Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The (happy) ending of a chapter

First a quick race report:  This weekend I returned to the race that was my final (and at that time, only third) race of 2008 - Orlando Womens Triathlon.  I did it then for the same reason I chose to do it this year - an excuse to visit my boyfriend and have him at a race without (him) having to hop on a plane.  This year's race also had an additional motive:  to end the season with a second and*complete* Olympic distance race.  The DNF in Dallas left a sour taste in my mouth, and I didn't like it.  After working so hard, especially in the second half of this season, I did not want to let a negative race experience tarnish the memories of 2009.  Nor did I want it to discourage me from going full-throttle into 2010.  I love the feeling you get when you cross the finish line of a triathlon, one of ultimate achievement, fulfillment, success!  I needed to feel that one last time.

I did.  And I enjoyed every second of it!

the 4 am car ride...

who wouldn't want to swim in this lake at dawn, gorgeous!

exiting the swim...

and the finish!

That's me running toward the finish line.   I won the race, which was nice considering last year I came in second by less than a second.
More importantly, I had my best swim, bike and run splits.  All were significantly faster than my times in Chicago (my only other Olympic distance race) and allowed me to win by a gap of 15 minutes! - ahead of the second place girl.
It is very satisfying to know that all of the hard, new training is definitely paying off.  It has propelled me onto another level (as demonstrated by the 15 minute win margin).
That next level is where I want to be!  So, off-season, here I come!!!

But not before a little fun first ;)

some post race pics:

still sweaty, but a happy finish.

        then clean, and happy.  Time to have some fun!

and so I play!

and play some more!

it was a lonnnggg day of happiness and playing.

But soooo worth it.  Couldn't imagine a better commencement to an eventful season :)

This weekend marked the official end of my 2009 (first full) race season. It was a great season filled with TONS of new experiences.  I've made so many new friends - expanded my ever-growing support system- traveled to two new parts of the country, learned so much about the sport and soooooo much about myself.
It is hard to imagine only 5 months ago I was still just recovering from a broken collar bone and considering not racing at all this season!

Now the plans are to put in an awesome effort over the next 5 months and go in to 2010 season as fit as ever and race among the elites, with the goal of professional racing by 2011.  This seems like a very accelerated and pretty ambitious goal -especially among triathletes, who know that triathlon is a sport that requires time and maturity (in racing).  The name of the game is longevity. 
And I intend to race in triathlon for decades.  Yet, I know that now is the time in my life that I can really push my body and my mind to their maximums and have fun chasing my dreams. 
Right now I have the fitness, time, support and drive.   Right now I have the confidence that my dreams are attainable.

Here's to the next chapter.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009


often comes in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat."
- Napoleon Hill

So Dallas... was not what I expected, nor hoped it would be.  But that's life.  And if I want *this* to be my life, I will have to deal with it, learn from it, and move forward with the same attitude I have had since I began this journey. 
Let's face it, that's what this is - a journey.   If I earned my M.D and became an ER doctor and decided to quit after my first patient died, I'd be ... broke and lost.  Or, if I decided to start my own company - which I did- and decided to quit after I saw my first tax return was going to strip me of half of the money I earned that year, I'd also be ... broke and lost. 
Thank goodness I went through that first, right?!?!?  Haha

Now, I have the maturity to savor these moments

I was definitely way more confident in my swim, in this race. And my legs had it. My body said "no." So I listened to it (at least I can say that). And I am not discouraged (today - two days later... I know, Jasmine, I took a little more than my allotted 10 mins).
Coach and I have decided to give me the opportunity to end the season on a positive note and race once more in Orlando - has to be above 60 degrees there right?!?!?
After Orlando, it's a brief re-charge break, and then full-throttle into this off-season. Then, the next city on my mind will be Tuson, where hopefully I will get a true taste of professional training among a roster of amazing professional athletes.

But for now, I am focused on getting through this BIG training week. And keeping my eye on the prize - one last good race + one GREAT weekend!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Final Race Prep

The day's on the deck are finished (for now).  So all that is left to do before taking off for Dallas tomorrow morning...

My hair of course!!!  and mom's too ;)

why do I look like I'm in pain? I'm in a chair, not on my trainer?!?!?
ahhh, that's better. 

and the finished product...

alll peeertty :)

now it's off to yoga, to ... ruin my do, but give the legs a good, last stretch before the plane ride and give me the zen I need to calm the pre-race nerves. 


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sushi says it all

To top off a weekend of great training efforts, some great recovery grub - sushi!

Now I could list all of the things I love about sushi, but anyone who is a sushi fan would be bored, and all those who aren't would probably be disgusted.  One thing, I think everyone likes- and are intrigued by- are fortune cookies.
And tonight mine was perfect: "Be the labor great or small... Do it well or not at all!"

Whenever I train, I try to stay positive and motivated by repeating quotes.  The sources of the quotes are diverse.  But this is definitely one worth repeating.  During those times on the trainer in the basement, when you're not sure if you'll make it back up the steps if you do another interval, during that time during your run when you only have a mile or more to go, but your legs suddenly say "no" and begin to fill with lead, while you stare at the clock quickly tick away those 10 seconds of rest between 100 meter sprints in the pool, when you feel like your heart might pop out of your chest if you push for that last meter/mph/negative split.
Whenever it may be for you - tomorrow when you train think to yourself:
Do it well or not at all!

This week will be a bit less intense for me, getting ready to head to Dallas on Friday.  This week will be all about mental focus, controlling nerves and staying present in the moment.  It's going to be a challenge- on all fronts - I know, because I am already struggling with the "present in the moment" piece missing the temporary training partner - who also provided lots of non-training fun to keep me balanced and so happy last week. 

Nonetheless I will use these positive thoughts to keep me going, focused, and reminded of why I do this.  Watching kids in the stands with Jimmy Rollins jerseys on cheer as he makes the play at first base, is so motivating.  That kid is thinking he wants to be "just like Jimmy Rollins when he grows up" and may be someday he'll be able to run as fast as him, or hit as hard as him. I want to inspire people interested in triathlon in the same way.  I want them to think, "if she can do it, I can do it."  Truly, I believe, anyone can.  Follow your dreams - whether they involve sport or not.  If you are true to yourself and  true to your discipline, you will inspire someone! 

--- and then you can create the quote that someone might repeat to them self.  For now I'm sticking with my "fortune"