The weekend was a great success. I am very happy with how my clients did. Very, very happy. If I had to compare the nerves of actually doing the race myself, verses coaching, cheering, and spectating - I will definitely admit that I was more nervous on race day about how every would. I guess I've always found it easier to stay calm when I'm the one actually doing the work. As a coach I was anxious - hoping that I properly prepared my athletes for the day.
In a sense I'm much more relaxed when I'm the one actively working towards the goal. I'm approaching my third year as a coach - and I'm gaining confidence in my abilities. However, like many others with high ambition I set a high standard for myself and even when things go very well I am always thinking of ways that they could go even better.
It's such an inspiring event. I started the day at 4:30am scoping out a spot to cheer on the helix and stayed at the finish line until just after midnight! I'm so glad I stuck around. Without even knowing the story I witnessed a very inspiring moment. Father and Son duo, Dan and Zack Rotert respectively dove across the finish line 7 seconds after the finish-line clock showed the 17 hour cut off. Why do you never quit? Because sometimes the finish line clock is wrong. That night it was running 9 seconds fast. Regardless of the technicality of it all - the can rightfully call themselves both Ironman. The back story here is that Zack had a very had day - it was his first time racing the Ironman distance. And he's a fellow Type I. Can't find anything more inspiring than that.
That said and not to be critical because we are all coming to this sport with different levels of ability - my goal is to NOT suffer in the same way that Zack did. If I had the same difficulties and put myself through that same amount of suffering when it comes time for me to race my next race - to be honest I'd pull out. Don't get me wrong, for Zack to claw his way across the finish line was amazing. That was his goal and he laid it all out there to get there. However, for me my goal (bigger than racing) is to be healthy. This has been a realization that has been difficult for me to come to terms with. It's in my nature to push as hard as I can - but in reality I know that that thinking is very dangerous.
Perhaps after I build on a couple racing successes I'll trust my body enough to push it harder, but until then I am only willing to push at a safe level. Some might call that wimping out - others might call it maturity.
Regardless of it all - man it was exciting! Even with the approach of Ironman Wisconsin I was inspired to really take my own training back into my own hands. I've experienced some spectacular success with my nutrition and my training. I've even managed to knock out approximately 70 miles of running this week - where did that come from?! I'm amazed at my bodies ability to perform aerobically and recover well. I really have some amazing endurance considering that I haven't really been focusing on it. I truly feel that I have unlock a key to endurance that I never would have expected.
My running has still all been on the treadmill (for safety and for controlling conditions), and my running has not been fast. I've been walking plenty, but I'm laying down some good distance. It's mostly 10 minute miles for now, but I'm listening to my body. Right now it feels great. I've never recovered from a 16 mile run so well in my life. Today I'm taking my first rest day in 12 days - tomorrow I'll be back at it.
And while all this inspiration surrounds me, I hate to not mention the 'Research' part of the title of this blog. My recent reading list has consisted of "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes - which has been doing a rather in depth review of the flaws in modern dietary thinking. It's the detailed book before his much easier read "Why we get fat & what to do about it" which was a much easier read.
The other two books that I'm excited about are from a pair of researchers, Jeff Volek & Stephen Phinney. I just finished "The Art & Science of Low Carb Performance". Pretty easy read that does a great job of discussion the how to's and benefits of low carb. Very nicely organized and it does a great job of keeping things simple. I'll probably be digging through their cited resources for a good long while now. I'll also be reading their prior book "The Art & Science of Low Carb Living". Judging by the one I read first, it's telling where my priorities are at!