Saturday, June 27, 2009

Goin' Up the Country...

I used to know this guy many years ago who was on the USA Biathlon team. You know...cross country ski so hard your heart rate is plastered to the roof of your mouth, then pull a snugly slung rifle off your back, drop your heart rate to nada and shoot at 5 targets, skiing off again and repeating the process for some insane distance. He used to train at Lake Placid.
I'm off To Lake Placid, NY to train for a few days on the Ironman course! Swim the swim, bike the bike and run some... Leave tomorrow and back on Wednesday. Looking forward to getting away and bashing around the High Peaks region for a few days. I find it quite relaxing to get out in the middle of Mirror Lake, stop and look around at the trees and the sky line of the town...
Contrast that with long climbs and white knuckle descents at 60 mph on 1 inch tires.
Running is well, running it's part of me so I enjoy it anywhere in any weather...
Maybe as I ride by the Biathlon range I'll stop and for a fee take a few cracks of the old .22 and see if I have an eye left for it. I used to shoot well.
Training rehash when I get back.
Keep turning those cranks, putting one foot in front of the other and get busy livin'!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Why I have an IM tat...Redux.

This is a post for 2006 when the topic came up on the Trifuel website.
I've added a few things and adjusted some of the writing. Maybe it's better, but really I don't GARA if it is or not:

After I did my first Ironman in 2003, I got an Ironman logo tattoo. The one you see here.
It was just a few days after the race and I fell asleep in the chair. Some folks thought I was bragging, self-focused and big headed to have that thing on my calf. "Oh! Look at me! I'm an IRONMAN!

They don't know me.
Getting the tat had NOTHING to do with finishing Ironman. It did have everything to do with getting to the start line in one piece and with some sanity. The previous ten years of my life had been tragic and I mean that in the classic sense.

Tragedy: Noun Dealing with a serious theme, typically that of a noble person whose character is flawed by a weakness which causes him to break moral precept and which inevitably leads to his downfall or destruction.

My Dad died and for awhile I lost my moral compass. My marriage shattered, I ended up in a relationship I should never have been in, lost everything including my self respect and almost didn't make it. There were days I wanted to jump off of something really high.
Little by little, I started to come back.
I started to train for Ironman Lake Placid in 2002, but my Mom became ill and died. My sisters and I cared for her. It was ugly. With the help of family and a good therapist I was able to leave a horrible relationship, get myself righted and see my situation for what it really was.
"Re-called to life" if you read Dickens.
I signed up for IMLP 2003 and, despite some brief mis-steps in my personal life, was able to get back what I had lost.
My dignity, self respect, and the goodness inside that had been lost too long under an bad influence.
Training was hard...there were days I didn't want to get out of bed, but did, because Ironman was the path back to myself.
Standing there on the shore on Mirror Lake the morning of Ironman I knew...the kid was alright.
The Tat was a symbol of all that, of being back among the living, of being whole again, of being better than the darker angels we all carry inside of us.
Things have come together, now, and as I prepare for Ironman Lake Placid on July 26th of this July, my fourth. I am back to who I always was.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Time. Time. Time.

Where does it all go?
Mom's birthday was this week. She would have been 86. This is the 65th anniversary of Dad being drafted. It's been 17 years since we buried him.
Mary Lou and I have been together for five and a half years, every minute a hoot!
I'm ending my 19th year in my current position.
I started running 40 years ago this fall, and biking not long after.
This July, about the same time I'm doing IMLP, will be the 4oth anniversary of when I started climbing...while I don't get out much now due to time constraints, it still calls to me and I miss it. It's just too hard to find climbing partners in my age group and, sorry to say, I don't have the patience with youths the way I used to.
Classes are done for the year at the high school. Finals Monday. The long looked for break is here. I'm tired. The kids are tired. The other staff are tired. This school year has gone on about two weeks too long.
Suddenly,too, there are 6 weeks till Ironman Lake Placid. Where the other 20 weeks of the training schedule went, I am not sure...
This is currently a low volume week. Well needed. I was cooked at the end of the last training cycle. But that's the point isn't it? Not I tell kids at school: "You knew the job was dangerous when you took it."
Have 2 centuries (100+ mile rides) under my belt this 3 week cycle with weekly totals around 200.
The long runs are building and 3 hours now is easy. Swimming still seems to be a problem. Doing ok, but losing the high school pool was a blow. Now I have to swim with...people! Share lanes and all that. Now my momma taught me to share but having a pool to yourself sure is nice!
Heading off to Placid at the end of the month to train for a few days.
Medical terminology class is going well. Learning tons, but If you've been around awhile and have had some of the procedures we talk about it helps. "Why yes. I know exactly what a cystoscopy is! And yes, they do put you to sleep." Also good that I've already had Anatomy and Physiology.
In fact, time to go study...