I've talked a lot recently about a book I've been reading (for, erm, the last 4 months) called How Bad Do You Want It? by Matt Fitzgerald, who both competes in and writes about endurance sports. The book explores the concept of "mind over matter" by detailing both experienced athletes' anecdotes and the science that backs them up. One of those athletes is Willie Stewart, a promising young rugby player and wrestler who lost his left arm in an accident at the construction job he was working on shortly after graduating from high school. A few years later, a friend of the family invited him to run a 5k race, thinking it would help with the depression and lack of direction he'd been suffering from since his accident. That run, coupled with seeing the TV coverage of Ironman Hawaii 1982 (arguably the most famous Ironman finish in history), gave him the inspiration to go out, buy a triathlon suit, jump in a river, and start swimming. With one arm. In 2002, Willie finished in the top third in a field of 1600 of the world's best triathletes at Kona. With one arm.
Shamrock weekend, the highlight of my running year, has come and gone for the 5th year in a row. I've been looking forward to this for months, and like any good runner, I stalked Weather.com for the two weeks leading up to Shamrock. Over those two weeks varying degrees of rain intensity were predicted, but up until Saturday night I held out hope that the predictions were wrong (you know, because historically that has worked out so well for me). I had made peace with the fact that the 20-30mph winds weren't going anywhere, but I was still hopeful we might get lucky and the rain might hold off. In reality, the forecast just got worse and worse and by the time I checked the hourly forecast on the way to the race, it was calling for 100% chance of rain during the exact 2 hours we'd be running the half. Weather.com: 4, Tracy: 0.
Labels: Race Recap
How I prepare for a race depends on a lot of different factors. Sometimes I've been planning and training for months and I spend the week or two before creating a detailed plan for every aspect of it. Other times I sign up just 48 hours in advance and don't even get into town until 8 hours before I need to run. Most of the time I fall somewhere between, and I usually try to at least follow these simple preparatory steps that I'll be employing over the next 10 days as I get ready to run Shamrock for the 5th time.
Labels: My Iron Year
I got this tattoo in September 2013 - I had just finished my first Olympic triathlon and I got the tattoo the next day. The words themselves had been with me for a while. I borrowed them from Ovid's Ars Amatoria, from a poem I used to teach to my students that's basically a guide for what to do when your advances are ignored by the object of your affection - they literally mean, "hold your resolution," but since that sounds too serious I usually just give people a looser, "don't give up" translation. Obviously I've taken it out of context, but I liked that that fact made it a little playful - as much of a reminder as it is to not give up, it's also a reminder to not take things too seriously. I'd been planning on getting it for a while, but I didn't have a timeline for when I might do it. Suddenly, on the way to the grocery store, the day after my longest endurance event to-date (at 3+ hours) was it. I was 2.5 years into my running journey, and after completing my first triathlon season and beginning to train for my first marathon, I had turned a corner. For the first time in my life I was able to not give up, to endure. I had a lot more not giving up to do in the near future. It was time.
I love this month already! I smiled more in the first two days of March than I have in a long, long time. I can't even remember the last time I smiled from ear to ear, let alone was unable to wipe it from my face! After spending the last 6 months sending out resumes, attending career fairs, interviewing with different firms, being rejected, and spending the majority of the February panicking that my going back to school would have been in vain if/when I graduated in May with no job offer...I was officially offered my dream job yesterday! I've been talking to the company since October but just went into their DC office for an on-site interview on Monday morning. I was shocked to unofficially recieve the offer less than 24 hours later, and to get the official one less than 24 hours after that, but I'm over the moon. More details later! My first order of business was making sure VT is well-represented in my new office. Is maroon and orange the best color combo ever, or is that just a Hokie thing?