Don’t ask me for my number(s)

A little over a year ago I wrote this post on how I had decided to continue training without power. By late August, it was clear to Hillary and me that perhaps a change would be good, and power was the card we were going to play. I raced the fall season with a powertap and definitely saw some benefits to using this sort of data in training — hence why it has become a tool we are most definitely using this year.

But, please don’t judge me by my numbers.

Mostly because I probably won’t tell you what they are. Unless you’re name is Hillary Biscay, you really shouldn’t worry about it. So I’m going to act like I don’t know, or like it doesn’t matter to me, because it’s not your business. Sure, it may be “interesting” to you, but you know what is interesting to me when I meet someone I don’t know? Well, I like to know what the last book they read was. Or, what they enjoy about what they do for a living. And, if we talk about training, then tell me about your favorite ride or run. I don’t really care what watts you hit on your last ride.

Because, that doesn’t tell me who you are. ¬†Just like my power files won’t tell you who I am. They don’t tell you about the years I just spent working a full time job and training 25 hours a week, and the commitment and sheer determination that required. The numbers won’t tell you about how I quit my well-paying job to pursue a sport that everyone knows doesn’t pay many, and doesn’t pay those it does very well. The numbers won’t tell you about how I moved out of a home that I own, to another city, ¬†into someone’s rented basement apartment with poor water pressure and a microwave that you can’t use for longer than 45 seconds without a fuse blowing….all for the love of a sport.

And when it comes to race day, it is those latter things, not the numbers, that keep me hungry. This was proven perfectly last weekend when I ran a 40 minute 50k PR. The only numbers I used that day was the race clock as I came through each 10k split and saw my even pacing. I trusted in my training and didn’t need a heart rate monitor or a garmin to instruct me on how to run with my heart each mile.

I’ve been accused in the past of not having a sense of urgency. Ironically, this came at a time while I knew full well that a few weeks later I was leaving my job, packing up the things I owned into a car, and following my dream with nothing more than a full heart and an open mind. If putting everything on the line to pursue a dream isn’t a sense of urgency, then I guess I don’t really know what is.

So, I will continue to avoid most number-talk in my posts here. Because as I showed last weekend, this year I’m racing with my heart first. And if that race last weekend is any indication, I think I’ll be just fine doing it my way :)

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!



that was quite a blog post on your “lack” of a sense of urgency :) keep up the good work!


Such a sweet and awesome post. The people that matter get you :)


I’m probably going to race Ironman without power. But, I’m sort of not sure about it. Because you have to sort of “know” your pace and your feel and be confident about it. I dunno.


Oh, and that kind of thing where someone criticizes you in a blog without naming you but so that you clearly know who they’re talking about is called sub-blogging and it is bullshit. Hah.


ooh, i wish i hadn’t read that “other” post you linked to. all i can say is that since i’ve been following along with your blog for what, like two years now, i know a little more about you and i do think you’re just at the beginning of an awesome career! (and i couldn’t give a flip about your power stats…or whatever they are). anyway, just keep going out there and hammering and being you and keeping it real!


amen, sista!

Michelle Simmons

Let that shit fuel you, Alyssa. We are on the other side cheering for you!!


This post reinforces why I read your blog and admire your dedication and honesty. I am looking forward to following along on your journey of the heart this year and for as long as you race and blog.


Really love your posts, Alyssa. Your hard work and dedication shows time and time again.


I guess this person doesn’t get how women are put together. We have will, determination and grit beyond anyone’s imagination. I look forward to your successes!

Jennifer Harrison

Goodness. I was shocked at that blog – who says that to an athlete prior to their biggest race (I think this was pre-Kona if I recall from his blog). I agree with Michelle, use this to fuel yourself. You don’t have anything to prove to anyone and I have raced for 20 years and only used numbers recently – so really, DO what works for you! Keep on keeping on! :)


As I was reading the blog post I thought man she is passionate about this topic. Then I saw the link and read the other blog. YIKES!

Don’t let the numbers define you. You’re an inspiration. Keep on keepin on!

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