To be a champion, I think you have to see the big picture. It's not about winning and losing; it's about every day hard work and about thriving on a challenge. It's about embracing the pain that you'll experience at the end of a race and not being afraid. I think people think too hard and get afraid of a certain challenge.
I lead by example. My kids know what sweat is. They've seen me come home from so many runs and asked, 'What's on your skin? How did you get it?' And I tell them, 'It's from exercise!' So now my son will come home from a bike ride, take off his helmet and say, 'Look, Mom. I'm sweating! I just worked out!'
It's not really about the competition. Your biggest challenge in a race is yourself. You're often racing against time. You're frequently running everything through your mind. You're always competing against preconceived ideas. It's not really the person next to you that you worry about.
Make sure that when you look at your plate, it's a beautiful blank canvas to start with, and you want lots of color on there. You want to make sure you have whole grains and protein. It should not be beige in color; it should be green and bright red, and orange and yellow.
I love KIND bars. My favorites are coconut and almond and the dark chocolate and sea salt because staying fueled helps keep me from getting sick or injured. Bananas have also made a great comeback in my life. My kids eat them all the time on the go, which has inspired my go-to pre-run morning meal of peanut butter and banana on toast.
I know I'm not perfect at giving my body what it needs to refuel after a run. Recognizing my bad habits has helped me pay more attention to what I eat. I have been known to rush through my day without making nutrition a priority, so I work hard to prepare healthy snacks in advance of my runs and while the kids are at school.
Growing up, I was a little hippie kid. I went to some good concerts... Amnesty International with Bob Dylan and Tracy Chapman... The best concert I ever went to was this one at the Cow Palace my freshman year in college on New Year's Eve. It was Pearl Jam opening for Nirvana opening for Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Nutrition doesn't have to be complicated. It goes back to the lessons you learned as a kid. Start with a real breakfast; don't ever skip that. If you're waking up early for a run, make sure you drink at least a glass of water and put something healthy into your stomach before you go out the door.
I am addicted to cereal. I am one of those people who just loves their cereal morning, noon and night. Kellogg's message is what I tell my kids every single day, which is: You've gotta start off your day right with a good, healthy breakfast to give yourself the potential for greatness.
My parents wanted us to be pool-safe, so I had lessons when I was 18 months old. I would like to share with all the parents out there that I was that kid who cried during every one of my lessons. But it wasn't an option for my parents; we had a backyard pool, so I needed to learn how to swim.
When you're at a public pool or in your friend's backyard, knowing that your kids can get in and out of the water and protect themselves can make all the difference in the world. Something as simple as being able to flip over and get to the ladder can save a life. You can start your kids in lessons as early as you want - it's never too soon.