Saturday, October 19, 2013

Just don’t come in last

Winning back my race entry by Bottom Podium-ing!
Most beginners training for their first triathlon will tell you that their goal is just to finish. “As long as I don’t come in last.” More experienced triathletes will tell them that coming in last doesn’t matter and in some races they even make a big fuss over the person who comes in last.

What do they call the person who came in last in a triathlon, you'll be asked? A triathlete!

And when (including me) say this, we are right. You can’t control your placement because it depends on who else shows up so it's not worth worrying about being last. The way I think of it is:

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Kona Trip Report - The Race!



On Friday we moved from Waimea to a place south of Captain Cook called the Dragaonfly Ranch. I never did figure out the town’s official name. (It started with an H and had a lot of vowels. Verses all the other places whose names started with a K and had a lot of vowels.) But the mailing address is Captain Cook so that’s how I thought of it the entire time we were there.

It was this funky bed and breakfast that was kind of like a hostel crossed with a tree house. Breakfast every morning was homemade bread and island fruit, much of it grown on the property. Plus organic Kona coffee for those inclined and oatmeal with lots of seeds and other things to put in it if you wanted.

There were no locks on the doors and our room had its own bathroom with a tub, but the shower was outdoors. I was dubious but it had hot water and that’s all I require in a shower.

The Manager has led quite a varied life and told us some great stories including being a child actor in Chicago with his friend Bruce Boxleighter. (They shared an agent.) We also talked quite a bit about Waldorf schools and triathlons (he used to do the swim and bike portions on relay teams when he was younger).

Friday we not only switched hotels, but we finally got to go to the Expo officially and pick up our volunteer t-shirts and check out the logistics of the race. There were signs everywhere saying “No Bags on the Pier” and we were also told that bags in the post-race area had to be smaller than 8.5x11 and no more than 3” deep.

I had nothing that qualified so, in addition to everything else, I had to buy a new purse just for race day. We were also very worried about parking and, during dinner at the famous Annie’s Burgers, I plotted out our early morning strategy.

I was supposed to also swim part of the official swim course and bike part of the bike course. But it was way too hot and I was exhausted so that never happened. I was starting to think that I had schlepped this bike all the way from California for nothing, but not even that thought was getting me on the Queen K in that heat when I had to get up the next morning at 4:15 am.

Saturday we got into town and I missed the turn off to our secret parking street. As I went to turn around, I found a spot right there in town. Parking, after all our fretting and plotting, turned out to be a breeze!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My Kona Trip Report - USAT Coaching Clinic


First thing I see in Kona
I’ve just come back from my USAT Level One Coaching Clinic and the Ironman World Championship and I am so glad I went.

The coaching clinic was very helpful in several ways. Mostly it really built up my confidence that I actually do know what I’m doing when it comes to coaching. This is because most of what they went over is information I already knew.

This doesn’t mean I didn’t learn anything. I learned a ton. But what was most helpful about it was to see everything in one place and condensed. It gave me a big picture of all the little tidbits that I had been picking up here and there.

Another plus is that there are many areas where I had kind of stumbled onto solutions that worked for me but didn't know why. Now I have some science to back up my instincts. Finally, I got some gaps in my knowledge filled in and that's always good.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Has it been five years?

On September 24th, it was five years since I had surgery. I made a note of it at the time but since I was in the middle of having a nervous breakdown, I didn’t get a chance to write about it.

Also, there really isn’t much to say.

I’d take some measurements but I just took a bunch the month prior. I don’t think anything has really changed. Not enough to bother taking more.

I’d go to the doctor for a check-up but my medical group won’t take me until January (I was late last year with my testing and now they say it hasn’t been 12 months and so I'm not eligible for my annual physical) and I’ve been to the doctors so much lately that I really don’t want to do any more tests anyway.

Same for labs. They claim they missed the B6 last time and I’m “overdue” for it, but they won’t do anything else until January unless I give them a reason. So I think I’ll wait and do them all together.

Mentally, setting aside my Topamax issues – assuming you can and it’s not all inter-related – I’m finding it harder and harder to relate to the WLS community.

At the OH conference the weekend before last, the keynote speaker said obesity is forever and you are never cured. A lot of people nodded their heads. I made a face.

Friday, October 11, 2013

My season ends with a whimper and descent into madness

In order to finish off the triathlon season and to celebrate my five year anniversary from my surgery, I decided to do the Santa Cruz Triathlon but as an AquaBike.

When I signed up for it, I was swimming and biking every week and had done some Sprint length AquaBikes and it was over two months away so an Olympic level AquaBike seemed well within my grasp.

Little did I know.