Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Marble Mania

A cold and rainy day in the Atlanta airport is not so bad with a warm bowl of Chicken Enchilada Soup from the aptly named Atlanta Bread Company. This is one of those strange days where I am actually completely relaxed and at peace even with the chaos of traveling and 2 hour delayed flights…

So…with a full stomach and good mellow head, I chose to begin a blog entry that is 10 days in the making.


The memories and excitement of the 2009 Ironman Arizona are quickly fading and like all “good” addicts I found myself looking for my next “score”.

Endurance mountain bike races, Marathons, wait – what about Leadville, New Orleans Ironman 70.3, bike racing…what will it be…I am hungry again…

I crave the structure and adrenaline that training and racing requires.

I crave the peacefulness of moments like now where the “work” is done and I can relax.

I was pretty convinced, ok, 100% convinced that I was not going to race a full Ironman next year if I didn’t score a Kona slot in Arizona.

I needed a break both mentally and physically.

That was 2 weeks ago and I was totally burned out on training and racing and now…after 10 days of easy “exercise” except for my REALLY bad channeling experiment where I thought I was Governor Arnold on Monday - I am pretty much fully recovered …mentally too (well as much as I can be :)).


So now I am feeling good again and still very happy with my race…but…and…of course…there is always a but :), I was sooooooo close!!!

It really didn’t even bug me until I started doing the obsessive compulsive self improvement super computer spreadsheets (yes I really do these) to see what happened and what didn’t happen.

What happened – I hit my goal time to the MINUTE- nailed it!!!


That does NOT suck – I am totally stoked with that – BUT – my place was nowhere near what I projected.

AND…to make matters worse and add a little more itch in need of scratching…that was in the 40-44 age group (where I raced) and not the 45-49 where I will start racing January 1st.

In the 45-49 AG, I would have been 5th not 14th…same day…same time…where is Pookie when I need him :)

BUT – that is not even the hardest pill for me to swallow…what’s worse – I didn’t lose it on the course…

I lost it in transition – man that’s hard…but more on (really…correcting for this) in another post later…

So – what to do – what to do?

I found myself secretly checking the race board to see what was open. I quickly minimized my browser as Drew would walk behind me but she recognized the logo as it was shrinking and said – “Are you looking at doing another Ironman next year?”

My instant response preprogrammed in all men from the early hunter gatherer days – hey it’s in our DNA – (deny deny deny admit nothing demand proof)…

“No – I am just looking around”…

Argghhhh – I hate fibbing…I was embarrassed and once again my addiction was uncovered…

Damn it Mike Reilly!!! Why do you make those words sound so sexy!!! :)

So –with all this craving and tension – how am I possibly relaxed today?

This morning I was reminded of why I made the decision for 2010…no Ironman races…

It was 5:30am and my alarm went off, actually I am not sure why, I don’t remember setting it but because it went off, I figured I would get up anyway.

Drank some java, checked emails and then decided that an easy trainer spin would loosen up my legs and butt from the Monday gym beat down.

My a$$ (glutes for the cultured folk) is so sore I think it might actually be getting some growing pains :)

I did like 100 lunges and that was probably 95 too many for my first day back – seriously – I feel like I got a JAY-LO in 1 day :)

So…I needed to spin my legs out.

I also knew the final 1 ½ hour season finale episode of Sons of Anarchy was on DVR so I was actually fine with the idea. SOA is one of the best shows on TV and FX has pushed the limits every week and the final episode did not disappoint – I can’t wait until next season.


I am pedaling along – trying to hold a cyclist’s cadence as opposed to my normal grind of 80rpm for the TT and at 57:32 into my ride I stopped…just stopped.

No cool down…no flat tire…not because I wasn’t enjoying myself (I know – my issues have issues but I actually like my trainer)…

I stopped because a pajama clad little monkey butt had snuck up on me to say good morning and to get a hug…
so I stopped…and…quite differently - I didn’t start again…

If I had been “training” – I would have stopped and said good morning…talked to Bone for a minute or two and then gone back to my intervals.
But…this is the off season… and priorities are completely different.

Now my priority is to stop the show…stop the ride and go upstairs (albeit a little sweaty) to play with Marble Mania with him for 20 minutes before he heads off to school.


It was awesome!!!

I like athletics and I actually enjoy training. I also think I provide a good role model to my kids by showing them commitment to a goal but I also know there are opportunities…just like this morning… that I miss out on…

I am trying hard NOT to miss these moments when I can and this morning I didn’t and I very happy about that.

Whether I decide to race another full Ironman next year (most of my friends that know me well enough will read this as “which one” more than if :)) or not – I plan on trying to capture as many moments as I can like this morning along the way.

These moments create the balance in my life…a balance that I strive to maintain…a balance that is fragile as my mental state at mile 13 of the marathon (thanks again Kevin – you always have the PERFECT advice!!!)…but when I do find balance…I love it.

Here’s to off season…here’s to balance…

here’s to rainy days and traveling delays…

here’s to playing marbles in the morning…

and here’s to pushing Pookie away for another few weeks :)

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