All the Posts

A Call for Motivation

Sometimes that hardest step to make… is the FIRST step.  And I’m not sure why I feel like I am making a first step here.  But my momentum is really weird right now.  Last weekend, I had a huge workout–very motivating. And then this week, was nothing but distractions and poor training and excuses.

I just did a 70.3 a few weeks ago, for Pete’s sake.  But since that race was so disappointing (on many levels) for me, I guess I just feel like… yeah, I’ll go ahead and say it… a failure.  A fraud.

Give yourself a break, Meredith.


But somehow, I am tired of giving myself a break.

I feel like 0.0.

I want to someone to break hard on me, and be nasty and tell me that I am slow and I suck and I need to get my act together…


Please and thank you.


  • Laura B.

    May 5, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Your slow , you suck & you need to get your act together !!! (Not really, but did it make you feel better??)

    You have finished some pretty amazing races? That’s all that matters !!! It doesn’t matter how fast or slow…………

    Suck it up Buttercup……’re pretty awesome in my books, regardless 😉

  • Matilda

    May 5, 2014 at 9:57 am

    In no way are you a failure. Sounds like you are burnt out. Get up dust youself off and just keep moving. I need you to motivate me! I will be doing my second sprint, the first being 22 years ago. I have been dealing with a couple of health issues and need something to focus on.
    Getting on my sweet ride today and am going to see where it takes me.

    I am goig to just keep moving.

  • Ann

    May 5, 2014 at 9:58 am

    Cut yourself a break. You’re as fast as you are. Work harder and get faster if that’s important to you. Work smarter and get more efficient if that’s important to you. Work less and enjoy the ride for a while. No matter what, make sure you’re still having fun, otherwise the thing you enjoy becomes the thing you dread and it’s just another to-do every day. Motivation comes and goes, don’t worry too much about it. Just… Keep moving forward… But you knew that, lol.

  • Brooke G

    May 5, 2014 at 10:03 am

    I can’t actually do the ass kicking thing, so hopefully someone else will step up on that one.

    What I can say is: I’ve been thinking a lot about the whole never-ending uphill battle stuff lately, because I’ve been going through that a lot. Every day. About all things. Diet is mental fight, all day, all meals, all the time. God it’s exhausting. Going to train is a battle every day, all week long. On rest days I struggle with feeling lazy. On non-rest days I feel like a slow, fat fraud. I GET YOU. (And less like you, I also have the added bonus of having some needy relationshippy issues, and I lost my Mom to cancer last November, so those emotional battles are all up in my bidness too.)

    I have no words of support right now because JFC I am so sick of always having to fight every day. I feel good/great/awesome on the days when I win the battle and eat right, or work out, or don’t kick myself for being vulnerable for 5 minutes. But sometimes those moments are far apart, and even in the space of 24 hours it’s easy to get lost in the bad stuff. (Ate great breakfast! but too late in the day. Worked out! But didn’t compensate for the huge dinner I’m about to eat. and ON AND ON AND ON.)

    Anyway, my point being: I know how it feels to be tired of giving yourself a break, to feel like a failure after doing a 70.3 (my 2015 goal!) or any big accomplishment, to struggle every day with feeling like a fake. I strapped a tiara on my bike helmet yesterday and just rolled my eyes at myself. Whatever it takes.

    Know inside that in spite of all your feelings of overwhelming frauditude, you are the real thing. And be who you are in any capacity you can be. Today is a new day. I hug you.

  • Evia

    May 5, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Preach! Right there with you.
    Sucks when your body doesn’t do what your mind remembers you can do. And it’s so hard to get it back!

  • Jennifer

    May 5, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Okay, here is some tough love but probably not the kind you are looking for. Instead of telling you that you suck, I am going to tell you how awesome you are. How many people can say they have finished an Ironman, several half irons, and countless sprints/olympic distance triathlons? Not many! Look at all you have done and how far you have come. So you had a “bad” race….BFD. Get over it! Many people can’t even get up the courage to start TRAINING for something like that. You are really awesome! Aside from your physcial capablities, you have inspired so many women to get out there and TRI! Myself included! I am inspired by your book, your blog, your story and it helped me through my first sprint triathlon this weekend. And more then that, you helped me set a goal for a 70.3 next year. That’s right, because of you I am dreaming big and set a “crazy goal”. I know there are SOOOOO many others that you have helped inspire too. And guess what, I like that you are not perfect, that you are human, you have good days and bad, and you share it with us so that we don’t have this unrealistic expectation of what being a triathlete is like. Ok, and aside from all that, I agree with the previous poster that it sounds like you are burnt out. How about taking a week or two where you ride your bike for FUN or run some place beautiful and different for FUN and don’t worry about race training. I bet you will have your MOJO back in no time. And then blog about it so when the rest of us hit that point we can reference back to how you got over your slump. Just keep moving forward, no matter how slow 🙂

    • Chrissi

      May 5, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      Great advice! It’s true that we so often get caught up in being the best and bettering our best that we forget being able to “do” is an accomplishment in itself.

  • Pam

    May 5, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Girl, you are still disappointed with that race where you finished (!) and your body was perfectly fine but you goofed on nutrition, socks, and sunblock. Who cares if you’re “slow”? You get out there and do it and you motivate all of us. I just read another article by you in Triathlete magazine. Got to the last item “respect the distance” and thought, huh, that sounds like SwimBikeMom….ah, because it IS SwimBikeMom, writing in Triathlete magazine because she is a respected triathlete with good advice to give. So, to sum up, we believe in you, the glossy magazine believes in you, and, based on performance instead of worries, YOU believe in you. Buck up. It’s Monday. Don’t give yourself a break. Start a new week.

  • Swim Bike Dude

    May 5, 2014 at 11:26 am

    You’re doing this for FUN, right?
    Put it in perspective.
    Do the best you can and keep improving.
    Take your time – there is no rush.
    And, no matter how fast you get, there is nothing to “win”

  • Stephanie E.

    May 5, 2014 at 11:28 am

    I think you need to go back and re-read the first chapter of your own book and remind yourself of just how far you have come in – what really is – a very short period of time. Most people cannot even complete a college degree in four years and you have gone from couch to Badass Ironmother in LESS time than that. That is epic. So you had a fantastic workout a week ago and then had an off week last week – life happens, $hit happens. Get back on the bike and start pedaling. Just like we have some weeks where we may feel like a “super lawyer”, that typically is followed by a week where you feel like you should be disbarred. I am a momma-shark who has been there too. You and only you can change your outlook. So do it.

  • CB

    May 5, 2014 at 11:45 am

    You’re not a failure or a fraud. You’re an awesome athlete, coach, and amazing, inspirational person.

    Look at what you feel caused your issues in your race and address let your coach know. You are by far one of the most successful people I’ve ever met in my life. You didn’t get here by accident, coincidence, or chance. While some things happen by chance, your success hasn’t. You’ve become successful by acknowledging things to improve and focusing on them. So do it.

    You’re not slow and you certainly don’t suck. It’s just a hiccup. After 20 weeks of power training, I’ve let mine slip back to where I started. I had to face the hard reality and realize I had missed too many workouts and wasn’t doing myself any favors. In the past two weeks since then, I’ve only missed two days of workouts which were recovery spins. I know you have the same passion for this as I do but realize you’re not alone.

    We all have things we can work on. We’re all a work in progress. All of us, not you, not me, us.

    We don’t improve by working on just our strengths. We have to work on our weaknesses as well. Just like you wrote, “live in the now.” Take each workout one at a time and forget about the long term. Each of them will make you stronger and faster and most importantly, make you happier. A little break is always good for the soul.

    I know you have it in you… I know you do…

  • Courtney @The TriGirl Chronicles

    May 5, 2014 at 11:59 am

    I second Cynthia, we need a support group. Also, did you read all the amazing race reports and wonderful comments on Tri-Fecta? Doesn’t that make you just ooze with pride knowing you were the little flame of inspiration for all those people? That looked at you and said I want to be that amazing?

    Fat, slow, dead effing last, none of that matters. Every second you spend bettering yourself through training, both physically, mentally, emotionally, it all makes you stronger. It makes you the kind of person That others look at and strive to be, and that’s incredible.

    Now, get off your ass, go for a run, and get your head back in the damn game! So what if your 70.3 sucked. You have enough base fitness to crush all the short course races you’re signed up for. And I expect to meet a strong, happy, POSITIVE Meredith at Delta Lake in two months. So there =P

  • Sara K

    May 5, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    You are so inspiring to so many people. The best part is that when your motivation is down and your not feeling in the workout mode I realize that it is ok to feel this way. We all have bad days, races or workouts. Knowing that our fearless leader has them too makes it all real. I am happy that I got to meet you in Augusta this past September. I have a small group of ladies here in Iowa that are triathlon training and we are following your lead! So enjoy a little rest and relaxation to get past this ‘burnout’. But then you need to get on your big girl panties and get a move on!! We are coming back to Augusta in 2015 and want you there will us!

  • Christina

    May 5, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    I came here to say, “Suck it up, Buttercup,” but that’s already been covered.

    You are an IronMan. You just finished 70.3. Do you realize that is a huge fricking accomplishment? Complaining about a bad 70.3 is like hearing the pros talk about “I went for an easy run and tried to keep the pace around 8:30 miles.”

    You are a machine. Don’t waste it.

    Get on your bike and ride.

    AWWWWW…you gonna take me home tonight. (Sorry…I broke out in song.)

  • Patrick Sullivan

    May 5, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Quit your whining! No really, quit your whining. Here is my tough love. What would have been different in your life if you had run a sub 2 hour half marathon? Almost nothing, except maybe you would have written a different race report. I read the rules of the half ironman, you may run, walk, or crawl across the finish line. To that, you did exactly what you were supposed to do. You made a tactical mistake that cost you time – you won’t do that again. Maybe take a couple of days off to get your head right, take a hike, snorkeling trip, something that your insane level of training will benefit AND be a lot of fun. You know, physical activities that don’t involve looking at your HRM or power meter. You have along season ahead of you and there is one thing I am sure of – your next 1/2 marathon will be much better than the one you ran in Haines city.

  • Carrie

    May 5, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    I know I’m going to sound like a total crazy person, but I started meditating to silence the voice in my head. The theory is with practice you can tame voice in your head and focus on the moment. I started for 5 to 10 minutes a day about two weeks ago then wound up running a PR on a 5k Sat. I am famous for kicking butt in training and totaling blowing it on race day. I have NEVER PR on race day!! To me it makes sense to add it to my routine… if you can train the body then why not the mind?

  • precious

    May 5, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    I’ve thought about this for a few minutes because I think all of us in this SBM mode feel this way every so often. I think this is a real, cyclical feeling for us all. First, I think you are the opposite of fraud – you are the most real, authentic person I know. Why? Because you put it all out there. Plain and simple. And I think we all relate to you because of that. We all are juggling many balls in the air – and maybe some need to drop. I think you did a post on that recently.. Maybe right this instant it is time to just chillax on the workout plan (let that fall below the line) and get in some more hot yoga time. Hot yoga is the cure all for anything. I’m sure it gets overwhelming – I know I get overwhelmed and what I keep coming back to is this..I’m not a professional athlete. I’m doing this because I can as my hobby. I do want to see the ‘numbers’ get better (whether that’s power, scale, mileage), but when it gets overwhelming – take a step back and remind yourself of the why. Then after a short period of time of hot yoga, wine and just being, your kids will fight , your husband will annoy you and you will find yourself craving the outlet of the treadmil, trainer or pool and BOOM! you’ll be back in the swing of things. I feel my kids know how to motivate me. I will be dreading a run (because i dread runs) and my kids will be whining or fighting and I cannot find my shoes fast enough. Those minutes on the treadmill remind me a big part of the WHY. I chose triathlon after reading your book and reading your words of exactly this are 100% true! Triathlon keeps me sane and I know it keeps you sane. But it’s a balance. Take a chill, do something else you like to keep the body moving so you don’t get cranky without the endorphins and trust the process that you will back in the swing shortly.

  • Belle

    May 5, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    I’ve been a lurker on this blog for a while; selfishly taking your motivating words and thoughts for myself without commenting, so I figure the least I can do is comment now! First of all you are not 0.0…imagine all of the mileage you have completed in over the last few years. INSANITY. Does that give you permission to stop putting in the work? No. Does it mean you have the right to feel tired sometimes? Of course! But the workouts you crank out when you feel like doing nothing, or feel negative about yourself often end up being some of the most important. It’s like psychological training: In the middle of a race when you have that nasty voice in your head saying “Ugh. This is terrible. Why do I do this? I’m too slow/fat/tired” you have trained yourself to ignore that voice in your workouts. You probably know all of this already…but just know that 0.0 or 140.6 you are a huge inspiration, and there are people everywhere who have got your back. Now…get back to work girl! 🙂

  • Beth

    May 5, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Most ‘normal’ people don’t even know what a ‘slow’ 70.3 is….or a ‘fast’ 70.3. I don’t even know what’s actually good/bad or realistic and I’m doing one in 4 weeks :-/….What people think is that it’s amazing (and mad!!) to be even doing it. And the hardest part is getting to the start line. With my first 70.3 looming and with it being my second ever tri I’m seriously getting nervous. Any ‘time’ goals I set myself are out the window and all I can think about right now is making it around the course. Arrrrhhhhhhh!

  • Hope

    May 5, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    I love you and your candidness. You are real and it lets me know that all my feelings are perhaps normal after all. I believe I will get my Ironman inspit of myself because you did. During a recent half marathon I hit the wall. I mean slammed into that sucker. I could hear you in my head “Just keep moving forward” My first thought was oh yea she’s never had a moment like this… then I realized yes you had. You survived your face plant into the wall and so would I. 3 miles later when I couldn’t make myself run the .3 into the finish shoot I knew it was okay because I survived the wall. I ran the last .1 when I knew my friends would be watching. Run Swim Bike mom like your friends! And rest when you need it cause we all need you 🙂

  • Angie

    May 5, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Just know that you will be 0.0 if you don’t keep moving forward! If that happens you will be left saying “remember when I could do that” while The Expert finishes his IM.

    Don’t take 1 bad day or 1 bad week or even 1 bad month and use it to destroy everything you have accomplished and will accomplish.

  • Kim

    May 5, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Hormones, I blame it on hormones. I can track my highs and lows by the calendar . I feel like I get two good weeks out of the month. The other two weeks I barely get by.

  • Betsy

    May 5, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    Let. It. Go. You do this for fun. For fitness. You do this because you want to. If you don’t want to, then don’t. Take a day or two (or a week) off. It will make you want it more when you come back to it. Maybe you will reevaluate your goals. Make new ones. When my fitness regime feels more like a “must do” vs a “want to do” I take some rest days for my mind and body and come back stronger. Highly recommend.

  • C.A.

    May 5, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    I was watching an old Ironman Kona championship on YouTube and I watched this amazing blind man finish. He was tethered to someone during the swim and run (and tandem on the bike). I couldn’t tell if it was the same person who was with him throughout the 140.6. Anyway, have you thought about being the eyes or legs for a physically challenged athlete? What are the rules about doing that for/with someone? That way, you get to do an Ironman but it’s not about you, so to speak. I mean no disrespect, just a thought.

    Thank you for your inspiration.

  • KarenO

    May 6, 2014 at 5:13 am

    I just “changed the picture” from triathlon DNF to triathlon finisher this weekend. 4th of 4 in my age group – 10 minutes behind #3. Can’t wat to see the finish line pictures because it’s the only race I’ve ever finished with a smile on my face. Thanks in great part to this blog, the facebook group and your book. That may or may not help you through the funk, but if you can do it for me you can do it for you.


Leave a Reply