Many of us have experienced the pride of hearing the words, "You are an Ironman!" And many of us have used our love of endurance events to perform some kind of public service or charitable fundraising. We all hope to act as role models for others.
Saturday posed quite a quandary when it came to training with the tri club kids. Since the Pol clan traveled Friday to camp with others at our churches tree farm, I decided to drive a second (and more fuel efficient) vehicle to drive back to town Saturday morning. The trip back to the camp site would be by Pol-R Express.
I can't begin to recall the number of times I was told "act your age" growing up. And it's fortunate I have my own house, because it's something I would probably hear to this day. I have a hard time even believing I'm about to turn 40, let alone acting like a 40-year old should act.
Still, 40 is a foreign concept. Perhaps it's because I put less emphasis on age and more on action. I know plenty of older (and younger) people with whom I share many values. That is certainly true of triathlon. Whether 20, 40, or 60, a triathlete is a triathlete. Especially in the age group world.
Acting my age has always been tough. It's still a challenge. I am learning, though, that FEELING my age is much easier. In fact, it may be my inability to ACT my age that results in my feeling much older. Or perhaps it's just that recovery takes so much longer.
Moving forward after the marathon, I have a half-IM and a 50-miler on the official race plan. In addition, I have the one event that will ensure I FEEL my age at least one more time, this summer. When I take on the B-Fit B-Day challenge, the swim is sure to push me to my limits. The 40 mile bike and 10 mile run are comparatively easy. The four mile swim is where I'll probably feel it.
That is why I will undertake this challenge a bit differently than many. I will be tacking the swim on as the FINAL event. I will complete the bike and run in the afternoon of day one, and finish the swim in the morning of the "second" day. I figure the night's rest will be the same regardless of when I swim. And knowing that I don't have to get on a bike or go run will make the pain of the swim more tolerable.
Now all I have to do is decide when I will tackle the challenge. Perhaps the swim WON'T be the hardest part...
First, a picture from the Green Bay Marathon. This is a wonderful picture showing how three co-workers spent their weekend. On the left (holding the Gatorade) is Lisa, who acted as sherpa during the race. She is collecting gloves from Casey and replenishing our Gu supply. Another friend was the photographer and captured several nice shots.
In other "Congratulations" news, we received word that my brother-in-law was selected for promotion to the rank of Senior Chief in the United States Navy. For those unfamiliar with military rank structure, there is only one enlisted rank, Master Chief, above this. For those who are familiar with the military, you can understand my sister's pride in the fact that her husband was selected for this promotion his first time up.
My brother-in-law has always accepted the tough assignments that lead to rapid promotion. During a recent tour as a boot camp "Company Commander," (similar to Marine drill instructors) he accepted the added pressure of helping develop a new and successful training facility, complete with Disney style animatronics and Hollywood special effects.
There comes a time in every effort where the piper must be paid. There are a great many dependent factors, but the one constant is that the piper must be paid. Sometimes it's a small price. Other times the price is huge. Sometimes it's "six months same as cash." And other times it's "cash on delivery."
Okay, I know it might seem a stretch to relate Mary Poppins and endurance sports. Of course, when you WATCH Mary Poppins the day before a marathon, it becomes clear.
Two days from now, I will compete in my seventh full marathon (bib 1550 in the Green Bay Marathon, for those interested). Once again, this race is to support a co-worker in his first marathon. He is fairly talented and only the limits on his training schedule will allow me to be the rabbit. Even so, we are targeting a sub-4 hour race, which puts me quite close to PR pace.
We had two new faces at training for our youth triathlon program, last night. Both are eighth graders with cross country experience, though they indicated they ran "shorter" distances (it sounds like 1500m). And they both learned something about themselves in their very first triathlon training session.
When the training started, it was only myself and one young man. After a reasonable timeframe for late arrivals, we headed out for a two mile loop. He set a decent pace and we talked about some basics of endurance running. Since our target race is a spring with a 5K run, we focus on runs of between two and four miles.
As we finished our first loop, our second new triathlete, the first young lady in the club, showed up. I won't let a transportation mix-up ruin a training session, so after a quick break, it was time for a second loop. As we started, I found out that the furthest she had ever run was the 1500 meters she ran in cross country.
We let her set the pace for this two miles, which worked well as the second loop was tough on the boy, who was going beyond his normal training distance. Again, we discussed pacing and form. I try to ensure the kids understand the goals of having fun and finishing strong. We try to keep the pace aerobic so the kids can see the benefits of solid base training over the summer.
As we neared the end, the young lady pointed out that without us helping her along, she probably would have stopped "about 30 minutes" back (we had only run for 18 at that point). As we rounded the final turn, I told her she could share with her parents that she had just set a personal best by running farther than she ever before.
That was when she pointed out that in cross country, she had never once RAN the entire distance of her race. She had always walked at least some portion of the mile and a quarter races. Yesterday, she ran the entire two miles, and at about 10 minute pace. I did everything possible to let her know how big a victory she had just achieved. It was easy to see she was thrilled on many levels.
I'll have to make sure I have a camera at the finish line in August when she completes her first triathlon. She'll have other victories before then, but I think that is the one she'll truly celebrate.
To read about similar victories as others pursue their passion, stop by B-Fit B-Day!
Whether training for a 5-10K, a half or full marathon, sprint triathlon, or Ironman, sleep is one of those "overlooked" disciplines. Much like nutrition, getting the proper amount of sleep is vital to achieving the best results possible. Rest provides our bodies time to recover from the rigors of training.
It's amazing how things can change a person's perspective. After spending the weekend dealing with a rather sick two-year old, I figured it was good blog fodder. Then I read a news article about the Gulf Coast Triathlon that made a couple nights sleeping on the floor seem pretty inconsequential.
Just who is this Iron Pol?
A former out of shape sailor, who became a marathoner, then a triathlete, Ironman, and ultramarathoner. Now, life has pushed me into short track speed skating. More important than the titles is the lifestyle, and sharing it with others.