A Doozy of a Week

This week has been a doozy, a definite reminder that things don’t always go swimmingly, despite my best efforts. It all started a week ago last Thursday when I woke up feeling that eerie tickle in the back of my throat. I demoted my double swim day to a single flop and by noon I knew it was time to just head back to bed.

I headed to bed Thursday afternoon….and I got out of bed Sunday morning. Yup, Thursday, Friday, Saturday…all a big blur. I was sick, sore throat, headache, and I had that “I’ve been hit by a truck” feeling. Sunday I emerged from our 90 degree bedroom, ready to rejoin the land of the living.

We started inching back into training, easy short stuff, moving into easy longer stuff, moving into some harder swimming, and lastly adding back some medium running and harder biking at the end of this week. It’s always hard to emotionally recover from a set back, especially this close to Kona, but physically, you have no choice but to lay off and let the body heal.

I used to think that when you are in the best shape of your life you are a little unhealthy, like maybe your weight is your “fighting weight” and your life is out of balance, you are teetering. I don’t believe that any more. After training for almost 2 years with Chuckie, I am a big advocate of health first, fitness follows. If you make the right decisions for health, you will always be making the right decisions for fitness.

So when illness creeps up on me, it’s a big sign. I’m doing something wrong. 10 people can be exposed to a virus, but not all 10 will get a cold. As athletes it’s easy to think that our colds are just bad luck. I think not. There are always precautions that can be taken and stresses that can be reduced. Getting one should be a wake up call that your health is taking a back seat.

After the sickies left my body, I thought it was back to recovery, but when I look back on this past week, the main word that comes to mind is suffering.

Troy left town early Tuesday morning for a business trip. He was supposed to get back Thursday evening, but his flight was delayed, he missed his connection and ended up stranded in Chicago until Friday. I miss my husband and it’s been an emotional week. I may seem strong, but I need my rock, or else I loose my way.

As you can see I posted that Annie started Kindergarten on Wednesday. She had to go to the school for pre-K testing on Tuesday. This was a major point of stress for me. How will she do? She doesn’t know all her letters (we have been doing flashcards every day this summer, but V/Y, C/S, etc etc are hard for her). Will her teacher be nice to her? Etc Etc. Kindergarten is harder on the moms of the world I think.

So between missing Troy, the Kindergarten, training in the 100+ degree heat we have had all week, and recovering from a cold, I’m pretty down. It’s easy to go down that path. It’s easy to get mad when things aren’t going your way. For me I usually get sad. I felt really alone this last week.

Chuckie sent me some reminders recently and it has helped. Some of them put me at ease, and others remind me that I brought this all on myself, I have no one to blame but myself. We do that you see, our lives are a product of the decisions that we make. Make different ones, get different outcomes. Unhappy with your current situation? Suck it up, or change your choices. It was a good reminder.

So here I am, finding my way back to health. Physical health, emotional health…all that. I guess I started down this path to get fit, to do my best at Kona, but when it’s all said and done, it’s the stuff you learn about yourself that you will hang onto. It’s the lessons, and the appreciation. Training hard forces you to live with more intention in your every day actions, and that intention weeds out all the lies you try to tell yourself. It’s time for a big fat attitude adjustment.


And So It Begins

It feels like yesterday when I posted this post. Yup, I totally started this blog to talk about A-B-Bo, AKA Pookette (as she was called in my tummy). Now I look down at the extreemly tall and lankly 5 year old snoozing on the couch next to me and I can’t help but wonder “what happened?”

Wednesday Annabelle started Kindergarten. I wish I could have her home with me another 5 years, but the kiddos grow up and you have to let them go and let them fly. When letting them go, it’s best to send them off with a Hello Kitty backpack and some money on their lunch card!

Annabelle drove me stark raving mad the first two years of her life. She hated nursing, she hated sleeping, she didn’t ever sit still, and she ate like an anorexic bird.

But now, I have the most kind, loving, and amazing 5 year old little girl. She has truly been the greatest gift of my life and I thank Troy every day for joining me in this journey with her.

Annie was excited and ecstatic to go to Kindergarten. She’s the most social and non shy only child you will ever meet. She loves people, LOVES PEOPLE. She’s been known to start conversations with all sorts of people that don’t really want to talk to her (80 year old men at the airport, on-duty police officers, soccer moms sitting in their car on their cell phone, I could go on and on).

She loves her family. She thinks highly of both Troy and I and although she attempts to “negotiate” at times, she generally follows directions, and minds her manners. She doesn’t have an ornery bone in her body, she’s a class act do-gooder.

Since we live right next to the school we will walk to and from school every day. The first day of school we are walking over and she says “Maybe I can walk by myself to school.” Did I cry when she said it…no. Did I want to…yes.

How is she so independent already? I know she didn’t mean to hurt my feelings, she just thought she was ready to have a go at it alone. She’s a strong one, my child. She knows she can make her way in this world. She’s confident.

When I dropped her off on her first day it was hard not to get teary in front of her. Here she was standing in line, ready and willing to go to school even though she had no idea what that actually entailed. She’s 3 inches taller than everyone in her class, so she stands there towering over all the other kids, with this huge smile, and these huge excited eyebrows.


And just like that, her teacher said “You can leave parents” and he lead them all into the school. We just had to stand there and watch them disapear. All grown up, ready to conquer the world. Little future moms, and athletes, and doctors and lawyers. The class of 2024.

She blew me a kiss. Awful nice of her I think.

I turned around, walked home by myself, with tears streaming down my cheeks.

It’s been a rough week.


My Top 10 Tricks for Crunch Time

If you train for Ironman distance races (or maybe for your first half Ironman) there seems to be a tipping point in the training where if you don’t have your act together, things start to fall apart! A friend told me a couple weeks ago “Where I think you are strong is your ability to buckle down and execute when you need to.”

Ahh, if only she knew! It’s not necesarily my abilty to buckle down, but more my ability to plan and clear the schedule so that when training load turns upwards, I have space, and I have a plan. For me, this is all about: Stockpiling, and Planning.

Today I will share my top ten tricks for surviving crunch time. These aren’t year-round habits, although you may keep a few of them around. These are part of my master preparedness plan for success.

#10: Put your schedule on the fridge. Chuckie taught me this one. It seems like a little thing, but when you are in crunch time it’s surprising how easily you can forget the details of your workout. Stop checking training Peaks 100 times, just print that bad boy out and pin it up to the fridge. Chuckie sends us our work in email, sometimes PIC and I’s are combined, I print that too, so I know what she is doing and therefore what we can get together for. Chuckie often puts in tidbits of inspiration, so I like to have that visible too.

#9: Stockpile the inevitable. My mom used to say, always buy the biggest package of toilet paper, you’ll eventually go through it. Well run shoes, tire tubes, goggles, water bottles, gels, etc. These are all things we go through as an athlete. Buy 2 or 4 of everything and create your own tri shop in your closet. I have 4 pairs of goggles just waiting for me to wear out my current pair.

#8: Make laundry easy. I tend to send the laundry straight to the washer. You are doing more loads than the rest of the family so forget about the laundry basket, go straight to the washer, when it’s full, do the load. Embrace nudity between the laundry room and your bedroom, you’ve worked hard on your body!! Also, I did away with folding and putting away things. It’s all about bins. Run shorts bin, cycle shorts bin, sock bin, etc etc. It’s just going to end up right back in the washer, why waste the time to fold and put away? Sort and be done with it.

#7: Adopt he Food Purse. You may think it’s a purse, but hidden within are snacks/nutrition that I take with me everywhere I go. It doubles for a purse carrying my phone, camera, and wallet too. I always have a tupperware full of EFS and one with Ultragen in it as well. This thing is always full. For the ladies check out Sachi, for the dudes, maybe an Igloo or something will work for you?

#6: Get organics delivered to your door. I use Door to Door Organics and I am in love with their service. Just today they sent me a “local box” full of organic veggies that were locally sourced.

When fresh veggies are delivered to our door every week we eat them. Sometimes its all that is in our fridge. If you are in Colorado, the Kansas City area, Michigan,or the Chicago area check out their service. I find that food shopping is one of the first things to go out the door when training kicks up. Usually it gets replaced with eating out, and eating out means you tap your tri budget, you overeat, and you have no control over oil, fat, and sneaky cooking methods. When I get the box off the porch, I immediately pull everything out and cut it up for storage. The leafy greens all go in a HUGE tupperware in the fridge. If you eat your greens (which you should) you need a huge tupperware. They stay fresh this way.

#5: Stock the freezer: It’s amazing what $250 at Costco can do to your freezer. Before crunch time I do one big shop for protein that will last 8-10 weeks. I alert Troy that this is “training food” and needs to last and he helps me dole it out sparingly. I also get organic frozen berries for smoothies. Now, a stocked freezer, Door to Door organics, and a slightly stocked up pantry, and honestly, we don’t have to go to the store but once a week if that. This is just in crunch time mind you. Think of how free you would feel if you only had to visit the grocery store for a few little things once a week?

#4: Consistent charging center: We have iphones, ipods, garmins, heart rate straps, bike computers, cameras. Before I figured this out I was always forgetting a heart rate strap, or a garmin, or my garmin wasn’t charged. Now I plug it all into a power strip and it all gets put there every night. It doesn’t have to be pretty, it just has to be functional, this is for crunch time…you can forget to charge your garmin in the off season.

#3: Make a list of success. Since I train in Boulder several days a week, I am always packing a bag for 2-3 workouts. I have one swim bag, and one bike/run bag. Chuckie suggested that we have a “Boulder bag” but that didn’t work for me since I was always stealing stuff from the bag. So I have a “Boulder list”. I go through it every time I pack for Boulder and don’t even think about it any more. It’s all on the list, and if I have it all, I will have a successful training day (next to the Boulder list is my travel race list). The list sits in my closet, so I pull everything from my bins and throw it in my bags.

#2: A plan a day keeps failure away. Every night before I go to bed I write out the next day in calendar form. This scrap of paper lives on the kitchen counter for all to see. I keep a separate scrap for “chores” that need doing. The beauty of the scrap is you can lay out the perfect day, and then when you wake up you just have to hit play. Last night Annie showed signs of a cold so Troy and I wrote up two plans, one for if she was sick and couldn’t go to camp, and another for if she was well. That way sickness wouldn’t get in the way of success. When we woke up, she was sick, I threw away one plan, and we launched into the other one.

#1: The answer is probably “no.” This one is the most important. If you are making all these preparations to simply life while the crunch is on, then the icing on the cake is learning the word “no.”  It’s time to chase your goals, it’s not time to be superwoman or superman, it’s time to get really good at one thing…training. When you have extra time use it to chill or prep food. Relax on the couch with feet up. Replace “let’s go to lunch” with “why don’t you bring me a healthy picnic lunch at the end of my run.” If your friends aren’t willing to do that, then….

But honestly, making the time to relax and not adding too much into my life is what has allowed me to train at a higher level. It’s my “not so fancy” way of eliminating stress (good stress, bad stress, any stress that isn’t training stress).

I hope you have pulled a few nuggets of wisdom out of this post, maybe you have some of your own tactics that you want to share? Feel free to post them in the comments. Happy training!!!


2011 Boulder 70.3

I’ve always been scared of this race. My friend Tyler has spent a large portion of it puking, I think Anthony has flatted like 3 out of 4 times racing it, and last year when I did my long run during the run portion I witnessed massive carnage out there. It’s a hot race, and hot is good for Kona, so Michelle and I signed up. Angela was racing too which is always really exciting for all of us.

My parents had come to help with Annie and dad was there to take photos. This always gets me really jazzed up to race. I knew so many people racing, and two of the athletes I coach were racing too. All in all a big day for me.

Jen just before a GREAT day!

My wave started 1 hour and 5 minutes behind the PROs and 50 minutes behind Michelle. I got to cheer for Angela and Michelle coming out of the swim before I even had to put my wetsuit on. Oy! Bring on the heat!

Ang was out of the water as 3rd PRO, and just a couple minutes down on Kelly. I got all nervous excited for her. PIC was out of the water 2nd in her AG and it was on like Donkey Kong!!

I put my wetsuit on, deposited Annie with grandparents and lined up for my wave. The more and more I race with my Kompetitive Edge teammate Kendra, the more I love this girl. Never have I met someone that is so genuinely supportive and positive. I love her energy and wish I could bottle it for a rainy day.

Kendra, Me, Grant, PIC Michelle…pook too!

We took off swimming and apparently I led out the entire age group. This is bad. This is not what I should be doing. I wanted feet and I finally found them, but they were too fast for me. I spent most the swim on my own, meandering between trying to catch a few different people and ultimately loosing ground on all of the them.

Not my wave, it’s Michelle’s, but it’s one of my favorite photos!

I have taken to keeping my watch on the bike, so I don’t know my swim time until the end of the race. I encourage anyone who is constantly disappointed in their swim times to do the same. It lets you put it behind you and get on with your race if you don’t know your swim time going out on the bike.

As I ran into transition I could hear the cheers and screams of my family and friends and it was AWESOME. One of the best feelings evah! I saw Melanie in transition so I figured my swim was in line with what I usually do since the two of us are always within 30 seconds of each other out of the water. I gave her a little good job pat on the back as I ran to my bike and immediately realized this probably bothered her (transition is sort of a “no touching” zone).

My trusty QR CD0.1 Blackjack was waiting patiently in transition, and she was AMPED. I could tell she wanted to ride fast. I was game! I headed out of the reservoir ready to ride fast on the roads that I have trained hundreds of miles on over the last 18 months. Right when I got out of the reservoir Angela came flying by me and she said “Toot Toot.” She was in the lead, I could tell. Her confidence was obvious, she was clearly riding out front and not riding like she was chasing. Off she went. I made a secret little plea to the triathlon gods to let her hang on for the win.

After Racine when Chuckie looked at the numbers from my Garmin, we both agreed that I most likely rode a bit too hard on the bike and that effected my run. So at Boulder I wanted to get off the bike with legs that were ready to run hard. I didn’t want to leave it all on the bike today. I tempered myself and aimed to ride hard, steady, and about 6-8 heart beats lower than Racine. It was good! As I got around to mike 18 or so Kelly Williamson passed me on a pink camo QR (Puurrr) and I knew Ang had quite the lead.

I continued to look for the ladies in my age group. I found a few. I rode a steady race, and was happy to see the officials pass me quite a few times throughout the day. I like a well monitored course as I am really attentive about the drafting rules.

I saw my dad out on the bike course a few times, that was a definite highlight. I passed lots of friends, Bret, Nicole, Amy. It was just a good day.

Off the bike I didn’t really know where I was in the Age Group but I knew that my teammate Kendra was in front of me. I had seen her on the out and back and she of course cheered in support. I set my sights on running strong. The course is 2 loops around the resevoir. The first 3 miles are hilly, the next 3.5 miles are flatter. So I break the course into 4 parts and try to do my best on each part.

The hilly part I try to keep the heart rate under control and keep my turnover going. The flat part I try to run hard, punch the air in front of me, keep my form, and go go go. At mile 2 I saw Kendra. Yip. She saw me on the out and back and when I joined her around mile 3 or so she was her normal Kendra self “Good job Sonja…you’re rocking it.” I asked if she knew where we were in the Age Group and she said we were 1-2. I think most people would feel like they had to race upon hearing that news.

For some reason, and it’s totally because of Kendras personality, I didn’t feel that. I felt like we could use each other to push together and both have great races. There wasn’t really any competition between the two of us which I thought was an oddly pleasant surprise. We ran together side by side for almost a mile and a half. It was like we were a little team of two, Kendra talking, me grunting back.

After a bit, Kendra told me to go on. I was a little bummed. She was running so strong, and part of me wanted to just run it out with her. Kendra…I can’t really come up with words for today, but you rock!!!

On I went and I just tried to stay focused, consistent, and well fueled. The heat was not bothering me, I was feeling really good in it, and it wasn’t that bad. I felt we got lucky out there. At the end of lap one my parents were there with Annie and it was so nice to run by all the crowds.

For the second loop I just tried to make it like the first. I had ditched my heart rate monitor strap because it was squeezing my chest and I ran by feel. It was wonderful and I felt like the wind was beneath my shoes. I tried to dig deeper for some more speed, racing the clock, and myself out there, but in the end I dead even splitted the loops (says the Ironman site).

Running through the crowd at the end was everything it always is, fun, awesome, exhilarating. For some reason today felt that much sweeter. There is something about putting together a solid race start to finish that leaves you with an inner satisfaction. I was happy with today, and very happy that I continue to build momentum for the big dance in October.

One of the coolest parts of my day was a conversation I had with Katy who got 5th in our Age Group. She wanted to know if I was taking my slot to Las Vegas World Championships. I said no and she got so excited and so giddy. I congratulated her and urged her to go kill it in Vegas. The excitement on her face was really awesome and it kinda made my already made day.

That was a cool part of the day, but the MOST COOLEST (not a word) part of the day was Angela winning the race. I didn’t get to see it, but I know how hard she has worked for this. Angela has taken 2nd place at 15 Ironman 70.3 races without ever winning one. Now, I will say that Angela typically picks the hardest races with the stacked fields because she likes to race with competition, but still 15!! She has gotten second to Julie, Rinny, Chrissie, Cat, etc ,etc. But today, she stood on the podium and made the winners speach. We are so darn proud of you Angela. It was extra special that we were all there for it. Here’s to many more!

To all of you who finished today, I congratulate you. To those of you who took this distance on for the first time, Bret, Amy, I commend you. To those who put themselves out there and raced with all your heart, Emily, PIC, Jen, I bow and curtsey to you. To those I shared the podium with today, I thank you for the motivation to race hard. Each of you have a story and I have loved hearing them all.

A huge thank you to my parents, who turned this day into magic for Annie and I, and to dad who is gifted with a camera. I can’t thank my sponsors enough for all they do for me. GoalZero, Kompetitive Edge, QR, TYR, Punk Rock Racing, Justin’s, Love Grown, First Endurance, Nathan, NUUN, and Tri-Massage. How do I love thee, let me count the ways.

Lastly, and not leastly (again, not a word, but ooh will it bug him), a huge shout out to the notorious Chuckie V. He knows his stuff, he knows how to empower those he guides, and today I can speak for all three of us when I say that Angela’s win, my AG win, and PIC’s podium position were just a small token of our thanks. Let’s keep this train rolling!


New Camera

Woot, I’m so back.

If you noticed, my blogging has been a little less frequent recently. I finally realized why. I lost my camera on the Lost Coast. I LOVED my little camera. I went everywhere with that darn thing. While I am not a very good photographer, I really love taking pictures. I thought I could do without, I thought my iPhone would do. Not so Sonja, not so!

I got an underwater video camera, I thought I could use that. I didn’t. So a few days ago I bought a new waterproof, shockproof, dropproof, freezeproof, dustproof camera. A camera with these perks is really the only one I can handle. I used to have an Olympus Stylus, but Costco doesn’t sell them any more so now I am sporting a Fuji XP. We shall see how it holds up, I am the ultimate test. Now if they could only come up with LostOntheLostCoastproof!

Michelle and I are also tapering this week. This has been good and bad. The good is that volume is reduced and I’m starting to feel like my workouts are not “out of body experiences”. The lead weights that my arms had become are starting to get a little snap back. It’s been nice to have time to do laundry and swiffer the kitchen floor (that was needed). The bad is that my mood is a little wonky and I’ve cried 3 times in the last three days. I suppose it’s just how the cookie crumbles.

Speaking of cookies, Michelle and I had a date today, did I mention that tapering is FUN! It was really fun. We started off with a bike ride in the resevoir. See we both live next to Cherry Creek State Park and it’s kinda our backyard. We went for a spin together and were both happy and peppy.

You can see the lake in the background and the mountains a little bit. It’s really pretty out in the park right now, very green and still lush.

Then I made her lunch, some Salmon and a nice veggie feta salad. Then we headed to the movies, YES, the MOVIES! We even baked a batch of HEALTHY banana chocolate chip cookies for the occasion. I feel like we should have made out after the movie or something, but she just dropped me off.

Did I mention that Troy is out of town right now? Yes, he left the tapering, moody, triathlete to fend for herself this week. Poor Annabelle. He’s off having fun with his dude friends and my parents are flying in Friday to rescue me from myself.

Annie is already over it! Dad is so much more fun than mom!

As the week goes on and I start to assemble my game face I am reminded how much I love this sport, how excited I am to race Boulder 70.3, and how lucky I am that all my body parts function wonderfully. I have great people who support me and catch me when I fall, or dry my tears when I cry. I really do have amazing people in my life. As I put together the pieces this week for the final uumph towards Kona, I can’t help to think “What a life.” I can’t believe this is my life, I will always look back and know that these were the days when I was living fully alive and I was effected completely by everything around me. A sponge.

Swim Races X2

Oh man! I just ended a few killer weeks. Chuckie is not messing around, we are training hard! Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays are spent in Boulder and I really like it this way. It’s a separation for me that really helps me focus on the training. There is no scheduling issues, no motivation issues, I just go, and I train. Then I eat and get in the Normatec boots at Tri-Massage All sports Recovery Club. I head home and straight into bed. Yawn! Fun!!!

This last week was crazy, 22K of swimming and 6K of that was two (2), yes TWO, open water swim races. These have been really good for me. When you really think about it, I don’t have a ton of open water swim racing experience. Do any of us really? Most of us discount this part of our training, but a lot of mistakes can be made in the first 30 minutes of your Ironman. Finding fast feet and staying on them is not “magic” it’s a learned, practiced, technique. Even pacing LONG swims is not “magic”, it’s a learned, practiced, technique. The pool can’t quite get you to some of these, and neither can solo open water swimming.

The first race I did was right next to my house on Tuesday evening. I ran to the lake and Troy met me there with my stuff. It was pouring with lightning so they had to delay about an hour before they let us go. This was a 4 looper. It’s easier to pace a 4 looper, you break it up into 4 pieces and handle accordingly. The races in Denver are pretty low key, not a lot of people doing the 2 mile and I swam a bit in front of the two people I was behind last time I raced this race. I swam the 4 looper 2 mile race in 45:52.


Then Saturday before we got going into our training day Chuckie had us swim a 2 mile race in Boulder. Competition…insane. Pro triathletes….everywhere. But, all in all, it’s the same old same old…get in water…SWIM. Practice! I was much less calm for this one, and that’s an important lesson. I swam a little all over the place but whenever I could find feet I did. I didn’t swim a very even paced swim, I could feel my pace dropping off compared the the strength of those around me.

It was a 2-looper, but you didn’t get out of the water between loops, you just swam past a certain buoy and kept going. Sighting was an issue as half the race was into the sun, and the buoys, and the caps were yellow. I had to rely more on those around me than usual and it seemed some people were way left, some were way right. I was probably a bit too indecisive.

I learned more on this second race, like just how hard it is to find feet after you loose them. You gotta go out strong to get good feet, but you have to be able to hold those feet as well. If you went too strong then you can’t hang and you are dragging for the rest of the race. I find that when this happens you get a slower set of feet, then they drop you, then you get another set, then they drop you, and half way through you are feeling like everyone and their brother has dropped you and it’s a little demoralizing. I’ve done it right a few times, I’ve done it not so well MANY times. Up one side down another it seems.


Another thing I learned is that I’m pretty sure the people who put on these races aren’t exactly sure how to measure them. I swam 56:23 in the Boulder race. I’m not saying it was long and I’m not saying that the Tuesday one was short, but I am saying that you can’t really depend on these races for time comparisons to anything. The times are almost pointless. I’m pretty sure I can’t swim a true 2 miles in 45:52, and I’m pretty sure that I can swim 2 miles in a little faster than 56:23, so really, I can’t use these to judge progress. I keep to the pool for that.

These races can get a little brutal too. The open water swimming seems to be a complete free for all when it comes to hitting, kicking and ripping off peoples goggles. Angela came out with a black and blue lip, we are pretty sure it was Michelle (I’m kidding…). This photo of me is hilarious. Apparently I was a little too close to his feet. The water in Boulder was really murky, so it’s tough to see feet and bubbles.

Also it was great to have Mo out there. I coach Mo, and she braved her coaches orders to come race the 1 mile swim. Good job Mo, nice work towing the line with the Boulder crazies! Mo also brought along Andrew and her hubby Jeff who took all the photos. Thanks you guys!

Some people seem to paint me as the always positive, always optimistic girl. I assure you that the last few days my husband would strongly disagree with you. Do I get frustrated, heck yea. It seems that with swimming, I swim and I swim and I swim. I’m diligent. I get to the pool, I don’t slack on my workouts, I swim every frickin day. Every damn day. And yet, at times I want to sit down, put my head between my knees and have a good strong cry. I swam last week on Angelas feet for 2,500 meters. I fought for every inch of it, but I hung on her feet. At the Boulder race she was 3 minutes ahead with no wetsuit. Two thumbs up Sonja. Not.

So, I will refrain from freaking out that I was 9 minutes behind Michelle in the Boulder race…I will try to not remind myself that it means I am mostly likely still 9+ minutes behind the good swimmers in my age group in Kona. I will try to put out of my mind the fact that I may just be like one of those swimmers in 2009 at Tuscaloosa nationals who was swimming and swimming in the current, but sadly going nowhere. I will take solace in the fact that I am learning more skills in the water that will hopefully pay off in some future race situation (hoping…but not holding my breath). I will take take deep breaths, and then take a few more deep breaths.

I will continue swimming hard and trying my best to get better, really what other choice do I have? Forward is the only direction to head if you want to get anywhere. I will hope that I am not simply progressing faster down the wrong path. I have great guidance in Chuckie, and believe me, if I am on the wrong path it is my own doing…or undoing. To dwell on the numbers does nothing for me. To pick out the positives and lessons learned moves me forward, or hopefully it will move me backwards if I am on the wrong path.

See ya…I gotta get to the pool.