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Journey to 140.6: Week 2 of 24 – The Starfish

I saw this edition of “Women’s Health” on the shelf at the grocery on Sunday, and I screeched to a halt.  And then I laughed.

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Oh, she quit beer and burgers. That’s how. (I still bought the magazine. And have to admit that I have not read it. Discuss.)

So Week 2 of 24… training for this crazy race I signed up for.

How am I feeling? Strong? Sane? Awesome?

No. Not really. But I will. Why? How can I be so sure?

Because triathlon is like a roller coaster, like much of life.  A roller coaster full of highs and lows and sideways stuff.  A roller coaster that you think-– I should really enjoy this! –but then you realize it’s the freaking Georgia Cyclone at Six Flags–all wooden and rickety and shitty–and you just want to get off the damn thing.

But you don’t know how. Because during parts of it you are grinning and screaming in terror and delight the entire time.

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Holy cow. Analogy central.

Still, by the end of the ride, you know that the roller coaster has got to stop… that you can’t keep standing in the line and getting back on the thing, day after day, not like that. Not the crazy wooden one, at at least.

So at some point, you (the rider) have to make a decision that tri training must be more like “It’s a Small World” and less wooden roller coaster.

It’s a decision.

Like most things in life.

Coach Monster used to always tell me:  Don’t let the highs take you too high. And don’t let the lows bury you.

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We all know that a workout can make you feel on top of the world; then the next day, the entire sky is falling and you never feel like you’ve run a day in your life.

The key is to control the emotional crazy.

I know this. I’ve been through it. Over and over again.

1.)  So getting my head around 140.6 training again–and really going through the highs and lows, and knowing that they are coming–is a biggest part of the training.  Mental training is the most important part. Believing. Knowing. That’s the good stuff.

2.) Putting good food in my body is the next step.

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3.) Then ticking off the workouts–one at a time, day by day–comes next.

So what’s my plan to complete the 140.6 in 24 weeks?

There it is. ^^^ Rocket science, I know.

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I ran on Sunday. I swam on Monday.   But I feel that I have not done much of anything. Perhaps because I took a recovery day / mental health day yesterday, and my power ride got pushed to this evening. So it feels like forever since I’ve done anything.  Which is not true.

The lies we tell ourselves.

But tonight I ride and strength train. Tomorrow I run and maybe yoga. Friday I swim. Then Saturday a long ride, and Sunday a long run, as I ring in Week 3 of 24.

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Endless quest for the right shoes…

Growing up my nickname was “Bear.”

My dad dubbed me that from a young age, and it kind of stuck. During my days in Olympic weightlifting, my coach would call me Bear. I was fierce and tough and strong (okay, no… they thought it was hilarious… so that’s why it stuck).

Then I wrote a post about how the Queen turned into a Starfish after Ironman, and had to regenerate herself (which, I had no idea would freak you guys out–it was a joke).

So I started leaning towards the Starfish as joke, as a symbol…

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But then it turned into something more, like,  maybe the Starfish is my symbol.  

I like it.   I mean, you cut off a part of the starfish… it regrows.  It keeps growing. It’s like the ultimate “just keep moving forward” animal!

Hells yes.

And did you know that a starfish will continue to regenerate as long as its heart is intact?

…As long as its heart is intact.

Key. Words. There.

We can do whatever we dream.  We can keep going, no matter the heartbreak and the fear.  A heart may be broken and cracked and hurt–but as long as the heart is intact, beating… we keep going.


As long as our heart is in it–as long as the heart is in anything– we can continue to grow, to regenerate, to be healed and fixed and whole.

I am a starfish.  My heart is intact.

So I will #JustKeepMovingForward.


  • Lindsay

    May 21, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Love this post- First they’ll ask why, then they’ll ask how 🙂 my pops is still asking why and basically just shrugging that I’ve signed up for more after this first… My mom is asking “when’s the next? and telling every.single.person. that her daughter, yes Lindsay, is a triathlete 🙂

    Sometimes having your heart in it is really enough to see ya through 🙂

  • Ashley

    May 21, 2014 at 9:29 am

    wow… you have some kind of psychic power?! Every time you post, it’s like you are reading my mind!! I had a race last Saturday. It was good…the run sucks, like it always does. I was on a high. The next day, I was at a low. Crying for no reason, frustrated, tired, disappointed, and sore (and no….it wasn’t hormonal, DANG that would explain it all). I literally sat in the locker room at the gym and forced myself to collect my thoughts, settle my brain, and MOVE FORWARD. Thanks for this post. It was very reassuring. I am not the only one on the roller coaster!!

  • Kelli

    May 21, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Oh my gosh, I thought I was alone…some days it feel freakin’ ahmazing and have the best workout of my life (high)…then the next workout I have is the worst one of my life (low) and I can’t imagine how I felt so good yesterday and so bad today. Lol! My IM is at the end of July and everyone keeps asking me if I’m ready…NO, I’m not ready, YES, I am ready, I’m almost ready, I don’t know…ask me tomorrow and I’ll tell you something different

  • Courtney @The TriGirl Chronicles

    May 21, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Awesome post! I’ve definitely been on roller coaster central lately with my 70.3 just around the corner at this point.

    Also, which Saucony’s are those? I won free shoes from Swim Bike Sell and while back and got some neutral Saucony runners which I only ever used for walking around shoes. Then I wore them for my 18k trail run this past weekend and basically destroyed them, which is super sad. But they were amazing to run in and I’m leaning towards getting a pair of Saucony’s for running now. Open for suggestions of course =) Also, thanks for the shoes. They went out with all the honor and glory any running shoes could have hoped for!

  • Melanie J.

    May 21, 2014 at 10:25 am

    How are the Altras? I’m a New Balance fan, but was disappointed in my last purchase…not enough room in the toe box even though I bought Ds…and I’m thinking more minimalist when I buy another pair in a couple of months for alternating.

  • JenJ

    May 21, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Thank u for always being transparent and REAL!!! Our family’s journey to my husbands first IM in Cda 2012 was a ROLLERCOASTER to say the least!!! Until then his longest had been a oly and he’s just naturally good at running and kicks ass on the BIKE!!! Swim was his only struggle and by the time IM came around he did GREAT!!! As a family we were blessed to hear his name called as A IRONMAN!!! It nearly cost us or marriage and I had a misscarriage January of the race year as well as our triathlon coach died just two short months before the race…. It was a year to remember as well as learn from… Baby steps one day at a time….IM is a WILD SOMETIMES ROUGH ROLLERCOASTER …. But don’t get off….. Just hang on for the RIDE OF YOUR LIFE!!!! <3

  • Elena

    May 22, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    Ok – interesting…….because in this movie “Aquamarine” that my girls use to watch
    the main character (a mermaid) had starfish earrings that would whisper in her ear about how awesome she was. I then bought a starfish necklace because I liked the idea.

  • Pam

    June 1, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Too bad Miranda Lambert gave up the burgers and beer – I lost 20 pounds and gave up neither! Just gave up the grains and sugar! Now I’m trying to get on track with training… Thanks for the motivation – I’m gunning for a Sprint this year, but thoughts of an ironman distance keep creeping in…………………


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