Sunday, November 10, 2013

Crossfit Strong

I have a confession to make - I haven’t done any triathlon training for almost 2 months. By tri training I mean specifically swim, bike and run. I have run here and there, but I haven’t been in the pool or on my bike since my last race at the beginning of September.

I believe in taking a clearly defined off-season every single year. I think it is important for the body and the mind to recover from months of intense training to avoid injury, burnout and more, however each season it seems like my off-season has a way of taking on a life of its own. Two years ago my season was cut short by a bike accident, so my off-season was a forced one. Last year I took a few weeks after my full-distance triathlon to recover and then promptly got really sick and hit some emotional lows that ended up turning into 15 extra pounds by the end of the holidays.

This year, though, I decided to take a bit of a different path and focus on getting strong during my off-season. Crossfit has been my path to that. I have been wanting to try Crossfit for a couple of years, but it just never worked out for whatever reason - time, money, location - until now. I was excited when a new box opened up in my stomping grounds. As soon as I was not sore from my last race, I was in there trying my first class.

And it kicked my butt.

I mean, I think of myself as being a pretty fit person. I have enough endurance that I can just go all day long. I can swim, bike and run miles upon miles, hours upon hours. But let me tell you, just the warm-up had me shaking like a leaf! By the end of the workout, I knew my body would be paying in full the next day!

So now, two months later, I’m still at it. I will be getting back into tri training this month - just gradually easing back into a good base-building routine, but I’m going to keep up with Crossfit for 2-3 days a week through the winter. I am totally loving it and hating it all at the same time.

There are several things it has shined a light on for me. Number one is that I was not very strong when I started, but I am getting stronger each week, and, more importantly, I’m thinking of myself as strong. When I look in the mirror I am seeing muscles and that says strength to me. It has also showed me how competitive I am (not a big surprise!!), and I am proud to say that I have worked very hard to not let my competitive spirit take over while I am doing crossfit. In my opinion, that is the quickest way to get injured and I am doing it to get strong! I am able to recognize when enough is enough, while still pushing hard to the end of a workout or a lifting series.

I have also had such a great time getting to know the other 9:00 a.m.-ers too! It’s not always the same crew, but there is a core group of girls that is usually there when I am and we cheer for each other and push each other on! Right now I am working on getting one strict pull-up with no band! I still have a ways to go, but you can be darn sure there will be a video when I get one!!

Another unexpected blessing has been connecting with my sister who started doing Crossfit in Florida around the same time I did. In fact, I think it was her starting that finally gave me the kick in the pants I needed to start myself. It has been so fun talking with her about what the WOD was for a particular day or commiserating over burpees and box jumps.

Crossfit has definitely been a good fit for me. I can see and feel my body changing, and I am loving it!

Here’s to being Crossfit strong!

Me as Captain Crossfit for Halloween. And, YES, I did the WOD in costume!

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Daily Blueprint


The Daily Blueprint is a free service of Strong Body Whole Heart. This was today's delivery. Just think, more of this delivered to your inbox each weekday morning. What a great way to start the day!! This is something I am so proud of and would love for each and every one of you to be inspired daily by these quick jolts of real talk. To sign up for the daily blueprint, click the picture or the link below.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Strong Body Whole Heart

Image by Amanda M. Hatfield
I'm so thrilled to share with all of you that my new company, Strong Body Whole Heart, is up and running!! My friend and partner, Maggie, and I have been hard at work to bring something to life that is about passion and health and beauty and living your best life each day! It is a reflection of our passion to help people really start achieving--to quit wondering and start doing!! You can check out all of our services here.

We are also working on getting the first episode of our Strong Body Whole Heart podcast recorded and out to you! We are aiming for November 11 for episode #1 so stay tuned!!

In the meantime, please check out the new website (shout out to Jill at Concept 168 for the amazingly beautiful web design!)! Be sure to sign up for our Daily Blueprint, which will be a quick shot of inspiration delivered right to your inbox every weekday starting this Monday! Don't miss out on a single one!! (And now that I've said it, I really have to work to get it done!!)

(Insert giddy scream of excitement here...)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Slippery Slope: #Project30Days October


Why is something hard called an uphill battle and something that is dangerously easy is called a slippery slope? What would happen if we changed our perspective on those two metaphors. Maybe something that is hard can be a slippery slope into something good if we just give it enough repetition?

For example, I make my bed every day now. Way back in May my #Project30Days was to make my bed everyday, and I did. And I am still doing it! It wasn't an uphill battle ever. It was actually easy. I just became someone who makes the bed every morning. For 30 days I took the decision making out of it and down the slippery slope I went.

Now clearly, making the bed isn't as hard as not weighing yourself (at least for me). Some things lend themselves to the slippery slope of good habits more than others, however I am forever optimistic. I think it is one of my greatest traits and I don't care if you think I'm being all Pollyanna about it (that was for Kier...).

So what does all of this have to do with my project this month? Well, lately I feel like I've been on a slippery slope and not the good kind. I've been eating a few too many treats and I can feel my body falling into a sugar coma and I DON'T LIKE IT! But instead of giving myself this image of an uphill battle (really why would I want to slip into imagery of fighting when I am seeking more peace in my life), I'm giving myself a gentle, slippery slope.

Today I'm making the decision, once for the entire month, to not eat sugar or grains for 30 days. DONE. I am also going to try again at not weighing myself. I actually think I am more ready this time than last time, so I'm excited to do this. I didn't even weigh myself yesterday, because I don't want this to be about me wondering if I am gaining or losing weight. I just want to look into the mirror and call it good.

So, down the slippery slope of clean eating I go!

What will you be doing this month?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Rev3Tri Cedar Point HalfRev Race Report

or what I like to call, "What you get out of a six-week taper." (Hint - NOT a PR!)

My training going into this race was not what I would call stellar. With the boys home for summer I just didn't have the motivation or desire to stress myself out with trying to figure out how to get my training in during the week and keep them happy. I also had zero desire to hop on the trainer when it was beautiful outside, so my training for the 6 weeks leading up to this race was pretty much 1 long ride, 1 long run and maybe a swim.

Yep...that's it.

I actually considered dropping down to the aquabike, but then I felt like I would always wonder what would happen, and I do have to admit I was curious to know what racing on this small amount of training would feel like. (How sick is that?)

I headed out to Ohio on Friday with a car full of bikes, gear and triathletes. I left my men at home and picked up one of my athletes and a friend of his on the way. It was a fun drive out. We arrived at the Team Rev3 Tiki House (the best accommodations in Cedar Point if you ask me) and I headed down to the expo. I was so excited to finally get to meet some of my long-distance team mates in real life!! Lots of hugs and smiles for sure!!



Last minute I decided to run the 5k Glow Run since I found a couple of takers on the "let's just go slow and have fun" idea. It was great...even the 2 miles we had to run on the sand!! The sunset was perfection!

There might have been stopping for picture taking...
Saturday was an early morning as I reported to the expo at 6 to help with the kids tri race, which was a ton of fun. I know I've said it before, but Rev3 just does such a good job in creating a race experience for the entire family, and it is something I am very proud to be a part of!

The rest of the day was spent eating, hanging out with friends, doing a bit of expo work, checking my stuff in and checking in with my two athletes who were racing on Sunday as well. One of them was doing the Full and the other decided to do the full at the last minute (I KNOW!!). This did add a little bit of stress onto me as a coach, but ultimately athletes have to make decisions for themselves. This was this particular athlete's 3rd full of the year, so I wasn't too worried. He ended up doing pretty well...5th overall ain't bad for an unplanned full! My other athlete also raced really well (congrats, Tom!!) resulting in a PR for the full distance and 3rd in his Age Group!!

It felt a little weird to not be racing the full, and with my, ahem, lack of training it almost seemed like it was just a half. (Note to self...there is no such thing as just a half.)

Race day dawned early and windy. The swim was changed to an alternate site since Lake Erie looked like the Pacific Ocean with huge waves! This made the run to transition a little over half a mile, which turned my T1 time from it's usual just under 2 min to almost 9 minutes!

It was a good call though, and when I saw the waves over where we would have been swimming I was very thankful we got to swim at all! My swim time was slower than usual at just over 39 minutes. I tried to blame it on a long course, but I'm pretty sure that swimming 2 times in six weeks was the culprit!



Onto the bike which I was excited about. The wind certainly was a factor and I would love to see what I could do on this course without it, but I was still able to pull off a bike PR for this distance at 3:02:22. I have to admit I think the wind added an element of daring and excitement that made the time just fly. I also had decided to race without my HR monitor, so I was flying on feel alone which ultimately was a very good call for me. I tend to overthink and over analyze on race day, so it felt really good to just go and trust my experience to get me through.



I knew the run was probably not going to feel great, but I really decided to just leave it all out there. I was really hoping to finally go under 6 hours, but knew that a six week taper was probably not the best plan to be successful in that! Having said that though, I pushed pretty darn hard on that run and laid down my fastest run split of the season for a half at 2:11. Not blazing I know, but I'm pretty sure the flat course played a huge role in that. Still, I ran the whole way and was really pleased with my effort. One of my goals during any race is to have fun and encourage those around me, and I nailed it! I love this picture above because it shows exactly how I feel about racing. It just makes me happy.


My final time ended up being 6:03:05. Minus the super long transition run it totally would have been under 6, but I have to take full responsibility for not hitting that because of my lack of training. Here's a picture of me realizing that, yet again, I am just a few minutes to slow.

At least I can smile about it.
The rest of the day and into the night, I cheered my athletes and my team mates and every one else on. My cheeks hurt from smiling so much. I got some of the best sweaty hugs ever. I high-fived and danced and laughed and just let loose. 

The Rev3 Age Group Team at the finish line. So proud to be a part of this family.
Best race ever.





Friday, September 20, 2013

Walking the Walk

So every now and then (sometimes more than that) I do this thing where I eat in the car, usually something bad for me, and then I pretend that since no one saw me do it it didn't really happen.

Real life, people. Maybe you don't do secret eating but I'm guessing there is something that you could equate to this, right?

This sort of "secret" eating has always bothered me. It's not like I am going on a crazy binge or anything, but just the fact that in my head it "doesn't count" makes me feel incredibly guilty. And I don't know about you, but I HATE feeling guilty.

The other day I read a wonderful little article on integrity. You can find it here. It is about aligning your integrity with your core values. Are you doing daily what you believe in? Do your outward actions match your inner convictions? Some people call this "walking the walk."

In general I think most of us believe we live a life of integrity. I know I do, but when I really started digging into this idea that sometimes little bits of our lives can fall "out" of integrity, I realized that there are certain things that I do that don't always jive with what I want to do. I've fallen out of integrity in those areas. The thing with being out of integrity is that it can cause a lot of unwanted emotions and feelings and can even cause stress and anxiety. I definitely do not need more of that.

Why do I feel so guilty when I secretly eat chips in my car? Is it because the food is bad for me? Maybe, but really I think it is more about the fact that by doing it in secret I am not owning my behavior and so am not living in my full integrity of someone that wants to be healthy and honest and open. I rarely feel guilty for having treats when I am with my kids or out to dinner.

So this is me telling you that I'm making some changes. I'm pulling myself into my integrity. If I choose to eat something in the car, I'll let someone know. It will be a public treat for all to see. Not because you need to know what I'm eating, but because I need to know I am being true to myself.

Do you have any small part of your life that needs to be pulled into integrity? What is one small way you can start to do that today?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Lessons Learned

I remember the days when my boys were babies and sometimes the only way I could get them to settle down was to go for a car ride. It seemed to work every single time, except for those 3 months when Noah absolutely hated being in the car...oh, wait, he still hates being in the car.

Anywho, sometimes you just have to have a little change of scenery.

Tonight, the boys were all wound up after dinner and Kel was at a business dinner, so it was all me. After trying to get them to settle down, I just said, "Okay, everyone in the car."

"Where are we going?"

"It's a surprise."

I was pretty sure this car ride was going to end up at one of the many ice cream shops near our house, but in a moment of inspiration I just started driving and pointing out all the beautiful things I was seeing.

The way the setting sun made the fields look like gold.

The wispy white clouds in the bright blue sky.

The calm water of the river beyond the houses.

The trees heavy with apples at the apple farm.

It took a while, but with a little bit of coaxing they stopped asking me where we were going and just started enjoying where we were.

And in doing so, taught me a lesson that I needed to learn tonight too.

P.S. The ice cream was perfect.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Raffle Time! Win a Personal Chef for a Day!

It's the last day of summer break.

>Insert happy dance here<

I love back to school time for so many reasons. Summer is just long enough and I love the relaxed pace of it, but I totally crave the routine of the school year. Somehow it is just soothing to me. Not to mention I get to hang up my referee shirt for a few more hours of the day. Ugh...so tired of my kids fighting all the time!!

One of the things I love about getting back to the routine is regular dinner. This is something that we try to have as much as possible in our house. During the summer dinner is later and we are usually all eating something different, but during the school year I meal plan and shop for the week, and it just seems to work better. What I wouldn't give, however, to have someone do that for me every now and then.

Well, my friend, Chef Barbara, of Simply Delectable, a personal chef service, has generously donated a full 20-entree meal replacement to raffle off for Strong Body Whole Heart!! This is a $400 value and here is what it includes:

Meal Replacement Service    I will customize a menu for you based on an in-depth  food consultation.  On your cook day I will do all of the grocery shopping and come to your home and prepare 20, 30 or 40 dishes and package, label and freeze them for you to heat up on those busy days when you don't have time to cook yourself.
    I can work with your nutritionist, dietitian or trainer to help with any special requirements such as: 
    Low fat/Low sodium
    Vegetarian
    Gluten-Free
    Project 42 Fitness Program Meals
Lower Carb options


For each $10 donation from now through Thursday at 8 a.m., you will receive one entry to win this awesome prize!! Multiple donations are accepted and ENCOURAGED!! For obvious reasons, this raffle is limited to folks in the Syracuse/CNY area only. If you donate above $10 you will also receive all current incentives as well! WIN-WIN!!

Here is the link to donate:


We will be announcing the winner of the raffle on our Facebook page on Thursday, so please like us here to find out if you won!! 

One more time, here is the link to get entries to the raffle:


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Good vs. Best

Okay. Confession time.

I am a little bit of a perfectionist.

True confession...actually I should probably take out the "little bit."

Do you know anyone like this? I actually think there are quite a lot of us out there. (hmmm...type A triathletes???)

I don't think having perfectionist tendencies is all bad, but I do think as a perfectionist a person needs to be aware of how limiting perfection is. The fact of the matter is that nobody on this earth is perfect. No matter how hard I work or how hard I try, I will never, ever achieve perfection in this life. If that is what I am shooting for each day, each and every day I will fail, so I will be okay with not being perfect every day.

And that is perfectly fine.

One of my favorite quotes of all time is, "There is no way to be a perfect mother but a million ways to be a good one." (Jill Churchill)

We can take this quote and recreate it in a thousand different ways:

  • There is no way to have a perfect diet but a million ways to have a good one.
  • There is no way to have a perfect body but a million ways to have a good one.
  • There is no way to be perfect at your job..
and on and on.

The point of this is that I think a lot of us (read: me) pass over good in our efforts for best. 

"I was doing so good today and then I had a cookie, so I might as well forget the rest of the day."

"I don't have time or energy to exercise today, so I might as well go all in and eat whatever I want."

Don't get me wrong, I am always striving for best. I want to live my life with excellence, not average-ness. However, let's not pass over good if we can't get to best. 

Some days good is enough and good is all we need. And lots and lots of good days add up to best, if you ask me.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Is there enough time?

Let me tell you a story about a trampoline.

We bought a trampoline for Noah's birthday last month. It did not come in time because I didn't order it until too late. Once it was here, Kel and I started upon the task of putting it together. There was one particularly tedious step where I had to "sew" the safety enclosure to the trampoline part with what is basically a very long shoe string. As I was doing it, something seemed not quite right, so I took another look at the (very bad) directions and decided that I was doing it like it said. It took me about an hour to get the whole thing done and right as I was completing the last loop Kel came out and looked at it. He said, "I hate to tell you this, but this is wrong. You are going to have to do the whole thing again." I looked at it and realized he was right and pretty much felt like I was going to cry. Once again, something not only takes me longer than I think, but twice as long as it should. Not only did I have to do it all again, but I would have to "unsew" the work that I had done.

My thoughts went something like this:

  • "Why me?"
  • "This always happens."
  • "Why does everything have to take so long?"
  • "This is SO NOT what I want to be spending what little time I have on!"
Then, as I started to undo all the work that I had just spent so many of my valuable moments on, I had a moment of clarity in my thinking about time. What would happen if I started living in a way that I felt I had an abundance of time - all the time I needed, in fact? What can I do or think or say differently to feel the release of time rather than the constraints of time? These thoughts led me down a path of reflection and research over the next few weeks that have been very revealing to me.

What is time?
  • currency, money
  • something to give
  • a tool
  • a luxury - although I have since realized I don't want to think of time in this way
  • a necessity
  • a burden or a limiter - again, I don't think it has to be 

What do I want for myself in the area of time/
  • I want to feel less hurried all the time.
  • I want things to feel more relaxed and less urgent.
  • I want to be on time without having to freak out.
  • I want to trust my wn instincts when it comes to time.
  • I want to use time wisely, but not miserly.
  • I want to have moments where I flow free of time.
  • I want to keep my brain from calculating time all the time.
  • I want to be able to see time in a positive way - as a gift rather than a curse.
As I plunged into these questions and thoughts about time I began to identify some of my core problems. I tend to get stuff I need to do done, but I don't spend very much time on stuff I want to get done. Things take me longer because I am not very efficient - productivity is definitely an issue for me. And the most revealing issue I realized is that I don't always know what I want to get done!  How the heck am I supposed to be productive and feel creative if I don't even know what I want to get done?

I also put on my thinking cap and read a few books and a lot of stuff online about different systems of efficiency and productivity. There were a couple that really stood out to me, particularly, The Four-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris and Getting Things Done by David Allen. Here are a few of the gems I got out of these books:
  • Less is not laziness. Focus on being productive instead of busy. (Ferris)
  • Lack of time is actually lack of priorities. (Ferris)
  • If this is the only thing I accomplish today, will I be satisfied with my day? (Ferris)
  • What you do with your time, what you do with your information, and what you do with your body and your focus relative to your priorities--those are the real option to which you must allocate your limited resources. The real issue is how to make appropriate choices about what to do at any point in time. The real issue is how we manage actions. (Allen)
Allen also talks a lot about having a system to get things out of your head so you are not constantly trying to remember everything. This really hit home with me. I feel like I have a stream of anxiety that I am forgetting something almost all the time. That cannot be healthy!

So since productivity is about doing, what have I done? Well, using the Getting Things Done method along with Evernote and a wonderful tutorial called The Secret Weapon, I have developed a system of processing and doing all the stuff that is in my head, and, man, oh man, is that a lot of stuff. It's early days still, but I am really liking the space in my head that getting everything out of it has created. 

The other thing I am doing is having a daily intention of Creative Flow. I am giving myself the freedom to flow around the things I must get done. I am making a conscious effort to enjoy my kids and let go of stress with deep breathing and meditation. And I am living in the belief that I have more than enough time to do everything that really needs to get done. If it doesn't get done, than it didn't need to get done!

I did finish the sewing the trampoline together and while I did it I let it become a meditation of its own. In and out and up and down. Breathing, being in the moment, feeling the sun on my skin and the warm breeze through my hair, stopping to take a sip of coffee and stretch my arms and smile at the thought of seeing my kids flying high through the air once it was finished. Yes. There is exactly enough time to do the things that need to get done.

"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."
~John Wooden

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

#Project30Days July Update and August Projects

I know I said this a couple of posts ago, but I can't believe how fast this summer is flying by!! I'm happy to report that I am getting a lot done. I have a lot of projects and ideas I'm working on right now, so it seems like every minute is spent either doing or thinking!

My July #project30days projects were hit and miss. One of them was to put my phone down while I am in the car. I would say I was about 95% with this one. It's a toughie, and something I am continuing to work on!! In bed by 9:30 was not such a success, but just thinking about getting in bed a little bit earlier was helpful to get myself headed up. I would say with a few exceptions I was in bed by 10 and asleep by 10:15 or so. Still not great, but, hey, I'm a work in progress right? And finally, to do what I say I'm going to do, I did a very good job at. The main thing that project helped me with was to stop and think before I actually say yes to things. Wow...what a revelation! ;)

So onward to August(ish). I will have just one project this month, because I am still definitely focusing on the early to bed although with a little more flexibility and the no phone in the car (rigidly). Sometimes when I am thinking about these projects the ones I KNOW I should be doing are the ones I am the most hesitant to commit to. It's funny how fear can be a big indicator of the direction into which we should head!

My August #project30days has a word in it that I have never been crazy about: meditation. Aack!! It just scares me! It's all new-age-y and woo-woo. I have to sit still...for multiple minutes in a row! I have to breathe deeply and let go! I have to close my eyes and relax! OMG!!

Seriously, though, I think a big part of my hesitation to use this word (I've been calling it quiet reflection for about 4 months now) is the connotation that it brings up for me. As a Christian I think there is also this feeling that "meditation" is somehow not right, not aligned with Christian principles. However, when I look up meditate in the Bible, clearly David was someone who spent a lot of time in meditation. Isn't it interesting that one of the most poetic books of the Bible was written by a man who spent a lot of time in meditation? One of my favorite verses is Psalm 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God." I think I need to listen to that and just settle down and be still for a few minutes a day.

And so I will embrace fully the word and the action of meditation this month. My goal is to meditate at least 5 minutes a day and also to have little mini-breathing breaks throughout the day. I want to stay connected and centered. So far I've done it for 4 days running and I'm feeling pretty good! One of the things I have found is that I have to let go of performance and judgment. There is no wrong way to meditate. If I fall asleep or drift off while I'm doing it, that's perfectly fine. If I start to get antsy after 10 minutes and decide I'm done, that is okay.

I'm very curious if any of you practice a sort of deliberate daily meditation? Please chime in with your thoughts if you do or if you don't or if you have tried? What worked? What didn't? Let's learn from each other!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Strong Body Whole Heart


Drum roll please!!!!

I am so excited to share with you my latest project! Strong Body Whole Heart will be a weekly audio podcast hosted by me and my wonderful friend, Maggie. This is something we have been working on for several months that just came out of a lunch conversation one day. I have wanted to do a podcast for a long time, but just wasn't sure how I would go about doing it or who I would do it with, then Maggie said during lunch in a random statement, "We should totally have a radio show," and that was it.

Strong Body Whole Heart was born.

This podcast is going to be about what we call whole body health, being healthy in mind, body and spirit. To best understand where we are coming from you can just take a look at the mission statement we developed.

Our Strong Body Whole Heart Mission Statement


  • to inspire and nurture whole body health through spiritual, emotional and physical transformation.


How do we live that?


Passion


  • We are passionate about reaching out to help others feel inspired and supported.


Transparency


  • We are willing to reveal our own successes and struggles in our lives.


Acknowledgement


  • We endeavor each day to honor who we are in the present and all we can become.


Happiness


  • We look for joy in small moments and we approach the messiness of life with grace and a smile (most of the time, anyway).



I really think all of this will speak to a lot of people!!

We are hoping to kick off our first episode sometime in October, but in the meantime we have a lot of work to do, and this is where you come in. Please take a minute to check out our Indiegogo campaign by clicking here. We are raising money to buy equipment and cover the costs for a year's worth of weekly audio podcasts. Even just a few dollars can make a difference! Another thing you can do is SHARE!! Please share this campaign with your friends and family if you think it is something that will make a difference in people's lives.

The link to share is:  http://igg.me/at/strongbodywholeheart/x/4122440

You could also tweet it to the world or Facebook to your friends by saying:

Help bring Strong Body Whole Heart to life! Support this new podcast about whole body health! http://igg.me/at/strongbodywholeheart/x/4122440

Speaking of facebook, those of you who follow me have probably already seen our Strong Body Whole Heart facebook page, but if you haven't liked us, please do! We are putting up a lot of great inspirational content each day and it's a great way to keep up with all of our news and happenings as we go through this process.

Thank you so much for supporting me in this new endeavor! I'm excited to see what it will bring!!


Friday, August 2, 2013

Musselman Race Report

Two weeks ago on Sunday, I raced one of my favorite local races, the Musselman. It is a half distance and was actually the first half I ever raced. I went into this race feeling super strong and prepared and just KNEW I was going to finally go under 6 hours at this distance. Last year my time was 6:01, so I knew I had it in me to do it.

I felt super strong in the very calm waters of the swim. Kel was racing too, so I had a good luck kiss before I went out and knew he was in the wave behind me. My hope was to hold him off until I got quite a few miles into the bike. My goal during the swim was to swim an 8 out of 10 in terms of intensity for the duration. I did just that, with really good sighting, and was very pleased overall with my effort. My time (which I can't find right now because the results page is not loading) was right around where it usually is for this distance which is about 36 minutes. It seems like no matter what I do, this is about my limit. That's all good...I loved this swim and was very happy with it.

My goal on the bike was to push and push HARD. I had some pretty specific HR zones I was shooting for and once I got settled in I realized that due to the intense heat and humidity of the day (naturally) I was going to be way over those. Oh well...I went for it. I knew there was a risk, but I am at a place in this distance where I am ready to start taking some chances. I was super happy with this ride. I averaged a little over 18 mph, and the whole time I thought it was a PR for this distance but later I realized I was just a bit shy of what I rode last year. However, I'm pretty sure I rode this as hard as I could on the day (the very, very hot and humid day...).

The goal for the run was the same as for the bike, don't be afraid to go hard and take chances. The run is always my weakness (and something I am resolved to work on over the off-season), but even though I might not be super fast, I can run for a long time! I went hard. I actually negative split this course, and of that I am supremely proud. I passed a LOT of people that were walking,  I put a LOT of ice down my bra, I made a LOT of jokes on the course (I might have offered some walking guys ice out of my bra if they started running), and I ran hard, hard, hard the whole way. I am supremely proud of my effort and truly felt that I left everything on the course that day. I am also proud of my positive attitude and mindfulness of how lucky I am to be able to do what I do. The last few miles I started to get a little freaked out because I was actually getting a little chilled even though it was in the 90s. I knew I was very close to being past the point of no return in terms of body heat, but I felt okay otherwise, so I just went for it and decided to enjoy feeling cooler than I expected.

As I went into the last mile, I knew I would be really close to 6 hours. Through the chute I went with Ryan at my side and I can honestly say I was shocked to see 6:03 on the clock. I really thought I had done it and had to squash down the wave of disappointment that ran through me. (This was helped greatly by the wave of nausea that overcame me as I sat down on a chair at the finish line...). I actually contemplated heading over to the med tent because I was still feeling really cold, but after a 5 minute rest at the finish line I decided I was probably okay.

The rest of the afternoon was kind of a blur because Kel, who had finished a little before me (yep, he passed me around mile 14 of the bike), was really cramping and ended up in the med tent for 2 IVs! I ended up having to get all of our stuff into the car while wrangling our kids (our babysitter had to leave right after we finished). Once we were all in the car, I was back to not feeling so great and was just really relieved to be home.

After really reviewing my HR data and my effort over this course on this day, I have decided that this is probably my gutsiest race ever. I am beyond proud of what I did out there two weeks ago. Surprisingly, I was faster in the swim and run this year, but the bike was what kept me from going under 6! I don't know the exact numbers but overall and in my age group I ranked much higher than last year, so if I take into account the hot and humid conditions (did I mention it was really hot?), my performance was right where it should have been. I call this race a HUGE success!! And that goes to show AGAIN that there is a lot more to the story of each race than the numbers!!

I cannot write this race report without speaking to the fact that during the Musselman weekend, two athletes were fatally injured while racing. My heart goes out to the families of these fellow triathletes. I think we were all affected by the events because even if we didn't know them, they were one of us. Once again it reminded me that I am so blessed to be alive, so blessed to be doing something I love, and it renewed my commitment to live each day to its fullest.

Next up for me is the flat and fast HalfRev at Cedar Point! I can't wait!!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Catch Up

JULY 31ST!!!! How is that even possible?

I've had an interesting few weeks and I have so missed my little blog world! I've been doing a lot of introspective work on what time means for me and how I use it and how I view it and how my attitudes toward time (or lack thereof) create situations that I don't enjoy.

This is something I will definitely continue delving into with more detail to come. I still haven't even begun to work it all out, but what it has meant is that I've had to take a step back for a few weeks to sort of regroup and just breathe.

I have about 5 posts at least of stuff to write including an awesome race report from Musselman and a spectator report from Lake Placid last weekend. It's also time to look back on my #project30days for the month to see how that went and come up with some new ones for the month of August.

And I have a day...

However, I'm choosing to not let that stress me out. I'm taking a deep breath and acknowledging that none of this is urgent and it's all going to be here tomorrow and the next day if I don't get it done today.

Look at me, all enlightened and Zen!! :)

So instead of writing 5 blog posts today, I will just write one or two, but first I'm going to the farmer's market to get some juicy peaches and some local honey and the most amazing canteloupe ever, and I might even get some local salad greens and some eggs and cheese and maybe a cookie that is as big as my face (to share, of course!).

Happy summer, friends! What are you up to today?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Dusk Run

dusk

Dusk Run


Pink sky reflected in bright puddles
Green
Wet
Lush
The leaves brush my hair with tenderness
Moths fly to me like I am
Incandescent
Luminous
Glowing
with love and freedom
My essence drips 
tasting of gratitude
Salty 
on my lips
Dusk into darkness
Fairies light the way
Seen only by accident
Fleeting
Fearless
I am flowing
Feet not touching the ground
yet
Grounded more than ever in the feeling of
Boundless beauty and glory


July 5, 2013
8:10 p.m.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

What are the desires of your heart?

River Dane.

Since the beginning of spring I have been in a stream - a stream of creativity. I feel like I have come alive and my ideas are flowing around me like water in a brook flowing around my feet. When I have time I just sit down in the stream and let myself float in it as the ideas run over me.

This creativity is also bringing forth action. I am hard at work at several projects right now that I am so excited about! One of them I will be announcing within the next week, so stay tuned for that. What I am realizing, though, is that all of this creativity is streaming from one place - my heart.

And when I really start to dig deep, which I have been doing a lot of lately, I find that my heart and soul guide me in a way I have never realized until now. There is a wonderful verse in the Bible that says, "Rejoice in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." I have always held onto that with the faith that God knows my deepest desires, but I am realizing that if I plug into those desires I can make active choices and decisions in the way I live every day that fulfill those desires.

So what is it that I desire? Do I desire money or a big house or a fancy car? Do I desire attention or praise? Do I desire things I can hold in my hand? To a certain point, yes, but (always the big but) even things or accolades I desire lead to a deeper desire.

They all lead to my desired feelings. How do I want to feel? What do I want to feel? Every day, each hour, minute by minute?

I desire peace.

I want to feel magnetic.

I want to feel engaged.

I want to be authentic.

I want to be strong.

This is how I want to feel. God can give me all of these things, but God also gave me free will. I can make decisions and choices that revolve around these core desired feelings. I have the power to choose how I am going to feel each day.

This has been and still is a revelation to me. Identifying what it is I really desire has opened my heart and mind up to new possibilities. It has helped me realize that perfection has never been something I truly want. It has helped me see I have something to share. I am learning each day to honor myself in all of my interactions with my family, friends and those around me.

I came across this concept of core desired feelings while listening to a podcast interview with Danielle LaPorte. She has written several books and one of them is called The Desire Map. I have found her writing just resonates with what I have always thought and felt about life in general. I highly recommend this book if you are looking to really define what it is you want to feel every day. It is a beautiful, poetic and engaging and has really been a wonderfully intuitive and practical guide for me.

Another amazing link I am seeing with this idea of core desired feelings is within my coaching. For many people, if not most, health, sports, weight loss, nutrition and general wellness are all linked to understanding what it is we desire most. We all want to be healthy, but why do we want to be healthy? How does healthy feel? How does completing a triathlon feel and why do you want to feel that? How does being at your ideal weight feel? Why do you feel better when you eat beautiful whole food instead of junk food? If we can start to identify the core desired feelings than it branches out to all areas of your life.

This, THIS, is exciting to me! This is practical and useful and meaningful! Man, I am pumped up!! Sharing this with you makes me feel ENGAGED and AUTHENTIC!

This is not the last you will hear of this from me! I encourage all of you to take the time to really identify your core desired feelings. You will not regret it!!

Monday, July 1, 2013

#Project30Days: June update and July Projects

Is it really July already?? With the combination of cool temps and tons of rain here in New York, it just doesn't feel like the dog days of summer just yet!

I am still totally immersed in my latest #project30days project which is to learn to enjoy my child. I have found out this month that the best thing I can do as a parent is to be present and always thinking with my child's mind. What would Ryan like? Wouldn't Noah find this interesting? What would make my kids laugh today? How can I surprise them with something totally unexpected? This is definitely a project that has become a habit. Maybe most parents do this all the time, but I certainly needed a brush-up course!

And onto my new projects for July.

1. I love getting up early. The hard thing about getting up early is going to bed early!! So one of my projects this month will be to be in bed no later than 9:30 and lights out no later than 9:45. My hope is this will lead to more quality time in the morning.

2. If you follow me on Facebook, you might have noticed a got a ticket on Saturday for talking on my cell phone. I admit, I'm really bad about this, and I even have a hands free device!! So, for the next 30 days I will not talk on the phone in the car without my hands free. I am also committing to no checking email, weather, or texts while I am driving.

3. The last of my projects for the next 30 days is to do every single thing I say I am going to do. This is an area I struggle with and it really bothers me. I have a tendency to say okay and then immediately know I'm not going to be able to do it the way I want to do it. This is both about being true to my word AND thinking before I say I will do things - two very difficult things.

Is anyone taking on a #project30days this month? Let us know what you are working on!!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

#SummerGratitude: Week 1(ish)


Today I am grateful for everyone who has taken part so far in #summergratitude. It is simply sharing what you are thankful for this summer on twitter, facebook or instagram by using the #summergratitude hashtag. We have a growing little community of gratitude over on our facebook group, and we would love for you to join us!!

Here are a few of my favorite posts from the first week of summer. Thank you to all of you who shared! Be sure to stop over at Donna's blog to see what she loved this week! (She lives in London, so it might not be up yet!)


grateful for being able to swim, bike and run!




A great cup of coffee to start the day..



Sleeping in on a rainy day


Perfectly ripe nectarines...



Watching bumblebees forage through the shrubs and flowers I planted and looked after all spring


a really great babysitter 







#summergratitude


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Around the Web - Triathlon Version

Just a few things I've spotted here and there that are worth taking a look at!


  • Crowie's Core Workout - easy to do at home!!


  • and to go along with the previous one, check out this awesome Gentle Alarm for your smart phone. I have been using this for about a year and I LOVE it! It is so much nicer to be woken up gently than scared out of sleep! (This is the link for the Android version, but there is an iphone version as well.) The free version doesn't work on Wednesdays, which I think is hysterical. Well worth the $2.50 if you ask me!!
  • Are your goals outcome based or process based? Redefining your goals can make a huge difference in performance satisfaction and success!


Friday, June 28, 2013

Rev3Tri Quassy Finish

I know it was almost a month ago now, but I realized I never posted my (free) finisher's pics from Rev3 Quassy. I think it is one of my all time favorite sequences.





Nothing better than a family finish line!! Thanks Rev3!!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Easy Hard Decision

I briefly mentioned my easy hard decision of dropping down to the HalfRev at Rev3 Cedar Point in my last post. I thought it would be worthwhile to write a little bit more about that here, as I know many of us deal with these kind of decisions when it comes to choosing races, distances and training.

I have written before about how to know if you are ready for your first 140.6 here. What I have come to realize is a lot of those questions should be answered before deciding on any 140.6, whether it is your first or your 15th!

After Rev3 Cedar Point last year, I immediately decided I was going to do another full this year. I had so much fun, loved the training, and really wanted to give it another go. After I signed up, though, I realized I wasn't feeling the same zest about it that I had felt last year. I thought it was just because it wasn't going to be my first and I just left it at that. Then a few things sort of popped up that made me realize maybe there was a little more to my feeling less than excited than I gave them credit for.

I was feeling very stressed out about how I was going to fit in training for a full with the boys being out of school for the summer. Last year it didn't seem to be quite as big of a deal. Maybe it's because they are older and less inclined to go to the childcare at the gym everyday. Maybe it's because I feel I really need to focus on some issues I am currently going through with Ryan. Whatever it is, it was stressing me out to think about how I was going to juggle everything.

I am also working hard on some new ideas. I feel like I am in a creative stream right now, and I realized a few weeks ago that I would much rather spend time working on these ideas than ride my bike for six hours.
When I first realized this I almost felt guilty. I felt like I had to do another full, and I wasn't even sure why. Maybe people were expecting me to. Maybe I felt like because I had so much fun last year it should be a no-brainer. Maybe I'm just crazy...well, I'm definitely crazy, but that's another post completely!

I sort of kept pushing off my decision, knowing it would be easy to drop down to the half even last minute. Finally, with a friendly push from some good friends and coaches, I realized that for a variety of reasons I just didn't want to do a full this year and THAT IS OKAY. There is nobody I am going to disappoint by not doing another one. I'm not letting anyone down. And most importantly, I am being true to myself and what I am feeling.

So, now I am just racing three HalfRevs. (BTW, I think it is hysterical that I use the word just in this sentence. See...I really am crazy!) The minute I made the decision, I realized it was actually an easy one all along. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Getting Into the Rhythm

Have you ever noticed when you are running and a new song with a faster beat comes on you eventually start running to the new beat? Maybe that only happens to marching band veterans...

Or every now and then when you are in the car with the radio on and the blinker all of a sudden is syncs up with the beat of the song?

I love it when that happens.

But the few moments before everything is moving together there is a feeling of disconnection. It just doesn't feel quite right.

That is how last week was for me. My kids had their last day of school on Wednesday and I spent the rest of the week trying to settle into the new rhythm. At first I tried to fight it, hoping my own rhythm would be the one to win out, but then I realized everything would work together to much more nicely if I adapted.

Summer definitely has its unique rhythm. Dinner is a little bit later and little more relaxed. Bedtimes are loose. Mornings can be lazy. Children need things to do or they just might spend all day playing Minecraft (or maybe this is just my kid???). Hours at a time can be spent at the pool or the playground.

I have actually been a little stressed about how I would manage this summer. I work from home and am busier than ever, which is always a good thing until you have kids to entertain. I have also been worried about how in the world I was going to get in my training. I used to take the boys to the Y almost every day where they loved to play in the childcare...nowadays, they are not so into that, so I don't feel comfortable making them do it every day.

So how am I going to make it work?

Adapt. Be flexible. Be resourceful. This is my mantra for the summer.

A few things I'm doing to make everyone's summer a little bit more fun and less stressful:

  • I will be getting up early to get work done. This means I MUST get to bed at a decent hour. Maybe this will be my July #project30days.
  • I am hiring a babysitter for a few hours a week, so I can have time to work without distraction.
  • I will create opportunities for my kids. We have already made a list of fun things to do this summer, and they are both signed up for a couple of camps.
  • I will learn to enjoy the down time. One of the things Ryan loves to do is go fishing and Noah loves going to the skate park. For me that means simply sitting and watching which can be hard. I'm going to do my best to soak it in. 
  • I will schedule time for me, but I won't let my needs dictate our family schedule because that only creates more stress for me.
  • In terms of training, I have made the hard but easy decision to race the HalfRev at Rev3 Cedar Point this year instead of the Full. More on this in another post... I will also be spending quite a bit of time on the trainer this summer, but that is nothing new for me.
  • Be present and in the moment. #SummerGratitude will be a huge help with this.
Now that I've wrapped my head around this new rhythm I'm pretty excited to see what kind of music we can make as a family this summer!

What do you love the most about the rhythm of summer?

Friday, June 21, 2013

#SummerGratitude

Today is the first day of summer, and today I am grateful for the sunshine, my kids' laughter, the blue sky, my bike trainer, the green grass of our backyard, riding in the car with my windows down and the pink wispy cotton candy clouds of the summer sunset.

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves to be grateful for the small simple things in our lives, and that is what #SummerGratitude is all about. My good friend, Donna, my soul sister, my sister from another mother, my long-distance digital friend who one day I'll get to hug in real life, and I decided a few months ago that we wanted to do a project together. Last year I started tweeting little things I was grateful for with the hashtag #summergratitude (actually, I can't remember if I started in the summer or the winter...), and Donna joined in with me. It was wonderful to see the little things that mean so much if we actually acknowledge them and pay attention. So when we started talking about a joint project this year, we landed upon #summergratitude again, but this time we want you to get involved too!



Each week we will be collecting pictures, tweets and facebook messages with the #summergratitude hashtag and posting our favorites on our blogs. We have created a facebook group that you can join here. This is not about competition - it is about inspiration! It is about collective gratitude. It is about finding joy in other's joy. It is about the little things, beauty great and small - freckles on a nose, a blade of grass, a muddy child with a bright smile or a beautiful sunset. It is about cultivating a spirit of thankfulness for each and every moment, no matter what.

Be thankful and share with us! Join our community of gratitude this summer. You can follow us at all of these places:

Facebook: #SummerGratitude
Twitter: @TrimommyKelly and @Donna_De
Instagram: TrimommyKelly and Donna_De

My goal is to post at least once a day!! Please join us!! I can't wait to be inspired by your moments of #summergratitude!!

Cotton Candy Clouds

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Reflections on my 39th Year

Today is my 39th birthday, and it has been an interesting year. It has been a year of changes, a year of looking in, a year of contemplation, soul-searching, and digging deep.

I find in my life things happen in waves and phases. This year has certainly been in the valley of one of those waves. Just like this past year has been a time of turning inward and really sorting through a lot of different emotions, I feel that upcoming year is about other things. When I meditate on what is coming in my life the words that keep coming to me are


EXPAND

                     GROW

                                       REACH

                                                             PUSH



Summer Sky 


This year will be about taking what I have learned about my true self and expanding outward and upward with my knowledge in a way that goes beyond myself.

It is a new year, and I am excited to see what each day will show me.


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