I was surprised to see my name on the March leader board at Plus 3 Network. I made the Top 50 for "hand entered" workouts coming in at number 48, earning $18.32 for World Bicycle Relief. One more workout would have easily moved me up another half-dozen positions, so I know I can do a bunch more if I can have a month without some kind of cold slowing me down.
For anyone unfamiliar with the site, Plus 3 Network is a tool for tracking training. More importantly, it is a tool for turning training into donations for worthwhile causes. When signing up, each participant selects a sponsor/cause combination. Then, as training is documented, each participant earns money which the sponsor contributes to the specific charity. As a means of documenting and tracking training, Plus 3 Network is far short of many of the Online resources. But the ability to raise money for various organizations makes it a great tool.
Consider my account. When I registered, I selected World Bicycle Relief as the charity. SRAM is the sponsoring company. Since November of 2008 I have logged nearly 1600 miles of training in a total of just over 235 hours. For me logging that training into Plus 3 Network, SRAM has donated $66.52 to World Bicycle Relief. All totaled, more than $10,000 dollars has been raised by people training for a cause.
For me, it is a no-brainer. I'm already doing the training, and I'm already documenting the training in multiple locations. I have to fill out my company's wellness forms and my personal tracking file. The 30 seconds it takes to log the workout into Plus 3 is well worth the effort.
An added benefit is that various sponsors run "Challenges" that allow participants to compete for rewards. Since starting, I've picked up some SRAM socks, a reusable shopping bag, and a couple other little goodies. I've yet to win drawings for some of the bigger items which have included Garmin GPS units and store gift certificates.
If you haven't stopped by their site, check it out. They have dozens of causes to which you can dedicate your training, and the site is easy to use. It's a great way to make your training count for others, and every time a workout is entered, you have the joy of knowing you're doing something positive.
For those still reading my posts (all three of us) who were unable to access the site recently, the host sent a note detailing the events surrounding a concentrated Denial of Service attack that occurred over the past week.
They even provided a spiffy 50% off coupon for services by way of "making up" for the situation.
There are two remarkable things, there. First, that a simply blog hosting site would be victim of such a concerted effort. Perhaps I need to do hit more of the sites they host. I might be missing something. And second, that they would provide a discount coupon for the ridiculous acts of an outside party. Unfortunately, such attacks are just part of life in the Internet world. (Should we thank Al Gore?)
Weebly has apparently spent a great deal of time and money to improve their infrastructure and ability to handle such attacks in the future. Given their handling of the situation, it's only fair to recommend them for anyone looking for somewhere to set up a blog.
There are probably a few people still following this blog who remember me in "my other life." That would be my life as Running Pol. While Iron Pol is focused primarily on endurance events, particularly triathlon and Ironman, Running Pol split time between politics and running.
For anyone who hasn't noticed (and actually cares), I seem to now have accounts with both Facebook and Twitter. My sister pushed me to actually use my Facebook account, as she was concerned my blog was the only way she knew what was going on in my life. Of course, my blog details most of what's going on in my life, namely training.
As commented in the previous post, motivation can be a challenging thing to maintain during the long winter months. Especially when it's a cold, snowy winter that makes training outdoors difficult. This year, members of Evotri have a team challenge to keep things interesting.
Participants in the Evotri Iron Challenge have taken it upon themselves to log at least one Ironman each month, meaning the same 140.6 miles of an IM distance race are completed. Everyone is welcome to complete as many multiples as they want, and each successive success at 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking, and 26.2 miles of running qualifies for another "entry" in the challenge.
We are using Plus 3 Network to track our training mileage. In addition to providing a convenient (and free) spot to document training, Plus 3 Network allows us to raise charitable funds for various organizations. For each training mile completed, various companies make small contributions to one of many local, national, and international charitable groups.
For increased motivation
No, you aren't crazy. The look of the site DID change, again. My hand was kind of forced, this time.
Well, it's now official. I am registered for the High Cliff half-Ironman on June 20. This was the same race I completed as my first ever half-IM.
It seems only fair to review the 2008 goals and accomplishments before moving on to 2009. Besides, it's the "in" thing to do. So here we are, the 2008 facts and figures.
First, allow me to apologize to anyone who spent an hour last Saturday listening to a radio broadcast that, in the end, did NOT include the interview of yours' truly. After learning how to record streaming audio, arranging things around the broadcast, and then taping the entire hour, it became apparent that interview will be another day. My wife pointed out that perhaps they recorded two week's worth of tape to account for the holiday weekend.
The title of this post WAS going to be "I Love It When a Plan Comes Together." Unfortunately, my host and my Internet connection have other plans. And the definitely AREN'T coming together. So, I had to go with something about the best laid plans of mice and men...
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.