My First DNF

It was ten years in the making and today it happened. I took my first DNF (Did Not Finish) in a race--the Greensboro Half Marathon.

Before I get into all the reasons and excuses behind the DNF, let’s call it like it is: I dropped out because I wanted to, not because I had to. Ego took hold and rather than face a two-hour-plus half marathon time, I chose to quit.

So then. What happened? I think it was the combination of the perfect storm of bad elements all coming together:

  1. I was coming off a week of strenuous exercise (even for me) where I was working out twice a day and doing triple the number of miles on the bike that I usually do.
Read More

Decide What You Want To Do & Then Find People Who Are Better At It Than You

Yesterday I ran the inaugural Fleet Feet Pickle, an 18.2-mile store-to-store charity run for Backpack Beginnings. Later that night, I attended a “Post-Pickle Party.” Someone at the party asked how long I’d been running and if I’d always been as fast as I am now.

My answer was no, nowhere close. I was a 10-minute miler at best when I started running. I remember thinking that if I could ever only hold a 9-minute pace for a 5K, I’d never ask for anything ever again.

“So how did you get faster?” was the follow-up question.

My answer is that I run with runners who are faster than me.

Read More

Ditching the Fitbit

It's been a fun ride, but I think it's time I bid adieu to the Fitbit. My fears that it would become yet another control factor in my life never materialized. In fact, the opposite occurred. I pretty much ignored the Fitbit from the beginning. 

I was disappointed from the start that the Fitbit didn't accurately track my miles. If I ran 15, it said I ran 12. And it doesn't track time on the bike or at Crossfit or the gym. I might work out intensely for 2 hours one day but per my Fitbit, I've barely moved all day. So I discounted it from the start. 

Read More

Shhh... (I May Be A Cyclist)

It’s no secret that I hate spin class. (Written proof here.) I have forced myself to grind through a handful of the “Up! Down! Tighten the tension! Power up the hill!”  pontifications of overly cheery spin instructors who do not seem to understand that at any given point in a spin class I am on the verge of either giving up or throwing up or both.

Which is why I fought getting a road bike. The only reason I did get a road bike is because completing a half-ironman (oh okay, you know me, a full ironman) is on the bucket list. The fact that I neither swim nor bike, however, makes this something of a stretch goal.

So when my dear friends Don and Kathi (both Ironmen competitors) offered to loan me an old road bike of Don’s, I reluctantly agreed. Don spent an hour fitting me to the bike and then they sent me on my way.

Read More