Perpetual motion

Can't stop learning…

This is my arm

I'm a bleeder
I kinda look like a redneck here, huh?

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What next?!

So, I’ve nailed the Ironman. Well, not so much nailed so much as finished and beat my goal. So what’s next? That’s what I’m struggling with now.

I’ve got a couple of Olympic distance races, an epic ride through Utah, and maybe a couple of Half Ironman races. But having the Ironman gone and over with, I need something to focus on.

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Race Report

So I’ve already posted an update from IMAZ before the race, so I’ll skip that and get right to race night/race day. My sister, whom I was sharing a hotel room with, was flying in the night before the race, and I was trying to fall asleep before she got in. I may have dozed off, but woke up as she entered at like 11:20PM. Slept fitfully for the next few hours until I woke up at 4 to get ready for the race.

My dad drove me over to the course at 5 AM. He went back to the hotel at my request (I get really cranky when I’m trying to get ready and feeling a bit stressed, but looking back, next time I’d have the whole family there, if for nothing else than to take pictures ).

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Bloggity blog blog

Ah… I may never leave Arizona. That’s right, I’m here, the weather is beautiful, the scenery is incredible, and I’m pretty much raring to go. But before I do, I figured I’d update everyone on how I got here, and review the things I’ve seen so far:

1. Flights to AZ: Thanks god for over-the-ear headphones. I have sennheiser 550s (or something similar). They can be quite loud, when needed. On a plane, especially towards the rear, it helps to muffle the sound of the engine. Also, helps to muffle the sound of the ugly baby behind me crying the entire flight. To be honest, it didn’t bother me all that much. I felt horrible for the parents, as I can’t imagine how self-conscious they must have felt. Hilarious note: the bags of peanuts that Southwest hands out? They’re processed in a plant that may process peanuts or other nuts. Look, I know peanut allergies suck, but if you need a warning on a bag… of peanuts, maybe well… yeah. Flights were a bit bumpy, but otherwise uneventful.
3.5 stars

2. Dollar: My mom hooked up a good deal for me on my rental car, and the deal got even sweeter. Turns out Dollar’s idea of a full sized car is a chrysler pacifica. That’s a minivan/crossover type thing, and for my purposes, perfect. It fits the bike in teh back, which is pretty much all I care about. Issues I have with it. Blinker signals? Not loud enough. Radio? It’s got Sirius, which is awesome, but you really have to look down to change the station, etc. The steering is far too smooth/loose. But overall, a pleasure to drive, and absolutely silent.
4 stars

3. The Ford IM Whatever the hell you call it with all the tents: Meh. Look, I just spent a bunch on Goldilocks last year, and I’m not about to buy a Guru or Cervelo yet (you may sense a bit of buyer’s remorse re: Goldilocks, but that’s because I wish I had taken more time and known more about what I wanted/needed). But I can understand why they are there, as this is, after all, a great chance for them to showcase their gear. Did get to talk to the guy from Infinit. Their product is great, and gets like a 5.5 out of 5 in my book. He was really nice, and totally threw me off, somehow, by asking where I was from. Got Goldilocks from Tribike Transport, registered (easy process), and picked up some IMAZ gear (totally jinxed myself methinks). I guess the reason the festival or whatever seemed so meh was just that there weren’t a ton of people there. I’m sure it’ll be more crowded tomorrow.
4 Stars

4. AZ weather: Perfect. It may be hot, but it’s a dry heat. No complaints from me at all.
5 stars

5. Dinner with Endurance Nation: Great. Got to meet other racers who I knew only from posts on the forum, as well as Rich Strauss. I was the youngest EN member there by a bit, I think, but it was still quite cool. I’ve learned a lot from EN so far, but tonight just reinforced how much knowledge there is to be tapped from those guys.

Drove the bike course today. Doesn’t seem too bad, with only one 2.5 mile hill (3x of course) right before the turn around. Also took a 20 minute jog. Plan on swimming some tomorrow morning, and taking Goldilocks out for a spin to make sure everything still works.

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I’m not saying sorry.

To everyone who heard me said I was going to do this, and thought that it was just another thing I said I would do, I can’t say I blame you. I wish I could say that I was angry at you, but… I’m not. I really can’t blame you. Just know that this whole process has changed me. I’ve grown up a bit, but there’s still a lot of growing up I need to do (not too quickly).

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Crazy weekend

Short summary of this weekend:
Saturday – Drive 90 miles to the Eastern Shore. Ride the Chesapeakeman course. Drive back. Total time: 11 hours.
Good news: finished the 112 mile course in 5:31.03 (20.3 mph avg). Could have gone faster, but I’m happy with that.
Sunday: Drive 150 miles to Cornwall, PA. Help Amanda put her stuff in storage before she heads off on her travels pre-B school. Train back. Total time: 11 hours.

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Don’t charge me with your rescue blues

1.5 months to go. I get through the long workouts by thinking about finishing and seeing my family at the finish line. But the long workouts are getting harder. I just want april to get here already.

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New bet

So I was chatting with my coach last night, and I was discussing my trials and tribulations on the bike. He asked if I was a “bigger”guy. Now, I’m not a clydesdale (200+), but I weigh about 180 right now.

So here’s the new bet – maximum of $20.

I win if when I leave DC for Arizona, I weigh 165. You win if I weigh more. I’ll weigh myself pretty much every day, and I’ll post it here. Betting closes after February 21.

UPDATE: This morning, I weighed 179.2

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more why

Training is something to do. It’s something to keep me from getting bored and something to offer a change of pace from work, as work is work can be a damn sight frustrating. Don’t know what I would do if during the day and after work without training.

In a sense, the ironman has become me. What will I do afterwards? I don’t know. Maybe just more of the same. In any case, I’ll figure something else out.

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Why I’m doing this to myself… or for myself…

Iron Bear
Bear courtesy of Calondra Ludlow

There’s got to be more than life other than this. There’s got to be more than the DC area, than the George Washington Parkway, than the horse country of Montgomery Country. I’m not asking for much, just something that makes me absolutely sure that the world is, indeed, a beautiful place filled with awe inspiring sights. I haven’t felt that way since Positano last summer, and before that since Vail in the summertime 4 years before that.

I’m not looking for that. You can’t look for stuff like that and expect to find it. Positano was… holy shit, you can’t describe a place like that and you can’t expect a place like that.

But I digress. Why am I training for an Ironman? Why am I putting my body through the amount of training I’m putting myself through, etc.

I suppose to get to the end you have to start at the beginning. I am doing this, in the first place, because it is something I have wanted to do since I was a kid. I remember reading in SI Kids about the Ironman. Or maybe it was the Ironkid. I have no recollection. But I remember vaguely the idea.

But why now? I guess the situation just presented itself. For one, the job switch reduced my daily workload, but more than that, it made it so that I didn’t have to do anything to do on the weekends. When I say to do, I mean work to do. For two, the end of a 2, almost 3, year relationship.

I guess that’s more of the how I can do this, or at least the how I can train for this (not that I couldn’t do this in a relationship, but I couldn’t do it and try to hold together what obviouly, looking back, was a relationship on the decline). The real reason? The end of a 2, almost 3, year relationship. She said a lot of things, and a lot of them true. One of those things was that I never follow through on anything. To be fair to her, she was right. I guess in the beginning, this was something that I thought might get her back. And I had all these delusions of grandeur, but I think I knew that would never happen. And I came to grips with it, and I got past that. I think. But int hat tim, it’s become entirely about me. It’s about pushing my body far enough that maybe I can learn something about myself. And maybe I can find whatever it is that I found at Positano and Vail. It’s about making sure that for once in my life, I accomplish something I set out to do. And yeah, maybe I’m doing it to meet another woman. But that hasn’t worked out so well either (perhaps because I train as a loner). But I’m feeling better about myself, better about who I am and who I will be… I guess that’s what matters.

Am I worried that I won’t finish? No. I’m not worried about anything anymore. I know my body can do this. I know my mind can do this. In 86 days or so, I’ll have the long-lasting mark, the story to tell my children and grand-children… Am I looking forward to it? Oh hell yes.

I’m an open book. This is page 973.

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