Tag Archives: Ironman Lake Tahoe

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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Friendly Reminder: It’s All About the Journey

I thought I had my 2013 triathlon season all set:

  • Successfully register for two Half Ironman races (which is not always easy given how some of them, especially the two I wanted to race are hugely popular and sell out within days and in the case of one, minutes).  Check: I registered for Oceanside 70.3 and Vineman 70.3.
  • Albeit somewhat last-minute, sign up for my first Ironman.  Check: Registered for Ironman Lake Tahoe.
  • Begin base building in January.  Check: Changed workout focus and drafted training plan.

But then as with everyone life happened, and my plans changed.  Because of some scheduling issues I had to back out of Oceanside at the beginning of the year.  A couple of months later I learned about a new 70.3 race that fits my schedule better.  So I signed up for it, the Silicon Valley Long Course.

Then with just over three weeks until my first 70.3, my training was interrupted with a nasty cold that put me out for five days.

This past Tuesday I worked out for the first time since getting the cold and it was hard.  It was hard for lots of reasons:

  • Knowing that I can’t truly make up my lost training days, I struggled with what I should do on my first day back to training.
  • A new serving of angst emerged since I now have less than two weeks of training before I begin tapering.  A week ago I was pretty confident I’d finish the race with a decent time; now – not so much.
  • I decided to ride 47 miles for my first workout and boy did I struggle on many fronts: cardio, strength and mentally.  Especially knowing that I was much stronger and fitter just a week ago, I couldn’t help but be frustrated.

But as with everything else in life, I learned a lot over the past challenging week.  To help get me through each day I was sick I thought more and more about what’s important this season, this year, in my life.  I should be thankful I have just a cold and nothing more.  While triathlons are extremely important to me, they are just races.  I train to help me with my grief.  And while I race to help honor Noah, I need to maintain a healthier perspective.  By getting stressed and all worked up over the possibility of  not racing, I realized I’m probably taking something away from this special time with my son.  Moreover I need to focus on the bigger picture.  And the picture is pretty big with my son in a completely different world than me.

Noah’s presence on my ride provided a constant reminder that my cold, my struggle with my breathing, climbing and even at times pedaling (which should have not been the case) are really all petty issues.  As mentioned before, digging down some to get through a hard training segment is becoming more and more natural and Tuesday’s ride and yesterday’s workout were no exception.

Seeing wildlife during my training sessions isn’t new. I rode past a deer who was leisurely snacking on the side of the road. I also witnessed two squirrels attempt to cross a relatively busy road.  After an intense 3-5 seconds of questioning if a car would truly stop for it, one of them actually crossed.  (The other one appeared to not want to play Frogger at all and stayed on the other side of the road.)  Slowing down to observe these creatures as well as take in some of Mother Nature’s beautiful lushness was part of my journey on Tuesday.  I had several moments when I appreciated this.

Who knows how I’ll do at my first tri of the season.  But this week has already been a huge reminder that this is all about the process – the journey, if you will.  I’m sure I’ll feel some disappointment if I don’t do well at my first race.  I’ll wonder if I could have dug even deeper, pushed harder, listened to my body better and so on and so on.  Even if I’m fortunate to perform well, I’ll probably wonder about the same things as well as whether I trained too much and I pushed too hard given that this race is a B race (a warm up race) and I have two more to go.  Lots of questions.   I need to remind myself of days like this past week and this time, that time, another time and others and to be open to experiencing what they offer.

I’m on a journey, (and dare I say, just like you).  Since Noah my journey will always have a travel companion.  We’re on this journey together and while I think I know what my destination is for this tri season, Ironman Lake Tahoe, it may not be.  I don’t know what next year’s destination will be or the year after or my life’s ultimate destination.  I guess it doesn’t matter.  After all I thought MLH’s and my destination with Noah was to have him down here on earth with us but go figure.  As the cliché goes, it’s not about the destination.  I need to remind myself it’s all about the journey…

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Training Weekend in Tahoe

Thanks to a good friend, I trained in Lake Tahoe this past weekend.  Nineteen of us checked out the Ironman Lake Tahoe race course.  (This race is the Ironman I signed up for.)   It’s a great time to start getting the lay of the land since the race is one year from now.   I was able to get a good idea of what to expect on race day as well as a good sense of the altitude and potential issues I may encounter racing that high above sea level.   I now know what the terrain will be like and can start preparing for it.  Yes I’m still in my off-season so I didn’t push myself too hard nor go the full Ironman distance.

I had an awesome time!

I met some more amazing triathletes.  Most of them are Ironmen already, and all of them are racing Lake Tahoe.  I enjoyed training and hanging out with them.  There were a couple of times when it was challenging.  At one point a discussion about heart related deaths came up and folks got into the finer points of heart issues.  I tried to zone out and busy myself as best I could.  Also I was asked about my silver bracelet which I wear all of the time except when I’m training and racing.  It has Noah’s name, birth date and death date engraved on it.  I guess I can’t expect to go an entire weekend with the same people without encountering a couple of uncomfortable moments.

My favorite aspect of the weekend was feeling Noah’s presence; we had our special time together as I swam, biked and ran.  Climbing the hardest of the two hills — there are two significant hills with one having athletes climb 1000 feet over just three miles — on the bike course, I found myself struggling a lot.  It was so hard I thought about stopping several times, and I wasn’t sure if I could reach the top.  But as I’ve done in the past, I dug in deep.  And with Noah right there with me, I reached the summit without stopping.  In fact I was the 4th person in our group to reach it!  A few folks commented on how fast I climbed it.  I was flattered, especially given the caliber of this group of athletes.  I told them as much as it hurts, I really like climbing hills; there’s something about digging in.  Several of them commented that having less weight helps.  (I’m on the lighter end of the spectrum.)  And passing people provides positive reinforcement.  I just smiled as these comments were made.  While both of these points are true, I know the main reason why I was able to climb that hill as fast as I did.  I didn’t tell them because I don’t know them that well and I didn’t want to risk being a downer.  As I get to know this group better at some point I’ll tell them about Noah and the fact that I’m not climbing alone.

While my official training for the 2013 season doesn’t start until late January, I’m already super excited about it.  And as hard — actually I don’t know how hard because I’ve never trained for an Ironman before but I know it’s going to be really hard — as training for and racing Ironman Lake Tahoe will be I’m very much looking forward to all of it!

What a great weekend!

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