Motivation

Ah, motivation.  Many people have inquired as to how to keep it going year round, if only I could provide a blanket answer, but we are all motivated by different things.  Regardless, there are always ebbs and flows, but the one factor all successful people have to stay motivated is simply to have goals.

So let’s start by creating some.  Choose short term and long so that maybe you’ll have some by week, month, and year.  Motivation will be certain to wane if only long term goals are made.  It’s just to far away.  Having weekly and monthly goals will help keep you focused and consistent. It’s more about the process anyways. If you solely focus on your goal, you are sure to miss the benefits of the journey, which could ultimately make you less successful.

Another factor for success is how much you desire your goals.  Talking the talk is one thing, walking the walk is another.  Per racing: Do you have a plan? Are you adhering to your workouts?  Do your actions coincide with the outcome you desire? Are you using food as fuel?  Are you getting ample sleep?

In the end, the motivation up to you, but here are some tips to help:

1) Have a plan.  Imagine how difficult it would be to start a business, lose weight, train, etc without one.  A plan will help you stay focused and organized.

2) Write down why you desire this goal.  What will it take? Is it just something you want to check off your list or is it something you truly desire?  Your actions, or lack thereof, will reveal the answer.

3) Seek inspiration from other people, their stories and be an inspiration to others.

4) Be grateful you are healthy and able to do what you’re seeking to do.

5) Know there will be hard days and hiccups.  That’s normal, accept them and move forward.

6) Ensure you are setting goals for you, not what you think others want you to do.

7) We all have dreams, some of which may be just that.  Set realistic goals, not too easy, not incredibly hard.

8) Be confident!  If you don’t believe in yourself, you most likely won’t achieve your goals.

9) Be kind to yourself.  Accomplishing baby steps along the way are HUGE measurements of progress and success. Never dismiss those.

10) Create some mantras. Post them where they can be viewed often; near your bed, on the refrigerator, in your car, on your bike, etc.  I often write some on my hand before I race.

11) It’s easy to get distracted with factors beyond your control and what others are doing. The best recipe for success is to focus on what you can control.

Now determine your goals and get after them!

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Cobwebs!

I hadn’t raced a triathlon since last August so many cobwebs needed dusting!  And being nervous was an understatement as I had no idea how I’d fair.  Typically by this time of year I have a great base, but due to back issues, September-December entailed no training.  Even in January, I did nothing but drills in the water and running was sporadic with more drills and exercises than actual running.  Another 3 or so weeks were taken off due to travel and the like in February.  With all this time off, I had no clue what to expect with my performance.  I had high hopes, but was also prepared for anything.


This race was done sans my incredible sherpa so I had to put my bike together solo.  I had strict instructions prior to leaving home and I wrote them all down.  With some hassle, mission completed!  Yet being my first time doing this, I didn’t trust myself so I drove a couple miles to a bike shop to have everything double checked…especially my aero-bars as I didn’t want them dropping.


Prior to the swim, I listened to the swim course talk and they told us to keep all the buoys on our right.  This seemed odd considering where the start and finish were, I couldn’t figure out how that would work.  In my eyes, the buoys had to stay on our left.  The pros went off first and they kept the buoys on their left.  Uh-huh! Ok, so the directions were off, no biggie.  Anne wished me luck and off I went.  I duked it out with a couple girls for a few minutes and then we got into a line.  They were a little faster so I pulled in 3rd.  Drafting!  Wow, I rarely get to do that!  Unfortunately, it only lasted a few minutes as the first two then ended up about 20 feet apart and I was in the middle and a few yards behind.  Oh well.  After the 1st turn, I remained in 3rd and felt ok.  A few minutes later, we passed some elite men, LOVE that!  😉  After making it around the last turn buoy and heading to shore, I was feeling stronger and gaining on 2nd place.  Yeeha!  Soon on my left, I saw a boat with a few guys yelling.  I pretty much ignored it as I suspected they were just trying to get a swimmer back on course.  But after another minute or so, they kept yelling…and yelling.  So instead of doing my normal sighting stroke, I did a couple breaststrokes to see what the heck was going on.  Um, so, they were yelling at about 8 of US!!!  Apparently, we turned at the wrong buoy and missed one so we had to swim back out, go around it, and then come back!  As you might imagine, expletives galore were going through my head!  Grrrr!  See?  It proves what I always say, don’t trust those in front of you to be going straight, regardless of how fast they may be!!!  

Exiting the water I was in 3rd, but after mounting my bike, I was 2nd.  (I had my shoes on my pedals and she didn’t).   The 2 loop course and had couple long climbs.  I felt good, but not fast.  About 2/3 of the way through the first loop, I noticed my aerobars had dropped down a little.  After descending the next hill, I FELT them drop some more!  Holy crap!  I tried to pull them back up while riding and it worked!   A few minutes later, they dropped again.  Now I was scared.  Going downhill with great speed, I could only think about how I would maneuver if I was to fall. What to do?  I stayed out of aeros going down the hills and was in aero position for the flats. Oddly, I also heard a noise which I couldn’t put my finger on.  My brakes weren’t rubbing and all looked good so I ignored it.  The 2nd half of the ride was more fun as more people were on the course.  And I LOVED chicking so many men,  sorry!   There were a few women who passed me, but their race numbers had come off so I wasn’t certain which wave they were in.  I tried to stick with each one of them to no avail.  These legs could go forever, but I simply had no speed so I came into T2 maybe in 4th or 5th.  

Ouch!  My legs hurt on that run!  Another 2 loop course with a couple of hills.  (My calves were sore for 8 days afterwards)!  Going uphill I felt less than good (heat+asthma= ouchie)!, but on the flats I felt really strong..  Thankfully the clouds covered the hot area until the last mile of my run.  Whew!  There was no shade on the course! I got burned anyhow as a few more elite chicks passed me.  😦  I tried to move, but I had not another gear.

Upon finishing, I was greeted by my awesome cheerleaders and hosts, Anne and John Stichnoth, who just had twins (Hope and Jack) a few months ago. In fact, they were the entire impetus for my trip.  When we finally settled on a date, Anne told me there was a tri that weekend I should do.  Um, ok, twist my arm!

So when we were walking back to the car, I asked Anne if she heard the noise from my bike.  Um yea, so we realized my aero-bars dropped enough for my front water bottle to be ridding on my wheel!!!  Grrr!  Thanks bike mechanic!!!

Wrap up:
-Rookie error on my swim costed me a couple minutes at least.
-Bike mechanic issues slowed me down and made me work too hard on the ride.
-My run was actually pretty solid, especially considering the extra work put in on my ride.
-Overall, I re-learned a lot!

Every race is always a learning experience.  Everyone always expects a perfect race, but it’s really pretty darn rare to have one no matter how well you prepare.  Expect the unexpected and know how to deal with various uncertainties. All you can do is your best on that day.  Besides, a race doesn’t define you.

Thanks to Weej for watching Sarah and Courtney while I was in Kansas and Scott was in Seattle.  I couldn’t have gone without your gracious help!  We really appreciate it!  A big thanks to the Stichnoths for hosting me and allowing me to completely over stimulate their precious babies!

The inaugural Bradbury Fitness Tri Camp!

What great weekend!  I had high expectations for all the staff in involved, but they not only met those, they surpassed them!  So here’s a HUGE shout out to Pom & Mark Rouse of Runner’s High n Tri, Janet Leet-Smith of Sub5, Amy Baltes of FitNut4Life.com Vince Boyer and staff from Village CycleSport in Elk Grove Village, and of course Coach Scott Bradbury from Bradbury Fitness.

In case you missed the advertising, this was a unique camp as it was all focused on technique.  Everything from shoe fitting, running biomechanics, nutrition, swim video-taping and analysis, bike technique, bike fittings, and transition tips were all included.

And what made this camp so great?  Not only the expertise and passion of the coaches, but the athletes were awesome as well!  We had a great mix of people with varying experiences…best of luck to all of them in the year ahead!

Here are a few pics from the great weekend:

This weekend would not have been possible without the help of the Augsburgers and Sandy who watched Sarah and Courtney so we could put on this camp!  Thank you SOOOOOO much!

Pitch

We’ve been receiving several inquiries about our triathlon camp this weekend and if we think it’s for them at whatever level they are.  So here’s our two cents:

We put this camp together as we see so many athletes training and racing with improper technique in all the disciplines regardless of experience or speed.  If Michael Phelps, Tiger Woods, and all the pros still get help with technique, then we all certainly need it too.  Proper technique is not focused on enough in general yet it’s the easiest way not only to get faster, but to prevent injuries which will create longevity in the sport as well.  People of all levels would benefit from this camp.  Plus think of how many people spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on their bikes, race kits, running shoes, workout attire, etc yet don’t know how to efficiently use their engines.  Without those, the fancy equipment won’t help much. So yes, we certainly think this camp would be for you!  😉

Yes, there are still a few spots left!  Sign up via PayPal using mbtri@mac.com to register.

Just Move It!

Nervousness has always been a big part of how I feel prior to a race regardless of size, venue, discipline, competition, etc.  This weekend was even worse as I had not participated in a race in 8 months, 8 months!  Now, to me, nerves are not a bad thing.  It means I am focused on what I am about to do and am ready to move it, to test myself.  This race (the Just Move It 5k in A. Heights) was a little different though as  I didn’t have ANY expectations since I took 5 of the last 8 months completely off of training.  You’d think that would take some of the nerves out of the equation, but no. Ask my friend Ben Lin, he warmed up with me and kept asking why I looked so nervous…which made me even more nervous! Thanks Ben!  😉

When the gun went off, I chilled out and  just focused on the goal of pacing it well, not by time, but by perceived effort.  We all feel good the first mile so I knew to stay controlled.  However, I was scared when I saw my mile split, too fast!, especially since I couldn’t get to that pace during my few speed workouts this month.  The next mile I backed off a little more yet it started to hurt anyway.  My head played games with me after seeing my 2 mile split.  I was upset because it was 17 seconds slower than my first, yet relieved as I knew I still had more in the tank.  I tried to pick up the pace again and oh did it hurt!  At the 2.5 mile mark or so, my legs were actually feeling pretty good, but all I wanted to do was throw up.  Mental toughness played a critical role here, when my voices really started going off.  I’d hear, ‘this is great, I’m racing again and I’m fortunate my body will allow me to do this,’ to, ‘this really hurts and I just want to throw up and walk.’   Luckily, I decided to suck it up and see what I could do.  And that is the best feeling when crossing a finish line, to know you put it on the line even when you have to fight it tooth and nail.  I didn’t give up. Whew!

It’s not often I am content with my race results (for a plethora of reasons), but I am with this one.  I was happily surprised not just with my time, but how I handled my nerves, the banter in my head, and my race strategy.  This makes me even a bigger believer in 1) the theory that workouts aren’t about the mileage, they are about the quality  2)nutrition, and  3)rest & recovery, as I have worked even harder at all three this year.

Racing is funny sometimes; while doing so, sometimes I wonder why the heck am I putting myself through this.  Once in a while, upon finishing, I swear I’ll never do that race or that distance again.  In the end, I always find myself daydreaming about how I can do better and that’s what keeps me motivated.

Now get out there and just move it!

Pro triathlete!

Good evening everyone!  I have exciting news and need your help!  A professional triathlete will be doing a guest blog post for me, but we would love some input on subject matter.  Please, post some original, and pg, ideas!  Thanks!

Bradbury Fitness Triathlon Camp!!!

We all need to work on it and we are here to provide it! Technique!!!

Whether you’re a beginner or more advanced triathlete, technique always needs to be practiced and honed.  Join USAT All-American Mary Bradbury and 2x Olympic Trial qualifier and Team USA Champ, Janet Smith-Leet, and obtain the skills you need to train smart and race faster with less effort.  This 1½ day camp will focus on skills across all 4 triathlon disciplines: swim, bike, run, and nutrition. Joining Mary and Janet will be Bradbury Fitness coach Scott Bradbury, Village CycleSport owner Vince Boyer and his team, and Runner’s High N Tri owners Mark Rouse and his team.

When:
Saturday, May 5th – 7am-4:00pm
Sunday,  May 6th-6:30am-12:30pm

Where:
Arlington Heights and Elk Grove Village

Cost:
$299

Who:
Runners, bikers, swimmers of all levels…everyone is welcome!

Includes:

  • bike CompuTrainer session with feedback on fit, power, and technique
  • hands-on bike maintenance workshop and riding skills session
  • biomechanic run training session and group workout
  • swim videotaping and analysis with specific feedback provided for each athlete
  • in-pool swim drills and efficiency session
  • nutrition workshop conducted by Dietician Amy Baltes with guidance on in-race and out of race nutrition
  • expert run shoe fitting
  • triathlon transitions boot camp

Schedule:

Saturday
7-8:30am – running shoe fit session at Runner’s High n Tri
8:30-11:30am – run technique and biomechanics at Sub5 Performance Center
11:30am-1pm – Nutrition, lunch with Amy Baltes of FitNut4Life.com. She will put on a cooking demo to enhance athletic performance.
1:30-4pm – swim session (includes video taping, drill work, dryland exercises, and a    workout)

Sunday
6:30-10:00am – bike session (includes CompuTrainer workout, bike fit discussion, maintenance workshop) at Village CycleSport in Elk Grove Village
10:00-11am – Transition Boot camp
11:15am-12:30pm – Race strategies, gear talk, and wrap-up at Sub5 Performance Center

Sign-up via PayPal using email address mbtri@mac.com.