By: Pepper Daniels
Often I find motivation in location. There are enough excuses to go around when you feel like taking an extra day off or skipping a workout. However, if you live on the Central Coast, the location of your workout is rarely an excuse. As I train for Scott Tinley’s Adventures, the “local’s triathlon,” here is the first in a series of my favorite locations to train on the central coast.
One of the best places to run is the Bob Jones Trail in Avila Beach. The trail head, starting just off Ontario Road, is a great place to start. It has the two most important features, parking and a restroom. But the most important thing about the location is the predictable weather. The soft, cool marine layer keeps you comfortable. Also, the nice paved trail, along the beautiful tree lined creek bed, is mostly flat. I work in my hills when I run trails. When I want to lock in a low and slow pace, this is the place.
Of course, I like to have a reward along the way. After all, training outside is one of the benefits of being a triathlete. So, as the Bob Jones Trail winds out to the Avila Beach Golf Resort, the payoff is revealed when the south facing Avila Bay opens up to the Pacific. On a recent Central Coast Triathlon Club run, at which we shot video for this blog, an unexpected thunderstorm scared away our entire group except for Patty and me. However, there were many payoffs courtesy of Mother Nature.
When you run along side of the Avila Bay towards San Luis Pier, you’ll be among active wildlife such as otters, amazing birds, and the occasional Black Lab and his owner. It’s peaceful and serene. On this day, we saw hundreds and hundreds of birds taking shelter in the cove between the coastal hills and the corner of the bay. Then at the end of the pier, the sea lions fight for real estate on their perch below your feet. Having never run all the way to the end of the pier, thanks to Patty, I never knew those sea lions lived there. Amazing.
Location, location, location. Take advantage of living in one of the world’s best locations. Have a great run.
By: Betsy Davis
Adapting to swimming, especially open water swimming can be a challenge.
I swam a bit as a kid but nothing prepared me for the return to the
pool as an adult, let alone my first open water swim experience. My
first real ocean swim was in preparation for the Triathlon at Pacific
Grove. I remember the fear involved in swimming in the ocean…the cold,
the critters, the kelp. My preparation paid off and I participated in
many triathlons, vowing I would never do Alcatraz.
But somehow, I found myself ready to face the Alcatraz challenge. Nothing prepared me for the absolute exhilaration and sense of accomplishment I felt in completing that first Alcatraz swim…..I couldn’t believe it…me a 40 something mother of three little kids! Doing that first Alcatraz swim made me dig very deep, and walk through some strong fears…the good thing is it caused me to really pray and seek God in a way I might not have otherwise. I was really worried about the jump from the boat, but I found that once I was in the water it was game time. No time to freak out, just time to “get her done”. Like childbirth, there’s no going back now!
At the first pre-race swim clinic I went to, the announcer exhorted us to stop mid-swim/mid-bay and take a look at where we were. I am so glad I took his advice…I stopped and looked at the approaching shoreline of the city and thanked God for the courage to step up and work through my fears. I am SO glad I did.
I really feel that open water swimming has made me a complete swimmer…not just one who circles the pool 3 days a week. As hard as it was adapting to the pool and then the open water my first year off swimming, I would not be the athlete I am, learned what I’ve learned, and be the well rounded athlete and person I am thanks to cross training—swimming in particular. Many people (especially runners) dread the idea of having to swim and will only do so if they have to because of injury. They are missing out on so much by not giving the pool, and the ocean a “Tri”.
By: Tenille Hoogland
How many times have I heard myself say to someone or someone say to me – how do you find balance? Up until 1 year ago I tried to balance work, being a pro-triathlete, relationships and life. Once I realized that I was on the brink of exhaustion I made being a pro-triathlete my work and my priority. The question remains though – have I achieved better balance? To answer this question I have looked to the dictionary and talked to several people. This is what I learned in my quest to understand what it means to me.
Definition #1: An even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady
To me this definition gets at the physical dimension of balance that triathletes struggle to achieve in their quest to strengthen three demanding sports. I, like many others, have not managed to stay “upright” or “steady” in training or races due to injury, poor mechanics, or nutrition. Lack of balance can be too much emphasis on motor development at the detriment of skill development. It can be too much time spent on one sport, leaving another to become the weak link. It can also be missing the recovery needed to keep going at such intensity, volume while meeting life demands. For me - there really is only one solution. Get a coach. Zane has taught me so very very much about the need to balance skill and motor development with recovery. He constantly is finessing my training schedule to meet me where I am at and where my body is at. Some say planning is the biggest job and execution is the easy part… to keep me swimming, biking and running healthily, I believe it.
Definition #2: A stable mental or psychological state; emotional stability
I had the incredible opportunity to listen and speak to Peter Reid at the Specialized Training Camp I attended two weeks ago.
One thing that really struck me is how strongly he emphasized knowing
why you are doing something. Triathlon is no easy undertaking. For me
there are times when everything hurts, I am tired and that it takes
everything in me to step out the door to go for that second run. These
are the times that knowing why is critical. There are a million
different reasons why each of us undertakes the mission to complete a
triathlon. It is only your reason that matters though and that will
bring joy to the training day and to the race. Know it and breathe it –
it will bring stability just when you really really need it.
Definition #3: Something that is left over; a remainder.
I like this definition as it applies to life because it is often that we are cramming in lots of life into the “remainder” time we have after training, working, school, etc. Two friends of mine were talking about what balance means over dinner and the suggestion was that balance is meeting the must dos and being able to pursue the want to’s beyond that. Important to this notion is accepting that you likely can’t do or achieve all your want to’s.
Skot Campbell, BG bike fitter at Bicycle Sport Shop, said to me that balance is something that we all aspire to but rarely attain because we are, after all, asymmetrical. I loved this because it reminds me that it is the pursuit of life that brings balance and that it is human to be a little lop-sided.
Perhaps as we struggle to strike the right balance of work and play, family and friends we need to fundamentally remember that life is in balance when it is full of all those things that are important to us—that we are meeting those things that we have set as priorities and are enjoying once and awhile the nice to dos.