Training, Travel and Race Blog Leading up to Ironman New Zealand 2010
Not The Critic...
"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."
Theodore Roosevelt "Citizenship in a Republic", Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910
Somehow, training and racing always means more stuff. Go figure. Especially when you are about to move somewhere that you have no clue if they even have tri gear and supplies available. So...fins, paddles and float for pool drills...check. Gear order from USAT for new sweatvac visors, BPA free and stainless bottles, and bag...check. Bike box for shipping the Trek over to Okinawa, and then around Asia to races like Singapore 70.3...check. The lists are getting a little bit smaller day by day.
So...if anybody wants to send triathlon care packages to Okinawa, be my guest!!!!
I knew this was coming. Really, I did. I swear. However, it still comes as a bit of a shock. I now have 5 weeks (from today) left in San Diego. I have been so focused on getting through the adoption process that I really didn't think about it too much.
Last week, we finalized Haileigh's adoption...she is now and forevermore our daughter, Haileigh Grace Goudreau. Our own little bundle of joy, batch of frustration, tax deduction, and really, really cool reason to come home! It has been a long road, but one that has been so worthwhile. Things have changed so much for us over the last year, and although I knew it was going to be cool, I had no real idea just how amazing it would be.
And it's done! Now...for the rest of the story. On May 22nd, I will have my change of command, and get ready to start driving across country. I'll get Jen and Haileigh to Boston, and then make my leg of the journey to Okinawa. But in between now and then, there are three courses I need to take, three household goods shipments to send out, a vehicle to turn in for long term storage, a house to move out of, a job to pass on and all of the other things that need to happen. Funny how 35 days doesn't seem like any time at all.
Plus, preps to be able to train in Okinawa. Bike box to buy, tri gear to stock up on, hot weather training gear to get, Asian race schedule to check and list after list after list to check. The last travel is done. The last birthday party for Haileigh for two years is done. The last batch of pesto is finished. The list of lasts will just keep marching on.
And then the list of firsts will start once I get to Okinawa. First run. First ocean swim. First typhoon. First bike ride on small Japanese roads. First trip to Thailand...Australia...China...India...and wherever else I might end up.
But...first things first...time to get through all the last things.
Well, the details of the plan are starting to come together for the preps for my first Ironman. I made it to the clinic, and talked about my current medication for high BP and cholesterol, and the doc changed some things around that will be better suited for someone with a tough training schedule, and the doc also gave a referral to the nutritionist to start working that side of the plan as well. That's the good part.
However, at the same time, I got news from my new job that it looks like I will be squarely in the middle of three major exercises during the time that IM NZ 2010 will be happening. So... the command schedule does not look conducive. I don't know yet if that means I should target IM NZ 2011, or if the same conflicts will occur the following year. No matter what, though, I will be training the whole time to get ready for an IM... and it just means I will pick a race that I can fit into the calendar. Somehow. I cannot miss this time in Okinawa as the opportunity to train for the IM distance, so I will find a way. More to follow, my fellow crazy people.
So... the holidays have come and gone. The family and friends have come and gone. And the leftovers have come and... well, they're still here. I haven't written much in the last month, since the holidays have been busy (in a good way). And today's post will be short, since as soon as our sniffly angel wakes up from her nap, it will be full time daddy duty for the rest of the day.
Right now, the house is empty, the counters are clean and the dishwasher is running. So, no time like the present to write down the master plan for the year. Once in writing, I find it more likely to happen. No resolutions... just plans... because you can always change a plan:
1. Finalize the adoption and welcome our wonderful, amazing, smart, funny, beautiful girl into our lives permanently. I'm amazed every time I hold her.
2. Post more. Yes, about working out... not just thinking about working out.
3. Sort out recurring knee issue and foot pain. Knee caused by overextension on bike. Foot pain caused by body fat percentage.
4. Get a proper bike fitting... soon. See number 3.
5. Come up with a training plan for IM New Zealand 2010. 15 months seems like a really short period of time somehow.
6. Start working on a nutrition and training plan that will get my weight down prior to IM NZ. I'm sure it will be a more "enjoyable" race if I can leave 30 pounds by the roadside before the gun even goes off. And help the blood pressure and cholesterol.
6. Figure out my plans for the transfer.
7. Link up with training partners on Oki so I can keep posting miles and moving towards IM NZ.
8. Make the most out of living in Asia... travel in Japan and in other countries. Yes, I will write about that and post to the blog.
9. Learn guitar. Yes, learn guitar. I started to play years ago, learned the basics and then life got busy. I might have some spare time in between working and training to strum a six string... so I can play some Buffett for Haileigh when I come home.
That should do it for the list. I think it will keep me busy... and having it in writing keeps me honest. And keeping in touch with all my tri buddies helps keep me honest as well, even when I miss a swim or two!
It's interesting how some things really hit you just as a random thought, and how the simplest act of answering an e-mail can be what trigger the whole deliberation in the first place.
I know, that doesn't make sense. Let me explain. I was in the midst of writing a note to Pat, and talking about some Navy stuff. We were trading some thoughts on my upcoming set of orders. As I have discussed with some of you, the set of orders that I got is a very good set of orders that will put me in a career enhancing job with a significant amount of challenge. Most people would look at the set of orders I got and say "congratulations"...and that is what most people did.
However, the set of orders was not the one I wanted. It wasn't the job that I wanted, and it certainly wasn't in the location I wanted. However, it truly is still a good job. But I was upset. So...why was I upset for a few weeks about the job? Not the moving part, not the being away from family part...just the job itself? Ego.
I had set my sights on a particular job. A very demanding, challenging job that I would have loved. Part of the reason I would have loved it was for the excitement and the challenge, and part of hte reason I would have loved it was that this job makes you a rock star in my community. How cool is it to be a rock star? I don't think I really have to tell you. And then I didn't get the job. Failure. I'm not used to failure when it comes to my professional life. How could I fail? And I get some crappy job instead?
Yup...I came face to face with my own bit of sore loser. Whiner. Putz. Ego.
Don't get me wrong. Ego can be a very good thing. Not the vain, self-promoting kind of ego. The ego that leads you to push longer and harder on a workout. The ego about bragging rights of beating a buddy at a race. The desire to eat better, work out more, and take care of yourself. The act of feeding the ego by doing something kind or charitable for someone else. All of those actions are driven by ego.
Let's face it...we're not selfless. Most of our minds aren't wired that way. Even if we consciously decide to do something to help just to help...there's still a little thought in the back of the mind that someone will notice, your kindess will be appreciated, someone will say something nice. It's not the real reason you do these things...but the thought is still there, and maybe it convinces you to go the extra step when you don't feel like it...because someone might not notice what you are doing, or even worse, notice that you didn't do it!
It's ego that makes us want to go faster, further, longer. It was ego that took America to the moon. We wanted to get there first. Not really because we thought the Soviets would build a space station to fire rockets at us...but because it helped us as Americans feel superior because we won the race. We were smarter. We worked harder than the other guy. Ego.
But I got a little dose of the "bad" ego. The dark side. Not fun to look at and realize. I've been rationalizing that it's a good job, I should be happy, blah, blah, blah...but I don't think I ever believed it fully. Until I was writing to Pat, and truly realized that all of the reaction was simply built on some over-inflated sense of self or expectation...ego. This really is a good job, and while being away from Jen and Haileigh will bite, there are much worse things. I have lost friends in combat, I have lost friends in training accidents, I have lost friends to fatal illnesses. That's something to be upset about, not getting a different job than what you wanted.
Time to embrace the good ego. Time to run faster, further, stronger. Time to do more for others. Time to get over myself...and time to keep remembering just exactly how blessed I am to be able to do what I do, both personally and professionally. And time to thank all of you and my family...because the honest conversations you allow me to have enable me to realize when I am being an idiot. Time to appreciate all of the simple things that really are the most important, and not let ego color the perception. I think I'll go change a diaper.
I can't claim authorship for this, it was sent to me by Paul A. earlier this year...but man, is it funny. At least, I thought it was funny. My non-tri friends just wondered what the hell I was laughing about...but you know you've joined the cult when:
50. You are over 30 and there is still someone in your life that you refer to as "coach". 49. Your last bike cost more than your first car. 48. You have peed outdoors more times in the last year than you did in your first year of university. 47. You think of mowing the lawn as a form of cross-training. 46. You've worn a heart-rate monitor to bed. 45. And it wasn't when you were sleeping. 44. You refer to the front hall of your house as the "transition area". 43. When you get home from a training session at the pool, the newspaper is just being delivered to your house. 42. You have changed more flat tires this year than light bulbs. 41. The most frequently used software program on your computer is the one that keeps track of your workouts. 40. You have no idea why they call Cal Ripken Jr. "Iron Man" when, after all, he was a baseball player. 39. The first three items on your grocery list are Gatorade, power bars, and gels. 38. When you floss at night, it's to get the bugs out of your teeth. 37. Your legs move in a cycling motion while you are asleep. 36. When you see a drop of blood, your first reaction is that you spilled some red Gatorade. 35. You know how far you biked and ran last year, to one-tenth of a kilometre. 34. You think the ultimate form of wallpaper is about 64 racing bibs. 33. A 19-year old kid who works in a bicycle shop know more about you than your next-door neighbour. 32. Your children are more likely to recognize you if you put your bicycle helmet. 31. You have a vanity licence plate with the word "Kona" in it. 30. About half the shirts you own have at least a dozen logos on the back of them. 29. You don't find the word "fartlek" in the least bit amusing. 28. When you refer to your "partner", you mean neither your spouse nor the co-owner of your business but the person you run or bike with three times a week. 27. You shave your legs more often than your wife. 26. The closest you came to punching somebody was when they disagreed with your position on whether wearing a wetsuit amounts to cheating. 25. It doesn't feel right that you can't "clip " in and out of the pedals in your car. 24. There is a group of people in your life about whom you are more likely to know how fast they can swim 100 metres than their surnames or occupations. 23. Some of the shorts you wear today are tighter than the ones you wore in high school. 22. You are frustrated with the latest Garmin Forerunner because its live readings have a margin of error of approximately three per cent. 21. There's a separate load of laundry every week that is just your workout clothes. 20. One of your goals this year is to be faster at getting out of your wetsuit. 19. You failed high school chemistry but you could teach a course on lactic acid. 18. All you want for Christmas is something called a carbon crank set. 17. You wore a digital watch to your wedding. 16. You have to have completely separate meals from your spouse because he or she is on a low-carb diet. 15. Your bicycle is in your living room. 14. You have stocked up on a brand of cereal because it has a coupon that will save you money on your next two pairs of running shoes. 13. In order to establish a new personal best, you considered peeing without getting off your bike. 12. One of your proudest moments is when you lost a toenail. 11. When a car follows too closely behind you, you accuse the driver of "drafting". 10. When you went for a job interview, you wrote your social insurance number on your arm in black marker. 9. Your spouse cried during Terms of Endearment; you cried during the television coverage of the Hawaii Ironman. 8. You are comfortable discussing the sensitivity of your nipples with other guys. 7. Your spouse is looking forward to the day when you will slow down and just run marathons. 6. You have paused in front of the mirror in your wetsuit and thought, "Hey, I look like Spiderman." 5. You see no issue with talking about treatments for chafing or saddle rash at the dinner table. 4. You recently asked your spouse out for dinner by asking if he or she wanted to "fuel up" together. 3. For you, "bonking" no longer has a sexual connotation. 2. The magazine secretly tucked under your mattress has pictures of really expensive bicycles in it.
And the No. 1 sign you're obsessed: 1. Most of this list doesn't seem like a joke to you.