“You love running for how it makes you feel. You love it for the endorphins, and how it’s something that’s hard, and that you can get better at. You love it because at the starting line, you can chat with anyone and so what if it’s a little uncomfortable, you’re not going to see them again anyway. You love it because it has changed you.” Bret Dunlap
This is a great story about how running can change lifes. Click to read. Enjoy (very touching, you might need a tissue).
Coach Lora Erickson
Are you looking for some great triathlon and running events in Utah? If so, check out On Hill Events.
We all have them, bad races. This is when the old adage “You can’t win them all” rings loud and clear. It is frustrating to not meet our own expectations or others but I truly believe the experience is only wasted if we don’t learn something from it.
In my younger (and less wise) years I used to get really upset when I raced badly and in turn would bring everyone down around me. I didn’t realize that I was doing this at the time, but I have since learned that my actions didn’t help the situation and really just made it worse. When I was in high school I traveled to Wisconsin to compete in the Cross-County National Championships. I remember after the race one of the girls from my home state of Colorado had won it, however it was apparent that she was not pleased with her time and was pouting about it. To all of us that didn’t win it seemed really “selfish” and “silly” that she would make such a big deal about not running the time she wanted. She won it! And she was missing out on celebrating her win because she was wrapped up in doing even better. I must admit I have been there before. It almost seems comical to me now complaining about getting second place and being disappointed that I couldn’t do better to capture first. Although in the moment it’s hard to look at it that way. But from an outside perspective it brings others down.
Now when I have a disappointing race I try to remember that there are people out there that would love to just be able to do what I can on a bad day. I don’t mean that in a “self-righteous” way, but I try to remember that there are people in wheelchairs that will never have the opportunity to experience what it feels like to complete even one race. I have had the opportunity to compete in hundreds of races over the last 27 years as a competitive runner and triathlete. When I remember this it helps to put the seemingly “devastating” bad race into perspective.
“Celebrate the ‘win’ of others to sweeten a sour experience.” ~ Coach Lora Erickson
Now while appreciating the opportunities for being able to compete doesn’t take away the frustration completely, they seem to lighten it for me. I still tend to mull over the details trying to figure out what has gone wrong in my training or why I wasn’t able to push myself like I would have liked to. Usually it boils down to the same answer. MOTIVATION. The real motivation for me, I have discovered is something I alluded to in my last blog write up, A Runner And Coach is What I Was Designed to Be. I am motivated to see what I am capable of, to push myself and help others do the same. This is what drives me, what wakes me up in the early mornings to get my workouts in before the family wakes up. It’s not the medals, the wins, the glory, the fame, the fortune…Just kidding; I’m not famous, nor do I get big bucks for doing this, but I do it because I love how it makes me feel about myself. It has helped me become a better wife and mother. Any triathlete or runner will tell you that running isn’t that “easy”…sure we have our “easier” workouts, but it’s not your average everyday person that does it.
Being average does not appeal to me; but being EXCEPTIONAL does. I don’t want to be “normal,” I strive to be all that I can be; I shun mediocrity and work diligently to be successful; I strive for EXCELLENCE. Yes, you can hear the perfectionist in me coming out and I know many of you are cursed or blessed (depends on how you look at it) with the same perspective. This is what drives me to do better however this is also why it’s so easy to get frustrated with myself. I don’t believe that anything is wrong with someone striving to doing really well at something and pushing themselves to do it when kept in balance. However it can also lead to constant disappointment and bring those around you down. If you find yourself wallowing in self-pity, then you have gone too far.
So when you have a bad race, figure out what you can learn from it, resolve to work on it, brush it off (I know this can be difficult, I am still working on this one), keep things in perspective, ask yourself why you are doing this and bottle up that frustration for your next hard workout or race. Be careful to not let your disappointment bring others down. A bad race is only wasted if we don’t learn something from it and use it to help us grow stronger. Our difficulties are often what give us the strength to accomplish more. Think about how the newborn baby chick builds strength as it struggles to break out of the shell. If we were to help the chick get out by doing some of the work it would be less likely to survive. It needs the “struggle” to gain strength. So do we. I love this song lyric from one of my favorite artists, Kelly Clarkson, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” So true.
It isn’t easy nor should it be easy to win a race or complete a goal, but let’s remember why we are doing it. If we are doing it for self-improvement then “whining” and “complaining” about a bad race is not helping us or anyone for that matter to become better people. Even if you have a bad race and one is your goals is self-improvement then you can still accomplish this goal by being happy for those around you. Be careful not to judge others too harshly by looking up results and making unsupportive comments. I have been a “victim” of harsh criticism from “so called fans” that are disappointed with a race result that they didn’t have full information on. Sometimes you are not aware of what struggles others are facing or how far they have come to even complete a race. You may not know they just got over the flu, are injured or had a flat tire. Race results don’t reflect severe weather conditions, emotional strain from personal hardships, or factor in when you forget your water bottles or drop a gel pack etc… I believe a “winning attitude” is far more valuable than a “winning” a race. True character is built from hard experiences. Race happy, even when it doesn’t go the way you had hoped. If you focus on others rather than yourself on these days, you will find your experience wasn’t all that bad. Celebrate the “win” of others to sweeten a sour experience.
Coach Lora Erickson
I am excited to announce that I will be partnering with Aquaholics to promote swimming and triathlons. Aquaholics has been serving the swimming community since 2005 and carry top quality brands, including my favorite goggles (check out the TYR special ops). They have two locations on in Midvale and another in Bountiful. Don’t live close? No problem, you can shop on-line. They have everything you will need and with summer approaching you’ll want to check it out. http://utahaquaholics.com/
Come join us at the Bountiful location for a Triathlon clinic (see information below)
With Aquaholics, “It’s all about the water.”
Just keep swimming!
Coach Lora Erickson
Community Triathlon Clinic with Blonde Runner
Date: Wed. May 22, 2013 from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Location: Aquaholics, 40 West 500 South, Bountiful
Fees: No Charge, RSVP required, limited spots
All community members are invited to attend this triathlon clinic offered on Wed. May 22, 6-7 p.m. If you are new to triathlons or want to learn how to get started in the sport then this is a great clinic for you. Or if you are a triathlete and want to get some tips on how to improve then you won’t want to miss this clinic. We will be covering:
Swimming (open water skills and gear)
Cycling (training tips)
Running (how to get faster and more efficient)
Transition (how to’s) – prep check list
We will have some door prizes and give aways. Special discount prices will be offered for those that attend that night only. Limited space. To reserve your spot please RSVP for the clinic by emailing Coach Lora directly at email@example.com
About the Coach Lora Erickson aka Blonde Runner: Coach Lora is a USATF certified running & triathlon coach with over 27 years of athletic experience. She is a nationally ranked triathlete and founder of Team Blonde Runner (TBR), a fully coached adult triathlon coed training team. Coach Lora is also the race director for the RaceForGrief.com event. To learn more visit www.BlondeRunner.com Coach Lora has a true passion for health promotion and her enthusiasm is contagious. Come and get excited about the great sport of triathlon with us.
Who wants to win?
I am giving away some race number belts on the
Blonde Runner Health Facebook page.
Some of you might be getting sick of hearing about running, triathlons and health from me, and I could understand that, but I have a hard time containing my excitement about it. Maybe I am so excited about it these days because I can actually do it the way I would like for the most part. There was a time in my life (not too long ago) when I was not able to run or exercise. While I was pregnant I was restricted from exercise, because I was high-risk. It was a difficult time, because life as I knew it changed. People didn’t expect me to run or race nor did I have the stress relief or health benefits I had become accustom to as a long time runner.
When I was in elementary school it was discovered that I could run fast and so from an early age I have always been identified as being the blonde girl that could run. My hair was ultra blonde back then and I had the eyebrows to prove it (they are still barely visible now). I must admit I didn’t like it sometimes because I believe there is much more to Lora Heyl (my maiden name, Erickson now) than people knew. I wondered why I wasn’t given the talent to be a pop-star (I love to sing and dance, in the shower and around the house that is). But running seemed to be my identity and that identity followed me through high school and college as I ran for several different Universities on scholarship. Running paved my way to a college degree and has now allowed me to promote health and share my passion for it on a much larger scale and I will always be greatful for that. Being known as a runner is fine and dandy but when life changes and something you have grown accustom to changes it’s hard to know how to respond. While I was having children running was no longer my identity. Sure, I did it to keep in shape between children like a lot of moms do, but I didn’t race so nobody really expected me to win races anymore. It was different and in some ways a relief.
Unlike many of my former college running team mates, I was not able to keep running during pregnancies. This stop-and-go type training makes it difficult to perform at a high level when competing so I resigned myself to running to stay in shape rather than compete during those years. Matter-o-fact I could be seen casually strolling across the field in my “Moms Jeans” at the soccer games with my little ones hand-in-hand as I toted them back and forth to the nearby park keeping them entertained while “big brother” was playing soccer. I was your average mother cheering for her child and sipping a Capri-sun on a blanket out on the field. And there is nothing wrong with that, but I do remember one mom asking me once, “Are you Scott’s mom? Gosh, you look so different.” This was her nice way of saying “Didn’t you used to be fat?” This was after I had my third boy and lost the 48# pounds I put on with that high risk no-activity gestational diabetic pregnancy. I knew there was an athlete in me waiting for the right time to be able to surface and race again and that time was coming. I was training for my first triathlon at the time and my body shape was beginning to look like an athlete again. Finally my outsides were matching my insides. I had flown under the radar long enough and it was time to allow myself to be all that I have been designed to be which is a runner and athlete.
I knew for me during the years I was having children that it was not the right time to pursue my athletic career. It was time to take the care of my body (restrictions and all) so it could be the vessel to get these children to earth and so I could full-fill my lifelong hope of being a mother. The road was hard but the rewards are priceless. I wouldn’t trade being a mother for anything, and I would happily (well, maybe not so happily) go through it again to have the cute little ones that I am enjoying raising now.
Click to view a video of my family (it took a lot of work to get these little ones here, I am so proud of this cute little family)
During those hard years of not being identified as a runner I was able to realize that I really didn’t mind being known as a runner or athlete. Although it is not always easy to feel the pressure of sponsor obligations, fulfilling my own and other peoples expectations, balancing work and family, get my training in and help others reach their health goals; it is what I was designed to do. I know God gave me a talent for running and teaching/coaching for a reason and honestly I feel best when I am pushing myself to be better and helping others to do the same. I knew at an early age that health promotion would be a part of my life. It is what I am driven to do; it is what I want to do; and what I have the passion and energy to do. I have fully embraced this identity now and I don’t think I would have the same affinity for it had it not been taken away from me for a time. I believe things happen for a reason. I am proud to call myself a runner, triathlete and coach. It is what I was designed to be.
Coach Lora Erickson
Sometimes you have to tell your legs who’s boss.
~ Coach Lora Erickson
As many of you know I recently competed in the Omegawave World Triathlon in San Diego. I have done many triathlons but this was my first ocean water triathlon. So, as with any first time experience there is some extra anxiety that goes with it (not to mention travel, flight, putting my bike back together, and stiff competition). In the past I have had a hard time with goggles fogging up, leaking or just not being able to see clearly in the open water. This can cause some stress and make it difficult to swim straight. So, I have been on the hunt to find just the right goggles for openwater swimming. I have tried many different goggles but finally I feel like I have found some that I really love for open water swimming! The new TYR Special Ops have a polarized lens so everything is crystal clear and I didn’t have any problem with them fogging up on me. I absolutely love how they fit from the moment I tried them on in the store (thanks Mike). Here are the things I look for when I shop for goggles:
Fit – it needs to feel comfortable on my face (no leaking)
Range of view – good broad field of vision so I can see everything around me
Mirrored – these are best for cutting down the glare off the water on a sunny day
Durability – I want something that is going to last and not break on me (I’m not the easiest on my gear, just as my husband). Plus I need some scratch resistance since I’m in a rush in transition.
Anti-fog – I don’t want to have to stop and rub off the fog while I am swimming. So anti-fog is a must.
Split headstrap – This helps me customize my fit and ensures they will stay on in a crowded start
Color – okay, so I am a girl, I like my goggle color to match my swim suit and other gear. (Race tip: If you feel like you look good you will go faster – wink, wink)
They have red, blue, black and pink (don’t you love this one?! TYR will donate $5 to the BCRF)
So if you are looking for a fool-proof great looking and comfortable goggles you will want to pick a pair of TYR polarized Special Ops. They rock!
Available at Aquaholics. Two store locations:
583 East 7200 South, Midvale & 40 West 500 South, Bountiful
Or shop on-line at http://utahaquaholics.com/
Direct link to purchase goggles (use the code “TBR” and save 20%)
Come join us at a Triathlon Clinic hosted by Aquaholics in Bountiful on Wed. May 22nd. Learn more
Just keep swimming!
~ Coach Lora Erickson
Aka Blonde Runner
You’ve seen all the signs at the pool telling you to shower before you get in but you think, “What’s the point?” Well, this article covers the reasons why you should shower before getting in the pool. Read the article
~ Coach Lora Erickson
LOL. Nuff said.
~ Coach Lora Erickson