DC Triathlon Pre-Game Locker Room Speech

When I was in school, I had coaches who would deliver great motivational speeches before and during games. Now I rely on myself to seek out those sources of motivation. So here’s my pre-race motivational speech for the DC Triathlon:

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I Am Number 181

It’s hard for me to believe that the DC Triathlon–my first sprint distance triathlon–is finally happening.  I’ve been planning and training for it since February.

My training log indicates that I didn’t do much this past week.  I tapered off my workout routines and have been resting up for the big day.  Even though I didn’t exercise much this past week, my free time was jammed with triathlon related stuff.  A few weeks ago I bought a new triathlon bike, which arrived in the mail at the beginning of the week.  It required a bit of assembly, so I worked on that throughout the week.  I tried on and rented a wetsuit for the first time, and bought a triathlon suit (which looks just like a cycling uniform).  The bike, the wetsuit, and the triathlon suit were a reminders that becoming a triathlete isn’t exactly cheap, but I am extremely satisfied with my purchases — especially my new bike!

On Sunday, I will be triathlete number 181.  I will be in attendance as the National Anthem plays at 5:20am, and  I will be in the Potomac River–ready to race–at 5:40am.

When the start gun goes off at 5:40am, I will:

  • swim 800 meters
  • bike 20 kilometers (12.4 miles), and finally
  • run 6 kilometers (3.7 miles)

Today I was a little disappointed to receive this email from DC Triathlon:

Over the past few days the average water temperature in the Potomac has been 79-82 degrees.  Per USAT rules if the water temperature is above 78 degrees on race morning then wetsuits are allowed BUT athletes wearing them are NOT eligible for age group awards.  If you choose to wear a wetsuit anyway you will be placed in the wetsuit wave which will be the last wave of Sprint athletes and the last wave of Olympic athletes.

I don’t plan on winning an award, but I don’t want to go in the last wave , so it looks like I’ll be swimming the Potomac sans wetsuit.

Between now and Sunday morning, there is a lot of stuff to do.  In addition to trying to attend as many DC Triathlon events as I can, I still need to take my bike to the shop for some final adjustments.

I’m anxious for the race to start.  I’m looking forward to getting out there on the course, and getting into my routine.  I know my body is physically prepared for this.  The only thing that can stop me from finishing this race is my mind.

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The Corporate Challenge

I flew into Buffalo, NY last Thursday to run in the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge.  For years my Dad has talked about how much fun the Corporate Challenge is, so I figured this was my year to see for myself.

I got into Buffalo late.  My Dad picked me up from the airport, drove straight the start  line in Delaware Park, and we both lined up with 11,455 other runners.

I had to fight through some painful abdominal cramps during the race.  I don’t usually get cramps when I run.  With the DC Triathlon only a week away, that is a concern.

My Dad caught up to me in the last quarter-mile of the race.  I promptly sprinted ahead for victory in what turned out to be a friendly father-versus-son race.  I ran the 3.5 mile course in 27 minutes and 37 seconds!  Sub-8 minute miles!

I was amazed by the number of pre- and post-race festivities.

“This definitely is the biggest party of the year in Buffalo,” said Erie County Executive Chris Collins from the start stage.

Enough said.

I thoroughly enjoyed this event and am grateful that I got the opportunity to share this experience with my Dad.  I will run this race again in 2011.

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Triathlon Makeover

I love stories about other triathletes and what drives them to do what they do.

A few weeks ago, a co-worker left a copy of Competitor Magazine on my desk at work with a note directing my attention to an article called “Triathlon Makeover”.  It turns out that I’m not the only newbie triathlete blogging out the experience of training for the Nation’s Triathlon.  Lisa Millar, the subject of the article, is doing the exact same thing.  There are some minor differences between us, though.  She started training in May; I started last October.  Competitor Magazine is paying for all of her brand new triathlon gear; I’m footing the bill on my own.  She has a personal trainer; I have my own dedication, determination and a book.

I’m looking forward to following her progress.  Who knows?  Maybe I might even get a chance to meet her someday.  Crazier things have happened.

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Week #1 of Training in the Books

It’s been a week since I started my official Nation’s Triathlon Training and recording my training progress.  A few observations from a week of my new habit of recording my progress –

  • I feel motivated by what I see.  In the past, recording my progress has tended to be more of a burden and discouraged me from keeping up with a regimen.  Building up confidence and consistency through 6 months of no-pressure workouts prior to recording my progress has made a huge difference.
  • Initially I was shocked at how low my resting heart rate was.  Towards the end of the week I discovered that the alarm on my timer was going off after 50 seconds, not 60. Still, a resting heart rate in the 60’s isn’t too shabby.
  • Number of hours slept and the subjective fatigue scale are metrics I find particularly interesting.
  • It might be my imagination, but adding a protein bar and Gatorade to my workout regimen seems to have noticeably spiked my metabolism during the day.

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Official Nation’s Triathlon Training Begins Today

Haven’t I already been officially training for Nation’s Triathlon?  Isn’t that the whole point of the last 6 months?

The answer is: yes and no.  Up to this point I have focused on building a base level of endurance, consistency, and confidence.  My focus has been on just getting out there and doing anything (run, bike or swim) for one hour a day.

That changes starting today.

Today I kick off a 16-week training program to prepare for the Nation’s Triathlon.  I am beginning to work smarter instead of harder.  I will update my workout schedule weekly and so it should begin to more accurately reflect the workouts I really complete.  I’m also beginning a activity log to quantifiably record my progress.  I am not publishing the master plan for my 16-week  training program, but it can be found in this book.

As far as this blog goes, I still plan to publish a weekly 200-word-or-less entry over the weekend and I hope to throw in a few micro posts, consisting of 50 words or less, during the week.

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Bike DC Alarm Clock Problems

Today is Bike DC, a 19-mile bike I had planned on doing since I did it for the first time last fall.  Unfortunately, my alarm clock decided to die a few days ago, any my cell phone has been serving as an awful substitute.  This morning my cell phone did not work as expected, so rather than waking up at 6am, I woke up at 9:30am – without the aid of an alarm clock – which was all but too late to participate in Bike DC.

I am disappointed with myself over missing this event, but some good can come from this experience.  I now know that I need to be more prepared the day before a race.  That goes without saying for something like a triathlon, but so far I’ve taken a nonchalant attitude towards preparing for biking- and running-only type races.

This is a great wake up call.  I’m a month from my first sprint-triathlon.  Today is the first day of my 16-week training program for the Nation’s Triathlon.  There’s no better time to re-commit to my goals than right now.

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