Monthly Archives: September 2014

I Don’t Know What I Am But I’m Not An Athlete


How do I describe myself post two sprint triathlons. Well I’m a heck of a lot healthier than I was, fitter and for sure I feel a sense of accomplishment but am I an athelete? I don’t think so. Athletes run marathons, do Ironman Triathlons and swim long distances. That isn’t me for sure.

According to Free Dictionary.com:

“Athlete: a person possessing the natural or acquired traits, such as strength, agility and endurance, that are necessary for physical exercise or sports especially those performed in competitive contexts”.

Well okay so I don’t have a lot of strength or agility but doing something for 2hours and 59 minutes says I certainly had stamina.

So okay if you call me an athlete I may answer.

Last Days of the Garden


Summer is over and my garden is pretty much done. I didn’t have to buy a bell pepper, cucumber, tomato, eggplant, yellow summer squash, collard green or Kale for months. We stopped fighting our resident bunny rabbit and gave him the lettuce and cabbage (he just wouldn’t leave no matter what we did) my husband even tried a Bugs Bunny trap complete with a carrot and he wouldn’t fall for it. Anyway the universe said share and we decided to. Plus he’s kinda cut cotton tail and all. Great produce summer any way!!

Tasty and pretty

Tasty and pretty

Out of my garden

Out of my garden

Happy New Year to all celebrating this week!

Slow, Easy Walk in the Park


 

Yesterday for only the second time since my September 7, 2014 triathlon, I put on my sneakers and went for a walk. I decided to take my time and just enjoy the park without the pressure of a training schedule. It was nice. I actually did the track which we call the red carpet which goes around a very pretty lake.

Weequahic Lake - picture by  Jennifer Brown/The Star-Ledger

Weequahic Lake – picture by
Jennifer Brown/The Star-Ledger

I was able to spend time thinking about random thoughts and not worrying about how fast I was walking. Spoke to lots of folks. We are a very friendly group, looked for turtles ( they are very big) and decided whether to go all the way around which involves climbing a very steep hill lovingly called Dead Mans Hill. For the second time this year I decided to go all the way around instead of turn around like I usually do and with a lot of huffing and puffing I climbed the hill. When I got back to my car I realized that it had been a very enjoyable walk. Slow for sure but who cares. I stretched the legs and I’ll be back tomorrow. Good day in the park.

5 Reminders for times you feel like giving up.


Sound advice. Please read!

pipe down piper

If you’re anything like me, you’ll hit days, weeks and occasionally months on end when you question everything in your life – why am I doing this? Why am I getting up at 5am to ride a bike? Why am I swimming up and down a pool endlessly? How is a 2 hour run on a Sunday morning giving anything back to the world? You might feel like you’re wasting your time, or that everything you’ve spent so much time committing yourself is for nothing.

Personally, my ongoing struggle is grappling with the fact that I’m attempting to commit so much time and energy to being an amateur athlete. A middle-of-the-pack age-grouper. What am I trying to prove? (I also continuously struggle with a) getting out of bed early to train b) having the energy to train after work c) eating too much and d) many, many other things…)

But…

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Training Makes the Difference


Today some of the members of a Facebook page I follow did and Iron Man triathlon. For those of you who don’t know that entails a 2.4mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and a marathon run (26.2 miles). I believe that most have a time limit in which you have to complete it. Anyway people ask you do you do that and the answer is the same as the one for sprint triathlons like I do, you train for it.

Being the best swimmer in the world doesn’t help you on your bike. Being a marathon runner does not prepare you for the swim. You have to put in adequate time in each sport to stand a chance of completing the entire event.

I know of a few people this year that were not successful in their triathlon attempts  and several of them had medical issues that arose and kept them from being successful. I think that if you talked to the rest of them you would find out that they just didn’t get the right amount of training in. It’s a delicate balance and other than doing the distances in training you are always unsure whether what you’ve done is enough.

If you watch your elite athletes, they are constantly training to stay in the game so to speak. So when you are getting up in the dark to get your training in visualize the finish line!

 

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OMG the Post Season Lazies have struck!!!


I can barely get off the couch. I am waking up between 7:30 and 8:00 am. Not even sure I remember the way to the park. Good grief. Just a month ago I was setting my phone to wake me at 5:45 am so I could get to the park and start my ride/walk. I was at the pool by 10:00 am daily like I was getting paid. Now making coffee makes me tired. I teach online so I don’t even get dressed for God’s sake.  I know that I have to adjust and get back in the swing of things. I can’t afford a season off for a variety of reasons. Weight control, arthritis, boredom all come to mind. Today though I’m going to sit here and contemplate my garden and enjoy a pretty fall day. Check back with me later.

Out of my garden

Out of my garden

The Athletes Solitary Mind


One of the things that took a while to sink in for me was that no matter how many people are around and no matter how supportive they are, when the horn goes off and a triathlon begins, you are on your own. If your mental game is not right all the cheering in the world won’t be enough. I go over this in my mind often because once I began to swim I started hearing all the negative things possible in my head. I lost focus on my swimming and concentrated on how far in the distance my exit point was. As I was leaving the water I began to be uptight because I had struggled so on my bike the month before. The ride was tough for me without a doubt but when it was done I realized that I had trained fairly well. Since I don’t run the walk was the most enjoyable part of the whole thing. I practiced in my head saying that I was through with triathlons all the way to the finish line. I told my friends that I was never doing it again and that I was going to sell my bike the next day.

Wow! I can carry on. The fact is I had the wrong mindset through the  entire thing. My planned mantra went out the window or in this case floated out to sea within two minutes of the start. After that I was fighting myself for three hours.

So I have about ten months to get it together. Planning for a better mindset next year!

My kid, his kids and his mother-in-law. They drove 4 hours to cheer me on

My kid, his kids and his mother-in-law. They drove 4 hours to cheer me on

Monday Mantra – I am an Athlete


Couldn’t have said it better!!!

First Time Triathlete

Happy Monday! We all could use a bit of motivation to get rolling on Monday. On Mondays, I like to share a Mantra or short inspirational message. If the message resonates with you, use to motivate yourself in training or life. Do you have your own awesome Mantra? Please share it below in the comments

This week’s Mantra –

“I am an Athlete”

Wheel Chair Athlete

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Lost in Fall. What Now?


I am lost. I have nothing to train for. My season is over. I can’t run, don’t enjoy riding really  so swimming is my main winter activity and my pool is shut down for draining and cleaning. I have to get the motivation back because I need to be active all year-long. I am fighting the couch potato lure.

What now?

Athletes are Liars


So let me explain. I was a triathlon newbie this year. I am a pretty literal person so when you tell me a course is flat I take your word for it. So here is what I learned don’t ask a real swimmer about the swim in a triathlon. They will tell you something like ” it only a 3rd of a mile you’ve done that in the pool. True. Lesson one the  pool is not the ocean or the bay. I swim four to five times a week in the summer and could do the distance that I needed for the tri’s. I was not however ready to swim the distance with waves, wind and people swimming over my slow head. Plus something touched my foot and there were no people near me.

Lie number two, bikers don’t count hills that don’t make them stand up while they are riding. At Iron Girl they said a little wind. What?  I felt like I was riding into a wall for a mile or two and had to do it twice.

This time the runners didn’t lie and the course was flat and pleasant.

This past February though I did a 5K with my buds. We all walked it. Could anyone have told me that Morristown, New Jersey is built on a series of hills. I was talking to my self out loud by mile three.

So whatever an athlete tells you ask them first how fast they run, ride or swim and then multiply what they say by at least three.

Words to the wise!!!!