Archive for the Rants Category

The wheels on the bus go round and round

Posted in Rants on May 25, 2011 by eeodim

“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.”  — G.K. Chesterton

I received some rough news yesterday regarding the health of family member who’s very important to me.  It had an impact strong enough to make me sit and contemplate what’s important to me in life and why.

I was supposed to run and swim yesterday for an hour each, but I didn’t.  Instead, the Wife and I took a walk with our girls to the local ice cream shop where I proceeded to take down a generous scoop (or two) of English Toffee ice cream.  All three of us sat there savoring our dessert while enjoying the warm evening weather.  We walked home taking our sweet time while singing “The wheels on the bus go round and round…”  After a little play time, I gave my three year old a bath, kissed her good night, and went to seek out my twelve year old for some more quality time.  We ended up watching a good half-hour of “The Biggest Loser” before it was time for her to hit the sack as well.

The point is, this is not normal night in our household.  Far too often I get caught up in my workouts and don’t take enough time to just sit back and live.  I’m missing my little girls grow up because I’m on the bike in the basement, at the gym trying to get another swim in or on the computer reading the latest Triathlon related news story.  This blog was started as a way to document what it was like as a father training for an Ironman.  I think I’ve skewed too far in the direction of ‘reporting’ my training routine and not enough on the father aspect of it all.  Yes, I missed an important training session, but damn that ice cream was good.  I plan to take more of these days off in the next few months and if it means the difference of being a few minutes slower in Louisville then so be it.  Life’s too short too miss all this good stuff.

The Tao of Triathlon

Posted in Random, Rants on May 6, 2011 by eeodim

I recently read an article by Jeff Matlow in USA Triathlon magazine called “The Tao of Triathlon”.   Mr. Matlow felt compelled to share his 14 rules for racing a tri.  I think he hit the nail on the head with this list, so I’m paying it forward by passing the rules along for others to enjoy.

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1.  Create a racing plan and stick with your plan.

2.  Inevitably, things will happen that won’t allow you to stick with your plan.  

3.  In case of #2, make believe Plan B is your plan.  Stick with that one.

4.  No matter how bad and irreparable things may seem, stay the course, it will all eventually get good again.

5.  Every once in awhile say something encouraging to another racer.  It’ll make both of you feel better and the sound of your voice will remind you that you’re still alive.

 

6.  Don’t try anything new on race day.  Unless it’s got the words “chicken” and “soup” in it.

7.  No matter how hard it seems, you had much harder training days.

8.  Before you get tot he starting line, make sure you know the reason you are racing triathlon.  Write it down: remember it.  When things don’t go as planned, this will be your source of hope.  As Nietzsche’s triathlete second cousin once said, “he who has a why to race a triathlon can bear with almost any how.”

9.  Come up with a motivating mantra.  The right mantra can be y our best friend.  “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.”  “Train hard: race easy.”  “Be here now.”  Whatever it is, you’ll be surprised how well a few simple words will keep you focused and on track.

10.  Be here now (see, the mantra works already).  Don’t worry about what is behind you and stop your mind from thinking about what lies ahead.  All you can affect is right here, right now.  It is one stroke, one pedal, one step.  And you just need to focus on doing that one thing to the absolute best of your ability and keep repeating it until they tell you to stop.

11.  Figure out what you need to eat and drink months before you get to the starting line.  All the training in the world will add up to a load of bull hockey if you don’t pay attention to your body.

12.  Don’t wear yourself out in the swim.  For most of us, a triathlon doesn’t really begin until halfway though the run anyway.  If you pace yourself well, you’ll be zipping by people during those last miles while all the folks that left it all on the bike course will be gasping for energy.  Try not to kick them in the face as your run them over – that’s just plain rude.

  13.  Don’t worry, be happy.  As Yogi Berra’s triathlete neighbor’s uncle ocne said racing a triathlon is 90 percent mental – the other half is physical.   Maintaining a calm, positive attitude throughout the day is often the difference between a good race and a really crappy one.

14.  Remind yourself regularly that you are racing a triathlon and you’re darn lucky to have the ability and means to do this.  Relish the experience.  Enjoy the day.   The miracle isn’t that you will finish – and you will.  The miracle is that you had the courage to start.

Tick Tock … Tick Tock

Posted in Rants on April 26, 2011 by eeodim
This past weekend I wrapped up my out-season plan.  A culmination of 20 weeks of blood, sweat, and many many tears.  I worked hard and made some incredible gains in my overall fitness level.  I pushed my body past levels of exhaustion and tested my mental fortitude.  I’m proud of the work put in so far, but I’m nowhere near where I want to be.
The real work starts now.  I have roughly 17 weeks until IMLOU – 123 days, 18 hours, and 3 mins to be exact, but who’s counting.  Yesterday I loaded up my new In-season plan which will lead me right up to the big race.  The training runs get longer, the bike rides will be 3 hrs now not 1 hr, and the pool will become my home away from home.  The whole program seems intimidating at first, but after more reflection I’ve come to the decision to embrace the process.  I need to learn to value the upcoming improvements in my swim stroke.  Appreciate the world around me as my body allows me to bike for 60+ miles at a time.  Get excited that my longer runs are getting easier and easier.  In short, enjoy rather than abhor becoming an Ironman.
I know I’ve posted this before, but it came across my radar again yesterday.  I get chills every time I see it.  I almost want to see if I can set this up as my alarm clock, but I don’t think wifey would be too fond of that!

I will conquer what has never been conquered. Defeat will not be in my creed. I will believe where all those before me have doubted. I will always endeavor to uphold the prestige, honor and respect of my team. I have trained my mind and now my body will follow!

WHO AM I? …. I AM A CHAMPION!!!

 I will acknowledge the fact that I am an elite warrior who arrives at the cutting edge of battle by any means at my disposal. I accept the fact that my team expects me to move further, faster and fight harder than our opponents. Never shall I fail my comrades. I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong and morally straight and I will shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it may be. One hundred percent and more 

WHO AM I? …. I AM A CHAMPION!!!

Gallantly will I show the world that I am a specially selected and well trained warrior. My heart and my soul will be the fuel to carry my body when my limbs are to weary. I will never falter, I will never lose focus as long as there is hope in my mind and my heart still beats. I will never give in to the evil that is weakness and I will fight that evil with my dying breath.

WHO AM I? …. I AM A CHAMPION!!!

Energetically will I meet my enemies, no one will challenge me, none will stop me from my goal. I shall defeat them on the field of battle for I am better trained and will fight with all my might. Surrender is not a Champion’s word. I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall at the hands of my enemy and under no circumstances will I ever surrender.

WHO AM I? …. I AM A CHAMPION!!!

Readily will I display the discipline and strength required to fight on to my objective and I will complete my mission. I will rise when I fallen. I will rip the heart from my enemy and leave it beating on the ground. My enemy need not fear me but he will respect me and if he does not. I will make him respect me with all that I have to give.

WHO AM I? …. I AM A CHAMPION!!!

History will remember my name and he will not have to be kind. For I will have denied his criticisms and put in my own praise, No one will define me, no one will tell me what I can achieve, none will say I have not given all I have to give and none will take my glory.

WHO AM I? …. I AM A CHAMPION!!!

“Ewwww Daddy … that’s nasty”

Posted in Rants on January 4, 2011 by eeodim

Part of the reason I haven’t posted anything to the blog for a little over three weeks now is I haven’t been training.  My body has been through the wringer starting with fever type symptoms, the sweats and chills, moving on to a sore throat followed by a bout of the coughs which I’m still struggling with.  The cherry on top was some weird skin rash which my ever so bashful three year old told me “Ewwwww Daddy … that’s nasty.”  Thank you Jossy, I love you too. The official diagnosis by the doc was Erythema multiforme – a type of allergic reaction that occurs in response to medications, infections, or illness. Nice.

right elbow

left elbow

right hand

There is good news having gone through this experience though: I’ve lost 9-10 lbs. (through the holiday’s mind you) which helps me get closer to my goal racing weight of 185 lbs. I’ve also learned the important lesson of letting my body recover fully before getting back in the saddle. A number of friends have been supportive in making sure I keep this in mind and not rushing back to training. Easily the most invaluable aspect of all this though is that I’ve been able to spend some incredibly wonderful time with my girls. I miss riding and running, but had I been buried away in the basement on my trainer or treadmill I might have missed this:

New Year’s Ramblings

Posted in Rants on January 3, 2011 by eeodim

I’ve never been a huge proponent of making resolutions every new year.  I think they’re great in theory, but honestly, nobody sticks to them.  The guy who said he’s going to “Get fit in 2011” is the same guy who’s throwing back a beer and finishing off his third hot dog at his family’s Fourth of July BBQ.  With that said, I’m wondering if I’m missing out on something.  Is it bad to set goals for yourself?  Maybe it’s because most resolutions are unrealistic or not specific enough?  For a few days now I’ve toyed around with the idea of whether or not I should have my own adaptation of some new year’s resolutions only not call them new year’s resolutions …  maybe “My Rules” or something on those lines only a little more imaginative.  The more I think about it the more I’m leaning toward doing this.  In 2010, I had somewhat of a personal motto: “F It” –  I even had a t-shirt made, see:

my 2010 motto

I can’t stress enough how great it was applying this motto to situations throughout the year.  I rarely toiled over decisions.  When it came time to face a road bump in life however small or large … F it.  I guess this is a resolution of sorts, right?  Maybe I just need to find my 2011 motto?  I guess in the next day or two I’ll think it over a bit more and really hammer something out.  Suggestions welcome …

 

how GREAT i am

Posted in Rants on September 8, 2010 by eeodim

i’ve been lacking motivation lately.  i remembered my boy, paco, sending me the al pacino “any given sunday” speech the other day.  i pulled it up today and subsequently stumbled upon the below.  good stuff.

Turning a wish into a mission

Posted in Rants on September 4, 2010 by eeodim

I’m currently reading “The Triathlete’s Training Bible” written by Joe Friel. Just wanted to share a brief paragraph that made me think twice …

Wishes are important; they’re the start of great feats. Wishes grow into dreams when you are mentally able to “see” yourself accomplish the wish. Dreams turn into goals when a plan for attaining them is defined. Goals become a mission when unwavering self-belief and purposeful zeal are realized. Big challenges require mission status. The difference between a goal and mission is attitude. Passionate commitment is self-evident in successful missions. With the proper attitude, almost anything is possible. What you believe, you will achieve.

Well said.

E