Monday, August 30, 2010

Training for fun?

     Last week I faced every endurance athlete's biggest fear, well second to injury. Burn out. When I first got into Triathlons, it was for fun.  Then my competitive nature took over and I started to train myself into the ground. This caught up to me last week and I had to say "when."  It started Saturday when I got up to run and said I don't feel like running that far.  So I didn't.  Then I went to the open water swim, even though I didn't feel like swimming.  I thought, maybe if I get ready and get out there I'll change my mind.  The closest I got was sitting on the bank with my feet in the water.

     Sunday morning came around and I had a 36 mile ride in Montgomery.  I started out with the group and got in a nice long warm-up.  I got to the first Hill and decided to charge for a few miles.  After a bit I started wondering, when was the last time that I finished a ride and didn't go home and have to take a nap because I had exhausted myself.  So I backed off realizing that I'm racing this week and got out of aero.  I just started to enjoy the clean air and the scenery. It was a great morning, cool and quiet.  The result was that I had one of my better rides in a long time. My heart rate was lower and cadence was higher.  I was able to relax and settle in to the beat coming from my ipod.

     It's been a long time since I've had fun on a ride. Looking forward to more in the future. I started this with the intention of qualifying to race in Kona 2014. I can live with that not happening.  Maybe 2020 or even better, it will happen when it happens.  I was dreading the Austin Tri this weekend, but I think my different outlook has changed that.  Happy Swim, Bike, Run.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Rejection - Don't get mad, get traveling...

So here it is once again.  I didn't get into the Chevron Houston Half because I chose to play by the rules and not register for the full with the intention of switching to the half like so many did, but I understand that though the odds were better, it wasn't by much.  C'est le vie!  So what do we do with our new found rejection?  Boycott, as some of my despondent co-runners are suggesting? 

For me the answer is to hit the road.  If Houston doesn't want us (see numbers three and four below,) then there are several others that do.  Austin and Dallas would love to have us and have a if you want to run for a cause there is one in Waco as well.  I think the Houston Race committee has forgotten themselves with the lottery draw.  Here is a couple of questions I would like the directors to ask themselves:
1)  If the participant is not willing to get up and get online at five am to register, how dedicated are they?
2)  Check your ego.  Is Houston doing the lottery because it's a Major, e.g. Chicago, New York, Berlin, London, and Boston. 
3)  Or is it that they are able to do this because there are 5.7 million people in the greater Houston area.  If you take a 10% estimate of active people gets you 570,000 with 10% being endurance athletes you get 57,000 interested in doing the event.  With a race cap of 22,000 you have one entry per 2.59 people.  Not including those from other areas.
4)  Why didn't they raise the participant cap more?  Money, logistics, or are they planning on creating such a demand that they can raise the fee's? 

I wish those that got in the best of PR's but I have a feeling the Club tents are going to be a little empty this year as there are several races within a four hour drive that knowing the bitterness of our rejection  are willing to throw open their cities hotels at discounted prices and the promise of a better race.  Though we would love to run in our own back yard it is not to be.  Houston in a long line of half-assed attempts has made their choice (see professional sports teams.)  Now we must make ours.  So get online and pull out those credit card/ reward cards and find some running love.

Texas Half Marathon Dallas, TX, Saturday 1/28/11 - $50
Miracle Match, Waco, Sunday 1/30/11 - $75
3M Austin Half Marathon, Sunday 1/30/11 - $65

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Rivercities 2010, aka Triathlon number 1

     When I started this crazy thing I had a pretty big misconception.  I thought it would be a lot easier than it is.  Funny how swimming, biking, and running can seem nice and relaxing apart.  Put them together and you have a beast of mythic proportion.  Well the Hydra chewed my ass up today.  I knew the swim would be difficult and there would be contact but I had know idea why so much emphasis is put on the swim.  It's true that no triathlon has ever been won in the swim, but I'm pretty confident that several have been lost.  After being swum over several times I decided to get out of the shipping lanes and breath stroked it until I got my composure back and then when it was time I put my head down and went after it.

     T1 was smooth, except  I ripped the number on my race belt so I had to take it off and stuff it in my shirt.  I was surprised to see people sitting down to put on their shoes, and toweling off.
     Bike was ok except for the idiot that kept passing me then slowing down, I passed him on a climb and burnt off on the down hill.  I only got chick'd once and the girl smoked me so I was ok with it.  I held back to make sure that there was something left in the tank for the run, but was able to do a lot of passing on the climbs.  No flats or dropped chains this time.
     T2 went well except for having to re-pin my bib on my race-belt.   I got in and out pretty quickly, so quickly that I forgot to pull my quick lace's taut.
     The run went well, I kept moving, and never gave up even though my body was asking me to.  I ran through the finish on the beach and strait into the water about shin deep and dropped.  I thought a half mile swim and an 18 mile bike followed by a 5k run wouldn't be that difficult but then again your going flat out the entire time.  All in all I had a great time with good friends and look forward to the next.  Lessons learned and mental notes taken.  Post race conversation with Dave Scott was an added bonus.