Before Turkey 70.3

The word Mantra comes from a Sanskrit word meaning a “sacred message or text, charm, spell, counsel.” And if I’m being honest, I need ALL of that and more when I am racing. When the going gets tough, I am looking for ANY message, charm, spell, hocus pocus, magic beans, OR advice from a spectator to keep pushing.

When I first started racing, my thoughts were all over the place. Mainly I was just trying not to die, and I didn’t really have a phrase or mantra to keep me going. …

7 AM: Wake up to no alarm. Sweet Mother of All Things Triathlon, it is nice to not have to wake up in the dark to train today.

7:02 AM- Get out of bed, walking like the Tin Man and remind myself that I am supposed to stretch and foam roll today.

7:05 AM: Cup of coffee #1.

7:07 AM: Cup of coffee #2…ahhh…the joys of having time for a second cup.

7:30 AM: Do I need to shower today? All signs point to no. It’s a rest day!

7:45 AM: Catch foam roller looking at me from the corner…

Feeling unsettled lately? Perhaps a little more anxious? Trouble sleeping? Or perhaps you feel like you are in a funk. Like you are walking around in a fog.

You might have seen the posts popping up on social media: Hang in there everyone. You are doing what you can. Is anyone else having a really strange week?

We are coming up on what’s known as a trauma anniversary. For most of us, it was one year ago when we last went out to dinner with friends, or traveled, or went to a concert. It was one year ago that we…

Ironman Maine 70.3

Until I was 40, I was a recreational athlete. What I mean by this is that I exercised without specific competition in mind. I ran and lifted weights and rode a bike (mostly indoors at spin class), but I didn’t really consider it “training.” I wasn’t racing. I didn’t even wear a heart rate monitor or track my workouts at all.

I just worked out. I liked working out. In fact, if someone had called me an “athlete” five years ago, I would have laughed.

Yet as my kids got older, and I found myself with a little more time…

Dear Ella,

A couple of months after you were born, I gave up Diet Coke. This might seem like a weird way to start a letter, so just bear with me. I used to drink one Diet Coke a day. Then I quit, cold turkey. And I have not had a diet soda since (or any soda). This will be an important fact later, so remember it.

When you were 2 1/2, we took you to your first “my buddy” gymnastics class. Soon after, you climbed all the way up the rope ladder over the pit. You had no fear…

Fatigue, Fitness, and Form, oh my!

Does this sound familiar in 2020? Train for an April race. Race postponed until September. Train for another race. Race cancelled. Sign up for different race that others “insist” will go. Almost start training for said race, but race cancelled before training begins. Start training again for the previously postponed race. That race cancelled, but run it virtually. Defer another race because of quarantine rules and rising cases. Sign up for early season race in 2021 because in need of a boost of hope. …

When mini-golf counted as a workout for the day (2011).

I have three clear “mom-athlete” memories from when my kids were little. I remember squeezing in a 20 minute run on the treadmill while my daughter slept in her car seat next to it (no judging about sleeping in the car seat please…she is now 16 and barely ever sleeps in a car seat). I also remember getting up at the ungodly hour of 4:30 AM to pump before I left to teach my 6 AM spin class. And I remember coming back from runs or rides and pulling up my sweaty sports bra to nurse my son as soon…

Last week, my 15 year old daughter came into direct contact with another teen who tested positive for Covid-19. Luckily, my daughter eventually tested negative for Covid, but I learned a lot in that week about the realities of dealing with this virus, from getting a test to trying to isolate a child from the rest of the family. Our family’s week from hell is a cautionary tale for school re-openings and some advice for other parents who might find themselves in this situation.

The initial exposure happened on a Monday morning. My 15 year old was at practice with…

Keepin’ it local

The last “in-studio” spin class I taught was on Saturday, March 14. There were 21 of us (a full class in my studio). The next morning, I sent an email limiting class to 10 people. That same afternoon, I sent an email cancelling classes for two weeks. One week after that, I cancelled classes indefinitely.

Then, like many instructors, I went virtual. I got a Zoom account, downloaded Loopback (a sound program), set up my bike trainer, and started teaching four classes a week- two strength classes and two spin classes. Some people paid me via Venmo, some people didn’t…

Best Christmas present ever.

Last Sunday, I was supposed to run 20 miles on the Boston Marathon course. I had it all planned out. I was going to start in Ashland at mile 4 and hit Heartbreak Hill at mile 17 and then finish somewhere along Commonwealth Avenue, saving those last couple of miles for race day in order to let the full magic of running my first Boston Marathon sink in, in real time.

That didn’t happen. I didn’t even run 20 miles at home on Cape Cod on Sunday. I think I ran 9? And even that felt like a slog.

Could…

Amy Woods

Amy was a teacher for 22 years and now spends her time teaching fitness classes, training for marathons and triathlons, and trying to raise two teenagers.

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