Time to go?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

When I was a freshman in high school, I started out running track during the winter just to stay in shape for soccer. I was decent, OK. I won some stuff, but they were small races. Then we had our very first big outdoor track meet, with lots of fast schools and faster runners. We were going to get our asses kicked.

Except I didn’t know that. I didn’t know I was supposed to lose now. The gun went off for the 800m at this big invitational and I took off. I came through the first lap leading and people were going nuts. Who the hell was this freshman? Shockingly, I couldn’t quite hold on to it and I ended up getting nipped in the last turn. I also ended up with the school record and a huge PR and the realization I could maybe be pretty fast at this.

But here’s the part you’ve probably heard before: I never ran as fast again the entire rest of high school.

Continue reading “Time to go?”

I’ve Decided Not to Quit

So what now? What’s next?

I didn’t really feel like saying anything more after Ironman Lake Placid because it sucked. I talked about why it sucked on the podcast, but if you lay out any more of the details of the sucking it starts to sound like you’re just making excuses and no one cares anyway. So. Let’s sum up: I was very calorie deficient going in; I was stupid and didn’t deal with that quickly or sufficiently enough once I realized; I handled the crazy rainstorm badly (even as I told myself I was handling it great and everyone else was going to blow themselves up); things just kept going sort of wrong and mediocre on the bike; and when I finally tried to pound calories on the run, they came back up and they kept coming back up for about two hours. I walked and I jogged and eventually I finished.

The only thing I feel bad about (still) is that maybe half of the pro women *also* walked at some point on that run and threw up at some point, but most of them managed to rally. And I didn’t. And it’s impossible not to acknowledge that on some level I didn’t rally because at some point I gave up just a little. One of the other girls, Jennie Hansen, yelled at me when I first started walking around mile 16 or so, after another bout of full-body heaving. She yelled, ‘Keep fighting, Kelly.’ And I did, I promise, but then I had to pull over to the side of the road again and then I might have stopped fighting, not completely but a little, because I just couldn’t handle the head-to-toe retching anymore. My abs were sore for days.

I kept thinking the race would come around, even when it sucked well before it *really* sucked. But it didn’t. And I kept thinking I just need to finish this, it’ll be fine. But when I finally, fuck finally, hit the oval and could see the end, it actually hit me how much I had screwed up and this is what that looked like:

There’s been this ongoing debate for the last few months about what the hell I’m doing, if I should get a “real” job. I mean, I have a real job, I make a full-time income (to be clear, mom), but obviously I could utilize some of my non-triathlon skills more, right? I could make more money, right? I could be high-powered something-or-other? So I’ve been browsing job sites and weighing options, but it turns out there are only a handful of jobs I really want and none of those are available or hiring me right now. And, in the mean time, I’ve been half-assing this being fast thing.

It’s not been my best year. There was a solid 5-6 months of one goddamn thing after another. And then I was in my head for a long time after that, waiting for something else to go wrong. But I’m done, fyi, in case you’re keeping track. I’m done having one foot halfway out the door.

Pro athletes’ blogs are littered with proclamations like this. It sounds dumb. And there’s not really anything different about my declaring it to be so.

I disappeared for a little while after Placid. I did Swimrun with Sara — “raced” feels like a strong word for what we did. And I started training again. I have some ideas about plans for late-season. But mostly I stopped looking at job boards.

Thursday I had my first really hard workout again, and Hillary had given me some numbers that were, uh, optimistic. If you know me, you know I will kill myself to hit my workout numbers, fully wreck my body, but I still thought this seemed unlikely. And then I thought about being faster now, about who I want to be racing, about taking that kind of focus out of training and onto the race course. And I hit the numbers (mostly).

And that’s what’s next for now. Being a pro triathlete.

(Photo at top: Payton Ruddock)

A Sorta Wildflower Race Report That’s Really a Life Report

After Wildflower I was going to write something about my race and how I had a therapy session for myself out on the run course, but then it was hard to explain and long and I never quite got to it and I started it and then I didn’t finish and now it’s ages ago and who even cared in the first place anyway. So. This is sort of that story, but sorta something else. And it’s self-involved and diary-ish. But you know, whatever, if you don’t like it there are other parts of the internet I’m sure you’ll enjoy instead.

Continue reading “A Sorta Wildflower Race Report That’s Really a Life Report”

Week in the Life: Sunday

Well, this was an interesting experiment. Hope you got to see what a week looks like for me more or less, at least an easy(ish) week — though the workouts got tough again at the end. Already, this upcoming week is busier: in the office one day, filling-in part-time on social three days, three stories due, plus some other things in the works, and the podcast and newsletter. And then it’s off to camp the week after and we get into full-in triathlon season. So maybe I’ll come back in June when we’re in a really nutty time, though of course when things are busy you don’t have 30-45’/day to do this.

See: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

9:22 a.m. Get up. Tired. Eat a chocolate mint Clif bar and drink some Gatorade. Browse my phone to see if there’s anything that needs responding. Not really responding to stuff this weekend. Feed boys and empty their litter box. We empty dishwasher. Watch some TV. Take my time getting ready to run. Not excited.

10:54 a.m. Finally out the door running. Workout: jog down to high school track, 21 x 800 at 3:15/200 jog. Except for an emergency bathroom break and a gel, it is continuous. More or less. The 200 jog recoveries turn into shuffling by the end and I fall off pace the last five. But I finish and not *that* far off pace. Jog most of the way home so slowly, and then decide to walk the last three-quarters of a mile.

Continue reading “Week in the Life: Sunday”

Week in the Life: Saturday

At this point, I feel like it should be noted that while I can tell you on any given day what workout Hillary has given me, there is no secret workout. The secret is in putting the workouts together in a way that makes sense for me and building an overall program that gets me to my goals prepared. And if you want that specific Hillary magic, then you’ll probably have to hire her.

People always want to know what the secret is, what specific workout they should do, but everyone’s really doing the same workouts (more or less). So I don’t think one specific workout matters as much as you think it does. Not any one day. It’s all the days together that matter.

8:30 a.m. Wake up to Snoop pulling all the toilet paper down to cover his litter box. He has decided that since we use toilet paper when we go to the bathroom, he should too. Decide not to do anything about this. Stay in bed.

8:58 a.m. Get up. Eat Chobani yogurt-oatmeal-mixed nuts, look at my phone to see if there’s anything that needs responding, feed the boys and play with them, watch a little TV, get ready to ride.

9:57 a.m. Head out door to meet a friend to ride. Make it 100y down the road and realize the stupid computer isn’t recognizing the Powertap wheel again. Go back in, switch wheels.

10:06 a.m. Finally rolling. Meet friend a few minutes later and regroup.

Continue reading “Week in the Life: Saturday”

Week in the Life: Friday

You can also see Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

8:07 a.m. Alarm goes off. Get up slowly. Emails and look at phone, respond to a thing or two and press publish. Cats. Set up bike in trainer and get trainer food/drink ready, so it’s all set to go when I get back from the pool. Eat my morning chocolate mint Clif bar.

9:12 a.m. Drive to JCC, definitely later than I intended to leave.

9:30 a.m. Start swimming. 3,600 yards. Many many 50s. Lots at a steady tempo, which sucks. Honestly, I find it harder to swim 50s on :45 than to swim 100s on 1:25, which makes no sense. Some sprint 50s at the end.

10:32 a.m. Out of the pool and throw on bike clothes and rush home.

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A Week in the Life: Thursday

It has come to my attention that I should clarify when I say I’m spending time on the computer answering emails and setting up interviews and reading stuff it sounds like I’m just dicking around, and sometimes I am, but mostly that’s all some variation of My Job. Brainstorming ideas, emailing pitches, responding to follow-up questions, reading some report online for background, reading some other random thing to see if there are any good stories out of it. Plus some screwing around. Basically the same stuff I’d do in an office.

You can see what Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday looked like too.

8:07 a.m. Alarm goes off, throw on workout clothes.

8:19 a.m. Drive, eat morning chocolate mint Clif bar.

Continue reading “A Week in the Life: Thursday”

A Week in the Life: Wednesday

Wednesday was actually a relatively normal day for me, moderately normal for my mid-week triathlon day. Though usually my mid-week triathlon day (there’s always one) actually has quite a bit more training in it. But what are ya gonna do.

Also I feel like somehow this was one of those days were time disappears in cleaning up after cats and picking up stuff, etc, etc, etc.

You can see what my Monday and Tuesday looked like too.

2:00 a.m. Still awake.

8:00 a.m. After dozing on and off, alarm goes off. Get up, get ready to ride, scan emails.

Continue reading “A Week in the Life: Wednesday”