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Posts tagged ‘chrissie wellington’

Pain

I have come to the sound conclusion that athletes have an incredible ability to tolerate pain. Yes, most of us already know that athletes have to deal with a little more pain than your average person, but they really do deal with some intense pain. I couldn’t even begin to list all of the accidents Chrissie Wellington had during her Ironman training (according to her book). Broken bones, severe road rash, hamstring injuries, etc.  And yesterday I read an article about how Paula Radcliffe suffered a dislocated jaw, a jammed hip, and whiplash one week before her world record performance. Um, ouch?

There are many studies out there detailing how athletes handle pain. According to this study, endurance athletes can handle a moderate amount of pain, while other game sport athletes can handle more intense pain. Perhaps because endurance athletes deal with it for longer periods of time versus short bouts of pain? Two of the common coping mechanisms are association (thinking about the pain) and dissociation (thinking about something else). For me personally, I prefer association, especially if I’m doing an intense effort.

Although I do not have the stories of Wellington or Radcliffe, I do have my own broken bone story. On my wedding night, I broke my collar bone. (Apparently having a bunch of people of varying heights lift you in a chair is a bad idea. Gravity will win.) Anyway, three days later I was biking again and one week later I was running. The key to running with a broken collar bone…. do NOT swing that arm, 🙂 Sure, it hurt a bit but I’m an athlete. I deal with pain. Most people said I was crazy. For me personally, I never understood how a broken collar bone affected my legs anyway. I also went hang gliding over the Swiss Alps but that’s another story.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

One of the last photos taken at my wedding. But how many people can say they fell 7 feet and left their wedding in an ambulance?

One of the last photos taken at my wedding. But how many people can say they fell 7 feet and left their wedding in an ambulance?

A flight to Switzerland like this wasn't much fun

A flight to Switzerland like this wasn’t much fun.

But I couldn't let a broken bone stop me from this - amazing!

But I couldn’t let a broken bone stop me from this – amazing!

Running/Recovery Update: Perhaps I shouldn’t have run two days in a row but I couldn’t stand the thought of working out on the elliptical in that stuffy gym. I ran 4 miles through Microsoft’s campus, followed by strength training and stretching. I’m continuing to run in my Minimus shoes and my calves can tell. On another note, I had a crazy idea this morning. On May 2nd, I am turning 30 years old. Wouldn’t it be cool to run 30 miles? Maybe not the best idea for a recovering runner but I think this would be amazing!

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Fear

As I mentioned yesterday, I have just finished Chrissie Wellington’s book and with that, I have quite a few lessons to carry with me. One of my favorite lessons comes from the following paragraph:

I am motivated above all by that little voice inside that urges me on to fulfill my potential. Everyone has that same voice in them somewhere, but many are too scared to listen to it, too scared to try, too scared of failure. That fear is immobilizing, but it is also our own personal construct and therefore doesn’t really exist in reality. Never imagine anything impossible.

Fear is a personal construct. Fear doesn’t really exist.

When I think about my running and my athletic life, I have quite a few goals I want to accomplish. But I see these goals as far fetched and not something I can really do. I don’t know why I see them that way. I just do. Or I guess I have constructed my own fear of failing, hence making it impossible from the beginning. But if fear is my own personal construct, then this is something I can change. Time to start working on this…

And I’ll use this to keep me inspired:

Marianne Williamson

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

I had to leave all of this today and go to Seattle for a few days. I must say the view is not quite the same.

I had to leave all of this today and go to Seattle for a few days. I must say the view is not quite the same.

The Necessary Steps

Currently I’m on vacation with Mario in Oregon Wine Country. Therefore, my last few posts were written pre-awesome trip. I haven’t had a chance to write about how my running world has been going since we left way too early Friday morning.

Yesterday I finished Chrissie Wellington’s book, A Life Without Limits. Chrissie has been an inspiration to me for probably about 5 years. Partially because of her amazing Ironman record and partially because of her very contagious smile. She is truly inspirational. There were many notes and bookmarks I made while reading her book and many lessons I took away. As my running is starting to progress in the right direction, this one lesson in particular stands out to me: We have our goals but we have to take the necessary steps in order to reach our goals.

Last week I started running again. It has been a very exciting and happy time for me. I knew I wouldn’t overdo it because we were going on vacation and I wouldn’t have the chance. (Oh but I can always find a way.) Saturday morning Mario and I went out for a 5 mile run. I had already done a 3 and 4 miler so 5 easy miles along the beautiful Oregon countryside seemed very doable. We ended up getting lost and did a little over 6. No biggie. Hip felt fine, weather was beautiful, and there were llamas, deer, horses, and cows for scenery. No complaints.

Lot of happy cows in Oregon

Lot of happy cows in Oregon

 

After a cross training day yesterday, another run today seemed completely reasonable. Maybe I shouldn’t have set out along the same 6 mile route but I did. As I found myself checking my Garmin, I had to make myself reign it in. Several things went through my mind: take the necessary steps, build that massive aerobic base (thanks Predawn Runner), enjoy the scenery, and Chicago is over 6 months away! Chillax! I can’t go from nearly 6 weeks off to dishing out 7:30 miles. I have to take the necessary steps. I need my base building. Once I was able to wrap my head around this, I slowed down and really enjoyed my run. I have nothing to prove right now. I only need to find consistency with my running. It’s actually a very nice change of pace.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

Here are some pics from our trip so far… I’ve eaten way too much food!!

Dinner at Jory in Oregon

Dinner at Jory in Oregon

 

Oregon, Day 1 of our Trip (AMAZING weather!!)

Oregon, Day 1 of our Trip (AMAZING weather!!)

 

Day 3 in Oregon

Day 3 in Oregon

 

 

If

I’m currently reading two books, Chrissie Wellington’s A life Without Limits and Dick Beardsley’s book, Staying the Course. They are both amazing and I definitely recommend them.

Currently, in Chrissie’s book, I’m reading about her first Ironman triathlon. She mentions that before her race she did her normal pre-race ritual which included 3 English muffins and reading the poem If, by Rudyard Kipling. Many years ago I had a friend who had this poem taped to his wall. As I have become every so slightly wiser, the poem has taken on a deeper meaning. In case you do not know the poem, here it is:

 

 

If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

I think maybe I’ll tape it to my wall. Right next to my Dick Beardsley poster he autographed. 🙂

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

Simplicity

I’m currently reading Chrissie Wellington’s book, A Life Without Limits. According to my Kindle, I’m 26% completed. So far I’d say, it’s a compelling book. Before I even really knew who Chrissie Wellington was, I already liked her. Who can not love that smile? It’s quite contagious.

As I was reading today, I felt very grounded by the following paragraph:

We would arrive back exhausted, sweaty and hungry, but with spirits soaring. We had no idea how far we had been, how many calories we’d burned, what heart rate we’d maxed out at. There was no data to download or logbook to tick. This was raw and elemental, the way sport and adventure has always been. I’m sure it was the making of me.

Raw and elemental. Sometimes I feel we overcomplicate things. Gadgets have their place and so does pure, simple, adventurous running. When I get back to running, I plan to have a weekly running “project” of something adventurous.

Happy  Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

Chrissie Wellington

Today Chrissie Wellington announced that she is retiring from the Ironman distance as a professional athlete. Her announcement can be read here on her website.  I think I first learned who Chrissie Wellington was back in 2009 and it wasn’t because of her stellar performances (although I learned about those a little later). It was her radiant smile that got my attention. How could someone be so dang happy after almost 9 hours of strenuous physical activity? Her smile captivated me and it was contagious. Read more

The Power of the Mind

Last week I wrote a blog about the importance of visualization.  I can’t remember what gave me the idea, but it’s a powerful tool that we can all benefit from.  Since then, I have come across several more articles explaining the powerful role of the mind in athletic performance.  My favorite is one by Chrissie Wellington, the coolest and happiest four time World Ironman Champion I’ve ever seen.  (Who knew it was possible to smile so much after completing a 140.6 mile event?)

Chrissie Wellington:

“I believe that it is my mind that has carried me through to some of my greatest victories — a mind that I have had to work hard to train and hone…. Training the brain will be as important as training the body. And although some characteristics are innate (self-motivation, drive, determination, stubbornness), I also think that there are strategies and tools that you can learn, develop and deploy.”

Some of her mind over matter techniques are:

1) Have a mantra and/or a special song to repeat (Wellington’s is “Never, ever give up – and smile.”)
2) Keep a bank of positive images
3) Practice visualization beforehand
4) Break up the race into smaller, more manageable segments
5) Remember that training is about learning to hurt
6) Get people to support you
7) Mentally recall inspirational people

I love all of these but perhaps the one that sticks with me the most is training is about learning to hurt.  This article about peaking before an athletic event, explores the idea that it isn’t the fact that an athlete’s fitness improves significantly over a season, but instead it’s that the athlete learns how to better handle pain.  It reminds me of a quote I saw once – “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”  Our bodies can only carry us so far. It is our mind that will carry us a little farther.  

 

Chrissie Wellington, 2008 Ironman
Photo Source – Dontworry on Wikimedia Commons

 

 

Just look how freakin’ cute and happy this lady is…

Here’s to a great weekend!

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie