Happy 2014!

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Happy New Year!!

I hope everyone has arrived here happy, healthy, and ready to tackle 2014 head on!

I’m not a huge proponent of New Years resolutions, per say, but I do like to take some time to reflect on the previous year and set some goals for the new one.

calvin-hobbes-new-years-resolutions-572x433

Some are sport related, others are a bit more personal, but each one will hopefully help facilitate positive growth as both a person and an athlete.

I encourage everyone out there to take a few minutes and do the same. You’ll be amazed at what you’ve accomplished and all the possibilities that lie ahead!

Happy New Year everyone!

Run Happy, My Friends!

happy runner

 

 

Write it Down…Make it Count!

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March is blowing in quickly and for some of us that means we’ve got about 4-6 weeks to get ready for the 1st race of the season…

Time to iron out the kinks and figure out how much damage old man winter has really done to the body!

One thing, I’m doing over the next few weeks is taking some time to really figure out what I hope to achieve throughout the 2013 race season.

I’m actually putting pen to paper and WRITING DOWN some goals….

goalsettingThe SMART kind….

What’s on my list so far?

Here’s a peek:

  1.  Shortened transition times….no more picnics only drive-bys! I say this every year, but this time I mean it…I’ve GOT to get in and out of that place in under 90secs this year!
  2.  Much improved swim times. I have the specifics written down as we all should, and I’ve worked my ASS off to get where I want them to be so hopefully it will transpire..
  3.  To be a more efficient cyclist…again I have all kinds of numbers written down and they seem ridiculously easy, but having just put the quarq on my bike a few weeks ago I realize how inefficient I’ve been these past few years. Speed is great, but ultimately I’ve got to be an efficient engine…and so the work goes on!

There you have it….three long-term objectives for year-end improvement.

Each race will have its own set of goals and ideally they’ll be tied to the BIG 3 so I will always be working to meet my primary objectives.

So what about you??!!

Have you taken a minute to think about what you want to accomplish this year?

What are you gonna do to make it count?

Ride Happy, My Friends!

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A Room With A View

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Vacation…

a lil’ bit of overdue R&R…

what could be better…

view from the family room/back upper deck

Unless it’s combined with some good ole fashioned racing!!

It seems like FOREVER since I racked into transition and got body marked.

April is pretty close to forever, isn’t it???

Saturday we will be participating in the Grandman Triathlon in Fairhope, AL.

It’s just a short sprint consisting of a 600m swim, 18mi bike, and a 5k run, but enough to test the waters to see how my knee/ITB hold ups through some exertion as I start trying to get some running fitness back in time for the NOLA 5150 in late June.

As of now, things are progressing nicely and as expected. I can physically run the distance, but the heat and humidity is making it harder than I’d like.

I’m certainly not doing it at my spring pace. Some of that is due to the climate and some of it is simply due to simply needing to get my legs back.

All in good time.

For this race, my REAL goals have nothing to do with time or placement (REALLY, I SWEAR 🙂 )….

The short list:

  • lightening quick transition times
  • actually pushing my pace on the bike, to where I’m a bit uncomfortable, since I don’t need to worry about “saving” anything for the run…
  • swimming calm and relaxed, but strong and determined
  • to finish the 5k in under 30mins without discomfort…not the 7:56 pace of spring, but I wouldn’t hit that anyway with this heat and humidity
  • REALLY enjoy the event, realizing the 5150 is the next “big” one

I really should add figuring out the multi-sport function on my Garmin 910XT as well, but I can’t make any promises on THAT

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend training and racing.

Good Luck to everyone.

Stay Cool. Hydrate. It’s brutal out there!

Run Happy, My Friends!

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

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The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity. – Ulysses S. Grant

I can not begin to thank each of you enough, for all of your support and encouragement, especially over the 3 weeks.

Your comments, emails, texts, and phone calls have meant more than you’ll ever know. I assure you, without them I probably would’ve just succumb to my pride/ego and have not even attempted to finish this thing Sunday.

I tend to be an all or nothing kinnda girl. So to have NO chance at all of meeting my goal…

Well, I was having a hard time finding the purpose of even lacing up my running shoes. I was totally prepared to hand off my chip after the bike and just settle for a DNF.

Tuesday I had an epiphany or maybe I got tired of my solitary pity party….

Quitters never win….Winners never quit.

It’s easy to go out there when everything is hunky dory, but that ain’t life. Sometimes it gets ugly and you have fight for what you want.

And while it may not be the prettiest of days, these are the ones that we remember. These are the ones that we cherish and hold on to because of everything we had to go through to finish.

Later down the road, when everything IS peachy keen again, these moments come back to give us perspective and clarity……they get through the tough moments during future events, because we know that we DO have the capability to dig deep and do just about anything.

Come Sunday I will have each one of you there with me, in spirit, helping me through every single mile.

With no expectations other than having fun and enjoying the day….

…..and crossing the finish line!

To everyone else racing this weekend….and I know there are a lot of you,

GOOD LUCK out there!! Have fun and do great things!!

Race Happy, My Friends!

Take a Look at Yourself

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“The distance is nothing; it is only the first step that is difficult.” -Madame Marie du Deffand
 

Last week I wrote about the number of athletes who were giving up triathlon because it was to time consuming and they viewed their continued participation as selfish. I got a ton of emails and responses that all seemed to carry the same message…balance is the key and anything is possible if you really want it.

At the same time I was tweeting with David Mills (@AverageIronMan) who is about to launch his new book The Distance.  

Having brought you my rather negative viewpoint last week, I wanted to BALANCE that with a piece about some really astonishing athletes that are accomplishing greatness every single day.  

Who might they be and what are their secrets to success??!! Well, David has written a book all about it.

It’s you, it’s me and it’s every other age grouper out there that’s making the time to set goals and then working their asses off to achieve them.

He’s the lead man in this story, but David is just like the rest of us. He goes to work everyday, he has a family, and he has to bust his butt to fit training in the best way he knows how.

And you know what, he does a pretty good job.

Just like we all do.

So take a look in the mirror and pat yourself on the back because you, my friends, are doing great things every day!

Enjoy the teaser, the book will be out in a few weeks!

 

One Piece At A Time

 There is something deep inside all of us that asks the question, “Could I do that?”  Whenever we see a person earn a difficult degree or cross a big finish line we cannot help but wonder if they are different from us.  Do they have something we don’t?  Are we capable of the same accomplishment?

 After watching two of my friends finish an Ironman Triathlon I couldn’t help but ask myself that same question.  “Could I do that?”  At first I dismissed the question.  It’s absurd.  Only other people do stuff like that.  Average Joe’s like me can’t do an Ironman, right?  After all, I’ve got kids and a job; I’m not the kind of guy who wears a Speedo and shaves his legs.  Still something in me couldn’t stop asking that question.  So I set out to discover the answer.  I decided to find out if I could do that.

 When I first got into the pool at the fitness center I could barely swim two laps before I needed a break.  How was I ever going to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and then run 26.2 miles – all in a row?!  At first it nearly killed me to bike 20 miles.  Soon enough I could bike 25.  By consistently increasing just a little bit at a time, I was eventually swimming more laps and biking and running more miles than I ever had before. 

 Whenever I looked at the entire event I would get overwhelmed and discouraged.  But I would force myself to just look at the small portion that was right in front of me.  I knew I could bike just one more mile.  I knew I could jog just a little bit further.  Large goals must be broken down and tackled one small piece at a time.

 I often hear people say, “Oh, I could never do that.”  I want to tell them, “Of course not – you haven’t trained yet.”  That’s like thinking, “Oh, I could never play the piano.”  Well, you could if you took lessons and practiced a little everyday. 

 There is no single, huge workout that prepares you for an Ironman.  It is only through many consistent investments that we accomplish anything great in life.  Whether we are earning a degree, learning to play an instrument, or saving for retirement, we can easily become discouraged if we try to take on the entire mountain at once.  But with gradual change, anything is possible. 

 By focusing only on the small goals right in front of me and tackling one at a time an Average Joe like me was able to finish an Ironman Triathlon.  I answered the question, “Could I do that?”  And I learned a lot about breaking down large goals into smaller, more manageable pieces.  What mountain in your life appears insurmountable?  It’s amazing how everything changes when we start to view our marathon as merely a series of one mile jogs. 

 David Mills is the author of The Distance: An Average Joe’s Path to Balancing Family, Work & Triathlon(Coming this August!)  Pre-order your copy at http://thedistancebook.com/ and follow David at www.facebook.com/TheDistanceBook as he trains for his 2nd Ironman.

 

Run Happy, My Friends!

How Bad Do You Want….errr Believe It?

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“People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success.” -Norman Vincent Peale

 

Lately I’ve had several discussions, with friends, all containing one common element:

MOTIVATION

One is in the process of loosing it, another wonders why she never found it to begin with, and a third is questioning where the hell his ran off too. Right now, I consider myself lucky to be on a search and rescue mission for others and not trying to locate my own personal motivator.

Now, many people tend to confuse motivation with how much they may want something. Ahhh, if only it were that easy! 

Motivation is defined as the inner power or energy that pushes an individual toward acting, performing actions and achieving.

Motivation is really just about someone’s desire and ambition, and if they’re absent, motivation tends to be absent as well. All too often, a person has the desire or “the want” to achieve their goal, but lacks the push, initiative and willingness to take action and/or do the work that is required to reach that goal. This is attributed to lack of motivation…or a loss of it.

It happens to everyone from time to time. The key, is to get it back. And quickly!

In order to do so, it’s imperative to alter the way in which one thinks. No longer is simply wanting success enough. An individual must actually BELIEVE they can succeed (do you mean it? ) and BELIEVE in the steps that will lead to success, in order to for that to carry over and translate into actual success.

Is it more important to want to achieve your goals or to BELIEVE you will achieve them? Would you rather have someone want something for you or have them BELIEVE in you?  

I realize this is easier said than done so, for now, this is going to be a regular occurrence around here…

A weekly pep talk of sorts.

So we can find what’s gone missing.

If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.  ~Vincent Van Gogh
 
Ride Happy, My Friends!