Insights into my personal life.

This blog includes the personal details of my experiences as a recently diagnosed Type I diabetic and the impact of that diagnosis on my endurance athletic pursuits.

Please understand that I consider myself to be a work in progress. I am willing to share both my successes and failures, so please do not take my words to be professional dietary or medical advice. This is a blog, this is only a blog. I research my choices carefully, and take my health very seriously. The choices I make are my own, I am doing the best with the resources and support that I have. If you have questions or concerns feel free to comment, but please be constructive and understand that this is my life. I value it dearly.

My goal is to live a happy, healthy and active life where I can balance my internal drive to push my physical limits and the challenge of safely maintaining stability despite the challenges of Type I diabetes.

Friday, June 29, 2012

I'm a bad blogger.  I didn't even write a post for Ironman Canada?  Bummer.  I guess I've been so busy and the event was memorable enough that I'm safely excused.

Update on the last year since I've posted.  Moved from Vancouver to Madison.  Gave up the hectic Sports Junkies bikes/skis/consignment gig for an opportunity of a lifetime to coach with SBR Coaching.

While retail was hectic, it hasn't been much easier to get in workouts.  I REALLY enjoy coaching.  So now, despite being surrounded by computrainers, treadmills, kettlebells, trx's, amazing bike roads and warm lakes, I have been fitting in fewer workouts.  How? Well, I really like my job.  I catch myself doing work rather than wanting to 'skip out' and get in workouts.

There is a theory that all the great Tour de France winners come from unhappy and/or abusive pasts.  These are the hardmen of the world with chips on there shoulders, something to prove every day.  Insecurity is a very powerful motivator. I've been there - but I'm not there now.  Right now I'm rather content with where I am as an athlete.  I feel like I've proven that I can do well over any distance.  I know I could do better, but I also know what I'd need to do to do better.

I have worked very hard in the past to earn the times that I have posted.  I've nailed nutrition, paced well and gotten the most out of my body for nearly every race I've done.  My biggest opportunity for improvement continues to be my running.  There won't be any magical breakthroughs this season there.  My running has been and will continue to improve steadily each year - if I'm patient.

My aggressive goal for the year was to improve my ironman run split to reach the 3:30-3:40 range.  I had the fitness for it last year at Penticton, but 95 degree heat  required that I moderate my pace.  I was set up to go for it this year, but a severe ankle sprain in February probably eliminated that chance.  If I were to have gone for it (3:30) this year, I would have needed to have hit the run training hard 6-9 months out.  With a sprained ankle which while finally pain free (it still swells post workout) I am realistically 4 months behind.  Reality is that this year's run goal is just to hold onto the form that I had from previous years.  Sort of a bummer, but there's no shame in a 4:20 ironman marathon.  Don't get me wrong that I'm calling it quits on trying to go faster, I'm just being honest with myself.

These sound like sandbagger excuses, but I know my body.  There are reasons why I will do well and reason's why I know I could do better.  Like I said, I really like my job.  Coaching and helping other's figure out to get faster makes me happy.  I've gladly shifted this season's focus from me, to the athletes I work with.  I am content with that shift in balance.  Triathletes are known to be a bit selfish with their time - it's almost required if you want to get the most out of your racing.  If your priority is on 'you' getting faster, one must realize that making 'you' your priority is requisite.

Pressure.  One of my greater concerns as a coach starting out is that I'm an unknown.  I haven't been in Madison for the past couple of years and while the tri-scene is very dynamic, many people simply don't know who I am.  If I were an athlete looking for a coach the difficulty with the decision is understandable.  Athletes want the best out of their performance, and they need coaches that can guide them there. But how do you choose a coach?  Most of it is word of mouth.  It's difficult to choose someone who you might not have heard of.  Now in the triathlon business how do you hear about people?  And I'm just being honest here, most people aren't looking in the yellow pages - they are looking at race results.[topic for future discussion, my thoughts on being fast as a requirement for being a good coach].

My placement in the results of a race should not be used as a quantifier for my skill as a coach. Coaching and training can pull in separate directions when it comes to time management.  But here is the thing, people who NEED coaching often don't understand the difference.  What I want anyone who sees my results to understand is that it represents the path that I have followed.   If anyone is going to judge me from my results, look at all of them.  If you look at them and notice how I have improved steadily every year.  I have finished every race I've entered [future discussion topic - hint: there is an appropriate time to call it quits].  I have not had mechanical or physical breakdowns - great, now I'm due.. knocking on wood.

I have not been fast from the beginning.  When I started I was slow and out-of-shape.  But I have progressed.  I know how painful it can be and challenging it is to 'race' at the back and middle of the pack.  It can hurt just as much as leading a race, but for longer.  I've gotten to where I am now because I like that 'hurt'.  That hurt is part of my passion for the sport.  The hurt is what makes it special.

On the topic of hurt.  This weekend is a great opportunity - and the reason for this rant.  Verona Triterium is tomorrow.  I'll be working to help set up the course today.  I know this course well, well enough to understand that I am not ready to take on the Olympic distance course.  I will be racing the Sprint.  I will save the Olympic for next year when I can have a better pre-season training geared specifically for it.

Tomorrow is my new debut.  I will be racing.  And while this is a low priority race as far as my season, I feel all the pressure to treat race day with respect.  It's been difficult to be surrounded by races every weekend and not be racing myself.  Here is my chance.  Judge me if you want - but I'm doing it for me.
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