K-O-N-A 2022.

FINALLY!  Kona recap 😉

It’s taken me a while to process my experience at Kona and figure out what parts would be most helpful to share 😉

First, I’ll be honest about how hard this year was for me personally – we had some family things go down that triggered what I now know was a ‘trauma response’ including things like flashbacks (it was news to me that there are different types of flashbacks and they are not just for war vets), depression and anxiety. There were a lot of days that felt pretty hard to function.  Like many of us do, I grew up in a home with a lot of dysfunction > I thought I’d worked through all that business….but, alas – life presented me with AFOG (Another Fucking Opportunity for Growth :).   

Had this race not been Kona, I am certain I would have pulled out.  I’ve pulled out of races before – which I mention b/c it’s a legitimate option – sometimes ‘toughing it out’ is not the best choice.  I did not take that route this time simply b/c it was Kona ;).

I don’t think having a tough year is unique – quite the opposite – I think most people out there are dealing w/ hard shit and working right through it to keep marching forward.  It’s not generally the fodder of social media – but it very much is woven into all our stories >

It’s the very thing that makes so many of the start lines and finish lines victories in 1000 ways beyond swim/bike/run.  

After a year w/ lots of therapy and hard work, I am so much better, am so thankful I could afford the help I needed, and will be forever thankful that I did not quit my journey to Kona. Getting to that start line was a victory in and of itself for me this year > and actually doing the race was a hell of an experience I will always feel so incredibly blessed to have had.

Alas, the race report:  

Training for an IM this year was a bit of a son of a gun this year (understatement).  BUT! > it gave me the chance to put into practice the many things I preach about (please remind me to shut my yap!!) – including accepting where you are in life, setting race expectations and your race plan to match your training, embracing progress not perfection, and moving forward with grace and gratitude….and in moments that you’re a total freaking asshole, own it, make reparations and move on 🙂  

Trust, but verify, your travel plans 😉

We had Angels w/ us on this trip – and whew! did they have their work cut out for them.  At 4 PM on the Saturday before we were supposed to leave, one of those angles tapped me on the shoulder and said Dear Liz. Your brain has left the building!  Your flight leaves in 12 hours – NOT in 72.  Perhaps you ought to notify your husband who has not started packing yet and hope your marriage survives.

[OMG!]

And 12 hours later, we were off. (and miraculously still married).

We arrived – our hotel was GLORIOUS.  (Some of you are aware that I had a few “accommodation situations” this year which included things like disassembled barbie dolls mounted as “Art” throughout my VRBO and halfway houses posing as Hostels….). Mmm how I love me some ocean views & safety.

Craig Alexander was even staying in our hotel! ( – proof it actually was a nice establishment!)   We never saw him – BUT – the hotel owners did give us a Kona World Champion shirt he left behind in his room (with the tags on it)….so we never saw him and we have a shirt he never wore….basically we’re best friends now. 

Ironman’s set up for Kona is next level – it’s not always obvious that Ironman puts the athlete experience first – but they did not miss a beat on this one IMO.  

During one of the many times I was slobbering over the weekend, a volunteer looked at me and said “you trained, right? you’re going to be okay – you’ll make it!”  I gave her a hug slightly longer than was appropriate and told her they were tears of joy.

Pre-Race Banquet:

This is notable for 2 reasons > 

#1 b/c Ironman demonstrated leadership on the importance of being good humans – being respectful of each other, the planet, and of the islands.  Amen. 

#2 Mike Riley’s farewell! > Mike Riley, Dave Scott, Mark Allen, Bob Babbit, Juan Ferdino > all of them on stage talking about the things I’ve only gotten to read about was a weekend highlight.  Seriously the best! I felt like I was watching the changing of the guard….it felt like closure on an era both personally and in the world of triathlon.

Swim:

My expectations:  Mainly that ocean swimming is amazing and I wish I could take all you w/ me so  you could see how amazing it can be when you’re not swimming in goose poo 🙂  

ALSO:

I knew my swim fitness wasn’t actually that great (shhh, don’t tell) > certainly not as good as it had been for Tulsa IM in 2021…I had a hard time getting my rear in gear in the pool (eik…even swimmers have a hard time getting in the pool sometimes many times).  Eventually I got there w/ my training – but I set my race expectations knowing my fitness wasn’t the best it could be > I figured I could pull off 2000-3000 before I would feel the impact of that > so, like I tell you all, I focused on those first 3000 yards and didn’t let the last 1000 hijack the rest of my swim.  That last 1000 was hard – but I just kept my focus on never letting up on how hard I was pulling – every single stroke had to count.  I didn’t think about anything else except sighting. 

I thought it would be cool to be top 10 out of the swim > extra cool to be top 5 > it never occurred to me I’d be first.  I still don’t know how that happened – but we take our wins where we can get them!!  eik!

I wasn’t sure what place I was in during the swim, but I did know there was a girl drafting off me – and when we hit the ramp to get out, she ran past me…..and I thought – well, we don’t know where that timing mat is – so I ran past her up the stairs….turns out that was a good move ;).  yea!

I will take this opportunity to point out that while pool swimming and open water swimming may look similar – there are important differences.  In some ways it’s like comparing road riding to mountain biking….the fitness and the motions are similar but the execution requires different skills.  

Pool swimmers are largely training for relatively short sprint races in the pool (even the shortest distance of most triathlon swims (~500 m) is considered a “distance” event in the swimming world).  

Triathletes are practicing for 15 min – 2 hour long swims in open water.  

Pool and Triathlon swims are VERY DIFFERENT EVENTS – the strokes can be different, the type of fitness required is usually different, and the race tactics are different.  …And certainly swimmers are not getting out to bike and run 🙂   

Truth be told, I have never been a ‘fast’ pool swimmer.  My stroke is made for open water > I get a lot of crap from the Masters group I practice with about my terrible stroke and mono-speed (one pace) swim ability.  

It’s really just that my stroke is made for open water b/c it’s choppy – not long and super technical like good pool swimmers. 

I have mostly 1 speed in the water for a few reasons – but largely due to how I train.  I do a lot of longer threshold sets w/o much rest > why?  B/c that is how I would like to be able to race 2.4 miles in open water – and with decades of being a distance freestyle swimmer under my belt, I can (usually) physically and mentally tolerate these kinds of sets….(tho this year got the better of me ;).    

Take aways:

  • You don’t need a perfect pool stroke for triathlon
  • How we train matters
  • OCEAN SWIMMING IS THE MOST AMAZING EVER – don’t say you don’t like open water swimming until you swim in clear ocean water 🙂  

BIKE:

This is epic and amazing and holy shit I get to ride the Kona course!!  No matter what, this is freaking amazing!!!!!  And it was – I list the things below that impacted my bike b/c I think it’s good to see what other athletes go through out on course – but I had the ride I earned in training this year and I am so grateful.

Overall being out there was every bit as cool as I thought it would be – racing with mostly women meant people were generally more thoughtful (sorry, dudes – even Casey agrees).  I was getting passed in droves on the bike but in the rare instance I passed someone, it also meant they didn’t take it as an affront to their manhood and try to race me down (sorry again, dudes – Casey still agrees).

It was windy and hot and I loved every second!!   Hawi is a really cute town 😉  There is a LOT of lava and wide open spaces (like 50 miles of it) between Kona and Hawi.  You can see the ocean almost the whole way.  GLORIOUS!!!

I cried the last mile of the bike – the whole way.  Relief my bike had (mostly) held up + total overwhelm by all the people, the support, and my gratitude for such an opportunity.

My expectations for the bike:  

I knew:

  • My fitness wasn’t at it’s best (and that was ok) 
  • This course could be brutal
  • COVID in the 2 months prior didn’t help (both b/c of missed training and the lingering effects it had on my breathing and HR up to Kona)
  • I had got another cold flu thing on the plane over to Kona that turned my snot into angry glue monsters – but people race sick all the time so I did my best to ignore it.
  • Traveling a lot in the 2 months before Kona was definitely NOT ‘performance enhancing’ – but definitely NOT something I was going to miss

Based on these factors, I laid expectations for this bike as one I would need to pace smartly (conservatively), never miss an opportunity to cool myself, and eat/drink/ take salt like it was my job.

My goal power and HR goals were both zone 2 (power 160-170 watts / HR ~135 or less) > I am careful w/ time goals b/c they often lead us to make poor choices in a race – but I was hoping I’d be done in under 6:30.

My carb / electrolyte intake per hour: 

  • 1 skratch + Nuun (20 carbs), 
  • 1 Kurt Bar (45 carbs), 
  • 1 Honey Stinger (22 carbs) hour 
  • = ~80-85 carbs / hour (a bit less in the last hour)

I did this nutrition routine for the first 5 hours > the last hour I backed off the solids and took in more scratch to make sure things digested before the run (but still wanting to keep up the carbs/salt).

I carried nutrition in my back pockets > each hour I’d grab enough for the next hour and move it to my boobs 🙂 Then I’d note the time and know I had to eat all that was in my boobs over the next 60 minutes – this helped me keep track to make sure I was eating enough.  Hooter snacking on the go!  LOL eik! (sorry again, dudes).

My Fluid Intake: 

  • 1 bottle of Skratch/nuun (as mentioned above) 
  • 1 bottle of water + nuun per hour 
  • Every aid station I grabbed an extra bottle of water and drank ~⅓- ½ and poured the rest over my head and body.  
  • = 2 – 2.5 bottles of fluid per hour drinking
  • = ½ – ¾ bottle per hour of cooling  

Headspace on bike:

Prior to Kona, I kept saying: ‘I ‘just wanted to enjoy’ this race > I know athletes say this – for me,  it’s dicey 😉  I might enjoy the chance to race – but it’s no picnic out there – and I should have known better!  Within 15 minutes on that bike, I knew I was going to have to be as focused as any other race > the problem was that I should have been preparing for this in the weeks leading up to the race > my focus was not there. (It really hadn’t been most of the year – at least not in the way it needed to be to nail an IM.  FWIW – I have made my peace with this – so please don’t take this as complaining 🙂  I share b/c I think it’s really important information – the physical prep is only part of nailing a race.

The impact of not having my focus where it should have been, ‘cost’ me ‘free time’ (meaning you can go faster w/o expending more energy).  I could have done more to tighten up my race prep and saved time.  (This is part of ‘the mental side of sport’ – we have the fitness – nailing the other details takes a lot of focus and preparation – and race day is about getting the details right so your fitness can shine).   

Again – I have not spent time beating myself up about this – it’s stuff I knew, I didn’t do well and that’s ok. 😉  IM takes an enormous amount of focus – I missed some things this time around – this can happen to any of us 😉

Examples of details I botched which cost me ‘free’ time;

WHEELS: I normally rent aero wheels from Race Day Wheels > Early in 2022, their website said they were not going to be at Kona > I thought that was weird but I never followed up and I never secured race wheels for Kona.  (It turns out – they were at Kona and if I’d followed up I could have easily rented wheels).  Normally racing w/o aero wheels would not be an option for me – I’d find a way to get them > but this year I just let it go b/c my head space wasn’t locked in > I was bummed I didn’t have them (and not just b/c of the cool sound they make!!) b/c it would have been an ‘easy’ way to save a few minutes.

SADDLE: My saddle kept falling during my warm up ride at Kona > I should have taken it in to be fixed…..instead I tried to fix it on my own (uh hu).  Shockingly, this did not work – aaaand It kept slipping down during my race > obviously this took time to stop and fix > and once I got it to stay, my saddle was too low > this meant I was using my quads instead of using my gluts on the bike….this is tough on the power numbers and dear lord tough on the quads during that run (o.m.g).

Huge silver lining:  My prayer for the bike was that if I had bike issues on the course, to please be ones that still allowed me to continue….that was granted and sweet glory thanks for that.  I’m recapping the nitty gritty as teachable moments 🙂  

Transition

I’m not usually one to linger in transition – but I sure did this time. I sat down, I had a snack, I drank some stuff….!   This was my mindset of “doing Ironman for fun” (….lies! All lies, LIZ!! lol).  In hindsight, I wouldn’t do it this way again…..even if we’re not going to have a PR race, we all still owed it to ourselves to get the most out of our race > I’d be a bit more focused next time round >  BUT!  A few extra minutes in transition is nothing to get worked up about 🙂  onward we go.

RUN

A lot of the same things went into my thinking about the run as the swim/bike > I was a bit undertrained, conditions will make it necessary to eat/drink/salt/and stay cool etc

First and foremost: Holy shit I made it to the run – my bike didn’t have any un-resolvable mechanical issues!  (more tears!)

HOW FREAKING COOL I GET TO DO THIS OMG I GET TO RUN IN THE **ENERGY LAB**!!  

If I am die, at least I’ll go out doing what I love!  

EAT!

Is someone stabbing my quads with an ice pick?

Pacing:

Over the years, I’ve come to fairly reliably know that my pace for my zone 2 heart rate (130s) is ~8:30 give or take.  Since COVID, my pace for zone 2 has been more like 9:30.  This, combined the current cold/flu, I knew I’d need to be careful on course > and, sweet glory, it worked out.  I kept an eye on my HR (130s) and my pace was holding ~9:30.  I walked through each aid station to get ice, water, coke, more water and more ice.  I had a few porta potty stops towards the end > but for the most part, I was able to steadily move forward. THANK YOU TO THE KONA GODS.

My nose ran like siv so my sweat rag turned into a snot rag.  mmm.

My only 2 real “prayers” for the day were #1 if I have mechanical issues on my bike, please let it be something that still allows me to finish (granted!!) #2 no matter how I feel out there on the run, please let me be able to make steady forward progress (granted!!).  THANKFUL THANKFUL THANKFUL!!!

I felt descent enough on that run – nothing that ever shut me down – however, mile 24 there was a very rude hill that almost killed me.  At the end of that climb, I was not my best self – as I rounded a corner a guy looked at me and was like “WHERE’S OUR SMILE?”  – I simultaneously wanted to laugh, cry, and punch him > but he was right and I put on a smile (fake it till you make it…or you see the finish line and forget the pain! :).  

My quads have never hurt so bad in my entire life.  Riding w/ a low saddle was a special challenge – but some of you may remember our Red whose entire saddle fell off during a race…and she tied it back to her seat post w/ a bike tube and had to ride half way standing….I kept thinking well, at least it’s not THAT!)  

It took ~ a week for my quads to stop buckling (a special bonus while cheer squading for Casey the next 2 days eik!)

I always take Tylenol during my IM runs to dull the pain – I take 2 at the start and 2 at half way > I did that this time as well > I literally can’t imagine what my quads would have done w/o it. 

Run Nutrition + Cooling:

I carried a 24 oz bottle of Skratch out of transition w/ me > I immediately started my sipping and kept it up all day.  When the skratch was done, I refilled with water at aid stations > the entire way I sipped water and poured it over myself. (yes, i got blisters one of which is currently killing off my big toe nail! rude).  I don’t know how much fluid I ultimately took in – it was just a continuous trickle all day.

I took a salt tab about every 2 miles > usually get my electrolytes from nuun (not salt tabs) > but my quads were screaming and the salt seemed to help so I took it.  I usually carry extra salt during a race and was glad I did this time.

Carbs:  2 gulps of coke at every aid station, 1 GU chomp OR ¼ of a SIS gel between each aid station.  Basically I took in some kind of sugar at least every ½ mile.

NUTRITION NOTE:

Casey and I had an interesting conversation after IM which I think worth passing along: we both felt sick during the run.  Neither of us wanted to eat.  We talked about how this is true every time we race.  And, how many years it’s taken us to realize this is our ‘normal’  – it’s freaking hard to to eat during a race – it’s so much WORK.  It can feel almost harder than the physical part sometimes.  We also noted how long it’s taken us to realize how much more we needed to eat on the run than we thought and how long it took to train our stomachs to take it in even when we didn’t feel well.

Casey took in a GU ~2 miles > that was 3-4 GUs per hour (60-80g carbs).  I don’t know how much I ultimately took in b/c mine was a more continuous trickle but I’d guess ~50 give or take.

I can’t stress enough how much work it is to eat during a race – it is a ton of work to pay attention to and track what you’ve eaten (esp after the first few hours) and it is work to put it in your mouth when you feel sick.  

But the fact of the matter is you arrive at race day with the fitness you have – and at that point, it doesn’t matter – for most, it’s not the fitness that will make or break your race – it’s all the other details – including nutrition.  For most, Ironman is a fuel limited event – not fitness limited.  If time is a factor in your day (whether it’s a performance or cut off goal), those details are as important as your fitness come race day.  You owe it to yourself to work as hard on those as you do on building fitness 🙂

Thank you all so much for all of your support both this year and for this race.  I appreciate the grace and support you’ve showed > I can’t wait to get back out there and support you all next year!!!

Relentless Forward Progress, Together!!

Ask, Learn & Vote 2020.

VOTE!  They say….but are there some details to know > time to make your Vote Plan (www.nbc.com/voteplan).  

What I learned as a poll worker last month (Aug 2020) is how much confusion there is around the voting process and the complete shame and embarrassment around not knowing and asking for help – it’s time to change that.

                  There are no stupid questions around voting – don’t be shy,

feel intimidated or embarrassed – this is YOUR vote,

YOUR voice and YOUR democracy. 

                  Our education around voting has gotten lax and confusing at best and non-existent at worst > it’s time to change that.  

Ask, learn, advocate and most of all VOTE.

Go kick some democracy ass out there 🙂

Elections are run by Counties > the information below is for Johnson County, Kansas; details taken from http://www.jocoelection.org.

It is the job of the JOCO Election office and Poll workers to help both leading up to and on election day > USE THEM.  Contact info: 

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QUESTIONS TO: 913-715-6800 / http://www.jocoelection.org

…..Believe it or not a real person answers – or if you leave a message they call back pretty quick.  …..What?! So I’ve called a few times. Quit judging. They love me (I’m sure). 

 

DATES / DEADLINES TO KNOW FOR JOCO VOTING:

Voting Dates.png

 

FIRST STEP: FIND OUT IF YOU ARE REGISTERED AND/ OR REGISTER TO VOTE

(Deadline: October 13, 2020)  

Voter Registration details:

  1. Find out if you are registered to vote: https://www.vote.org/am-i-registered-to-vote/
  2. If not, register to vote > either in person (by Oct 13, 2020) at one of the voter registration locations listed here: https://jocoelection.org/registration-sites
  3. Or register by mail
    1. Download registration application here: https://jocoelection.org/sites/default/files/VoterRegistrationSOS.pdf 
    2. Mail registration application (today, right now, asap) to:  
      1. JOCO Election Office 201 East Kansas City Road Olathe, KS 66061  🙂
      2. Must be post-marked by October 13th
  4. Mid-September call 913-715-6800 to confirm your voter registration was received > do not assume it was received.
  5. You should receive a notice in the mail confirming your registration was received…but again, don’t wait for this notice – call 913-715-6800 to confirm.

 

FAQ: Can I register to vote the day of the election? NO.  You must register by October 13, 2020.

FAQ: Do I have to declare a party to register to vote in November?  Answer: No (b/c it’s a general election.  You do have to declare for a primary election).

 

SECOND STEP: DECIDE WHEN AND WHERE YOU WILL VOTE

METHODS TO VOTE: in person early voting (best choice), in person on Election Day, vote by mail, provisional ballot 

 

 1. In Person Early Voting (Wednesday Oct 14, 2020 – Monday Nov 2, 2020 until NOON)

**** BEST OPTION **** BEST OPTION **** BEST OPTION ****

You can vote at any polling location (that offers early voting) during this time – here is a list of locations and times:  https://www.jocoelection.org/advance-voting-0

 

2. In Person Voting on Election Day November 3, 2020 (7AM – 7 PM)

    1. Vote at your designated polling (voting) location > where? see #2
    2. “Where do I vote on election day?” Text VOTEKS, your address and ZIP to 74574. Within 60 seconds a return message displays your polling place.
    3. As long as you are in line by 7 PM you are allowed to vote.

FAQ: What if I go to the wrong voting location on Nov 3 / Election Day?  If you don’t have time to get to your correct voting location, you can vote via PROVISIONAL BALLOT at any location.  Tell the poll worker you need to vote via provisional ballot – they will help you do this.  This isn’t the preferred way to vote b/c provisional ballots aren’t always counted (details for another day) – but it is 100% better than not voting.  Provisional Ballots are always an option.

FAQ:  If I previously submitted to vote by MAIL, can I still vote in person? Yes but there are some caveats > every person is allocated only ONE BALLOT.  So, if you applied to vote by mail but forgot or changed your mind here are your options:

1. Fill out the ballot you received in the mail and physically take it to any poll location > you don’t have to wait in line.  Tell the poll worker & ask to drop off the mail-in ballot in the labeled RED BAG designated for collecting mail-in ballots.  

2. If you don’t have / can’t find your ballot > just go vote in person as normal > you will need to use a PROVISIONAL BALLOT.   At check-in, the poll workers can tell if you’ve already received a mail in ballot or not – so if you can’t remember, don’t worry : )  Just go vote in person like normal and if needed, vote using a provisional ballot.   

If you can’t remember if you submitted to vote by mail, or you lost your ballot or changed your mind – don’t worry, poll workers can access that info for you.  Voting via provisional ballot is always an option.  

 

 3. Vote by Mail > 2 step process.  #1 apply to receive a mail in ballot #2 Get the ballot in the mail, fill it out, return it…..details:

STEP 1:

  1. Download and fill out a MAIL BALLOT APPLICATION (this is basically to request the election office mail you a ballot)
    1. https://jocoelection.org/advance-voting-0
    2. deadline for requesting a Mail Ballot Application is October 27, 2020 > but do it now if you are planning to vote by mail 😉

     2. Submit your MAIL BALLOT APPLICATION via:  snail mail, fax, text a picture of the application, or take the application to the JOCO election office.  Contact info:

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3) Confirm your MAIL BALLOT APPLICATION WAS RECEIVED > Mid-September Call 913-715-6800 > confirm w/ plenty of time to still re-apply if needed.  This sounds coo-coo cocoa puffs paranoid but do it 🙂

October 14, 2020 > This is the date by law Kansas can start mailing out voting ballots.  Keep an eye out in the mail – call 913-715-6800 if you don’t see yours and remember you can always vote in person using a provisional ballot.  This isn’t ideal but it’s certainly better than not!

STEP 2:

  1. Get your VOTING BALLOT in the mail (if you don’t have this by October 21, call the election office at 913-715-6800)
  2. Fill out your ballot and either mail it to the Johnson County Election office 2101 Easy Kansas City Road Olathe, KS 66061 OR take it into any polling location listed here: https://www.jocoelection.org/advance-voting-0

 

Questions? Concerns?  JOCO Election Office – 913-715-6800 or liz@redstriteam.com 

 

Remember:

There are no stupid questions around voting – don’t be shy, feel intimidated or embarrassed – this is YOUR vote, YOUR voice and YOUR democracy.  Own it. Use your voice and your vote to get what you need at the polls.

Our education around voting has gotten lax and confusing at best and non-existent at worst > it’s time to change that.  

Ask, learn, advocate and most of all VOTE! 

Let’s kick some democracy ass out there.

Implicit Bias – what is it and how to work on improving it

Original docs attached below – have copied and pasted them here for ease of reading.  Thank you to Katie Weidling and AFSME for these documents.

Here is to listening, learning and being open to sitting in discomfort while we work together to improve our communities ❤️

Beyond Bias: An Introduction to Implicit Bias

Defining Implicit Bias

Also known as implicit social cognition, implicit bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.  These biases, which encompass both favorable and unfavorable assessments, are activated involuntarily and without an individual’s awareness or intentional control.  Residing deep in the subconscious, these biases are different from known biases that individuals may choose to conceal for the purposes of social and/or political correctness.  Rather, implicit biases are not accessible through introspection.

The implicit associations we harbor in our subconscious cause us to have feelings and attitudes about other people based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity, age, and appearance.  These associations develop over the course of a lifetime beginning at a very early age through exposure to direct and indirect messages.  In addition to early life experiences, the media and news programming are often-cited origins of implicit associations.

A Few Key Characteristics of Implicit Biases

  • Implicit biases are pervasive.  Everyone possesses them, even people with avowed commitments to impartiality such as judges.
  • Implicit and explicit biases are related but distinct mental constructs.  They are not mutually exclusive and may even reinforce each other.
  • The implicit associations we hold do not necessarily align with our declared beliefs or even reflect stances we would explicitly endorse.
  • We generally tend to hold implicit biases that favor our own ingroup, though research has shown that we can still hold implicit biases against our ingroup.
  • Implicit biases are malleable.  Our brains are incredibly complex, and the implicit associations that we have formed can be gradually unlearned through a variety of debiasing techniques.

Source:  Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity.  State of the Science:  Implicit Bias Review 2015

 

8 STRATEGIES TO  REDUCE/INTERRUPT BIAS

STRATEGY # 1 – Increase Your Awareness

STRATEGY # 2 – Stereotype Replacement – a) recognize when you’re having a stereotypic thought (or when you observe stereotypic portrayals in society; b) identify the factors behind the thought/portrayal; c) replace the stereotype with a non-stereotypic response.  

  • Recognize when stereotypes are activated:  What are the feelings – physiological signs – that you have when you spend time with and/or around people with whom you have “chemistry;” people with whom you “click?”   What are the feelings when you’re with and/or around people who are the opposite?  

STRATEGY # 3 – Counter-Stereotypic Imaging – imagine in detail a person who counters the stereotype. Alternatively, consider using photos or images to counter existing stereotypes.  

  • Who’s a person in your work and/or personal life that represents the opposite of the stereotype?  What’s the person’s name?  What are three characteristics/qualities about the person that counter the stereotype about their group?  
  • What pictures, photos, symbols can you hang on the wall in the common space and/or program space to counter negative stereotypes about the communities you serve and/or other marginalized groups?

 

STRATEGY # 4 – Practice Individuation – do regular, in-person, one-on-one meetings with people who:  a) you are prone to be biased against and/or; b) who have a lived experience different than your own.  The goal is to use individual characteristics (versus generalizations) to inform our judgment.  

  • List 3 to 5 people who are (or you perceive to be) “different” from you with respect to race, ethnicity, culture, lived experience, etc.  Conduct a 30 to 60 minute, in-person meeting with each person.
  • Example — AFSCME Strong campaign – training 5% of its members to engage another 80% “one conversation at a time.”

STRATEGY # 5 — Practice Perspective Taking find creative – and respectful — ways to experience what it’s like to walk in the shoes of a member of a stereotyped or marginalized group. 

  • Example — Staff of a city-wide organization that works with homeless families deciding to spend a night living on the “streets” to better understand what it’s like to be homeless;
  • Example — Former Newark Mayor Cory Booker living on food stamps for a week.

STRATEGY # 6 — Do Inter-group Work – Create and/or join a dialogue group; organize a “brown bag” series; ultimately, the goal is to create opportunities for diverse groups of people to engage in positive contact over an extended period of time.

  • Example — National Park Service (NPS) Allies for Inclusion Program; training NPS staff to be dialogue facilitators; using 60-90 minute monthly “brown bags” as the strategy. 

STRATEGY # 7 – IMPROVE DECISION-MAKING.  Improve decision-making by slowing down and removing discretion and ambiguity from decision-making.

Example — Courts Catalyzing Change “bench card” or checklist for judges.  See excerpt below:

  • What assumptions have I made about the cultural identity, genders, and background of this family? 
  • What evidence has supported every conclusion I have drawn, and how have I challenged unsupported assumptions?”

STRATEGY # 8 — PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE 

  • Shifting behavior and culture (individual and organization) requires sustained practice, repetition and feedback.  

Note – Several of the above strategies are adapted from “Breaking the Bias Habit:  A Workshop to Promote Gender Equity” — Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute at University of Wisconsin-Madison

 

Anti-Racist – Links to a podcast that might be helpful + a link to Ibram Kendi’s site where he has written some helpful books on this topic ;).  If you are even still reading at this point in the post, thanks and rock on w/ yer bad self.

Brené with Ibram X. Kendi on How to Be an Antiracist

https://www.ibramxkendi.com

 

Original Document Links:

What is implicit bias

How to work on correcting bias

 

 

Leg Strength – Gold Star Project 2020

GLUT BRIDGES:

Notes:

  • Heel is pressed into the floor, toes are slightly up
  • Hips are up > no bend in hips
  • Hands resting by your side are ok but aim not to use them to support you
  • You can also do this with your feet on a balance disk to add difficulty

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ABDUCTOR WORK: (calm shells, monster walks work similar muscles)

  • Heels must be slightly out and toes slightly in (not the best example here) > if you let the toes point out, it does not work the hips in the same way.

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SINGLE LEG DEAD LIFT

  • This exercise hinges from the hips > the spine does *NOT* flex.
  • Go slow – this is harder than it looks.  It will challenge your balance and strength.
  • Can increase difficulty by adding weight to the hands or standing on a balance disk

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Kansas City Triathlon 2019

First race of the year for most of us is fast approaching – below are pointers I get asked about most frequently.  Mostly, though, remember that you belong at the race – no matter what facebook may have you believe, no one has this sport mastered :).  If you need help, ask!  Race day rarely goes perfectly for anyone – how you handle those curve balls is what matters.  You got this – find that inner warrior and press on.  Hustle, get gritty, give high fives, push the envelop, smile, get uncomfortable, say thanks, and be awesome 🙂

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Race Day – Keep it Simple & Stick to YOUR plan

  1. Race Day Packing List – writing a list helps make sure you get what you need and leave what you don’t.  No need to rely on frantic race day brain to make sure you remember your goggles!
  2. Write out a Race Day Timeline – Race day can be much more relaxing (i.e. save energy for racing not worrying) if you know you’re on schedule instead of frantically hoping you make it on time.
  3. Keep it Simplestick with what you know and what you’ve been practicing.  Resist that pesky temptation to second guess everything you’ve been doing when you show up and see what other athletes are doing (we’ve all been there – resist!!). Stick to YOUR plan.
  4. Give yourself a bit of extra time race morning – why not?  If you arrive early you can sit in the (warm) car and drink coffee a hydrating beverage of your choice.
  5. Take warm stuff for race morning (including the feet) – why use race energy trying to stay warm?
  6. Transition Area – Don’t be THAT GUY (or gal) with the sprawling tri gear – keep your area tidy – be a good triathlete neighbor :).  Put your transition gear either under your bike or just to the side and only items you will use during the race.
  7. Bike EtiquetteOn the course, stay to the right (to allow others to pass if needed).  If you are the one passing, notify the other cyclist by yelling “ON YOUR LEFT” so they know you are coming. This frequently gets overlooked on race day, but no one wants to crash so do your part.   #saferacing #saferiding

 

Managing Cold Water*

While we never know for sure until race day, the water this year might be chilly.  For most, it’s when cold water hits the face that we have the strongest reaction. It may *feel* like it’s taking your breath away and you may need a few moments to manage this.  It’s extremely important to submerge the face and get control of your breath before you start to swim.  If you either haven’t swam in cold water before or know that it’s something you struggle with, make it a priority to get control of your breath before you start to swim (even during the race).  You may have to hang for a minute or two and focus on this – but your body will adjust and those extra few minutes can make a huge difference to the rest of your swimming and your race.

*We will have a pre-race briefing at 5:00 on Saturday before the race and will be touching on this topic if that’s of interest.

Should I do the warm up swim race morning (if there is one)?

There is no right answer to this – some athletes prefer to do a run warm up if the water and/or air temps are going to be extra chilly.  Remember your goal is to get blood flowing to those muscles and help them prepare to race – do what works for you.  Just have those warm clothes ready to put on when you get done warming up.

Pacing: Race to your Training

Pacing can be a tricky one – but aim to set expectations for the race based on the training you’ve been doing.  Set that darn ego aside and think about what your body is ready to do – if you’ve been training hard, it might be time to push it!  If life has gotten in the way of training, set those pacing goals accordingly.  Avoid the temptation to ‘move your goal post’ or change your goals upon arriving on site race day.  yikes.  Stick with your plan that’s based on what you’ve been doing in training.

Have fun out there & stay safe.  We’ll be rooting for you!

for weebly

The Reds Triathlon Team 

#grit #hustle #teamwork

 

Getting to the Pointy End

Reds > a lot of you probably already know that my dearest pea hubster, Casey Kershner raced Galveston 70.3 this weekend – he’s 43 years old, been doing triathlon for ~a decade and still keeps getting better (eik!) > > > why is this relevant to the rest of us??

Casey grew up a basketball player – he played through college & is still as obsessed with the sport. When he started triathlon, he wore basketball shorts to his knees (hell no he wasn’t wearing SPANDEX!) and couldn’t swim 1 lap of the pool. HE WAS JUST LIKE THE REST OF US WHEN WE START – no idea what he was doing or how to get better.

His journey to placing top 10 in one of the increasingly hardest age groups (why is it hard? Pros start to retire and re-enter age group racing, unfortunately doping is an issue & drafting in Ironman events is something they still haven’t addressed. Additionally, amateur athletes are increasingly taking advantage of the luxury of quitting their jobs for a spell to ‘training like professionals’ > combine all that and it’s, in my (perhaps biased) opinion, that it’s an absolutely brutal age group).

His journey to “the pointy end” (highly competitive) hasn’t come overnight – he’s had a LOT of hard lessons and things to overcome to get to where he is > JUST LIKE WE ALL DO. What he has done to get where he is is show up everyday and do what needs to be done – he’s as consistent as they come > and layer by layer, year after year he’s gotten a little bit better.

You’d never look now and think he did his first race with his helmet on backwards or that his first 3 Ironmans he LITERALLY made himself sick b/c of anxiety > what we see is the one day where all that work comes together….and doesn’t he make it look easy .

But I’m here to tell you it’s not easy! We gotta work for that shit BUT I’m also here to tell you that what he’s doing is NOT magic – and it’s there for the taking for anyone whose willing to keep their head down, bum up and keep on w/ long term, consistent, smart training!!

Don’t underestimate yourself > go forth and be a force of the awesome! #redstri #consistencyisking #kicka$$

 

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KC Tri Tips 2018

First race of the year for most of us is fast approaching – below are pointers I get asked about most frequently.  Mostly, though, remember that you belong at the race – no matter what facebook may have you believe, no one has this sport mastered :).  If you need help, ask!  Race day rarely goes perfectly for anyone – how you handle those curve balls is what matters.  You got this – find that inner warrior and press on.  Hustle, get gritty, give high fives, push the envelop, smile, get uncomfortable, say thanks, and be awesome 🙂

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Race Day – Keep it Simple & Stick to YOUR plan

  1. Race Day Packing List – writing a list helps make sure you get what you need and leave what you don’t.  No need to rely on frantic race day brain to make sure you remember your goggles!
  2. Write out a Race Day Timeline – Race day can be much more relaxing (i.e. save energy for racing not worrying) if you know you’re on schedule instead of frantically hoping you make it on time.
  3. Keep it Simplestick with what you know and what you’ve been practicing.  Resist that pesky temptation to second guess everything you’ve been doing when you show up and see what other athletes are doing (we’ve all been there – resist!!). Stick to YOUR plan.
  4. Give yourself a bit of extra time race morning – why not?  If you arrive early you can sit in the (warm) car and drink coffee a hydrating beverage of your choice.
  5. Take warm stuff for race morning (including the feet) – why use race energy trying to stay warm?
  6. Transition Area – Don’t be THAT GUY (or gal) with the sprawling tri gear – keep your area tidy – be a good triathlete neighbor :).  Put your transition gear either under your bike or just to the side and only items you will use during the race.
  7. Bike EtiquetteOn the course, stay to the right (to allow others to pass if needed).  If you are the one passing, notify the other cyclist by yelling “ON YOUR LEFT” so they know you are coming. This frequently gets overlooked on race day, but no one wants to crash so do your part.   #saferacing #saferiding

 

Managing Cold Water*

While we never know for sure until race day, the water this year might be chilly.  For most, it’s when cold water hits the face that we have the strongest reaction. It may *feel* like it’s taking your breath away and you may need a few moments to manage this.  It’s extremely important to submerge the face and get control of your breath before you start to swim.  If you either haven’t swam in cold water before or know that it’s something you struggle with, make it a priority to get control of your breath before you start to swim (even during the race).  You may have to hang for a minute or two and focus on this – but your body will adjust and those extra few minutes can make a huge difference to the rest of your swimming and your race.

*We will have a pre-race briefing at 5:00 on Saturday before the race and will be touching on this topic if that’s of interest.

Should I do the warm up swim race morning (if there is one)?

There is no right answer to this – some athletes prefer to do a run warm up if the water and/or air temps are going to be extra chilly.  Remember your goal is to get blood flowing to those muscles and help them prepare to race – do what works for you.  Just have those warm clothes ready to put on when you get done warming up.

Pacing: Race to your Training

Pacing can be a tricky one – but aim to set expectations for the race based on the training you’ve been doing.  Set that darn ego aside and think about what your body is ready to do – if you’ve been training hard, it might be time to push it!  If life has gotten in the way of training, set those pacing goals accordingly.  Avoid the temptation to ‘move your goal post’ or change your goals upon arriving on site race day.  yikes.  Stick with your plan that’s based on what you’ve been doing in training.

Have fun out there & stay safe.  We’ll be rooting for you!

for weebly

The Reds Triathlon Team 

#grit #hustle #teamwork

 

 

 

The Revolution will Not be Televised (or posted on Facebook)

In another life I did humanitarian work and wrote a piece once about ‘the invisible moments of activism’ – all those moments you’re in the trenches doing the work that matters but GEEZE does progress feel slow.  You question if you’re making progress (you are), if it all matters (it does), if it will ever make a difference (it will)!? Last week, as I was reflecting on the peaks and valleys athletes experienced this 2017 season, I came across that article and it struck a familiar cord.  Though totally different circumstances, the message resonates loud and clear – progress comes in those invisible lonely moments where you choose Grit & Hustle over the easy way.

I get questions a lot from athletes about how it is that other athletes get better – presumably they, too, want to improve – how does she do it (she does her workouts every single day for years), why is his secret (there is no secret, only hard work), I wish I could do that (you can).  What is often missing in that conversation is the understanding of what athletes who are getting better are doing – what their lives look like on a daily basis.

If I could sum it up in a word: Everyday.

We all have things that come up – but athletes who are improving are training just about everyday all year long.  They train smart with a long term focus.  What their specific training looks like depends on their athletic age (how long they’ve been in the sport), chronological age, event of choice, goals, etc – but rest assured they are working everyday year round.

These aren’t athletes who sub in gardening for their weight training on a nice spring day (I know gardening is hard – but it’s not the same), or who sometimes count water polo as their swim workout, or who go too hard at the start of their track workout and then die at the end, or who let their long ride on the weekends be determined by who they are riding with instead of what their body needs.

They are athletes who simply do what needs to be done – the way it’s suppose to be done – everyday.  They don’t over train, they don’t under train, they don’t rant about their stats or gear – and honestly most of them don’t post their daily feats on Facebook.  The ones getting it done are doing it quietly, everyday in invisible moments; getting it done when no one is watching.  They live the Grit & Hustle knowing nothing worth doing is ever easy.

Getting better is hard, it’s long term, and it’s daily.  But what makes it absolutely awesome is that we all have access to this “magic” – whatever your age or goals or history, all of this is here, waiting for you, to come find out just how awesome you are.

It’s Not About the Shiny Bits

Julyl 2017 – Door County 70.3
We aren’t in this sport or in life to sit on the sidelines – and every time we get out there, we put ourselves on the line not knowing what the result will be.  Some days are tough and Door County 70.3 gave us waves fit for a storm in that swim – but every single one of our athletes standing at that start line looked out over that water and did an absolutely amazing job of keeping it together.  There was no complaining – we knew it would be tough – we knew we had no way of practicing in Kansas for the conditions we faced – and there were lots of butterflies & swallowing of nerves – but the waves & the nerves were no match for the hugs, support, and encouraging words you all gave to each other.
Racing is a risk.  And it’s especially a risk on a day like Sunday.  But triathlon isn’t about the shiny bits.  It’s not about the gear or the days that go as planned or the Facebook pictures that give the (false) impression of triathlon perfection.  Triathlon is about what we saw on Sunday – it’s raw and risky and gritty – it’s the moments that are hard and often lonely – where you are digging for every step – and it’s nothing like the shiny bits promised in the pictures.  These moments are what test and build character – I have never been more proud than I was on Sunday seeing every single one of our athletes put one foot in front of the other and take the risk.  Put yourself out there when there was nothing easy about it….and in the absence of the shiny bits, we were left with the medal underneath every. single. one. of you shined even brighter than before.  You all are amazing humans and you inspire the rest of us to take risks, to stay strong, and to keep going.  HUGE congratulations ❤
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The Voice of The Ratchet has got to GO.

As Casey and I were stretching out after our run last weekend, we were discussing how unfortunate it is that, still, after many years in triathlon and many (many) reminders on the importance of stretching neither of us can touch our knees, I mean (or do I) toes.

In our discussion on the merits of stretching somehow we got onto the Sit & Reach….in case you’ve forgotten (or blocked it out):

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We took a little trip down memory lane discussing Elementary School Fitness Tests  … eeeeiiikkkkk….by the end of the conversation I was wondering how any of us escaped with any self esteem in tact??

 

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(ps There are some bad words at the end of this blog. You’ve been warned; abort if needed)

I’m not sure which one of these Fitness Tests to credit as my favorite.  They were all so pleasant.

Fat pinch plier test (I think the politically correct term for that was the ‘skin fold’ test but let’s just call it what it is).  I can still feel my self esteem rising just thinking about Nurse Ratchet applying the big squeeze.

The mile run (‘run’).  It’s hard to imagine why it took me 20 years after elementary school to want run again.

High jump or the bar jump or whatever it was. Eh, hem ooookay kids, this is our annual jump really high day.  To show our support, we’re going to put a metal pole out that’s right about the height of yer head.  We’ll all be staring at you. Good luck.

Really, though, I think some of my best moments had to be on the pull up & the rope climb.  THAT wasn’t embarrassing at all. (I still can’t do an unassisted pull up despite swimming through college).

I must have had a hunch this was a racket b/c I usually got caught hiding on testing days.  In 5th grade, after trying to avoid the jump high test, I was given a special chance to show the whole class it’s not a good idea to skip “skills lessons”.  Boy, did I prove to them it’s not a good idea to make Liz run really fast toward a mental pole (to this day, my vertical is still 3 inches on a good day.  I was never going to make it over that bar.)

As Casey and I discussed these ‘fitness tests’ I got remnants of the same pit in my stomach I used to get back in Elementary school.   eeeiikkkk how I dreaded test days….

Given that Casey (who is a natural and bada** athlete) also had the same reaction, it made me think there must be a fair number people who weren’t inspired to athletic greatness by the Sit & Reach.  And it, in fact, made me suspect that some might greatly underestimate what they can do today based on experiences like running into a metal pole in front of their class mates or the pinch of Mrs. Ratchet’s fat pliers.

It might be part of why athletes who don’t view themselves as “fast enough” or as “looking like an athlete” suggest to me that they “aren’t really athletes”.  I’m willing to bet the voice of The Ratchet still lurks in the subconscious of a lot of athletes – as a coach, I call these brain trolls and they erode self esteem and confidence – and for some even the willingness to try (no pun intended) b/c they don’t feel like they have a place in sports.

For those that struggle to define yourselves as ‘athletes’ despite all the training you do, let’s just go ahead and take a minute to call that what it is:

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Nurse Ratchet and her pliers have no place here. There’s no ‘legitimate athlete’ patrol.   Carry on with yer goals and yer struggles and yer victories and with being yer badarse selves.  Anyone who says otherwise is full of bull.

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WATCH OUT BAD WORD BELOW!

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