This is a blog for the strong, the determined, the wild. In the past ten years more than 100 have joined the triBE on a journey to BE strong, to BE fierce, to BE triathletes. We are dedicated to the belief that anyone can BE a triathlete and support each other in every endeavor. Our team members are all sizes, speeds, and ages. This is our story.

"When anyone tells me I can't do anything, I'm just not listening any more." ~Florence Griffith Joyner

If this isn't enough you can read more from me here:

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Wind at Your Back

Awesome triathletes
Christine Haskins and Dana Jones

Part 2 of 3:  Biking

The bicycle has done more for the emancipation of women than any thing else in the world.  ~Susan B. Anthony

Minimum training equipment:
·         Bike
·         Helmet

Additional training and race day equipment:

·         Water bottle holder and water bottle
·         Odometer/Cadence meter
·         Various types of equipment bags to hold tissues, gels, chapstick, etc.
·         Gloves
·         Pedal cages
·         Clip shoes and pedals
·         Aerobars
·         A seat fitted to your rear
·         Sunglasses
·         Flat tire kit or Fix-A-Flat

16 Tips for Biking Success: 

·         Get a Tune Up:  Get your bike to the shop to ensure your gears are working properly.  Find out what pressure your tires should be at and keep them properly inflated!  Make sure your seat and handle bars are properly adjusted to your height.
·         Go the Distance: Train until you are able to complete the race distance without stopping.  Then start riding further than the race.
·         Head for the Hills:  Find the closest big hill and ride back and forth over it on a regular basis.  Practice standing up as you go over the hills.  The ones you train on are not as steep as those in Clermont.  Once the course is posted we will go ride the course. 
·         Technique Matters:  When you ride, think about keeping your feet flat through your pedal strokes (like scraping gum off your feet.)  Slide back in your seat and keep your chest open as you climb hills. 
·         Use Your Gears:  The key is to keep your cadence steady.  As the terrain changes, be sure to change your gears to ensure you are as efficient and speedy as possible.
·         Ride with Others:  Group rides help you practice riding and passing others safely. 
·         Safety First:  In the battle of bike versus car, the car always wins.  Be sure you check every intersection.  You MUST follow the rules of the road!
·         Leg Work:  After each ride, park your bike and do a short run/walk to get your legs used to making the transition from bike to run.  At first it will feel like you’re bowlegged! 
·         Mounting, Dismounting, Running:  Practice getting on and off and wheeling your bike around.  Stand on the side opposite your chain and you should be able to steer with one hand as you walk or run alongside. 
·         Flat Tires:  You must either learn to fix a flat and carry a tire changing kit or use Fix-A-Flat.  A video for tire changing is here.  The website for Fix-A-Flat is here.
·         Ready, Set: Be sure your bike is set in a low gear at the start to ensure you can get moving easily.  Clear your odometer if you have one.
·         Get Control:  This will be the longest part of your race.  Don’t go out too fast!
·         Stay Right:  When you ride the course, you must always stay on the right and pass on the left.  You will hear the words “on your left” when someone is about to pass you.  This is not an invitation to move left.
·         Fuel:  The ride is a good place to eat a gel or gummy and drink fluids. Small sips more often are better than a few big gulps, but be careful!  Practice this skill!
·         Finishing the Ride:  In the last mile you should ride in an easier gear and increase your cadence.  This loosens your legs and gets them ready for the run. 
·         Transition:  You may NOT ride into the transition.  Walk/run your bike in, rack the bike, remove your helmet, change your shoes if needed, and put on your race number.  Off you go!

Please feel free to add your questions or suggestions below! 
You never have the wind with you -- either it is against you or you're having a good day. ~Daniel Behrman

Train safely, eat well, hydrate, stretch, sleep.
Safe Journey.  Wind at your back.  

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Chlorine is MY Perfume

Awesome Tri triBE members,
Dawn Young and Marie Leticee
at the end of the swim in 2011!

Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked.  ~Warren Buffett

I thought to try to summarize all the good learning from our clinics.  My thanks to the fabulous Anne Marie Stricklin for a fabulous swim clinic!  This is the first of a 3 part series. 

Minimum training equipment:
·         Swim suit
·         Goggles (Light colored and polarized for race day)
·         Swim cap (one will be provided for race day)

Additional training and race day equipment:

·         Tri suit (One piece or two piece work great on race day)
·         Antifog drops for goggles
·         Kick Board
·         Pull Buoy
·         Paddles

15 Swimming Tips for Success: 

·    Go the Distance: Train until you are able to complete the race distance in your preferred stroke without stopping.
·    Mix it Up: Add other workout activities (kicking, pulling, other strokes) once you feel confident.  You can find some samples here and here.
·    Technique Matters:  Have someone you trust look at your stroke and make suggestions.  Alternatively you can watch videos. You can find some here.
·    Head to the Lake:  Be sure to do at least one open water swim before race day.  Open water swimming is very different.
·    Roll Over:  Practice rolling on your back so that if you start to feel panicky, you can get some air.
·    Practice Sighting:  You must lift your head and look forward, as you will need to spot buoys on race day. Practice looking forward unless you plan to swim the entire race breaststroke.
·    Know the Course:  Check out the course before you start and be sure you know where you are going before, during, and after the swim. 
·    Hug the Buoys:  Plan to swim on the “inside track” on race day to minimize the total distance you must swim.  Stay close to the buoys. Try to swim straight!
·    Start Slow:  If you are nervous at the start, count to 5 before you begin to let the stronger swimmer get in front of you.  Is 5 seconds really going to matter?
·    Ask for Help: There will be many boats and swim angels in the water.  They are there to help.  If you need a friend or a noodle, just ask.
·    Be Ready for Contact:  Someone will kick or hit you during the race.  You may hit or kick someone.  Just keep swimming
·    Don’t Stop:  It doesn’t matter how slowly or which stoke you swim as long as you keep swimming.
·    Finish:  Swim until your hands brush the bottom or you can see the bottom.  At that point you will be in 3 feet of water and can stand up and wade out.
·    Celebrate Your Success:  Take a moment and raise your arms!  You survived!  You made it!  Whew!

Please feel free to add your questions or suggestions below! 

We swim because we are too sexy for a sport that requires clothes.  ~Unknown

Train safely, eat well, hydrate, stretch, sleep.
Safe Journey.  Wind at your back. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Beating the BONK!

"Diet and training are so closely intertwined, they can't be separated," ~Chris Carmichael - Olympic Trainer and Competitive Cyclist

So you’re running or swimming or biking and everything is going pretty well and then suddenly you start to feel really tired.  There’s a heaviness in your arms or legs, your breathing quickens and you have a hard time getting it under control, or you have that totally empty feeling in your stomach.  Unless you have some other medical condition, you are suffering from my friends and I call the “bonk.”  It’s that moment in training where you have nothing left.  You’re running on empty and there’s really only one cure.  Fuel. 
In the last couple of weeks you have probably increased your levels of exercise.  You are either working out longer or more often and perhaps you have felt the “bonk.” In recent weeks I have had a lot more opportunities to train with Tri triBE members in several forums.  We have done group swims and rides in particular, and I have heard the same refrain over and over.  “I really should have eaten something before this.”  And occasionally, “I was exhausted for the rest of the day after that session.”  In both cases, fueling your training adequately would go a long way toward alleviating that training “bonk.”
Mostly I hear this excuse:  “I don’t eat in the morning.”  Occasionally I hear, “I got busy and forgot to eat.”  No matter your excuse, if you want to avoid the “bonk” during training or complete exhaustion after, you need to eat.
Widespread research teaches us that eating breakfast is a great way to maintain a healthy weight, rev your metabolism, and feel better all day.  Workout or not, eating in the morning is just a good idea.  In addition, experts suggest that you provide fuel before workouts and after to improve performance during and recovery afterward.  As the temperatures rise this will become increasingly important.  We will talk about fuel for race day later, but now is a great time to try out various foods and decide what works best for you in terms of before and after training fuel.
Assuming you are planning to exercise 60 minutes or even longer, the suggested routine is that an hour before exercise you eat approximately 150-200 calories of carbohydrates and protein and drink 12-20 ounces of water.  This gives the body time to process the fuel and make it ready for use by the muscles.  For those of you that run first thing in the morning, this can be pretty hard as you get up, get dressed, and go out for a run.  At least drink some water before you go out to stretch and warm up.  The sports drinks or gels might be a good choice for you, as they are processed easily.  And even if you don’t eat before, that fuel you take in afterwards is vital. 
As soon as you are able, and hopefully within 15-30 minutes after you exercise, take in 100-200 more calories depending on how long and intense your workout was.  This speeds muscular recovery and helps you maintain energy levels and eliminate post-workout soreness.
I know that some of you were hoping that doing all this exercise would help you lose weight.  If it does, then great!  But for most folks, training for a triathlon actually makes them really, REALLY hungry.  So if you’re trying to lose weight, I think you’re in the wrong program.  If you’re in it to improve your strength and cardio fitness and overcome physical and mental challenges, the stick around for this incredible ride.
So what should you eat?  Below I list my five favorite training foods.  I hope others reading this will use the comment section to list theirs.  I feel confident that between us all we can find things you really love to eat.

Before training:
·         Peanut butter and honey on toast or a bagel. (Half a sandwich is about 150 calories)
·         Oatmeal with dried fruit and nuts.  (A single serving is 200-250 calories)
·         Fruit smoothie with yogurt and/or protein power.  (200+ calories)
·         Protein bars like Clif or Luna bars (150-250 calories.  Read the labels)
·         Sports drinks (Calories depend on how much you drink.  I cut mine 50-50 with water)

After training:
·         Flavored milk.  This is the #1 recommended post training fuel.  Seriously!  It’s the perfect combination of simple carbohydrates, protein, nutrients, and fluid replacement.  NOTHING brings me back faster than chocolate milk after a hard workout.
·         Cereal, granola or other bars.  (Clif makes a 100 calorie mini that is perfect for me.)
·         Banana or apple
·         Sports drinks
·         Raisins and almonds (I eat trail mix a lot after weight training especially)

Here are a couple of links that you might read to find out more about fueling exercise properly: 

Please share your favorites for fueling your training and try something new to see if you feel stronger during your training and recover faster!  What are you eating? 

Train safely, stretch, sleep, hydrate, EAT WELL!
Safe journey.  Wind at your back. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Waiting on the World to Change

I believe that some things name themselves. 
My red Jeep Patriot mirrors the first car I ever bought on my own, part of this long mid-life crisis that has me determined to seize my own destiny, Scarlett O’Hara style.  Driving Scarlett is freedom and a little bit of my mischievous, reckless youth.
The first moment I rode my black Specialized bike I knew her name was Spunky, for that’s how she made me feel.  She is all speed and my way of throwing off the bounds of gravity and coming as close as I can to flying under my own power.  She is all mischief and spunk.
My beautiful black lab Lucy came to us as a pup, and it took her a few days to earn her name.  One afternoon when we came home to chewed shoes, I knew she was trouble just as Peanuts character Lucy van Pelt has been right from the start.  Years later she has mellowed but she still shows the mischief in her heart when we play catch, and she demands I chase her to get her ball.
And this week, after a long 10 year wait, I am convinced my triathlon team has named itself.  A single pair of words from the thousands I have written over the years has led to the fabulous Rachel Gardiner and Nicki Drumb designing the logo you see.  The logo represents us so well… strong, beautiful, a little wild.  Much to my delight there is mischief in their design, a quality I find in all the important things in my life.  Our Tri triBE is official and soon this website will permanently carry this design.
I am so grateful for Nicki and Rachel’s efforts to help me with this dream.  Their ability to see both the “tri” in tribe and the “BE” is what makes this design so special, for it is this continual journey, this endless becoming, that makes what we are doing so powerful and transformative. 
Their efforts have also reminded me of an important lesson.  It was because of patience that this Tri triBE, this name, has come to be. I did not see what they saw in all these years, and I cannot create what they have made.  It has taken me 10 years to meet these amazing women, and I am blessed to know them. 
But this journey also reminds me to treat each challenge with patience.  In dealing with my current injury, I must be patient.  In improving my fitness and stamina, I must be patient.  In raising my sons, in teaching my students, in loving my friends, in building my character, I must be patient.  Nothing worth doing, nothing worth being seems to come easy. It is through a patient and determined struggle that the best things in my life have come to me.  This team and the women I have met are truly some of the best parts of my life.  I am so grateful for patience.
Patience is the companion of wisdom.  ~Saint Augustine

Train safely, eat well, hydrate, sleep, stretch.
Safe journey.  Wind at your back.