Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013... By The Numbers

OK so as I continue to analyze my training/racing this past year, I went back and looked up some numbers for 2012 vs 2013. (2012 was easy b/c I compiled them and wrote up a blog post!) Mostly I just did a quick comparison of total volume in each sport.

I thought I swam a decent amount in 2012... had ~525Kyd. This past year, even with Dec being very small, I swam over 200K more than in 2012! Yikes. That seems absurd at the moment especially given that I only got maybe a hair faster. 525K seems like plenty. No need for 735,000+yd again in 2014.

Again with biking I thought 7,090 miles in 2012 was a lot... but in 2013 I added almost 2000 miles to that, topping out at just over 9000 miles for the year (again with Dec being near zero). My biking did get pretty strong this year but I don't think it was a lot stronger than it has been since 2011. The interesting thing about the bike volume is that is was done by riding frequently, not by riding long. My longest training rides were rarely more than ~80 miles... seriously I think I did maybe 3-4 rides total that were over 90 miles (not including my 2 ironman races). So mostly this was adding up a ton of 35-45 mile rides. A lot of this riding was quite hard as well but without monitoring HR or power I can't really quantify how hard. Given my racing results though I'd go out on a limb and call it too much and too hard.

My run volume was actually only a little higher in 2013 vs 2012... I came up with 1520 miles this year vs ~1480 last year- but again, Dec was very low volume running so this is mostly an 11 month total. The vast majority of those run miles this year were done by feel vs by HR and the end result was 2 of my slowest ironman marathons in years, so clearly running by feel is not a method that works for me. Without a doubt I need a leash to hold me back on my easy runs- making sure they are legitimately easy vs just adding unnecessary stress without even contributing to metabolic efficiency. I do think run volume works for me but I need to go about monitoring the intensity differently.

I do think there are a few good things about that training I did... I believe the volume might prove to be beneficial once I shed the excess fatigue (after ~4 weeks of doing next to nothing it seems to be mostly gone now). It's been interesting though as I've strapped my HR monitor back on this past week. All those run miles did NOT make me more aerobically efficient on the run. Isn't that crazy?!? I remember when Lucho started coaching me in 2011 and he was watching my HR/pace on the run and told me that I was not aerobically fit and I was totally offended thinking WTF I'd done like 10 Ironmans or whatever how was it possible I was not aerobically fit??? But he was right! And even though I hated it (at first), I was diligent about my run training that year and per his instructions I held back A LOT in training (but put in the miles for sure) and low and behold that was the year I had my best triathlon runs- both 70.3 and Ironman marathons.

So now here I go strapping my HR monitor on again and I find my ability to run with HR in the 140's is not good (it's getting better fast though in a week I'm a minute/mile faster at that low HR). But I was fooling myself this whole past year running my 'easy' runs probably with HR in the 160's and that is not actually 'easy' and it did not work out well for me. Turns out, simply running a lot does not make me aerobically fit. Have to do those miles at the right intensity if I want the right results! :) So, in 2014 I'm going back to the Lucho method of run training (ok, bike too) focusing primarily on MAF running for the next few months then will do my quality mostly with long tempo runs once my HR monitor tells me I'm ready for that. This time around I'm actually enjoying the process because I'm confident it's the right path for me! Cheers to 2014! Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Thank You For The Lessons

And just like that, it's almost 2014!

I am not immune to the New Years way of thinking... sometimes I even make resolutions. Well, not really resolutions, but goals, and I guess those are pretty much the same thing, no? Anyway, like many others out there I am reflecting on the last year and thinking and planning for how I am going to move forward. And I have some very clear ideas!

Since this is a triathlon blog I'll stick mostly to my triathlon-related thoughts and plans, with just a quick mention that one of my biggest goals for 2014 is to learn how to grow fruits and vegetables in my yard! I've spent a lot of time this month digging and planting and watering and I hope to be able to soon feed myself and my family some good fresh food that grew right here. I'm super inspired to make it happen and can see myself getting pretty into the gardening thing! Anyway.

So 2013 was an interesting year. I think I mentioned before that while I'd consider it without a doubt the year I did my very best training, it is also, interestingly, the year I showed up feeling flat and unable to perform to all my big races. I took most of the month of December to reflect on this and of course the two are related. Kind of a bummer really b/c while I'd love to repeat the training that I did, I have no desire to repeat those race experiences, which means that really, I need to change my training.

I read this article a few weeks ago when it was floating around and it really hit home. I'm going to write about that article assuming you've read it... In it he talks about the ingredients to success... Talent, Work, and the Touch. I'm not sure I have the talent, but I sure have done the work, and over the years, like the author of the article, I think I've lost the Touch. He writes:

In my swimming career, as I went on, my workouts kept getting faster and faster, and over a few years I became much more focused on training. I always trained well, but it became more of an obsession and an end in itself over the years. This resulted in the achievement of some pretty high levels of conditioning and some outstanding workout sets which stand on their own, but my performances in meets became more of an academic exercise. It was as though through training I wanted to “prove” my ability to perform, much like Middle Age philosophers tried to prove the existence of God. I had to prove it to myself by training faster and faster every year and over time I relied less and less on faith or “the Touch.” I knew what the results would be because I had already been there. I lost that sense of wonder and anticipation, and I lost the belief that I had another level to reach on race day. Now, don’t get the wrong idea—I’m not talking about loafing through practice. I’m talking about maintaining an attitude–through whatever works for you—that you’ve got something more, and when the time comes you’re ready to unleash one. Training and practice are feasibility studies—you need to do enough to know you’ll be ready on race day, and better prepared than just about anyone. What if someone out there is better prepared than you? They might be—that is quite possible—it’s even probable—but if you’ve paid attention to what I am telling you–Does it matter?

Not that I've ever really had a super magic touch, but I do remember in the past surprising myself during races- performing better than I did in training or maybe even better than I thought possible based on my training! THAT is what makes racing fun! Unfortunately, I did not experience any of that this past year. I did have some training sessions that were so awesome I sent my coach text messages directly from my car at the track... so stoked at how well I'd nailed a session that I just had to share right now... but then pretty much universally on race day I felt the desire to go hide in a hole for a few days after crossing the finish line, wondering what had just happened??

So. What to do about that? How does one go about getting that magic feeling back on race day? I think it's about making sure you are as best prepared as possible for the race, yet without showing up at the start line having left your best performance on the road or track the prior week. Managing your training in a way that allows you to believe in your ability without having to prove it to yourself every Tuesday... Keeping in mind that the goal of each training session is to prepare you for a good performance on race day... Training sessions are not races in and of themselves... "Training and practice are feasibility studies". I love that!

I feel really strongly that I know what kind of fitness I need to have in order to perform to my potential in a race. I've toyed with the idea of finding a new coach for 2014, but every time I think about it, I picture myself questioning any new training process that is not the process that I want to put myself through. We all know how important it is to believe in your training, and I know exactly the type of training I believe in! It worked brilliantly for the majority of the athletes I guided this past year, so going forward, I am going to be guiding myself. When I ask myself the question, Who would I trust to coach me this year? The answer now is ME! And how cool is that?!?

So, for the next few months, I am focusing on three things: 1) Getting strong in the gym; 2) Reclaiming my aerobic efficiency by strictly adhering to HR on bike/run; 3) Obtaining a body weight that allows me to run to my potential (ahem, not the weight I am at right now!! Yikes put down the chocolate rum balls, Michelle.). That is the foundation I believe I need in order to put together the key training sessions I will want to complete in the spring when I am getting ready to race.

And there you go! Boom! I feel good about 2014! AND there are some other new things that are developing that are renewing my excitement for triathlon... more on those soon. :)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Letting It Go

OK so Christmas was super fun and all (at 5, Moana is pretty much at PEAK excitement over the Santa thing!) but there is a part of me that is glad it's over! I'm not like Ba-Humbug or anything... if I'm honest it's mostly just because all the food that has been in front of me in the past 3 weeks has been covered with butter and pecans (and maybe whipped cream) and I have about zero self-control around that stuff... especially when I am in a phase of 'training' that includes no actual 'training' and therefore requires no self-discipline! So it's a bit of a double whammy... eat delicious crap then don't train = feel like a slug + put 5 lbs right around your mid-section. So then you feel fat and sluggish so going for a run sounds like a terrible idea (um, who wants to feel like an elephant while running??) so might as well just eat more somethingorother withwhippedcreamplease. Why not?

So there you go. At least I know how I earned these extra pounds (my method was legit!), and yes I know it's fine, but there's a part of me that longs to feel energized like I used to feel after eating lots of fresh plants and putting in a strong training session! Eating crap makes me feel like crap and now I understand why so many Americans feel like crap all the time. It's not rocket science! It's diet.

Anyway, I think I can safely say that this is the longest self-imposed break I've ever taken from training. I've taken breaks before but they've mostly been forced upon me either by someone or something else... I've never just voluntarily let my fitness go like this just because I didn't feel like training. After Cozumel though my gut was telling me that I needed a long extended break. And as sad as it is to go from peak fitness to serious slug (seriously I mean how the hell does one's fitness decline so freakin' fast?!?) I do believe it was necessary for me this year both physically and mentally.

I did decide to go back to Crossfit a couple times/week. Mostly because it was something completely different than the long endurance training my body was used to and when I started to feel like I wanted to move again (but not swimbikerun) it seemed like a good option. So amazing too how I can go into that box and lift like 1/5 of what everyone else is lifting yet still be debilitated for 5 days afterward. So weak. Seriously- we were doing some sort of overhead jerk movement last week... I was doing it with 55lbs which seemed plenty heavy then I look over and next to me is a woman, 33 weeks pregnant, jerking 30lbs more than me. Like a boss! Um. Speechless. That is all.

On Christmas Eve I went and did one of their special crazy WODs... 12 days of Crossfit. It was 12 of their favorite moves done in rounds like 1; (2, 1); (3, 2, 1); (4, 3, 2, 1), etc up to 12 and by the 12th round I thought I was going to die.

I think it was the burpees that threw me over the edge, but I spent that whole 12th round trying to breathe while jumping and squatting and swinging and throwing that damn medicine ball around. I did manage the 2 strict pull-ups every round though and that made me proud!

Anyway, so that's a bit of what's going on here! But wait! There's more! I did get talked into getting back into the water this morning... my training partner Mark basically begged (ok not really) so I stuffed myself into my bathing suit and jogged 6 minutes down to the pool (HUGE perk of our new house location!)... so I did get back in and swim with him this morning and it was 2600M of ugly. Maybe I'll go back tomorrow. :)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Instead of blogging I should probably be cleaning up around here or unpacking more boxes or whatever, but it's livable here in our new house so I'm calling it good, even if there's still a lot of home projects to be started finished. I am guessing there will always be projects to do around here so I'm not going to drive myself crazy thinking they all need to be done right this second. If I'm honest, I'd admit that I used to be a lot more Type A about home organization, but I've been married to a man who is Type B for 5+ years now and part of the reason I'm not currently completely insane is that I've let some of my own Type A Crazy go.

In good news, we've got a decorated Christmas tree in our living room (next to the fireplace, which we have not used yet, but one of these nights we will!) and lights up outside. Elf has come to our house and sometimes he even flies around, which delights Moana. So we are like totally in the Christmas spirit here!

So even amidst the disorganization, I am loving our new house! It's up on the top of a hill on a quiet dead end street with ~10 other houses. I wake up every morning and look out the window and see this.
And then mid-day I look out the window and see this (Kaneohe Bay off in the distance). I swear I feel like the Queen of Kaneohe up here! Ha!

The weather this December has been better than any past December I can remember… Usually around this time I'm complaining about being cold and wet, but it has been nearly perfect every day. Too bad I'm not riding my bike this month!! Guaranteed the wind and rain will come in January when I will likely start pedaling again. ;) Anyway.

Couple other awesome things I am loving about our new house:

#1 Moana has made some friends across the street. 3 boys live there, ages 3-9, and every day she wants to go play with her friends. They are really nice boys and so far they've been awesome with Moana. Seeing them outside barefoot riding bikes up the street and playing croquet in the backyard and shooting water guns at each other makes me feel all warm and content. It's how it should be when you're a kid growing up, and she's been missing that until now. It's so good. Except for the kissing part. Yes. On day 2 of playing with her new friends I had to have a talk with my five year old about not kissing boys. Help me.

#2 There is FRUIT growing in our backyard! Well, just avocados and figs at the moment… but that avo tree is loaded. This is the view from our bedroom window (through the screen).
I've learned that it takes ~7 days for the avos to soften up after I pick them… and they easily last 4-5 days after they're soft enough to eat… so I've been picking like 5 at a time. And eating them with a spoon.
So far I don't really know what to do with the figs, but I'll figure it out! And one of the next projects will be planting these plants that my friend Mark sprouted for us! (Fwiw, sprouted plants as housewarming gifts are the bomb!) Soon we will also have beets, kale, papaya, lilikoi… well, IF I can figure out how to grow these things without killing them. I'm not known for my green thumb but I am motivated to try!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Adventure Swimming

Yesterday was the 32nd Possibly Annual Looooong Distance Waikiki RoughWater Swim on Oahu. It's pretty much the normal Roughwater course but instead of just one way, it's out/back, and ~7K.

After Cozumel I told Nalani I was OUT for the double this year… Just feeling so burnt out and tired and not interested in continuing to train or race or whatever. My Give-A-Shit meter was just broken. But then ~10 days passed and I just felt like I'd probably end the year with some regret if I didn't sign up for and do that swim. I haven't missed it in like 8 years. I figured that surely the huge amount of swim training I did this past year would get me through that race even if I didn't do much at all in the two weeks between Cozumel and the Double Rough…

I swam ~2500M on the Friday before and then came home and promptly fell sound asleep, feeling totally trashed. So sad how fast my swim fitness fades. But that's not what this post is about!

I have to say, part of the reason I like to support the Double Roughwater is that I know the race director won't cancel or modify the swim on us last minute because of rough conditions. His thing is "It's billed as the ROUGHwater…" So there's no whining if/when the water is super rough! In fairness, the only people who typically come out for this event are fairly accomplished and experienced ocean swimmers,  we each have to be individually 'approved' by the race director himself, and we each have our own kayak escort… so even though it's the most challenging ocean swim around, we are all capable swimmers so it is fine.

The best part is the pre-race meeting, where Jim, (race director) gets up and tells us all about the potential dangers we face & how unforgiving the ocean can be… Big fish, man-o-war, jellyfish, strong currents, etc. The last thing he says to us every year is "If you're unsure, don't swim." And then we all go line up at the oceans edge and wait for him to yell "Go".

In the picture above you can see how dark it looks off in the distance… that's where we swam (straight into the storm!) and it did indeed get pretty ugly. I haven't watched TV in about a month (didn't watch any while we were on our mainland trip and we don't have cable set up yet in our new house) and honestly I hadn't even thought to check the weather report. Apparently the National Weather service had posted a (rare!) thunderstorm warning for Sunday morning. Ignorance is bliss, no?

Whatever though, right? I was out there trying to swim and feeling like a rag doll being tossed around in a washing machine. But you know what? I wasn't the slightest bit upset about it. Instead I just felt relieved that Jim had enough confidence in us to allow us each to make our own individual decision on whether or not we wanted to put ourselves out there. And when I finished, Moana was on the beach cheering for me. It was super fun to scoop her up and carry her across the finish line. :)

After the race, Jim was quoted as saying, The event was typically enjoyable despite (or because of) the deteriorating weather that started 45 minutes after the start on Kaimana Beach at the foot of the Diamond Head volcano on Oahu. “The changing water conditions and currents added interest and challenge to the swim,” said race found and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame honoree Jim Anderson. “But the escorts had a somewhat more difficult time with the weather, but they were unanimous that it was a fun event.

So that's what I love about this event… the athletes who participate genuinely like (and embrace!) extra challenging conditions. It's like Adventure Swimming at it's best! Instead of seeing a strong current as a reason to modify the swim, in an event like this it's seen as an element that adds interest. YES. Thank you. I find myself feeling more and more drawn to events like this one.

Plus, at the end, even though emergency sirens were going off in town (warning of impending flash flood conditions) we hung out and put away bottle after bottle of champagne… It was a great way to end the year.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Ironman Cozumel, Afterthoughts...

I posted this the other day, for like an hour, and then took it down. I don't know. I wish I had a super cheery post for you where I just gush about how happy I am that all my hard work paid off and I had the race of my dreams… But that is not this. This is maybe more a lesson about how sometimes hard work can be too much.  And how sometimes it backfires on you and you just feel flat and blah throughout your race day. In good news, I feel like I have a pretty good grip on what the issue was so if my mojo ever comes back I might be able to right the ship. Its true that sometimes you learn the most when things don't go your way. And while I'm trying to find positive things to say, I'll tell you that it never once occurred to me to quit. :) So this is an honest look at how the day went for me anyway and even though it's a lot less fun to write, it's maybe more interesting than reading a race report that goes, "I just felt great and had a super day and am so happy!" Lol. So here you go. :)

Once again I find myself on a long flight home from a disappointing race… my initial thoughts were that I would not bother with a race report on this one b/c these types of race reports are just old and redundant… and I am not one to make up a bunch of excuses… but I know some of my athletes were genuinely curious as to what happened out there on Sunday and I do believe its true that we learn the most when a race doesn't go as anticipated… I'm not going to bore you with the details of a play by play of the day but I will jot down some of my thoughts because I feel like there's definitely something to learn here. Hindsight is 20/20 in this case.

My training in the 12 weeks leading up to the race was really solid. In the 2-3 weeks prior to the race I'd logged some training sessions that would fall under the category of 'Best Ever' and I was stoked, thinking, I'm almost 40 and I am in the best shape of my life! Honestly I thought this was super cool and it gave me more confidence than ever that I was finally going to have my day. I had added a piece of mental training that I have not done before and I can say that was the real saving grace for me. Hey! At least one thing went well! And that's a BIG thing. 

I'd like to say I don't have much to say about the swim- but of course I have a lot to say! My opinion (of course) is/was that it was just LAME of WTC to shorten the swim like that. Yes- the current was legit but it was swimmable for most. Yes- the DNF rate would have been higher and some of the weakest swimmers probably would not have been able to do it, but the vast majority would have been fine and had they let us swim as planned, at the end of the race we'd all be talking proudly about the *epic* swim we survived instead of trying to guess what our 'real' finish times would have been had we had a 'real' swim. Shoot, they could have at least let us go the full 2.4 miles- all they would have had to do is allow us to go 1/4 mile past the finish dock then turn around and do last 1/4 mile into the current to finish up- that solution still would have catered to the lowest common denominator b/c 2+ miles still would have had the strong downstream current and the 'hard' part would have been super short. BUT they continue to send the message to triathletes that there's no need to really prepare for the swim portion of a race because if it looks like there's even a slight possibility (at all) that the swim might pose an actual challenge, they will alter it at the last minute to make sure its as easy as possible. 

Sorry. That sounded bitter I know. I did say I'd be honest though, right?

Fwiw, in case you're wondering, I would have felt similarly had they (for whatever reason) shortened the run to 20 miles because it was windy with rain coming down in sheets. I knew/understood the distances when I signed up, as did everyone else, and I prepared as best I thought I could for the full distance for all 3 legs, and to do so in any conditions, as did everyone else. So I'm not just bitter about the swim because I'm a swimmer, though the consistency with which WTC alters the swim leg leaves me less and less interested in WTC races.

In good news, guess what?? I'm a 38' Ironman swimmer!! Ha! #Lame. In good news, I think I did a pretty good job of letting go of how shitty I felt that whole situation was and immediately moved on mentally. I finished the swim and then completely forgot about it in T1. 

I never felt good at all on the bike. Well, maybe for a bit on the second loop I felt like I had my legs but that was pretty short lived. The whole time it felt like it was just harder than it should have been. I got passed by more people (men and women) than it seemed like I should have (more than normal anyway and given how my training went this was somewhat confusing to me) but I simply was unable to respond. I tried to keep a positive attitude about it- talking nicely to my legs and thanking them for hanging in there even though they really weren't… I've never actually spoken to my muscles so kindly- usually when they're not performing like I think they should, I yell at them… to which they respond by rebelling and completely seizing up on me… effectively stopping me in my tracks. Mental/verbally abusing myself mid-race does not work and I finally understand that (yay me!). So this was a bit of a revelation and a lesson I will take with me going forward. What is that Natalie Merchant song that goes, I want to Thank You Thank you, thank you thank you, thank you thank you…. That was in my head for the entire 3rd lap when my legs were just DONE and I swear the only way I got through it was thanking my muscles for not giving out on me completely.

Side note: If my mojo ever comes back and I decide I want to take on another Ironman, this is my bike course for sure. That flat windy road right along the ocean is pretty much exactly what I train in all the time. Lucky me I know!

I was telling myself to save my energy for the run, but there was just no energy available to save for the run anyway. It was like that really deep well I built/dug while training all year was simply dried up. More on this later… 

I will say this about the bike- it was 100% possible to ride very legally even on this flat course. It also seemed quite obvious to me whether or not athletes were choosing to draft/cheat. Especially on the windy section. I saw a lot of athletes going out of their way to stay legal. (yay athletes riding fairly!) I also saw a lot of blatant wheel suckers in groups.  I saw only one woman cheating (the rest I saw were men)- I saw her not once but TWICE sitting inches from a guy's wheel while they both passed me and rode away… She was in an older age group and ended up with a Kona spot. Again- more on her later…  I only lost my cool once and yelled at one big group (declaring them all f'ing cheaters) so let's call this a success for me. :) In the past I have let this cheating get to me a lot more than I did on Sunday. This time around I pretty much just acknowledged it then let it go.

So onto the marathon… Going in to this race I really did believe I was ready to finally have the breakthrough marathon my training had indicated I could have. And even when I started running and my quads felt like absolute mince meat I still believed I could turn it around. I was telling myself all sorts of really positive things like You are the kind of runner who runs well when you're tired. You are the kind of runner who runs well off the bike. You are the kind of runner who runs faster as you go… etc. All that good stuff. The whole time. AND, I stuck to my plan of high-fiving every little kid I saw. I smiled. I cheered for and high-fived my athletes as we passed. I danced through aid stations where they were playing fun music… and even though I wasn't floating like a butterfly like Katy Perry sang, I put my hands up and belted out the chorus anyway when I heard that song blaring. It was like a 'Fake it til you make it' scenario, except I never really made it! I did not look at my watch b/c I could feel that I was not moving very quickly but I was doing everything in my power to avoid getting pissed at myself and I knew seeing splits or times would not help my cause so I simply just did not look. Even when the drafting/cheating older woman from the bike leg was running on my shoulder, off and on from mile 7 until I finally dropped her for good at mile 21, I avoided calling her out for the way she rode, instead opting to keep my energy as positive as I could. (This is a HUGE win for me OMG if you even knew how annoyed I would have typically been as she was asking me if we could work together so I could help her 'move along' because she was 'leading her age group'… Um, sorry cheating woman, you might need me but I don't need you...) I thought about that picture I posted on Facebook about Never Giving Up. And for once, I feel like mentally I did not cave. I guess my point with all this is that my issue out there on Sunday was not my head, like I think it has been in the past. On Sunday, the problem was my body, not my mind.

Really, this was the best mindset I've ever had during an Ironman Marathon. Yet it was my slowest one in probably 7-8 years. What gives!?? Like I said earlier, hindsight is 20/20 and my gut is saying there were several issues, the biggest one possibly being that my 'taper' was not a 'taper'… It was more of a steep drop off where I went from big/hard training for weeks on end to next to nothing during race week… and my body did not react well to that at all. In hindsight, it seems it went into complete shut down mode (and still has not come out!). Doing next to nothing in race week can be a good strategy but I think it depends on where you're coming from- if/when coming directly off a big/hard training block, it doesn't work. Also, as much as I freakin' HATE this excuse, I got my period on the Monday after the race and historically, training/racing long during that phase of my cycle has never been good for me. But since this is like the 5th Ironman I've done where I got my period the next day, I should be used to this by now. It's like my curse or something.

2013 will go down in my head as the year I had the best training of my life. It was also go down as the year I had my worst races (Cabo, Honu, Vegas, Cozumel). It took me a while to figure it out, but I'm pretty confident I know what the issue is now. And as much as I hate to admit it, I'm now physically and mentally fried. I do like to analyze these things and put the pieces of the puzzle together to try to figure it all out, and in this case I have to just be bluntly honest with myself. You know, after Vegas I cried. A lot. I was so confused and just really did not understand what went wrong. That was hard. This is not hard. This time I am not confused. This time I did not cry. And I know what I am going to do going forward. I will start by taking as much time as I feel I want/need completely off. I won't even have to force myself to rest this time around. My mojo is currently completely gone and my desire to swim bike or run is currently completely zero. I had to learn the lesson the hard way for sure, but I learned it! (Note: 8 days later body and mind are still in shut down mode… I still have no desire to swimbikerun at all!)

In good news, my athletes did awesome this past weekend! This was a huge saving grace for me and since I know the training/taper they did vs the training/taper I did, their race performances also really helped me understand my own. Once again, Nalani led the age group women out of the water (fwiw, she would have absolutely annihilated the whole field had that swim been legit and on the normal course)… then she went on to have her best ever bike and run splits, finishing up with a negative split on that marathon, smiling the whole time. Nick and Tiffany are two of the most awesome and positive people I've ever met- they were both first-timers out there and they both also had amazing days… Nick managed himself really well all day which resulted in a negative split during the marathon (with a smile!) and Tiffany balled tears of joy for the whole last mile. xoxo. And then Ramona managed a PR of almost an hour even though she stopped to change 3 flats on the bike! How's that for tenacity?! Those 4 athletes made me smile for sure, and their performances solidify what my gut is telling me…