Tracking

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Snowmageddon?

When it comes to weather, the local weather stations are usually pretty accurate with their forecasts on severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and other spring through fall weather.  Winter weather is a whole different story.  We don't exactly live in a winter wonderland where we get snow all the time.  We tend to get a couple of storms roll through with a few inches of snow or the awful ice storms.  We rarely get big-time snow events.  One exception was the Christmas Eve blizzard in 2009 that crippled the state and left many stranded on the highways or wherever they could find shelter.  For that storm, they thought it was going to be a big storm, but they never really talked it up as a blizzard before it hit.  Well, either they are being overly cautious and using the "b" word just in case, or they really think Snowmageddon is going to hit Monday night and Tuesday.  According to the weather guys this evening, we could be in for a repeat of the 2009 blizzard.  That should make training rather interesting for a few days.  Thank goodness for my indoor trainer. 

This week was my stepback week of my offseason schedule so my mileage was pretty light overall.  I got in a long swim of 2200 meters and one bike workout of 20 miles on Tuesday.  The rest of the week I took advantage of the amazing weather and got in some nice running mileage.  Friday after work I changed into my running clothes at my office and ran through Nichols Hills in OKC.  It was 75 degrees when I got off work and very light winds.  It was amazing to be running in shorts and a tech tee and be sweating.  I'm feeling healthy and happy and looking forward to stepping into my official training schedule in the next week or two.  We are still fine-tuning my schedule, but I should be all in and ready to go soon.  I'm officially 13 weeks from OKC Memorial Half Marathon, 19 weeks away from Ironman Kansas 70.3, and 30 weeks away from Ironman Louisville.  It's about to get busy.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Remember the Ten - January 27, 2001

Tomorrow will mark the tenth anniversary of the plane crash that killed 10 members of the Oklahoma State University men's basketball team.  I was a freshman at OSU at the time and it was a very somber feeling on campus the days following the crash.  I still remember where I was when I heard the news and vividly remember Gallagher-Iba Arena packed to the brims with people at the memorial service only a few days later.  For those who don't know me, I live and breathe OSU pride all the time.  I am extremely proud to be a Cowboy.  Remembering the Ten always makes me thankful for those around me.

After work, I got in a quick 4.5 miles before it got dark.  It's been really nice running weather lately.  I'm taking advantage of the light winds while I have them.  It won't be long before spring blows in with all of her lovely wind.  Nothing else really going on at the moment.  Tomorrow is bowling night so I'll take a break from training and enjoy some time with friends.   It's a nice break and we're actually in first place in the league right now.  Go figure.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

First Official Running Event Registration

Today I signed up for my first official running event of 2011.  I know this is the year of the triathlon, but I still need my running fix.  As previously stated before, my company is very generous when it comes to promoting an active and healthy lifestyle.  Today we received our first e-mail pertaining to races sponsored by Chesapeake.  Each year we are given the opportunity to enter about 10-12 events where Chesapeake picks up the entry fee.  All we have to do is show up and race.  It's a GREAT deal!!  It's what initially got me started in endurance sports.  They paid for my entry fee into the OKC Memorial Half Marathon in 2009 and I haven't looked back.  It's odd to say that I've only been running for 2 years and now I'm staring down the barrel of a full Ironman.  Yikes, I guess I do like to move fast.  Anyway, after I got the e-mail today I signed the dotted line and registered for the Run Lucky 5K.  It's a local race on March 13th and all proceeds benefit The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society which is dear to my heart due to my involvement with Team-in-Training.  Many of our local TNT members are putting this race together and the influx of Chesapeake employees will go a long way towards helping out the cause. 

Also, I just wanted to note that my employer made the "Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For" list again this year.  We moved up 2 spots to #32 this year.  I feel very blessed to have the ability to work for such a great company in a state and city I love so much.  I know a lot of people knock Oklahoma, but it's home.  It's really hard to beat home.  I loved Austin when I lived there and I love to travel, but it's always good to come home.  I do envy all of you in CA who experience perfect weather nearly year-round.  However, I'm a weather nerd at heart and there aren't many places more entertaining weather-wise than Oklahoma.  We are the heart of tornado alley and a melting pot of all four seasons.  It's a second hobby of mine to look at weather models and know what's going on in the weather.  I digress. On February 1st, I'll be celebrating my 5-year anniversary at Chesapeake Energy.  It's been a great five years back home.  I hope the next five continue to challenge me and make me grow as much as I have the past five years, both professionally and personally.

Run happy friends.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Dream Big. Work Hard. Make it Happen.

 A couple of weeks ago I posted a status update on my Facebook.  " Dream big.  Work hard.  Make it happen."  It's my motto for 2011 and one several of my friends have decided to adopt as well.  I really consider myself to be very blessed to have the support group around me that not only believes in me, but has decided to join me in my journey to continue to push myself.  My family has fully embraced my endurance sports lifestyle and is actively involved in every phase of my journey to the Ironman.  My friends who aren't endurance athletes themselves have allowed me to be obsessive, put up with my schedule, and listen to my non-stop talk of everything running or triathlon.  Several of my friends through Team-in-Training have decided to take the leap into the Ironman distance as well.  We all started this crazy triathlon journey together almost exactly one year ago from today.  We trained together.  We learned together.  We grew together.  Now we are all taking a leap together.  Four of us will be tackling the Ironman distance in late summer/early fall.  I honestly didn't expect it to happen this way, but we're all going to be in this together.  It's going to be such a great asset to have built-in training partners who I've come to respect and admire over the past year.  My coworkers have started to take an increasingly active role in my lifestyle as well.  They are encouraging, respectful, and inquisitive.  They no longer chastise me for missing a happy hour or for skipping the donuts.  They have become almost like a second conscience reminding me that I probably shouldn't eat bad or go drink because I probably have to go run or bike after work.  At first this was all a challenge because it was such a big change from my norm.  Now, it's almost second nature and a way of life.  My network around me has come full circle and I couldn't take this leap without all of their support.  I don't think everyone truly realizes how much they play a role in the pursuit of my dreams.  It's through this blog and through my own words and actions that I hope to convey this message.  If I know you, you're a part of this journey too.  I hope you'll continue to dream big with me.

I want to leave you with a quote I saw on a blog post by Josh Scobey on the Trakkers website.  It's a great reminder for all of us as we get deeper into our 2011 schedule:

"Keep training and keep smiling…remember, triathlon is a choice we make…not a burden."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Midweek Update

I actually wrote a post last night but somehow deleted it and didn't really feel like typing it all up again.  It wasn't anything important obviously. 

I really am loving training right now.  It's amazing how much more enjoyable it is when you're not hampered by an injury and everything feels good.  I got really frustrated with training leading up to Chicago and NYC last year because it just hurt to do anything.  Injuries suck the joy out of training so it feels good to be on the other end of the spectrum again.  Everything seems to be moving in good order and I feel like I'm being smarter with daily routines.  The obvious hope is that I can continue this streak and keep the body in good working order.  I know it's not going to be a small task, but it's one of my points of emphasis this year. 

Tomorrow we're supposed to get our first taste of measurable snow this year.  We've had some flurries and light snow a few times, but tomorrow it looks like we might get a few inches of the white stuff.  I wish it was happening a little later in the day so I could get in a run while it was snowing.  I ran in the snow last year and absolutely loved it.  It was so quiet and surreal.  Unfortunately it looks like it's going to be happening while I'm at work so I'll have to hope for another storm in the near future.

Back to watching some Cowboys basketball.  Take care everyone!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Open Water Swim Simulation

I inadvertently found out the perfect way to turn an indoor pool into an open water swim simulation this evening.  First, you have to get in a pool with only a few lanes (preferably 4).  Second, you have to make sure that only two lanes have ropes and the other two lanes are open access.  Third, you put me in one lane and then a rather large man who likes to show off his flip turns in the lane next to me.  Lastly, you find 15 or so middle-aged women, give them some water weights and noodles, turn on some jazzercise music, and tell them to hop up and down uncontrollably for 30 minutes in a water aerobics class.  It was white cap waves in the pool.  I really didn't go into my Monday swim thinking that would be the case, but kudos to my fellow employees for helping me out by creating an open water swim simulation.  I know they did it just for me and it was greatly appreciated.

After my open water swim practice, I grabbed a quick bite to eat and drove to my neighborhood gym for a little weight-lifting.  I actually got kicked out of the gym tonight because it was closing time.  I think that's the first time that's happened to me.  I guess I should probably get used to it since my workouts will keep getting longer and longer.  The good thing is that right now, Monday's are my longest days of the week and it's in the books.  The rest of my days are focused on biking and running and I'm still holding everything to about an hour.  The rest of the week looks to be pretty tame which is great.  I am going to see Kathy Griffin on Friday night, but other than that it will be a lot of work, training, and hopefully reading up on blogs.  Oh yeah, the Australian Open started last night so I will have some awesome tennis to watch in the evenings.  I absolutely love tennis so the Grand Slams are like TV viewing heaven for me.  I still have yet to go to a Grand Slam tournament in person, but they are all definitely on my bucket list.  I hope everyone had a great MLK day and enjoyed the day off if you had it.  We had to work, but I know a lot of my friends were off today. Anyway, happy training folks.  We're on the downward side of winter.  It will be spring before we know it!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cyclist vs Car - Is it inevitable?

I may be in the minority here, but I kinda like riding my bike on the trainer.  It has allowed me to use my bike so much more than I would have otherwise during this time of year.  Sure, it's not the same as being out on the open road, but it's a great substitute.  Plus, it allows me more flexibility in my day-to-day schedule.  To actually go ride for an hour or two outside, I have to tack on another 30 minutes to an hour at least just to get to somewhere that I feel relatively safe riding.  Oklahoma isn't the mecca for bike riding.  We have a lot of wide open spaces if you get out of OKC, but even there people don't respect bikers.  We just had another cyclist hit yesterday at NW 39th and Council which is only a few miles from my house.  I really don't feel safe riding in the inner city.  I see people do it, but it's just not worth it in my opinion.  The trainer has allowed me to get on my bike and get in those essential base-building workouts that I seem to have neglected over the past year.  The trainer also keeps me safe.  I'm not going to get hit by an unaware motorist riding in my living room.  If I do, then it was obviously my time to go.

A few of my friends commented on a post on Facebook that they almost feel it's inevitable to be hit by a car while riding their bike.  It was alarming, but made me think.  Is it really inevitable that we'll all have an encounter with a motorist at some point in our cycling life?  I tend to disagree, but it is something to think about as we all get ready for the spring and summer riding season.  We will all be out on the roads for hours on end as we train for our races of choice.  This will definitely be my most bike intensive year, but then again, I've only owned a bike for one year.  Last year I spent a lot of time on trail systems in the OKC area that only have cyclist and pedestrian traffic.  I never really felt in danger because vehicular traffic wasn't around to make me nervous.  This year I won't have that luxury.  The 6-7 hour rides will require me to get out on the roads.  I'll have to go east of OKC to find the hills and terrain necessary to prepare for Louisville.  I'm a bit concerned, but I'll have to trust in my fellow citizens to be alert and share the road.  I'll do my best to make sure I'm taking the necessary precautions on my end.  I'll be road aware.  I'll wear my Road ID in the unfortunate case something does happen.  I'll make sure someone knows my route and my expectations for each workout.  I'll also do my best to find some riding partners to help create safety in numbers.  I won't let the possibility of something bad happening keep me away from goals.  Be safe friends.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Busy Week

Sorry it's been all week since I've posted.  Due to the absence from the computer, I've also fallen behind on all of your blogs.  It's supposed to be a cloudy, cold day tomorrow so I'll probably spend some time catching up with the blogosphere.

This week's been fairly busy, but a good busy.  I've been able to get in all of my workouts and today I'm taking a rest day.  Luck would have it that today is the nicest weather of the week, but that's ok.  I don't mind running in the cold so tomorrow will make for nice running weather.

So far this week I've logged 44 miles.  I swam and did weights on Monday.  My swim was actually going really well until a guy jumped in the lane next to me and lapped me several times.  He was flying through the water.  It made me feel even slower than normal.  I hated him the entire time I was in the water.  I finally got a chance to talk to him for a sec and it turns out he swam in college so it made me feel a little better. 

Tuesday I went to the "Hood to Coast" documentary.  I really enjoyed the movie.  I invited a couple of friends I've been trying to convince to do a relay with me and I think I have them hooked now.  The talk that evening ended with a declaration to enter the 2012 lottery for Hood to Coast relay.  We'll see if we can scrape together a few more folks.  I think it would be an incredible experience. 

The rest of the week has been pretty routine.  Biking, weights, and running.  I also had the Thursday night bowling league and squeezed in a run between work and bowling.  All in all, everything is going really well at the moment.  I went and saw my coach on Wednesday.  We looked at some tri bikes together and he told me to let him know when I wanted to purchase one and he'd make sure he was available.  It's probably going to happen at some point in February.  I'm excited to get a new bike and start hammering out some miles on it.  Each passing week restores confidence in my fitness level and I feel like I'm catching back up to where I left off in November.  It's nice to be back to training.  I've definitely missed it. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Week One Is In the Books

Week one of my return to training is in the books.  While I haven't "officially" began my Ironman Louisville training, this was my unofficial start.  The reasoning is because now I'm ready.  I'm ready to start the long trek to Louisville and no better way to get my mind in the right place than to hit the ground running.  The plan I'm following right now is a basic offseason plan uploaded to my TrainingPeaks account by my coach.  It's very bike heavy and workouts generally last about an hour.  I have yet to actually get my bike out of my apartment, but my time on the indoor trainer has been frequent.  I'm only swimming one day a week currently because I'm trying to ease myself back into the triathlon routine and we're all aware that swimming is my least favorite of the disciplines.  My total mileage for the week was 63 miles on the bike/run/swim.  It's the most mileage I've put into one week since mid-August.  I know it's not much compared to some of you avid cyclists, but I'm happy with the return to training.  The coming week I'll resume a similar schedule and hope that work/life stays tame so the consistency can continue. 

Tonight I also had a chance to speak with my coach about the upcoming year.  We discussed my race schedule, the training methodology we're going to use, and caught up a bit.  It felt good to discuss the year ahead and plan out more of my year.  I told him I had a freakout earlier in the week and he said that's normal.  He said I may have another one when he uploads my actual training plan, but I think I'll be ok.  I've been there and have moved on.  It's time to tackle this head-on.  No more more worrying.  Dream big.  Work hard.  Make it happen.

Before I leave you this week, I heard a song today while I was on my trainer that really struck home.  It took me to a place where I was envisioning what it's going to be like running down the finishing chute of Ironman Louisville.    The lights, the crowds, the emotions.  This goes out to all of you training for something big in 2011.  Remember this moment. 
 
I said remember this moment
In the back of my mind
The time we stood with our shaking hands
The crowds in stands went wild
We were the kings and the queens
And they read off our names
The night you danced like you knew our lives would never be the same
You held your head like a hero on a history book page
It was the end of a decade
But the start of an age
Long live the walls we crashed through
How the kingdom lights shined just for me and you
I was screaming long live all the magic we made
And bring on all the pretenders
One day we will be remembered

I said remember this feeling
I pass the pictures around
Of all the years that we stood there on the sidelines
Wishing for right now
We are the kings and the queens
You traded your baseball cap for a crown
When they gave us our trophies
And we held them up for our town
And the cynics were outraged
Screaming this is absurd
Cause for a moment a band of thieves in ripped up jeans got to rule the world

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Looking back

Today was my turn to help out with our Team-in-Training marathon teams.  I'm still only assistant coaching so my role is pretty minimal, but I enjoy being a part of the process.  It's great to see people running and becoming hooked.  It's the least I can do to give back to a sport that's changed my life.  Today I set up a water stop about 3.5 miles into our run course so I had a few moments to reflect until the runners made it to my section.  It was a cold, crisp morning and there was only a slight breeze.  The sun was just coming up and there wasn't a lot of traffic out on the streets.  It was a quiet and reflective type of morning.  As I waited, my mind began to think back to 2 years ago.  It was January 2009 and I was in a rut.  I didn't have a lot of motivation, I had gained some weight, and I really wasn't doing anything for my health.  I was a regular member at the local Y, but all I did was lift some weights and waste some time in the evenings.  I was pretty much stuck in neutral and I really could have fallen in either direction : reverse or drive.  Luckily for me, my company encourages a physically active lifestyle and one month later I was signing up for my first half marathon courtesy of my employer.  I easily could have fallen deeper into a rut and woke up 3 years later at age 30 wondering how I'd ended up getting so off course.  Instead, here I am, 2 years later with a new me.  I'm motivated, active, and happy.  I've fallen in love with endurance sports.  I've met people who not only make me smile, but also make me a better man.  I'm constantly reminded of how lucky I am to be healthy and able to chase my dreams.  I'm humbled by the opportunity to be a positive influence on my family and friends.  I've been told by a countless number of people who say I've inspired them over the past 2 years.  People who have known me for most of my life are constantly telling me they are proud of me and want to know how they can get started.  I really can't imagine my life without endurance sports.  Helping out with the Team is my way of saying thank you.  Thank you for making me into a better person.  Thank you for making me feel alive again.  Thank you for the opportunity to make a difference.  Thank you for a lifetime of memories.  Thank you for the challenges.  Thank you for the tears.  Thank you for the confidence.  Thank you for the determination.  Thank you for helping me dream big.  Lastly, thank you for what lies ahead.  I know it's going to be a great ride.

Friday, January 7, 2011

First Brick Workout of 2011

Quick question : Does bowling count as cross-training?  My annual tradition of playing in a winter bowling league commenced last night.  It's a work bowling league so it's fun to go hang out with co-workers outside of the office atmosphere.  It's also a good excuse to get out of the house during the dead of the winter.  This year I wasn't as fired up as usual about it because my schedule is getting pretty busy.  I'm glad we're keeping the tradition alive though.  This is my 4th year to play in the league and it's mostly the same people every year.  I work for a large company (5,000+ employees) so having some familiarity with more than the people in my group is kinda cool.  Plus, it's not quite time to go into my Ironman solidarity mode.  I should use the extra time for fun with friends while I still have it available.

Tonight after work I did my first brick workout in a very long time.  I think the last time I did one was in May 2010 right before I left for the CapTex triathlon in Austin, Texas.  I hooked the bike up to the trainer and slugged out an hour on the bike with varying intensity.  All of my workouts lately have a zone 5 period that really kicks my butt.  The rest of the time I really try to focus on becoming a more efficient peddler and maintain my 90 rpm cadence.  I did my hour on the bike while watching the last part of the Spinervals DVD of the IM Louisville course.  Every time I watch that video it amazes me how it's constantly rolling hills.  I know I was warned, but dang, it's a lot of hills.  It's good to see it so I know what to expect.  I would hate to go into that thing without seeing the course at all. 

After the bike, I jumped off the bike and changed into my running clothes.  I had a mini-transition area set up near my bike to mimic what I'll be doing on race day.  I actually had to layer up for the run though because it was dark and kinda windy so the transition wasn't quick by any means.  Overall the run was pretty decent.  I only ran for 15 minutes so it wasn't anything too strenuous.   It feels great to be back out running though. 

This weekend it's my turn to help out with Team-in-Training marathon practice.  It's officially marathon season here in OKC.  All of the local running groups start their training for the OKC Memorial marathon this weekend.  It's going to be great to see everyone out training.  I love this time of year!  Nothing much planned otherwise.  I'll get in a couple of workouts and try to stay out of the wet and cold.  It's supposed to turn bitterly cold here so I guess it's time to bundle up and get ready for the arctic blast.  Have a good weekend everyone!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I'd take 50's every day of the year

I know it's not likely to happen except for those of you who live in California, but I think I'd take 50 degree weather every day of the year.  Ok, maybe 60's, but it's hard to complain about anything in the 50 to 70 range.

Today was beautiful running weather here in Oklahoma.  I'm slowly starting to get back out on the roads and it feels great.  I think I've finally convinced myself that it's not going to hurt, so it's ok to run.  The past month and a half I've avoided most running because I didn't want it to hurt.  I wanted to be healthy so I took an extended leave of absence.  Last week was the first time I'd ran and my knee didn't hurt at all since mid-August.  The last part of my training for Chicago and NYC was all patchwork and I ran with pain every time I hit the streets.  The marathons were the same.  I ran through pain to get them done.  I wouldn't trade the experience for the world, but I got really tired of hurting.  It feels good to be back to pain free running.  My hope is that by taking some time off and easing myself back into it I'll be able to stay relatively injury free this year. 

One of the great things about running is that you get to explore.  Today I ran from my gym and just did a simple 2.5 miles on an out and back route.  My gym is in Midtown Oklahoma City so there's quite a bit of new development.  It's an area that was rundown until the city committed to reviving the core of the metro area.  A lot of new restaurants and bars have opened up in the area and just today I noticed that the place I had my birthday party and Team-in-Training fundraising party at last March had closed down!  Bummer!  The good news is that another place is opening in the same location and it's guaranteed to be a success.  It's a sports bar type place that now has expanded to several locations all over the OKC metro.  It's going to be a great addition to our neighborhood.  It was nice to do some exploring and check out the neighborhood on foot.  I'm still renting at the moment, but it's an area I'd love to be able to settle into in the future.  The moral of the story is that I've missed running for a number of reasons and one of them is the ability to explore an area more intimately.  When your driving your car or riding a bike, you don't really get to soak it all in and pay attention to the details.  It's good to be back. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Panic followed by a calm focus

Have you ever had that moment where everything standing in front of you just hit you like a ton of bricks?  I had that moment last night. 

After writing my blog about swimwear, I started looking at the calendar.  I'm a planner by nature.  I'm obsessive and some would say a little overbearing when it comes to planning and scheduling.  It's worse when it's something big and something I'm really looking forward to doing.  Last time I went to Europe I couldn't help but doing something trip-related every day leading up to my departure.  I did research on places to go.  I actively tracked the exchange rate.  I tracked weather as far out as possible.  I asked questions on message boards.  I even went as far as going to Google Earth and looking at all the places I was going so I could see the lay of the land.  It's pretty similar to how I'm approaching the Ironman.  I'm obsessive to a fault.  I've watched course videos, researched maps, read race reports, surfed every message board topic thread I could find, looked at every training plan I can get my hands on, and even put together a list of things I need to accomplish/acquire the next 8 months.  Overboard?  Perhaps.  The odd thing is that I guess it never has hit me how hard this is going to be until last night.  Sure, I've written about how it's going to be a long road.  I've written my apologies for future behavior.  I've even said numerous times how ready I am for the challenge.  Was it all coach speak?  Maybe.  It just hit me like a ton of bricks last night what I'm actually getting myself into this year.  I had the training plans in front of me.  I started looking at the schedules and worrying about how I was going to fit it all in.  I started trying to think how it was going to be physically possible to pull this off.  I worried about injuries.  I worried about burnout.  I worried about letting people down.  I started worrying about the swim and the whole "no wetsuit" thing: no crutch to lean on in the water.  I started worrying about the hills (probably from the obsessive course-video watching).  I started worrying about the heat.  I couldn't fathom putting it all together on race day in a hot, hilly environment for 12+ hours.  It just all came rushing into my head.  "What am I getting myself into?"  "You're nuts!"  "Who put you up to this?"  "How are you going to do this?"   All these questions were swirling in my head.  Then, out of nowhere, a calm came over me.  I looked myself in the mirror and said : "You will do this!"  That's all it took.  I was ready.  The brief panic attack led me to a place of focus.  I now actually do feel ready.  Time to get to work.

Monday, January 3, 2011

What do you wear?

Not sure why it happened today.  As I was sitting on the edge of the pool surveying the crowd, I realized I was way overdressed compared to everyone else.  The women were wearing one-piece suits and most of the guys were wearing jammer type shorts.  Here I am decked out in my baggy board shorts and goggles.  I'm sure I look funny to everyone else who's training, but for me it's normal.  I've never been a swimmer. I never took lessons as a kid.  My high school didn't have a swim team.  I never even really liked the water that much until I got old enough to teach myself to survive if I somehow ended up in a body of water.  To me, when you go swimming, you wear board shorts.  I know it's not the most buoyant and aerodynamic piece of attire, but it's me.  My line of thinking is that if I can swim 2.4 miles in board shorts, when I put on a wetsuit or swimskin, the Ironman swim will be much less taxing. 

My theory seems to have already played itself out actually.  During Team-in-Training swims last spring, I was one of the slower swimmers in the group.  I usually was middle of the pack finishing up my sets and it never really bothered me.  Almost everyone in our group wore tri gear to swim in so I was always the lone holdout with my patented board shorts.  When it came time to race in Austin, I ended up coming out of the water with the fastest swim time in our group.  I really think swimming with the board shorts gave me an edge when we all put on the wetsuits and jumped in the open water.  Sure, my pool swims are slow and sometimes I get discouraged, but I always try to remind myself that it'll pay off in the end.  So, what do you wear to swim?  Do you think my theory has some merit?  I'm curious to see what other people think.  Maybe I'm crazy.

As far as today's swim, it actually went pretty well.  It was semi-enjoyable.  I do notice that I hate drills the most.  I don't mind the main sets or the sprints.  It's the drills that kill me.  It's probably because my form is awful and I need a lot of work, but the drills are tough on me.  Probably those board shorts weighing me down, huh?  I just keep telling myself that I don't have to do drills in the Ohio River.  All I have to do is get from point A to point B without drowning.  To me, that will be an Ironman swim success.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 : Year of the Triathlon

2011 is the year I become a triathlete.  I wrote a post on July 11, 2010, that questioned whether I considered myself a runner or triathlete.   I was definitely not fair in my analysis of the two types of athletes as I still hadn't warmed up to the thought of ditching running.  I think I wrote it at a time when I was mad I didn't have enough time to run as much as I wanted because I knew I needed to swim and bike to keep my base together.  In that post, I came to the conclusion that I was going to label myself a runner until I crossed the finishline of the Ironman.  God willing, that will happen in 2011.  The year ahead is going to be all about triathlon and making my dream come true.  I'll run because it's part of my training.  I'm setting aside my love for the marathon in order to accomplish something bigger and better.  I'm not sure if the Ironman distance will become a part of my arsenal in the future.  I'm not sure I'll ever like swimming enough to devote enough time to pull off multiple Ironman races.  My goal is to at least get one under my belt and see how it goes.  Who knows?  I may actually fall in love with the Ironman as well.  I'm excited about the possibilities.  I'm excited about the unknown.  I'm excited for the challenge. 

My hope is that through this blog I can keep people involved in my training and make them feel a part of my journey.  I know I'm going to need the support of everyone in my life to help me pull this off.  I'm going to apologize in advance to all those who will have to make sacrifices for me to make this dream a reality.  Sorry to my parents who will have to listen to me complain about not having enough time, something hurting, or how I'm not sure I can make a family event because I'm too busy or tired.  Sorry to my coworkers who will have to put up with my constant chatter about what workout I have that evening or the upcoming weekend.  Sorry to my friends who will have to hear me obsessively plan my days, nights, and weekends around training and who will probably not see me for weeks at a time.  Sorry to everyone who will have to schedule around my long weekend workouts.  I'm sorry to my apartment neighbors who will have to hear me on my trainer at odd hours or get woken up at 4:30 in the morning when I'm on the way out the door for a swim.  I'm sorry to all of you reading this when I become whiny, doubtful, and time-crunched.  Lastly, I'm sorry to all the other areas of my life that will be neglected.  I hope you can all bear with me the next 238 days.  It's going to be a long road.