I AM A BETTY!

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I decided to switch things up this year and I am excited to announce that I have been chosen to be a member of Team Betty 2015 of Betty Designs. It’s quite an honor to be a member of a group of bad ass women who are all energic and inspiring about triathlon, sport and helping other women.

Our logo is the Butterfly and the Skull, which is cool on many levels. Not only is betty_designsthe uniform super fun and sporty, but for me, these symbols tell a story about strength and redemption. I loved wearing the kit in 2012 because I loved it and now I can’t tell you how tickled I am to be a Betty!

Team Betty is the Team of Betty Designs and sponsored by GoPro, Bonk Breaker, Asics, Nuun, Nytro and Roka. If you want to buy some skull and butterflies of your own please click my link here and hopefully I’ll have some fun promos to pass on throughout the year!

Betty in Berlin!

Betty in Berlin!

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Learn from Failure

Don’t let success get to your head or failure get to your heart. Meredith Kessler

Posted in Ironman, Quotes, Sports, Triathlon, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Blogosphere 2014 Review – Happy New Year!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,600 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Inspirational Equestrian

Steph with Gryph & Lex

Steph with Gryph & Lex

Ever have someone do something so selfless and kind that you didn’t even know to thank them? Two years ago when hurricane Sandy hit, I made a post about sending donations to my late Uncle Michael’s parish in Staten Island. I got a call from an old friend out of the blue; Steph had read my post and was touched because she remembered my uncle fondly. Stephanie and I had grown up across the street from each other and played together inside and in the dirt pile by our houses (both with trucks, matchbox cars and barbies!) for our entire childhood. We’d lost touch and hadn’t spoken much in years. She was living in Utah and after a stint in New Mexico I was back in New York. Still, she called me on my cell and she spoke about what she might do to help with hurricane relief. I told her Uncle Michael’s church was poor and could probably use some warm clothes and I thanked her for anything she might do.

It wasn’t until a year later when I came across the photo of what she did and two years until I found out exactly what she’d done. The photo I finally found showed huge boxes reaching to the ceiling! She’d also connected with a horse show she was in and the organizer agreed to help her. She’d gotten her entire community to rally around a coat drive and other items (Home Depot cards, etc.) that she would send to Staten Island. The UPS store even donated some shipping. I couldn’t believe the kindness she’d shown truly out of the goodness of her heart. When I thanked her when I found out, she said she got a lot out of it just by doing it.

Now I’d like to see that goodhearted kindness come back to her. We’re new friends again since she moved back to New York and even though it’s been over 30 years (yikes!) since we’ve played in the dirt pile together, her passion for horses has never waned. She’s an accomplished and award winning equestrian as well as a teacher and a judge. She practices the art of dressage, which is a beautiful form of competitive riding. She and her horses are working to get to Florida for the winter to study full-time with Pam Goodrich so she can get her horse Gryph more confirmed at PSG and the I-1 in hope of competing the 2015 show season. Please read her story even if you don’t want to donate. Maybe pass her story on. Maybe give her a few dollars for her dream.

The one thing I can do to repay her kindness is to put this out there for her: http://www.gofundme.com/h4qekg Please take a look and pass it along to help Steph grab her dream!

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NYC Marathon Inspiration

For all of my friends racing tomorrow in NYC on what looks to be an epic day. Channel your power, your strength, you inner goddess or god and show the world what grit you are made of!

“Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on the earth for you! Act for yourself.”

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Katherine Mansfield, New Zealand writer (1988-1923)

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Kona Crazy!

This is one of my favorite weeks of the year, and one year I’m going to be spending it LIVE in Kona either as a racer or volunteer.  I love all the hard work and grit it takes to get to this penultimate event. I’m always inspired when I watch.

I’m predicting a very exciting women’s race with Rinny to be the one to beat.   There are many contenders that will force her to have the race of her life: Rachel Joyce (looking to move up from runner up), Daniela Ryf (notably coached by Brett Sutton), the methodical Meredith Kessler,  Caroline Steffen (coached by former World Champ Chris McCormack), the happy go lucky and gritty Brit Liz Blatchford and I don’t think you can ever discount the 47 year old smiling Natasha Badmann (it would be record breaking if she won again but I do think the faster runners would have to have a very bad day!).   Who do you predict on the women’s side?   Who is the dark horse?

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Mirinda Carfrae Quest for Queen K Crown #3

With the Ironman World Championship just one month from today, I wanted to post a quirky interview with the current World Champ –  Australian Mirinda ‘Rinny’ Carfrae, who you can count on for fighting hard to retain her crown. Do you think she’ll chick all the guys on the run again? Are cupcakes the secret to her success?    What do you treat yourself to before and after the race?

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Get Uncomfortable!

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” – Neale Donald Walsch

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Bikes Not Burqas

triathlonobsession:

About the bike or a global movement? These women take both on and make me really appreciate the fact that I can just jump out my door and ride!

Originally posted on Mountain2Mountain: Field Notes:

“It’s time to stop referring to Afghan women as weak, as helpless.  Its time to refer to Afghan women as strong, catalysts for change.  How can we expect Afghan women to fight if we continue to label them as victims?” 

I said these words at my first TEDx talk two years ago – 9 months before I first met the Afghan National Women’s Cycling Team.  I had been working in Afghanistan and was enraged by the way we continue to look at Afghan women, and women like them around the world, as helpless victims that are in need of the West’s support.  These are not victims, although they may be victimized.  These are women of strength and resiliency that need tools, encouragements, and the outlets to use their voice.  2  1/2 years later, the young women I work with in Afghanistan show me every day they are not helpless, they are…

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Eagleman Report: Can a Bad Race Be the Best Race?

The photo that won the #IronEagleStrong contest!

The photo that won the #IronEagleStrong contest!

I was really looking forward to heading back down to Maryland to do the Eagleman. It’s the only away triathlon I’ve gone to that has descent food choices and I get to stay in Easton, which is nostalgic because it was the name of my freshman dorm at the University of Check-INMaryland.

Nostalgia aside, I was prepared for the race, but not overly so. I’d spent a lot of time in NYC since January going to school for coaching and the week of the race I was there for 3 days. I loved my 3 full days of school, having dinner with friends and I did manage a run in

Relaxing the night before!

Relaxing the night before!

Central Park so I couched it all as “taper.” (And yes, now I’m a leadership and executive coach!) I headed home Thursday night and Friday morning my friend arrived on time but I’d thought she was coming an hour earlier. My packing consisted of throwing everything into a big bag, getting my bike on the car and heading out.

The drive to Maryland was easy and my friend and fellow racer Fran is a hoot so no matter what we were going to have fun. We arrived at our hotel, the lovely Days Inn, which is owned by a lovely Indian family and painted in its entirety a bright marigold yellow. After the wonderful English film of the same name that takes place in India, our hotel was now The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which I proclaimed lucky. Marigolds do have spiritual significance in India, not only are they a sign of the sun, but they symbolize brightness and positivity.

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We checked on Friday and had time to relax. Saturday we were free until bike check in, so we had time for a last short swim, bike, run

Fran and I at bike check-in

Fran and I at bike check-in

and I was able to get in a coaching call. We went back to check in for our friend from Boston who’d arrived late and I sat outside relaxing and read about the IronEagleStrong contest about tweeting a photo that encapsulates that. With a good meal and a descent sleep I was feeling relaxed and ready to race.

Now, I’ve always had the fear that one of my contacts was going to pop out on the swim, but instead, I noticed when I was getting ready that I couldn’t see so well out of one eye. I’d lost that contact before I’d eaten breakfast! And since I’d thrown everything in that bag so unprepared I didn’t have a back-up. Well, I thought, I’d just have to go a little ‘soft’focus’ on the swim.

I had an hour and a half to wait before my wave and I was feeling totally chill. I went and did a little yoga and stretched and indeed got the photo that won the IronEagleStrong contest. Back into transition, a woman on my rack was freaking out because she couldn’t talk

Set up and ready to go (and coach!)

Set up and ready to go (and coach!)

to a coach. I offered my coaching and after a few minutes of talk she said she felt calm, which made me feel great. I still had another hour, I tried to eat more and drink but it was hard.

Finally it was my wave, and the gun went off and immediately my mantra jumped into my head: I Love My Life! My friend Laura of Team Infinitri came up with this beauty and it’s very true. I had the most relaxing and beautiful I Love MY Life swim that ended up being faster than last year without any training which was great. If you don’t have a mantra, I’d recommend trying a few on or stealing this one. I have a collection of them based on what I need and always find them helpful to calm my breathing and sharpen my focus.

My bike was solid and uneventful, which was perfect, except I was hungry. Very hungry. I ate everything I brought and took some on course chomps. When I go off the bike, I felt crappy, crappier than I’d ever felt getting off the bike. I wasn’t sure I could run at all, let alone 13.1 miles. I’d never DNFed, never even considered it, but now here I was still in transition. I ate an entire banana and decided I’d walk for a bit while I was feeling woozy and see if I could get my legs back by aid station 1, then I’d make a decision.

The good news is that I wasn’t angry or disappointed, I was going to do what I could with what I felt and make a smart decision. I was okay if my body told me I needed to quit. I don’t mind suffering, but I wanted to be smart about it and not hurt myself. After aid station 1, I thought I might be coming around and started to run-walk. Give it to the next station I thought, then I’d be at 3 miles and could turn around, but before the next one I was running again.

At that point, I was back to myself, racing with a big smile and such gratitude that my body had come around. I started running with a woman running my pace but then I saw my friend Fran and stopped to walk with her a bit (she and my friend Janice had started in the 1st wave). She was feeling pretty good and told me to push forward, but I wanted to be with her a bit and soak up the energy together. I caught up with the woman who wanted to pace together and we chatted for a bit. I was gradually starting to feel stronger even though it was getting hotter. Not to far up the road, I saw the 84 year old woman, the oldest woman in the race, and spoke with her and up the road I realized she was one of my idols: Sister Madonna Buder. I don’t think I have to tell you how inspiring it was to not only see a woman of her age out there toughing it out, but for it to be the Iron-Nun herself was even better.

I met a lot of amazing people on the back side of that race, pushing hard with their own stories, their own struggles, their own joy. We shared ice, encouragement and mojo. Whatever energy I gave out to people, I got back ten-fold and I was finally running my pace. Nearing the finish, there was a group of women around my age running somewhat together and we bonded in our strength. At that point there was no race against, only that we all finish strong. “Come with me,” I said when one woman started to slow to a walk, “you can do it!” She picked up her gate again and we pushed forward. This encompasses all that I love about racing.

A mishap in packing, a lost contact, inadequate preparation, a faulty nutrition plan all landed me in one of my most spectacularly successful races. I beat the odds, I pushed through and hopefully I inspired someone along the way!

Janice, Fran and I post-race

Janice, Fran and I post-race

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