Thursday, July 29, 2010

Eye on the Prize

I'm back in the saddle again. It's great to be back, actually. It's funny how much you forget when you've been gone from training so long. All the laundry, for one... running shorts and shirts, socks, biking pants - the hamper fills up fast these days!

Getting the bike back up to speed is also fun. Everyone loves bike part shopping, and I'm no exception. Tires, tubes, brake cables, chain lube, chamois butter, sunglasses, etc, etc, it seems the list hardly ends. But that's part of it.

Also part of it is figuring out the training/racing schedule. Not over-doing it. Preventing injury. Goal setting. All good stuff. I guess after doing it since '05, when I ran my first triathlon, it all comes back pretty quickly. Not the fitness, mind you - the process. Yea, coaching yourself is probably not the best idea - and we all know I've got some different ideas when it comes to training for Ironman - but I got my 255lb ass to the finish line in 14:36 last time - I might just know enough to be dangerous.

So now there's an Ironman in Houston. Who'd a thunk it? Quite possibly the hottest, most humid place on earth - more power to you Texans for selling out the race so quickly - May '11 could quite possibly bring the hardest IM on the planet for those of you toeing the line.

There's oil in the water for IM Florida swimmers this year, and possibly for years to come. Ocean swimming is bad enough without the oil slick. I remember the Chicago Triathlon, and the taste of diesel fuel in my mouth for the rest of the day after that short swim - I wonder if there ever is enough Gatorade after an oily Panama City swim?

IM Arizona '10 now has it's challenges - like the swim venue springing a leak. Everything I read tells me that it's doubtful that Tempe Town Lake will be fixed by November. I'm sure the show will go on - be it somewhere else to swim (is there?) or an Iron-duathlon of some sort.

Hey, every other business entity and industry is having their share of troubles, it's time the WTC has a challenge or two to overcome. Good for them. I'll tell ya, I really enjoyed the absence of PNF on IronmanLive's broadcast of IMUSA last week. Lisa Bently was fresh, interesting, and enthusiastic, and actually had some inflection in her voice throughout the program. I hope to see more of her co-hosting at other races.

I'm gonna bet that Tempe Town Lake is fixed by November 2011. I've started my Ironman Bank Account - not the "fitness bank" that we make deposits into after a century ride, but an actual savings account just for IMAZ11. The darn thing is about 68 weeks away, which means we have to sign up in 16 weeks. Probably will need about $600 to register when it's all said and done - and that isn't as painful if you throw money in an account weekly as it is if you just pay it - well, it's the same, sure, but somehow it's easier for me. The $33 a week I'm saving now is the money I'm not spending on Cokes and Sweet Teas and vending machine snacks. All that stuff is done, and I think I'm easily saving that much.

IMAZ'11. Eye on the prize. Not just "finishing" this time. Been there, done that. Need to up the stakes a little bit...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Athletic Tourettes

So here we are. Again.

Yes, we've been down this road before. Starts and Stops. Athletic Tourettes. I finally had the courage to step on a scale a week ago. 286. About 35 lbs gained from IMCDA08. Resting heart rate that morning? An alarming 72 bpm. Something needs to be done. ASAP.

When it comes to training, I'm one of those people that need a goal. Something tangible to look forward to. Tangible, as in, an event or an accomplishment. Something to hang on the wall. It makes sense really. I read once that there are, in general, two kinds of salespeople - those that can can sell "things" and those that sell "ideas". Stocks, insurance - those are examples of "ideas", where cars, RVs, houses, boats - those are "things". I read that rarely does someone do well at selling both, and once you find out which "type" you are, you should stick with that. Having tried both, I can assure you that I'm a "thing" guy.

Being healthy and having fitness would be "ideas". Something you get as a result of something else. Finishing an Ironman or other race is a thing. An accomplishment. Perhaps I'm splitting hairs, but I've also tried to exercise, and I don't do that well. I do, however, train well. I'd argue that you exercise for general fitness but you train for a specific event. I'm a trainer (whatever gets you out the door, right?).

So short term, my goal is a nice Olympic in 8 weeks over in Clermont Florida, the Florida Challenge. They do a half IM as well that day, but starting, essentially, from scratch like I am, even an Olympic is a hearty goal to say the least. It's a "just finish" race, but the venue is great, and it will be a nice re-entry to the sport. We have a cabin lined up nearby, TriSherpaDi will be kayaking on a lake that day with her pal Linda; the whole affair will be pretty low key.

No PR's, no worry of a PW. Just getter-done. What's down the road? Some more "things"....