Friday, October 24, 2008

My latest project...

As Clearwater looms in the not so distant future, it has become apparent that Miss Sarah, my original sherpa companion and in fact one of my reasons for pushing Steve to do this race in the first place, cannot go. She is far too busy with school and work and seems to have put her plans for a big move to Tampa on a back burner anyway.

So I decided-who better to go along with me, sherpa a big race and enjoy the energy and vitality of the great triathlon experience than my oldest, and undoubtedly sweetest daughter, Shannon!? At first glance she doesn't really seem like the obvious choice. She smokes cigarettes, lives on candy and caffiene and almost drown trying to snorkel in two feet of water on our misguided trip to Honolulu last year. She moves like a turtle and isn't usually up at the crack of dawn so the entire endeavor will be challenging for both of us I'm sure.

But I've got some high hopes. I'm thinking that she may very well be inspired. She and Chrissie Wellington are the same age...she's never seen Steve actually race..and there's just something about being at a big race that makes people wonder "could I do that?".

Sarah was an easy lure into this triathlon stuff. She was running before she was even born.

Shannon, on the other hand, was four years old when I started running. I used to drag her and her big wheel to the local junior high school track and she didn't much like it. When she was in junior high herself she used to be horribly embarrassed when her school bus would pass me running. I guess actually having a mom was embarrassing enough without having a mom that ran all over the neighborhood.

Should be interesting.....

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Positive thinking

I was raised by depression era parents. My dad joined the Navy when he was 17 and saw men die in a war before he was even 20. My mom had her first job when she was 12and pretty much worked her whole life. They were hard working, blue collar people who would never have considered doing something as 'frivolous' as triathlon. Especially when they had three kids and a mortgage. What little extra money they had was spent on piano lessons, horseback riding lessons, dance lessons...anything they could think of that would give us opportunities they never had.

The problem is that I'm not really sure they were happy. I'm pretty sure they weren't. They made sacrifices and worked hard but they didn't hold enough back for themselves. As a parent myself now, I partly understand that. You always want things to be better for your kids. But I also see that the fact that they weren't really happy created a sort of negative atmosphere even in the midst of their good intent. It was all way too serious; like a great sense of responsibility they could never quite master.

Sometimes I feel that negative atmosphere around me still. Like the cloud of dirt that follows Pigpen in the Charlie Brown cartoons.

I've been watching successful athletes lately. The well known professional ones and athletes successful on a local level. They all train hard and consistently. But I train hard and consistently too. The trait that stands out to me is their attitude. They are positive, they believe in themselves and manage to feel good about training even when it isn't always stellar. No matter whether they race successfully or things turn out dismally, they find something positive in every race and focus on that. If they made mistakes, they don't beat themselves up over them, they accept them and find ways to correct them.

I'm beginning to think that is a major part of their success. They feel positive about themselves and their efforts. They believe that their training will make them better athletes. They believe they will do well in races. And even when things dont seem to be going well they find something positive in the midst of it and believe in that one positive thing.

I'm starting even now to plan for my races next summer. I'm committed to doing two half ironman races and have already signed up for one of them. The planning starts now and as I pull out the training calendar; this idea of being positive and believing in myself and my abilities is going to become a reality for me. I'm going to find a way to include it in my daily training. I'm going to train myself to be more positive.

I'm going to start by changing the name of my blog. I am not a wannabe, I am a triathlete.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Lately every time I get out of bed I feel creaky. Creaky and stiff actually. Slowly, I hobble into the hallway and creep down the stairs for my coffee.

I'm used to aches and pains; even when I was 30 I was achey and painy sometime from running; it's inevitable. But this is different. This is aches and pains combined with a sort of unsteadiness that really makes me feel rickety. Before it just hurt, now it hurts and I feel like if I'm not careful, I'm going to hurt myself even worse - just going for coffee!!

Getting my blood moving seems to loosen things up a bit. But once I stop moving and then get up; the old lady is back, creeping and rickety.

My hips hurt, my knee hurts, my shoulder hurts - I'm the personification of pain! So I take an ibuprophen. I read somewhere that Joe Bonness (old guy - great triathlete) said yes he is on drugs - 1,200 mg a day of Ibuprophen. That makes me feel better. It comes with the old triathlete territory then, this creaky, painful, ricketiness.

I'm going to be increasing my run mileage these next few weeks prepping for the Cape Henry ten miler. I'm at a whopping 17 miles a week and 600 mg of Ibuprophen. I'm sure I'll have to incrementally increase both over the next six weeks or so.

Liberal doctors will write scripts for the maximum dosage of this stuff; conservative docs will tell you that it eats up your insides, destroys your liver and kidneys and allows you to run at the risk of injuring yourself even worse. At the age of 50 I don't listen to the conservatives much anymore. Some people would say it's insane to run if you have to take pain killers to do it. Maybe...but consider the alternative...