Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Resurrection, Easter & IMAZ Taper

While celebrating the Easter holiday over the weekend I noted the intertwined paths of my faith and sport. Now, I am no theologian nor am I a choir boy. My faith however, is a huge part of my pursuits in triathlon. Being Catholic, Easter is one of the holiest feasts within the Church celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. Listening to the words of a priest describing this holiday as a time to celebrate the joy, peace and a rebirth from the pain and sufferring Jesus endured during the crucifixion it dawned on me I am in the midst of something similar within triathlon. No, I am not comparing myself or my efforts to Jesus. He walked on water...I simply try to swim on/in water :) Over the past several weeks I have endured physical and mental challenges and at times I was sufferring. Lactic acid flooding my legs during bike intervals...wind, snow and rain posing a challenge to training...persevering despite the presence of fatigue. As I approach my taper I realize my body and mind will be renewed and strengthed from the demands of my preparation. I often remind myself I will never be given more than I can handle in sport or life.

Keep it smooth...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Climbing A Mountain

I am one lucky son-of-a-bisquit to live in a giant playground. The beauty of the Rocky Mountains never ceases to amaze me. While I am in the midst of my preparation for IMAZ, my buddy Dave is training to climb his ninth 14'er. For those unfamiliar with that term it references a mountain climb of at least 14,000 feet. It has been fun to exchange training sessions and how we are preparing for our respective events. I am very impressed with Dave's training. Similar to my approach in triathlon, he applies a methodical, progressive training methodology with his climbing. Over the last couple of months he has completed training climbs of various distances and adding extra weight to his 6'7'', 250 lb. frame each outing. He carries bags of biodegradable peatmoss which he discards at the top of the trails after each of his training "runs". Yes, he does not simply hike at a leisurely pace for his climbing, but runs up the fricking mountains. Between these intense climbs he incorporates a balanced dose of triathlon training to maintain his fitness.

We all have mountains to climb...some large, some small. They are not just limited to the physical demands of our sport/hobbies, but encompass the mental & emotional "mountains" of life. Each one presents an opportunity for personal growth. As an athlete many of my "mountains" are physical challenges in which I make the best effort to extend myself. Some days I am successful at reaching the top, other days not so much. I make a conscious effort to avoid defining myself as an athlete (and more importantly as a person) by my most recent training session or race. For me it is simply about putting myself out there, doing the work and trying to be my best. Today I was faced with the mountain of a 100 mile ride with a variety of hefty intervals followed by a 7.5 mile run with the first four miles at my open marathon pace. The hearty wind made it even more challening at times, but I was able to go to the well and push myself out of the comfort zone.

Me thinks it's time to climb into bed!

Keep it smooth...

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Team Sport Beans/NTTC

2008 Team Sport Beans/NTTC
Pictured from left to right: Lauren Jensen, Moi, Kathryn Bertine, Jeff Piland, Erin Ford, Mark Wendley (Team Director and former professional), Kim Dunker, Kirk Nelson and Alexis Smith (formerly Waddel). To learn more about the 2008 team and sponsors check out the press release at Triathlete Magazine: http://www.triathletemag.com/Departments/News/2008/NTTC_News.htm

Keep it smooth...