Monday, July 25, 2011

A Chance to Reflect

Greetings from Times Square!

I blogged from NYC last year, also in July. Instead of being at 57th and 6th, I'm at 51st and 7th. This isn't some sort of anniversary thing, mind you; I just finally decided I have the time to catch up on a lot of thoughts and reflections.

So, we're two weeks out from the biggest race of our lives. Two weeks out from, as I've put it in the past few weeks, achieving infinity. Two weeks from truly digging deep within our souls, our hearts, and our minds, to figure out what we're made of, and eventually carrying the title of 1/2 Ironman.

The main thing that I think TeamBabyDino has achieved this year is growth. We've grown, both physically stronger and mentally stronger. We're both very mentally focused (most of the time) and although we're obviously a little apprehensive about doing our first 1/2 Ironman, we're both ready for it, even though we need to remind each other of that from time to time.

One of the biggest things I've noticed with me this year compared to last year is I don't make excuses. Last year, it would have been too easy to bag many of my workouts due to various reasons. This year, I've done what I call "risen up" to the occasion numerous times when it would have been easy to bag it. Perfect example: a couple weeks ago I had a 60 minute ride scheduled, and was planning on doing it when I got home from commuting. Problem is, our flight was delayed thanks to numerous thunderstorms in the Denver area. So naturally, I got home late and was exhausted. Due to the thunderstorms still floating around, I made the decision to Coach Troy it rather then ride. I didn't quite ride for 60 minutes, but the fact I still got a difficult ride in and still learned something shows how much we've changed and grown.

Diet has also helped immensely. I am at the point where everything I eat or drink, I wonder "what benefit am I getting from this?" This is something I should have been doing for years now but am only finally figuring out. Things like not just ingesting gels or Gatorade on the bike "just because". I have figured out through trial and error that on any ride under 60:00, I really don't need much nutrition; just water and some Gatorade. I also learned that Clif Shot Bloks, while tasty, are basically worthless and give me nothing. On long rides, I'll snarf a Snickers bar for energy and it works. Trial and error, like I said.

I turned this 1/2 Ironman not into one race to prepare for, but a way to change my lifestyle. Obviously I'm not perfect (I still have that damn sweet tooth!) and can still learn a lot from my mistakes, but I think that's one of the great things about triathlon; you can learn, grow, change, and ultimately, achieve infinity.


  1. The growth thing... awesome. You both have come so far, and that's awesome.
    I hear you on the gels/nutrition thing. Trust me, as someone who schleps this stuff for a living, I think people have become too dependent on it as a whole. Side by side, there are other options that are more effective and cheaper. As for me, I've learned that I don't need anything outside of water/(electrolyte drink of choice) unless I'm breaking the double digits on a run, or I'm shooting for a performance goal. Example: just an easy 10? Just take some water, have a Gatorade and/or chocolate milk ready to go at home for after. Race/tempo run? Gels. (I've tried eating things. I'm one of the gloriously coordinated types who can't chew and run, I guess.)
    And, if you're looking for another half IM to take on next year, I happen to know this awesome running store in Northern Minnesota that's going to put one on in August 2012... ;)