Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Ironman Louisville 2019 Race Report

That’s a wrap on my 2019 triathlon season. My first season coaching myself is over and although I didn’t make progress in terms of how I placed in my IM’s: 4th last year at Chattanooga, to 4th at IM Canada, to 4th at IM Louisville, my spot on the podium doesn’t tell the whole story. 

Last year when I found out the swim was canceled at IM Chattanooga, I was devastated. It took me the better part of a day to get my shit together, stop crying and feeling bad for myself, understand that I have no control over the circumstances, and focus on executing a solid bike and run. This year when I found out the swim was canceled at IM Louisville, I wasn’t even phased. Even my gut reaction to opening the email was calm and accepting. Maybe my experience at IM Canada in between these 2 races (vomiting every few hours for 2 straight days heading into the race) made me appreciate something less intrusive. I was healthy and I was still going to be able to race. Even though the swim is a strength for me, I’ve gained a lot of confidence in my ability to bike and run with some of the best women in my age group, and I thought I still had a chance to fight for a Kona spot. My reaction also showed me that I’ve learned that the best use of my energy is spent on maximizing my effort and attitude. Giving away my energy to doubt, fear, or anything outside of my control takes away from the progress I’ve worked so hard to gain.

It was below 40 degrees in the morning for our time trial bike start, but I had already made the decision that cold is an opinion, and I started getting my typical pre-race giddy school girl smile on as I made my way to the start line. 

One of the big things I’ve been working on this year is creating a better balance between my training and recovery. It’s easier to be disciplined about working hard than it is to be disciplined about holding back when you need to. I wanted to be consciously focused on saving my best efforts of the year for race day, not for training. It doesn’t matter how many hours you log, what your FTP is, or how many hill reps you ran if you can’t show up on race day and be fresh and prepared to fully express your fitness. 

The Louisville bike course was constantly rolling hills. There were no really big climbs, but the up-and-down never really subsided, for a grand total (according to my Garmin) of 6,591 feet. My power was right on target and I’m most proud of the fact that despite the nature of the course, I maintained a variability index (measure of pacing) of 4%. I didn’t know that at the time because I can’t be bothered by my watch and it’s insistence on providing me with data and numbers while I’m racing, but that would be the key factor that set me up for a big marathon PR. All I knew was that I felt good and I was ready to get the F off my bike and run some girls down.

My Kentucky-Derby themed race sherpa, in all of his glory

One of the reasons I don’t look at my watch while I’m racing is because I believe it keeps me safely within my limits and I’m not here to play it safe. If I’m going to reserve my best effort for race day, I have to be prepared to hit higher power and run faster paces than I have in training, and if those numbers are going to scare me into thinking I can’t hold them, then I’ve let doubt take away from my energy. What I’ve trained to be able to do is know what a sustainable pace feels like so that whatever that pace is on race day, I just trust the feeling and go with it.

So when I got off my bike and started knocking off a few sub 8:00 miles (which I’ve never done before), I just shrugged and figured I was going to run faster than I ever have. According to my Kentucky Derby inspired race sherpa, I got off the bike in 7th and had some work to do. I stayed focused and in the zone the entire run, knowing how much faster I was running than I have in previous marathons, and doing everything I could to keep it flowing. Just like in IM Canada, it took me forever to actually catch anyone. I saw Ryan at the 23 mile mark, where he let me know that I was 1:40 back of 4th place. So I dug in, knowing that if 4th place got me a Kona spot, and 5th place didn’t, I had no choice but to make up that time. 

As it turns out, 3rd place was where I needed to finish for a Kona spot, but I can honestly say I didn’t have the fitness on Sunday for 3rd. There were some really impressively fast women in my age group, and the top 3 earned the crap out of their tickets. I did, however, finish with a marathon PR, coming in at 3:34, and a 15 minute overall improvement from Duathlon Chattanooga last year. 

As a coach, I preach to my athletes that your performance goals have to take precedence over your outcome goals. You can control how fast you go, but you can’t control who else shows up and goes faster. I’m always “gifted” with lessons from my races that I can turn into strengths moving forward, so having the swim canceled again felt like yet another annoying round of “you don’t have control over anything.” But I think it’s more than that. I think that my next lesson is that I haven’t used my power and energy to control everything that I can. There’s more to uncover. I have to be ready to go into any race, under any circumstances, and know that my preparation has put me in a place to reach my goals. I’m realizing that I have more to unlock within myself, and that leaving results up to too much chance is giving up too much power.


I believe whole-heartedly in the power of my intentions, and if I’m being honest with myself, I haven’t given the swim the attention that it deserves as part of an Ironman. I swim about an hour for 2.4 miles, on average, which has seemed fast enough to put it on the back burner, while I dedicate the majority of my time and energy to biking and running. I haven’t treated the swim like it’s a real part of the race, and the Ironman gods/universe/whatever have heard my message and made it literally not a real part of the race. Next season, that changes. And that’s just one thing. I know there are others. It’s time to get really honest with myself… right after a few weeks of laying on my couch and eating all the gluten.

Finish line love.

Our album drops next year.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Ironman Canada 2019 Race Report

The only word I have to describe my feelings about this race is gratitude. Less than 24 hours out, I wasn't even sure if I'd make it to the start line. Of course I have goals and expectations for my races, but the thought of not even being able to fight for a finisher medal was heartbreaking.

Friday morning I started to get sick. I couldn't keep anything down. By Friday afternoon, I could barely get out of bed, and my routine became sleeping for a few hours then waking up only to throw up any remaining fluid I happened to have in my body. Making it to and from T1 on the shuttle to drop off my bike on Saturday was probably the hardest part of the weekend. Saturday night, I tried to force a pre-race meal of some chicken and rice into my body, but I puked that up too.

I had somehow gotten through all of the necessary pre-race setup the day before, and I certainly didn't come all this way to not at least show up and try on race morning. I wasn't sure I'd make it to the finish line, but I was damn sure I was going to make it to the start line, and that from there, I had to just believe that anything was possible. I managed to get half of my normal pre-race breakfast into my body and it actually stayed there! Those were the first calories that didn't try to escape my body in days. I couldn't even force myself to drink coffee though, and that's how you know something was still very wrong. Usually, I'd take coffee straight through an IV if I could... and also drink it because it's delicious.

Race morning. No idea how I was going to get myself up and do an Ironman.

My mantras for this race (that I had come up with weeks ago) were "I choose growth." and "I choose miracles." And I didn't mean miracles in the traditional sense. I meant them like, anything is a miracle if that's the way you choose to look at it; and also, I "choose" them, meaning I have control. I am not a product of the things that happen to me; I create my reality. Turns out I COMPLETELY overlooked the fact that some shit would have to go seriously wrong before a miracle could happen, so that will be the one and only time I use that mantra.

Swim: 1:09:00
I lined up for the swim in a slower group than usual. I wasn't there to break any speed records so I took my time trying to see how my body would handle it. Once I started getting into a groove, albeit an incredibly slow groove, I was relieved to find out that I didn't feel sick at all, I just had absolutely no strength or power. But that was fine with me! I had gone from not being sure I'd get here, to making progress through the water, and that was pretty damn exciting. I exited the water with my slowest all time swim by 6:00 (my second slowest swim was a 1:03 in Kona).

This was Ryan telling me that it was ok if I couldn't make it.

No matter how shitty I feel, this is always what starting an Ironman will feel like.

Bike: 6:13:44
The first loop of the bike course was much of the same: no strength or power, but continual forward progress. This is when I started to feel like I could finish. It might take me all damn day, and it definitely didn't help that I chose a course with 8k feet of climbing, but I really had a chance to survive this thing. I grabbed bananas at aid stations, which I don't normally do, but my body had been completely depleted of electrolytes so I figured I needed all the help I could get. Each calorie that I took in was the most I'd eaten in days, and I started to feel better and better. By the second loop, I found myself picking it up and starting to gain some momentum. Even before I got sick, I didn't think there was a chance in hell that I'd feel better on the 2nd loop of this brutal course than the first.

Run: 3:50:13
By the time I got to the run, I actually felt somewhat normal. I couldn't believe it. So I just started running, and not slowly. I had new life and I was going to use it. I had no idea where I was amongst my competition because up until that point, I didn't care. I could have been in 50th, but I now had a chance to fight for 49th and I wasn't going to take that for granted. But apparently I actually got off the bike in 9th. The best thing about an ironman is that there's a marathon at the end, which gives me plenty of time to do some work. I didn't see any girls in my age group until the last 10k, but I just kept believing I could catch them if I poured everything I had into it. I still didn't know what place I was in, but by the last 5k, I knew I had passed a few girls and my only goal was to squeeze every last ounce of life out of my body. I didn't care if it was enough to put me on the podium, I was just so incredibly grateful that not only was I going to finish Ironman #7, but that I got the opportunity to do what I love more than anything in the world: prove to myself that I don't have to have limits. I can choose growth and miracles.

I finished in 4th place in my age group, on the podium. Of course it's always my goal to qualify for Kona at an Ironman, but after this one, I don't even care to analyze my results and think about what could have happened if I had been healthy the whole time. After thinking I may not even get a finisher medal, standing up on the podium didn't seem real, and I only have gratitude in my heart for what I was able to give to this sport that gives me so much life. I'll get back to Kona one day, but in the mean time, I'm having a damn good time finding out what I'm made of.

As always, I couldn't have done this without my #ironteam. They went through the same ups and downs this weekend with me, and just kept believing in my strength and supporting whatever decision I might have to make. I can never say enough about Ryan. He prepares for an ironman just as much as I do, making sure that each strategic site that he finds me on the course has the appropriate attire and attitude to make me smile. It's impossible to put into words how much passion and love he puts into this, so hopefully these pictures tell the rest of the story:

Jorts being made in real time.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Escape from Alcatraz Race Report

My focus for this season is on Ironman Canada. With Escape from Alcatraz being only 7 weeks before Canada, I wasn't going to make time to train specifically for that distance. I basically just used it as an excuse to do my favorite workout, which is running up and down the stairs at Red Rocks. I also knew it would be important to mix in some cold water acclimation, which I was less excited about. I can race in the heat with no problem, especially now that I have my fluid and sodium loss down to a science, but I am not interested in being cold. Ever.

So I started taking cold showers, and getting into cold water whenever I could, which was made possible by our long terrible winter. (Thanks, Colorado.) Every time I turned my shower head to the cold setting, it made me angry. I have no idea why I have such a high tolerance for doing things to myself that I dislike. One morning after a hail storm, I got into the outdoor pool at my gym, with the ice chunks. I thought I would just jump in and start swimming but after a few strokes of not being able to catch my breath, I had to stand up to get my lungs out of the water. Then I told myself that I was going to swim for 10 minutes and I was not going to feel cold, and that's exactly what I did. I was able to relax my body, and get it done. The problem was when I got out, I was really dizzy, and numb everywhere. This made me realize 2 things: I am grateful for my ability to put mind over matter and commit to whatever mental state I set my intentions on; and, mind over matter may not always be the best approach for me.

My new goal for Alcatraz would be focusing on the "matter," aka, tuning in to the feelings instead of overriding them. The next time I jump into a body of water with ice chunks, I would focus on the cold, and feeling it on each part of my body so that I could know when it would be appropriate to get out and not get hypothermia. In the race, I would tune in to each sensation, to have a better understanding of how to get the most out of myself, based on the feedback from my body. I've spent so much time completely ignoring pain and discomfort, that it seemed a little scary at first, but I was excited for the new challenge, and it felt like an important step in my development.

The boat we jumped off of (the San Francisco Belle) through Ryan's binoculars

Come race day, here are some of the things I got to feel:

1. Arguably my favorite part of the race: the pre-race boat ride out around Alcatraz with 2000+ other psychos who thought this would be a good idea. We were on the boat for about an hour without phones or anything else to distract us, and the energy was unlike anything I've ever been a part of.

2. The 3 seconds right before it was my turn to jump, my heart was in my throat, and I felt some combination of fear, nerves, excitement, and just the pure intensity of being alive.

3. The stinging of salt water in my eyes starting the second I jumped in, and all the way to shore. I wanted to be uncomfortable, right? Having my goggles turn into mini water bowls felt like it met that standard, so I decided to just keep swimming, instead of stopping to fix them. AND, now I didn't have to see any sharks if there were any.

4. Land, sweet land.

5. The excitement of the wild ride that was the bike course! If you have ever been to San Francisco, just imagine a bike course there.

6. Not being afraid of maxing out my effort up the steep grades, and being able to do it again and again.

7. Pure gratitude for disc brakes.

8. All of my hopes and dreams for running up the sand ladder, crashing to a complete halt on stair #2 out of 400.

9. The burning in my lungs the last few miles to the finish, reminding me how relieving it would feel to slow down just a little bit.

10. The satisfaction of not slowing down, and leaving it all out there.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I signed up for this thing, but it was truly a bucket list race, and I'd recommend it to anyone looking to get outside of their comfort zone and have an absolute blast in a triathlon. I came in 2nd place in my age group and 8th overall female. I missed out on 1st place by less than the difference of our T1 times. If I could go back, I wouldn't have stopped to put on shoes before running the half mile to transition. But I can't go back, so whatever.

Focusing on the sensations of the race allowed me to be in the moment, which I know will come in handy when I need to occupy my mind throughout the course of an ironman. Even when my mental game has been at its best, I still have moments in every ironman where I'm worried about my competition, the conditions, and how there could possibly be SO MANY MILES LEFT. It also allowed me to make conscious decisions on the fly, about how to react to each situation. And most importantly, it made me realize that even if a sensation is negative in its connotation (i.e. pain, burning lungs, etc), I don't have to react negatively to it. I don't have to slow down. I just have to be aware.

So here we go, onward to Ironman Canada. In order to be successful, I'm going to need 100% of my focus on my own task, rather than what's happening around me. And I just got a lot better at focusing my attention on my goals.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Oceanside 70.3 Race Report

To start off, I'm already planning on going back to Oceanside next year. The course was beautiful and well-supported; Oceanside is a great host city... But most of all, we really want to drive the dogs out there so they can experience the beach. I'm pretty sure my non-swimming (yet not afraid of trying) husky is going to be quite the scene.

Look how cute they ride in the car together.
This was my first race coaching myself. I gave myself a few cutoffs for fucking up my training enough to need a coach, but I just kept rolling and making progress. I had a date in mid-February that I would make a decision about coaching myself through Oceanside, or needing to hire someone else. Then how well I raced at Oceanside would be my last chance to change course and hire someone before Ironman Canada. Luckily, I have a husband/therapist who keeps me from self-sabotaging, and regularly asks me tough, direct questions about what I'm doing with my life. About a month ago, we went through a line of questioning regarding what I would need to do in Oceanside to feel confident coaching myself moving forward. That's when I realized that the decision had already been made.

One of the many great things about Ryan is that he understands that my decision making process is completely opposite than his logical, strategic system. But he trusts me to do what's right for me, as long as I'm confident. Every important decision I've ever made is based completely on my intuition and my "feel." Coaching myself so far this year has allowed me to break through old patterns that no longer serve me, to look at my training from new angles, and to be even more tuned in to my body. I've made a lot of physical progress, but I've also had to make a lot of mental progress. I have to trust myself. I have to be completely aware of my mind and body at all times, without judgment. Aside from anything physical, growing in that area has, and will continue, to make me an infinitely better athlete.

So I'm all in for this year. I'm committed and I'm ready to get back to the World Championship, on the island that I love so much I tattooed it on my body.

My race plan had a completely different structure than it has in the past. Instead of mapping out my splits in terms of power and pace, breaking down my nutrition into hourly calories, fluid ounces, and electrolytes, my new race plan style consists mostly of mantras, gratitude, and mental themes. Sure, there are some course details to keep in mind and some basic ideas about speed and time goals. Don't get me wrong, I only feel comfortable making my race plan this way because I have a wealth of knowledge regarding my power and pace, and some handy experience with hyponatremia that led me to find out EXACTLY what I lose per hour in fluid ounces, and each individual electrolyte. What I have learned throughout these experiences though, is that if I'm completely tuned in, I know exactly what my body needs, and what it can sustain, moment to moment.

Here's an excerpt from my race plan:

"I am in this with my body. I learn best through trusting my body and letting it guide me, instead of trying to get in it's way or deny what it's trying to tell me. My body is strong and resilient, and I want to be completely tuned in to it's strength."

Swim: 33:04

I was excited about the ocean swim. I've had some good ocean swims in past races, including my only sub-hour Ironman swim. I decided ahead of time that I wasn't going to be cold. I'm gaining confidence in the fact that I have control over the way I respond to every situation, and that expectations are met at whatever level you set them to be met. "Cold" is subjective, so I simply didn't expect to be cold.   

As soon as it was my turn to step up to the start line, I got that giddy race feeling and giggled like a little kid the whole way into the water.

I think I could have done a better job swimming through/under the waves on the way out. I caught myself a few times getting held up and basically swimming in place, not making any forward progress. Once we hit the first turn buoy, I got into a solid rhythm and felt strong, but I think I costed myself some time on the way out. I typically swim right around 30 minutes for a 1.2 mile swim, so I was a little disappointed to see 33 on my watch. But I never let myself feel negatively about a swim in the moment because there's still so much racing to do. Sometimes I don't even check my time.

Bike: 2:57:31

The winter in Colorado this year has been extra wintery, so I didn't have many outdoor rides under my belt going into this. Even as I type this, we're supposed to get another snow storm tomorrow.  I recognized that that was one of my shortcomings in training leading up to this race. I did, however, put in a lot of hard efforts on the trainer. My peak power is higher than it has been, so I definitely wasn't worried about hills. And that's pretty much how it panned out. I felt like I could fly up hills but didn't have much ability to sustain power. That will come. I'm planning on all but living on my bike in the mountains leading up to IM Canada. So that being said, my time was "meh."

I don't have the same problem as I do after the swim, trying to avoid letting my time get in my head, because I'm just too excited to get the F off my bike and run. 

Run: 1:37:29

I know I'm not alone in this thought, but if I have a good run, I'm generally happy with my race, no matter what else happened. Running is my favorite in the exact same way that smiling is Buddy the Elf's favorite. My primary goal for this run was to get into the zone, and be completely immersed in the moment. I'm certainly not recommending this pacing strategy, but it was important for me to not be worried about the future. Meaning, I wasn't going to anticipate any pain or slowing down at the end. I was just going to go hard.

I averaged under 7:30/mile, and my splits were pretty consistent throughout the entire half marathon. I'm really happy with how well I ran, but it only proves to me that I have a lot more speed to unlock.

Overall, I'm leaving Oceanside even more assured that I'm on the right track. I know exactly what I have to do to give myself the best chance of standing on top of the podium in Whistler. And I wish this damn recovery week would end so I could get to it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Coaching Myself: Part 3

I honestly didn't think there would be a "Part 3" on coaching myself. I thought for sure Ryan would have thrown me into the looney bin by now and/or begged someone else to coach me. One of the reasons I decided to make this change was that I felt like I needed a hard reset on some of the patterns I had gotten myself into that weren't helping my growth. I expected to hit that reset button with coaching myself for a couple months, but then assumed that I'd go off the deep end and need to hire a new coach by the end of February (that was my pre-determined cut-off). Much to my surprise, things are actually going better than expected.

My sister, Gina, is just so good at photography.

One of the biggest contributors to my sustained sanity, and dare I say, improved fitness, is my shortened and intensified build/recovery schedule. I began by tracking my HRV (heart rate variability) daily to incorporate an objective measure of my fatigue and recovery rate, rather than relying completely on feel. My cycles have been: build for 2 weeks, recover for 4 days. The key here is that I've been able to increase my intensity in those 2 weeks because I'm recovering harder. My workouts in those 4 recovery days include yoga and basically just floating around in the pool. I don't run at all, which is hard for me since running is my favorite. I can't say that I'm mature enough to take full days off yet (baby steps), but I'm not ruling it out for the future.

I made more strength gains in the weight room this off-season than I have in years, and I'm committed to learning more and being more focused on nutrition. I've also been tracking my monthly cycle and applying my newly acquired knowledge from Dr. Stacy Sims' book, "Roar," to make sure I'm working with my physiology to do what's best for my body. If you don't like to hear about periods, go ahead and skip the rest of this paragraph. I have an IUD, which means I don't actually get my period, but I do get all of the other symptoms and have the same hormone highs and lows throughout the month. Without the obvious monthly cue, I had to start with tracking my symptoms as I noticed them, and it took me no time to figure out when my high hormone phase started, with my scientifically coined markers such as "feel fat" and "want chocolate." From there, I've been capitalizing on the low hormone part of my cycle, and making sure that I'm supporting my body with the right nutrition and supplements for the high hormone part.

I don't know how my first race of the season, 70.3 Oceanside, is less than 2 months away already, but I'm excited to put this all to the test. I've never coached myself through a big race, and I'm actually just realizing that right now as I'm typing this... which is mildly anxiety-inducing, even though I was just bragging about how well I think I'm doing.

Whatever. Can't be totally sane to do this sport.

...I wonder what my race plan will look like.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Coaching Myself Part II

In "Coaching Myself Part I," I said that I was going to ask myself if I did my best each week. Turns out that is HARD to do. Maybe I shouldn't have started it right before the holidays, but even into January, I'm having a hard time with it. On the weeks where I know I didn't do my best (even though they were during Christmas and when I was sick for a week), I could not get myself to actually write down that I did not do my best. I thought about it, tried to rationalize it, stared at my notebook for a while, but never actually wrote down the word, "no." For the weeks where I'm on the fence about what my best was, I've had to do a lot of soul searching to figure out what my best even means.

I'm not quite sure what kind of psychological issues we're dealing with here, but I'm not giving up on this one. I'm not going to continue to shy away from things that make me uncomfortable, especially when they stand in the way of my progress. The funny thing about triathletes, is that on the surface, it looks like we do uncomfortable stuff all the time. I'll only speak for myself, but I think I've gotten relatively comfortable doing hard workouts, to the point where my current incremental progress is due primarily to consistency (not to be undervalued), rather than finding ways to dig deeper than I do on a regular basis. This would all be well and good if it matched my goals. Let's say my goals were to get a 15 minute Ironman PR and get back on the podium, like I did in 2018. I could probably accomplish these things by continuing to do what I'm doing, but that's not why I'm here.

This was right after finishing my first ever triathlon (check out my kit), back when everything was hard, every time
.... including shaping my eyebrows, apparently.

When I first got started in triathlon, I didn't even know what a comfort zone was. I had just graduated from UConn and my favorite part of playing college lacrosse was our strength and conditioning workouts. I had a weird masochistic obsession with pushing my body as hard as it could possibly go, then being told to do it again, and somehow finding more in the tank. (If any of my teammates are reading this, yes- I know I was the only one who liked that.) So I've decided that I need to hit reset on my current routines and get back to that mindset.

I have 2 themes that I'm focused on for 2019. They apply to all aspects of my life, and I haven't figured out all of the specifics for some areas, but I know exactly how they apply to triathlon. They are:

1. Show Up

2. Stay Uncomfortable

They can be interchangeable at times and so far, they've mostly manifested as me cursing at myself under my breath when my alarm goes off earlier than I want it to, and I have to drag my ass to masters instead of doing my own swim at a more reasonable time of day. Showing up is about not making assumptions or having any expectations about a workout before it starts. If the workout is in my plan, I'm going to show up no matter how tired I am, and leave the door open to surprise myself with what I can accomplish.

Staying uncomfortable is the only way I'm going to make the progress that I want to make. Last weekend I went to the first of a group bike trainer series (that I prepaid for so I couldn't get out of it), and we worked on all of the exact things that I suck at. I've been ignoring working on cycling drills like ILT and high cadence because I've convinced myself that my time would be better spent just working on getting my power up. We spent the entire 2 hours doing both of those things to exhaustion, and while I'm pretty sure my average watts were around 7, I could barely lift my leg through the pedal stroke by the end.

And then I went running after that group trainer ride. 

Every year, I have my athletes fill out a goal sheet. Since I am currently enlisted on my athlete roster, I made myself fill one out as well. It was harder to fill out than I thought it would be, which I appreciate, because now I have a better understanding of the level of deep thinking and commitment that my athletes have to pull out of themselves when they put theirs together.

The goal sheet starts with the race schedule, and here is what I know of mine so far:

4/6: 70.3 Oceanside
6/9: Escape from Alcatraz
7/28: Ironman Canada

As it has been for the past few years, the second half of my season is left open for the chance that I qualify for Kona.

Aside from my themes, which apply to all levels of goals, the rest of the goal sheet looks like this:

Write your list of goals for the upcoming season, and split them into 3 categories:

Process goals: These are the goals that you have the most control over. What are you going to do in your training that is going to make you a better athlete? Example: be consistent with your strength training, spend x days per week in the pool.

  • Train more consistently with other people, especially people who are faster than me
  • Ride outside when I have the chance, rather than relying too much on my trainer
  • Stay focused on eating nutrient-dense food, rather than just paying attention to macronutrients
  • Meditate and journal regularly to stay connected to the roots of my motivation
  • Ask myself on a daily basis, "am I making the kinds of choices that someone who podiums in Kona would make?"

Performance goals: You have some control over these goals, especially if you line them up with your process goals? Example: raise your FTP to x
  • Run 1:35 off the bike in Oceanside
  • Run sub 3:40 off the bike in Whistler
  • Swim under an hour in Whistler
  • Get a new Ironman PR: sub 10:35

Outcome goals: These are not always under your control. You could have the outcome goal to win a race, and you could have the fastest time of your life, and still not win the race, depending on who else shows up. It’s still important to write them down so that you have something that you’re shooting for.   
  • Qualify for Kona
  • Podium in Oceanside
  • Podium in Alcatraz

If there was a goal that you didn’t reach last season, why did that happen? Were you too focused on outcome goals, and not enough on process goals? Were you consistent in your training, focus, and in your mental toughness?

Ever since I raced on the big island in 2016, it's been my goal to get back, and I did not accomplish that goal last season. Admittedly, I'm always more focused on my outcome goals but that doesn't mean I didn't follow through with my process goals and make a lot of performance improvements. I'm just competitive and I want to win more than anything else. That's what drives me to stick to my process goals. What I need to change is my inner dialogue.

Even though I was consistent with my training, I was not consistent with my mental commitment. I have a really hard time being fully invested in someone else's training plan (someone else being whoever my coach is). I always think I know better and I'm constantly questioning things, which more than anything else, wastes energy. The success of any plan is determined by the level of buy-in, and I've held myself back by not buying in. I needed this coaching change for 2019 because if I can't buy in to my own plan, then I'll never be able to move forward.

New Bio, who dis?

As I've witnessed myself shift and change, I've been experimenting with some new coaching strategies. Most of my athletes know that ...