Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2011 Was Horrific, Inspiring, and Kick ASS

I've never done a "year end" post. Was inspired to do one this year by Miss Zippy, who did one on her site (she has a great blog by the way).She's a runner so I modified the categories to fit triathlon. Going through these was extremely revealing!

Best Race Experience 

My only race in 2011 was the Rage Sprint Relay with Tony and Sean. First time I did a race purely for fun. Those who've followed me for awhile know what a profound influence Tony is in my training and life.

2011 was bumpy year in many ways. But even when I didn't train for extended periods or would take forever to return his calls, Tony ALWAYS showed up with suggestions for stuff to do. The Rage Relay was one of those suggestions -- which I almost said no to. Sure glad I didn't.

Sean (left) cycled, I ran, and Tony swam!

Until the Rage Relay I never understood why someone would do a triathlon as part of a relay. Now I do! There's a wonderful element of teamwork there -- and since we were doing it purely for fun there was no pressure to perform. Such an awesome way to spend a weekend morning!

Best Workout

This would have to be one of Coach's ass kicking bike/strength workouts, done on the trainer! Tony and I did this one just this week. Enjoy!

Warm up 10 minutes easy


1 minute of squats (fast tempo)
1 minute alternating lunges (forward, fast tempo)
1 minute holding plank position


2 minutes easy spinning
9 minutes building from easy - moderate - hard every 3 minutes (HR NOT OBSERVED)

REPEAT that strength/bike interval (~15 minutes) for a total of 3x through.

Cool Down: 5 minutes easy

Best New Piece of Gear

I did not buy one new piece of gear in 2011! On my wishlist for 2012: new wetsuit and garmin.

Best Piece of Training Advice 

This is a tie between two pieces of advice from Coach. The first is something she said as part of her weekly update email to her athletes:

There is no secret to gaining fitness or speed for 2012 other than consistency.

The second is in response to a question I asked her.

Question: How do I know (or start to know) what is an optimal "race weight" for me?

Answer:  Optimal race weight is the weight at which you feel like you achieve optimal performance and your best health - where you miss no training days due to illness and where you make progress in training.

Seriously what better advice is there. These two pieces of advice form the cornerstone of my 2012 training.

Most Inspirational Athlete

My coach, Elizabeth Waterstraat!  I could write a book on why Liz inspires me (indeed it's already been written, by her, on her blog) but for this year, first of all I'm grateful to be back on her athlete roster. She has a gift of making me feel like I'm her only athlete. She meets me exactly where I am without judgment. Not only that, I 100% trust the plan she has laid out for me. Which makes it much easier to follow her advice about staying consistent!

I got to meet Liz in person in September when she came to race the 70.3 World Championship. Qualifying for and competing at Worlds is inspiring enough -- but Liz qualified within a year of having a baby! Not only that, after placing in the top 10 in her age group here, she went on to place in the top 10 in her age group in Kona the next month!

Liz and me

The reason I find Liz and her accomplishments so inspiring is that she's living proof that there is no excuse. None. You want something badly enough you'll find a way.

If I could sum up 2011 in a couple of words what would they be?


Lots of needless struggle this year, mostly with my business. If I've learned anything. it's that needless, self-manufactured struggle will take me out. Every. Single. Time. No matter what I'm trying to accomplish. What I mean by struggle is the complete and utter bullshit that can go on and on and on in my head, making things much harder than they actually are.

Releasing struggle does not mean no effort required. Releasing struggle makes putting in the effort so much more possible and productive. I wrote about this in a guest post on my friend Debra's blog recently. It's about business but I always put triathlon and training in with business because for me the two are intricately connected.


I do not give up easily on goals and dreams that I truly want. There really are no excuses. They key is to let go of what you think something has to look like. One of the most profound earlier manifestations of this for me was Silverman.

Seriously, who takes 10:48 to complete a half iron distance race. I did, on that day. Those who've been reading this blog awhile know how absolutely life changing that day was for me. The irony: there was no self-manufactured struggle that day. There was lots of effort, lots of faith, tons of support, but no insidious struggle. Even as everything seemed to fall apart that day, it was really all coming together.

Silverman Half 2008: 10:48:33

For portions of 2011 it's felt like things were falling apart. I don't believe that's the case though -- I believe they are actually coming together.

Kick ASS

Two ways that things are kicking ASS right now, while we're still in 2011:

1. I'm in consistent training for Boise 70.3 and kicking ass at it.

2. My business has made more revenue this month than any other month of 2011.

THAT's how I know things are coming together! For the first time in recent memory, I'm in a holiday season where I don't feel stressed, pressured, or on edge about something.

I do feel confident in myself and my ability to manage my energy to bypass the self-manufactured struggle to get things done that truly matter. Bring on 2012!!!!


Molly said...

Great post! You are going to have an awesome 2012!

Stef said...

Thanks Molly!

Wes said...

that's awesome, Stef! keep doing the right things and good stuff is going to happen! my my... Liz is an ELF ;-)

Stef said...

Thanks Wes -- LOL! Merry Christmas!

Liz Waterstraat said...

Stef, it warms my heart to read this. What you failed to mention is that you were my very first EVER athlete! I remember the first time we talked. The person I talked to then was a completely different person. You are stronger, wiser, confident and have a can-do attitude that I admire. Meeting you in person confirmed what I already knew about you - you're quiet but inquisitive, passionate and real. Looking forward to a great 2012. :)

Stef said...

Ah Liz I keep forgetting that I was your first ever athlete! I too remember that first conversation. I remember knowing that 2008 would be different because we would be working together. Sure enough it WAS. :)

Debra said...

LOVE this line: "I do feel confident in myself and my ability to manage my energy to bypass the self-manufactured struggle to get things done that truly matter." I can't wait to see what 2012 brings for you!

Stef said...

Thanks Debra! I know you KNOW what I mean when I say that. 2012 is going to ROCK!!