Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Hero...

Seven days til Ironman. As I sit recounting the training and upcoming event and recount the dedication my friend Howard does daily. No matter your politics or views on war, Howard risks his life for our country. A country where a diabetic has the freedom to race Ironman. It was a year ago when I reconnected with this extraordinary person who shares a love and passion for his country, not to mention bike racing and riding. I recall our ride in the Fall over my mini-Moo course talking about his adventures in Europe riding with the Germans and their tactics, our paramount rides, and life in general. I am longing for his return to ride again and re-tell of our stories and share in the joy of his safe return to us. Thanks Howard!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My Friend Steve

19 Day til Ironman! I received an email last week from my best friend Steve Silverman. The best man at my wedding, the man who knew many of my many challenges in life. His words were transformed into action this morning. After having a decent ride Saturday, and great first half of my Sunday long run, I scraped it in for the final 1 1/2 hour on Sunday and felt like crap the remainder of Sunday into Monday. This morning it would have been nice to sleep in and not workout. But resonating in my brain was Steve's words of encouragement as I re-read his email last evening and got up to put in an excellent run, despite having a closing BS of 55, further dropping to 45. As I prepare for this race, it will be 22 years that Steve and I have been friends. Also, along the way, Denise and I will have been together for 20 years. After all this time, the 2 of them have schemed and supported me over the years no matter the adventure, like Steve, after major knee surgery, hobbling around at the 1997 New York City Marathon, chasing me down in the rain. I realise I am pretty fortunate.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Winding Down Big Volume

Taper is almost here! Big Volume weeks are suck! However, after compelting them, the path to success is partially laid. All of the work leading up to big volume then add 20+ hours of workouts during a 3 to 4 week period adds up to aching joints, tired legs, and many, many cups of coffee to survive the day. Once the final big volume weekend is complete, only small deposits can be made, but I know I can screw things up if not careful during taper. Rest and rest hard is key. Also for me is nailing my nutrition plan during the time as it is easy to eat for 20+ hours of working out but only doing about 12 and the pounds find a way back on. 24 days til the race, but who's counting.....

Friday, August 8, 2008

No- It is the Story.....

Ironman training is comprised of peaks and valleys! The heavy volume time days we are now in challenge even the toughest physically and mentally. For example, Sunday's long run started well enough but ended 2 1/2 hour in with dehydration and scraping it in for the final hour. But the end result of 20 miles done makes it worth it. As I logged the big volume days in, I find myself wondering what I will be doing after this adventure. In doing the work getting to the start line, I ponder what Ray and Nella our documentary filmers pondered with us, is the story the race? or is it getting to the race? This year I found many answers I have sought while racing Ironman. The Ultimate question of why always comes up. The physical challenge? Did that. Mental Challenge, been there. The Story- yep -that's it. The memories of bonking during my first ride on Darth Velo Jedi Penguin. The good training days and the numerous "bad" days. The lows and highs of blood sugar management, the email correspondences with my Triabetes family. My family's absolute and unconditional love and support for me no matter the outcome. The mornings at 5 am riding running, the trips to the pool pondering jumping in the water, the pain of Vasa, the phone calls and coaching from Coach Dave, the pain after long runs, the saddle sores of 5+ hour rides, wanting to quit but keeping the one goal in mind. During this training year, I was challenged with questions and demons. As I heard in Santa Barbara, it was time to stop wrestling ghosts and the answers to life's eternal questions are becoming much clear this year than in my past 4 years training for Ironman. In the final 9 days of big volume, I and my other Tribetes teammates will put the final touches on our training and converge on Madison. And the stories we will tell!