On Sunday night I woke up at 1:45am and never went back to sleep.  I HATE nights like that.  I could not turn off my brain.  AND I was hungry.  So, I got up, ate and tried to read something to let my mind rest, but no luck.  So after 3 hours of laying there, I got up and went to the pool.  What else would I do?  I surely wasn’t sleeping.  And, my favorite thing to do at 5am is swim….so..swim, I did!

Most of the things I have on my mind are trivial – nothing important but when you are laying there – wide awake in the middle of the night – everything seems important and magnified.  Part of it is the house stuff….this market is SO crappy right now, it is a tad stressful.  But, that is not that big of a deal.  Then, I was worried about my kids’ teeth that are hurting them and I need to get them into the Ortho stat….and then getting my work done so we can take off to Tucson on Thursday for a long weekend…We lost our basketball game on Saturday (Graham’s team) and I hate losing – even though these kids played their guts out…I still come home and try to figure out HOW to win next time.  And, what am I going to race this year?  Big, small? Local?….  And, more and more of things like that – see ALL stupid and not important…but funny how they feel at 2am!

One of the things I was thinking about in the middle of the night was expectations.  I think my expectations of myself are high.  Sometimes, I wonder if they are WAY too high.  And, I do think that my expectations of some of my friends are high.  Sometimes I find myself disappointed with some of my friends – whether they are my childhood friends, triathlon friends, neighbors….or my athletes I work with.  I think it is not good.

But, what I struggle with is do I lower my expectations for myself and others?  You know they always say, “If lower your expectations and they will only rise to that level of expectations….”  I do think that as we get older and busier, I think most people cannot do it all and do it all well.  We all try so hard, but at the end of the day we can only really meet our own expectations for ourselves – NOT other people’s expectations.  Of course, in the Triathlon world, we have to have expectations of our athletes and of our coaches and our support system.  And, I do not find myself trying to live up to anyone else’s expectations (except my Mother’s and my own)…but, I find myself having HIGH expectations of people I interact with frequently and I find myself getting disappointed by some of these people – but because my expectations are probably too high.

Clearly, I need to re-group and fix that because no one is really thinking about this but me – so I need to manage my own expectations of myself, my family and my work….and learn not to be so hard on myself and the people that mean the most to me!    I still have not answered that question after tossing and turning all night!  And, now I am off to bed…hopefully I will just dream about rainbows and fairies and nothing else!


  1. Interesting post. It is hard enough dealing with ouselves, and I don’t put much pressure on myself training, but I do try, and support people, and even I cannot do it alone. I woke up this morning, and the last thing I wanted to do was read blogs… So I skimmed and drank coffee, and took the morning off.

    I guess I am O.K. With me, and that is a good feeling to be honest.

    As always my best!! :)

  2. I have exceptionally high expectations for myself as well and sometimes these expectations lead to my “failure.” Make sense? I believe I have also had high expectations of others as well but now I am trying to remember that I can control them. I can only control myself.

    FYI, I love the new look of your website!

  3. I totally understand where you are coming from. I don’t expect more of others than I expect of myself, but I expect alot of myself. I try every day not to judge people to harshly, but am not always successful.

  4. since I gave up beer (mostly), I often wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble going back to sleep. Stupid brain! There’s a big difference between having high expectations and being constantly “unhappy”, versus having high expectations, but being happy (and living large).

    We shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves. We are after all, our own worst critic. On the other hand, if we don’t motivate and push ourselves, then who will?

  5. Your expectations of you need to be aligned with your time available. I know you know that already. Don’t even try to put expectations on others is my .02. I can’t ever get in my athlete’s body and walk around. I can only work with what is given to me. Same goes for my own expectations of myself. Certain things I am willing to do. Other things, not so much. Will it slow my progress? Maybe. There is an opportunity cost to everything. I think a lot of people miss that. COULD you over extend yourself? Sure. You’d probably do real well too. (You and a certain guy we know could jump into a race any time and be competitive.)
    1) Would it be YOUR definition of fun?
    2) YOUR definition of success?
    One thing I’ve learned… I’m too old to really care about what other people think of me. I only need to worry about what I think of me followed closely by my wife and dog (nuclear family) then followed by the rest of my family and friends.

    Balance that with the cost of “time” – we cannot make more, we cannot stop it. Time is invaluable and we need to spend it as wisely as possible. I tell my athletes that ‘tomorrow is promised to no one’. Live your life as you think is best and to hell with anyone who thinks they can tell you what is important. Only you can do that and even then we second guess ourselves.

    Whatever you choose… it will be right for you.

  6. Hi there,

    Nice post. I’ve just come in from walking in the rain after taking 3hrs of swim classes with little kids and it, and the rain was so refreshing.

    I too have high expectations of myself and my friends. I get frustrated when I don’t meet my expectations but try and learn from the disparity in those expectations with what I actually achieve. As far as friends and family – yep, my expectatons are high and invariably I feel let down. This feeling I’ve really had to work on because it has in the past eaten away at me and had nothing but an adverse effect on the way I perform. I’m sure friends and family don’t mean to impose their views and feelings on me and they certainly have no idea what-so-ever how it can effect me, so it’s up to me to sort it out – it’s a work in progress:)

    I certainly don’t want to drop my personal high standards or expectations but I realise I need to get them in balance with the reality of who I am, what I can achieve and really what I want out of life. At the end of the day like another post says, I only really care what my husband thinks about me – he is my barometer. Even the dog doesn’t get a look in and certainly the teen doesn’t because it’s all about him anyway.

  7. i love this about you jen. you do know yourself and you are so freaking smart about training and eating, etc. and i love the fact that we are journalists. hah! xo!

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A Moving and a Shaking!

I have been a moving and a shaking recently.  After the holidays, we quickly come upon my birthday, which thankfully is not a big deal anymore!  After 40, you stop counting and I cannot top 2011 nor do I need or want to – so my birthday was a normal work day/coaching basketball at night with Graham kind of day – which was super.  We did get out for dinner at my favorite restaurant this weekend and that was nice.   (I am just glad my sister turns 40 this year so I can start to harass her now).

What is more exciting is that the twins turn 10 this week.  TEN!  I cannot believe it.  I remember hearing (when my kids were 2, 3 and 4 years old) some of my friend’s kids turning 10 and I thought that was SO OLD.  It kind of is…but they are still great at this age.  They are still young enough to want to be with us and old enough to be pretty self-sufficient.  I actually really like this 4th grade year.  This weekend I even was asked about the birds and bees and once I got to the part where the egg is released by the woman, their eyes glassed over and they were on the floor in laughing in disgust.  GREAT….Jerome said “this is going so well.”  Jerome threatened to show the twins what my LOVELY neighbors bought me for my birthday (not PG)…NOW that would have been a fun conversation!

I am also back to training. I guess I was after the holidays – but I was pissing around a little bit more than I should have been.  This year I am racing more locally and am not doing any IM.  I may do a couple of ½ IMs, but I have not decided with ones yet.  I am trying desperately to get back into swim shape.   I expect my running to be pathetic now (healing up my Achilles)…..but my swimming is worse than I want it to be.  Sound familiar?  Lol.  After my time off, I had to swim solo for a bit to get some fitness back…and just recently I went back to Masters – as of last Wednesday.  They are 90 minute practices and I absolutely have to swim hard for most of it.  And, on Wednesday I even moved down a lane as not to slow down my normal lanemates…but this morning (Sunday) I was back in my normal lane.  Endurance-wise there are no issues, but damn if I can barely flip and do stroke with them.  But, what can I expect?  I do LITTLE to no stroke work all year and then I expect to swim with these swimmers come January?  While they are doing swim meets and I am coming out of my off weeks.  We have a meet coming up in 3 weeks and – for the first time in many years – It is going to literally kill me to swim what I typically swim.  Oh well…who will come back and I don’t need to be super fast in the winter – of course – but when I choose to swim with swimmers on a competitive team, THIS is their season!

I will say I am consistent once I get back into the pool and this week I swam 4x/week and 4500+ each time, so it will just be a matter of time now.

And, we have some exciting news!  I said that quote to my neighbors this week and when do you get to the point when people do NOT think you are pregnant.  ?!!!  Gosh.  Ha.  NO!    The exciting news is that we bought a lot and closed on it in December.  We will eventually be building our dream home on this lot and selling our beloved 1880s house.  It was a VERY hard decision for me…(not for Jerome) because I LOVE our neighborhood and have raised the kids with all their friends and traditions in this neighborhood.   But, with the twins turning 10 and in 1 more year off to middle school, it was go time.  They are still young enough to make good friends and not feel the impact of being uprooted.  AND ironically, this lot is only 5 miles or so from our current house and the kids will go to the SAME middle school as all their friends – their High School will be different though.    And, no we did not consider buying a house or lot in Tucson.  Family before SUN at this point.

So, that is the main reason why I did not take the Hawaii slot at IM Arizona…remember I said we had some big plans going on in 2012 that were not triathlon related?  Well, this was it…but because this market SUCKS so bad, we never thought the deal was done until the ink dried on the closing papers!!   And, I just wanted to negotiate the heck out of the deal until we got everything we wanted…including them “mowing” the yard in the snow to make it perfect.

We are not going to build this huge house – neither of us want anything obnoxious – we want to be w/ the kids and/or on our bikes!  But, I want simple things like:  a proper bathroom upstairs…..a closet in my bedroom, storage….and simple things that a house built in 1880 does not have.  It will be hard and sad to leave this neighborhood – my neighbors are the best – but it is the right thing and time for us to do this move.  AND I am so excited to start designing our house.   We have spent our free time interviewing builders, real estate agents, architects and more!  We have hired the builder (general contractor) so now it is rolling!  And, we have to sell our current home before we can build the new one….So this is a long process…but one we are so excited about.

Jerome is fixing Graham’s room and re-painting it – so we are starting the house improvement projects to sell this house.

On Friday night we went to dinner for my birthday and then to Barnes & Noble to look through all the magazines at what we want and our wish list.  It is a fun chapter in our lives.  We will be building a Craftsman style home.  If anyone has any tips – I will take them!

2012 is going to be a great year in many regards!


  1. Good Luck with everything. I am very happy you got the upgrade on the blog. :) I am cynical of the future, because I think money makes all decisions in the world, and that is stupid, and leads to nothing good in things pertaining to Governments and stuff. We all still have to live our life though, and do the things we enjoy the most, whatever that may be.

    You know I always wish the best for you and your family, and I am so really glad to be friends with a famous person like you. :)

    My best always to you JPH. You are my hero. :)

    Hope you have the bestest year evers. :)

  2. Oh awesome news about building your house!! Have fun with the design. And happy birthday to the twins! :)

  3. Jen!! That is SUCH exciting news about the house! Congrats! You should build a pain cave in the basement and fill it with things like the TRX, Computrainer, kettlebells, giant tractor tires, medicine balls, and jump ropes. And you should have an M&M dispenser somewhere in the house, maybe in multiple locations. Oh, how about an indoor pool? And cover the pain cave wall with giant motivational sayings – “I CAN’T HANDLE ALL MY AWESOMENESS” and “ALL I EVER DO IS WIN” and “SUCK IT UP AND FIND YOUR BIG KID PANTS.”

  4. Designing your dream house- how exciting!! Congrats and happy 2012 to your family!! :)

  5. You get back into swimming with 4500 right off the bat? Ok, im not really surprised :-). Yu are such a crazy swimmer. Happy birthdays! Happy new house! Happy new year!

  6. That’s SO cool about building your new house!! I’m so spoiled, ever since we moved to Arizona when I was 9 we were living in newly constructed homes. All the modern amenities were at our finger tips. Before Arizona we lived in older houses, but at 9 years old you don’t remember those things. Good luck with the process!! :)

  7. Wow, exciting stuff! I LOVE (and covet) your house (from photos, anyway) so am kind of sad to see her losing you as caretakers. I hope the new owners treat her as well as you did. Best of luck to you in everything!

  8. That is so exciting! I grew up in a house that my Dad built throughout my entire childhood (he was a contractor in a former life) and it was SO MUCH FUN! Yes sometimes the never ending home projects got a little boring on the weekends but I really enjoyed helping my Dad with the projects. I would say, even if you’re having someone do it all on your new house, try to see if you can get your kids involved, even with painting etc. at your current home. It was fun bonding time for me and my Dad and SUCH useful skills for me later in life. (My Dad gave me a toolbox as one of my presents when I moved out of my parents house.) What an exciting time!

  9. Jen- that is so fantastic. I am excited for you. Life goes one while we are doing triathlon, right? We are putting a new roof on our house right now. Love you tons- can’t wait to see pics. xoxo

  10. That is fantastic news about the house! Super excited for you guys. And if you have any hardwood or tile flooring in the basement, heated floors are a nice touch (that’s where my office is and it’s the only thing that makes an office in the basement bearable in the winter). Heated floors in the bathroom too – I don’t have them but want them when we re-do our bathroom.

  11. Jen, congratulations on the lot purchase and all the planning. Your swimming WILL come back with all that yardage and frequency. Maybe you should swim the 200 free this year?????

  12. How exciting! Enjoy the process. I’ve never done it but would love to someday!

  13. Oh, congrats on your upcoming new house… that is so exciting Jen!! Happy Birthday to the twins… can’t believe they are going to be 10! Feels like just yesterday we were at CPAC bonding about our pregnancy woes. :) How blessed we are today!! Happy swimming, you will be back being like a dolphin in no time, Ms. Speedy!!!! 😉

  14. So exciting about your lot and building a NEW house! Although I am sure there will be things about your 1880 house you will miss. FUN FUN FUN designing everything from scratch! Can’t wait to hear the updates. Are you sure you don’t want to build somewhere warmer?

  15. Congrats on the home to come! We custom built in 2007 and it was so much fun yet time consuming:) All the decisions you make – will be you and your personal touch will make the home special. Your swim will be back in a flash:))!!! I really thought you were moving to Tucson though, hehe:))!!!

  16. Such exciting news!!! Congrats!

  17. Congrats on the home building! That sounds very exciting! I wish y’all the best.

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Welcome to 2012 and a New Website!

Hello!  Well, this is why I have not been blogging for a bit…besides the holidays and being sick for those couple of weeks – and then with January 1st, it is BUSY BUSY….we were working on the new website in the interim!  So, I am happy that after 11 years, I have a proper website and a RSS feed for my blog and all that other good stuff.

Thanks to John and Jerome who worked hard on the website.  Technically, it is not something I wanted to do – and John (bless his heart) could NOT get over all the pink.  I realize it is PINK, but that is me….good, bad or indifferent…so that is what it is!

A quick update:

We had a great Christmas and New Years….low key, but all family, which is always nice.  And, I just went away this weekend for my annual trip to one of my friend’s lake houses up in Wisconsin…6 of us, all who have been friends since we were 9.  So, 31 years….yep….and it is always a great time. I think it is the only time I am ever up past 12am both nights!  Just eating, talking, drinking and just girl time.  I cherish this time with these girls and realize how lucky we are all.  Amazing.

Funny though, I had Graham’s first basketball game this weekend too – and there was no way I was going to miss that – so I drove back and forth on Saturday AM to do the basketball game.  So worth it – even though my girlfriends thought I was nuts (but understood).  We have 13 kids between the 6 of us.

Coaching Graham's Bball game!

And, I am back to light training.  I took most of December off.  Some of it by choice and some not by choice (too sick).  My body was ready for some deep rest.  I took off 6 full weeks of running.  I had to heal up this achilles.  It is not 100%, but the achilles is a challenging injury – SLOW to heal…but after 6 weeks off, I called my PT friend, Lindsay and said, “Is this enough proper time off?”  Just tell me now – not in June…and Lindsay said, “YOU are good…let’s start running.”  So, 20 minutes one day….day off, 20 min the next day type of thing.   It is all good.

I got back into Masters and got my ass handed to me … not in that kind of FAST FAST shape…and I had to stop swimming with them to rest.  The team is actually swimming at a meet today – I wish I could be there but since I have not slept all weekend, that would not be a good choice.  This week I head back to Masters, thankfully.  Time to get rolling.

And, the bike – WE have had such a mild winter so far, we have no snow on the ground (THANK YOU) so I have been able to get on my Cross bike here a bit because we have had temps in the upper 30s and 40s.  Amazing days!!  (loving it).

Anyway, I hope you all had a great holiday and excited about all the good things ahead in 2012!  Happy New Year!!


  1. Glad you got the RSS feed. I noticed yesterday, because I always have to do the check here and there thing to see if you updated. If you update I will finally see it now. YAY!!

    Get Healthy, and get training. Wishing you the best this year of course. Surprising I see you have a birthday coming up too. Seems like I read a lot about your last Birthday, and not so much about this one.

    Have a fun Birthday. :)

  2. ahhhhh, welcome to wordpress. nice changes here jen!

  3. Love the new web site!!!! Especially the polka dots!

    Guess we will celebrate your Birthday when we are back from AZ and Stacie’s back from Hawaii! Have a great one!!!!!

  4. I love your new page especially all the PINK!!!

  5. Nice Job with the web site Jen – it certainly reflects your personality! Have fun biking outside this ‘winter’ – it is a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience to enjoy temps like this in January!!

  6. Love the pink and the polka dots. Think they were inspired by your new headband :).

  7. Love the new, fresh look!!!!


  8. love the new you! :)…stay smart with the running! Let it get used to it again

  9. Love the new site! Glad you are feeling better.

  10. Love it, pink is good, the more the better, right? ( are those pink M and M’s?)
    ditto lindsay. Easy peasy. you will be good!

  11. The PINK is YOU! Holy cow :) Glad to hear you’re feeling better and rolling right along. :) xoxo

  12. Yay Jen! The website is awesome, and I agree w/ everyone- I <3 POLKA DOTS!!! Good for you taking some much-needed rest and I'm happy that you are back up and running (literally)… :)

  13. LOVE the new website! Pink, pink, PINK! Happy 2012 Jen, I hope it’s an awesome year for you!

  14. Love the new site!! And YEAH for the RSS feed! Much easier to keep track of you. :)

  15. Love the new website, Jen! It is so YOU. :) Glad to hear you are back to being healthy – and up and running again! Happy New Year!! xo

  16. Love the new site! It was fun to read about your hx to the present day. Good luck with the bball. I bet you are hard on those little boys:)!!

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