Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!

featuring Wallace & Grommette...

Demons and Angels...

Excuse me, where is the wardrobe lady?

Unfazed by Wings...

A closeup of her lovely costume...

I wanna be a Cowboy, baby...

Go ahead, make my day...

Did somebody say "OUT"?...

So angelic she glows!

Do you really want the neighborhood cats to see this?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Where Fear and Dream Collide...

Above is the quote on a towel that I bought at the IRONMAN USA gear tent 2 days before the race. The Quote is great and the towel is Yellow and Black and that screamed "LiveSTRONG" to me so into the pile of stuff for purchase it went. At the time that I bought it; I thought I understood what this quote meant.

I really didn't understand at all...

That moment when "Fear and Dreams Collide" is NOW.

14 days until I toe the line once again in my quest for the 140.6 miles that equals an "Ironman" distance triathlon.

This is my second go-around this year and the questions are flying through my head every day...

- Did I do enough?
- Have I got my nutrition plan down?
- Have I kept my fitness up without wearing my body down even more by doing another 16 week of Ironman training?
- Will I be successful this time around?
- Will I be able to turn off the voices or "change the channel" in my mind when the time comes?
- Am I ready for the transition from Bike to Run?
- What am I going to do when my mind screams "STOP, NO MORE, IT'S JUST A RACE...."

I have been spending my quiet time at night before I got to bed, methodically answering these questions. The "physical" questions have been easy to answer. My training has shown me ride after long ride that I have the pace and the strength to handle this course. My race experience at ChesepeakeMan AquaVelo showed me that I can handle a very rough swim, get out of the water and keep myself on track with nutrition and pace - on a windy day - and come in to t2 with time to spare. Brick workouts show that I can run well off the bike - maybe not fast but steady and still running (or jogging if you prefer based on my 12 minute mile pace).

But what am I going to do when my mind screams "STOP, NO MORE, IT'S JUST A RACE..."

When my sub-consciousness is screaming to be heard, begging me to quit, reasoning with me to be sensible it will have to be ME who steps up and takes over to shut down the inner voices, to take the focus off the pain, to keep my pace strong and steady.

When that moment comes; this time when my FEARS and DREAMS collide...THIS TIME, I will embrace the FEAR (failure, too fat, too slow, not good enough) and push aside the DREAMS and FOCUS ON GETTING TO THE NEXT MILE because I have done the hard work, I am strong enough and I have what it takes...

I have what it takes to finish this distance.

Come what may...

Life is Good. LiveSTRONG!

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Gift Not Taken Lightly...

If you train long enough, you'll have the privilege to enjoy a "perfect workout" They don't come often and there is nothing "predictable" or "timely" about them but when the perfect run (or ride or swim or race) happens, it is transformative.

There wasn't anything "special" about today's workout. 50 minutes of Zone 2 Running, just another workout in the B2B IronMan Taper. But today all the pieces fell into place: 50F and clear blue skies with just enough of a breeze to ripple the waters of the Potomac River and make it seem like the sun was dancing on the surface of the Jefferson Memorial/Tidal Basin...

(photo credit J. Morrison)

The pace was effortless... no aches, no pains, no weary muscles, no overwhelming thoughts, problems or emotions to deal with.

Just me...out for an easy run.

4.28 miles to remind me that all this training has made a difference....That I am STRONG, BEAUTIFUL, POWERFUL and ALIVE. No worries about what "size" I wear or what "pace" I run or what "distance" I cover...

Just a precious gift, from my Body to my Soul...

Life is Good! LiveSTRONG!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A FULL Weekend...

Team CANCER to 5K - Fall 2009

Congratulations to the CANCER to 5K Fall 2009 Team on their great day at the United Way 5K in Baltimore on Saturday! Everybody had a good race and one of our runners saw a PR finishing a solid 45 second under her goal-time!

There were plenty of smiles and no rain until after they finished running!

Holly & Heather before the Baltimore Marathon start.

Congratulations go out to my sister Heather, for training for, starting and finishing the 2009 Baltimore Marathon. While she had a really hard race experience (you can read a first-person account of the race on her BLOG), she took it all in stride and did what she needed to do to finish the day.

Running with the 4:15 pace group,
Heather (front, Team FIGHT shirt) was looking strong!
I know because I got to see her on the course
and she said to me "I feel great!" as we high-fived.

Regardless of her finish time, I look upon Heather's entire Marathon Journey as a huge success and an altogether different kind of Personal Record.

My sister trained over the last 9-months for this marathon, under the following conditions:
  • after giving birth to her second son
  • while taking care of 2 boys (2 year old and a newborn)
  • while sharing house-hold duties with her significant other Rich (who also works full time...of course)
  • while going back to college, full-time
  • and holding down 2 jobs
  • she also raised $700.00 for the Ulman Cancer Fund and TEAM FIGHT!
I find my sister's accomplishments very inspiring and I know how hard she worked to find balance and yet still run several races and train consistently for 9-months. I know how hard it is to have *bad race day* and I was never more proud of her than on Saturday. She could have quit but she never stopped moving. She kept on FIGHTING and at the end of the race day, she was already finding the "silver linings" in the bad race experience and recalling the "fun moments" before things went bad. These are the experiences that will continue to make her a strong, better racer as she gets older!

I pity the Age Groupers that come up again my sister as the years go on...they have no idea what lies under that friendly smile and funny demeanor!

What else went on this weekend? Oh just a long run and and 120-mile bike ride - just the last big volume workouts in prep for Beach2 Battleship Full Triathlon and Ironman Race #2 for 2009.


Life is Good! LiveSTRONG!

Friday, October 09, 2009



This season we have a small group of folks heading up to the United Way 5K in Baltimore, MD as part of the Baltimore Running Festival (Marathon, Half Marathon, Relay and 5K).

I've got the Medals ready!

I wonder how many "Holly, do you think I could train for a half marathon?" questions I will get?

OF COURSE YOU CAN! (so can YOU, my dear readers/lurkers...)
5K is just the start!

Incidentally, I will definitely be sticking around to watch my sister, Heather, finish her 3rd Marathon! Endurance Sports Addiction definitely runs in my family! LOL

Life is Good! LiveSTRONG!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Long Brick....CHECK

(Author's Note: In the sport of TRIATHLON, a transition workout that involves two of the three sports - SWIM/BIKE or BIKE/RUN is commonly referred to as a BRICK workout. Most triathletes will tell you that this is because your legs commonly feel as heavy as "bricks" when you transition from the Bike to the Run. Another RANDOM TRI fact for you!)

After recovering from last weekend's AquaVelo with one rest day, I got back to the workouts as scheduled this week for Beach2Battleship and was a little worried that after two weeks without any significant bike/run bricks that this weekends "4-hour Bike/2-hour Run" would just suck.

I am so happy to say that I was so wrong!

I slept in a little Sunday morning and rolled out of the house at about 8AM to drive down to the local park to start my BRICK from a place where there was less temptation to stay in the house once my bike was finished. I rolled out of the park at 8:30AM. The plan was two hours out on the flat to rolling multi-use bike trails (very little use early on Sunday mornings) and then turn around and head back to the car.

There was lots of headwind on the ride out to Reston, VA. So much headwind that I ended up negative splitting the second half of the ride by 20 minutes and was forced to pass my car and head out in the neighborhood for another 6 miles. 4 hours - 56 miles done.

I got back to the car, hit the Garmin's lap button, put the bike back in the car and jogged over to the restroom to change (Simulated T2 Tent) then back to the car to leave the bike clothes and grab my fuel belt. Out of T2 in 10:00...

The RUN is what I was dreading. Two hours that I honestly thought was going to be a "slog" based on how my legs felt on Saturday morning after an easy 5K with my Cancer to 5K group and following my mid-day 5K on Friday. So I just started out nice and easy, keeping my feet under my shoulders, quick turn-over, classic "triathlon shuffle" that always seems to let me ease into my pace at TRI races. I stuck to 5/1 run/walk intervals and the minutes and miles just flew by. I chose to run only with water and had 4 endurolytes and a GU at the 1-hour point. Turned around at Mile Marker 3 (3 miles from Mount Vernon) and headed back in the direction of the car. (almost Mile Marker 8)

9.75 miles in 2:00 hours - 12:30ish pace. NOT BAD AT ALL!

I was honestly stunned at the RUN pace I was able to maintain after a 56 mile Bike. I didn't see that coming - especially not in Zone 2.

How was my nutrition on the bike? I went with the same "formula" of 2 bottles of Infinate, 1 bottle of Water and small snacks at the top of each hour (which worked well at AquaVelo) and it worked perfectly in getting me onto the run with no issues. I then transitioned to Water to sip and a GU and 4 Enduralytes at the One-Hour point to kept everything "status quo."

I feel like I am finding what works for me, in terms of nutrition, that is a great relief.

Long BRICK in the bank. One more long weekend ahead with a 16-18 mile Run and 120 mile Bike and then Taper #2 for me this year...

Life is Good! LiveSTRONG!

Friday, October 02, 2009


What does LiveSTRONG mean to you?

Happy LiveSTRONG day!

To find a LiveSTRONG event near you CLICK HERE

Are you a swimmer, biker, runner, triathlete?
Do something amazing on LiveSTRONG Day in 2010