Friday, June 26, 2009

Racing Again!

After some time to reflect and recompose myself, and with Denise racing as well, we completed the Marathon Sports (St. Andrews Sprint Tri) Tri. Although not my best time at this race, I raced it 5 time before, I was happy to be in the water, on the road, and in the muddy woods competing. As I reflected on this with Coach Dave, and noted that I transformed my memories of my Dad which have brought me to an abysmal place to motivation to compete! I was extremely happy to be racing again and will compete in a limited fashion the remainder of the season.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Tour of South Carroll

I did my first club/group race with limited participation though this past weekend. Finished a grueling 35 mile road race and 15 mile time trial on familiar roads. I was great wearing the Triabetes colors this weekend and hammering down despite my lack of consistent training. I felt good once the inital pain wore off and was happy to be on the road again. My group is planning a longer stage race this season taking about 150-200 mile across my home county and I hope that in September my form comes back while my weight goes down. Surprisingly my blood sugar reamined in acceptable 120-200 range and felt a difference using the Dexcom Seven Plus system to monitor.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Bike....The Ride....

After suffering through the worst 2 weeks of my life, I decided the Saturday after my Dad passed away that I was ready to move forward. Through my grieving, I found solace in an old friend- exercise. I re-started my workouts and struggled through them with pain and joy. Nothing like a long bike ride to heal the soul. I have been playing phone tag with Coach Dave, but his emails and workouts have provided comfort in a unhappy time. Yesterday was a beautiful day and before other of life's obligations took over I went out on a bike ride with Bri. She is sporting a new Fuji Road Bike. She is so proud of her new ride! The joy I saw in her face when she heard she was riding 25 mph as we were flying down a short stretch made enduring the pain and loss we have suffered manageable and even felt happy in the moment. I love going to the bike shop in early Spring as parents are bringing their kids in for that new bike. The excitement and joy kids get is contagious. I think I am going to stop at the bike shop on my way home to catch some of that happiness!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My Tribute to My Dad

As a pretty closed lip person, I have been supporting my Dad in his fight with a number of illnesses, including diabetes, over the past 2 years. He passed away suddenly on Monday. He was a diabetic for 34 years struggling with control of his brittle diabetes while making a life for me, my Mom, and my family. I saw first hand the devastation this disease can take on a persons life and renewed my fight to find a cure so my children and their children don't have to suffer as my Dad did. As his son, I witnessed and learned many lessons from my Dad. He taught me the lessons of love and loyalty. Growing up he drove me to the corners of this country while I wrestled. He would be in my corner win or lose, with him helping me learn from my losses. One of my fondest memories was in 1987 at the Sr. Greco-Roman Nationals when the break between periods he said as I was losing 7-2, "I didn't travel half way across this country to see you get your ass kicked in the first round." He flipped the switch and I won the bout 18-7 and went on to win my first of 2 National Championships. The lesson of loyalty was his commitment to his family and friends. He worked for 20+ years for a company who valued my Dad, and he repaid in service. My Dad taught me the value of hard work and giving your best effort in all circumstances, a value which I wish I could demonstrate half as well as him. Over the years, I had the opportunity to thank him on occasion, yet I wish I could have thanked him one more time. I loved my Dad, but I wish I could have told him one more time. I wish for more time with him, but I guess it would never be enough!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The 09 Season

With the first race 12 days away, I am excited to begin this years campaign. As I reflect on years past, this one is like the 04 and 06 season. Slow to start, motivation issues, but the excitement of starting the season still there. I am just happy that my body continues to allow me to prepare for the starting line.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Simply Stu Worldwide Triathlon

With over 1000 entries worldwide, the Chop family will be participating in this remarkable event. It will be a blast as Bri, Tommy and Me balze a trail indoors being participants. Stu has a missiojn of spreading the benefits of triathlon and a triathlon lifestyle around the world and we are happy to be part of his vision.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Here we Go Steelers Here we Go and Coach Dave

As a lifelong Steeler fan, I am excited about this weekend. A team who sticks to the plan and through thick and thin stays the course. In my lifetime, I have only know of 3 Steeler Head Coaches, while many teams have had as many in the past 5 years. The take home lesson is that consistency and keeping one's goals in focus provides a pathway for success. Ironman racing is similar. It is easy to be persuaded to do the in-thing as far as training. A New wage training regime, using the newest techno gadget all are not substitutes for putting in the time and effort of training. I realised in training for Wisconsin, there was no substitute. It was my body that propelled me over the course. My result was the product of my training and focus on getting to the starting line. What I realized too was that these are also the lessons of Coach Dave!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cold Ride preparing for the Fawn Grove...

It was cold this weekend! As I have become more active, my desire to get off the trainer and get outside to workout has gone through the roof. Computrainer is great, but doesn't compare to getting out and riding! I planned an hour and 20 minute ride on one of my favorite routes only to fin the forecast changed and rather than being 46 and sunny, it was 30 and snowing. This was not going to deter my riding outside and I got dressed and started out.

As I was riding I began thinking about the 09 season. I am starting the outdoor season in April riding the Fawn Grove Roubaix! A short 27 mile Cat 5 bike race with 7 stretches of packed dirt roads simulating the "cobbles" of Paris-Roubiax. I recall my friend Howard talking about his riding the cobbles of Belgium and thinking this is the closest this will come to a true Euro road race as April weather, dirt, and racing. I am hoping to just survive this race and what a way to begin my bike racing career. I am entering this with only one goal, finish this race and learn. I am entering a few more road races and criteriums, with the goal of competing in the Tour of Lancaster County in August (2 day 3 race Stage race). Learning how to bike race will present its challenges, but it has reinvigorated my training and "forces" me out on a cold snowy Saturday ride.

To the ride, despite being slow and low on the power output, I was just happy to be riding and riding with a renew sense of purpose. I look forward to seeing how this and the Carl Dolan Circuit race will hep me prepare for Columbia Tri and Rhode Island 70.3. Only time and training will tell.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Year- New Directions

It has been quite some time since my last post and I feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle 2009! In retrospect, I really needed time away from the blog, racing and even training. I understood the physical impact of Ironman Wisconsin, but came to realize the mental and emotional toll the race took on me. Last year I spent my year focusing on one day. Day in and Day out, the prize was getting to the start line in Madison. After a sub par 2007 Ironman experience, I primed myself to not repeat the mistakes I made in Lake Placid. When all was said and done, I deemed the 2008 Ironman finish a major success. Then it hit me, I was spent emotionally and mentally drained from the balance act maintained during the preparation. After many start and stops in getting more consistent with workouts, I decided to take a break and clear my mind of triathlon. I would keep up with the Triabetes posts, yet didn't post. I distanced myself for a while and took the necessary break from the intensity I typically put into many aspects of my life. I just was for a while, and it was uncomfortable at time, yet freeing. I heard a quote the other day that rings true, is real freedom is the need to not control everything. And, that's what I did and I am truly back in the bike saddle again! My pledge for racing in 2009 is to make triathlon racing fun again, not a means to an end. Enjoy the races I have entered and not be pressured about whether or not I am hitting my targets. For instance, I am racing Columbia in May and not focusing on hammering the swim and bike sections and hanging on in the run for a finish, I will actually approach the triathlon with a tri mindset. Pretty cool for a control freak like me. I look forward to posting more of my thoughts throughout the season with some regularity, yet continuing to remember my goal of having more fun this season. I am hopeful this goal will be met.