The other day, I was sitting in J&A’s having a chat with my friend Brad Miller. Brad is a really great guy and really fun to talk to. In any case, we were talking about taking chances…and I don’t remember the conversation in it’s entirety, but I do remember his quote (in a Texas twang): “Amanda, sometimes you gotta ride that pony, til she bucks you off”. I love the quote. This quote coupled with a little tough love from Cliff (“Amanda, sometimes you gotta beat yourself with a riding crop and not rely on training partners to push you”) a week or so ago has been my motivation lately. Yes, these guys both associate me with horses…:).

I love having training partners. In fact, I embrace training partners. Every year, I manage to have at least one bad ass pro woman train with me for a week or so. Some of my all time favorites have been Heather G, Katja S, Karen H, Terra C. and of course both of the KL’s!

I’ve been lucky this year. Already, I have had Sam M., the KL’s, The Wassner’s, Terri A., Terra C., and now Dede G. Something happens to me when I have a training partner. I rise up and I can push myself just a tiny bit more and I am able to squeeze more out of myself. I don’t seem to feel pain when I train with others. Training is always fun when it’s with someone else. I really LOVE having other folks to train with…especially girls who seem to respect each others strengths and weaknesses. I think that’s what it’s all about…RESPECT and having FUN with others.

Today was a great day for Brad’s quote. I repeated my new theme to myself at Masters today…
Wednesdays are usually “stroke” day. Stroke day usually means “easy day” for me as I go there to flop around with my pathetic attempts to swim butterfly, back, and breast. I’m not a natural swimmer. And I just use Wednesdays to loosen up and get ready for the hard stuff later in the day. Today was an exception, however. Dede G. is in town…along with my BFF, Richie C.
Whitney, our coach, wanted to make sure that the triathletes got in a proper workout today…lol!
Whitney threw me and (swim partner extraordinaire) Terra in Dede’s lane. I politely raised my hand and questioned Whitney…”Do you realize how fast Dede is Whitney?” Whitney didn’t even acknowledge my question. Terra and I just looked at each other and said…F*ck…
The main set went something like this:
10×25 on 20″
10×50 on 40″
10x 75 on 1′
10×100 on 1:15 (for the 100′s TC and I had paddles)
All of this is easy for Dede. It’s tight for me and TC. As I looked through the main set, I questioned if I would make it through the 50′s. But I just told myself to take a chance: “to ride that pony ’til she bucked me off”. Basically, I was going to hold on to Dede and Terra for as long as possible until I blew up. I took a chance, and I did great. I did blow or “get bucked off”…but it wasn’t until the 9th 100. I had to sit out a 50, but I managed. YAHOO!

The rest of the day, I did errands, dog run, etc. I got home at 1pm and anticipated the 4pm track workout. I haven’t done any pm track workouts in years. This is in part because I just like to get it over with early in the morning and it is also in part to my stomach/hernia issues. My stomach seems to be the best in the morning with small amounts of food. But now that I feel that I have it under control with prescription medication, I felt the need to “test” it. I wanted to give a pm track workout a shot. I rallied my TEXAS BFF’s, Cassie and Terra, to jump into the workout. Terra has been my steady workout partner…always reliable. And she has improved so much in the past few months! Cassie is one of my oldest BFF’s. She went to the Olympic trials in the 5k, 10k, and the marathon. The cool thing about Cassie is that she has nothing to prove. She is a bad ass. She is in the process of getting back into shape right now after taking a bit of time off after marathon trials last year. And she was there to help push me and TC. I am so grateful! I basically told her what the workout was. She said ok…and we did it…after she tweaked some of the times…lol (sorry Cliff, I had to make it work for Cassie too). There is no way that I would have been able to run as fast as I did without her. She frickin’ pulled my ass through 6 hard miles of track running. Again, my theme was: “ride that pony ’til she bucks you off”. I focused on Cassie’s heels the entire time. My first goal was to not piss her off by running too fast in the beginning or do something stupid like run on her shoulder…lol! And then about halfway through, my goal, eventually became to not get “bucked off”. I did fall off the pace eventually, but I fought and fought my way through that workout. I had one of the BEST track workouts in years…YAHOO! THANK YOU CASSIE!

I am so grateful for amazing training partners and friends. I was giddy and so happy during track workout. Today reminded me of college and the bonds that I shared with the girls on my team. Fighting, drooling, and pushing each other… but giving hi-fives and props to one another at the end. Not getting frustrated, or jealous…pushing through, and encouraging one another to be the best you can be on that day.
Truly a fun and special day with friends and…training partners! That is what it is all about…