Jul 17

The Rundown – A Different Kind of Hard

For most people the hard part of exercising and racing is getting up and out the door everyday and especially the day of the race. For me, it’s so much harder to stay in bed and chose not to train or race even though it’s a much smarter decision…until this past weekend. I made the tough choice of taking my very first DNS (did not start) because it was the right decision, but definitely not the easy one.

I’ve been struggling though most of this training season and I’m not entirely sure why. I’m mourning the loss of my motivation to race but still love all things swimming, biking and running. I’ve had recurring, daily bouts of vertigo and plenty of family and dog drama. I reached a point of maxed out stress and finally resolved to just take a break and coast for a few weeks. Here’s what happened:



This all started a few weeks ago at a mid-week sprint triathlon. I found myself an hour away from home and alone at a race on a Wednesday night at 6pm and all I could think was “Why the hell am I here?” I swear I would have gone home if it wouldn’t have been so difficult to get my bike out of transition at that point.

The start was delayed because of a car accident on the main road where we would bike and run. No one was injured but it took almost an hour to clear. In that time the buoys marking what was supposed to be a half-mile swim drifted and the race director told us to “keep them on your right shoulder, no matter where they are.” Seriously? WTF.

As a result of my poor attitude, the long swim and the sweltering heat, I had a terrible race and was six minutes slower then my time the previous year. Although I came in third in my age group, I won my age group last year, and was just sulking and upset for the next 24 hours.

I didn’t even take any pictures or post anything about it. I’m hoping this means it didn’t really happen.


Each has just been ok. When even a long run doesn’t make me deliriously happy, I know I’m in trouble. Although I have still been doing all of them, with mixed results, I had to make a decision about an Olympic distance race on the Sunday before leaving on a two week trip to Cape Cod.

I was smiling after my rain run which was the highlight of my training month.

And I went to see Ed Sheehan at Mohegan Sun two days prior. It was amazing except for the phone call I received from my dad almost as soon as the show started, telling me Vaughn was having an asthma attack and wanted to go to the emergency room.

I spent most of the show texting my dad, FaceTiming with Vaughn, annoying the hell out of the people I had to keep disturbing to go in and out of our row so I could make the calls, and wondering if me or my husband could even drive home at that point.

Good times.

Vaughn ended up being fine with a little Benadryl but really?

Ed — here is my advice: Don’t have kids! I wouldn’t want anything to stress out your amazing voice. You rocked!


As a result of my exhaustion, partying, sulking and general disinterest in racing, I decided to take my first DNS at the Litchfield Hills triathlon. Something had to give and this was it. My sights are still set on Nationals in Omaha on August 12 so my coach said I could race or not race and it wouldn’t make a difference.

I have never felt about a race the way I did about this one. I knew not racing was the right choice but I felt like a quitter and cried hot tears of shame into my coffee on race morning.

Why can’t I be in cabana sipping mojitos every morning?

In a happy place at The Hotel Hershey pool.


The cure for my lack of interest in racing has been to do workouts that I only truly want to do. First on the list was Orangetheory with two friends, since I hadn’t been in over a month. My body let me know exactly how long it had been by becoming brutally sore for DAYS! Holy hell.

I also took the boys bike riding and ran behind them with Star for the first time ever. OMG. Since I didn’t have a proper running leash at the time (I have one now) she basically pulled me for three miles while the boys yelled at each other to “Get out of the way!” and “Stay on your own side!” It was so much more relaxing than swimming a mile riding 25 and running six. Yeah right.


The return of vertigo.

It’s not nearly as bad as what I experienced in Cuba but I have multiple small episodes every single day. Whenever I lay down, get up, look up, look down, reach up, reach down — you get the idea. The issue is I forget about the dizziness so I will reach down to put on my shoes, get up, and almost fall over. I’m so afraid of actually falling one of these days (it happens every time I close my eyes to shampoo my hair in the shower!) and what I may injure if I do. Probably just my dignity, but still.

I saw the doctor and she wrote me a script for physical therapy. Apparently there are exercises you can do to put the fallen balls back on your inner ear hairs. < – – yea, that’s right. #dontask

The dog is also driving me completely insane. She now hates people and will bark loudly and fiercely at strangers.

And she leaves little gifts like this sometimes:

This is not a frat house Star!


I just finished All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood and although it’s a weird, sort of tough read because of the subject matter and odd, scary characters, it’s a really great story and so well written. There were definitely times it made me squirm but that’s partly why it’s so good.

A beautiful and provocative love story between two unlikely people and the hard-won relationship that elevates them above the Midwestern meth lab backdrop of their lives.

As the daughter of a drug dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. It’s safer to keep her mouth shut and stay out of sight. Struggling to raise her little brother, Donal, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible adult around. Obsessed with the constellations, she finds peace in the starry night sky above the fields behind her house, until one night her star gazing causes an accident. After witnessing his motorcycle wreck, she forms an unusual friendship with one of her father’s thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold.


A different kind of hard included my parenting.

It’s much harder to be a good parent so when we were at Hershey over the fourth of July, I decided to let that slide as well and let the boys eat THIS many boxes of shit cereal for breakfast:

That would be six with one box of Frosted Flakes waiting to be opened, and they didn’t even get sick afterward. #proudparent

As for the blog, I will be writing less in this space for the rest of the summer. I intend to enjoy as much of it as possible but will absolutely write updates about training leading up to Triathlon Nationals, with plenty of race recaps afterward. In the meantime I will be trying to remember that it’s the hard that makes it great.


How have you been?

What has been hard for you lately?

Any upcoming races?


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  1. Allie! It sounds like it’s been a hell of a week (weeks?) over there! I know it wasn’t an easy decision for you to DNS but sounds like absolutely the right one. I’m sorry you’ve lost your mojo. That stinks but hopefully taking a step back will give you the breather you need and you’ll be back and kill it at Nationals. I’m so glad to hear that Vaughn is Ok. Getting a call like that is the worst. Feel better. Take care of yourself. xo
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…The Whole Me. #TheWholeYouMy Profile

    1. Thanks so much Christine. I know you can understand the love/hate relationship with training!! I’m sure I just need some downtime and a day or two without drama from the kids would be great! 🙂

  2. Phew!!!! I’m exhausted just reading this! I’m glad you are focused on the bigger picture because that’s all that matters right now. Soak up the Cape and enjoy the summer. The blog will be here whenever you come back. xoxo Go and #raisemeup 🙂
    Angela @ happy fit mama recently posted…Last Week’s WorkoutsMy Profile

    1. Exactly! I’ve only been on the Cape for 24 hours and I already feel 90% better 🙂

    • Sally on July 17, 2017 at 7:21 AM
    • Reply

    I had two DNS’s recently due to injury – one for a goal half marathon – and they truly sucked! You made the right choice, though. I’m going to miss your regular blogs, but that sounds like the right choice, too. Hope you have a great rest of the summer! (Good lord, that sounds like a high school yearbook entry.).

    1. LOL to the HS yearbook comment 🙂 Love that. And thank you for telling me about your recent DNS’. I hope you are now injury free and can get back to racing!

  3. Sounds like you are a little burned out, my friend! I feel you on the DNS, because as you know, I was there this spring. Focus on Nationals, because that’s where it counts, but yep, pull back on the other stuff. I’m strugging with time management, my husband is working 6 days/week and is crabby as hell, and then there’s that whole work thing…

    I asked my new BFF Kathrine Switzer to sign her book (the one I reviewed last Spring) and here’s what she wrote: “Sometimes the worst becomes the best!” Good advice.

    Hang in there… <3
    Wendy recently posted…Can’t Stop, Won’t StopMy Profile

    1. OMG I absolutely love that Switzer comment!! She is amazing in every way. Thank you so much for sharing that and yes, I know you had a tough DNS this spring and then you rocked it (hahaha) at the Chicago RNR Half!
      I feel better already…
      Thanks Wendy!

  4. Ugh, lady. You can’t catch a break. I’m hoping that you get one ASAP, and I hope that taking a break from the pressures of blogging will help with that.
    And yeah, every now and then you need to let your kids eat shit cereal. They won’t die from it (and hopefully they will crash soon after).
    Find some fun in what is going on. That’s an order 😀
    Susie @ Suzlyfe recently posted…Work Hard; Recharge (Weekend Recap)My Profile

    1. Yes ma’am!! I’m on it!!

  5. Wait what??? 2 weeks on Cape???? Sometimes the summer kills my motivation…it’s good to take a break and just enjoy being out here!

    1. I know! I’m invading your territory woman!! I would love to see you but obviously you have A LOT going on right now 🙂 PM me if you feel like it…no pressure!!

  6. Awe… you sound like you’re having a rough go. I know you’re trying to stay positive but I can feel your frustration in your writing. I wish I could come hang out with you, throw some eggs of a bridge, go to an adult novelty store and make offensive jokes and hand motions, and just act like idiots in general. Those things always work for me.

    I used to work in a physiotherapy office and one PT focused on vertigo; it was her specialty. I’m a skeptic and so if I had never worked there I’d NEVER believe that shit worked, but I can honestly say that she cured SO MANY PEOPLE’S VERTIGO with physical therapy so YES! GO! It’s legit.

    Suzy recently posted…Mileage MondayMy Profile

    1. Those are all fantastic suggestions!! Why don’t you live closer? Damn you woman!

      When my doctor told me the only option was PT for my vertigo I rolled my eyes and thought “that is the dumbest thing I’ve EVER heard of.” Then I did some research and almost every single person said it worked for them! I’m stunned and still will not believe it until I’m cured 🙂


  7. Ah…. so much in here…. Interesting because I had just one single episode of vertigo a couple weeks ago and then my left eye has been twitching off and on since… I’m sure in my case it is lack of enough sleep and rest… You wrote about being at that tri by yourself at 6pm and asking yourself why you were there, and as I read that, I had a vision of myself flying to Chicago by myself and being in a hotel room for chi marathon while the rest of my family is in LA and asking myself why I was there…. A lot to think about here,.. thank you.
    Paria@momontherunsanity.com recently posted…Permanent ReminderMy Profile

    1. I’m so glad you told me that about your race in Chicago. I guess sometimes it dawns on me that I should just be home with the kids and racing isn’t that important…especially when they are 8 years old. It won’t last and I want to take advantage of it. Thanks you friend and I really hope the vertigo and eye twitch was a result of too little sleep. Get some!!!

  8. Awww Allie, what a crazy few weeks! I’m glad Vaughn is okay. DNSing a race stinks but it gets better with time. And omg the adolescent phase of puppy hood is a tough phase! It’s like having a teenager (or what I would think having a teenager is like). We adopted Ollie near the end of his (and it involved lots of eating toilet paper) and Charlie’s adolescent phase was rough… he would actually pee on the legs of the kitchen table if he felt guests weren’t giving him enough attention and chewed on all the $$$ books I had to get for grad school. But they outgrew it and Star will outgrow it!
    I hope the physical therapy helps you! My mom went to physical therapy when she had vertigo from the same ear problem and it made a world of difference – it’s been months and she hasn’t had any recurring vertigo since she finished up PT. I hope you can find relief from it!
    I’ll miss your writing as much – I hope you enjoy Cape and get a good relaxing break!
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…Mile Markers: Training RoutineMy Profile

    1. Thank you so much Laura! I know Star is in a bad phase but all the bad phases are hitting at once. It’s like when three women live together and they all get their periods at the same time 🙂 LOL!!
      And YES to PT really working for vertigo. I had no idea and it’s sounds ridiculous but everyone says it truly works. We shall see…

  9. Oy. You really do need Fireball! I go through phases with workouts too. I love love love lifting, but I take breaks so cycle or something. Your mind and your body need breaks!

    Good luck with your ball flattening… awkward…

    1. LOL!! My whole like is awkward right now!!

  10. Well, good for you for listening to your body & heart and opting out of the race… I’m sure it was hard, but it sounds like it was the best decision for you. I think that sometimes if you’re a go-getter in life, in fitness and elsewhere, it’s hard to take a step back sometimes & it makes you feel like a quitter – even though probably no one else would agree. But health is about more than working out and eating right. It’s about listening to what we need at the time and honoring that. Kudos to you! I’m sure that your heart will get fully back into it when the timing is right.
    Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness recently posted…Strawberry Banana Bread Bars [vegan]My Profile

    1. YES! Exactly that Nicole – training for life means making the right decisions about overall health, which sometimes means not doing the workout or the race. It seems counterintuitive but really, it makes total sense. Thank you for your words – I really appreciate it!

  11. Hey babe.

    a) miss you

    b) omg I SWEAR EVERYTIME I GO AWAY ONE OF MY CHILDREN FALL APART. that deserved all caps. I’m going to vegas on wednesday. OMG. I don’t even want to know. its either a fever, diarrhea, sick, all the things! This is a very normal occurrence.

    c) Just ride out these next few weeks. You work so hard on yourself and your fitness. You are allowed to rest. xoxo
    Nellie recently posted…A Quick And Easy Guide To Busch Gardens VA + A $100 VISA Giveaway!My Profile

    1. Yes to every last A B and C!!! Thank you for getting it and for knowing how hard it is when the shit literally hits the fan when you are away from home. Enjoy Vegas because seriously – VEGAS!!!!!
      Thank you my friend xoxoxo

    • danielle on July 18, 2017 at 3:46 PM
    • Reply

    wow…. your realness is seriously refreshing even though i’m sure it’s not coming from the best of scenarios. how many times have i wondered what am i doing this for? more than once, that’s for sure. trying to find your groove again, that’s something i can appreciate. it’s time this these i embrace my inner Stella and try to Get my Groove Back.
    i’ve been taking time ‘off’ from doing anything besides heal and live the best life possible. this thyroid cancer thing has really caused me to want to understand my body and health in every way possible. go figure! i’m not one to take a diagnosis lightly or just accept wtf they tell me. nope. i’m learning a lot and any free minute i get i’m researching or watching videos or books. i don’t regret not having my thyroid removed for one second! in fact, i’m thrilled i followed my instincts because i really feel that there is hope and ways to avoid heavy meds and chemo. not just for for me but for everyone. anyhow, i’m also realizing how much pain i was in every day, running was kicking my pain levels up but i always ignored it because that’s what i do. i learned that this acute pain is really not… such a fabulous thing. so i’m quietly backing away and allowoing myself the time and space to figure out what’s worth what. yep, it’s a good thing. i’ll get back to running or whatever whenever i feel it’s right. feeling good and not needing pain meds is a pretty nice thing though 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for this Danielle! Perspective sometimes is all you really need 🙂 Here’s to getting better everyday – for both of us!!

  12. I’m sorry to hear about your vertigo. In case it is helpful, I just wanted to share that my colleague experienced terrible vertigo several years ago following a car accident. The PT she initially saw actually made things worse. She finally went to Mass Eye & Ear Infirmary and received excellent, effective treatment there. I think you are in Massachusetts, so you may want to consider that option if it’s feasible. Good luck!!

    1. This is SO helpful! I’m very close to Mass Eye and Ear so thank you very much for sharing!!

  13. I might have to take my first DNS next weekend too Allie. It sucks, but my foot feels like shit. I was doing all the right things this time too…and still I cannot run right now. I am really frustrated because I don’t know what to do. Cross train and hope shit straightens out I guess…sending you positive vibes 🙂
    Ellie Pell recently posted…Back HomeMy Profile

    1. Ugh Ellie – I’m SO sorry and hope you somehow don’t have to take the DNS. It’s hard to handle in the moment but obviously you’re body needs to heal…the mind healing usually takes much longer, right? Hang in there!! Thanks for this 🙂

  14. Boy, your pup is getting big! Ah, that toilet paper roll is so irresistible. For Hazel, it’s flip flops. Three of mine, one of Gwen’s.

    Sorry you are still dealing with vertigo, and that you had to take a DNS (a new expression for me, thanks for explaining). I hope the rest of your summer is relaxing, and that you rock it in Omaha!
    Dana recently posted…My love list: Great finds for summer lovesMy Profile

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