Hey you all!
I just returned back to Italy from Marseille, France where I had my final race of the season to complete my 2017 European Trifecta!!

Traffic was insane! It took 10 hours to complete what was supposed to be an 8-hour drive. I was in bed around midnight, and up drinking expresso at 5 am Saturday morning, getting in race mode. The morning started out pretty chilly, but it turned out to be a perfect day.

 

The race was incredible! I was definitely a bit nervous due to the fact that I have been restricted from training for 8 weeks, and have only been back to training the last 14 days. Once again, the human body never ceases to amaze me. It is an incredible machine. I kept myself in check mentally and it carried me through the duration of 15+ miles.

 

This race was more diverse than any race I have seen- you can always expect to find water, rocky terrain, and rolling hills throughout a Spartan course. Water is often overhead from point A to point B, unrecognizable obstacles are usually always scattered within, and no matter rain or shine, you will be covered with mud on every inch of your body at some point throughout. This race, however, included swimming, and when I say swimming, it wasn’t a swimming pool lap. I haven’t included swimming in my training program since my last triathlon back in 2013, so it took some fight and it was incredible. The day that I am not tested to push beyond a comfort barrier, is the day that I will hang up my OCR racing shoes.

Race Day Nutrition:
For breakfast, I had oatmeal and coffee, and 30:00 before the race began I had a banana. I had planned on wearing a Camelbak pack during the race and literally on the way to the starting line, I dropped it off in bag check. It was a good choice! Throughout the race, I had probably in total, 2 bananas and 5-6 pieces of dried apricots. I made the conscious decision to stop at each water station (there were probably 5 or 6 for 15 miles) and drink 2-four ounce glasses of H2O and consume 1-2 bites of energy.
Immediately following the race I had another banana and a scoop of protein and water. This held me over until I made it back to the hotel for a quick shower and then headed downtown to Panasia for sushi .

The following morning I was up and ready to get in some ‘touristy’ things before the sun came up. An authentic French croissant to start the day was a must.

With the enchanting La Major Marseille Cathedral within walking distance, it was a required sight to see. Since studying History of Western Art, I have been completely fascinated with 1800s neo-Byzantine cathedrals. The Marseille Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral and a national monument of France that I felt privileged to observe.

I did some walking around town and really had hoped that the CrossFit would be open for a drop-in session, but Europeans +  Sunday = sleeping in.

I picked up a few souvenirs and called it a day.

The trip back home was tiring and I was more than thankful to see my bed.

It was an incredible weekend, an incredible race, and I am so thrilled beyond words that I got to check this European Trifecta off of my vision board for 2017.
Envision, Believe, & Receive.

To understand me is to grasp the understanding of my primary passions- Competition and Coaching. My competitive nature stems from the completion of my very first Triathlon many years ago. AFRAID, TERRIFIED, PANICKED. Like a fish out of water.
These are the emotions that led to or produced, great performance.
These emotions created within me, healthy competition. Understanding that fear was my formula for effectiveness, led me to the obsession and marvel of the human body’s capabilities during competition.
TRIATHLONS, DUATHLONS, MARATHONS, ULTRA-THONS, AND OBSTACLE COURSES… my choice of extreme sports due to the mere fact of being solo performances (the competitive element being proposed by and against one’s self). I am driven by fear. Fear of giving anything less than my personal best. Fear of not making the attempt at all. The fear of not finding my best self has to lead to over 20 incredible racing adventures, in five different countries, on three diverse continents. This fear in return yields self-satisfaction, self-glorification, and above all else, self-respect.
Understanding that my athletic success stems not only from hard work, tedious training, and dedication, but as well as self-determination, leads to hard work and dedication within all other aspects of my life.
However, regardless of the preparation…Nothing could prepare me for my greatest adventure, coaching.
ACCOUNTABILITY, CREDIBILITY, AND LIABILITY…Characteristics that accompany this role. It comes with immediate realization, it is more than just the sport. It is more than teaching someone a clean, a jerk, or a Snatch. It’s more than a conditioning challenge or CrossFit. It’s more than being just a coach…It’s mentoring. It’s being a motivator.
Positivity creates confidence. And to believe that you will succeed tends to silence the voice of self-doubt. This for me as a coach is primitive. To instill self-confidence, which in return yields greatness. Enthusiasm not only for the sport but for each individual athlete is part of my formula for success. Getting an athlete to believe in themselves and the desire to achieve prominence is key!
With 20 years of certifications to display, these pieces of paper are mere printouts in frames, stuck on my wall. While they represent knowledge and know-how, they do not possess the power of pronouncing me as a good coach. But….the coffee mugs that read #1 coach and coaches change lives, well, those sources are a significant offering of thanks for accountability and motivation.
I began coaching to hopefully use it as a platform to inspire, but rather I am the one who is inspired. 

Although this race was nowhere near my toughest race to date, it was by far the muddiest! Dangerously muddy! I received a much slower time than I would have liked, but finishing the race without a broken ankle or sprain was most important! My legs kept telling my brain to run fast, you can handle it, but I knew better. I busted my ass so many times in this race, on my own, and other times due to the person ahead causing a pile-up. As with any race though, it was a blast! I will say that the last two obstacles of the race were a test of determination. The first of the two was an incline belly crawl under barbed wire, lined with shards of rock- just perfect for slicing and dicing the knees and elbows! The last obstacle, an inclined wall with a slippery rope that may have well been lubed with oil. It was so caked with wet mud, that when going for my last pull, exerting almost all of my energy, I lost control. I slid all the way back to the starting position. After telling myself to breathe and move (my favorite thing to yell at my CF athletes in class) I ran over to the side of the obstacle where laid bundles of hay-like grass. Taking some in my palms with hopes of creating somewhat of a grip, I was back up to the top!

 

 

Today I completed the Reebok Super Spartan in the mountains of South Korea. It was absolutely, hands down the hardest race I have EVER taken part in. I loved every minute!
This was the first race I have ever taken part in that didn’t have designated water stops. You would occasionally see a gourd dipper laying at the foot of a flowing stream down the mountainside, but out of fear of shitting my pants, I passed after one sip.

I remember listening to the sound of my heartbeat and trying to match each beat with a step and telling myself to just keep going. As I made my way over the second 10ft wall, I was informed that I was the first female- that’s all I needed to hear. I wasn’t letting anyone pass me! First overall female in my heat, AROO!!

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