Week 22: Making Luck

You can read all the weekly recaps of living the #prolife.

We all know that almost anything worthwhile, sports, not sports, whatever, can only be achieved through of combination of luck, hard work, and talent. What combination and in what mix is up for debate. (For our purposes here, let’s put ‘systemic inequities that make certain opportunities far less accessible to some people’ under “luck.”)

You can’t really do much worth doing without those three all coming together. And you can’t always control if they do. So you do what you can about the parts you can control. You work hard, you plan and prepare so the odds of an unlucky break go down, and you hope.

Continue reading “Week 22: Making Luck”

Week 20 & 21: Three Stories

I was going to write this amazing essay about California and America and training and balancing injury with always being on the edge of injury anyway. I’ve been writing it in my head the last two weeks while biking and I’ve been spending a lot of time biking, so it was pretty good in my head. But, well, I’ve been spending a lot of time biking. And working. And eventually the math just isn’t there on the number of hours left. So instead, here are three things that happened in the last two weeks:

1. On 4th of July I went for my second long ride in four days. I was exhausted and the ride sucked. Then, as I was almost done, descending back into town and had to be home for an interview in 27 minutes, my back brake caliper came off. God, I was so pissed. I almost started throwing stuff over the side of the bridge I was on: water bottles, phones, keys. But the fastest way to deal with it was to pull myself together and fix it (temporarily), so that’s what I did. And, then, totally true story, as I was rolling home from there, soft-pedaling through town, a bird shit on my arm.

2. Wednesday night I was supposed to be at a show from 8-11:30 p.m. But Tupac the Cat has recently decided his new trick is to go out and refuse to come home for many, many hours. We ended up rescheduling the show for this week and, so, I ended up with three free hours where I had nothing I had to do. Theoretically. Yet, somehow those hours got filled with work due the next day, with fixing up my back-up bike while the Dimond was getting worked on (not as nice as the Dimond but got to make do), and getting things done so I could ride first thing in the morning before we had to leave immediately after I was done. Basically all stuff that had to happen that night. Which raises the question: What was my plan originally? Did I have one?

3. Friday, it was 107 degrees up in Sonoma. I know this because I rode the 60 miles back from Healdsburg. Usually, heat isn’t too bad on the bike and I deal OK with it at this point (though I still hate it), but Friday was a furnace. The wind blowing in your face felt like an oven. I couldn’t literally drink enough water. And then I started to get nauseous and have a bad headache—things that happen when you’re getting heat messed up. Add to that, I was barely turning the pedals over. About 25 minutes from home, struggle slogging through the miserableness, I saw my front tire roll over a rock and go flat. And for maybe five minutes I stood there, in the 3 p.m. heat, trying to decide if I should call someone to come get me, if I was going to die on the side of this road. Then, I got on with fixing the flat, one slow step at a time, and then I got back on the bike, and then I rode home.

This week sucked. It was ugly and rough, and when I can’t physically cram everything in, I get angry. It goes something like: This is stupid, what the hell are we doing, why the fuck am I trying to make this all fit when it won’t fit, am I some kind of goddamn idiot. It sucked.

But I think there’s something Ironman training teaches you—for better and definitely for worse—where you just keep going one step at a time, and there is no plan, because for the love of God you can’t think beyond this immediate step you’re on right now, all you can do is the next thing you need to do and then the next and hopefully eventually it all works out. I mean, if that’s not the underlying principle of Ironman, then I haven’t learned shit in the last two years.

Week 19: Take a Break

My poison oak finally started to let up last Sunday, just in time for the Costa Rican bug bites and jellyfish stings to kick in. And then Wednesday or Thursday a new rash appeared, which seems related to the original poison oak, or the blisters got infected in the ocean, or it’s some kind of reaction to the jellyfish or something in Costa Rica.

Whatever it is, it’s been miserable. The only thing that’s getting me through is my super secret trick: I stand in the shower and blast the water as hard and hot as I can until it burns the feeling out.

Continue reading “Week 19: Take a Break”

Week 18: Just One Lesson

Read all my weekly recaps of being a pro. This week’s brought to you from the Liberia Airport in Costa Rica. 

If you missed the bonus blog post earlier this week, take the triathlon quiz and earn money to be donated to Exceeding Expectations.

(Photo: Wagner Araujo via IM Costa Rica 70.3)

There’s a lot to say about Costa Rica and the country’s first Ironman brand race. At least, I hope there’s a lot to say because I have to write a story about the trip and you’ll have to read most of the details when it publishes.

So I’ll just say this one thing now about the race:

Continue reading “Week 18: Just One Lesson”

What’s Your Triathlon IQ? Fun AND Fundraising. Wow.

A few months ago, the Health IQ people asked me to contribute a question to their Triathlon IQ quiz. I did (and my question is amazing), and then I sort of forgot about it.


To promote the quiz and their other health quizzes, they’re donating $1 to my charity of choice for every person who takes the quiz via my link. Cool, but I figured since my mom is the probably the only person who will click on it, that wouldn’t amount to much of a donation.

But then, Hillary and Alyssa asked us to all help raise money for Exceeding Expectation, which sends kids to college who otherwise wouldn’t have the means. They’re trying to raise the money right now for a specific kid, John Alvarez. (You can read more about what they’re trying to do on Alyssa’s blog.)

So if you take the quiz, $1 will go to help John (and his siblings) exceed expectations. And Health IQ says that offer’s good across all the contributors until the $20,000 they have set aside for donations is claimed. So.

Life Insurance: Special Rates for Triathletes by Health IQ


Quiz: What's Your Triathlon IQ?



Powered by Insurance for the Health Conscious - Health IQLearn About Life


Twanee GibsonEndurance Coachcoachtawnee.com

Kelly O’ MaraPro Triathletesunnyrunning.com

Rich SoaresPodcast Hostmilehighendurance.com

Amber FerreiraPro Triathletehttp://amberferreira.blogspot.com/

Matthew BachPro Triathleteironmattbach.com

Alison DuttonPodcast Hostenduranceladies.com


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Laurel WassnerPro Triathleteathletefood.com

Terry LaughlinSwimming Coachwww.totalimmersion.net

Brock BigardEndurance Coachhttps://totaltriathlon.com

Lisa RobertsPro Triathletelisajroberts.com

Mikael ErikssonTriathlete Coachscientifictriathlon.com

Sarah AlexanderPro Triathletesarahealexander.com

Questions Approved By:

Siri Lindley - Two -Time Triathlon World Champion & Team Sirius Head Coach

Siri Lindley

Head Coach (Team Sirius) and 2X World Triathlon Champion

Siri Lindley dominated the International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Rankings, winning 13 World Cup races between 2000-2002 and was the 2001 ITU World Champion. Siri won the World Cup Series both years by being the #1 ranked triathlete in the world!


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Cody Beals - Pro Triathlete

Cody Beals

11X Ironman 70.3 Podium Finisher

Cody is a Canadian professional triathlete. His resume includes multiple IRONMAN 70.3 titles and bike course records. Cody prides himself in taking an evidence-based, data-driven approach to training and racing.


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In Support Of:

USA Triathlon

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Week 17: Everything Looks Perfect From Up Here

When I landed at SFO on Monday evening, flying back from Victoria, the sunset hit the bridge and the city just so everything looked exactly perfect out the window, as if the whole thing was simply a toy model of itself. In between the clear sky and the golden shadows, it looked like every picture you’ve ever seen of the landmarks, the hills popping up in miniature.

But all I could think was maybe that’s true of anything. From this height, if you get the lighting right, anything can look like a postcard.

Continue reading “Week 17: Everything Looks Perfect From Up Here”

Week 15: What’s Next?

Read all my weekly updates about being a Professional Triathlete

We own two cars. One has a front end that’s all smashed in. If I’m driving that car, people always let me merge. They get out of the way quickly. When I used to park in the neighborhoods around USC, no one ever questioned if I belonged on the street. I can basically do whatever I want in that car, because I clearly do not care.

The other car is a 2005 Prius. Not only do people not let you merge in a Prius, they’ll speed up to pass you — even if you’re going over the speed limit. And when I used to park it in LA, I routinely got notes left on the windshield with variations on: “Stay out of our neighborhood.”

Continue reading “Week 15: What’s Next?”

Week 14: Are We Still Doing That?

At one of the many goodbye parties I attended this weekend, a woman said to me, “Oh, you must workout, I’m so jealous of your arms.”

And I almost said, “Fitness hack: Exercise 20-30 hours/week.” Which is actually a @DarkMark joke from Twitter, but it cracks me up. Only, then, I remembered this wasn’t the internet and I shouldn’t be a snide bitch to some random woman I just met.

Continue reading “Week 14: Are We Still Doing That?”