Strength Is Earned, Not Given.

Strength is Earned, Not Given.

As I start my Ironman training for Lake Placid, I can’t help but think about this phrase. Strength is Earned Not Given. I am so excited be be starting this journey and working towards the goal of swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles, and running 26.2 miles, crossing that finish line in the olympic oval in Lake Placid and having Mike Reilly (aka “The Voice of Ironman”) announce my name. The trick is to be able to put in the needed training, navigate my work and personal life schedule, and arrive at the start (and finish) line injury free from essentially a zero base due to the injury that sidelined me back in August.

It’s going to be a lot of early mornings in the pool, miles and miles of running on the treadmill, trails and roads, and hours of time spent on my indoor bike trainer and cycling around Upstate New York. Additionally, it’s going to take strength and weight lifting sessions to focus on my weaknesses to help me accomplish arrival to Lake Placid injury free.  Happily, even with just my first 2 weeks of training under my belt, I can tell that despite my down time this Fall – I’m entering this training cycle much stronger than last year. By some miracle my swim pace is right where I left off and my swim stroke is stronger, my biking while not where I ended the season – seems to be much stronger than where I started last year, and I know my running will come back to me over the next few weeks. Also, I’m just much more mentally and emotionally prepared for the journey ahead.

Strength is Earned, Not Given.

While I will be putting in the time with strength sessions, in the pool, on my bike and with my sneakers, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the fact that my journey and finding the necessary strength will also take an army of support to help me arrive at the start line. Family, friends, training partners, my teammates, my coach, my Betty Sisters, and the CNY triathlon, biking and running community, along with the other random athletes I have yet to meet on my journey this year! I pull strength from each and every one of you that will help to support and encourage me along the way these next 7 months. So I would like to thank each and every one of you now, and throughout the season for your support for all things triathlon and non-triathlon related.

Speaking of non-triathlon related – I would like to switch gears a bit… I started drafting this post a few weeks ago and ironically the title of this post has become the perfect mantra for my family in the past 10 days. Life definitely threw us a curve ball bringing a whole new meaning to the title of this post, and showed how much support my triathlon community, family and friends also provide for everyday life.

Strength is Earned, Not Given.

My sister and her husband are finding this out and earning strength at this very moment as I type. Ten days ago, my sister was at home taking a vacation day to prepare for Christmas. In the middle of making gifts, her water broke – 60 days before her due date. Long story short, after immediately going to her doctor, being sent to the local hospital and then being rushed by ambulance to Albany Med, my sister was in labor for about 13 hours before an emergency c-section had to be performed due to the baby being at risk. As it turns out, my sister’s baby had a condition known as hydrops fetalis – which essentially means the baby had fluid inside of it’s body. In this case it was in the abdomen, lungs, and head. The doctors are still not sure what exactly caused all of this and I’m not going to get into a lot of detail on this blog since this is my sister’s personal life. I’ll just leave it at the fact that my sister, my BIL, and my family had a very scary first 48-72 hours of welcoming my new nephew into this world. Baby J was given a 10% chance of survival at birth but is truly earning his strength (and my sister and BIL have definitely earned their strength) as he has survived this bumpy ride into our world. Happily, Baby J is in the NICU and is progressing and making steps forward on a daily basis. As those of you who are friends with me on FB would know, on Christmas my sister was given a HUGE gift in that little Baby J was taken off the ventilator and started breathing on his own – which was not expected to happen for a few weeks!! While this has been a scary time, it has also been a very exciting time for our family as my parents became grandparents for the first time and I became an Aunt! (Can’t wait to spoil the little guy!)

Weekly Workouts//

Week 1:

  • Monday – 1200 yd Swim
  • Tuesday – 60 minute Trainer Ride
  • Wednesday – Rest Day
  • Thursday – 35 minute Run
  • Friday – Rest Day (bumped workout to weekend)
  • Saturday – 75 minute Trainer Ride
  • Sunday – 1500 yd Swim & 40 minute Base Run

 Week 2:

  • Monday – 1400 yd Swim (was supposed to be 1800 but I messed up the workout… ooops!)
  • Tuesday – Rest Day
  • Wednesday – 75 minute Trainer Ride & 25 minute Strength Session
  • Thursday – 35 minute Run & 20 minute Strength Session
  • Friday – 1800 yd Swim
  • Saturday – 45 minute Strength Session & 100 minute Trainer Ride
  • Sunday – 45 minute Base Run

Photo Recap//

ELF Party at T’s!!


YES! I got spaghetti and syrup in the gift exchange! “We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.”


Not how I had anticipated my Wednesday going, but was happy to be able to help my sister and BIL in a time of need (also why I’m so glad I was able to move back home this year!)


Adventures in dog sitting. Hanging with my sister’s dog Roxy – yes we both have dog’s with the same name, but mine is older and spelled Roxie 🙂 Also, fun when you call for 1 dog and get 2 with only 1 command.


 IMG_0303Due to the events of the week, I became the cookie baker for our family, friends, and employees on behalf of my mom. This way she was available to visit at the hospital more.  (As you might notice, Bronco was always standing by waiting to help.)

IMG_0316 IMG_0321 IMG_0322 IMG_0323


Christmas tree with wrapped presents (a miracle that this all happened!)


RB for the win on the best Christmas present ever!


Bronco and his toy from J – luckily he successfully eliminated the squeaker within the first 10 minutes… for a full action video of the toy prior to it’s early death, check out my instagram.IMG_0349So many cookies!! Getting ready to put them on plates to hand out…


Bronco begging for Christmas presents on Christmas morning… (he had already opened and destroyed his during breakfast…)IMG_0377

Roxie’s awesome rope toy!


Dog Shaming, Christmas Style…

IMG_0406My adorable nephew on Christmas morning! Favorite part of Christmas was going to visit my sister, BIL and Baby J!


Special Delivery! (More on this next post…)


The hat requested by my sister for Baby J. He needs itty bitty hats for when he’s out of the incubator!


Best invention ever! Heart Rate monitor for your wrist – good by chest strap and awful chafing!


Well, that about does it – it’s been a crazy couple of weeks. I’m so happy to have a week off from work where my only obligations include swimming, biking, running and spending time with family and friends!!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a very joyous New Year!



One thought on “Strength Is Earned, Not Given.

  1. Leslie @ TriathleteTreats says:

    I am so excited for you too take this Ironman journey! You are going to love it and hate it! July will be here before you know it!!! I am so glad that you are stronger even after an injury. I think with an injury you can sometimes take the rest you wouldn’t have ordinarily taken!!
    Wow Baby J is a miracle. What a story. I have a friend that had a similar thing happen. He was in the NICU for 2 months! He is a very healthy almost 4 year old now!!
    Those treats you made look amazing!!!
    Happy 2015!! Wishing you lots of fast miles!!


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