Thursday, December 31, 2015

Pivotal moments

Maybe it's because I'm getting to the end of this training cycle. Maybe it's because it's the end of the year that I found myself thinking about my entire tri-career. At the end of the year, we all get a little reflective, don't we?

You don't?

Well then you just don't have a soul.

I can look back at three pivotal moments that changed my perspective or my direction, or they just changed me as a person and athlete. If you are relatively new to any sport, you will go through these times. Everyone does.

In 2008, I DNF'd at Ironman CDA. There were many reasons why it happened. I was jacked up for awhile. There was a lot going on my life at that time. I know now that I was not ready for the race....given what was going on in my life.

For months, I didn't know what I wanted from the sport. I was lost. I quit triathlon for a year. I ran a bit. I stayed away from the pool. I didn't touch my bike.

I almost quit permanently.

If you haven't figured it out, I'm constantly in a state of self-analysis. I'm constantly looking to be better. I'm constantly striving for more. In order to do that, you have to look at the ugly. This period of time, I had to look at the ugly.

I realized that Ironman was WAY too big of a commitment for me. I realized that I really did love the sport. I love the complexity. I love being good at one thing and not so good at something else. I loved the community of people that made up the sport.

But you know what? I was tired of being slow. I was tired of just making the cut off. I was tired of being last at every single race. If I completed CDA, I would have finished just at the 17 hour mark....or maybe I wouldn't have made the cut off at all.

I wanted to get faster.

And, I could still enjoy all those things, that I really loved about triathlon, by focusing on sprint and oly distances. I could work on becoming faster. If and when I had the urge, I could go long, again....down the waaaaay down the road.

It might not seem like it, but it was a huge change for me. Everyone wants to go longer. There were times I was tempted to, but I kept going back to what is really important to me.

For next few years, that's what I did.

The next big event is what I call The Gap. It was the time that I was between coaches: Dec 2013 through mid Jan 2014.

I almost gave up triathlon again. This time, I was even more lost than after CDA. I was really frustrated. That's the best way that I can describe it. I was lost and frustrated. I took off from training completely for two weeks.
What do I do when I no longer knew what I wanted? I wasn't enjoying triathlon anymore.

During this time, I lost more friendships in about a two month period than I've lost my entire life, and I almost destroyed brand new relationships. These were people who I trained with, raced with, emailed and texted constantly.

Can there be triathlon without them? I would have a great race, pick up my phone to text them....only to remember that they were gone. No more funny texts back and forth. No more anxiously awaiting updates from someone who was racing.

I was in dark place.

I learned a very important lesson: the power of forgiveness. I forgave the people who hurt me. I forgave myself for hurting others. I had to do it in order to move on. After all, the triathlon community is small. Regardless of whether we are besties or enemies, we will see each other at races and training events.

Anyone can tell you that emotional baggage will weigh you down more than any physical limitations.


I found a new coach.

I joined a new masters.

I found a whole new world of friends.

Things began to change.....

Over the next two years, I made gains bigger than in all my tri-years put together. I got my first AG win. I qualified for the National Championship 4 times in one year.

I was in a good place, a really really good place.

The most recent pivotal moment was Nationals 2015.

This didn't have the personal emotions or any of the issues from CDA. This was about accountability.

Accountability is the wholehearted embrace of what you desperately want to ignore.

After Nationals, I took a few weeks off from coaching. I'd been racing & travelling for 8 months. My pools were both closed. I needed time away from being analyzed. I needed time off from power and paces and heart rate.

I was able to think and once again analyze.

If the previous 2 years taught me anything, it was that I wasn't going to reach my goals if I kept doing what I was doing. My training wasn't the issue. My coach wasn't the issue.

I was the issue. Right then, I knew what I had to do. I signed up with a nutritionist. I read back over race reports. I went through my TP log.

I made a list. If I want to go sub 6 at my 70.3, if I want to make Team USA, these are the things that have to change.

I can excuse race or training performance away. OR, I can take 100% accountability for every step I take.

Let me tell you this. It is not easy to do that. Once again, I had to face the ugly, but I did it.
Since then, I have been more driven, more determined than I have ever been.
No excuses.
I own each and every success. I own each and every failure. I either make it happen, or I don't.

This triathlon life, it's a journey unlike anything else has been for me. I'm still amazed at how long I've done this. I look back at my first sprint (finish time: 2:45). I think about my best sprint today (finish time: 1:13). I did that. I know that women who are just starting, look at me when I show up. I know what they think because I did the same thing at my first races. "She's one of the fast ones."

I'm here now, doing what I'm doing because of the times I almost gave up. When you line up at your next race and you look at everyone around you, remember...they all have their own stories. Those stories put them at the starting line.

Now, it's time for me to write my next chapter.

Sunday, December 27, 2015


Trust your plan.

Trust your coach.

Trust your fueling.

I've heard all of those things over the years. 

But you know what I never hear? Trust yourself.

I know that trust yourself is tucked inside the others, but when you trust your coach, your plan & your fueling, there's nothing left to believe in, except yourself.

Several weeks back, I had a long run. The run was 2 hours with 6 miles at goal half marathon pace. I completed the full 2 hours, but I was off the mark on the paces. Immediately after, I was frustrated, but I shook it off.

A week later, I had a 2:10 long run. This was the longest run of my plan, and I had to cut the run to 1:15.

I missed my longest run. I missed the paces for the previous week.

Wedge between those weeks and this week was a recovery week. 

This week, I had my last 2:00 run. This time the run included 7 miles of building to faster than half marathon pace.

Talk about being filled with doubt. I knew my fueling plan. I knew what I would have for breakfast. I knew how much sodium I need, how much water. I put on my favorite running shoes. I packed enough water and left it nearby. I wanted NO excuses for having to stop.

I completely trust Liz. I've seen SO many of her athletes go from back of the packers to some of the fastest people I know.

But, I didn't think I could do this. Yet, I HAD to do it. I needed that run. You know. THE run we all wait for showing us that the work, the sweat....and (for me) tears has been worthwhile. 

Liz gave me explicit instructions to NOT look at my heart rate. 

I wish I could tell you that I nailed the workout, but I didn't. I was hitting the paces, but I was making the run hard on myself. It was riddled with, "You can't do this. It's too fast. You can't hold this pace. Do you hear me?!!? IT'S JUST TOO FAST." 

Half way through my intervals, I realized my legs felt great. I felt strong. My fueling was going perfectly.

I was having the best long run of my life.

Here I was running the exact paces I needed, Yet, I STILL didn't think I could do it. 

Was I really feeling this good? Yes. 

For the first time ever, I realized I was afraid. I'm not afraid of going hard. I've spent years racing short course. Making the jump to long course means a whole new set of fears. I'm afraid of not being able to sustain the pace.

At that moment, I stopped thinking about not being able to do it, and I ran. 

I started my first mile at a 9:46 pace. My last mile was a 9:22 pace with the last kick at 9:13.

These were the fastest paces I have ever run for miles 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12.

My fears had no basis. I was so afraid of thinking I couldn't do it...of thinking how hard it will be....yet, when I stopped thinking and let my legs go, I was able to run faster than I've ever run. 

I can't say, because of all this, that I'm a brand new runner! Running without fear! 

I know I'm still going to be afraid. Today showed me that I should trust myself. I don't know how to quiet those voices when they come up, but maybe I can just ride them out and not allow them to take root.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Here we go again

It's been years since I've written a year in review type of post.

This post is being written out of frustration & focus.

Earlier this year, I was really frustrated with myself.  I was accomplishing goal after goal, but I still wasn't doing what I thought I was capable of doing.

Mr. Tea has said a few times over the years, "If you drop a few pounds you'll be faster." I always knew he was right. I did everything that I thought was the right way to do things, but nothing happened.

In Spring of this year, he saw my frustration mounting. He said it again, "You'd be faster if...."

I knew he was right. I don't take offense to comments like that. He, more than anyone, knows what my far off goals are.

I always want the feedback.

A few weeks later, Liz said to me, "I'd really like (or maybe it was "recommend") for you to work with a nutritionist."

When Liz says things to me, I listen. I guess it was really that she was the 2nd person to say something to me.

For 2 months, I looked around. At the time, I was on a few tri-related boards (that I have since left), and I got some great recommendations. I started researching, made my decision & was incredibly eager to start....the timing was perfect. I'd get everything lined up and be ready to race my BEST at Nationals......


I had some family issues come up.

I had to put my plans on hold.

Months went by. I was able to start in July. After talking to Dina, we decided it would be best to wait until my off season (immediately after Nationals).

I was patient. I waited. It's hard to go out there, give your best (for where you are), knowing that your best was screaming to come out.

I suffered through Nationals, knowing that there was a new level of greatness, out there on the horizon just waiting for me.....but I had to wait for it.

When I started working with Dina, I felt like a weight was lifted. I know that sounds corny, but I had waited and waited. The excitement had built up.

She was so much more than I ever could have wished for.

When I dropped 12lbs, Liz and I decided that I'd run my birthday 5k. I was GEEKED. Here I was, 12lbs lighter, feeling better than ever and running faster than ever.

Unfortunately, I picked a terrible race that was filled with the biggest hills. Hills so steep that I couldn't truly "run" the downhills.

I thought the race would be a huge PR.....but it wasn't. There were a lot of great things that happened. I surged the hills. I didn't back down.

But dammit, I knew I was faster than my time.

I tucked it away. I had the Turkey Trot the following month. Liz and I aimed for another PR. This time, it was in the bag. I knew I was going to get that PR.

I hit the weights harder, more driven. I surged up hill repeats. I ran intervals harder than ever.

By the time the TT rolled around, I was down 16lbs.

And a snowstorm came in. Race morning was 10 degrees with freezing fog, that turned to freezing rain that turned to snow.

Once again, no PR. I managed to stay vertical. Again, there were a lot of "clues" to the speed that was hiding below the surface.

This time Liz could sense my frustration. She sent me a note that said, "When it's your time, YOU WILL SHINE."

I shook it off again.

Hit the weights harder. Did more. Ran more. Biked more. Went all out at masters.

I told Liz, "I found a 10k. I'm not going to race it. I'll do your plan for the day."

Even following her plan, I KNEW I was capable of getting a PR. My HR zone/paces pointed to it. All I had to do....was pace it like my upcoming half marathon.

Today was the 10k. I've lost almost 25lbs. I'm in my best shape of my entire life.

It was the most treacherous race I've ever done.

Once again, no PR.

Once again seeing glimpses of greatness.

I left deflated, frustrated.

Mr. Tea and I went out for lunch. I think he could sense my mood.

He said, "You know what your problem is? You have a sports car in garage, but you haven't been able to open it up. It's stuck in the garage."

He summed up my entire year in one sentence. I've put in all the work. I've done everything I could. I've done all the training. I took every piece of advice I got.

But, I haven't been able to put it all together.

That was 2015.

Using Liz's words: My time is coming: 2016 will be the year I shine.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


I just had a really rough couple of days. Good or bad. It gave me time to think.

The very nature of triathlon is competition. Unlike qualifying for Boston where you need to hit a qualifying time (as difficult as that is to do), triathlon is a different animal. In order to qualify for anything, you must beat other triathletes.

This fosters an environment of tremendous competition. If you want to be successful in triathlon, this competition has to be managed emotionally.

These points needs to be stressed.



Now, here's a crazy thought.

Your success can equal someone else's success.

Your only competition is who you were yesterday. You can be genuinely happy for someone else's success without compromising your own success.

I have had people (other athletes & coaches) say some pretty incredibly mean stuff to me over the years. I have had people ignore me. I've had people refuse to make eye contact with me after a race.

These comments and actions do NOT reflect on who I am as a person.

Their words and actions ONLY reflect on the type of person they are. I have found that athletes with the biggest egos typically have the lowest confidence. They believe in tearing people down instead of building them up. These are very angry, jealous people. They are jealous of YOU and what you have accomplished and what you can accomplish. (That's my experience anyway). We are all at different point in our athletic careers. Me? I'm a late bloomer. I had kids at a very young age. When some women were pouring everything into being the best athlete they could be. I was doing double duty with diapers and just happy to get out for a 3mile run every now and then.

These people represent the minority of the people who race. Unfortunately, they exist in every sport.

These random thoughts came about because as I was laying in bed in misery on Monday, I was thinking about several incidences over the years.

In one situation, I asked a "friend" how she did at her recent 10k. She laughed and said, "I'm not telling you. You're my competition. You're just trying to size me up."

1.) Maybe she doesn't realize that her times are posted online. If I was really interested in finish times, I could spend hours looking up people. That's not how I roll.

2.) I wasn't interested in her finish time. I was interested in how her race went.

On the other hand, some of my friends are the most incredible athletes. They are also the most down to earth, humble people you will ever meet. This situation though, is about a woman I met at Nationals.

When you do local races, you tend to know the athletes who are about your speeds, paces. When I went to Nationals, I ran into a woman. She looked very familiar to me, but I knew I had never met her. I went up to her and asked if she was from CO. After we made introductions, I realized that she was one of the top 10 women in my age group in the US. She was someone who had a very real chance at winning Nationals. (She had in previous years).

Here's the best part. If I didn't recognize her name, I would never have known she was a top age grouper. She was the nicest person. I told her it was my first time doing Nationals. She gave me all kids of advice, so I could have my best race.

The best triathletes know that we need others to have their best races in order to pull out our best races.

If you are focused on beating someone else, you cannot focus on your race. I don't care what the distance is. Your goal is to put your best race forward. Yes, it is ok to want to chase someone down if they pass you....or to want to "pick off" people during a race. The difference is that you are using other athletes to push you to be better. At the end of races, I have thanked women for making me run harder. I have thanked them for helping me get a PR.

When you are genuinely happy for someone else's success, when you treat other athletes with respect, you are what makes this sport great.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

SQUUUEEEEE! The KONA race report is finally here!

There are few people that I admire. There are even fewer who have the ability to motivate & inspire me to be my very best.

Amanda is one of them.

I was hoping she would get around to writing her Kona race report. Some of you know that Amanda is a coach and athlete (now pro triathlete) at Multisport Mastery. My Coach Liz is her coach. I had the honor of meeting her in February in Palm Springs. You will never meet a nicer, more dedicated and more genuine down to earth person.

Also, if you missed out on Coach Liz's Kona Race Report. You should check it out as well.

When you read those race reports, you'll understand why I'm do what I'm doing. When you surround yourself with great people, great things happen.

Friday, December 11, 2015

OSF Update #3: I'm not going to do it.

I was asked "when" I'm going to post before and after pictures.

If you've been waiting with bated breath, it's not going to happen.

I have a lot of thoughts on the subject. I might be wrong in every way. I'm wrong a lot, but I'm so over body shaming of any kind. "You're too thin." "You're too fat."  Photos only encourage that.

I've said this over and over. I define myself in terms of my personality traits: I'm confident, creative, intelligent, caring, freaking hilarious, etc.

1.) I never did this for physical appearance reasons. I did this to become a better runner. That's it.

2.) Posting pictures is always followed up with well meaning, "You LOOK GREAT!" "You look beautiful...." blah blah blah. I find those comments insulting and not at all complimentary.  Why? Because who the fuck cares what you think about how I look? I know you're trying to be nice, but I don't need that. My confidence comes from inside.

And yes....on more than one occasion, Mr. Tea has told me I'm too blunt with people.

3.) Why would I post pictures? Again, why do YOU care what I look like? It's my body. I'm the only one who needs to even think about it.  I've found that when people post pictures on social media, other people get into the comparison mindset. "She's bigger than I thought." "She's smaller than I thought". "She could still stand to lose a few." "I could do that too". "She should eat a sandwhich". Consider this: I'm doing you favor. You can believe that I've lost weight. You can believe that I've dropped minutes off my mile pace. You can believe that I've gained power on the bike.  OR, you don't......but NO picture is going to prove any of that.

4.) There is no such thing as Before and After. There is no AFTER. There is continuing momentum toward my goals. When one goal is accomplished, I move on to the next. There is no finish line.

What I have gained from having a nutritionist goes FAR beyond weight loss. THOSE are the things that are most important to me. I want to be the best athlete I can be. That requires a fueling strategy. It requires intense training. It requires recovery. It requires rest and sleep. Losing weight is a very small piece of that.

I don't know where this is all going to lead me, but it's my journey. My closest friends understand. That's all that really matters.

I've said my peace.

If you are absolutely dying for those before and "after" pictures, you can look at my FB pictures from Nationals on 8/9 and then compare them to pictures from my 2016 season. I'm sure I will post race pictures. If you want to spend your time looking through my photos, have at it.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

My favorite recipes

After reading comments from FB about a week ago, I thought maybe it would be helpful for me to post recipes of my favorite foods.

Most of you know that I started working with a nutritionist back in August. After the first couple of weeks, I knew that to be successful, I was going to have to find meals that were fast, easy and delicious.....or this wouldn't work.

The point is that these are very tasty but require very little time. The meal that Mr. Tea made for me took less than 15 minutes. I joke about being a princess (because he really does treat me that way), but I do cook for myself as well.

Now one thing I want to say is that if you are OCD about measurements, you'll have to get over it. Neither one of us measure out ingredients. I will give you a guideline though.

First up: Turkey burger, lettuce wraps and cauliflower rice. (The cauliflower rice is my absolute favorite. This is a side that you can use at any meal).

This is one of my favorites. I make 5 burgers and save them for lunches all week. I make a batch of cauliflower rice divide it into 5 portions. Voila....lunch for 5 days.

Turkey Burgers:

I usually make quarter pounders.

1 lb ground turkey. (I use the super lean stuff, but use whatever you want).
1 zuchini squash
Seasoning: garlic powder, cumin, ground ginger. Approximately 1 tsp of each. The final mix should come to about 1 TBSP. I like garlic powder, so I add a little more.
Lettuce wraps (you can find these in the prepackaged lettuce section).

Grate zucchini.Wrap the grated zucchini in several sheets of paper towels and squeeze out as much water as possible. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the zucchini with the turkey and the spice blend. Season with pepper and ½ teaspoon salt. Mix well. With damp hands, shape the mixture into four patties. In a frying pan over medium heat, warm 1 teaspoon oil until hot but not smoking. Add the turkey burgers and cook until well browned, about 5 minutes each side.

BOOM. Turkey burgers are done. (Cooking time varies depending on how fat you make them). Place burgers on top of the lettuce wrap. That's it.

Cauliflower Rice:

What you need:

Fresh pineapple (although, frozen probably works). I buy the pre-cut stuff from the grocer. How much? Well, 2 rings. If you like pineapple, add more. If you don't, make less.

Full fat coconut milk. This comes in a can and is found in the baking section of the grocer. I use a half a cup for a full head of cauliflower. Again, tweak it. When you first add the coconut milk, it will seem very liquidy. Trust me. It will thicken up to the point that you won't even know it's in there.

Cauliflower (1 head)

Cook the pineapple
In a frying pan over medium high heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Cook the pineapple until caramelized, about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer the pineapple slices to a cutting board and chop. Don’t wash the pan.

Make the cauliflower rice
Core the cauliflower and chop into small pieces that roughly resemble large grains of rice. (I do not use any stems. It's easy and faster to cut the florets. The cauliflower comes off in tiny little rice size pieces).

In the same pan used to cook the pineapple, add 1 tablespoon oil if the pan seems dry and warm over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the cauliflower, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower caramelizes, about 4 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and cook until the cauliflower is just tender, about 2 minutes longer. Add the chopped pineapple and cook until heated through. 

That's it. You can easily prepare the cauliflower rice while the burgers are cooking.  

This entire meal takes less than 15 minutes. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The good times

For the past 2 years, we've ridden the emotional roller coaster more often than not with our business. Wait. Maybe it's been 3 years?

Who knows? Time goes by so quickly.

After awhile, I decided to stop blogging about it. No reason for me to keep telling you, "This is going to happen" only to find out 2 months later that it wasn't.

The key is to go with the flow. When things are tough, it falls on YOU to do whatever it takes to get through it. That means you could be working more hours than you ever knew existed in one week. When things are good, you must enjoy those times because you don't know how long it will last.

After doing this for 10 years, I've gotten very good at having things roll right off my back. We've been through lawsuits (someone using our trademarked name intentionally). We've been through employee issues. We've been through financial struggles. We've been through the ringer with attempting to buy another company. We dealt with location issues. We've had to end long standing relationships. We've started new ones. We've dealt with tremendous growth. We've learned how to get through a recession. And these are just a quick few that popped into my head.

All this in just the past 2 years, while having two sons, being the happiest couple around, taking care of family issues.....and having a triathlete in the family.

As I write this, I can see the biggest changes that we made are starting to pay off. We have the best team on staff that we've ever had. In the last 2 weeks, I've only had to go to the warehouse to help pack, twice. One of those times, after I arrived, they didn't even need me......during our busiest time of year.

One of our struggles has been our location. It's way too small. We're packed in like sardines. It's hard to find things in the warehouse because some stuff is still in boxes.

Finding space in Denver has been very tough, and the emotional roller coaster of attempting to buy another company (which has a great location) held us back from really looking around. When we finally decided to get a new space, the rents were atrocious and the terms ridiculous. Denver has the highest rents in the US (homes and office).

So. We waited, getting frustrated. We decided that once we got through the holiday season, we'd start actively looking.

Our warehouse is part of a cluster of warehouses. They are all small businesses. You get to know people.

As luck would have it and as Mr. Tea was strolling into work one day, one of our neighbors came out to talk about the trash service (because that's the glamourous life of a small business owner). We found out that one of the businesses (not far from us--a few places down from us) is moving to a larger facility. We couldn't even believe it. Their warehouse is double the size of our current location. They put all the nicest furniture, offices, equipment....did I mention it's double the size of our current location? Did I mention the windows? Our warehouse is this dive little unit with no windows except at the front. This new unit is the entire end and corner units. That means everyone would get a window.

As soon as we heard, we negotiated a deal to take the entire place with all the furniture, all equipment.

You read that right.


The exact date is not set yet. It was supposed to be February, but the other company is having a location built.....of course, there are always delays with new construction. Right now, it's looking like we'll be moving in March.

You can cut the excitement with a knife at our current place. Everyone wants to go on a field trip, stake out their own places, get the best window seats.

I can't even begin to tell you how exciting this is.

Right now, I'm just going to enjoy this time because it's one of the good ones.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Don't be afraid of your power

I started blogging in 2002. I have always written (ad nauseum) about my current training plan or coach.

I write about my coach because a coach is the single most important person in my tri life. It's the person with whom I share everything. I'm not afraid of being vulnerable. I'm not afraid of telling her my greatest fears and biggest goals.

On the flip side, I give everything I can to my coach and the workouts. I am completely engaged in the process. I ask questions. (I've even questioned the process).

As I was recovering between intervals yesterday, I had several thoughts running through my head.

"Don't be afraid of your power, Tea."

"Eat pain and go back for more."

"You'll be at the threshold of hell. Hold on and go harder."

Triathletes are surrounded by data. We use heart rate info, pace, power metrics, effort. You name it. We measure it.

I appreciate the data, but the one thing that is missing is "how is that supposed to feel?"

I'm one of those triathletes who need to know HOW a training session is supposed to the bare bones....ugly level.

I need to know. I need to know what level of pain I need to embrace. I don't do well with ignoring pain. I need to look forward to it, embrace it, own it.

When I started with Liz, some of you might remember this, I blew up at her one day in frustration.

"I don't know what I'm doing. I don't know how I'm supposed to FEEL out there. I feel like everyone has a secret that I don't know!"

Sure. I knew that I was supposed to race at threshold, but what does that actually feel like?

That's when the BEST of the BEST Liz quotes were born.

Since then, she is constantly telling me how I'm supposed to feel in addition to pace/power info.

6 x 1 mile intervals.....after running 5 miles?  Your legs will burn! You'll want to stop. Your quads will be screaming at you like they do in a 5k. No. it's not easy. YOU CAN. Tea. YOU CAN DO THIS.

When I got home from those intervals, she and I talked.....well, we emailed (hey, I'm an introvert. She's an introvert......we communicate better by email when I've had time to process things).

I realized in our conversation that there's a level of pain that I never experienced until yesterday......and I can go beyond even that level.

I'm ready.

I'm going to take my running to the threshold of hell. Hold on and go harder.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Suffer Now.

Suffer now, Tea. Suffer now, so this pain makes sense when it matters most.

Right now. At this exact moment. I'm feeling beaten down.

Have I told you that this half marathon is the first half marathon that I've trained for with Liz as my coach?

For 10 years, I pretty much did the same old, same old half marathon training. Guess what? I got the same old, same old results. A small pr here, a small one there, but always within a minute or two of each other.

My half marathon PR is 2:18. Let that sink in. When most women in my age group are running sub 2 hours, I'm running a 2:18. Frustrated doesn't even begin to cover it.

I've always believed that I was faster than my times showed. WHAT was WRONG with me?

When we started my half training, I had no idea what I was in for. With Liz, it's better that way.

More intensity, less distance. It makes sense. I understand why. But I doubt myself.
I do the workouts, trusting the system. I know that what I've done in the past hasn't worked, but can I trust myself to put together the race that want? Dammit. The race that I f*cking deserve? Haven't I waited long enough?

I'm busting my ass every damn day. I am stronger, faster, leaner than I have ever been in my life.

I'll just do what I do best.

Hammer out workouts and hope I can put it all together when it matters most.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

I dreamed a dream

A funny thing happened to me. I had an Ironman race dream. Keep in mind that I'm not signed up for an Ironman; I don't have any immediate plans to do one; and I'm in my off season.

This was not a normal race dream where everything goes wrong or you get lost in transition or your bike is on the 3rd floor of a department store.....yes, I really had that one.

In the dream, I was doing Ironman AZ. I had a fantastic swim. I got to transition and that's where things got funny.

"I forgot my bike and running shoes! I can't continue"

All of a sudden, my bike and running shoes are there.

"I Forgot my fuel! I have to stop!"

My water bottles all of a sudden are ready to go.

In other words, I was set up for a great race. I felt it. Yet, here I was making excuses. I knew that's what I was doing.

When I woke up, I realized that there's nothing left blocking my way to anything. That's what the dream was about.  The only thing that will stop me is ME not wanting to do it. I have no more excuses.

That's a pretty big step for me.

Speaking of big steps. It has become very clear to me that Liz has me working on my endurance strength.

How do I know?

Because this is how I look when I run.

I continue to strength train/do plyo workouts 3-4 times per week, depending on the week. Often times, my legs are....what's the word? Sore.....tired....miserable...when I run. 

I kept saying that all the work I've done at the Oly is going to help me when I get to the 70.3.

Guess what? 


What I have found is that when I focus on my running and break it down in my head (while I'm running), I realize breathing isn't horribly labored like it is in the Oly. My legs just hurt.

WELL HELL.....I can handle the physical discomfort!


And finally, some really big news.....I have decided on a FALL 70.3 2016. I present you with.....

which also just happens to be....

Let's do this thing, shall we?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Start with belief

This week is goal setting week. Let me 'splain. Liz and I work together to set up my race schedule for each year. I pick my A races. She makes sure they are spaced appropriately. Then, she makes recommendations for races to do between the A races. 

After the race schedule is done, we set goals. The goal setting comes in two parts. 

This week we addressed the first part: what I want to accomplish at my races.  (The second part of the goal setting is outlining the process to reach those goals.)

I have gone through so many phases with setting goals.

For the longest time, I was embarrassed about my goals. Even though, I believed SOME day I would reach them....I felt like other people/readers/friends would think they were completely far fetched. More likely than not it was my own insecurities coming out.

Every year, I have my goals. I've tried different things. I've posted my goals. I've kept them quiet. All the time, I had this nagging feeling that I couldn't accomplish them.

I found myself in a weird place when Liz said she wanted my goals. I didn't hesitate. I wasn't embarrassed. I believe I can reach these goals. I really do.

When I sent them to her, I wasn't the slight bit nervous about what she would say. 

She looked over everything, and said, "these are all within your reach". We talked about how I could slice and dice one race in particular to reach the goals. We talked about what would be easier and what would really push me outside of my comfort zone. 

In one way or another, I'll be outside my comfort zone. 

My Coach believes in me. I believe in me. 

These goals, they're big. It'll be very tough, but for the first time ever, I'm starting from the simple belief that I can do it.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Triathlete, business owner, & the holiday season

Yesterday I got the call.

"The truck arrived early. It's here."

The truck. The semi truck full of holiday shopping goodies. Not a little UPS truck with a few boxes.

An entire semi truck filled to the top with pallets of boxes.

I said, "I'll be there first thing in the morning."

This is a physically demanding time of year for me. I have never been and will never be one of those business owner that sits back and watches people work. I won't let anyone do a job that I'm not willing to do myself. Trust me. I've done everything from helping customers to cleaning the bathroom to packing boxes.

I do what I do because I love it.

Being a triathlete and having my own business has challenges. One day after having a chat with Liz, I brought my garmin to the warehouse. In one day, I logged 7 miles; not to mention the picking and packing orders.

As hard as it is, it's the time of year that I enjoy most. I get to hang out in the warehouse and talk to people in greater depth than I usually do.

As soon as I heard the truck arrived, I opened training peaks to get an idea of what my training would be.

Of course, it was a brutal hill repeat day and strength training. I knew that I would get up early to do the hill repeats when I had the energy. I also knew that, realistically, the strength work might not make the cut.

This morning, I got up and got going as soon as I could. I had a mild breakfast of scrambled eggs & an apple with almond butter. This is one of my tried and true breakfasts that I know I can eat quickly, and it won't interfere with my workout....even a hard workout.

Because our roads and sidewalks still weren't clear from the snow, I planned to do this on the treadmill.

The workout was 10 x 30 second hill repeats on a steep hill and then another 10 x 30 second repeats....with very little rest between them.

Steep. What's steep on a treadmill? I wasn't sure, so I set the treadmill to 10%. I live in an area called The Hills. I'm always running up or down huge hills, so my perspective on "what's steep" tends to be skewed.

F*CK ME. It hurt. My legs were screaming at me. They were already uncomfortable from yesterday's workouts.

For the recoveries, I left the treadmill running at the speed and incline and hopped off to walk around.

My heart rate came down quickly, but it felt like as soon as I caught my was time to run again.

I started doubting myself.

Something's wrong with me. Maybe my head's not in the right place today. Why is this so hard?

I had a brief rest before the second set of 10.

This time, I decided to drop the incline to 8% and run faster. Every interval, I increased my speed.

My legs are hurting. During the recoveries, I felt like jelly legs. This time, my heart rate wasn't coming down much and each interval was harder and harder.

It was so tough that instead of running for my cooldown. I walked. I tried to run, but I had nothing left.

I did the workout. The entire time I was doubting myself, "There's something wrong. This shouldn't be this hard." I finished the workout completely spent.

I went upstairs and had "lunch" or "second breakfast" depending on your perspective. I could barely walk the flight of stairs.  I needed to sit for a few minutes before I head to the warehouse, so I uploaded the workout. I told Liz that the workout was either crazy tough or my head wasn't in the game today.

She responded with something along the lines of "IT WAS RIDICULOUS, AND YOU DID IT!"

F*ckin' A. I was so preoccupied with everything that needs to be done for work, that I missed the fact that she hit me with a classic Challenge workout.

Funny thing about her challenge workouts, you don't usually feel excited or thrilled or energized that you did it. You just feel dead.

I showered, ate, packed my snack and head to the warehouse.

Nobody could mentally prepare me for the giant walls of boxes that needed to be opened and unpacked.

I got my instructions for where to start and listened to where I was supposed to unload different items.

After a few hours, one of the guys looked at me and said, "Maybe you should sit down for a few minutes."

I really wanted to sit down. All I wanted to do was get off my feet, but I knew if I sat down, I wasn't getting back up. I told him.

He sent me over to help pack today's orders.

When everyone started packing up to go home, they sent me home too. I wanted to stick around to help move racks to make room for tomorrow. (We're not even close to being done unpacking the pallets). They told me to go. I left on the promise that they were going home too.

With the busy season upon us and the truck arriving early, I was so glad that I had picked up some groceries yesterday, but I forgot a few key items. On my way home, I stopped at the store for those things.

When I got home, I forgot all the chores that I didn't do because I had to get to work early. All I wanted to do was sit down for a few minutes.

I did exactly that.

By the way, the strength training didn't make the cut.

PS: they lied to me. I left, and they finished unpacking. I got a text message saying so.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

What swimming masters is really like

Today, I had a master's swim on my schedule.

I'm one of the weakest swimmers at masters. Seriously, there are two people slower than me. One of them is a 70 year old man who just learned how to swim.

This fact doesn't bother me. Long ago, I got over the ego bruising that is swimming masters. I know that on a normal day of freestyle, I'll swim in the second slowest lane. On IM day, I'll be in the remedial lane. 

On freestyle day, the guys I swim with normally don't lap me until we do 400's. Sometimes, they catch me on 300's, depending on the testosterone they had for breakfast. They're ok having a slower swimmer swim with them. That's why masters is so awesome. If someone catches you (touches your toes), you pull to the side (normally at the end of the lane), and let them pass. No harm. No foul.

But today, was IM day. For the non-swimming readers, IM is individual medley. Believe it or not, I didn't know this until about 5 years ago. I thought IM meant Ironman know long sets. Hell, it was the only IM I was aware of. Long set day? THAT would be easy. IM means stroke day. Stroke day refers to butterfly, back, breast, free (in that order for IM). 

Many....I dare say....most triathletes don't swim strokes. You don't have to swim strokes. But, I've always believed that if you truly want to improve, you do what you can to become a stronger person. Swimming strokes works your body in many different and sometimes very frustrating ways. Some days, I swim butterfly more like a bumble bee. Sometimes, I make it to the other end of the lane without staring death in the eye.

Sigh. It's stroke day. I look around and choose the remedial lane. I have no lanemates today. (Like I said, stroke day isn't a favorite for most people. The people with a swimming background seem to love it, but I'm not that person. For me, it's mostly, "Let's see if I can avoid drinking more chlorinated water this week than I did last week.")

I love swimming with my lanemates. So, IM day has the challenge of swimming on my own. I've learned that it's not fair to me or to my normal lanemates to swim with them on IM day. Yes, they are right next to me.....technically....but there is no divider wider than the lane lines in a pool. It's like border patrol. 

As we were setting up the lanes, (not really setting up....more like kicking out the swimmers who were swimming on their own). I had to tell a random swimmer that he needed to move. I also added, "You are welcome to swim masters with us, if you'd like." I said this....maybe too eagerly. He smiled and said, "I'm not at that level yet".

Yes, I understand. My massive shoulders led him to believe that I was like an older version of Missy Franklin. 

That's a common misconception of masters. Masters is to help you become a better swimmer.....PERIOD. There are no time minimums. You don't have to know strokes. I've written about that ad nauseum.

Coach arrived and started posting our workout. I knew that in order to keep up with the team, I'd have to drop a 50 during the sprints. 

For our first 100 IM, I started before the lane next to me. They were discussing (ahem procrastinating) who would start first. This is a normal tactic of swimmers....everyone is afraid to be the lead swimmer. No one really wants that pressure, and no one really wants to admit to being the "fastest".

Somewhere along the line, those guys passed me. I made it a goal to stay with them, by dropping the extra 50. I thought, "If I can finish the same time they do, I'm doing really well." Dropping a 50 meant that I'd only be doing 150 less than they are. 

During the breast stroke section, Coach came over and asked where I was. I told him, and he said, "Perfect. That's right where you should be."  (Yes, I told him I was doing 1 less 50 per set). 

The end result is that I survived another IM day. Coach says that you need to swim 3-4 times per week to see an improvement. Right now, I'm swimming 2 days per week, so I'm more or less "maintaining". I'm ok with that for the moment.

At the end of practice, I was counting up the distance. I came in at roughly 2600yds. A year ago, I couldn't do a full IM practice, so maybe my paces aren't super fast for IM.....I've improved in other ways. What's my IM pace? I'm not really sure. I tend to not time those days, so I can focus on what I'm doing and not be concerned that I'm swimming faster or slower than I think I should be.  My goal is to go out there and give the best I can for that day.

Sometimes, that's all you can ask of yourself.

What it's really like

After my last post, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I want this blog to be nowadays.

If it was truly just for me; then no one would be able to read it.

It is for me.

It's also for you.

What's been missing? The broken record post, really got me thinking. I *do* sound like a broken record. Yet, my life is anything but the same races, same training, same day to day.

It's really easy to write about those awesome workouts where I feel invincible. It's also easy to write about the races that didn't go the way I thought they would.

What's missing is all the inbetween stuff. The every day stuff is missing. Between fantastic workouts & races, there's a lot of life stuff that takes place.

Some days, I'm confident. Some days, I'm not. Some days, I fuel perfectly. Some days, I have to make a rescue call in the middle of a long run. Some days, I have to negotiate a training and work schedule. Some days, I'm making an emergency drive to have lunch with JMan or Googs. Some days, I feel strong. Some days, I wish I had an easier hobby.

I feel like I haven't been honest in who I am. It hasn't been intentional. I don't believe I've ever painted a picture of myself that is different than who I am. I've never hidden my paces or race times.

I want to write more of "what am I really thinking"; not just, "what's a good read?"

Don't worry. There will be plenty of self deprecating humor and ridiculousness, but there'll be other stuff too.

Hopefully, you faithful reader(s) won't might some of the changes.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Broken records

Because Sheryl Crow.....and Sting

I went onto Athlinks the other day to scroll through all my races. My history only goes back to 2003, but it's enough.

Then, I started reading through old blog entries. I remember each and every one. I read race reports, and they make me smile.  Sometimes, I think that my posts must sound like broken records. Maybe I say the same things over and over.

To me, I'm so glad I have those old posts.

This.....THIS.....has been such a journey.

Many of you know that I was a runner before triathlon. The whole marathon thing never really appealed to me, but I loved running.

But triathlon?

It was love at first race.

Over the past few months, Coach Liz has been pummeling me. Two a days? This isn't football. This is triathlon.

Three a days workouts? Please. Those are my easy days.

Liz has taken me to a whole new level. There are days I do 4 workouts. There are days of 3 workouts. My easiest day this week was 4000m masters swim sandwiched between yesterday's run/bike/strength and tomorrow's run/bike/run/strength.

She's hit me with sprinting hill repeats. She's pushing me with squats, lunges, burpees, jumps, hops, core, more

After my workout yesterday, I laid on the yoga mat. I started thinking about those earlier blog posts.

I used to need them to keep me motivated. I used to need the "Good Job" or "You're a BEAST!" comments. I needed to go to the gym to be "seen". Like it was some kind of validation. YES, I was there. She saw me! He saw me! I was sweating and working really hard. If I saw someone look at my pace on the treadmill, I'd bump up the speed.

Oh....and I talked about triathlon. I wanted everyone to know what I did for fun.

Somewhere that all changed.

I laid on my yoga mat. I stared at the treadmill. I just ran 7:53 intervals at an 6% incline, and I had more to give. I realized, somewhere along the line....I lost interest in talking about triathlon. I don't tell anyone, unless they ask, even then, I usually short answer them. one is really interested unless "you do that BIG one in Kona?????"

I used to compare myself to everyone else. There was a pressure to perform, coming from many different sources, including internally.

Since I started working with Liz, my interest in what everyone else is doing has faded. I get lapped at masters, but one day, I won't. I make myself hold core movements until I want to cry, but no one is there to see it. I run hill repeats over and over. I do bike drills to muscle exhaustion. No one sees the work.

And I blog.

To you, I might sound like a broken record. But when I read those old posts, I see how much I've changed.

I no longer need to hear those "Beast mode" comments, but I know you're there always supporting me.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Where do I go from here?

You are so very welcome.

With it being the end of the year, I've seen many posts and articles about goal setting.

Everyone is signing up for races. Coaches are writing articles about how to set up goals. Yet, here I am; at a loss. I haven't even wanted to talk about next season because I don't know. In typical Tea fashion, I let those feelings be. I didn't know why I felt that way, but I did.  I know the more I push to figure it out, the more resistance I was going to feel. It has nothing to do with feeling burned out or anything. I just don't know what to do.

For those of you who know me, I'm a goal oriented person. I always have the next big thing lined up.

I let it be. Anyone who asked about my schedule, I replied, "I'm enjoying my time not thinking about next season."

Weeks have gone by. I started putting the pieces together and figuring out (without thinking about it) what's going on.

When I qualified for Nationals and then raced Nationals, it was the biggest goal that I had. It was a monster goal for me. It was a 5 year goal. Of course I didn't need a goal after that. Five years was a long time.

Then, I hit my goal 3 years early. Technically, I guess it was 4 years early since it was my first year with Liz.

Athletes have those little short term goals: What am I going to do at my next race?
Then, they have the season bigger goal: What do I want to accomplish at my big A race?
Finally, we have the BIG SCARY GOALS: What do I want to accomplish somewhere down the road that scares the pachookie out of me? (Things like qualifying for Kona.....or say Nationals).

I accomplished my big scary goal. Now what?

Yes, I've talked about working my way back to Ironman, but can I commit to that training? Is there something else I need/want to do first?

I've mentioned this before. Several years ago, I had a conversation with a friend. I told him that I don't even know what my best distance is. He replied, "I do."  But he wouldn't tell me what it was. He could have been bullshitting me, which is more than likely the case, but the conversation always stayed with me.

What is my best distance? I don't think anyone else that I know, thinks about this. 

So, I went to Nationals, raced both distances in a weekend. 

I accomplished my big scary goal, but was it enough?

At 48, I'm now in the best shape of my life. My nutrition/fueling/training is allowing me to give my best. 

What if I have more to give at the shorter distances? What if I I gave my best for where I was? How could I have really given my best if I wasn't at my best? Clear as mud?

But, there was more than just short course. There are other things I want to do.

Over the weeks, I was able to narrow my focus. 

I came up with TWO big scary goals.

1.) I want to go sub 6 at the 70.3 (half iron).
2.) I want to qualify for Team USA at the sprint distance.

Maybe not the BIG Scary Monster goals but very big.

My last 70.3 was pretty far off from sub 6, but given everything I've been doing, I can get there. (Also remember, my last 70.3 was in 2014. I wasn't really into it.) It will hurt more than anything I've ever done. The 70.3 that I chose has a very fast bike course but a tough run course. But, I can do it. 

My best sprint race was 1:16. In order to qualify, (based on last year's times), I have to race better than 1:15. (To make Team USA you have to finish in 22nd place or better after the age up rule is applied).  22nd place came in at 1:15 last the 45-49 AG. However, I turn 49 next year, which means that in order to qualify, I would fall into the 50-55 AG (because that's how old I would be for the next World Championship.) Those women are very fast, but so am I. I can do it.

I decided on a 70.3 for the first half of the year. 
I decided to race the Sprint National Championships (in Omaha) in Aug.

When I laid out my plan, Coach liked the plan, but she asked, "Then what? What's after that?"

I told her I wanted to leave it open. She and I already talked about leaving the Fall schedule open, so it was no surprise to her.

Why? Because I'm looking at something really big. I've learned that I can do things I didn't really think were possible. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I believe I can accomplish every goal I set my mind to. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Greatest Day

Today is my birthday.

On Sunday, I ran my birthday 5k.

I popped out of bed. It was dark and cold. I knew it was going to be the greatest day.

I grabbed my running clothes and stepped onto the cold cold bathroom tile.  I ran downstairs to get coffee and breakfast.

I saw that Mr. Tea left me a note to wake him at 7am.  Next to the coffee maker, JMan left me a note saying, "I'm home."

Today is my birthday 5k.  Googs was planning on meeting us there. I knew they both had Halloween parties the night before.  It could be a little ugly for them today.

Everyone wakes up, and we head to the race. Mr. Tea drops me at the start, so I can do my warmup. The one thing I noticed immediately was that the course was extremely hilly. The race is in a suburb, very close to Denver. Denver is flat. I knew the course would probably not give me the PR I wanted, but I was going to run hard. I've been running hill repeats. I've been running surges up hills. I was ready for this course.

I met up with JMan and Mr. Tea at the start. The race starts in 2 minutes. Googs is nowhere to be found. I was a little sad, but I said "have fun" to Mr. Tea and JMan and head to the front of the line.

The race started, and I ran. I took off on the steep downhill to get my position past all the slower runners. I know how to run hills. I passed people on the uphills (first time ever). I never backed off.

It was the longest 5k of my life. Uphill, downhill, uphill, downhill.....are there any flats here?

With the last half mile, I went into an all out sprint. I crossed the finish line and immediately turned around to run back and find JMan and Mr. Tea.

Around the 2 mile mark, I see them in the distance. They are having an animated conversation. Seeing them made me smile. I ran up to them. JMan immediately said, "Googs is here. AND HE'S RUNNING."

Running in an extremely hungover state.

Just then Googs appeared out of nowhere and jumped on top of Mr. Tea.

We walked the remaining mile as a family. I watched them. I listened to their crazy conversations. I couldn't stopped smiling. I was so happy my heart hurt. This is what I wanted.

We crossed the finish line.

Afterwards, we spent 20 minutes looking for Googs' car....who couldn't remember exactly where he parked in his rushed, hungover, and tired state.

We loaded up the cars and head to breakfast.

Seeing them all together, having a great was the best birthday present I could have asked for.

I'm not perfect. I'm not the stereotypical woman who goes ga ga over babies. I don't even like kids. I didn't want to have kids. I had no idea how to be a mom.

I looked over at them, joking around, talking.....but, somewhere along the line, I got things right.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

OSF Update & the Race Weight Myth

I started OSF around the middle of September. Truth be told, I started the end of August. (It didn't occur to me that I was doing it earlier than the middle of Sept).  August was more of an off season or as I prefer "transition season". My pool and back up pool were both closed. I rode my bike maybe twice. I ran every day....if walking the dog counts as running.

During that time, I came off my  transition season. With Coach's recommendation, I hired a nutritionist. I have been working on my run form more than I ever have. I have been strength training 3-4 times per week.

In a very short time, I have seen more improvements than I have never seen. 

Working with Dina (nutritionist), I am now:
1.) Sleeping better than I ever have. (It took a few weeks. It wasn't overnight. #nopunintended #orwasit)
2.) I'm now down 14lbs and so many inches that it seems unreal to me. Several years ago, I was part of a kickstarter campaign. I received two pairs of pants. Sadly, when I got the pants, they didn't fit. They were so tight that I couldn't even pull them up past my thighs. This week, I slipped into them with ease.  Let me stress this....I haven't been this lean in YEARS. I mean, YEARS, not 1 or 2 or 3 but +5 years. I don't even know the last time, I was like this.
3.) No more counting. No counting calories. No counting macro-nutrients. Her plan is so simple. At the beginning, I struggled a little bit. With her guidance, we made 1 change every 1 to 2 weeks. 
4.) No more Hangry.
5.) I have even blood sugar all day long.
6.) I can complete workouts with ease. I'm stronger and faster. (Emphasis on the stronger).
7.) And....the side effect that is unexpected but pretty cool.....getting compliments from my lanemates at masters about how lean I look. I didn't do this for vanity reasons. My confidence doesn't come from how I look. I guess, that's why it surprised me so much. I don't focus on my physical body as far as how it looks, so it didn't occur to me that other people would notice.
8.) I have abs....real abs....Can you believe it? And apparently, I have really great shoulders. 
9.) I never feel deprived.
10). This is something that I can do for a lifetime.

I already updated you on my running. All I want to say is that, running is a natural thing for humans. However, IMHO, running efficiently is not natural. (Yes, some people are natural runners just like some people are really awesome at cycling or running or baseball or or or any other sport. The rest of us have to work on it).  

It's something we have to work on. I'm thrilled with where I am now, but it has taken me months of hardcore focus on running. I didn't just go out there and do a few drills expecting to improve. I've done that. It's gotten me nowhere.

Liz and I worked together. I gave her feedback (from my bike fit). I told her what people say to me at races. She would come back to me with more questions. I would pay attention during my next run and then send her more feedback.

We worked on this together to come up with a plan that worked. She has me doing some of the weirdest shit I've ever done, but it is working. 

Race Weight Myth
This week was my last week of working with Dina until early next year. One of the things I told her is that over the past 2 months, I've learned that race weight is a myth.  

When I signed up with her, all I wanted was the dump the 10 extra pounds I had been carrying around forever. 

I learned that it's not about weight. It's about eating healthy, not depriving yourself and allowing your weight to settle where it needs to be to give you the best performance. You can celebrate during the holidays. You can have those "treats". However, I don't even crave them anymore. I don't even think of having sweets any more. But, if I want it, I have it. 

Here's the thing: If you are eating right, none of that will matter. Your weight will stay where it should be. There isn't that holiday weight gain.

Trust me. I didn't know this at first. We started the plan. I had my "miss" meals. Over the following weeks, I realized that I didn't want the miss meals any more.

I'm saying this because I know where you are. I read articles about what to eat. I know about whole grains, unprocessed foods versus processed. I thought I was doing everything right, but I wasn't losing the fat.

This is all just my opinion. You can disagree. This is what works for me. 

No matter who you are, though. No matter how fast or slow you think you are, you can be better, stronger, faster by getting help with your nutrition. 

Tomorrow, I get to put it all together at my Birthday 5k