Thursday, August 28, 2014
A 4 minute video of my recent Oly Tri. You will see a beat up old guy at 3:30, coming from the top of the screen. Thats me - not looking like the youngsters you'd seen previously in this vid. But, hey I'm not perfect, just persistent. Thanks for watching.
Saturday, August 23, 2014
I failed. My time stunk, I was tired and hot. My legs cramped up and forced me to walk. My race was a failure. I failed.
"Failure is not an option" is a quote from the Apollo 13 movie. Supposedly spoken by flight director, Gene Krantz. I don't like this quote. I believe failure is imperative.
You learn from failure, you will find a better way. Your victory is much sweeter once you continue past failure and succeed.
When you fail, you are given an opportunity to reassess and learn from it. No one is immune to failure. Embrace it, learn from it, get tough and forge ahead.
It is said that Edison attempted 1,000 times to invent the light bulb. Apparently, he wasn't deterred in his quest for victory. He forged on to victory.
Never give up. Never quit. Forge ahead.
Sunday, August 17, 2014
I like to hedge my bets on my event result estimates. Especially on new events, I estimate my times conservatively, because I have no idea how my training times will compare to actual competitive times. Even so, I was totally surprised at how poorly I did on my trail marathon. You who know me may be tired of hearing about it, but it shook me up that I was not ready for that kind of event, and suffered during the last half, and ended with a poor finish time.
It shook my confidence, I suppose. Today was my first Olympic Triathlon, and I trained hard for it. Even so, my cycle times are not great, and swimming doesn't seem much better, though I enjoy doing both. I looked at this event as a new challenge and just wanted to do it, so I could say I did it.
I started the swim easily, nice pace, breathing correctly and not caring about speed at all. Being a smaller event, there wasn't too much thrashing around me, and getting bumped around. Triathletes call this the 'washing machine' effect, which can be an apt description in larger events. I was comfortable in the water and felt good throughout the 1500 meters. This was a continuous swim, not one where you exit the water at the end of the first loop and re-enter for the second loop. You just keep swimming. I did the 2 loops without stopping to rest, and felt good with it. I was conserving energy for the entire race. I felt strong as I exited the water, and ran to the transition to retrieve my bike. Many others were walking, perhaps having pushed too hard in the swim, or maybe they just weren't concerned about time at all.
I got to the bike transition, put on my cycling shoes, popped a GU with caffeine, and had some water, and walked the bike to the spot where you can jump on and ride. Again, I started kind of slowly, but the adrenaline was flowing, I felt great, and quickly got moving. My pace felt fine, no stress or excessive heart rate, and when I looked at the gps watch it showed I was doing 18 mph. OK, that's not fast for most, but very fast for me. I was genuinely surprised that I was doing so well, and not feeling stressed. Maybe it was downhill. So I continue on, finished the first loop rather quickly, and started the second loop, I was feeling it now, so I backed off just a bit on my effort, and enjoyed the ride to it's end.
Hopping off the bike, I walked it to the transition area easily. Sat down, changed to my running shoes. I left the watch on the bike handlebars. Screw it, I'll run without the watch and see how it goes. Took some salted water that I had made up prior to the race, put on my race belt and ran off.
I was going to do a run/walk as usual and that worked fine for me. I felt good for a while, but the temperature was creeping up now and it was sunny out, despite the supposedly "completely shaded run portion' that they advertised. I knew coming in that it was not going to really be shady, but it was not complete sun either, a good combination of both. But, it was dang hot! Finished the first loop fine, but feeling tired now. Plugging along I passed some runners and was passed by others. Everyone was cheerful and a lot of 'good jobs' were sent and received. Very friendly crowd. Around mile 4 my thigh started cramping, and I actually stopped to massage my leg for a couple of seconds. Then I just decided to shorten my stride and run slower. I only had about a mile to go, so I wasn't so worried, I could always walk the last mile if need be. I didn't have to do that, I just kept run/walking and finally approached the turn off to the finish line corridor. I crossed the finish line with a huge smile. I saw my number flashing, and I knew my real time would be even better than the number displayed, because the race started officially about 3 minutes before I did. Wow! what a good time.
Could this course have been shorter than standard? Or did my 3 day rest period and hard training really pay off that well?
They have not yet posted all the details, like individual swim, bike, run and transition times, but they did show me my official overall time.
Turns out I took second place in age group. My time was 3:09:27 seconds. I was originally told that I won first place, but that was later changed to second place due to some error. This picture was taken before they discovered the error.
Considering I would have been very pleased with a 3:30 time, I was shocked at my actual time. I was prepared to do about 3:30 - 3:45 and anything more I would have not considered good.
So there's my redemption after my crappy trail marathon time. We can't always excel but we certainly can continue to strive for excellence. We have good days and bad days, and I'm grateful for each of them. Today was a good day.
Thanks for reading and have a good day yourself!
Sunday, August 10, 2014
S0, I'm going over my training schedule this afternoon. I'm not so good at record keeping, but it gets done eventually. I added in a couple of past days training and rest days to update it. It's a big calendar magnetised to my 'fridge.
Sometimes I'm training at my 'country home' and I don't have a calendar there, so I just add them when I get back 'home'. I especially like cycling at the country place, there are some sweet hills that really give me a workout. And, at home it is much more flat, so I get to switch it up a bit. But, I digress.
Today, I ran earlier for 6.5 miles. It was really hot and humid here in Florida. But, I did fine. I rested for a while then jumped in the pool for a short swim. I did 30 minutes, which is a good amount of time, since I'm tapering for a triathlon.
I added these numbers to my chart, and looked to see what was on the schedule for tomorrow. That's when I saw it, and it sunk in, I only have 2 more real training days before my triathlon. Nice - well, except I didn't realize it soon enough to savor my taper properly.
Anyway, I'm taking a full 3 days off before this event, 'cuz it's an Olympic distance and my first one at that. I'm almost always sore lately or at least feeling some kind of distress because I push so hard. I want to be 100% rested up for this event. As I understand it, the 3 days rest won't hold me back in any way, so I'm going to take it easy. I really suffered on my last event, a trail marathon for which I was not properly rested. Don't think I'll make that mistake again. Lesson learned.
Just wanted to say how quickly time flies. I'm just so used to training, I do it without thinking. I 'knew' my triathlon was looming, and surely was aware of how many days away it was, but it just wasn't registering properly, 'cuz I was genuinely surprised to note that I had a mere 2 more days of training!!
Soon this will be in the books and on to the next challenge, Which is, for now, a marathon in February 2015. Perhaps I'll find something else before that, who knows?
Yes, I will let you know how it turns out.
Thanks for reading and have a great day.
Saturday, July 19, 2014
I remember when I first started running. I thought about running a 5K some day. I was unsure that I could run that far, and was afraid of coming in last place. Sounds familiar?
Well, I did it and finished just fine. They even gave me a ribbon! Wow how cool is that? A cool ribbon just for running 5 kilometers, I think I'll save this.
At some point soon thereafter, I found SparkPeople, and joined that, too. One of the first things I noticed is the runners ribbon racks, and walls with race bibs proudly displayed. Someday I'd like to have something like that too, but gee, it must take a long time. These guys are crazy dedicated to running!
So, I continued to race and got a few race bibs, and ribbons, made a rack from plans I found on the internet. Nothing fancy, I'll show you a picture of it in just a while.
First, let me tell you about my dear wife, Chris. She collects Boston Terrier stuff. We've had Boston Terriers for decades. And all the while, DW would find BT statues, door stops, picture frames, calendars, dishes, posters, decals, on and on.
I noticed the house was getting really full of Boston stuff, so I said to her, "Honey, at some point you will have to stop collecting these things. When do you stop becoming a collector and become the 'crazy Boston Terrier lady'?" She agreed, and did stop acquiring them, and even forbade her friends and famly from buying any more BT gifts. She went so far as to pack most of them away. They're in the garage now. Not to worry, there are still plenty around the house.
These are just the ones in the china cabinet. We have door stops, calendars, refrigerator magnets and statues elsewhere, too. Even with the bulk of them stored away.
So where was I? Oh yeah, collecting ribbons and race bibs. I remembered the conversation with my DW, and thought, ''Geez, am I becoming the 'crazy race trophys collector'?'' I had one ribbon rack, then my daughter found another larger one, which I thought was ridiculous, because it was so big. Guess what? It's almost full now. And wall plaques, too. And race bibs, so many of them they cover my ribbons on the smaller rack.
Never thought I'd have a wall like this.
When does it end? I've only been running a few years. And just started with triathlons a few months ago, and am now getting ribbons for those too.
I have become the crazy athlete ribbon guy! But, I'm not alone. Some of you are just as crazy as I am.
Thanks for reading and have a great day.
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