Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bring on the Negative

My life (what really matters) is very positive. I get along with all my in-laws and genuinely think they are fabulous. I have good friends who are with me as best they can. I have friends via this Internet thing (its a fad) and have the ability to talk to my friends in Japan, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada, Argentina, Panama, UK, Switzerland, Italy, Egypt, Israel, Greece, South Africa and Singapore. The sun never sets on my friends which is a pretty cool thought.

As this is a triathlon blog, my triathlon life is really the dumpster of my life these days. I am 36 lbs. over my triathlon PR. My last FTP test (done while I was sick...but still...) tells me that I would be better off racing eight year olds on Big Wheels. My swimming times are terrible. (for me) My long run is 4 miles. Focusing on the positive for a moment...I am really strong in the gym. More on that later. I am coaching but at a smaller, referral based level in order to pay significant detailed attention to my clients and I can charge pennies compared to most coaches - even with the cost of liability insurance being what it is. I'm not coaching at the level I was from 2000 to 2004 - with lots of clients. I've been fighting injury to my back and more importantly my legs. This has added to the weight issue as well as my general attitude toward racing. As a "bigger guy" due to my large swimming and water polo built chest I run pretty well. Well...I used to. It will take me months of hard work to get back to where I should be to really complete.

Of the things that I hate about the triathlon community is the superficial, shallow, inconsiderate and selfish nature that reminds me so much of high school. Wikipedia describes Type A individuals as impatient, excessively time-conscious, insecure about their status, highly competitive, hostile and aggressive, and incapable of relaxation. They are often high achieving workaholics who multi-task, drive themselves with deadlines, and are unhappy about the smallest of delays. Because of these characteristics, Type A individuals are often described as "stress junkies." These are the folks beating themselves up for not running the day after a race. Folks who I saw the day after the Hawaiian Ironman running along Alii Drive with their orange athlete band on. In my opinion, if you can run or even jog the day after just about any race...you didn't race hard enough the day before. This is not everyone in adult sports but many folks are this way.

I am an AB person. A combination of some Type A traits and some of these Type B traits. Type B individuals, in contrast to Type A, are described as patient, relaxed, and easy-going. Type AB people cannot be clearly categorized. I am (at times) impatient, highly competitive, hostile and aggressive and yet I am easy-going and relaxed. I am very comfortable and relaxed in a project that is burning down (this is how I keep my wits about me in order to solve the problem - helps when the race heat is on too), but I am impatient and aggressive in trying to fix a project or situation. This is clearly a learned behavior from my parents and interpersonal influence of my wife. (Very much a Type B person but at times has a highly competitive streak...especially at Wii.)

Weights - I've had a few folks tell me that, "You are too big." Probably. However, as I am aging I know that lifting is important. Especially for me mentally. I need a certain amount of stress in the weight room combined with more running, cycling and swimming - in that order. I'm not "stopping weights" as was suggested by a local friend. Coach Jeff wants me in the gym too - two to three times a week doing 8 to 10 reps and higher weights. The idea is to get the strength work in, but not be a body builder.

OK...I get it that there is much work to do. This is why I am passing on Ironman in 2009 (unless I magically win the lottery). Olympic distance and one...maybe two half ironmans - aka: 70.3s for me.

The Negative Stimulus
Yesterday, a local training group that had me fill out paper work like a bio, tax papers, athletic resume, submitting a picture for the website...told me that they had "four swimming coaches that we are comfortable with". When we talked in September, they had two. They asked me to "join the group" at a cost of $150/month only until I became a coach in November or December. Money being what it is these days...I did not join the training group at that time. (My coach is $140/month. I am not adding another $150/month expense no matter how 'great' the group is.)

I'm a little tweaked. I thought we had a gentleman's agreement for me to coach them.

I have been building my schedule around working with this group and now it is not an option. (Without paying $150/month.) It is unfortunate for their members because I have taken guys and gals who literally could barely swim and turned them into 53 to 57 minute Ironman swimmers in short order. This group is known for its cycling (and drafting) and being notoriously bad swimmers.

I'm taking this tweak and turning it into my motivation. I may be fat and slow right now, but as God as my witness, no person in this group will beat me out of the water in 2009. Thanks for the motivation boys and girls. I'm looking forward to seeing your jersey's on the start line all season.

No comments:

Post a Comment