Sunday, September 27, 2009


Made it through a full week of hard (harder than I've ever attempted) training, and ready for another.  Each day is a new challenge, each day is a new opportunity.
I challenge my body.  Sometimes it responds favorably, sometimes (like today) not.  I learned today that I cannot "sprint" to save my life.  I have no speed. Which means I DO have a challenge to conquer.  That is the beauty of this sport.  It's is completely humbling.
I might have thought that running was my strength.  Today I found that I am a decent runner, but I lack a major component - short-burst speed.
This humbles me, but does not discourage me.
All of the success I can and (I believe) will have in this sport will be earned through a lot of intense, hard work.    Too often, in life, people believe that they do one thing correctly, or well, and are therefor entitled to reap the benefits.  Hence, the state of our current economy, but that is another topic for another blog entirely.

Earned success is the most rewarding. The harder you work, the better it feels when the goal is achieved.
I intend to feel AMAZING when I can consider myself successful in (and along the way) in this journey.

To more hard work tomorrow.
:) AO

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Tomorrow is the day.

My biggest training day, by far, to date.  Hoping for some big results.
But anticipating my biggest and, by far, BEST reward to come at the end ;)

hasta manana!


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

changin perspectives!

Exactly one week ago today I completed my first "real" swim workout. When I saw it on my training schedule, I almost fell over. Then I saw 2 more workouts - similar in yardage later on that week- and knew I was reading correctly, and would have to get use to spending more than 30-40 minutes in the water "training" for the swim.
Prior to those workouts last week, my "workouts" consisted of swimming laps in my grandmother's pool - for a time/distance that I thought (total estimation) equaled 1500 meters. No mixed strokes, no drills, no sets --- just laps.
Pretty pathetic, I know, but when it came to racing, my goal for the swim had still been to "just survive it."

Not any moreee!
Now I'm focused on actually learning how to swim well, how to swim fast, and how to compete with the "swimmers" in the sport.

So after a week of workouts of twice the normal yardage, today I was granted an "easy" swim workout, just 2500 yds.
And - here's the crazy part- after only a week of doing real workouts in the pool with real distances, today's workout DID feel easy!  I was almost tempted to stay in the pool and do a little more (I had the time- I finished this workout so quick) butttt then remembered what my training schedule looks like for the rest of this week and decided to conserve each and every ounce of energy I have.

But ME actually wanting to stay in a swim workout longer than required is unbelievable/amazing/INSPIRING!

I hope I have the same motivation on hour 3 of my brick on Thursday (after a big swim)


A little about me before I start: Life has been good to me. I am 26 and have my own business. I have a big, loving and supportive family. I have a best friend that has been the most amazing influence in my life, makes me feel the happiest, makes me want to do, see, be more, and I would love nothing more than spending each and every day enjoying life with.
I also have a name that is the same as a half of a famous pair of child-star twins, but those jokes haven't bothered me since pre-high school. 

This Ashley Olsen loves hard work, but loves having fun! That is why triathlon is a natural fit for me. Triathlon actually started as a way to take my time and energy away from missing that best friend I mentioned, when he left last year for chiropractic school in Florida. 
Another friend of mine that was racing and training for them told me to give it a try, that she thinks I'd like it.
I ran track and cross country in college, so I knew I could do the run. But bike and swim? Well, I got on a bike once a year - for a charity bike ride that my family created in memory of my cousin (check it out and I hadn't swam since I quit swim team at age 10 after two seasons of realizing that torturing myself every morning in cold water and then dragging my parents around south jersey for meets on their weekends was not worth watching me loose (probably, holding their breath the whole time, hoping I wasn't drowning, rather than swimming), I figured... ahhh, why not?

Like I said, I like hard work (esp physical) and I like challenges. I've matured since my swimming/drowning days and maybe I had now the brainpower to teach myself really how to swim with any degree of efficiency. And the bike -- well I had a bike (thanks to Kelly's ride). All I have to do is pedal... hard- right?

I could do it.
And I did. Last August 30th I completed my first triathlon. It wasn't any award winning performance - actually, I did take 3rd in my age group, but that certainly was not the goal then. I - honestly - just wanted to finish.  But that finish got those competitive juices - the ones I hadn't felt since college meets - flowing again.
I was hooked.  I managed to get in 2 more races last season. And gave competing (rather than completing) a shot. Each time the results got better - placing 3rd and 2nd (by less than 1 second, photo finish!) in my last two.

This year the results have been rewarding as well.  And wow how perspectives change! After training in the off-season and then breaking my collar bone right before Easter, I was crushed - thinking that my season would be ... well, non-existent having to remain virtually sedentary for 4-6 weeks.
I was running in 3 (weeks).  I healed amazingly well, and amazingly fast - doc said due to my fitness when the fracture happened, and I decided not to give up.
In addition to completing my first Olympic distance race (Chicago!), I have placed in all my races. Thus, I have done *relatively*well for myself up to this point - racing mostly local/regional sprints, but "relative" is the key word and ... I want more.
Moreover, I see the possibilities.
So I have decided to take the plunge.  I got myself a coach! And subsequently got smacked in the face with a training regimen I would have never dreamed of!
BUT I LOVE IT! haha. Yep, that's me. Give me more, work me harder. I love everything about this sport, the training, the racing, but more importantly the people, the places and the camaraderie and enthusiasm that seem to be contagious.
So this blog is starting as my season is concluding.
I am racing my last race in Dallas at the US Open. I am very excited to make this my second Olympic distance race and my FIRST race in the elite division.
I am hoping to end this season on a high note! And goals are long term.
This blog will take me through my last race and right into my first year of *real* training with *real goals* Here's to my second week of *real* training! with no letting down.
Thanks for the day of recovery, coach, and tomorrow's gift ;) But can't wait to see how my body responds to some big efforts later on this week.

Keep ya posted - on all things "3" - the good, the bad, and the ugly ;)
(mostly, hopefully, the good)