Saturday, May 15, 2010

What will you do when Ironman throws you a curveball?

Well that's the decision I was faced with this morning. However, before we get to what I did when the ball got to me we have to go back a few months.

It was this past Winter when we were training for Lonestar 70.3 and several of my training friends and I had our weekend all planned out and Mother Nature had other plans in mind. I don't remember what we ended up doing that weekend but what I do remember from that weekend are the words John Jobes said "when things don't work out as planned because of weather we'll have to train when we can"

Simple enough right?

Back to this weekend, the plans were:
  • Saturday, go for a 40-50 mile ride
  • Sunday, swim stroke clinic and then go for a 8 mile run

This weekend roll of Ironman was played by Mother Nature. The storms from Friday night rolled right into Saturday morning and it was very easy to just turn off the alarm clock and go back to sleep because it was raining. Shortly after getting up the rain stopped and the wind picked up. Still easy to blow off the ride because wet roads with wind wasn't safe. The little guy in my head said it's ok, it's just one ride and you can miss it and have no problem. True but would one missed ride turn into two, then three and so on over the next 5+ months.

Throughout this decision process I was exchanging text messages with Eric C. and one of his text messages said, "he and John were going to swim and then ride because he wasn't giving in that easy." That's what I needed to hear. The little Ironman to-be inside was kicked in the rear by those words and I said to myself. "Yes you were going to ride today but I must be flexible and get the training in when I can." So after I changed some plans around for Sunday afternoon my day opened up a little more to allow for ride so it was time to go for a run.

This turned out to be one of the best runs ever!! I saw several friends and training mates at the start and then I took off. My pace was fast, I focused on staying relaxed (thanks Coach Leslie), and watched my crossover (thanks Richard). One thought that kept coming to mind while I ran was, if I would have given in to the weather what would this mean for the rest of the summer when Ironman training gets really tough, was I going to give in? No because while the training plan calls this phase pre-endurance training, I think it's really pre-gut check training and time for us to ask ourselves "how bad do we want it?"

Ironman, I'm ready to take your best pitch, show me what you got because I'm ready to show you what I'm made of!!!

Thanks everyone, you motivate me with the small things to keep going

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Tri to see things from a different view

This update is going to be a little bit different than some of the others, hope you can see things from my point of view.

Well after 4 1/2 months of solid training my body and mind started giving me signs that it was time for little break. These signs worked out pretty well with an upcoming business trip so it should be easier to relax and enjoy things which are different from my normal day-to-day activities.

Once, I decided to listen to the calling signs and not try to train through the weekend before leaving it was only natural for me to go out and cheer for a couple of races. This is where I got to see things from a different point of view.

Saturday morning took me out to the Chuy's 5k Trot, where a friend Amy Colquette was participating in her first 5K. I saw a couple of other people I knew but this day was all about supporting Amy because she has always been there to support us in our races. It was great to see her gearing up for her first race because there will only be one first and for many others you could tell they were there to either change their day or possibly change their life by getting healthy. One of the most memorable moments of the day was when man ran by Eric and I and yelled at us, "I'm 77 years old."

Those few words reminded me, it's not about how fast you get finish line but that you're still getting to the starting line.

This morning brought a very early wake up call for volunteer duties at the Rookie triathlon. Never mind the name, this is a super sprint race where a lot of the veteran athletes go and see how fast they can go for this short distance race. But it's the true Rookies at this race that make me realize why I love triathlons. The excitement, nervous energy, and seeing so many familiar faces all make race day very exciting.

The excitement is what lights the fire inside to want to keep doing this sport and I know after a short break and a great vacation to Costa Rica I'll be ready to tackle the next 5+ months of training as I keep my eye on the prize.

Congratulations to all of those who raced this weekend and don't every lose the excitement because I won't.

Happy Mother's Day Mom!!!


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Don't try to eat the whole elephant at once......

Well, while I eat lunch today I thought it was a good time to talk about the hard cold reality I slapped myself with this morning.

When I logged onto Facebook this morning I notice someone had a link to an application to countdown the days to your next big race and post it to your facebook status.

I proceeded to the application and from the drop down of races I selected Ironman Arizona 2010 and plugged in the race date. Hit submit and bam my status was updated, very innocent right?

NO, NO, NO, my status update now said "Chris Garlington is participating in Ironman Arizona on the stated date. 200 days left" HOLY CRAP!!! There it was in black and white and although I just completed my first 70.3, I'm truly scared of what's to come in the next 200 days.

I have great support system, I'll be training with the best triathlon training group around and a lot of my friends and training mates will be experiencing the same highs and lows I will. So I have to keep faith, trust the training program that has worked for so many others before me and not try to eat the whole elephant at one time. Slice it with a sharp training plan and eat it practice by practice, day by day, and week by week. I know life is going throw road blocks and speed bumps my way over the next 6 months and I'll need to put my big boy undies on face them head on.

To my training mates, you will probably get to see sides of me you didn't know were there but we're like a family and families see the good and the bad. Kevin, you've traveled this road before and I know you will slap me upside the head when I get more crazy than I am normally.

Wow, writing this out made me feel better than I thought it would.

Note to self, be careful of Facebook applications, it may be scary when reality slaps you in the face!!