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Good morning

I had a fantastic swim this morning.  I know!  It’s crazy to actually type out something like this given how much I’ve struggled with it.  I swam just 2250 yards out of my planned 3000 but thanks to some great coaching earlier in the week I managed to shave some time off my 100 yard split and I felt so strong.  My entire body felt much more engaged and I didn’t feel nearly as much friction in the water as I normally do.  I also improved  my DPS.  I felt really good!

And Ironman just posted highlights from 2013 Ironman Texas.  

Watching it gave me goosebumps; so many stories and a tremendous amount of inspiration.  While Ironman Lake Tahoe (IMLT) will be a different experience (e.g. altitude, temperature, etc), my excitement about IMLT continues to grow – if that’s possible!

This morning is a good one.

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Just Going With It

After spending last week recovering from the Silicon Valley Long Course Triathlon, I’m supposed to resume my training today.  I’m suppose to start training for Ironman Lake Tahoe.  Last night I eagerly packed my swim gear, bike shoes and cycling clothes.  Last night I placed a couple GU Energy gels and water bottles in my gym bag. Last night I prepared my chocolate milk, my recovery drink.

When my alarm went off at 4:30 am today I woke up with my left leg feeling pretty bad.  It’s been a little tight all weekend.  But I’ve been spending some time on the foam roller and tennis ball.  So I tried to ignore the discomfort as I got out of bed, put on my swimsuit, pulled my hair back and brushed my teeth.  I even made it out the door with MLH.  But as much as I wanted to I couldn’t ignore the pain anymore.  After a brief, quiet exchange with MLH, we both decided it would be best for me to take it easy for one more day. I would also schedule an appointment with my PT.  (Side note: I finally found an awesome PT/chiropractor!)

It should be no surprise that I am pretty bummed about this.  I’m so looking forward to resuming my training.  I can’t wait to start my two-a-days.  I’m really excited to start this next chapter: becoming an Ironman.  This change in my schedule takes away from this.  But as I opened my front door to reenter, put down my gym and swim bags, and changed into non-workout clothes, I thought…one (more) day or even two (more) days off isn’t that bad and may even be a good idea (given that I took just one week to recover)…it’s better that this happen now when I’m about five months away from my A race…getting all worked-up over this (especially at 4:46 am on a Monday morning) is not going to help the situation at all…look at the pros who deal with injuries and continue to have amazing careers…don’t fight it, just go with it…this is part of the journey….

 

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Thankful for This Intense Training Day

This past Saturday I had a very intense training day.  OK, it was actually my first triathlon of the 2013 season, the Silicon Valley Long Course.  A couple of weeks ago, three-time Olympian (two-time medalist) & 2013 New Zealand Ironman champion, Bevan Docherty, said something during a talk he gave that resonated with me:  B [aka warm up] races are just intense training days.  (This race is definitely a B race for me.)  I’ve heard this before but for some reason it really sunk in this time.  So for the past couple of weeks I truly thought of this race as “just an intense training day.”  Because of this I wasn’t nearly as nervous as I usually am during the week leading up to race day.  I definitely continued preparing in terms of tapering and packing my gear.  Mentally, spiritually and emotionally I think I spent more attention on the events that took place last week.

The race was hard especially given the intense heat.  And while I felt  pain and exhaustion, at the same time I felt strong and awesome.  There were times when I dedicated the next mile to somebody.  Heck there were even moments when every single step had a name and purpose associated with it.  And there were times when I felt really tired and simply had to focus on form and technique: reach out, push, pull, straighten back, firm up the core, keep shoulders back, bend elbows, light feet, powerful legs, arms at my side, check my breathing, grab water, switch to Cytomax

My results:

  • Swim (1.2 miles): 0:42:30
  • Bike (56 miles): 3:33:25
  • Run (13.1 miles): 2:06:39
  • Total (70.3 miles): 6:30:55

Morgan Hill, the race location, is gorgeous.  Except for the heat, the day was perfect.  The sky was blue.  It was so nice swimming and looking up as I took each breath to see a powerfully bright, huge sun shining in such a clear sky.  I was surrounded by lots of green.  The bike route was nice as well but a bit quiet as this race didn’t have a lot of participants.  Rolling hills, trees and a huge reservoir created a wonderful setting.  I’m finding that whenever I take in my natural surroundings I thank Noah.  I thank him for all of this.  I thank him for helping me with my training and racing.  I thank him for opening my eyes to such beauty.  I thank him for helping me appreciate mother nature more and more and being present with the peace she brings.  I thank him for giving me strength to do this.

We had a good intense training day.  For this I am thankful.

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Tomorrow’s Race or Ending a Rough Week by Honoring and Supporting

So much is going on this week.  First and foremost we’re all trying to process what happened at the Boston Marathon and what’s happening there right now as I write this.  I think about all of the victims and the City, itself.  I think about the future of marathons and other sporting events which require wide open spaces and a fluid flow of people ranging from participants, volunteers, to spectators, media and so on.  I think about why we run, bike, swim and do what we do as athletes.  I think of my fellow runners, triathletes and other athletes who wonder about the same things and have shown support by going for a run or signing up for a race.  I think about the newly bereaved parents of all four victims (including the young MIT police officer) who died from this horrendous act and the journey of grief they’ve been forced to embark.

And this week I’ve been thinking a ton about a couple of bereaved parents who are going through exceptionally tough times right now.   I’m praying for them and sending lots of love and positive thoughts their way.

Also during this week I had a couple of tests done on my heart.  I requested them after a relatively high number of deaths occurred during triathlons over the past couple of years.  (Some may read this paragraph and think I’m overreacting by having these tests done, especially given I’m generally healthy.  Maybe I am.  And maybe I’m a bit too sensitive to heart-related issues given what Noah, MLH and I’ve been through.  As far as I’m concerned, NOT doing what I can to help limit my risks seems irresponsible.)  With all of the wires, numbers and other readings displayed on monitors, the ultrasound and a four member medical team assessing me, my exam was rather surreal.   I found myself tearing up a couple of times.  Even talking to my GP earlier about ordering these tests made me feel like I was in some sort of neither world.  We discussed the triathlon-related deaths, the heart, tests, reliability of results, even Noah and other aspects that caused images of my son and the CICU to flash in front of me.  Funny and sick how triggers work.

Finally, my first triathlon of the season is tomorrow.  I’ll race to honor the victims.  I’ll race for the newly bereaved parents and their angels.  I’ll race to help hold my two friends up with empathy and love.  And as always I’ll race for Noah.

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#BostonMarathon #Tragedy

My prayers and positive thoughts go out to all of the Boston Marathon victims and their families.  What a sad time.  Running is suppose to be a safe outlet, a positive distraction and healthy challenge.  Today it wasn’t.

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