The last two weeks have been a blur. First I was in Lake Placid for the Ironman. No, I wasn't racing this year, but I had 15 athletes that were, all crossing the finish line, a few even qualifying for Hawaii. I know it sounds cliche but I'll say it anyways; I was quite proud of everyone. As I remind everyone that completes an Ironman, whether it's their first or their 20th, it's a rare feat and they are in select company. Because we train quite hard for months on end, associate mainly with other triathletes, and see some very fast competitors, it's easy to take for granted the fact that you just swam 2.4 miles, biked 112 miles and ran 26.2 miles all in one day. Gus was unbelievably fit and the most prepared he's been entering a race. He had a tough day out there on the run and he knows now that it's not nutritional or mispacing but that it's mental. The IM is in his head and giving him the beat down. He'll figure it out though - I'm confident in this. He's a determined, talented and smart guy(Hope this doesn't go to his head). I've often said that the body follows the mind. If you anticipate something going wrong during the long day and focus on it, it'll happen. I mentioned to Gus that when he did his first IM at IMFlorida a bunch of years ago, he was relaxed and seemed at ease for most of the day. He had a stellar race. He needs to revisit this. Jamie finished in 10.5 hrs and looked solid out there all day. Morgan was right behind him and hanging tough on the marathon. She was doing her first IM and her determination and race intensity is something to see. Kramer, racing his 17th IM or something like that, pr'd this course and he did so with a huge hole in his ankle - we did mainly all his run training as water running. His wife Dena was racing her first IM and she embraced the day. Not only did she stay solid all day, but she did so with a smile and with character. It was honestly motivating for me to see this enthusiasm. Again, I don't want to take this great sport for granted. I race very selectively now because I want to get excited about the process and about the race. I want to be able to get myself up for a big day. Often, after being involved in sport for a long while, we mentally get stale, not physically. I remember Michael Jordan upon his retirement saying that he physically still felt as though he could compete, but that mentally he just couldn't envision getting himself "up" for each game in a full NBA season. I don't want to enter a race just to participate personally. I want to be competitive whether it's with others or with myself and my own times and personal records. I have no desire to race if I can't challenge myself in this way. It seems that in my 40's, the system for me is to race one season, then go easy the next, to let my mind recharge and get motivated to compete once again. Seeing and working with someone like Dena - her commitment, her nervousness, her excitement - it's organic, it's refreshing and it's inspiring to me. There were lots of cool performances in Lake Placid and Alan, Molson, Baker, Dan, Clint, Scott, Jen, Robin, Megan, James, Mark, Linda - you should all feel proud of your day. Of course it's easy to use hindsight now and pick apart how you could have gone faster but the bottom line is you took on the challenge, prepared well for it, and crossed that finish line.
I left LP at 3:30am on Monday morning to be in Greenwich early to see my PT clients, worked Tuesday, then on Wednesday, Lisa, the kids and I headed to Marthas Vineyard for a family vacation. the weather was ideal on MV and I actually got in some solid training. The kids participate in a kids camp each morning from 9 to noon, so I'd head out for a bike and run each day. I even ran into Sue Flemming out riding up near Chilmark one day decked out in her Bethel Cycle kit. I ran a pathetic 5k race while there and to punish myself for the slow time, I ran another 90 minutes that evening. The cool thing was the whole family ran the 5k, as well as our friends the Neumeyer's, the family we were vacationing with. The race was actually 3.24 miles according to my garmin (and a few of the other competitors concurred), but nonetheless, I was slow.
I was up in Hartford twice late last week, once for an information meeting for those interested in running the Disney Marathon for the American Liver Foundation. There will be two more information meetings this week, Tuesday in New Haven and Wednesday in Branford, so if you are around and would like to run the Disney Marathon in January with yours truly writing your coaching schedule, show up or send me a note. It's a great cause and the Disney Marathon is currently closed for applications so this is your only way in! Then Lisa and I were back up the next night to see the Black Eyed Peas. Say what you want but they are unbelievably entertaining. And Fergie is easy to look at.
That's all for now.