Motivation vs Inspiration

Are you inspired to do great things, or motivated to do great things?

Inspiration is a feeling where as motivation is an action… They work together for greatness, separate the two and the question is, what inspired an individual to get motivated.  They work hand in hand. The biggest difference is that inspiration usually comes from something or someone on the outside.  Motivation is all together different and if you don’t have the internal fire burning, that motivation will fade with time.  Someone or something can inspire a person or motivate a person, but take that stimulus out of the picture and all that is left is the RAW YOU.

What makes a person extremely motivated to succeed at something and another person equally talented at the same thing not succeed.. DRIVE, DETERMINATION, MOTIVATION, and HARD WORK.  These are the same traits that make a person with less talent succeed at something they may not have in talent, but are determined to beat the odds because it’s what they love.

In sports, especially distance/endurance events, all that you have is the Raw You.. Where will it take you?  You’ve done the training, you’ve stayed motivated.  You have eaten all the right foods, fueled your body. Your body is a machine.

Inspiration got you here, motivation kept you going.  At times, there are moments you question everything you’ve done and the reason behind this life you have chosen.  Being an athlete is a choice, staying commited to succeed takes a lot of work.  HARD work.

Find the  inspiration to do amazing things, then the internal flame INSIDE will keep you motivated..Find the Flame… Ignite the FIRE!


Why a Coach?

Some people ask “Why do I need a coach?” My answer is very simple, yet very complex…

Roles of the coach are to educate, inspire, motivate, guide, and encourage.  A coach wants that athlete to succeed.  The athlete may question at times why, but for every session there is a reason.  There is a time for everything and patience is key to success.  It takes years to develop as an athlete.  These are all very important issues that a coach needs to address. 

I know that I can run a 5:20-5:30 mile.. That does not mean I should.  I have not trained for that and if I choose to go there, my potential to get injured is great, I have to be smart.  My goal as a coach is to train my athletes to hold back during training sessions especially the longer ones.   Save it for the race, then we can decide what is left in the tank.  If I decide as a coach to let my athletes go full throttle everytime they train, they will either get injured or burned out, and eventually it will start to show in the workouts as time progresses.  A coach oversees that the athlete stays within these boundaries to prevent injury, burnout or worse… overtraining.  A good coach knows the athletes abilities, training zones, and skill level to build programs based on that very specific information.

Training is built on sessions that provide training in all zones to maximize the abilities of the athlete.  Only at certain times will a coach block hard training sessions together.  Hard training sessions need recovery/easy days for the muscles to retain what was learned from that hard sessions especially when it comes to endurance sports.

Coaches provide valuable feedback and guidance to the athlete to reach peak performance.  

The training is not always in the volume but in the quality in that volume.  An example of that is that I may have an athlete do specific swim sessions, run sessions, or cycling sessions to build  threshold tolerance for different distances.  Those hard sessions are not hours long, the are short and very specific for a reason.  They cover different zone in certain sessions to stimulate different responses from the body. 

Every training session is designed to leave the athlete wanting more, feeling great, and progressing in an Upward Linear Fitness Response

So… It’s simple.. Find a coach that fits your individual needs and you are well on your way to reaching your training and racing potential.


What kind of Turkey are YOU??

What kind of turkey will you be? The fit or the unfit turkey? Choose to start the season off with a BANG

Don’t wait until after the holidays to start making the commitment to get into shape. Start Now. Take the time to write down the goals you want to reach. Be it 5k to Marathon. Sprint Triathlon to Ironman. Make the decision now to start training, and making those healthy choices can start today.

Enjoy your family time and your celebration but do so in moderation and set an example to those around you. You may be the one that inspires the people that surround you. Encourage your family and friends to do the same.

Have an amazing Thanksgiving, now go for a Swim, Bike or Run or whatever exercise you enjoy!!!


The Time is NOW

With most of triathlon season behind us, plans for next year are underway if you haven’t already done this. This is the time of year to evaluate your level of fitness and build your strength.

This is a great time of year to plan a late winter or early spring Marathon, only if your not doing a spring Half or Full Ironman, and start building your base back up. Make sure you take the time to heal from your past season. Take a week or two off from any structured training. Any training you do should be recovery, which means your Heart Rate should stay below 125 for most.

Half Marathon distance races are also great for increasing fitness and speed for longer endurance events without the stress of a full marathon distance race.

Take the time to write down your strengths and weaknesses, physical and mental, and the challenges you can expect to face and create a plan on what you can do to avoid them if possible. It’s not if we have challenges in our lives, it’s when…

How we react to those challenges are what build us in our daily lives, as well as our athletic endeavors.

Make the commitment today…


World Championships 70.3 Clearwater, FL… PreRace

After having a great flight in, Jeanne came to pick me up from the airport. I was joined on the flight by Jim Ryan, a local Austin triathlete and friend. He rode back with us as well. We had a few hours before Rob and the kids arrived and we had lots to do, but also time to relax.

After dropping all our stuff off, we all headed down to packet pickup. My race number 716… I was super excited. We walked through the Athlete Village and Expo.

Then headed to lunch. After we ate Jim went back to his bungalow and Jeanne and I headed to the water for a swim. The water was cold and I was hesitant. I knew I needed to get my hand back in that wetsuit, and I knew it was going to hurt. I held my breath and suited up.

We went out and the water was great. Perfect actually for a wetsuit. We swam out and I played around for a bit. It just felt good to be in the water, I felt invigorated.

After the swim, we decided to head back to our hotel and get ready for the athlete dinner and meeting. I got my room and what do you know… It’s the same number as my race number.

When I got downstairs, a couple was waiting there for a cab so, I offered them a ride. I was pretty sure Jeanne wouldn’t mind. Luke and Meg Gillmer, the reason I mention them is because we spent a lot of time running into them. They were from Sydney AUS. One of my favorite places in the world. We sat with them both nights for dinner as well. They were great company and we got to meet a lot of their friends as well and everyone was so much fun.

After dinner, I had to head to the airport to pick up Rob and the kids. I was tired but, Rob couldn’t get our rental car until Friday. This kind of made things hectic, and I will explain. We got back, Rob put my bike together and we got the kids to bed.

It was now Friday morning, Cameron and Morgan were up super early and ready to go the the beach at 6am. I had a lot to do today and at this point we had no car. We wanted to wait to get the car until Jeanne’s friend Erin arrived so we wouldn’t have to make 2 trips to the airport. This proved challenging because Cameron and Morgan were ready to GO!!!

I had a lot to do before I could relax, one of which was getting my transition bags ready. This was a little stressful since both of my kids were pulling on me from both sides to do something… I fully understood though so, I was trying to be patient. I knew I needed to focus because once those transition bags get checked in, there is no turning back. I didn’t want to forget anything.

Once I had everything laid out I took the kids downstairs to run around the pond. :o ).. One way to wear them out. Then we went to the hotel pool. Erin’s flight was delayed so we had to wait until afternoon..UGH! I was distracting the kids as much as I could and patience was growing thin.

Finally we headed out to pick up the car…AKA the SWAGGER WAGON! I made a quick trip to the grocery store and we ran by the hotel and grabbed my bike and transition bags. It was almost 2pm and I had still not had lunch. I was getting a little frustrated but was managing. I got bike checked in and dropped all my gear off.

I walked through transitions to see the in and out portions and I was ready for lunch. 3pm, we went down to meet Karen Burks and Cookie Munson at an Italian Resturant. I was super hungry now and it was way passed time for lunch.

On the way down Morgan stumbles and tears her toe open. She’s crying I was carrying her and blood was dripping all over me. We arrived at the resturant with a crying child and a very stressed mommy. I went inside and cleaned her wound and finally sat down to eat. My race was tomorrow and I was anything but relaxing.

We had wonderful conversation and I was glad to finally sit down. After dinner we decided to take the kids to the beach even though it was getting cooler. They were playing and some of my other friends, Ellen and Brian Brown joined us on the beach. I was glad the kids finally got to play, those natives were restless for sure.

The sun sets and I decided it was time for us to get back to get some rest. As I was waiting for the Swagger Wagon at the parking lot(Rob went to get the car so I wouldn’t have to walk anymore, I needed to be off my feet) Luke and Meg are walking up to get a cab back. I laughed and said they had perfect timing, we were heading back. They rode with us and Meg told my kids about the “Endless Gobstopper” at Disney World. My kids were super excited. A candy the never ended. I laughed…

We all got ready for bed and I was thinking, tomorrow’s a big day and today was not exactly the perfect way to relax but, that’s what happens when you’re a mommy.


Proceed with Caution

With 3 days to go until the Half Ironman World Championships, I am going forward. Broken hand and all. I have done my training as schedule this last week and feel pretty good about that. I have had some issues. Putting on my wetsuit was a huge OUCH!! On the hand.

Hitting bumps on my bike hurts like crazy on the hand, so if I see it coming, I try to let my right hand go.

I think my biggest fear is getting kicked in the hand on the swim and also, just not being able to fight like I need to on the swim.. I need my hands. The swim can get crazy especially with 1800 very strong athletes. I will do my best.

I am super excited to say the least and I hope to be able to update as the days go by. For now I am finishing my packing and getting to bed. 6am departure and I have my bike and a suitcase I will somehow manuever in the morning… So much FUN!!!!


My MoJo… 7 days and Counting…

My Mojo… I am relentlessly trying to get it back, today was a start but, also an eye opener. I was up early to meet some riders and Rick for about a 50 miler at Bicycle Sport Shop.

I opened the door and it was freezing.. Burrrrr. 40 degrees. Not the best for keeping that hand warm. I bundled up nice and warm.. 2 pair of riding pants, 2 shirts, arm warmers and a jacket. The first problem I ran into was that I couldn’t get my broken hand in my really warm glove, it hurt way to bad. I settled for some other gloves that still hurt getting on but, I could tolerate.

If I say I didn’t have second thoughts about riding in this cold, I’d be lying. I totally wanted to bail, but, I NEVER bail, unless it’s really important. This was just me being a sissy. I grab my bike and headed out to meet the group. There was about 10-12 riders when I showed up.

We took off down Parmer and headed towards Andice. Andice is a small town that has a General Store that has loitering cyclist.. That’s half true. It’s a turn around or stopping point for almost every rider this side of town.

The ride was a nice pace and I was actually dressed perfectly. The biggest problems I was having riding with a broken hand wasthat it hurt like crazy when I had to shift gears. When I shift I usually brace the outside of my hand on my aerobars and push my gears with my index and middle fingers or my thumb. I have bar end shifters.

Well, I can’t brace.. It put to much pressure on my broken bones. So I really had to either completely move my hand or take a deep breath in pain.. I did both. I also did some teeth grinding.

My next problem was hydration. I couldn’t grab my water bottle from the cage. I can’t rotate my hand and grab. When I did I almost dropped it and it hurt like crazy. I was glad it was cold and I wasn’t that thirsty. I was also glad I was riding with experienced riders.. If I had a flat I was in big trouble on my own. I knew that when I started.

My leg felt OK. It’s the stops and starts that cause the pain in my leg. I am really concerned with the location of the pain in my leg. The bruise is high on my quad and covers almost the entire muscle but, the part that really hurts it the tissue above my knee. The pain is waking me up at night. It’s not knee pain though, it’s in my deep connective tissue.

We head back and we have a big headwind on Parmer. I dropped some of my layers and I was glad, it was getting warmer and once I hit Parmer and head home, I am on a mission. Doug one of my training partners said I should be the poster child for “Mind over Matter” I laughed and said I have no time for whining. I have to say it was “mind over matter”, I had to disconnect from the pain and I did that today. My ride was not as fast as I had hoped but, it was a good solid ride. The head wind was pretty crazy as well.

I got home and went for a very easy run. I needed to see how my leg would do after the bike. It was painful, but tolerable at the pace I was running, which was not fast. I am just not sure how fast I can run on a bum leg. With 7 days to go I am well into my Taper and I am hoping for a miracle.

Tomorrow is just a run for me and I will try to hold a steady pace and not whence. I hope for a restful night and am excited to have an extra hour to hopefully sleep in, but I’ll probably be up, laying in bed pressing the light button on my watch to see what time it is every 10-15 minutes until I get bored and get out of bed. Even when I hurt I am excited to go run…

So, Don’t forget to FALL BACK, just don’t FALL DOWN…..


It’s Not Falling Down, But How You Get Back Up

Last Saturday, I was racing a 24k Trail race in Bluff Creek. I felt great coming off a big week of training for me.

My goal was really to maintain a specific pace for training purposes. We started the run with a pretty good pace, I backed off a tad just to stay where I wanted to and have fun. The course was a double loop, it was great, it had tons of variation, rock, roots, ascents, and descents, a lot of fun. At mile 9.4 (I was wearing a Garmin) I went down. I was flying down a descent going into a gradual climb and I tripped on a tree root, I think. I landed so hard it took the breath out of me. I was laid flat out and stayed there a couple minutes to see if I could even move. I remember reaching up to get my glasses which flew off and landed infront of me, still laying down at this point. I felt a searing pain in my right quad. I staggered up and looked at my hands and wrists. The Garmin saved my left wrist, I had it flipped to the inside. My Polar on the right was the other way. Yes, I wear two devices.

My right hand was already swelling up, I figured something was broken. I wiped off and tried to start running again. It Hurt. My quad had hit something when I landed and felt like it was ripped open. I looked down and saw a mild abrasion but, I was in serious pain. My thought was to just keep moving, I had aboout 4.5 miles left. I started out very slowly just putting one foot in front of the other, I was trying not to cry but, my pain was deep.

It took me a couple minutes and I had my feet going again, but I was still in a lot of pain. I saw one of my local competitors Matty on one of the switchbacks and yelled to him the I fell and I was really hurt. He yelled back some encouraging words that kept me going. As much as I was hurting, him being behind me helped keep me going. I was getting back on pace somewhat, I was about 20 seconds off, but I was OK with that. I went through some bouts where I wanted to cry but I told myself to be strong. Then I starting singing ” even the best fall down sometimes,” I am not sure where that song came from. I think I am far from the best, but I strive at all times to be the best I can be. So the words went through my head again and again.

Then in pain I roared loud like a lion, I figured no one would hear me but Matty if he was close enough. I roared again and again, getting the pain out, the miles fading into the distance. I knew the finish line was coming up and I needed ice on that leg and hand. I blazed through that finish line happy to see my kids cheering for me.. Matty was close behind. I thanked him for the push.. He says “even when you fall down and get hurt, you won’t let me pass you.” I said ” If it weren’t for you today I would not have finished… Thank you.”

It’s not just that I fell, it’s that I got up to finish the race.

Now for damage control…. Sunday came and I was a mess, my hand was completely swollen, and my leg was horribly bruised and had knots in the muscle. This was not good. Early afternoon I hopped on my spin bike to do a recovery ride which is HR at 125 or less for 45 min. Then at 4pm I headed to the gym to see how my hand and wrist will affect my swim. I swim 1,000 m, it hurt but I did it. I was out of time, I needed to go get the kids and we had Trick or Treat tonight. No time for whining.

I got dressed up in my Supergirl Costume and claimed someone threw Kryptonite on the trail. I was actually only half kidding.


Getting it Right

With 21 days left before World Championships for the Half Ironman, I am trying to get it right. The right mix of distance, speed and intensity, in 3 different sports: Swimming, Biking and Running.. and REST… and coaching, and family and friends.

What does 21 days mean exactly? For me, it means about 11 more days of intense training and then I start a taper. I have to stay focused, have a plan but, be flexible. I need to make sure I push myself hard on my intense days, and recovery when I need to rest. I need to make sure I am confident in my abilities and not question if I have or have not done enough.

I will be competing against some of the strongest endurance athletes in the World. I need to not fear the pain but, overcome it and embrace it. I know it hurts… I’ve been here before.

I will push my body in the next few weeks beyond it’s limits, not necessarily in distance but, in intensity. Hoping that when I get to the starting line, I will have done what it takes to not just be a finisher, but a strong contender with the best.

I also have to remember that some days will not go as planned. On our ride yesterday, we had rain, wind, flats and crashes. This started to crumble me mentally. But, I know everything has a reason. I ended up cutting my ride short, and going for a run. So after 50 miles on the bike, I hoped off, put my running shoes on and headed to the trail.

There was actually a marathon going on called the Frankenton. I took it all in. Enjoying my run, the day, and watching these athletes as I passed through push there bodies to the limits. I let my mind go, I saw some great friends and fellow athletes out training and I smiled. I smiled because I do this because I can, not because I have to.

I compete because I love to. I always have. I love the training even when it hurts, even when it doesn’t all go according to plan. I am also thankful no one was hurt yesterday. All in all a great day.

So for now… I’m getting it right.. everything in good time.


I’m an Outlaw

As I get into some of the last weeks of my training for World Championship, I felt that riding a strong 100miler would be a great confidence builder. Lucky for me, Austin has some amazing organized tour rides. I was on the fence with this one though, there was also an Open Championship Olympic Distance Triathlon in Dallas that I was planning to do the same weekend. Knowing that I needed a longer ride, I decide to stay close to home.

The ride is called the Outlaw and is in Round Rock Texas every October. They have 4 different distances. I rode the 100k last year. This year I decided I go for the 100 miler. This is a fantastic event. So far this year we have ridden in the Tour de Florence which was 65 miles to finish at a winery

the Rip Roaring Ride in Leander hosted by the Lions Club (5 Stars for the aid stations!!! Peanut butter & Jelly Sandwiches and pickles) we rode the 80 mile distance, and the Outlaw. Each ride has its uniqueness. I have enjoyed every mile. At this point I have to put a thank you to Rick.. He is one of my training partners, and an amazing rider and has ridden all these miles with me, and changed my flat. Thank you to his wife Barb for letting me borrow her husband for a training partner. Also, Pam… aka Pammer the Hammer. (I thought of that today when we were riding but I was saving it for my blog:o) Hope you don’t mind. ) I know as I train for Worlds and then start training for Ironman, I need a team to help me do well. My biggest gains will be in the bike. These are 2 key people that will get me there. You will be hearing about them periodically in my blogs because we train so much together.

Ok so back to the ride. Just for the record, I have not ridden 100 miler in 7 years. Shiner was 6 miles short.. Just being honest. So the Outlaw was officially the I’m back ride, and Rick has not ridden a century since the 80’s. We’ve done plenty of 70-85 milers but not 100. We took off pretty slow then there were 2 breakaway packs. We hopped onto the second group. We had an amazing pace of over 21-22mph, I was going a bit over my threshold and my biggest concern was that we had just started, this was still going at mile 20-25. Then we had the first group in our site so, of course we drop the hammer and catch up, I was completely anaerobic at this point and was happy to draft.

About 10 minutes later, Rick and I got to an aid station, we skipped the first 2. I think this was about mile 30. We took a quick break then took off again. Now we were on our own which was great we had a great pace and the weather was perfect.. Next break was around mile 50 and I was in need of salt, hence the pickle juice, and pickles of course. This is the magic of the long distance rider. I learn this from Doug… I call him Coca-Cola/Pickles.. That’s what I saw him drink and eat the first time I rode with him and I was shocked. But, let me tell you this, he’s a strong rider.. Give me the pickle!! I’ll stick to my Powerbar Endurance or water for the hydration though.

At halfway we were averaging just under 20 mph, and the smile on my face was a mile wide. As a matter of fact, I smiled the entire 100miler, I just could not stop smiling. I was so glad the bugs weren’t out.

We got back on our bikes and start riding with 2 other riders, at the time I nicknamed them Purdue and Alaska due to their jerseys. We had a very nice pace going and just stayed together for the duration of the ride even after I flatted, which was around mile 80. At this point I introduced myself and Rick. Purdue was Kevin and Alaska was Steve.

We got to the final aid station and had about 12 miles to go. This is usually the point in which I get turbo boost, second wind, whatever you want to call it. It’s also about the time I am ready to not be sitting on my saddle anymore and want to go for a run. So, we pick up the pace. I took off first, slowed up a tad Rick caught on and we cruised to the 100mile mark, still with a big fat smile on my face. We high fived and went to my car so I could get my running shoes on.

Now it was time for my run. I grab a bottle of water and head out for a nice steady pace. My legs feel good and I’m thrilled to have just done what we did. I finish my run and you could hear my stomach growling.. I was HUNGRY. I have no time to stop now, it’s 3pm and I need to get home. That’s when the real work starts.

You’d think at this point, WOW, time for a nap.. WRONG. I have laundry to do, kids to play with, a house to clean, and a sewing project for my son’s class. I get busy with everything and finally sit down to sew. Rob starts cooking dinner. Then phone rings, it’s my sister “I’ll be there in 30 minutes.” ARG… I totally forgot. She’s just here for the night but, I just blanked out. She arrives with one of her daughters, they’d been shopping all day, we sit and talk for a while and then she sits with me as I sew. 15 minutes later my sewing machine jams.. UGH!!! I need to finish this, but I can’t. The demin has jammed both my machines and they need to go the repair. It’ll have to wait.

I get to bed around 9:30, I needed some rest… I had Erica meeting me here at o’dark hundred for a long run…. Then spend the day with my sister and then a swim later on Sunday evening… That in a nutshell is why… I AM AN OUTLAW!!!