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

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013


So I noticed a Facebook friend, Cat Melnyk, posted a workout on a website I’d never heard of, FITOCRACY.  It’s a site that allows you to track your workouts, no matter what you do.  I started to check it out using the phone app, but it’s really hard to edit workouts.  By the time I got to the website a week later, I was unable to edit the first workout I posted, even though it was wrong.  Frustrating.

Since then I have logged a few more workouts.  They have a pretty comprehensive list of weight lifting exercises which is really nice.  Each one has a description so you can tell if you’re choosing the right one.  To be fair, thus far it seems a lot easier to earn points from lifting weights than doing cardio.  I had to ride two hours to earn a thousand points, but my twelve exercise weight routine scored about the same and only took 75 minutes.  I have yet to log any swimming, so I’ll have to see how that scores.  Walking is worth much less unless you record your heart rate.  
To be fair, I think you can log almost anything you do.  I searched for anything I have ever heard any of anyone doing for exercise and it's all there.  You can track yoga, yard work, P90X, cross fit, spin class, dance, canoeing, mountain biking, or playing sports.  For each workout you log, you earn points, badges, and props.  It’s kind of like a game.  You can easily track your progress against your friends and strangers, join groups of like-minded athletes, and read articles on a wide variety of topics.  It’s a pretty slick program.  I’m going to stick with it through the summer and see how it goes.   I’d love to have some friends join me and see what you think.  We can even have duals though I’m not sure exactly how that works yet. 
Check it out.  My name is costelloland on the site.  Follow me and I’ll follow you.  This could be fun! 

Postscript:  I just logged in swimming in the ocean for an hour, and it gave me a ridiculous number of points, so if you are a swimmer, Fitocracy is going to reward you mightily!  

Sunday, June 9, 2013


Pride is the mask of one's own faults. ~Jewish Proverb

It’s the start of summer, a good time to make a goal or two.  A few years ago I used the summer to train for a running race in July, the Bix 7.  I started running when I was 37 and found it to be far more challenging than biking or swimming.  I worked at it for a couple of years and managed to reach the point where I could pretty effortlessly run 12 minute miles.  I know that sounds pretty pokey to the regular runner, but for me, it was a real accomplishment.  I genuinely felt proud.
Once I reached that point, I decided to try to run the Bix.  Over that summer I focused exclusively on running, doing nothing else.  I did a lot of speed and hill work and by the end of the summer, was able to run 10 minute miles pretty consistently.  Man did that feel good.  It was measureable progress.  It was clear that the work had paid off.  It was a testament to a good training plan.  I was really proud.  I remember thinking on one really good run in late August, "Man I’ve got this running thing under control."  I said to myself, "I feel great and I can honestly say, I will never run a mile slower that 12 minutes in my life again."
Proud people breed sad sorrows for themselves. ~Emily Bronte
Fast forward 4 years.  Knee surgery and osteoarthritis have slowed me considerably.  Yesterday I ran a third of a mile at a 13 minute pace.  It wasn’t the lack of cardio strength that has slowed me down, but the twinging and swelling of a dysfunctional knee that stopped me after 300 strides.  I came home, took my meds and hobbled around.  Today it is better, but I have no illusions.  The road back to running may take longer than a summer.  I am taking no chances this time.  I will go slowly and carefully.  And if and when I run a 5K again, it will be with true gratitude.    
I have let my stubbornness and pride overrule good sense for many years.  I have been willing to work out to excess, to ignore legitimate pain, and to face doubts with no more than a momentary pause. But in the end, this stubbornness was stupid.  This year I have learned that my pride, something we all experience in accomplishment, is also a double-edged sword.  Pride is the emotion of the past.  It is a reward for work well done.  It is an emotion of the present.  It keeps us going and helps us overcome adversity.  But pride does not live in the future.  It does not make the days to come somehow easier or more successful.  Pride makes no promises.
So today I am grateful for this lesson.  I now know that my ability now says nothing about what I will be able to do tomorrow.  It is this knowledge that motivates me to go to the gym without procrastination.  Because today is all I have.  There’s no promise of tomorrow.  And if tomorrow is somehow better, I will greet that gift with humility and gratitude. 

This video got me out the door today: 


Wednesday, June 5, 2013


"Exercise gives you endorphins.  Endorphins make you happy.  Happy people just don't shoot their husbands.  They just don't." ~ Elle Woods, Legally Blonde 
After a long day of chores and paperwork that I had been avoiding, I sat down to supper with my bears.  The cubs were cranky from a long day of studying for exams, and when I started prodding as to what had been done, my youngest exclaimed in irritation, “Why do I talk to you? All you do is rave.”  I had a brief moment where I thought, I’ll show you raving, but I came to my senses and let him be a tired, frustrated kid.  I put on my sneakers and headed out the door for a walk, hoping to get my head and heart back in order.

I left my headphones behind, determined just to think and for the first half mile, my thoughts centered on how messed up my knee was.  I could feel the hitch in my step and wallowed in self-pity until I saw a family approaching.  Three boys under ten rode bikes while dad pushed a stroller and had a large grey dog on a leash.  “Dad, race me, race me.” And they were off in a burst of yelling, the boys outpacing dad, the stroller, and the dog.  Mom followed behind, walking slowly in yoga pants and a tank top, literally barefoot and smiling. A beetle zoomed through my hair and then settled on my neck for a quick bite before I swatted him away. 
A half a mile further down the road I broke a sweat, and a pair of runners crossed my path.  I heard the one coming from behind because she scraped her feet with her step.  She made that squeaky sneaker noise that comes from leading with your toes, and as she passed, she hiked up her too big running skirt and drifted to the right to avoid the woman approaching.  The second wore a bright green running bra and was leaning forward as she ran.  I wondered if that form was what the Chi Running was talking about.  Maybe if I’d found my Chi a couple of years ago, my knee wouldn’t be so messed up. 
The setting sun began to turn the sky pink, and I realized this was probably just about the last cool evening before the heat of Florida set in and cool temps only lived between midnight and dawn.  Two men in their twenties played catch in the street, comparing their spirals while their children romped in the front lawn.  A little dog in a blue sweater escaped his leash and ran up behind me yapping ferociously until I turned to meet him, and he ran away again.  I heard a cracking sound that turned out to be a man trying to knock down cans with a leather whip.  I wondered, what kind of life do you have to lead to make that skill useful?
As a rounded the last turn of the route I have probably run a thousand times, I lifted my feet to run a little, even though I knew I shouldn’t.  A hundred strides in I felt a twinge and the aching began so I slowed up at my driveway as a pair of ducks floated down to my front lawn.  The mama was so pale.  An albino, I realized as she waddled off into the bushes for the night.  I waddled into the house as well, my head on straight, my heart at peace.

Sunday, June 2, 2013


If you’re bored with life — you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things — you don’t have enough goals. ~Lou Holtz

In January I had knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus.  As I was contemplating this event, I was also thinking about some long-term goals, as we are wont to do at the beginning of a new year.  Not knowing the outcome of the surgery and hoping for the best, I decided to make my goal 300 hours of working out, 25 hours a month.  Instead of setting speed goals or mileage goals, neither of which I could predict, I set a time goal, something completely within my power.  I decided to include walking, and I have done a lot of that, and physical therapy, which I did almost exclusively in the first month after surgery. 
It’s been an interesting journey thus far.  In January, I completed only 10 hours, making getting caught up a priority.  February allowed me to add swimming and biking again and my totals jumped up significantly.  In March we had terrible weather, rain and cool temps uncharacteristic of Florida, but I went to New York and literally walked hours and hours, saving a month that would have been dismally short on time.  April was focused on prepping for a race, and it was the most balanced of the months thus far.  May was short on time, as the distractions of finishing the school year put me behind again.
In the first 5 months I have worked out 116 hours.  I have ridden 400 miles and swum 23.  I have walked 57 miles and spent 16 hours in the weight room picking things up and putting them down.  The rest of the time was spent in physical therapy.  I am still behind on time, 9 hours, but it is summer, so I am hopeful that I can get back on track.  I have several people on this journey with me, checking in with me every month and holding me accountable.
What I love about this goal is that it is an exercise in long-term discipline.  Even though I do not race in the summer, I know that I have to show up regularly.  It is easy to blow off the gym when there are so many other fun things to do.  But I’ve taken to walking after dinner a couple times a week, a practice that was a regular part of my life when my dog was a pup.  It’s been a great opportunity to think, to get my head on straight again.  This goal has been a constant reminder to keep going, for even a poor hour wandering the neighborhood or a jaunt around on my bike is better than nothing.  And I like these lower intensity workouts. 
As you think about the rest of the year, I wonder if you’ll consider a long-term goal like this one.  I like the idea that there are goals in life that are not pie in the sky, but are rather the result of long-term commitment.  This is a promise I have made to myself, one I intend to keep.  It is possible that I’ll get further behind and my December will be an endless series of workouts.  With all those cookies lying about, that’s probably a good thing.  But that’s not my intent. 
June, July, and August are great opportunities to get outside and enjoy a round of golf, to take up roller blading, or to join a softball team.  Summer is a time of long, well-lit evenings, where there’s nothing but reruns on TV.  There’s time to get out there and shoot some hoops, to walk the dog, to throw a frisbee.  You can go to the beach and swim or ride your bike around the neighborhood. There’s plenty of yard-work or house-cleaning that will make you break a sweat if you’re so inclined, and if you’re not, you can at least walk to the 7-11 for ice.  Drag out that old badminton set.  Play some bocce.  It’s summer.  Have some fun. 
Think about what you are doing today and make a goal.  It doesn’t have to be crazy hard.  It’s about doing the right thing for a long time.  Find someone to hold you accountable.  Develop a means to track your progress and then get started… Your heart will thank you.