Good Natured Mom

We are all just walking each other home. -Ram Dass

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Races, races and more races

2016 racing season is complete

It was a good season. But I’m tired and I’m ready to spend time away from the pool, bike and running shoes.


Half marathons, cycle/run relay, a duathlon, sprint, Olympic and 70.3 distance triathlons, training camps, volunteering ,10ks, 5 milers, 5ks, and my favorite 14k to finish – from March through September. The photos tell the story. Accomplishment, goals met, heartbreak, pain, friendship, conversation, silliness, relief, joy and peace. Its all there. Thank you friends, for training and racing with me this year! Enjoy.

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Photo credits to Tim Kane, Pat Hendrick Photography, Jodie Kapes, Annemarie Ambrose, Beth Lancer, Kellie Nassif, and Nikki Garofalo.


My races :
America’s Greatest Heart Run, Utica, NY, March 2016

Fort To Fort, Rome NY, April 2016
Seneca 7, Geneva, NY, April 2016
Du the Lakes, Syracuse, NY
Migonis Team Training Camp, Lake Placid, June 2016
Tupper Lake Tinman 70.3, Tupper Lake , NY, June 2016
Saratoga Dprings Half Marathon, Saratoga, NY, July 2016
Delta Olympic Tri, Rome, NY, July 2016
Sherrill 5k, Sherrill, NY, July 2016
Bolder Inspiration, Trenton Falls, NY, August 2016
Old Forge Triathlon, Old Forge, NY, August 2016
Falling Leaves 14k, Utica, NY, September 2016







On “Leaning On”…

A cyclist/friend of mine shared a story about the time he was riding with a large group. They rode in formation; two by two. The rider next to him lost her balance some how (due to a soft road shoulder or she lost her concentration and drifted…who knows?). As she and her bike leaned toward my friend, he instinctively knew to lean back toward her. He was able to drop his shoulder and push her upright. She regained her balance and realized he saved her from falling and quite possibly from taking the whole group of riders down with her. He remained stable and strong as she regained her posture. She popped back upright, said “Hey, thanks!” and continued the ride. Just like that.

If you ride a bike you understand that my friend has mad bike skills and a whole lot of bike riding experience. I’m not sure my instincts would have led me to lean into a falling person. His reaction to a near miss accident was calm, smart and it worked.

It made me think about the times I lean in looking for support
or am leaned on by someone who needs it.

I’m not so good at being leaned on.
Especially if you lean on me and ask for advice….then you do the opposite of what I’ve said.
Or if you are a heaping anxious mess of a person and want me to validate your anxiety. I can’t support that.

All this discussion about leaning on made me think about dear friend I saw the other day. She texted me and said that seeing me helped her feel grounded. I’m glad I could give her that gift.

I’m glad she felt my grounded-ness could be leaned on for a moment. And that I was able to offer support.


As triathlon season approaches and my training increases, I find I have more blog posts that bubble up inside my brain (which almost always occur on long bike rides, swims or runs) and less energy to write them down. Trust me, these insights are brilliant. I’m sorry you have to miss them…she said tongue firmly planted in cheek. The plan is to get back on track this month.

Have a great day blog readers! March is here! Be happy and grateful.


Good Natured Mom






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January 6, the day we celebrate the visitation of the Magi, is also the traditional “taking down the Christmas tree” day for my family.

Ironic, isn’t it, that the day of revelation is the day of putting away, decluttering, clearing out and bringing our lives back to normal.

A day of revelation does not, in my mind, mean back to normal.

I’ve been thinking about the new year. It’s not about resolutions, do overs, a list of big races, or big goals. I’ve gone there before and resolutions don’t inspire me at this point in my life. Mostly because I don’t keep them.

I’m also not spending a long time¬†looking back at 2015. For about 35 seconds I did a little year in review in my head. And it was pretty darn good in terms of epic adventures and exciting experiences with family and friends.

10 mile trail run, Seneca 7, road trip with Janel to bike and run with the Iron Cowboy ,¬† a simulated 70.3 in Lake Placid, Age Group Nationals in Milwaukee…so many stretches and reaches!

And sheesh…I was scared a few times (the Keene decent on the Lake Placid Ironman course, in the rain and fog, the insane in-water start at AGN)…But glory hallelujah! I’m so much more capable, braver and stronger than I think I am. I got through those events, safely and intact – which is always my main priority.¬† I’m not a huge risk taker. Being scared is not my thing.

But 2015 is over. Let’s keep it moving. Let’s not spend too much time lingering in the looking-back.

What is my epiphany? What is my revelation? Here are some ideas:

Keep it Simple – Don’t over complicate the straight forward solutions. Don’t add unnecessary details which shift the focus off the goal.

Tell the truth – to others and myself. What I believe, what matters to me, what’s right and wrong…say it with courage and have confidence that what I speak is authentic and sincere.

Measure myself against me… and no one else – I am a unit. I am unique. I have strengths and weakness that, in combination, are only mine. That said, it is useless to compare myself to another human being in order to measure my own success or failure. My trial and challenges, just like my triumphs, belong to and have value only to me.

Do something, even if you don’t know what you are doing – I’ve had a passion for wellness, fitness, nutrition and health my entire life. But I never thought I had the right background, smarts, experience or credentials to make anything out of it. Finally, I am starting to see¬†that I don’t have to know everything to make my passions be a source of information and inspiration to others. I’m going for it. One baby step at a time. Writing, posting, sharing, tweeting…speaking out about my experiences to bring encouragement and support to others.

Joan090912…these are sounding like resolutions. Maybe resolutions are really just the beginning of a revelation. Maybe through resolutions we begin to understand who we are and what we can become. Is it possible that the revelation can come through a resolution?

I think so.

Peace and Happy New Year.



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Recovery and Restlessness

My triathlon racing season ended in mid August. I was done, done done.  After a full year of training, with only a short, two week break I was ready to give it a rest. A good, long rest. I needed to stop thinking about how I was going to fit in long work outs around my job and household responsibilities. I needed to be able to eat without thinking about how it was going to affect my running. And I needed to get the chronic ache out of my bones. I was tired. Mind, body and soul.

Here’s the thing about triathlon… I realize it is my choice, and an amazing privilege to be able to afford this sport and to have a strong enough will to compete. I get that I pay money to be coached so I can ¬†be as prepared as possible on race day. That I pay for this kind of pain and suffering…it makes me humble. And I’m aware that there are plenty of people on this planet who suffer for reasons far more important than this. My complaints are nothing in comparison.

But even though I really needed a break, it took me about six weeks to settle in to the new routine. I was anxious and restless. I felt guilty about sleeping in. Like I was skipping a workout or something. I wondered if I’d lose all the fitness I’d gained. I was a little bit lost.

One night after work I came in the house and announced to my husband that I was ready to punch somebody. He told me to go out for a run.

My aim during this time off was to rest more, drink more water, give weight lifting another try, to stretch and bend the ache out of all of my joints and to gain a little weight. Doesn’t sound like much, but all were challenging.

Sleeping – at least 7 hours most nights
Water intake – 72 ounces (usually a fail, but better than before)
Strength training – two days/ week and no sloppy burpees allowed
PiYo and Yoga – core baby, core
Weight gain – didn’t happen

I think I’m ready to get back at it. I’m excited. I’m dreaming about long bike rides and half marathons. I’m planning my vacations around destination races and looking forward to giving it my best. The break in the action has done it’s job. The reset button has been pushed and I’m ready to go.

Monday, December 7. I can’t wait for you to get here.




photo (1)

This guy was so sick the day of my A race. He drove me 800 miles so I could race it. He went with me to be my Sherpa, support me and cheer me on. He got a nasty, nasty virus the night before the big day. Chills, fever, dizzy, dehydrated…but he managed to get to the race and keep it together from the early morning wake up until the we left the post race party.

This is just one example of the many times he has put his interests aside to let me pursue mine.

Who do I appreciate? Who am I grateful for? This guy.


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I had a very full work week; made more full by the fact that I took Monday off. An already busy five day agenda was crammed into four. And I haven’t been sleeping very well. Too much coffee during the day has a payback of less sleep than I got the night before. Perpetual, ridiculous cycle. But it’s done. Moving on. The end result is that I’m very, very tired. Mentally and physically.¬†¬†And blogging is the last thing I want to do right now. I want to go to bed. But I’m blogging for 30 days straight and so…

Even though I was out of my mind tired, Tim and I drove to see some of our triathlon friends/ teammates. Some we haven’t seen since August or before.

How is it that meeting up with folks who share your passion; who love to talk about their upcoming race schedule; or their crazy popular Instagram account; or that they watched a football game together on the tv in the bathroom because the kids were watching a movie on the tv in the living room; can be so energizing? From the moment we sat down together it’s all talk and laughter…

I’m putting words to this moment because I’m so tired I might forget how wonderful it felt to see these guys after such a draining week…and to reconnect with them away from the race circuit. Away from the stress of competition. This team is special and I want to remember how good it felt to see Team Migonis Multisport tonight.

No less sleepy than before, I’m headed for bed. G’night Matt, Ryan, Scott, Emily, Matt, Dana, Greg, Travis and Randy! Until next time…


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Thinking out loud

Triathlon training requires lots of time.
Lots of alone time.
And when I’m alone, I think about stuff.

“I can’t believe I’m doing this.” I say that before every race.

…about how selfish I become with my time
during triathlon training and racing season…

…about how much I talk about triathlon…

Stop talking, Joan!

Stop talking, Joan!

…about the fact that not many people care about triathlon…
…and that I probably bore them with my random musings…

…about how many times I used the words,
never, can’t, or won’t
because I was afraid to try something
and most certainly fail…

And then I rode up this nasty hill.

And then I rode up this nasty hill.

…about the fact that I do not use those words any longer…

…about my kids
and what they are doing with their lives
and how proud I am to be their mom…

kids with melissa and eddie 2013

Kids plus Eddie and Melissa…I consider them all my kids.

¬†…about turning hours of lap swimming
into hours of¬† prayer time…

Photo by Michael Verostek

Photo by Michael Verostek

…about what a cool guy my husband is
for supporting me in my triathlon adventures…

This was how we spent our anniversary...on a 10 mile trail run.

This was how we spent our anniversary…on a 10 mile trail run.

…about some of the inspirational folks I’ve met
in workouts, races and through fundraising events…

Team Isaac

Team Isaac 2013

…about the positive way this 56 year old body
has responded
to more exercise
than it has ever
experienced before…

Old Forge 2015

… and mostly about how
grateful and blessed
I am to be able to participate in triathlon.