I just read an article from the Associated Press touting a "new" concept called the Invisible Bracelet. It presents the company as "emergency health alerts for the Facebook generation." A simple idea, really, that uses a pin based On-line system to notify emergency responders of health issues, as well as contact information for anyone unable to provide the information themselves.
It's a great idea, and revolutionary. Well, revolutionary if it was new.
It seems neither the Associated Press or the makers of Invisible Bracelet bothered to do much research. Their concept sounds remarkably like something I've used for many years, RoadID. (Yes, I specifically left the link for the Invisible Bracelet out while adding the link to RoadID)
When I first started running, I wasn't overly concerned with ID. I was close to home and the distances were short. As I started increasing those distances, I started carrying my driver's license. Finally, I decided it was time to get a RoadID so important contact information would be immediately available.
That band around my ankle is now as important as my watch. The rare situations where I forget it on runs, I feel naked as soon as I realize it's missing. I've never forgot it on the bike. And if I don't have it for an open water swim, I don't swim. It's that important to me.
Recently, I've been contemplating the RoadID Interactive ID. Similar to the original RoadID, this system provides an On-line system for updating contact, medical, and other histories. First responders can use the provided PIN to log onto the system and find all pertinent information.
Apparently endurance athletes are years ahead of the times. A system that duplicates what we've been doing for years (though only in Oklahoma) is being touted as some incredible new idea.
For Invisible Bracelet, keep up the efforts, because athletes aren't the only ones that benefit from such emergency contact information. For the Associated Press, perhaps you should consider spending some time researching stories. A simple Google search of "emergency identification" returns RoadID right at the top of the results page.
And for endurance athletes, that others are emulating the RoadID concept might suggest that it's a good idea. If you don't already use one, click on one of the seven links provided above and order one, today.
(Full disclosure - There is nothing to disclose. RoadID is not, as yet, a sponsor or training partner. They just provide a horribly important resource that warrants discussion, and have been doing so for years. BTW, that's EIGHT links, now)
For anyone who hasn't checked, they DO still have water in the pool at the local YMCA. I checked, this morning. It's been so long since I did a swim workout there was the distinct possibility the water had all evaporated.
No. Really. It's been that long.
My last swim was the 1.2 miles of the High Cliff Half-Ironman. In June. Seriously.
I decided if I was going to keep calling myself a triathlete, I should probably start doing some swimming. It might also be time to pull the bike down off the ceiling of the garage and throw it on the trainer. To be fair, I have ridden since the half-Ironman. Honestly.
There are some out there who take a bit of time off, say 14-16 months, after a race before they get back in the pool. After an extended break, they get back in the pool and find their pace has slowed by a few seconds, all the way back to 1:30-1:35 per 100 yards. Getting back into the pool is like getting back onto a bike. No big deal.
For me, getting back into the pool is more like falling off the bike. I can do it, but it's not pretty.
Today was little different. I kept it easy and only did 1500 yards, including 500 yards of fin drills focused on improving my core rotation. I figure if I'm essentially starting over, now might be a good time to work on bilateral breathing.
I'm sure I'll be feeling the results of the workout tomorrow. Or tonight. Or after lunch. Okay, I'm feeling it, now, and will surely hate myself later. Or now.
It's okay, though. My body survived the first winter learning to swim, and I'm way ahead of THAT particular disaster. January is when I will dig out the training plan I used for Ironman (from the awesome Coach Mike Ricci). Coach Mike routinely pointed out that I'm a runner and I can hold my own on the bike. My weakness is the swim, so that's what he focused on when putting together the training plan.
Well, little has changed. Even undertrained I can put down 50 miles in a single run. The bike will fall into place once I decide to get back on it. But the swim...
So, for the next several months, that's what I'll be working on improving. And when spring gets here, I'll work on it some more. I'll continue to work on it during the summer. And, hopefully, when September gets here, I'll be ready to swim 2.4 miles as part of mIronman, my self-supported 140.6 mile event.
Stick around. Once again, there is the very real possibility I'll drown myself between now and April.
It seems everything has been going in fits and starts, lately. Training has been on again, off again as I deal with schedules, weather, colds, and holiday demands. Blogging has been following the same pattern.
Two things come to mind. First, I just need to get serious about everything. Second, I need something major to keep me focused. Having an Ironman on the horizon is probably the best thing that could happen, but that's pretty much out for the next year. For 2010, mIronman will have to cover that for me.
For the near term, training for the Green Bay Marathon will start January 9. That will give me something concrete to work toward, and something to blog about, as well.
I'll also be thinking about a 50-miler in 2010. That will most likely be the Fall 50, so I can keep the training going in the right direction, next year. I won't be throwing a ultra distance race into May like I did, last year. That was a mistake that plagued me all year. I'll follow a known successful plan of marathon, half-iron distance triathlon, iron distance triathlon, then ultra marathon.
And 2010 will see me putting focus back on keeping everyone up to date through the blog. 2009 will just have to go down as "The Year That Wasn't Quite..."
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.