After four years of triathlons, my Tri Fox racing jersey gave up the ghost. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say it became a ghost of its former self. While we have changed the layout a bit, the jersey on the right used to be nearly identical to the jersey on the left. Of course, the front of the old jersey is much closer in appearance to the new one. When my son was looking at them, he told me the old one was inside out. When he realized that wasn't the case, he wanted to know why it was so faded.
If a new jersey is right, the picture outside, this morning is just wrong. April 21st (Happy Birthday to my brother and sister, twins born five years apart), and it's snowing outside. Not only is it snowing, it's accumulating. That's about a half-inch of slushy snow on the windows of my cars. There was snow covering my grill in the back, and it's starting to stick to the grass.
I'll sandwich that "wrong" between two "rights." And this one is super-cool. This picture shows both my kids out biking. My daughter finally put away her tricycle and moved to the "big girl bike." She's getting pretty good, and has even overcome her concern of crashing because of sharp turns (she sometimes fails to take into account the training wheels).
One of the most important "benefits" from my endurance lifestyle is when others take it to heart and find something that appeals to them. For two years I have coached junior high and high school youth as they prepare for a sprint distance triathlon. Two weeks ago, my kids completed their first kid's triathlon. And though she didn't officially swim or bike, my wife was right there with our daughter as she raced.
This past weekend, we proved it isn't all about the bike. It isn't all about the run. This weekend, it was all about the kids. This was the weekend of the Oshkosh Area Triathlon put on by Midwest Sports Events. Saturday was the kid's tri and Sunday was the sprint distance race. My own kids raced Saturday, and the Brigade kids raced on Sunday.
I heard a statistic recently that helps explain the apathy or outright anger toward our military members in recent history. During World War II, pretty much everybody knew somebody (or several somebodies) serving in the armed forces. And a great many people knew at least one member of their extended family who wore a uniform.
Now, only weeks after the safe return of a family member, a close friend is headed into harm's way, himself. The guy third from the left is my best friend's brother, John. After spending the last several months training in Kuwait, he is headed to Baghdad.
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.
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.
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.
When I made the shift from afternoon training to morning training, I also made the decision that little, if anything, would interfere with those workouts. The change was made to allow me to train without sacrificing time with my kids. For the most part, I've achieved that goal.
5:07 a.m. is a good time of the day. It's just shortly after the YMCA opens, and it's about the time I walk out of the locker room, either onto the pool deck or toward the track. I'm awake and ready to hit the morning's workout.
On Friday, I came the closest I've ever come to about beating a child for misbehaving. However, I managed to control myself. Good thing, too. First, I was at the children's play area at a local mall. Second, it wasn't my child.
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.