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March « 2011 « Mary Beth Ellis' Blog


Archive for March, 2011

When it rains…..

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

The old mantra goes when it rains it pours. While it quite literally is pouring here in Krabi, I thought this was an apt time for a blog. I think this mantra stands for the momentum that can create a downpour from a trickle. In sport and life momentum can have a huge impact on the outcome. Not only grounded in the laws of physics were an object in motion stays in motion but also from a psychological point of view. I think one of the key benefits for me in being part of Team TBB is the benefits I get from this momentum. It is much easier to get out there and work hard when all those around you are doing the same. In addition, as amazing results trickle in from my teammates it gives me more confidence in all the hard work Doc has prescribed. We have all seen sporting events where one team goes from having a deficit to one key play that changes the entire game and the team is lifted up to playing at a whole other level beyond what they imagined they were capable. I am excited for this year and welcome the downpour my teammates start to kick butt cause I know it will help push me reach that next level.

Singapore Slinger

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Singapore Race Review

After a long dryspell, it was a huge relief to start 2011 with a W. The race in Singapore was a good training day as Doc would say and gave me chance to go hard and see where I am at early season. It was great to have TeamTBB members dominating out there with 1,2,4 in the womens race and strong results with three men in the top ten.

The day had an auspicious beginning. I was beat senseless at the beginning of swim and probably arrived there last. Luckily the swim went better for the remaining 1700 meters. I exited third woman a long way behind teammate Jodie but not too far behind another team member Amy. The first lap of the bike was nice. I just tried to relax get into a rhythm and not get dropped by Amy whose biking strength surpasses mine. After a nice first lap, the second and third were mayhem as we tried to ride legally while weaving through over 1700 age groupers. Sadly, I grossly underestimated my First Endurance needs for a six week training trip in Thailand. I ran out of First Endurance drink a week ago so was forced to use a Singapore drink with carbonation. I tried to flatten it but it still had some bubbles so I was puking it up during parts of the bike. Then, at the end of the bike, the official gave me a penalty for blocking. After the race, the official apologized for making an example of me to the other girls. But really I had sympathy for the race marshals out there, frankly the three lap bike course was a mess and would have been near impossible to officiate. So at the end of the bike, I went past the bike entrance to the penalty tent in a frenzy to serve my infraction. After leaving the penalty tent, I was in such a flustered I started to put on my shoes before my socks. After more harried running around, I finally got out of transition and on to the run in third place. On the run, I felt pretty good but tried to be conservative taking the heat and humidity into account. For the first time in a race, I had some serious stomach problems and needed two quick pit stops on the run. I wish I had my brought more First endurance with me to Thailand as in all my previous half iron mans I have never had any issues using their drink. But other than the upset stomach, the run went okay as I just tried to get into a steady pace and stay as cool and hydrated as possible. I just barely nipped teammate Amy for the win and was glad to be done.

With one race down, I am excited to have 2011 underway and even more excited to be a part of the team this year. I am optimistic that we are all headed for acme solid racing this year. We might even race the Pants off those other triathletes and ourselves!


Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Before Doc, long before, I had coach. I never called him anything else he was just coach. From the age of 9 until 20, he was my swim coach and took me from a chubby little mediocre swimmer to a junior national, senior national, and olympic trials qualifier. I think many of the lessons coach taught me both in and out of the pool still are with me today.

First, my earliest memories are of coach shouting to me “where did you learn those open turns Rehoboth Beach country club?” I had been a summer swimmer at the country club where we were allowed to get away with all sorts of little cheats and bad habits like my open turns instead of flip turns. Within a few weeks of starting with coach and having him deride me, I was cured of my open turns. It just goes to how that bad habits and laziness can be fixed immediately with the right influence. Today, I still find this lesson valuable as perfect practice makes the difference between success and failure in many instances.

Another lesson that sticks with me is coach’s famous “parents can be a problem” lecture. As a swim coach, I am sure he had to face all sorts of neurotic parents and at times I think it got to him. I think the gist of his talk was for the parents to get out of the way and let their kids enjoy the sport and just try to race fast without any pressure or preconceived notions from their parents weighing them down. Now as an athlete, we face all sorts of talk from the so-called experts in the sport, media, other athletes, etc. It is important to only listen up to a point then put the blinders on and just get to work. Sport is not rocket science most of the time if you pick your path and follow it diligently enjoying the journey you’ll get there successfully.

Another lesson, I learned from coach was hard work and consequences. If a swimmer was slacking off he would have to do a 1000 meter fly with the bucket, a painters bucket tied to your waste. With this threat, only a few boys would be goofing around and sentenced to this fate. However, the rest of us would work harder and our results showed improvement year after year. Whereas the boys that were not interested in swimming were slowly weeded out of the group one fly set with a bucket at a time. Today, I still believe in the virtue of hard work and will beast myself if I think it will help me improve.

Theses are just a few of the lessons, I’ll expand on more of coach’s teachings in a future blog. But I think as a kid having good teachers and coaches to mentor our youth is one of the best ways to set them up for a life of success. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to learn from coach appreciate the valuable skills and philosophies that he helped to instill in me at such a young age.

Dealing in Krabi

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Thailand has been an eye-opening experience for me so far. Besides experiencing a new culture, I am embarking on a new adventure in my triathlon career with this opportunity to train as a part of Team TBB. As the training heats up, literally and figuratively, I know it will be great to have such an amazing team of athletes to learn from and try to chase down. With a little over one week in the books, I am already starting to feel fitter and stronger physically and mentally am finally enjoying the sport again for the first time in a long time. There few times in life where I have really had to look in the mirror and deal with my own crap. Here in Thailand I not only literally have to face it some of the non-flushing you flood it down yourself toilets but also face head-on the other issues that have held me back in triathlon and life. Instead of dithering about in a tizzy of stress and sweating all the small stuff, I am endeavoring to follow orders, turn off my head, and stop constantly second guessing myself. Maybe Nike has it right: Just do it. Their slogan isn’t try to do it or think about doing it or research the ways you could do it. It is simple, direct, and right on the money.