Sunday, April 5, 2020

Where are you on this grid?

I received this a few days ago, and it has been resonating with me.   It's an interesting graphic and one we can all relate to right now.

Fear Zone- this hit all of us at different times, in different ways.  As you recall, mine culminated in chardonnay and purple hair, others in their own creative melt down's.   I can say I never hoarded or complained all the time, but I surely did transmit fear and anger to my husband.  I was guilty of forwarding as well.

Learning Zone-  I feel like most of us are hanging out in this zone right now, and it's not the wrong place to be.   I am in between Learning and Growth.      Friday, I felt like I was in the growth zone and killing it and then one minor issue and whamo I am thrown back into fear zone.  So it's a ping pong effect.     

Looking at  " I practice calmness, patience, relationships, and creativity,"  Well shit, let's be honest. I did not hang out there much before COVID19, so to ask that now? 

I made this graphic my screen saver, "nerd alert," so I see if every morning and try to start my day and hang out in the growth zone as much as possible.  When I get sucked back, I also realize this is temporary, and I will claw my way out of the fear zone.

Where are you?  Also, what if you are in the growth zone and your partner is in the fear zone?  asking for a friend, I think we are all moving in and out of zones, but let's keep working to keep learning and growing.

I took a break from my daily NPR and NY Times Podcasts, just too much right now.   Last night I listened to Brene Brown's latest pod,  Anxiety/Calm- Over/Under Functioning.  It's a good one!  Finding ways to stay positive, look forward are part of self-care!

And keep the humor coming!


Friday, March 27, 2020

It was inevitable ... I lost my

It was inevitable. I know it... it's likely happened to everyone or will since we are trapped in our houses with the ones we love for a never-ending amount of time.

It took me 14 days.   I was cruising through this just fine, really fine.  I'm not excessively drinking, I was busy every day and likely in denial, but looking forward to my race(s) whenever they may be.  I was managing HPN as it came and coaching is gong great, frankly my salvation right now. 

Oceanside canceled first, no worries postponed actually.   Next came BWR, ugh, bummer, as I was very excited for that race but pushed to Nov.  Okay so  O'side October and BWR November, no problem.  Then, Ultraman520 Canada Aug 1-3, will be great.   Last Thur, the email came from UM, canceled. Damn it.

Then came the first of 2 HUGE cancellations for my meeting clients one June and one July.  When my groups cancel, I don't get paid, ouch!  After 30+hours of trying to save/move the meeting, the first made the call to cancel.  Well, good thing UM canceled as I cannot afford it anyway, I am still laughing, sort of.  Then the 2nd one came, and the spiral began.  Couple that with a few other sh&t storms, it's was getting ugly fast.

Then my beloved says, "Hey if I get sick, don't go out of your way to save me"  Seriously, what does that mean?  I lost my sh*t!  100% apoplectic with head spinning and fluid spewing. My rant contained a lot of what "let you die alone in the back yard? That's MURDER?"  It went on in a very irrational manner, which I refuse to put into print. I realized this insanity and shouted, I am going for a walk. The dogs are cowering in the corner, and I dragged them down the hall telling them they HAD to walk with me.   Let's just say it was NOT my finest moment.  We had a lovely hike in the trails to calm my nerves.  

Post walk, I was feeling a lot better, so much in fact, I had a hefty glass of wine and dyed my hair purple.  Let's just say not my best look. 

Since then, I have regained perspective,  I am in for the long haul.  I realize there are many days like this to come.  Tough and challenging workdays. I am committed to finding the positive in each day, laughing, and remain thankful for my family, dogs, and my health!

Today started with this stunning sunrise with my amazing pups on the run! 

So try and keep it all in perspective, this will pass and find the good in what you can each and every day. 

Changes daily


Every day we wake up to more changes regarding COVID-19. We went from being careful to shelter at home in what felt like a hot minute. It's easy to check your app hourly to see how many more cases, deaths, is the curve flattening?   
But I've also been busy, so fricking busy. I've yet to clean a closet or binge on anything well, maybe wine a night or 3.  

Coaching is changing daily with races coming off the books, athletes' schedules change to more work depending on what they do, working at home with kids underfoot, to not working at home, and getting paid to not working at home and not getting paid. The stress levels are different for each athlete, some a #shelteringathome with too many people, some are alone, some have parents to worry about, etc. The value I bring to my athletes now is flexibility, responsiveness, and checking in to see how they are doing. Sure the scheduling is essential, but it's mainly based on each person. Some need less, some need more, in general, I am backing off intensity for most. Why? We are not in the race-specific cycle; with added "life" stress, we want a bit less training stress, and this is not the time time to wear down your immune system, thus being more susceptible to illness...

My other job is contracting meetings and events, so just imagine how that is going. Most of my days are spent talking with clients about 1- do we move the meeting to new dates, if so what dates? 2- will they cancel the meeting? If we do it too soon, they will owe money, but we need to ensure there is enough time for attendees to cancel plans, etc. The motto of HPN Global right now is "lift and shift" Find new dates for the meeting. With hotels closing for 4-6 weeks and laying off thousands of salespeople, sometimes 1/2 the battle is finding who can help at the hotel. The added stress is, if the meeting cancels, I don't get paid. With 5 cancellations so far, let's just say the race cancellations actually help me financially. With flights being credited, AirBnB refunding $, it's okay right now.

My race cancels so far: 4/4 Oceanside 70.3, 5/3 Belgian Waffle Ride, and Ultrman520 Canada 8/1-3. Am I disappointed, yes I am? But my more significant priorities are saving business and keeping my athletes happy. I had a great chat with my coach today, and it was what I needed. I needed to be an athlete for a bit to chat about my season and races. We have a solid plan in place and whether I race in Aug, Sept, or November, the plan soldiers on. I have a lot to "fix," and now the runway is even longer!

So as my CEO shared with his team, I share an excerpt.

We all need to be two things during this time: Be Strong and Be Kind.

During times of uncertainty, we need to embrace the shift, letting go of what we have known and how we have always done things. Uncertainty + Fear = Anxiety. We must
learn to uncouple fear from uncertainty to evolve – to embrace the shift.

Our wish for you this week is that you focus on taking care of yourself and your family. Focus on your strength (you are more durable than you realize) and move through the week
with kindness. On the road ahead, we will be refining our plans to support you and our HPN family, along with strategies for our collective future success.

"With a warrior heart, square up your shoulders, keep your chin up and keep
swinging."

Friday, March 20, 2020

How fast things change....



1 week ago, I was living with 8 athletes in Tucson as the D3 Camp.  It was my first camp as a coach, and it was so so much fun!!  It may have been a bit like herding cats too.   I am used to going to camp to get smashed, push my limits, and this was great to be able to help others get out of their comfort zones.

We had 3 houses, 1 coach, + athletes, and this really worked well.  It builds a level of camaraderie that cannot be replicated in a hotel or when in lots of houses.   I just loved watching and listening to the athletes talk, commiserate, share, and work together as a team in the kitchen and around the house.

We had a big week!!
3 swims- 2x 1 hour and 1x 2 hour with over 1200 yards band only.  I will admit I LOVED being on deck and watching how hard they worked, some first time with a band, and some even had battle wounds.  It was a day with an easy ride, and going into the swim a few asked me why another cruisy trip; I explained today was the day to be crushed in the pool.  2 hours later, they were noting that an easy ride sounded fantastic!   Why band only? 

5 bike rides
- Mt Lemmon

- Gates Pass
- Recovery ride
- Madera Canyon + 25 miles of TT
- Shootout Loop-- modified to 60 miles

5 Runs
45 min welcome run + drills
2x 30 min run OTB
1x 1-hour track session
2x 2 hour run on the last day

It was over 23 hours in 6 days!

Why go to camp?
1- you are pushed out of your comfort zone
2- you get to train like a pro, no work, no (or minimal) household chores, no spouse or dogs, just you and your training
3- you have time for mobility/rolling and recovery
4- it's so so fun!!
5- friendships for life. I look at some of the people I know from camp(s) over the years, and its a special bond.

This camp was a bit more surreal as COVID-19 was blowing up as we were training. Every day there was more news, and by Friday, races canceled, restrictions in place. We all knew that leaving our Tucson bubble was going to be hard, but little did we know that full effect.

I bet every camper would LOVE to do a band only swim right now!

We will weather this, it's frustrating, scary, and economically painful. Every day is a new reality, and we need to be flexible, set new goals!

I posted yesterday

o It is okay to feel a sense of disappointment that your race is canceled, allow that feeling to resonate for a bit, and then move forward.
o If you have a coach, set up a call to review short term goals, plans to work through the next 30 days, and then reassess. May races may still happen, so train accordingly. If you don't have a coach and are looking for some guidance, please reach out to me, I am happy to help.

o Swim: If the pools are closed, and open water is too cold. Stretch Cordz are a great option. Please reach out for workouts if you are faced with this.
o Bike: embrace Zwift or Trainer Road or ride outside but avoid gas stations or public places, refuel at home.
o Run: run out alone, avoid big training groups
o Strength: there are so many workouts you can do at home, you can even order a few kettlebells to up the ante a bit. I have many at-home exercises you can do.
This is not forever, try and be mindful, let's give the "social distance "a shot at actually working. While you may feel invincible, others are not, you don't know who touched the surface before you

Friday, February 7, 2020

Ragnar Del Sol

So staying home for the weekend was not an option... from triathlon camp to gravel camp to a Ragnar Running Race.   What the F?   I am not going to lie, I was worried. My run fitness is low, my hammie is mostly good, but what would Ragnar do to it?  I was 100% committed to NOT running if I was in pain.  We had some backup runners, so I would not have let the team down. But I was reallly really hopeful!

What is Ragnar? Ragnar relays are running events in which teams of 12, mostly insane people, take turns running 186 miles all day and through the night and into the next day until they are hangry, delirious with fatigue and smell like a rotting animal, all the while living, mostly in a van. It's the most fun you can imagine and a great way to "intimately" get to know your co-workers. After peeing in the desert together, changing in parking lots, wearing each other's sweaty night vests, discussing bodily functions, and marking them on the window..there is not much left to learn about each other. Can you say Team Building?

My team - Courtesy Standards (long back story) is comprised of my HPN co-workers, and we had a blast! This year I was in Van 1, which is the BOMB as you are done first.
Van 1


Then I ran 3 legs all-around 6 miles, and each one was faster than the last one!! And NO, can you read this, NO pain in my hamstring!!!  I was diligent with warm-up mobility, cool down, and the hypervolt, but I am elated!!!!   My pace was slow, but I have let go of that and am focused on building miles!

So this was a great test for my next slice of insanity.    Otillo SwimRun Catalina in less than 30 days.   Here my BFF and I will swimrun a total of 24 miles (19 miles running and 4.7 miles swimming) broken into 7 swims and 7 runs. Lucky for me, it is not this weekend.


Thursday, January 30, 2020

Gravilla Femenina : An Intro to Gravel for Endurance Women

Baller Women 
Wow, just wow is how I write the recap of my 3 day  Gravilla Femenina (women's gravel) camp experience. 
These views

I finished up Smashcamp, a 6-day triathlon camp felling fantastically fit, exhausted, and filled with mojo and energy.  I was so excited about the biking in January. My run is a bummer, but only because it is slow, pain-free is the best news, and I know it will come, and let's face it Ultraman running is not about being fast, so I keep my eye on my goals.

Gravilla Femenina camp guide said,  "come to camp with fresh legs"  well let's be honest, my legs were far from fresh, but I adhered to the rest of the guide about equipment and gear, and I brought my attitude.



This came was run my Jess Cera and Whitney Allison, women PRO cyclists, and ballers in the gravel.   The crew at this camp were some badass women, top-end cyclists,  including former pro and bad add triathlete (not me), so I am not going to lie, I was scared shitless mildly intimidated with this group.
So not the road! 





Day 1: skills day We rolled out of Canyon Bikes at a faster pace than I would have selected and got to "Lemon Twist," and off we went.  Game on for some new trails, some I did okay on and others I was peeing my pants and scared, it was touch and go, and I did not crash but nearly did and was out of my comfort zone and my element. I crushed some parts and carried my bike on others, I was terrified and laughing and terrified.  I kept saying #thisisgravel

Day 2 Route here  Take a look, right? Cuyamaca, Mt Laguna -yup you got it but not Sunrise Hwy, not the 78 but trails all around, yes the ones that you see on your road bike and think ultra running or mountain biking, but yes we gravel biked them.  Not going to lie, it was the hardest, scariest, emotional day for me on a bike. I cried once, laughed a lot, said fuck so many times,  wanted to throw my bike - but I like her too much, was short with people, was intimidated, had some really proud moments, and was humbled to the core.  Initially, I was angry about how hard it was, but I came around to bucking up and doing the best I could, tried not to worry about the people waiting for me and did what I could.  If that meant bike on my shoulder, then so be it.   I started to learn to trust my bike and to believe in me. 
these views

At dinner that night, we had a great conversation about how hard it was and about growth.  It was 12 strong ass women, and I was proud to be in that group,  Can I tell you how tired I was, how smashed I was- I was!




Day 3: Palomar, I woke up tired, 5 hours of sleep.  I don't sleep well when I am so so tired, and my readiness score 53 out of 100.  Ignore that.  Big breakfast of Kodiak Pancakes with almond butter, extra coffee, and my badass Betty Kit on and out the door.   I had climbed Palomar 9 days before, and here we go again but up Nate Harrison- on the gravel.  My legs hurt, I was not sure, but I found my groove and LOVED it - this is my jam.  When we hit the turn that was steep and on gravel with a few rocks, I laughed, because 3 days ago I would have gotten off my bike and walked, but now, not a big deal.  18% grade in gravel - get after it.  It was great!   We regrouped on top, and the descent was AMAZEBALLS.

So, I laughed, cried, got stronger, was way way out of my comfort zone, but am fired up for more. 
Top of Palomar



com*pla*cen*cy
noun
a feeling of smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one's achievements.

Jan 3: I wrote out my goal.... and #4 was 
- DO NOT be complacency!  Step out of your comfort zone. 

So I JUMPED out! 

Friday, January 24, 2020

Betty at Smashcamp

11 started blogs, and 0 finished. I deleted them all and well, hello 2020, as we almost end of January.  How can Jan almost be over?

Lots of info to share, in another post, as this is about Smashcamp!   If you know Hillary Biscay, you can only imagine what kind of crazy she can brew up for a 6-day camp! 

I jumped in ready to go.... it was the most fun I've had in a long time, the hardest I have worked in a long time, the most tired I have been in a long time and did I mention the most fun?  The or 5, and the thing about Hillary's camp is you just roll through it.  It's all about the attitude!   When you are suffering, drooling, dreaming of a beautiful warm bed, and Netflix, you have another camper whooping it up about how awesome the day is, and you snap out of it and get after it.
thing about a camp like this is EVERY camper has a low moment
Thursday

Thursday- shakeout run, which was faster than my current running pace.  A dip, in the 58-degree ocean- which was a 30 min swim that was fucking cold, wavy and choppy on a foggy afternoon. The kind of day that if you were not at camp, you would  text your friends and say, "I'm out." 


Friday
Friday was a LCM swim with the forever set, which means lots of bands ONLY swimming LCM- enough said.   Then Palomar from Kit Carson- and well Palomar in January is not only cold but hard, really hard! But thanks to the fantastic sag by Mike Plumb, we had warm, dry clothes and all the food and drinks necessary for the ride.


Saturday 
Saturday kicked off with a legit Swim Run Course in the
lagoon  +running on trails I did not know existed.  It was cold as fck and so so much fun!   3 swims and 3 runs for the first go around, and while I was happy with 1:07 of an adventure, of course, the Hillary touch was an entire 2nd round, that had to be faster.  Holy Shit is all I can say.   Afternoon "shake out " ride through Elfin.


Sunday 
Sunday was THE BIG DAY!  Can you say GWL + Descanso + Mt Laguna + Engineers Road fck m then around Cuyamaca and finishing GWL vie Lyons Valley.   I was a tiny bit terrified nervous, but in the end, it was AMAZEBALLS!!!   So hard, so fun and with the sag, all the food... an entire tube of NUUN, 12+ bottles + no clue how many cliff bars, shot blocks, peppermint patties, red bull, dr peppers but is enough to feel excellent the last hour and really want to break 8 hours!   The goal for next time :)

Monday 
Monday  - rest day- LMAO not at this camp.   10-mile run that was supposed to be progressive, but for me, it is the longest run since Sept, so I had to suck it up, swallow my ego and run a pace that will not injure me or set me back. But let's be honest, I felt like a total slacker, although not sure I really can go faster, in my mind, I was holding back from that 6:00pace,  LOL - I love when I make myself laugh, And that afternoon we did a neat 10,000 yards,  Did I say fck me?  again :)
Tuesday 

Tuesday was Mt Woodson- a few stellar campers ran the whole thing, and well, this old lady with not 100% hamstring did a power hike instead and capped off the week.

Totals for the 6 days




Swim: 19,000 yards
Bike: 215 miles: 20.320 ft of elevation
Run: 22.75 miles
Hike: 9 miles


That is the equivalent of SMASHED! 

As a coach, I have to say it is really fun to be a camper!   So, kids, I coach... I have some good ideas :) But I also get what it's like to suffer, work hard and most importantly EAT ALL THE FOOD, I mean most importantly have all the fun!   

So for this weekend..... Bring on the Gravel Camp!