Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Warming Up

Washington DC can be very pretty in the spring. The Cherry Blossoms are in bloom, daffodils are sprouting up through the soil and bikes are coming out of the garages and basements around town for some outdoor riding. For me... this time of year is showing how rusty I am. I have gained some weight this offseason and lost a lot of my cardio fitness. I weighed in at 215 lbs. yesterday and have had a lot of problems catching my breath when riding up hills or running at a high heart rate this past month. Hopefully, over the next four weeks I can get some of my triathlon-fitness back as we start warming up for this training season.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

You're going to do what?

It's been a few weeks since my last blog and I see TJ has outdone me again with his posts - I am still trying to catch up with my thoughts on this and only want to post the ideas relevant to my purpose on this whole Ironman adventure.

My last post was all about The Reason, and I hope its clear why I'm here and as it turns out - I love the intense physical exercise.

So when I finally made the decesion in 2004 to do my first Olympic distance triathlon - I signed up with the Team in Training program offered by The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I would joing Rick, John and Chris and do my best - but the ultimate goal was to raise funds for a great cause against cancer (In memory of Ron, Allen B and Matthew), train for the distance and have a lot of fun.

So at the young age of 50, with injuries and scar tissue all over my body - I opened my big mouth as usual and started telling just about everyone I knew whatI was going to do, and I can summarize the responses in the following manner;

80% - said I was crazy (tell me something new)
10% - had no intelligible response worth noting
and finally, those precious remaining said, "You're going to do what?"

And then went on to say, "If you can do - so can I!" This would be repeated by the followinmg encouraging guys: TJ, Jeff Sylvester Jeff Jenson and Chris Nopalitano.

I'm not sure my response back to them - but I can tell you that this was not quite the encouragement I was looking for - but it did help that I would certainly not be alone in this journey, and quite frankly it made it all the more enjoyable.

We all went on to finish that first event and of course both TJ and I would sign up immediately for the next one which was Disney only to arrive in FL and be sent away with a hurricane.

We both went on again the following year for more Olympic and Half Ironman events. Of course, like most things that you like - if this was good, more must be better. So what's better than this? Well of course Ironman!

Blame it on Ron - he always said to take it to the next level and of course we did!

2006 would be a tremendous amount of fun - training with Chris and other members of Team In Training - Marcia, Mike and Wendy and others - it would be like being a kid again, being outside and getting in great shape.

Finishing Ironman was the biggest physical accomplishment ever for me and the most rewarding.

Little did I know I sustained a very serious injury - I thought the blisters I obtained during the run were bad - but I was to learn over 6 months later, that all the lower leg pain I experienced the past few years were a result of compartment syndrome. As a result, I suffered nerve damamge in my lower right leg and required surgery in February 2008. I was already signed up for IMFL 2008, and after several months of rehab and a new training team that helps injured athletes get back to racing - I finally decided that I could not come back in th esame yera as the surgery, so I was allowed to switch my IMFL 2008 slot to IMAZ in Nov 2009.

So here we go again - this time around my plan is to train and run without pain. But one thing will remain the same - and that is the same reason when I started - keep these special people in our memory, train hard and have a lot of fun!