I'm a wife and mother, an IRONMAN and USAT Level 1 certified triathlon coach. I'm the founder of the Jersey Girls StayStrong Multisport Club and a multisport coaching business, StayStrong Multisport. I co-founded the Jersey Girl Triathlon and the Shark River Paddle Battle. I'm also a member of IRONMAN and Life Time Fitness' Board of Advisors for Women for Tri and a Coeur Sports Ambassador.
A coincidence tonight on my way home from our group open water swim — as I pulled off the Parkway I saw my old bus unloading passengers, seemed like all the same people I once shared the life-sucking 4 hour per day commute to my past life.
Instead, I spent today with people I enjoy being around while doing something that I love! I know we all have problems and issues and challenges in our lives but tonight our challenges were simple . . . . how to get our wetsuit on, how to swim a straight course to the buoy and just how much swimming we could do in an hour. Can’t wait till the next workout.
Had a funny encounter this morning at the Atlantic Club pool in Red Bank. People are so compulsive about their lanes and their workouts. We’d all like our own lane to swim in for as long as we want, but unless we are ready to build ourselves a private pool we are stuck with the availability at our local club. “I don’t like to circle” is unfortunately not an option.
The members of our club (Jersey Girls StayStrong Multisport) who are also Atlantic Club members have decided that we will meet informally at the Atlantic Club pool in Red Bank in the morning one week a month to swim together as a group. Whatever lanes we can get we will deal with, we are all full paying members of the club and many swim there regularly. But many also take the drive to the Wall Township facility to take advantage of the masters swim that is available in the morning. It’s just minutes from my house but I thought to be fair and to encourage swimming workouts for the group, I’d take the 20 minute drive once or twice a month to swim in Red Bank with the members that are more local to that facility. Anyway, about 8 of us were swimming in the three lanes that are available there this morning. I stopped to give a technique pointer to one of our group in the next lane when I notice someone tapping her foot on the pool deck.
I looked up and she rather impatiently asked “Could one of you give up your lane?” I looked at her, rather puzzled at the request and didn’t say anything. Her response was “I’m on a schedule.” I said, “so are we, you are more than welcome to circle swim with any of us.” The woman I had been helping said that she was more than welcome to jump in with them but her lane was “slow” (as indicated by the lane sign). I looked up again and said “you are more than welcome to circle swim in my lane” to which she responded “you said you are slow.” Well . . . . I responded, “I am anything but slow.”
My workout partner held her breathe at the challenge, I was ready to step up my workout to prove a point and I’m sure she was too, but the challenger chose to walk back to the locker room and skip her morning swim. What a shame for her. I’m sure it totally ruined her morning, but had she gotten in the pool she probably would have found that (1) we are a very friendly, supportive and encouraging group and (2) she most likely would have enjoyed swimming with us.
Not a minute or two later another swimmer came into the pool area, I looked up and said “you are more than welcome to circle swim with us” and he did. Although my swimming partner and I were a good amount faster than him, we made it work and he moved to the next lane when it opened and we all enjoyed our morning and our workout.
So, until you can build your own pool . . . . learn to play well with others!
I am just re-posting what one of my favorite people wrote about today’s run. She had hoped to run 22 but had some stomach issues so it just wasn’t working for her today. Here’s what she wrote. I couldn’t agree more, and it’s why I do what I do!
“I went to the reservoir this morning with full intentions of running long. I am a firm believer that “things happen for a reason.” Well, as it turned out, and I can’t even blame it on things beyond my control, because I really could have avoided my issues this morning…..ANYWAY…..I had to walk back (quickly) and call it quits soon after starting my second loop, so I was there with Moira when all of you ladies came in from your runs.
My inability to complete my run was not unfortunate, as it afforded me the opportunity to witness the milestones for many of you running today, and I am thrilled. There is a lot to be said about strength in numbers, and you all proved it today. Each and every single one of you ROCK!!! and a very special shout out to Missy Serbonich! What drive and determination you have Missy, and I will be your Number Two Cheerleader at the finish, because no one can replace Moira Easton Horan as their Number One Cheerleader and Coach! Great job today ladies!!”
Couldn’t have said it better myself, Susan! The end of another perfect day.
What a great day today! Fortunate enough to live close enough to the course for the Ironman New Jersey that I can train on it. Drove up there today and ran 13.5 miles of the loop. It’s a challenging course but definitely “doable”. Two loops of hills on the Palisades side is manageable – first loop will be tough, second loop will be “glad I don’t have to do that again.” We ventured over the George Washington Bridge today — that was a first ever. It was a good run, could be very crowded on race day depending on your pace. But, I got to a point on the bridge, looked out over the New York side and thought that this is where on race day I will get that “I can do this” feeling. Still 9 or so miles to go but those of you who have done long distance racing know what I mean. The swim (2.4 miles), the bike (112 miles) and about 16-1/2 miles of the run are done. It’s all relative.
Running the course today with friends was awesome. Thanks so much Susan, for everything! Knowing that you and all my Jersey Girls will be at the finish line waiting will mean more than any one of you can possibly imagine.
I read Jason Shortis’ blog the other day and this resonated so strongly with me: “So in Ironman, as in life, when the times get tough, remember never to turn your back on it, because you’re better off being in the game than not playing at all!”
We are all in the game . . . . fast, slow, skinny, fat, experienced, newbie, winning, or hoping to make the cut off.
All in all a successful day! My “reach” goal was to qualify for the NYC Marathon. I needed to run a 1:50, I had run a comfortable 2 hours at the half in Sandy Hook last fall and a 4 hour marathon in Philadelphia. I ran a very evenly paced 1:46. And a good day was had by all the Jersey Girls StayStrong Multisport Club members and our supporters. (Definitely more to come on the day!)
An idea that came about this morning while swimming with our own resident nutrition guru, Cara Pescatore . . . . a tab for our app that will sort out all the wonderful recipes and ideas that we keep posting on Facebook but then can’t find when we want to make them.
First up, this delicious Blueberry Seed Smoothie that Leslie Why Reap posted and I made this morning. A perfect post-swim workout breakfast. Going to try posting them as google docs, and make a new button for our app to keep them sorted out. Let’s see how it works.
Not sure exactly when this all started. All I know is that the club has become something that feels like it has been part of me forever. Just about two years ago I started to develop the concept . . . offer a 12 week training plan for an upcoming all-women sprint triathlon. A good friend, Grace, suggested that I have an “event” to kick off the training plan rather than just make it a faceless exchange. And so began the Jersey Girl experience.
I’ve never done anything in moderation, so there soon was workouts and other training events. All the stuff that has taken me years and years in this sport to learn about. How to swim, how to swim in open water. How to maintain your bike, how to change a flat, how to shift gears and how to ride safely. What to wear, how to transition, race day nutrition. I looked to others who I admired to share what they knew with us. We swam, we biked and we ran. We picked up lots of new friends along the way.
We are now an official USA Triathlon-registered multisport club. It feels and sounds so grown up. Our own kick-off event is this week, let the adventure begin!