My trainer asked for my advice on what to tell a client of his who is struggling to meet her weekly running mileage. She has a goal of running a half marathon this spring and is slacking on training runs. I immediately told him to ask her what her “why?’ is. And I told him to dig deep! Don’t let her off the hook with an answer like “weight loss” or “it’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” because that is not the real answer. The answer to anyone’s “why” for a big goal runs much deeper.

One of these definitely did not have a good enough “why!”

Your “why” will get you out of bed when it’s dark and cold to go for a run, it will get you on the treadmill when your legs are beat (after say a 25 mile ride) and will move you do one more mile, one more rep or one more minute when all you want is to do is lie down and die. Lately, I’m questioning my why and wondering if it’s good enough.

Week of March 11, 2019

RUNNING

The Duathlon National Championships in Greenville, SC is a mere four weeks away and I’m worried about my run times. Ever since the Las Vegas half marathon back in November my times have been slipping. It’s no mystery as to why. When you spend most weekends snowboarding instead of running and working on speed, guess what happens? The problem is, I would not have changed a thing.

Of course I want to do the best I can at Du Nats but my “why” was just not strong enough to get me off the mountain most weeks. It still isn’t. I will go to Greenville and compete as hard as I possibly can but I also have to be realistic about my time goals.

Leaving it all on the track last week. I was pushing to keep 40 second reps on my 10 x 200s.

Monday – 4-6 miles mostly easy to prep for track workout, then recovery swim | 5.79 miles |8:36 average pace

Tuesday – 10 x 200m sets | 40 seconds each | 5.28 miles

Thursday – long run, negative split | 8.13 miles | 8:15 average pace

Saturday + Sunday – snowboarding

Total = 19.2 miles

CYCLING

I’m so close to getting outside I can almost taste it! The end of last week was in the mid-50s but we still had way too much snow and snow melt for me to feel safe out there. And, there was some rain. Maybe this week?

I officially made the decision to ride my road bike (instead of my tri bike) at the national championships so I have her on the trainer now. I haven’t been on this bike in years so it was great to reacquaint myself with my old Amira. Is that weird? #Ialreadyknowitis


The good thing about snowboarding all winter? It’s improved almost every metric in my cycling.

Wednesday – strength training and base build on the bike | 17.5 miles | 1:05:03

Friday – long ride | 2:00:10 | 40.8 miles

Total = 98.3 miles

SWIMMING + STRENGTH

I won’t pretend I’m sad that I only had one recovery swim this week. It was depressing to be back at the Y pool after Florida. My strength session, on the other hand, was grueling but fantastic. My strength coach can now see my weekly workouts though TrainingPeaks which has been super helpful. If anyone local is looking for an amazing trainer Antwan at Star Hill Fitness is your man!

Monday – 30 min swim recovery | 1,200 yards

Wednesday – 1 hour strength session

Words to live by.

THINGS I LOVE

It’s my birthday week! I celebrate birthdays in a huge way because getting older is a privilege, one my mom didn’t have, and so I honor her short life by trying to live the longest one possible.

My “why” has always been intertwined with my mom’s early death. I was only 17 when she died of ovarian cancer and I thought that if I was the epitome of health, I could never get sick and could distance myself from what happened to her. Of course, getting to that realization took a lot of alcohol, drugs, bad relationships and therapy but, here I am.

Me and my mom in Florida circa 1985(?)

If you’ve been reading for any length of time then you know I had a big birthday celebration two years ago because turning 42 was the last year of my mom’s life and I wanted to live mine as if I was dying, and encouraged my friends and family to do the same. I will be writing more about this past year and what it means to me to officially be outliving my mom.

It’s scary as fuck.

THINGS I DON’T LOVE AS MUCH

Questioning my why and the significance of racing in my life right now.

I’ve never questioned training and racing as much as I have been the past few months, and it’s not just because of the dip in my running pace.

I know Duathlon Nationals will be fun and my entire family will be there with me. I’m thinking more of the half ironman I have planned in June. I’m just not sure it’s what I really want right now.

I wouldn’t mind just sitting on the couch and watching The Notebook.

READING

I have to apologize to Jodi Picoult. I dismissed her books as trite and for the masses for years and I have now read three of them (Small Great Things, Leaving Time and The Storyteller) and they have all been absolutely fantastic.

I’m currently reading The Storyteller and I’m in awe. I don’t think I could ever write something so intricately woven, so heartbreaking and so unique. The topic – the holocaust – is certainly not unique and, not one of my favorite things to read about, but the way Picoult tells a story inside a story inside a work of fiction that one of the characters writes (confused?) it’s nothing short of genius.

I randomly picked it up (yes, a real book) when we took the kids to Barnes and Noble right before my trip to Florida. I needed a book because the one we’re reading for book club (How To Walk Away) starts with a plane crash, so I had to abruptly stop listening to it. I seriously cannot make this shit up. #trigger

RANDOM EXCHANGE OF THE WEEK

After spending the day with a friend, Miles bursts into the house and says to me: “What’s wrong with you?”

Me: um, is this a loaded question? “SO many things! What’s the matter?”

Miles: “Why have you never taken us to Friendly’s? That place is AMAZING! I mean really mom, what is the matter with you?”

He was genuinely pissed off. He reacted the very same way about sugary cereal (which they now both eat all the time), Oreos and orange soda. Clearly I have failed as a parent and need to rethink all my “why’s!”

For the record, I let him and Vaughn eat sugar-infused waffles all.the.time. So there!

Here’s hoping your “why” is good enough, at least to get you through another week!

How was your week?

Do you have a why? What to share?

Do you like Jodi Picoult books?