, seasons of life.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Eagleman 2017 race report

This was my 10th Eagleman!
Quick things I learned:
*ALWAYS bring a roll of extra TP.  Eagleman is always so prepared, but.. not this year.  An hour before the race started, one of the  main sections of port o pots ran out of TP.  An awesome lady in my line had an extra roll and handed like 10 sheets to everyone.  **she is my new best friend😊
*speaking of port o pots (and then I”ll be done with this subject)(for now… why is there so much bathroom talk in 70.3’s.)… I need to remind myself that there is no shame in getting out of one, and then walking immediately back to the line to stand in line again… bc… race morning jitters create immense havoc on  my system… (but the pepto bismol must have done the trick because it was fine after this!)
*wherever you go, there are gems:  met a woman before the race who was all talking herself up to me and ended with:  “I’ll see you at the finish, I’ll cheer for you.” (ughhhhh like she’s going to be done so far ahead of me and just lounging around cheering for me because I’m going to be so far behind her”??!!!  OK, so my competitive juices began flowing.
 *once again I was reminded:  wear what you want- NOTHING MATTERS OUT THERE ON THE COURSE.  I am so normally not wanting to have anyone see my stomach and wouldn't wear a 2 piece, but honestly- out there- who cares... and once again I was reminded that it is fine and doesn't really matter and who cares.  If someone sees a roll, they can just pass me by... if they can:)

Race morning was awesome: woke up feeling great, got to race site, and literally parked like 50 feet from transition area- they opened up the field to parking—SO thankful- makes it so much better to not have to walk far with all of your stuff especially afterwards in heat/tired/etc.
AND… there is ALWAYS a beautiful sunrise at Eagleman.  Seriously.  I saw this and committed myself to doing this race FOREVER!!!  (more on that later).

I just feel at HOME doing this race.  Sometimes I get on myself for not always doing NEW and different ones.. but I also like how I truly kind of feel at HOME here.  10 years and – I just know the ins and outs of the park, course, set up, etc.  I felt such gratitude for having that sense of “belonging” and feeling at home.

Swim start:  This years swim was in REVERSE!  Weird- 10 years and this is the first they have done that.  But it was fine.  The reason they did it was because something about the current and that this would benefit us (but honestly.. it is not the purpose of a ½ IM to do things to benefit us or make it “easier” or “faster” for us….)  The way out was INTO the current, so I tried to make sure my arm cadence was UP so the current wouldn’t push me back as far.  The way out/beginning of swim always SUCKS how I feel though—I feel good for 90 seconds, and then start thinking ohhhhh I’m tired.. Ohhh yikes, I’m in open water and my legs are feeling tired and it irks me that LEGS feel it since I am SWIMMING. (and no, I am not kicking hard- had wetsuit on today, don’t know… just weird to me that my LEGS have a sense of panic in them?!)  anyway.. got over that about 5 minutes in and then it was FUN! I actually LOVE swimming open water.. just after that 5 min.  When we did our first turn, I knew that I had to make sure I didn’t get pushed INWARD of the buoys so I focused on going hard here also, knowing that at the next turn, the current was supposed to be behind us.  When I did turn though.. honestly.. I have to still wonder- was it behind us?  Never felt it helping me at all.  I was thinking, Hmmmmm if current is behind us for the longer part, maybe I can get my best time.  I didn’t, but it was right in the middle of where I’ve been… kind of wishing I was a bit faster because I even had my wetsuit on, so I feel like I had a lot going for me and I also FELT real strong.. feel that I sighted well and remained tight with the buoys /line of the course.. but…  overall was happy with this.
Bike: So, I got on my bike well/ had a good quick transition/ got going well. The bike was mostly really UNEVENTFUL- so good, right?! A few things:
·        I felt like I really never was PUSHING HARD… hmmm… felt SOLID, but didn’t feel FAST.  The winds were AT US early like miles 8-25ish?  Which I’ve also never had headwinds at that point- usually they are on 2nd half.  So it was just different (I was wondering if this was related to why they switched our swim- if winds were affecting currents and they were opposite normal?)  anyway, doesn’t matter, just something I noticed.
·        Drank NUUN for first 5 miles, perpetuum from 5-10 then started taking in some food at mile 10. UGH, I was ANNOYED at having to eat.  I did force myself to a bit.  BUT.. I just get so annoyed at having to eat during exercise when I do not WANT to.  But I did, then went back to perpetuum (protein drink) I just didn’t feel like FOOD TODAY but knew I had to try.  I had a bottle of 5 hour energy I drank on bike as well, then went back to NUUN and a blackberry gel…. Picked up water from the stop at mile 45ish and got it to go well into my between the bars drink holder (was worried about slowing down, but I had a great volunteer that jogged a bit to make the handoff easier; also was worried about having it go into my holder but it worked great.)  I also took BASE salt at mile 30/40/50.  (more on BASE SALT later).
·        So… mile 40, I knew I had to pee a bit.  (if you are bashful or offended reading about pee, carry on to the next bullet).  So….. I thought ok, here we go, pee now while biking and it’ll save you time (yes if you don’t do long distance tris- this is what we do.. HOWEVER I suck at this…)AND….. a friend of mine (yes, Koen, you)… was behind me and I wasn’t sure how far back and I would have honestly possibly DIED if he passed me while I was peeing (his son is in my son’s grade/class and….. you know… just didn’t really feel like that would be a memory he could ever get rid of).  So everytime I tried, I just couldn’t do it.  So during that 10 miles, I probably had 5x where I slowed down ridiculously/tried to not pedal (while trying to “go”) and then just gave up and knew I needed to push.  Never went and decided ok.. just stop in transition or real quick on the run course when I get there and go fast.  NEXT YEAR I COMMIT TO NOT EVER TRYING THIS. NO NEED TO SLOW DOWN, just stop for 20 seconds in port o pot rather than wasting this silly time trying/slowing down/losing focus.  I LEARNED.  THIS WAS A BIG MISTAKE and I WILL NOT MAKE IT AGAIN.
·        The oddest thing about this years bike was how I FELT mentally. Normally at like mile 40-45, I think, “hmmmm I’m really ready to get off this bike now.”  TODAY: I felt like that at mile like 20.  AARRGHH! That is not good, right?!  I don’t know why.  I kept saying to myself, “Sharon, this is patience, you are just being impatient with time and you want to like see how you’re going to do today.”  Or maybe it was the wind and I wasn’t going as fast mph during first 25 miles????  Not really sure.  I was annoyed by myself for continuing to think that.  I just felt like the miles weren’t ticking by fast.  On the FLIP side…. At mile 40 usually I do start to feel pretty fatigued and slowing down…. Today I never had that feeling of leg fatigue.  My BACK was fatigued though starting at like 20 miles, so that was also worrisome and so maybe it was WORRY that overshadowed my feelings during the bike.  I just felt like it was “tedious” and I wish I hadn’t felt that way.
Run:  I didn’t feel terrible as I sometimes do in the beginning.. I think I had myself mentally prepared to have NO EXPECTATIONS and to not get “worried” about how I was feeling.  I started/ I knew it wasn’t fast, but I just thought, that is ok.. stay steady/ follow the plan.  And I did.  Mile 3 though… here it came.  My freaking STOMACH.  UGH. I get this at Eagleman.  It is not a stomach cramp, it is like my ribs get big/bloated in that area and I have a hard time INHALING.  I have huge ribs so I usually try to take my fingers and literally put them UNDER the rib bones  (can everyone do this or are my ribs truly just way sticking out there) and I push my fingers around the underneath of the ribs to kind of try to break up the “cramp” or whatever it is.  And I also try to exhale and focus on belly breathing- making my stomach soft/rising/falling rather than it being held too tight.  It didn’t really help and so I was right by a big boulder/rock and I grabbed it /leaned over and stretched out my ribs/back.  And it went away.  Got it once again to SOME extent- not to the extent that I had to stop and stretch again, but I kind of slowed/relaxed my stomach/  made myself exhale really hard.  I don’t know if it is my stomach muscles TIGHTING up so quick/impulsive reaction to the ice water that I pour over me/ice being put into my swimsuit.  I have to wonder if my muscles like CLENCH from this ice?  (but I need it to stay cooled).
So I really kept steadily (slow) during the first 5, really just trying to run UNDER the intensity that I was thinking would blow up  my rib area more.  I had a fuelbelt on so mostly drank that, another 5 hour energy and at aid stations put ice water over me/ ice in my suit/ AND….. here we go.
I AM AN ADDICT.  OK< I have been thinking about this for quite some time.  At every 70.3, they have soda on the course.  I don’t even really drink diet soda anymore, BUT… during a race (and after), the best thing I want/CRAAAAVE is the bubbles of diet soda. HOWEVER, when I get that stomach bloat thing, I wonder if it is from the bubbles??  (although I had the stomach issue today BEFORE the soda)…. BUT: MY RULE IS NO SODA. DO NOT DO IT SHARON. DO NOT DO IT.  And at 70.3 florida, I drank soda.  Seriously, it is like I CANNOT resist.  I have this rule and I just honestly don’t even think about it, I think, “I don’t’ care, I want it.” And take it.
And today I did it again.. and thought.. there it is.  I am honestly a “soda during a 70.3 addict”.  I honestly have this feeling in my mind that that is maybe what it is like for an addict who knows they are not supposed to drink or use whatever, but they DO IT anyway…. (I am not meaning this to make light of drug/alcohol addiction) but for me, I have to wonder if this is similar.  ANYWAY.
THEN I REALIZED at like mile 5 I hadn’t been doing my BASE SALT like I had intended.  I maybe had done 1 some point in those 5 miles.  So, I did 2 servings under tongue at mile 6.  IT HELPED ME SO SO MUCH OMG.  So I decided to do this every even mile marker.  I don’t eat anything salty, so to have that salt in my mouth made me feel gaggish- and my mouth would kind of water and I wasn’t sure if it would turn into getting sick… but it didn’t.  and I really do think it helped.
I also wore arm coolers for the first time.  Ok, honestly, I had no idea if this really would work.  AND…. I was frankly kind of bummed to have my forearms/part of upper arm covered because ….. yea… I kinda like to get a tan.  BUT.. I DO ACTUALLY THINK THEY HELPED!!!  I would put some of my ice cubes in my arm coolers when I would get cups of ice and sometimes it was so so cold that I would take like ½ mile to try to tolerate that pain instead of the pain of running (fun times, haha!)…. But a few times I did think, I feel like my arms are so much cooler, as well as:  I often get goosebumps during EM even though it is hotter than hell.  I  NEVER had that today, not sure if it was arm coolers help OR the extra salt I was taking in.  Also, as hot as it was, it definitely wasn’t the worst Eagleman conditions ever.  There was a nice breeze at so many points that I felt and was so thankful for the breeze. 
Last 4 miles from 9-13.  I need to go see if I can find those splits. OMG, I felt SO SO SO MUCH BETTER during those miles than I did earlier!! I finished STRONG!!!  This was possibly my favorite part of the day.
The FUNNIEST part of the race happened at mile 9 when we were coming back on a hot road- a bunch of “beach grasses”(?not sure if this is what you call them—but like the big tall border grasses) were lining the road and in them, someone had placed a cutout of Sean Spicer so it looked like he was peering out at us through the bushes.  Too funny!
I loved finishing. I loved those miles and not feeling like it was the death of me!
I finished my 10th! And I did feel so happy to have finished.  No matter what, Eagleman is always an accomplishment, and I know that I owe it to myself to honor that.
Here is how I felt:  happy that I finished, happy and proud that I kept plugging away, disappointed in my times a little…. Frankly I wanted a little faster swim… a little faster bike.. and a WHOLE LOT FASTER run.  Disappointed that last year was 3rd in age group/ this year 6th.  Disappointed that it was over 10 minutes slower than last year.  Disappointed that with only 2 places per age group to go to worlds, I was sure one of the people above me would take it.  And this was a worlds I could go to- in Tennessee… I had hoped to go/visit my grandmother on the way/way back possibly….. I normally don’t do 3x 70.3/year, so this would be a bigger year than I am used to, and then next year I was hoping to go back to my favorite distance focus: oly. Distance. I was just "not impressed" by my race... so I decided to do my best Makayla Maroney (olympic gymnast) impression of not impressed:

I was tempted to wait it out until they announced slot allocation and make sure I didn’t get the opportunity, but the longer I was there, the more I knew I didn’t want to wait possibly a total of 4 more hours until awards with most certainty that I wouldn’t get the slot.  I really didn’t want to stay in the heat, I really wanted to get my legs into a cold pool and then take a shower.  I felt confident leaving, and I did just that: left, headed to pool, shower, then walked around the cute little town of Easton, MD…. Then ran to target quick since I rarely get to really go through target and had a few things/cards/bandaids etc to get… and… it was in target that I got a txt from a friend who said they rolled to me for Worlds, do I want it.  Texted back: YES, have blank check and can be there in 20 min.  he said he’d run and ask. And…. I got the text that they had rolled to the next person.  AND I WAS (am) DEVASTATED.  I was in line at that point trying to get OUT so I can run back to Cambridge if it worked and when I got that text, I literally got goosebumps/lost my blood pressure/ felt dizzy/dreamy and just devastated.  I got teary in line, and left and sat outside target, calling ryan sobbing.
I know that on the scale of life, this is FINE.  But it was my goal and I worked every dang day for this goal and I really wanted it.  I feel dumb for not staying, lazily wasting away my day that ended up in my giving my spot away. (not really “my spot” since it rolled to me also)…. I’m so sad. So annoyed, mad, sad. Boo.

It’s fine.  (not fine).

Friday, June 9, 2017

Here we are.

I am ready.

I know I am physically ready.  My workouts have confirmed that.
I have done a week of taper and have:
*eaten super healthy/forcing myself it feels to cut back the veggies/add in carbs (which is odd... I never have to urge myself to have some carbs!)
*slept and rested:  with forrest being sick, I really was able to take that day and take a nap (although I didn't sleep nearly any the night before because his fever had been up to the high 105's)...
*done exactly my workout plan and hit all my paces and felt great.
*stretched/rolled/did it all/massage/ last PT, etc.
I am READY.  Nothing else to say.

The work is done, the party needs to begin.
Forecast is for high 90's (95+) so my aim is to manage the heat.  that is my goal.  If I can do that, I've got this.
(so managing the heat means:  eat/drink on bike/take my no-doz/nutrition/salt; on run:  take fuelbelt, take ice at all stops, salt.).
I'm so excited!

HERE I COME EAGLEMAN for my 10th!!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Eagleman prep: RUNNING WITH JOY!

The run.  The race comes to the run.  It is BRUTAL and beautiful and I am happy to be on feet and then my feet are on fire (along with the rest of my body!)….. I love it/hate it. (love because I keep coming back to it)!
I already wrote a bit on the run, and I’m writing more… and I will write more… I’m down to 5 days left until race day!  And SO excited, but need to get myself ready mentally for run.
I am always happy to get off of bike- just no more RISK of tire stuff happening/dangerous stuff.
ONTO feet.  Then within a matter of ¼ mile I’m like HOLY SH&T it is burning out here.  And I will try again this year to turn that into a love affair with the sun😊

I love heat and sun, BUT.. I am a human being and it obviously limits performance.  Your body quickly goes into survival mode and you aren’t really “running” like a real “run”… It is like you are surviving mile to mile. 
And for the first 5 miles of the course, I am going to literally just remind myself that I am running full of JOY.  I love running, I love the training for it, the work, the measured results, no equipment basically and just yourself out there.  Running makes me happy and this is a race that just celebrates all of that time that I’ve had to put in hours and hours of running.  I’ve held around 40 miles of running/week so far through the year, so that is nearing 500 miles of training that I’ve put in so far.  (I am doing totally rough math in my head- approximating because there have been some weeks lower due to other races/travel etc)..point being.  Work is done.  Totally am where I want to be.  I’m right there. So now, RUN WITH JOY.  I will be focused, but every step I want to have an element on my heart of joyfully living this dream of mine.  I wouldn’t do triathlons unless I loved them, and I do.  They fuel me and fire me up and inspire me and I truly love my training AND the racing. .  I am not saying when you see me out there I’m going to be out there on the course leaping and bounding with a smile!  DEFINITELY NOT.. but that inner joyfulness will be felt within my heart.  IN FACT, although these first 5 miles are going to be JOYFUL, they will be MIXED with (as I said before), an element of NON-EMOTION.  I plan to very much remain poker faced and focused on not feeling too much, just an overwhelming STEADINESS. (so to sum that up:  joy/non-emotion/steady).

I’m going to turn into the next phase 5-10 miles filled with PURE GRATITUDE.. BECAUSE I AM.
I’m seriously entirely grateful to be out there and capable of doing this.  Particularly this year, I am almost amazed that I can.  My back has been a bear to fix this year.  It went out last November and even this year in March, I was having trouble sitting and standing.  (although yes, I could actually RUN easier than I could sit or stand)….  I am so grateful because I have never experienced physical pain to that degree before.  (we won’t go into emotional pain…. Been there…) But the searing NERVE PAIN was really getting to the point of messing with my head and really making me quite irritable and unhappy overall.  I’m so thankful to feel better and be more comfortable.  AND ABLE TO CHASE MY GOALS!  I’m just thrilled and honored to set these goals and work towards them.  I truly, to every cell in my being, am grateful for my health and body.  I am so fully aware of not taking this for granted.
I’m not saying miles 5-10 are going to be peace mixed with some sort of Buddha gratitude.  I am sure there will be none of that written on my face!  HOWEVER, I will be aware through the pain that I expect to push through, that the gratitude is what I will be aware of in my heart.

Miles 10-13.1---- GO DIG DEEP.  GET IT DONE.  With joy and gratitude, but… whatever.. let in a lil bit of fight/fierce/run wit your arms/keep cadence because once it is gone it is GONE.  Don’t let it go.  You will recover.

Friday, June 2, 2017

SHOWING UP at Eagleman...

Yep I skipped yesterday- was trying to write everyday but didn’t.
So today is not about the physical training, the sports, the mental toughness.
It is about the strength it takes me to SHOW UP and be okay with  myself.
ISN’T THAT CRAZY!?  I know.  It isn’t logical, but our minds don’t always follow logic.

I have trained since January (along with trying to get back to STANDING after my back went out, ahem)… as hard as I could for this race (not that every day/workout/week was “hard” but hard meaning SMART)… anyway… I am fit and ready.  Logically I know this.  HOWEVER.. I also know … from YEARS of being ready.. that for  me, SHOWING UP and not fluttering away with zero self confidence can be the hardest thing for me.
It is true.  I park and pull into the (already hot) gravel parking lot outside of Sailwinds… and no matter if I am with my family or on my own… even before exiting the car, I feel “less than.”   Like I am kind of FAKING my way --- an imposter!  Taking up someone else’s space… taking up too MUCH space… not belonging.  If I know 10-20 people there and see them, or if I know NOONE, I have some level of a feeling of not belonging, being an outsider, guilty of (I’m not really sure.. but just somehow guilty)?!
And…. Walking into the building for packet pickup… I see… MUSCLES.  Oh my GOD EVERYONE IS FIT!!!!!  (regardless that within the last 24 hours I was probably scrunching up my own face and nose at my own arms that have weird-ball veins that seem to pop out at this time of year (increased blood flow plus a little bit leaner, plus just genetics).. BUT…. At that moment, again…. I see FIT PEOPLE of which I do not include myself!  I see muscles- lean bodies, tall bodies, long limbs, SWIMMER bodies, runner bodies…..  I don’t see myself fitting in.  I feel large and wierdball.  I feel like a frumpy fake and ohhh everyone else is in their cycling shorts and… I hear people talking about miles and they just got OFF their bikes… and I hear talk about races they just completed and I begin to think….
Did I work out recently! Haha!  (yes I did and it is very well logged—every week I’ve been 2+x swimming/ 40miles/week running and biking a significant amount… as well as all of the other elements of training that come into play: yoga/strength/conditioning/rolling/rest/physical therapy/ nutrition etc). 
But.. me being me… cannot see or remember that!
I see other people previewing the course and think it must all be so easy for them!
**And 2 weeks of mental training that I do, self confidence building- reminding myself of how well trained I am… and THESE ARE THE THINGS that I think upon ARRIVING AT RACE SITE!!!
So, I take a deep breath, remind myself that I BELONG… that I MORE THAN belong.
I start the swim each year in my age group wave, kind of again feeling like… ahhhhh…. I’m like a kid in this group--- beginner level---- only because my swim is not my strength.  SILLY.  And I know this.  But it takes effort to talk myself through.  To talk myself into finding my space exactly where I want to begin/ not moving over out of deference to someone who may swim faster.  They can pass me.  I deserve the space I am in.
I was an oddball triathlete who kept my first- very low level entry -level tri bike since 2003 up until this year, so 14 years.. (unheard of. It is essentially like still wearing my high school jeans… which…. I sadly also still do)(wear things long enough and they come back in style actually!!!).. anyway…. For years, I’d see people arriving with what probably were very high level pricey bikes and I kind of thought, ahhhh man, I’m on like a toy bike….  But I reminded myself:  IT IS NOT ABOUT THE BIKE- it is about the ENGINE.. and I KNEW from experience that I could stand strong…my bike is always top of the women, but it wasn’t my natural reaction.  I had to talk myself through that and remind myself of that and just keep busy/moving/inwardly focused.  This year I have a new bike.  I am happy to have the technology on my side, but I also will be reminding myself that I am the very capable engine that could…. And can… and WILL….

Eagleman is a HOT AS HELL race usually.  It is notorious for this.  I never wore a 2 piece swimsuit in my life until I realized it helps me at Eagleman to stay a bit cooler and also to hold ICE better.  Growing up in a leotard for gymnastics, a one piece swimsuit even through college, on my honeymoon etc… I am like a fish out of water in a 2 piece.  I stand at the start line thinking, please don’t let me see anyone I KNOW!!!!!  It is only when the race begins and I am in the think of being in a place I am comfortable that I begin to realize that I could care less what others think, and that I am fit and have nothing to worry about.No automatic alt text available.
So… in short, race weekend is a weekend full of internal self talk reminding myself that I am worthy of being there, that I have done an amazing job preparing, that I am as ready as I need to be and even MORE!  It is a weekend of reminders to stop judging myself, to stop negative self talk, to stop drinking in the nonsense that I don’t matter, that I am not enough, and to not make excuses for myself.  I am glad I am aware that these are not logical thoughts I have, glad that I know that these thoughts and any negative self talk do not serve me well or lead me to a place I want to go to…or to a place I belong.. (no one does!!!) 

I need to remind myself that I did not start out with an endurance capability, but I have trained myself hard for years.  That I won’t play mind games with anyone trying to play mind games with me, that I am there as the culmination of a test of what I have done over 5 months, and that the day is a celebration, a party on the roads.  The results are not who I am, but the work I put into the preparation IS WHO I AM!  No automatic alt text available.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Bike part 2

*disclaimer- tomorrow is not on bike-=- tomorrow is on SELF TALK when I arrive at race and see fit people and think that I've never worked out in my LIFE!!!!!  BUT for today:
MORE ON BIKE:  Some strategies that I’ve used on bike before that I need to remember and keep focused on are:  the first 3 miles are as important as the middle 3 as are the final 3.  So, while I want to be measured and calm and smart on the transition into the bike, it is not a 3 mile “warm up”---- I want to get into the bike without blowing my legs up too fast, BUT… I need to remember that those miles are still important. 

One of my best bike split years, I made a list the week before the race of 10 ways to cut off 30 seconds, reminding myseslf that if each of those changes really did make 30 seconds of a difference, that is a 5 minutes faster bike!  That is AMAZING!  And it made a difference.
Some of those things are:
*first mile of bike- get UP TO SPEED before putting my shoes on. (don’t put them on at 10 mph, try to get up to a nice long stretch where I am going strong at 18-20 at least to put them on.
*first few miles being aggressive (still smart)—but getting into a good gear/ giving some good power and getting the legs to work.
*be aggressive on passing: meaning, go for multiple passes at once so you’re not going zig zagging back to the lane line/outside of road each time.
*AT WATER PICKUPS:  this year I am planning on picking up water, YIKES>…… I have to do this well and need to practice.  I am trying to not carry a 2nd water holder behind saddle, so will need a refill at some point, need to be ready to grab bottle without dropping. Then get UP TO SPEED while I refill my between the bars water holder.
*  When the road turns rough and a bit of wind is at my face, take that as an OPPORTUNITY to gear UP INTO IT.  WELCOME IT, even if my pace declines, KEEP MY SAME INTENSITY, OR GREATER.  Be ready for it and work WITH IT as a motivational tool rather than even momentarily being demoralized by it!
*STAY AERO.  DO NOTE COME OUT OF AEROBARS UNLESS it is to STRETCH/ get out of saddle and power/ etc.  STAY LOW/ keep neck relaxed also.
*no time for chat.  (sorry Koen if you are reading this—I think last year we spoke a few sentences.. not this year.  Gotta go).
*miles 35-50 is the tough section/ rough/ doesn’t feel as fast—BUT this doesn’t mean it is ME struggling, so do not READ IT THIS WAY and start trash talking myself.  Continue effort and all is well.  Think nothing of this.  You are doing a half Ironman.  Noone said it would be easy. Ride on.
*sorry if you are reading this and offended but… *if you need to pee on the bike for crying out loud, relax quickly and get it done.  It is weird and unnatural, but don’t waste time and if you can’t, you don’t need to go enough so ride on.
*be prepared with food and anything in your bento box- no struggling with ziplocks/getting no-doz pills out, etc.
*don’t waste words or energy on others who are annoying you/ doing wrong things/blocking/not letting me pass appropriately.  Annoying, but I’ve learned from so many races that it just is, and there is nothing I can do to EDUCATE people here, so carry on.

BREAKING THE RACE UP into manageable segments:
First 5 miles: set the stage and transition strong.  (as well as staying safe in those first miles when things haven’t spread out).

5-26 miles:  First HALF:  push 8.5/10 effort, except a bit less- 8.35ish… yes, this  makes sense to me as a gymnast.

26-41:  15 mile segment to STAY STRONG:  this is a nice time to use my mantra of, “IS THIS YOUR BEST”.  I have always asked my kids this and then it makes me use it on myself also.  When I ask myself this, I often find that I respond with an awareness of, “hmmm I actually have MORE!” 

41-56:  DIG it out here with an element of being gentle from 50-56 miles.  “DIG” has been a mantra I’ve been using.  I feel sometimes like I need to SCRAPE the insides of me with my effort- like digging every last bit of a pumpkin strands when carving a pumpkin.  It makes sense to me and I find myself noticing that I do have a bit more when I say this word.
 *55-56 miles:  remember- mentally reserve energy and get yourself to a place of calm and “poker face”.. yes you’ll be getting on the run but it is NOT OVER when the run begins- LONG WAY LEFT- feel no excitement yet.  Do not be excited- it takes too  much of your energy.  Stay calm and keep working.  Have FUN, but “this is a workday, Sharon”!!!!



Tuesday, May 30, 2017


The bike is usually a strong point for me, and I need to make sure that this year I don’t rely/relax on it, but USE IT!!

I want to have my BEST bike ever.  My goal is UNDER 2:30.  Which is a PR by a little over a minute.  I’ve always hovered 2:32- 2:36.
So the entire focus is FIERCE and focused and every second counts.
Yes, I have to be smart, but I want to GO FOR IT>
This means:
1.       FOCUS
3.      FOCUS
4.      Relaxing THROUGH the work…. Remembering that it is not THE FINISH LINE at the end. (so a bit of mental chill through the work).
5.      FOCUS

I am pretty confident of my bike right now and happy with the training I’ve had.  I’ve pushed hard.  I think I’m going to have a great bike/ more on this in later post.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Eagleman Run, Part 1.

Yep, it’s only day 2 and I’m focusing on the run, whaaaaaaaaaa???????!!!!!
Those of you who are reading this and haven’t done Eagleman (EM)….. the run is hot, literally hot as hell (and I love hot)… but it is ridiculous and it frankly isn’t running.  I always get a little pissed during the run thinking, this is not even a SPORT that I have trained! 
EVERY 2nd weekend in June in Cambridge, MD is 95 degrees (minimum) with 80+ % humidity.  It is frankly dangerous.  (there is also NO shade cover- actually, backtrack- last year they changed the course and there is now about ½ mile (of 13 miles running) of shade cover --- and still zero on bike)….
Anyway: you can run 7 min pace ½ marathons, and EM is just a blessing if you survive at any pace.
*you can kind of see the heat here... enough said:)
I have a hard time keeping my MENTAL “edginess”—not sure the word for it, but like my “hardness” or fierceness/ intensity/ drive……. I find myself “softening” and beginning to say things to myself like, Ohhh Sharon, just do what you can do….. enjoy the day!!!  And I do want to enjoy the day, BUT not jogging or walking.  I honestly before have like clapped my hands a few times to get myself to “harden back up” my focus and drive and to “snap” back into caring???  I know it sounds odd.  I take 2 No-Doz pills at the end of the bike because I also wonder if I’m running out of caffeine and I believe the caffeine helps me be MENTALLY ALERT and focused.  Main thing: I feel like I lose some physical performance because my mind allows me to “go soft.”
*********So… to work on this:  I’ve worked on my long runs on really trying to KEEP EFFORT to the end.  Even if I feel my PACE isn’t the pace I wish it was, I want my EFFORT to be where it needs to be (regardless of the resulting pace)..  I’ve done lots of fast finish runs, lots of runs with ¼ mile repeats at END, or 30 sec sprint at end to keep my legs fast even when they are tired.  But again: really… that is the PHYSICAL part.  I have to mentally never lose my DRIVE. 
The hard thing is BALANCING the drive with the length/patience/long term mentality of the race.   What I mean by this is:  I cannot use my drive in the first 2 miles.  Even though I WANT TO.   I have to coach myself to literally talk myself through staying CALM… and not using up any energy here- no MENTAL energy (and not too much physical also!).  A tendency I have is to get off bike, get to feet and think:  HERE I AM- last part of race!!!  HOLD ON there… this can be 1:40-2 hours…. This really isn’t “the last part”… there is a LONG TIME TO GO Batman….. so I need to shut my mind of and my plan is to mentally be a bit non-chalant for 4 miles.  I will coach myself through *transitioning, *being moderate, *being CALM, *not thinking too much about time or pace, just settling into what I know for me is my smart INTENSITY…. Am I at a good place.  **I will not let myself think about THE END at all here.  4 miles is just the first step of this run.  Just set the stage here.

 (above pic in 2014-- this is a part that I need to calm down on.  it is out of T2 and people there cheering and it is hot and I need to basically zone out/ not think about people/ not think about holy MOLY how am I going to SURVIVE.. I have and I will).
Eagleman happens to be a race of attrition--- I see it every year.  People begin walking and just doing enough to finish.  And you end up seeing more than half the people walking and so it becomes just… WHAT YOU DO…. AND NO.. IT IS NOT WHAT I DO.  I will NOT walk through the aid stations.  Just because I see others doing that, this is NOT MY RACE.  Walking 1 minute each mile through the aid stations leads to a 13 min slower race- NO WAY.  I need to remember.. there is no pause button at the aid stations.  I know I need the aid, I am so thankful  for the ups of ice, etc…. but I am committed to NOT  WALKING.
2nd FOUR MILES: (miles 4-8):  So, if my first 4 were settling in, this is… “settling in stage 2”… I know, maybe that sounds like no plan, but it is…. It is more mentally important to:
*keep my arm cadence
*run tall with my form/ get my feet off ground when they want to plod slower/ lean from ankles which keeps my momentum….
*use my mantras. I will be hot.  At Eagleman I sometimes think my face skin is going to start a fire.  And my shoulders.  I can feel it.  I love the heat, so it always surprises me how much I know this is working against me/ normally I welcome CRAZY INTENSE HEAT!!  But, I feel this and realize I need to be careful.  This year a focus I’m going to try is to when my mind wanders to heat/temperature/ and a whoa is me attitude about the extreme conditions, I need to stop the EXTERNAL focus on environment and go back to internal/ form/ MY RUN/ keeping MY RACE just as real!
*Every mile is a “race goal”- BUT… I cannot get too ahead of myself making something big (13 miles) into too many annoying small goals.  It is always a good reminder to myself during the run that a faster mile makes the race so much more doable—it often doesn’t pay to slow down and just be OUT there burning up for longer! 
*My effort for this 2nd set of 4 miles I want to be at maybe 8/10ish.  On flat- typically I would be loving to hold 7:30-s, BUT… my overall goal for this race is to average 8’s for the entire run (8 MAX is goal.. I want to be UNDER 8’s… so I would like to keep these at 7:40/45 if at all possible.) But… again, it is truly the EFFORT in this race that I need to guage.

When I hit mile 8, I am going to take a 1 mile “get ready” mile… TO FINISH. This doesn’t mean I lay down and try to roll along the ground for amile, BUT…. Stay relaxed physically and mentally and get my thoughts together for the final push (pain).
Mile 9-13:
Here it is:  there is no way I will be comfortable.  There have been times when I swear I am running with no legs and my run is all arms.  There have been years where I ask myself why I thought this was fun, and that I’m never doing it again… (and then 15 min after finish line I am SO set to do again)…. There have been years where I stop on the side of the road a few times waiting a few seconds to see if I”ll get sick.  But there also was a year when I KNEW, if I did my 100%, I could come in under 5 hours.  And I will never forget that feeling of using every thing…. Mind and body connecting… I remember saying to myself, run like your heels are on fire…. And I KNEW a HUGE goal was about to be… half scared, but I TOTALLY took it to my max that year!  It was an AMAZING feeling.  I want that again.
So, that is what I want to channel.  An AMAZING finish.  Make no joke, I KNOW this feels amazing to finish, but it TAKES guts and acceptance of pain and a willingness to let go of all fears. 
My miles 9-13 are going to be taken to 9/10 effort approx. (and last mile- just frankly all I have left).
*In my last 70.3 race, I felt pretty horrible and was very tired, but was so proud to keep it together and keep pushing strong.  One of the things I remember and will never forget was that I took about an entire mile (around mile 10) where I was HOT also there/ just in the open sun and roads and feeling beat down on…. But I knew we were going to the ocean the next day, so for a mile, I talked through all of these ocean things to myself- the sensation of the cool water on my skin, floating on waves, the feeling of soft sand on my feet, etc.  It helped so much for a mile.  Since I am going to the race on my own, I may end up taking a mile to visualize going into the water immediately after the race to cool off.  (last year I didn’t recover very well and I think I was in the heat for too long after without going to cool off) (as ONE of the things!—more on that later- I need to make sure that doesn’t happen again!!!)
So the run…. It is long.  I am ready.  I can do it.  It isn’t easy.  It will be a perfect balance of focusing and letting go, pushing myself with complete humbleness and truth to where my capabilities lie…
A balance of putting 6 months of training on the line, but taking patience to let it happen.

I was 3rd in my age group last year, and this year I would love to be in top 3 again.  (I want to qualify for Worlds in TN in September).  It will come down to the run- to not giving up, to remembering the training I did, and taking some risks on myself.  It is going to be worth it!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

2 weeks until Eagleman 2017

Eagleman is 2 weeks from NOW.  I am so excited and I feel ready, but know I have 2 weeks of prep still to go, and am ready to stay focused for that.
My two weeks of prep is heavy in MENTAL prep… For me, this is a huge part of race day and GETTING THROUGH it… and getting through it to the BEST of my ability.  I develop mantras, identify possible scenarios that could happen and how to deal with, and create opportunities for complete success by envisioning how I want to FEEL.
Today I am starting with the swim, which is a tough spot for me.

Swim is my worst.  Last September, I was DEVOTED to ensuring that this year I was a faster swimmer, and unfortunately I don’t think I am there.  I may be a more “comfortable” swimmer- I may love it a little bit more and feel more at ease, strong in my stroke, but honestly, it unfortunately hasn’t translated into times.  I hit a set back when  my back went out in November/December and even swimming was problematic for my back for a bit, and since then I haven’t come back with the INTENSITY that I wanted to, BUT.. I am still READY… My swim in Florida was a very fast ½ IM pace for me, so I’m not sure if I was
a.      Scared of the gators
b.      Maybe I was faster
c.      Maybe the course was faster- it was easy sighting for me and I do think I did a real good job sighting, plus there was no current in the lake we were in.
REGARDLESS, I am ready for EM swim, but there are some things that I need to remind myself of.
***Swim start:  I want to make sure I have warmed up a bit. I plan to take some “throw away shoes to the swim start area so I can just leave the, but that way my heart rate has been up already.
I have a tendency about 90 seconds into swim to have not a full panic, BUT… a point where I am like HUH, WHAT, I FEEL THIS!!  Surprisingly, I always feel TIGHT IN MY LEGS- like my LEGS ARE SUFFOCATING and not getting air?! Weird.  But the main thing is that I remind myself that I feel that and yes, swim another 1-2 minutes and that feeling will be gone, so do yoga breathing until then and I will be FINE FINE FINE!!
WHAT ARE MY GOALS for the swim?

I would love to swim 36-37 minutes, BUT I know this course has often taken me 40 and sometimes 43. It is a river, there is a current, things happen, so ultimately, my goal will not be so much TIME, but my ACTIONS/PERFORMANCE IN WATER.  I want to start strong, stay smooth and relaxed, BUT WORKING.  Eagleman, I often end up feeling through the water like yea yea, this is good, I’m doing so great… and I think maybe I just stick with that and forget to WORK at the LEVEL OF RACE DAY!  I certainly don’t need to “race” the swim, BUT… I need to BEGIN. THE. DAY.  And those words will be my mantra this year for the swim.  BEGIN. THE. DAY.:  the swim ISN’T going to make or break my day, but it sure will BEGIN it.  I will feel comfortable in the water, but at least the 2nd half I want to be at a place of strong EFFORT.

I intend to set my watch every 8 minutes to beep, and that will let me know when the 16 min mark is to def KEEP FOCUSED through that CENTER SECTION when things seem blah… and then 24 minutes to ramp up, then 32 to GO GO to end.
I am completely okay getting out with heart rate up (not TOO high) but I won’t be SURPRISED or worried by this.  My arms will calm down on bike/ and thus my hr will go down (until LEGS get that soaring again!)

Ughhhhh… in the next 2 weeks I will practice sighting and also make sure I am using my tinted goggles for sun…
I realize swim will not make or break my race.
I am committed to staying strong no matter what my watch says out of the river, BUT... I am going to go STRONG.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Florida 70.3 race report

Florida 70.3

My first 70.3 in Florida. GLAD I DID IT.. a new race, another experience…. I learned from it…. And I will become better from it!  So thankful!

In a nutshell, trying to keep it RELATIVELY SHORT:

*race morning was a bit of a snafu family wise with some unhappy campers and disagreements, ugh.  I didn’t even feel like doing it and wanted to be a grump and pout about the uncooperative atmosphere, but decided to attempt to be an adult.

*arrived at race site, went to get body marked/checked in: I am so used to bringing my bike the day before for 70.3, so it was different to actually have my bike with me.  It was a simple set up, (we arrived early THANKFULLY because parking was a bit scarce!) and I went back to car to sit for a bit, drink coffee, and regroup my brain.

*THANK GOODNESS I went early because when I went back to get in to do one more time through my mental transition prep, I couldn’t even go in then because line was RIDICULOUS! **if you are doing this race in the future- keep this in mind- do not arrive  at that time and expect to walk in!

*RACE START:  wetsuit legal and I think that helped me tremendously with my mind and courage in “facing the alligators!”  I sometimes feel like my wetsuit is protecting me!

Swim started and I felt great for about 2 minutes.  WIERDLY, I remember for the next 2 minutes that my LEGS were like DYING.. like they were exploding/tired/tight/wetsuit bugging them? Anxiety in my LEGS?!! Not even joking---I don’t even know, LUCKILY that went away!  After that, I felt FINE and couldn’t believe that frankly I didn’t even have alligator fear anymore.. it was fine.. I just felt like any other race, I really didn’t have fear, it was just a swim.  Not only a swim, but I felt strong (ish) and felt like my arms were doing a good cadence, and felt like I was not going ever off course/ it was easy to follow, it was GREAT.

(seriously, I cannot believe I Just said that).

Transition: got out of the lake and saw that my time was in the 39’s and was happy with that- not sure what to expect since I felt so good- I thought, hmmm maybe I was flying (for me) and it was 35-6, but, 39 was still good for me/ under 40 and I was happy to be ALIVE!!!

Got on bike/headed out and felt STRONG.  So my bike- first 25 miles I felt AWESOME- really just “managing” not going past the line that I should.  I felt like hmmmm, my legs are working… is it appropriate or too much… or not enough?!  I felt like I was appropriate.  After 25 miles, OH MY GOSH the WIND AND HILLS.  I felt them both. The wind was fierce and worried me immensely.  I didn’t want it to blow me from the side and tweak my back… I also was super concerned about safety.  First: the roads were narrow and NO RIDERS were “calling” their passes (saying on the left EVER EVER EVER.  I Honestly was the only one I ever heard).  There was a guy that was perpetually blocking me that I was back and forth trying to pass- he was prob. Getting annoyed by me saying “on your left on your left” and I was getting annoyed at him and his red cycle shorts riding on the CENTER LINE OF THE ROAD.  THAT IS ILLEGAL DUDE  it is BLOCKING and I finally did tell him.. but honestly, annoying. Completely.

Then the traffic- there were times on these narrow country roads that the traffic was trying to get by in one direction- cyclists passing on the right lane- 1 and 2 at a time…. And it was me passing for 56 miles mostly…. And then traffic would come in the opposite direction- so the cars at times would either stop, or pull INTO the lane with the bikes- then you couldn’t even pass the bikes because the cars were cutting you off, ugh. Annoying.  But it was what it was and for me, at that point, I don’t even worry about speed/places/competing, I Just want to be safe and LIVE!

So, I lost some time there (as did everyone around me and any other places on the road it was happening).  Overall though it was a real nice bike course.  I have felt at times at Eagleman (my typical 70.3 race) at 40—50 miles like UGH, I am SO READY to be off this bike, BUT.. I did NOT experience this at Florida, and so about that I felt AWESOME! Yea yea yea yea!  My time did back off by the end, but I think that was mostly due to hills and wind.  I was really happy with my bike performance. 
I felt strong and yes there are things I want to work on (more on that later) BUT: I felt
success with this bike performance in such an early season race.
Run:  I started off- happy to be on my feet- saw Ryan and the kids and said to them” Ok, first lap, I’m going to just take it easy” – meaning be steady and not be crazy. And it was a strong first lap (4.5 miles).. basically I stopped super quick to go to the bathroom (and solve a bit of a problem) but got out and managed 7:30-40-45 for the first 4.5 miles.  WOW.  During this lap, I started my energy shot/drink, took in water from the stations- that is all.

2nd lap.  I immediately on finishing first lap/beginning 2nd lap started to feel energy and body beginning to feel the effects of the time/heat/jostling in stomach.  My quads once in a while  would kind of give out if I stepped a funny way.  There were maybe 3 big hills on the course that were really steep.  People were walking, but I ran up each of them and was 100% committed to doing this in my head.  One of them was on sidewalk and I hate the hardness of sidewalk running on my joints and I could totally feel it in my hips, but there was no road option.  About 2 miles in on 2nd loop (so about 6.5 overall) I did stop to walk at a water stop, and also grabbed soda.  I knew honestly that I shouldn’t get the soda, but for some reason it is all I want and it feels good the bubbles in my throat and I wanted some of the caffeine.  I drank about 3 sips of it and began running again.  I don’t know if this was the cause of my nausea- I think I was a little nauseas before this… but I need to figure out a way to not give into a “soda craving” during a race and stick with my water and blocks.  I had probably 3 blocks/honey stingers by this time, but frankly I just do not want to eat anymore at this point, and putting them into my mouth just kind of feels grose and they just kind of sit in my  mouth and accumulate nastiness and annoyance to my mouth.  I was struggling to finish 2nd loop, but I did and thought ok, this is it, I’ve got one more.  Mentally going past finish line 2x before having to start out on final loop was a challenge.   I was probably somewhat barely moving at this point.. but was proud that I was moving.  Every step was an effort, but I was totally taking it.  Hills again/pushed myself through.  The sidewalk hill I had to walk probably 20 -25 seconds of because I was really worried now about getting sick.  Turned the corner about 9.5/10 miles in and had to go to the bathroom… (like #2- n ot bad, just could feel it and frankly wasn’t sure if it was making me feel like I had to puke- sorry for tmi) so I did a super quick stop, got going again, but still struggled with energy and nausea.  BUT.. I also was totally IN IT mentally still- NOT GIVING UP.  I think this is why overall I felt I “did well” on the run.  My time wasn’t obviously the speed I would have liked/expected/trained for.  BUT.. I knew I could have given up one million times and I never did.  I also kept telling myself one of my race mantras, “you can be courageous or you can be comfortable” and I was choosing courage every step.  At one point probably 11 miles in, I spent probably an entire mile of the race visualizing the beach.  I literally took 1 mile to slowly go through imagining the feeling of sand on my feet, the sounds, the beauty, the feeling of my legs in water (which I was REALLY CRAVING at this point!) I was imagining just floating and joy of the waves that I knew I would have the next day… So this really helped take my mind off a bit of pain.   During the run there were 2 women who passed me in my age group (funny thing I think they may have been the only 2 who passed me- but they both unfortunately had my age group on the back of their legs)…. I wasn’t thrilled about this, but it is funny, at the time, I was totally fine and okay with it because I knew that was not what I could do- I couldn’t hold onto their pace, and I could only be where I was.  I sometimes like that about races- where you get to the point of not minding someone beating you because it is not an option for your body- you have to do what you are only trained for- I wasn’t at the place to go that speed on the run…

So I finished.  10 minutes of really just walking around and couldn’t even really talk to Ryan and kids, just had to walk and then sit in shade.  Then I tried to get some food because I thought it would be smart, but warm pasta after a race like that just makes me feel even sicker.  There were grilled chicken pieces to put in the pasta and I had that on the side and tried to put it in my mouth but had to spit it out.  Luckily there were orange slices and I had probably about 10 of those, oh they were sOOOO good.  Thank goodness for them.  I was sitting in the shade and just started shaking and getting huge goosebumps, so had to move to the sun and it felt so so soothing on my body…  I was trying to not drink any diet soda afterwards, but I did after 15 min approx. let myself have some “sips” just not gulping it down, and it didn’t seem to make me sick. (A few races last year I got sick after and I wasn’t sure if it was the diet soda). 
SO.  Where do I go from here.


Eagleman is 8 weeks.  I want BETTER.  Swim- want to keep it strong. That is all.  So I will possibly devote a bit less time to swim.

Bike:  I want to work MORE – not necessarily to become faster, but- to make sure my body is as unphased as possible by the length/intensity, and I can get OFF the bike with energy and MENTAL energy as well.

Run:  this is what I need to work on.

I need to work on fueling to make sure I don’t feel nauseas.

I need to work on running on TIRED LEGS.  (I have done several long bricks, and I need more and more and more and more.)

(and I will).

And I need to work on constant pacing after 5-6 miles in the heat.  I need to work on eeking out 15-20-25 sec per mile.  Each mile.  Not letting the miles drift.  Not needing to stop for bathroom breaks. 

I need to work on QUAD STRENGTH.  I am going to have 5 weeks beginning immediately of STRENGTH WORK.   (legs) and (also triceps)--- what the heck- my triceps were tired from gripping on the bike in all the wind!!

I was happy with my “performance” on swim bike run.

I was happy with how I trained for this early season race, and how I did on race day.  Honestly I wasn’t “thrilled” with my placing (13th age group—there were 3 internationals so it was kinda “like” 10th ish, but… ugh.  Would have wanted top 5, right).. (and then top 3!) So… I was a little frustrated, BUT I know that just means there was a strong field and that is great.  Eagleman though is my A race.  And I was 3rd AG last year and want to be top 3 age group again.  I do and I will go for it for the next 8 weeks with everything I have😊