November is nearly here. That means it is time to get your feet wet. We all know the offseason is the time to focus on improving our skill in the various disciplines of triathlon. There are a lot of different programs out there, and using the advice of Coach Mike Ricci, I am once again focusing a 30 day period to becoming a better swimmer. While it is nearly impossible to dedicate most training time to a single discipline during the race season, the winter months provide the opportunity to intensify our training in weak areas.
One of the minor disappointments from Ironman Louisville was the finisher's bag. The main letdown? That there weren't finisher's bags. No finisher's hat. No finisher's shirt. Just the medal. It would have been nice to get something, ANYTHING, other than the medal to indicate an Ironman finish. It just looks wrong when I wear that medal to work. Even if it IS casual Friday.
I have never really considered myself a "runner." Sure, I'm a marathoner. But there's a difference. Runners LOVE to run, and would do it without a race on the horizon. And in many cases, marathoners ARE runners. Me, not so much. I run marathons because that is what keeps me running.
Getting to know George Schweitzer over the past year, I've seen a similar attitude. Anyone who keeps up with George's blog knows that he is more than just an Ironman. He qualified for the Boston Marathon and had an amazing run despite the horrid conditions, this year. He has completed triathlons all over the country (including a half-dozen Ironman events). This past year, he started breaking out the mountain bike to participate in various off-road events.
It is this variety that is leading me to consider the "next big challenge." It is what motivates me to see if I can complete a 50-mile ultramarathon. It is what generates interest in endurance level adventure racing. It does not, however, lead me to consider 10K swimming events. After all, everyone needs some kind of boundaries.
It looks like I might have my next major undertaking laid out before me. That will teach me to open my mouth too widely.
It seems I need to find something in the near future to provide greater motivation. A long race, a big event, something. It has been too easy to pass on early morning workouts given the lack of a key race in the near future.
No, I didn't head to Indianapolis to participate in a masochistic cold-water triathlon. In fact, I stayed close to home and played outside with my kids. And got my hair cut.
Okay, mark it on your calendar and circle it in red. I don't really have anything to say, today. Anyone who knows me can verify that IS news.
There are lots of benefits to being a member of USAT. Members save the $10 insurance charge at USAT sanctioned events. There are many ways members can work to influence and hopefully improve the nature of our sport. There are opportunities for self-improvement through courses up to and including coaching certification. And one can always hope for free schwag. (Hint, hint for any USAT leadership reading this blog. Hats and large shirts are cool.)
For most of the country, the new year begins on the first of January. For triathletes, the new year often starts in September or October as they begin preparing for their next race season. For those considering an Ironman, the new year starts as much as 365 days prior to race day as they sign up at the current year's race.
On Saturday, the training goals called for a 2500 yard swim followed by a six-mile run. As soon as I got to the YMCA, I realized those goals were going to be missed.
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.