Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Day 25 and Full Circle...

Log: Alarm was not set correctly this morning. Woke at 5:30AM, missed the swim. Got up and ran a tempo run for 30 minutes increasing to a 1 mile 10K pace. Not pretty. Stretched and iced.

Full circle. 365 days since the beginning of the end.

I started this journey on September 29th, 2009 with the intent of fulfilling my own personal objective of documenting as much as my life that I was willing to share in cyberspace.

My adventure began after a disappointing race at the 70.3 Augusta Half Ironman last year. Since this time another Augusta Half Ironman has taken placed and a number of friends and athletes I know have completed this course in personal best. Throughout this year, I have witnessed a number of athletes triumph in personal accomplishments.

On September 30th, 2009, I promised myself after a few years of training for Ironman and Marathon’s that it was going to be Sarah’s turn to shine. Well, she did. Not only did she meet her goal on the Rocket City Marathon in December, but she qualified for the Boston Marathon in 2011! This was a major achievement with her and I am proud of my wife for her accomplishment.

Over the last year, it did not end for Sarah. She went on 5 month later to qualify for the National Championships in the long distance triathlon. This is a half ironman, which we are technically not supposed to say since it is a trademark infringement. Though this did not pan out for Sarah, I am proud of her and her ability to tackle a challenge head on.

The last 365 days have proven to be good for many people I know. Bob and Jay made it to Boston. My sister, Tracey is also Boston bound on her first full marathon. I have seen Carmen and her husband Sami hit the podium on almost every triathlon they participated in over the last year. I have seen Stacy continually become stronger as an athlete, while Amy gets better and better as time goes on. Seth, Brian and Chris have become stronger triathletes in the Half to Full Ironman category with Chris approaching his first IM in less than two months. Calvin pushes out the miles in his ultra marathon attempt the same weekend as Chicago. Courtney has also become a “ultra” runner hitting the trails day after day in her goal to accomplish a 31 mile trail run in November with her training partner Sue. Wren has a specific goal in mind, which takes place in 11 days. That is all I am saying about her. No bad karma. Jeff will be with us in Chicago on his first marathon even though he has accomplished six Ironman’s. Hokan knocked out his sixth Ironman at Lake Placid this summer as Michelle, the 24 year old, who has more dedication that most people I know is on her final journey heading for Ironman Florida. I know there are ones I am missing, but they know who they are and even if I have not written about our accomplishment, I blame old age for forgetting. Susan, Randy, Rebecca, Tatyana, Steven, Darin, Frank, Melissa, Chris H, etc… Finally yet importantly, because I would never leave her out is Ann Marie. Over the last year, our friendship has grown as strong as her athletic abilities. She qualified for Boston along with Sarah, Jay, Bob and Tracey. Ann Marie has been a constant push for me as an athlete as well. She strives for the best and only the best, no exceptions. Her ability to generate the amount of energy she has for the sport of triathlons and for life is amazing. We have become good friends while I have gotten to know her husband, Dan and son Kyler. Ann Marie, has befriended my family as well by training with Sarah on rides along with our families having “pizza night’s” on occasion when our busy lives can take a break. Her friendship to me and to my family is a gift I am thankful for.

Without the support of family, new friends and old along with the constant support of my strong and determined wife, Sarah the past year would have been a long one. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for this year. My family is healthy, we are doing fine in this economic marsh pit, but to at all of “what we do” as athletes along, it would have been a long and deserted road.
My only regret over the last year was what I stated in my first entry on September 29th, 2009. To hit a sub 3 hour marathon. For me it has not been the age thing. 44 is not old in my book. The drawbacks have been injuries. Not injuries that have sidelined me, but things that have slowed me down. As I write these chronic pains emanate throughout. I have been able to adapt and conquer with hitting the podium, setting personal records and pushing my body faster and further every day.

I am thankful for everything. If you are reading this and know me personally, I thank you. Each one of you has touched my life and will continue to be a part of it for the long haul. If you know me, I am not a “flash in the pan”, friend to all kind of person. If you know me, then you will always know me.

This ends the journey at the beginning. I have more adventures that are ahead of me. The Chicago Marathon is only a few days from now. This will be a physical challenge with what has transpired in the last couple of weeks. I must adjust my goals and look forward to April. April brings the Boston Marathon and to see Sarah and my friends who have not experienced this event before will be an honor for me to participate in with them.

After April will bring many more new adventures and I hope to cross many more paths with all of you have spent the last year reading parts of my life.

Signing off…"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.”

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day 24

Log: Taper week allows for flexibility in training. After the 13 miles yesterday the body needed rest. I slept in. I will use some of the flexibility in the schedule to be more flexible. Stretching at lunch.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Day 23

Log: 13 long days and counting. I would not be telling the truth if I said I am ready. Mind and body is beat up. There are days I have thought of bagging the marathon and taking sometime off. 1 marathon a year is enough for me. I have had good races, but these final weeks have been painful and long. I put myself through more pain today. With the weekend full of activities and responsibilities in recruiting runners for the "World's Hoppiest 5K Road Race" the running has suffered. I decided to run at lunch today afte some much needed sleep. Everyday is a struggle in motivation to get out of bed. I ran 13 miles on of all things the treadmill. I did not have the time to plot a course and run. I wanted to beat my mind up a little for the 26.2 miles of pain that I am about to endure. The 13 miles on the treadmill were excruciating and laborious. Every step the pain manifested and radiated through out my mind and body, but I pushed on. Finished the 13 miles in 1:35:00, 45 seconds too slow from race pace. Granted the first mile was at a 8:15...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Day 18

Log: A number of friends are on the road currently heading to either Huntsville, AL for the Olympic distance triathlon National Championships or Augusta, GA for the Half Ironman 70.3 Event. I wish all athletes the best in their endeavors to be their best.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day 17

Log: I have heard from a number of people that I sound tired and sluggish. I must admit that motivation is lacking these days. I go to bed early and just get through the day. I woke this morning at 4:30AM and went to swim. I guess the Group Swim at Johns Creek has disbanded. Second week in a row I have swam solo outside. During the last 10 minutes a two swimmers got in the outdoor pool as I was cooling down. Meeting after work to discuss the World's Hoppiest 5K Road Race. Need to go over budget numbers and make sure things are not falling through the cracks.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day 16

Log: Slept in. No reason, just felt tired this morning. Will get out at lunch to complete workouts.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day 15

Log: Taper weeks are ahead of me. Swam this morning at 5AM. 2700M in the outdoor pool, solo. No Master's Swim which I thought was odd. Had to improvise since there wasn't a swim workout. Did 15 minutes on the Elliptical and stretched for 30 minutes after that.