I had the post-marathon blues pretty bad: I wasn’t super psyched to train, I wasn’t super psyched to race. Life was good, don’t get me wrong. But I felt like the marathon training, coming back from the mangled ankle, and a general lack of focus and fitness in the biking and swimming left me far behind where I wanted to be. I traveled to Knoxville to help out with timing for Rev3, and while that was a wet and wild weekend (torrential downpours, driving all over Knoxville, etc), it didn’t bring as much of a fire to my belly as I might have hoped. So going into Quassy, I was not expecting good things.
The swim at Quassy probably went as well as I could expect. For the first time, I felt a lot of contact at the start, but I felt consistent (albeit slow) in the water. The bike was as difficult as I remembered. Up, down, around… I hit a high speed of ~50mph. While I didn’t blow up my race on the bike, I did drop my feed bottle around mile 20. Compounded with the fact that I had very little nutrition pre-race, I was going to be in a world of hurt. I was already feeling a bit of a bonk coming off the bike, and then the run… oh boy. It was 90 degrees out, and while my body might have been strong, my mind was not. Last year I had been able to run the entire course. This year, after mile 2, the course turned uphill and my mind just kind of shut the day down. I’m not sure if it’s the extra weight I’m carrying around from the lack of focused training or if I’m just being a giant wimp, but something has to give.
Today was the Mount Washington Road Race. I wish I could say I’m a mountain lion or mountain goat or whatever, but nope. The course is spectacular with views of the surrounding White Mountains. But there’s really no way to soft peddle the fact that the course is a bear. An average 11.7% grade. No downhills. No respite from climbing. No shelter from the wind above the tree line. A cruel finish that pitches up ridiculously. Yes I walked. Quite a bit of it in fact. But in doing so I had a great time with a bunch of people and prevented those thoughts that keep on telling me: just pick one sport, you’re not good at this. So up we went. Up up up into a stiff winds that were godsends when they were tailwinds and the coldest winds from the depth of hell just about any other time. And I can’t wait to try again next year: hopefully a bit lighter , hopefully with strong mental resolve, and hopefully, if I buckle down, much better fitness.
Hopefully the June of Sobriety (except for one birthday that deserves celebrating) will help shed a few pounds. ↩
It’s impossible to write a race report for Boston and not think about what happened after my race was over but before so many other people’s races were not. But I think part of getting back to normal, to living, is to be proud of what I accomplished that day. Not to treat the day as though nothing else happened, but to remember it for all that happened, the awesome and the awful. I’ve been trying to piece through my thoughts about the terrible things that happened, but what about the rest of the day?
It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther…. And one fine morning
The marathon is, so far, a singular experience in running for me. So often, a marathon is early in the day with only the hardiest of fans (often friends and family) lining the course early on. My previous marathons were often spent with a feeling of being alone (not lonely, just running alone or around 2-3 other people). Sometimes this feeling was just because my day was not going the way I wanted it to, sometimes because there were actually no other runners around, and sometimes there was no one there to cheer you on. At Boston this was never the case. At Boston, there is always someone there, running with you, cheering just for you (or so it seemed). It’s the Boston running community. It’s the Boston community.
Given that I was in wave one, given that I am a stickler for doing as I am told, I woke up at 5 AM, took my time getting dressed in race clothes and pajamas, grabbed a bagel, two bananas, some water and jumped on the T to get on the buses to go Hopkinton. Yes, I was early. Yes, there were still 4 hours before the race would start. But given my previous history with a terrible stomach, I wanted to make sure that I was hydrated, rested, fully finished with my morning duties, and with good thoughts about race day in my head. So it was that I arrived in Hopkinton with hours until race time, hundreds of port-a-potties to be used, and scoped out a place to lie down, eat my food, get hydrated, and relax. And that’s precisely what I did.
As race time approached, I knew I had to use the bathroom one last time. I dropped off my gear bag, but didn’t know if there were port-a-potties at the start (pro-tip: there are!), so waited in line, and was finally ready to head to the start with 15 minutes to go. Jogged my way through the hordes of runners in my wave and future waves and got to the start with a couple of minutes to spare. And this is where my memory of the day is not as clear as I would wish it would be. But I remember the important parts.
Here’s what Steve said to do before the race and how I feel like I did:
Run the tangents – Not fully possible
Don’t come off of Heartbreak too fast, wait until you get through Cleveland Circle and on to Beacon St. before thinking about taking up the pace. – There was no pace left
Your first mile should be the slowest. – It was the slowest of my first half? Does that count?
Bring snacks/hydration with you out to Hopkinton. – SUCCESS!
Sit as much as possible in Hopkinton. – SUCCESS!
Poop as much as possible in Hopkinton. – SUCCESS!
Run steady and enjoy the first 16 miles without doing anything crazy dumb. – Partial success? I don’t think I did anything really dumb. My splits over the first 30K are pretty much bang on consistent.
Strap it on and get tough once you hit Lower Newton Falls and climb over 128/95 – that’s where the race begins. – This is where I realized I was going to be able to run up every single one of the Newton hills (which I had never run before).
The hills aren’t all that hard…yeah, you’ll lose a little time, but nothing serious. – That’s the truth. In fact, the finishing downhills after the uphills are worse
3:00:04. Via the splits tab, I didn’t realize I was being so consistent for the first 16 miles (all miles within 8 seconds of each other). My first five 5K splits were all within seconds of each other.
I don’t remember much specifically about the first few miles, or about the race in general. I remember male runners jumping into the woods after the first downhill to pee. I remember enormous cheers as we passed the roadside pub in Ashland. I remember reaching the 8K mark (where I had turned around the week before in my tune up) and thinking the rest of this is unknown. I kept thinking to myself: “I’m going too fast. I need to slow down. My legs didn’t feel light all week. My legs feel heavy today.” And yet I churned out mile after mile at around the same pace, running in a still enormous group. I saw my parents in Framingham, and I’m pretty sure I gave them a wave before they realized it was me. I saw a runner drop his cap, turn around and charge back into the group to get it (why?!). I was overwhelmed by the cheers at Wellesley, and then shocked when I heard a thud and realized a Wellesley student had fallen over the barricade. I got cheers from friends and friends of friends and totally random people. I saw my parents again at mile 16 (though I wasn’t expecting them to be where they were). I kept waiting for the start of the hills, then crushed it up over 128/95. I saw the RaceMenu gang at the top of Heartbreak and figured the hardest part was over.I gave just about every BC student a high five as I cruised down the hill. I had a cheering section coming around the bend in Coolidge Corner (which I would still be hard pressed to find on a map). I was tired on Beacon and failing at calculating my expected finishing time. I stopped running for a few seconds. I thought I might be a Canadian marathoner for a while. I had friends at 40K, when I was in a bad place, cheering me on. I couldn’t catch my breath in the cold shadows of Boylston. I finished and I thought I would cry from physical and emotional exhaustion. I shivered through waiting for my gear bag, then hobbled around to meet my family at Parish. And the rest of the day I’ve written about and am still coming to terms with.
Many people have asked if the 4 seconds bother me. Even before the bombs went off, the answer was no. Now even more so. The time is as it is because that’s what unfolded over the day. Every choice we make on race day can go a million different ways. Sure, I could have gone a bit slower in mile 1, but maybe I’d feel the same at the end. I could have pushed through all of the pain, but maybe I end up a mess. That’s not to say that it’s random or it’s impossible I could have gone faster. Next year I will. But there’s nothing about those three hours I spent on that course that I’d want to change.
Collecting thoughts here. Many I’ve posted elsewhere but am duplicating here
April 16, 2013 AM
April 15, 2013
I’m sure I will write a race report at some point, but for now: Boston, I love you.
My parents, my brother’s girlfriend, and I were waiting for lunch post-race. I decided I was too cold and wet to stick around waiting for a table, so we decided to walk back to my apartment where I could shower, get warm, and change into NOT pajamas. As I showered, I realized how little of the race I remembered and how I would have a problem writing an in-depth race report. When I got out of the shower, I got a text from my brother in the Hancock Tower telling me about the explosions before I had even seen anything on twitter. And with that, the events of the day have overwhelmed the day’s event. We don’t know who decided to place two (or more) bombs, detonate at least two of the bombs, why he/she/they did that, what the motivation was… we know so little about the cause, but we know so much about the reactions of those there to provide assistance and comfort to the wounded. The first responders have been just amazing: running into the exact things we run away from. We’ve seen this before, but I’ve never seen it so close.
I was home when it happened. I am uninjured. But I am still shaken. People’s lives torn asunder, just an hour or so after I’d left the area (as we neared my apartment, I was told that it was 2:30, only ~20 minutes before the first explosion). I’m alternating between exhaustion and sadness. I can’t continue to watch the news coverage, but I can’t not watch it (though I could do with less repeat of the footage — often graphic — of the explosion and immediate aftermath). But it’s all just so tragic and sad.
I love Boston. I love the city and its people. I love the Boston Marathon. I’ll be running again next year and every year I can.
Old State House April 16, 2013
April 17, 2013
I don’t mean for this to diminish what has happened. Not at all. It was terrifying and sad and senseless. I ache: physically and emotionally.
I walked through Government Center last night, on my way to meet Gregory Soutiea for a beer (or three), past what seemed like the entire Cambridge MA SWAT team, past Army EOD trucks, all in a hope to get back to some sense of normalcy. I was on the phone with my dad, and he asked, as so many have, if we, if I, will ever feel safe again. And the truth is I feel no less safe today than I did Sunday, or Monday as I was running. Perhaps there was more that could have been done on Monday to prevent what happened, but I doubt it. Assholes with guns and bombs and terrible thoughts in their heads and hearts are hard to stop and hard to predict. Like so many acts that instill us with terror, it appears at once both targeted and random: targeted towards society as a whole, but random in its selection of victims. I am incredibly sad, often on the verge of tears (both in pride of all the good that everyone performed in the immediate and not so immediate aftermath and sadness over the lives ruined and lost and forever changed). But I don’t feel any less safe. I refuse to feel less safe.
April 18, 2013
The week after a marathon is usually a week of recovery, and often mental recovery, but not in this way. It’s a bit disjointed to feel so affected. I was about a mile away, already finished, showering, and ready to celebrate the day when the bombs went off. But I have friends who had just finished, friends and family who hadn’t yet finished, friends and family who had watched me finish and walked through the same crowds. Every time I thought “I’ve check on everyone I know who is running” I realized I knew 5 more people who were running, who might have family there. And that speaks to how tight knit the Boston running community is, and how tight knit Boston is as well.
I wasn’t planning on buying a marathon jacket. After all, it’s just a marathon. I’ve never bought race gear except for after I’ve finished my iron distance races. But then the explosions happened and, I suppose, selfishly I want something to say, “I ran this. I was there that day. I support the race, the city, and the people”. And so I contacted City Sports yesterday, learned they still had some jackets, and asked them to hold one of the ones they had left. And then I started walking.
As I have so many times the past couple of days, I’ve walked across the Longfellow Bridge from Cambridge into Boston, through Beacon Hill, and between the Common and Public Garden. I’ve turned down Boylston a number of times, and despite it being open all the way to Berkeley Street, I can’t make it past Arlington yet. At some point, Boylston will be opened completely, and I’ll walk down it, past the spots where lives were changed and ruined. But for now, it’s a bit to fresh to continue down the street.
This is not to say that things aren’t returning to some sense of normal. We’re remembering to also focus on the joy of raceday, the application of all of our training to the race, the cheering of Wellesley and Boston College and Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Brookline and Boston. We won’t forget, but we will recover.
Deep center at Fenway
April 21, 2013
The end week was, at its core, surreal. Glued to the tv, to twitter, to The Globe trying to pick up any piece of news I could.
I spent Saturday afternoon at Fenway with some friends. Friends who had come to the marathon to watch me and their other friends running. We had avoided serious physical harm that day, but Matt and I, I think, still feel the effects pretty openly. “Do you ever wish you were at the finish line?” The obvious answer is no. But I think it gets to a deeper seated question (or two): what gives us the right to feel so impacted by the explosions despite not being there when it happened? And secondarily, what would we have done if we had been at the finish line? As to the second, I hope I never have to find out. To the first, I think, we’re allowed to be impacted. We should be impacted. Matt’s a lifelong Massachusetts resident. I’m relatively new here. But we’re both members of the running community. This attack, as it was, was an attack at everything we held dear: running, Boston, our friends: all of our communities. It does matter why the attacks took place, but even without that knowledge, it is still hits very close to home. It hits home.
They always said it took 15 or 20 years of living here to feel like a real Bostonian. Or, this past week.
I’m still alive. I got through dog sitting, and while I enjoyed it, I don’t think I’m ready to have a dog just yet. I’m sometimes bad at budgeting time, and while Kaipo forced me to get a little better at that, it meant that I had to reprioritize things, like some training. But right now, every run counts, so I’ve only been putting the cycling by the wayside.
As cold as it looks, and windy to boot.
This weekend was supposed to be a 16 miler. As a result of late nights Thursday and Friday, I decided I needed to head up to NH to get some quality training and avoid the craziness that is St. Patrick’s Day in Boston. Unfortunately, I woke up Sunday to temperatures in the low teens and a brisk northerly wind. I had enough gear that I thought my workout (1 mile easy, 2 @ 6:45-6:55 repeat until complete) would be doable. But as I started, I quickly realized that 1. my legs were still, for some reason, incredibly dead and 2. I can do headwinds, I can do cold, I can do hills; I can do two of them at once, but all three during a hard workout? No thank you. That said, I think if it weren’t for the pace requirements, I could have gotten 16 miles in. Instead, feeling exhausted and slightly upset with myself, I drove home and fell asleep around 9:30PM.
As a bit of a sidebar, my confidence with regards to running ebbs and flows from day to day and even within runs. I see friends setting PRs, and I haven’t even really raced yet in 2013. The mangled ankle is still swollen from time to time and there are small aches and pains associated with the entire lower leg. As I’ve said, I’m constantly adjusting my expectations with regards to Boston. Some days I worry that qualifying is out of the picture. But for the most part, this is out of my control. All I can do is move forward.
With all that, I got home from work yesterday and decided to get my 16 miler in (as Steve said, “At this point, miles are you friend”). Set off, and was really trying to hold myself back around the 6:55 pace for the first couple of 2 mile intervals, but that’s easier said than done (5 seconds/mile slower is just 1.25 seconds a lap slower on a track, and splitting the timing that fine is just not really all that easy). So I just continued on my merry way, sometimes into the damp wind that was a prelude to the mess that is today (in which case I was not so merry), sometimes with the wind at my back. And though it was cold and partially miserable, I was able to run in shorts and a long-sleeve bike jacket. All of which made for a bit of an easier workout.
It turns out I ran the entire 16 in 1:51:43, which is about 8 minutes slower than my first ever half-marathon. I got stronger as the miles progressed, even if there were some stomach issues cropping up. So the run was a great confidence booster (especially in preparation for my 18 miler this weekend). Maybe sub-3 is still in the cards, but I am confident another BQ is in the cards… so long as I Tri-Slide up my nips. Because cold weather and cutting glass don’t play well together.
How are you feeling about your end of winter fitness?
Does a brisk wind by definition always occur when it is cold outside? ↩
Before I get to running, I had a 5 minute TT on the bike today. This was actually my second go in two weeks at this, as two weeks ago I flew out of the proverbial gates and was crushed before 2.5 minutes were up. Today, with targets in mind, I rode a much smoother (full) 5 minutes. That’s not to say I felt good afterwards:
I had one of those runs on Monday where everything just felt pretty good. Easy pace felt easy. Nothing hurt. But the path to getting out the door was far less than easy. I had to convince myself, really convince myself, that 25 minutes of easy running had to get done (it was on the schedule). And I think I know why.
Just like Costa Rica and Quassy last year, I’m afraid that I might have to adjust my goals. The #mangledankle set me farther back than I’d like to admit. While I was out in Boulder, Steve made it pretty clear that <2:50 at Boston is pretty much out of the books. I’m beginning to wonder if sub-3:00 is even out of the books as well. Too be honest, Monday’s run was the first run where I actually felt back to my “old” self. Maybe it’s because I haven’t raced in 3 months (even Super Sunday, where I ran tempo and that felt easy, didn’t feel like a great run and definitely wasn’t me racing). Maybe it’s because I’m a bit heavier right now than I have been in a year or two. Maybe the ankle isn’t fully healed (it’s still in a perpetually swollen state, even if it doesn’t hurt at all). What I do know is that there are still 7.5 weeks to get ready (or as ready as possible) for Boston. Running will get easier. Trust the plan as it is formed now (as much as I can).
What do you do when you think you need to readjust?
Emily, I think, will get a kick out of this because my old self, the old self she remembers very well, is not someone who could run the 4 miles easy and feel like it was easy. What I meant was pre-injury me ↩
So last time I wrote, I told you I’d talk about the tri-specific stuff (aside from meeting people) that we did in Boulder. It’s odd; I never thought I would be a sponsored athlete of any sort (although I suppose you could say that growing up, most of the time I was sponsored by my parents). But aside from hanging out with the Normatec people at almost every Rev3 event last year, I hadn’t really spent any time with any of my sponsors. So it was a real treat to hear from them.
First up was SBR Sports, the makers of TriSlide, Foggle, and TriSwim. While the amount of time I spend in the pool could best be described as minimal or lacking, I’ve loved these products when I’ve used them: the TriSwim stuff is fantastic, and last year I never had a problem extracting myself from my wetsuit like I had in years past. We learned quite a bit about why the product was created and that TriSlide was for external use only (seriously, this stuff is ridiculously slick to the point that it makes dry tile into a veritable sheet of ice… TriSlide hockey/broomball anyone?).
Next up was a new sponsor, Compex. I’m really interested to try out E-Stim. A few years ago I got to play with some e-stim stuff in a professional PT environment, and I’m curious to see what effect it can have.
Later in the afternoon, we headed out to the Pearl Izumi US HQ. We were taken on a tour to see some of the past ad campaigns (some of which were deemed to be too racy to release to the public), meet the custom kit creators, meet the President (of Pearl US), and see where the pros’ kits are made. Cool thing that Pearl does for their pros? Each kit is custom built to a pro’s specific build. So it’s not a Medium, it’s a Jesse Thomas. We also heard from Tim DeBoom about how awesome Pearl is to work with (he’s helped design some of the graphics for the shoes). We then heard about the upcoming run and triathlon lines from Pearl, and the complete relaunch of their running shoes (which are currently being launched). This was quite the treat, and I look forward to getting to try them out.
iPull, you pull
more awesome ads
respect the race
That evening, we drank.
The next day was more sponsors. First up was Biotta. We got to try the beet juice and the nutritionists on the team went way into depth about how fantastic beet juice is for you, so I’ll have to acquire the taste. I was able to drink the whole sample I had, so I’m assuming I’ll be able to acquire it. There were some worrisome moments later in the day, as beet juice is very red and looks a bit like blood in certain situations.
Next we had Reynolds wheels. So cool to hear about how they make their race wheels (I love load testing stuff, when things are pushed to their breaking point). And um, if anyone wants my SRAM S80s, I’m willing to give you a good price so I can get me some Reynolds.
Quintana Roo was up next, and we heard about their bike lines. The biggest concern is that you don’t always fit on a bike, so if I’m not on a QR, that’s the only reason why. The bikes are slick and sweet. But we’re going to try and fit me on one (sorry wallet!).
Last up was Powerbar. I had the same pre/misconception last year as I think everyone does about Powerbar: it tastes like crap. Well, it did back in the late 80s/early 90s, but I can say they’ve definitely remedied that problem. They’re releasing blends this year that are the consistency of pureed fruit, which should be pretty interesting and probably more conducive to ingesting during longer (10+ hour) efforts.
While it was really cool to be out in Boulder, the key takeaway that I got from hearing all of the sponsors was how invested they are in creating the best product possible. It’s one thing to just receive stuff from sponsors; it’s quite another thing to have them come in, explain their philosophy, explain how much you (as a customer and sponsored athlete) mean to them, and display their enthusiasm. And I know that this can all sound very arrogant; I don’t mean for it to be. I’m truly humbled by all of this.
Want to try some of the gear that I’ll be getting? Let me know. I’ll see what I can do.
The compex, Normatec, Biotta, SBR and PowerBar stuff is probably the easiest to share. You cannot ride my race wheels. You cannot ride my race bike. ↩
For now, I’m going to gloss over the actual meetings and celebrations of the Rev3 summit out in Boulder and focus on the rest of the trip out West. Next time I’ll tell you all about the sponsors and the team.
Driving in to Boulder was somewhat spectacular. Even in the dead of night, the shadows of the Flatirons and the Rockies (not knowing the region well enough, maybe it’s the Front Range?) are spectacular. During the day, they are even more spectacular.
The snow pack in Colorado has been disappointing this year. The bases at most of the I-70 resorts (Keystone, Copper, Loveland, Vail, etc) are right around 30 inches right now. But it’s a totally different type of terrain, snow, and altitude. I didn’t know how long I wanted to ski on Thursday so I headed to Loveland Ski Area. Much of the more extreme terrain was closed, and the wind was whipping across the ridge, but still, I was out skiing (and freezing). While small and mostly above the treeline, there are some magnificent views and you can see the exhaust pipes from the tunnel (the tunnels are a marvel; when an overheight truck approaches, a loud siren goes off and all traffic is prevented from entering the tunnels.
As the day wore on, I decided I needed to get back to Boulder so I could meet teammates for dinner. But first, I wanted to drive over Loveland Pass (pass #1 of the week) and see what the drive was like (I had never driven over the pass, just through the tunnels). The view at the top? Truly awe inspiring.
Top of the pass.
Met some teammates for dinner. Someone confused architecture for archaeology (Indiana Jones designs the best buildings). We drank Imperial because it reminded us of Costa Rica and opportunities missed. Later that night I drove back out to the airport to pick up Maggie, Ryan, and Tonia. We got back to the hotel, Ryan and I cracked a beer, and we watched the end of one of the American Pie movies before crashing around 2AM MST.
We made the decision early in the weekend that 5 of us (Ryan, Jeff, Maggie, Lauren, and I) would be going to one of the resorts to ski on Sunday. We met in the lobby at 8AM, jammed the trunk full of equipment, and started off for Winter Park. Once again, the mountain pass (this time, Berthoud Pass) was beautiful: low clouds, snow, tree lines, and switchbacks. Maybe someday I’ll bike the passes.
We had a great time at Winter Park. We spent the majority of the time in the trees (my first time ever) finding what powder we could, falling into wells over and over again, and laughing it up.
Maggie in a well.
Ryan can’t tell if the tree is male or female, so he’s checking for nuts.
We drove back to Boulder that night and Lauren, Maggie, and I met up with Courtenay Brown for dinner: Tibetan food. I had a yak stew (yup!) because when in Tibet, do as the Tibetans do. While I had met Courtenay briefly before and talked multiple times at length with her, it was the first time we had actually sat down together and talked. Didn’t disappoint: she’s just as cool in person as she is online.
Headed out to Copper Mountain on my own. It was nice to be back at the place where I learned to ski way back in the day. They even still give out Jolly Ranchers at the ticket window like they did 20+ years ago. During the day it started to snow, and while the visibility wasn’t great, the skiing was: there were steeps with deep powder, endless bumps as big as a sumo wrestler, and tree skiing galore. Got in a full day there.
That night, I headed to Avery Brewery. They do a number of taproom only beers, so I had a mint chocolate stout and an IPA that was taproom only. Tuesday
Decided against skiing (gasp!) and went running up in the foothills/Flatirons/Front Range/whatever. It was there I came up with a brilliant business idea: truck in a ton of oxygen to Colorado. Up the trail into Shadow Canyon, lungs burning, feet searching the snow for good footing… just totally at peace with everything. The run included a lot of stops going up (to catch my breath) and down (to take photos). I thought about stopping at 1 mile going up. But I kept going. At 1.25 miles, I thought about stopping, but still, I went up. At 1.75, I decided that I would get to two miles and turn around.
Is that one of the flatirons? I don’t know.
Lunch was with Steve and MarkyV. I had never met MarkyV (nor Steve for that matter, though we had corresponded). We had a raucous lunch at Rueben’s Burger Bistro, which had 42 beers on tap (including nitro Mojo) and a terribly misleading signpost for the mountain passes in Europe. It was a very motivating (there are things I might be able to achieve), comforting (seems even the really fast people lose their motivation in January), and hilarious (Newton pumps: not happy with 0mm drop? 4 pumps to 4mm!) lunch. Finally had dinner with my cousins in Denver, then drove to the airport and waited in a nearly deserted terminal for my redeye flight back to Boston.
And now I am seriously considering a move to Boulder if I could only keep everything the way it is now. I love living near my family. I love the feel of Boston. But I also love the feel of Boulder/Denver. And the mountains. It’s not an easy problem to solve. It has very little to do with multisport and more to do with comfort. Any suggestions on what I should do? You ever come across this situation?
Next time you go to Boulder, I recommend you go there. The staff there was pretty awesome (though perhaps that was only due to the weather which was nasty) ↩
I’ve run twice this week. Where in previous weeks I might measure my running in miles, this week I’ve been mesasuring it in minutes. And this week was somewhere around 40 minutes (as opposed to 40 miles). But no matter. I AM RUNNING! Boston is however many weeks or days or months away (13 weeks, for those who are counting). But I am excited for triathlon and running.
I’m not going to be racing competitively any time soon (the mangledankle will do that to you), but I’m running and I’m not worried about my ankle going to shit and being in massive pain… I run. It’s what I do.
But my body doesn’t seem to appreciate my desire to continue running (from nothing and everything). It seems I’ve come down with a low grade misery of the sinuses; nothing nearly as bad as it could be (I even got 3.4 miles in tonight). Nothing to prevent me from training. Nothing to prevent me from anything really. But enough to make me feel unpleasant. But still, I run.
There’s some exciting stuff coming up. Sponsor stuff. Racing stuff. Ideas about life stuff. Stay tuned. But in the meantime, go for a run or something.
I was talking to the smartest person I think I’ve ever had a chance to meet recently, and the discussion was focused around how corporate America and academia seem so incredibly different: she’s a researcher at a lab, I’m pretty firmly planted in the corporate world. Her experience in the lab is as follows.
Everyone in the lab is there because they are incredibly passionate about what they are doing
If they are not passionate about it, the research will suffer, funding will suffer, and eventually, the lab will fold
Now granted, this is probably me oversimplifying the argument a bit, but that’s pretty much it: Love it or leave it. She was amazed that there are people who are not doing the things that they are passionate for their employment. I thought that was pretty rare in the corporate world: you get a lot of people who either get comfortable or don’t have a passion for what they are doing (or at least that’s what I’ve observed… I’m willing to accept that my position could be totally wrong). Ideally, this should be possible: anyone should be able to find employment in or around something they are passionate about (e.g., a triathlete may not be able to go pro, but there are entire industries around triathlon that exist). But I also think there are tradeoffs that might need to be considered: family, money, location, etc. And perhaps it’s very easy at our age to pick our careers based on passion, but as we grow older and more experienced, it might also be true that various pathways get closed off to us. Anyhow, it was a very interesting and thought provoking conversation.
Anyhow, I was thinking about this this morning, and realized that I am suffering from an embarrassment of riches, especially when it comes to my athletic pursuits. Yes, the #mangledankle has been a setback, but in the grand scheme of things it’s a really small setback (3 weeks? a bit of extra gained weight?). But I do find myself wavering between ultramarathons and triathlon: with triathlon there’s the constant pursuit to get faster; with ultra there’s the question of whether I can actually complete the race. And then managing the two: I know it’s doable. It’s a lot of hard work. But I’ve wanted to do both for years now, and I can’t think of any reason not to anymore. I don’t want to realize too late that I love ultras. I don’t want to realize that I could’ve done both but didn’t.
So that’s the plan. Go big. All in. Adding JFK50 to the plan this year.
What about you? Are you passionate about what you are doing? Do you think the job exists for everyone where they would be passionate?
Fantastic news. Two rides were completely on the weekend. I feel/am fat and out of shape (for me, what with my triathlete BDD), but what I don’t feel is my ankle giving me a ton of pain while riding. Even better than that news? On the schedule for this week is some running! Only 15-20 minutes of it… but since I can’t remember the last time I ran, I am kind of thrilled about it. To those of you worried about the ice and snow and everything outside, I’ll be doing my running on an indoor track, if only so that I don’t have to worry about stepping in a hole, slipping, etc.
A few other quick hits:
We moved office last week, and I’m using a standup desk. I’m not sure how long it will last, but I figured if I didn’t start off this way I’d never try it. So far today has been interesting, but good.
I finally figured out a resolution for 2013, but it’s nothing really measurable or anything. Simply, give a damn more often this year. So obviously, that’s not a SMART goal, and it’s not breaking things down into any small steps, but it’s something new. I’ve been called out for not showing disappointment, for not seeming like I care… and while I do, I’ve tended to be very private about that. So the goal is to make things more clear.
Fingers crossed for snow in Colorado, and lots of it, before I head there at the end of January. Should be a fun fun trip with the Rev3 team.