Off we go!!!!!

What a blast of a weekend and a way to blast off into full time coaching.   Had a huge bash on Saturday night and set off into doing business for my big girl self.   This is sooo exciting, overwhelming, and, well, exciting!; ))

the hit parade

shout out to Andi and Amy- oopsies! you count, too!

Check out new website:  tristacey.com and the TRI IT program as well as tiered services. More ways to “tri” Stacey. hahaha.

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Finisher’s Face

Just returning today from the PPD Beach to Battleship race weekend.   Fantastically exhausting!!!!   I am now more sure than ever that crewing a race is by far more tiring and taxing than actually racing.  My brain is tired from menial tasks involving velcro and sandwich boards, alphanumeric systems for bag collection, tracking racers, referee-ing, re-aligning cones throughout the day, mother-hen-ing my volunteer crews, and most of all doing whatever I can to do my part.    I feel like I did an Iron-distance race, myself!  Love it! Now where is my pillow!?

This race here in NC is so special due to the high number of beginners who enter this race.  It means that there’s no WTC attitude or hype, more people who are a little less certain about  the distance, and more than 300 volunteers who know that the main themes here are safety,  moral support and sometimes helping racers make the call to stop.

Today at the Awards ceremony, the race announcer recalled and described the finisher’s face.  If you’ve ever watched a first-timer finish an Iron-distance event, you have seen it too.  It’s hard to forget… This was again true of the iron-distance racers at B2B, with   their expressive faces and fist pumps and screams of triumph.   Imagine yourself running through the cold, dark Wilmington night into the warmth of transition, the finish line, and a set of welcoming arms.  Picture those of us working the course, as we watch each tired figure emerge from the dark and run towards the lights.  I swear to you, even at 10pm at night, it is thrillling!!!!

So chapeau to all of the finishers and crew.  Until next year…!

Jenn Mayfield and her finisher's face!

http://beach2battleship.com/

Looking Forward: Giving Back

Today was a profound day for me, as I coached and yelled and heckled my athletes from the sidelines of the Pinehurst triathlon.  It was  so much fun to volunteer and to be a supporting presence on the race course.

My athletes were all stellar.  They all finished shaking, stumbling, empty, and triumphant.  They took risks.  They succeded. And I witnessed the growth of the next generation of superstars. 🙂 Focusing on THEM gave me pause.  And then re-focusing on them gives me direction.  I can see where I want to go.

It’s hard to let go of the NCTS after 4 years of holding the title, or to pro racing with the big girls, or to training a silly amount of time each week given coaching and my kids.  But hmm.  I must say, it’s actually quite enchanting. 🙂

I don’t know where things will go, with the stitches out and my foot still dead to the touch.

I keep hearing platitudes like “change is good” and “things happen for a reason” and “never give up, you’ll be back!”  Well, they are well meant, but I’m just not so sure.

But I am sure that I’m happy, right where I am. Imagine that.   Are you?  : ))

 

swim, bike, run and then what?

With loads of time on my hands now,  I find myself flipping this question around in my mind, like flipping a pancake of several sides:  my own identity as a triathlete, coach, mother, person, etc…  I know other athletes have been through such transitions and that pros don’t last forever in any sport.  But it sure does make for some  introspection and lots of questions. Continue reading

Train your race brain

Bandit’s Challenge and Kure Beach tri here in NC have reminded me what it’s like to race well  again.    After a slow start to the season, I began having thoughts of pro card fondu for dinner.   It became a goal just to FINISH a race and not even glance towards the podium. ; )  Goal accomplished. check.   podium as  bonus and NEVER a goal.

As I’ve been talking about with my athletes, it takes practice to race through suffering.  We know that racing is about mental strength driving the physical.   The bigger question is how do we learn and practice that!???  Gordo Byrn and Mark Allen have always put mental skills first and perhaps the rest of us should catch on.  Train hard. Race harder.  Racing brain needs training, too!

Well, I’m in brain training then.  Time for a couple more local races to racing with a strong mind,  and sport-specific goals like fast corners and running well off the bike.  Triangle Tri,  Stumpy Creek, Roan Moan Century Ride, and then off to Steelhead 70.3 for a showdown with myself.

Train your brain and the rest will follow…

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a couple of nice wins in, each by 5 min margin. I’d say a good start. 

http://www.setupevents.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=event_results&id=2469

http://www.setupevents.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=event_results&id=2453

Nomenclature

What do you call yourself?  

This has been on my mind lately, as some of my athletes are experiencing some epic personal growth and changes in their attitudes.  One recently said to me,  “You know, coach, I don’t just run anymore.  I call myself a runner.

Since I received news today of my Level II coaching status, it’s with even more certainty and conviction that I call myself a COACH.   This is what I’ve always dreamed of.  This is what I’ve always loved to do, regardless of the sport or the setting.  This is who I am in addition to professional triathlete, mother, friend, and busybody.  And I’m proud of it. : )

Do you ever wonder about your own process of labeling and naming?  What do you call yourself in casual conversation about your sport?  And do you merely work out or do you say you train, with that next level of conviction and certitude?

I wonder if to some extent, you are what you believe you think you are and say.  Sure, there’s ample room for interpretation to this, but think it through a minute longer.  Isn’t part of our sports psyche reflected in what we call ourselves?   Think about what you call yourself and why.

This reminds me of an old man I saw holding up a line of  traffic the other day on his motorcycle:  He was puttering along down low in a sort of aero  handlebar crunch  and still holding up an entire line of 15 cars!  But he thought he was aero and fast and all I could do was smile at him. 😉

Zen of Triathlon

Two weeks ago, I hosted two tri campers here in North Carolina for a week of beatings.   We had sooo much fun and I think they both left here fitter, more motivated, but more importantly, wiser.

For six days, they paid to suffer and to hear Stacey-isms in every workout.  Don’t you pity them!?   One of them even went home and posted some of my thoughts on his wall, to face his bit of inspiration every day.   Now that’s motivation.  Or somebody who really likes his coach.  Hahah.

So here I’ll share a few of these.  And I know you’ve heard them before, but act enlightened anyway.

1.   If Lance Armstrong says “every endurance athlete is running from something”  then why not ask yourself the same question.  What are you running from?  Why do you train and race?  Get inside your head and take a look around. ‘Cause I bet you’ll race even better once you know.

2.  Simple old adage:  Train heavy race light.   If you want to be fast on race day, then be heavy in training.  Ride your heavy wheels, wear your windbreaker, ride your heavy bike, use your powertap, whatever.   Then get to race day and strip it all away to race fast.  Make your aero and race gear special.  Who wears Prada to the grocery store anyway!?

3.  Speed is earned not purchased.   Newbie triathletes see all that money can buy and tend to go for it, high pricetags and all.  Like everything else in life, is it really so simple?  Do short cuts really work?  No. They don’t.   Most athletes would benefit from one or two more quality  workouts a week than wearing an aero helmet for a sprint triathlon.  The data is out there.  Go do the research.  Real training gives you real speed.

4.  Don’t be fooled by the package.  Triathletes are an intimidating bunch- six- packs, tatoos, buff bodies, tans, and vanity to boot.   They wear their race garb to races, talk big, intimidate. etc.  It’s easy to fall into this.  But some of the MOST talented athletes in the sport aren’t the prettiest or most cut.  They’ve got guts and talent and great skill in all three sports, as well as the head for the game.

In every Iron-distance race I’ve done, including Kona in ’08 I was beaten by somebody bigger than me.  And by big, I mean a few bagels ahead.  Wow.  What an eye-opener! Strength and fitness prevail over thin in both training and racing.  Take a look around you and see who gets injured, performs well at races, and can withstand the stress of training.

5.  Package yourself.  Your secret weapon is avoiding the pitfalls of packaging.  There’s no need to be that self-important athlete with the expensive bike, the Ironman garb, the aero helmet in training, the race wheels for every day.   Just be the athlete you are and leave the shwag home.  You’ll be surprised how much easier it is to focus on your training.  Ever notice that  pros don’t have IM tatoos on wear race shirts unless fulfilling sponsor obligations?  Food for thought, eh?

So there you have a few Stacey-isms.  No need to concur with me but these are the thoughts that swim around in my head and that my athletes hear quite regularly.

Now off to the races.  BAck to the pros in August.  Let’s make our dreams our reality.

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