Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Salem Triathlon.....My firstTriathlon

Another racing post (I know...do I think about anything else?). I do, but not lately! As I was getting into doing marathons, my wife was busy doing triathlons. Yes, she is amazing and strong and inspires me. She is getting better and better and I think one day she will beat me for sure!

Last year, Abi did the Salem Triathlon and I brought our kids up and supported her. The atmosphere, the landscape and the feeling in the air at a race is what I live for. It's funny how you start to get into different sports. I got into running b/c of my sis Chelle. I got into biking b/c of my Dad and bro-in-law Steve (who have been slowly working on me for years to buy a bike). And I got into swimming b/c of Abi (since she swam and dove her whole life). Put them all together and all of the sudden, you are an aspiring triathlete! Abi convinced me to sign up for the Salem Tri this year. I will never be the same!!

NOTE: if at any time you think to yourself "hey, this tri thing sounds like fun....I want to do this"...please be aware that I am putting a disclaimer on the monetary strain it will put on your life!! It is expensive to get into initially....and there is a maintenance cost with racing and keeping equipment and gear in good working condition!!

So here are a few pics.....

Abi and I both finished the swim in 14:23.....actually, Abi beat me on the swim by .12 seconds. She has much better form than I do!!! I actually am thinking in my head "what just happened....did I just drown? what am I supposed to do now...oh, ya, bike..." I ended up having to sprint down to make my heat b/c of a wetsuit malfunction and then I started out totally winded!

I was so happy to get on my bike after the swim...Abi didn't have as good a time since she got two flats and tacked on 25 minutes changing tires. She is such an athlete though and just jumped back on the bike and finished.

I got to run in with Abi after I had finished, since her heat started later than mine...I brought the kiddos along to run in with Mom! Over all, it was a great experience and I am a tri guy for life. I ended up finishing at 1:15:36 and I was happy. Abi came in at 1:47:27 on the race clock....but if you conservatively take off 24 minutes for her flat tires, she would have come in at more like 1:22:27.....like I said, she is going to give me a run for my money next year!!

I love triathlons. Ultimately, I want to do an Ironman.....but next year, I'll start out with a few Olympic distance triathlons, throw in a couple of Centuries on the bike and LOTOJA....a few half marathons, maybe a full marathon, who knows.....to many great races to choose from!!

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Provo Half Marathon....My first 13.1....

Now that time has passed since my first half-marathon.....if you asked me what my favorite distance is, I would definitely say 13.1. It is a long enough distance that you are forced to train for it, but short enough to where you are not groaning and aching for 3 days straight and looking at a flight of stairs as though it is wired with tiny electrical live wires that send sharp pains up your entire leg upon impact! There is nothing like remembering--with EVERY painful step--what you accomplished running a marathon. But there is also something to say about being able to go run, and then come home and mow the lawn, play with the kids, and kick it with your wife on the couch watching a movie. So all in all, I would highly suggest the half-marathon to anybody who wants to push the limit, but wants to ease into it before doing the full blown thing. A good one to start with is the Provo Half Marathon. This is the second race I did and I loved it. I finished the race in 1:56:20...not too much below my marathon pace. Races can't always be about how fast you go or whether you make a goal and achieve it....sometimes it is just fun to go out and enjoy the race, the atmosphere, the people and the thrill of racing (Even though I believe all that, I can't seem to live without setting a goal or getting that "PR" at every race!). This is a tradition race that Chelle and I started doing. It is scenic, there is cool weather, and it is on a trail, so you don't have any distractions.

Don't worry, only a few more race re-caps to go after this one...I am a slacker and have to get it all out!!

My first Marathon.....June 3rd, 2006

The clan is sitting around the dinner table one cold January day laughing and talking when out of the blue, my sister Chelle pipes up and says "Hey, I am going to start training for the Salt Lake Marathon in June....who's with me". An odd silence filled the room as we all looked at her like she was a crazy woman. I must have some craziness in me too, since I raised my hand and said "I'm in". Mind you, I hadn't run more than a couple of miles on my longest runs and I used to buy running shoes because they looked "cool"....the thought of functionality and support in a shoe was a foreign concept to me. I think there have been a lot of choices in my life that have been on a whim, not really knowing what exactly I was getting myself into....and I have this unfortunate habit of not quitting something that I start (like the one year of high school football I got suckered into b/c my buddy Sid didn't want to join alone.....he quit once two-a-days started and left me hangin'.....but I wouldn't quit....I should have!! I think I played a total of 20 minutes in a real game!).

Anyway.....training started with our first run. We met bright and early and I was so enthusiastic. Remember, I had no idea what I was getting into!! So I strapped on my fashionable NB 797's that I bought purely for cool factor, and Chelle and I went out and ran....and I was devastated....pain, frustration and my new found hatred for my crappy NB shoes!! This is the point where my whimsical decision to run a marathon started to become an obsession. Long story short....I went and go the right shoes, the right gear and the right knowledge of how to traing for a marathon....and here is the result:

This is me running....right now in my head I am thinking to myself..."what the hell have I got myself into (when you are in pain and you have 12 miles to go, you swear, believe me...everybody does!!). At this point I am thinking to myself "I trained in the dead of the winter and I hate the cold (Chelle can attest to my many complaints about the freezing cold weather....I don't know why she doesn't run with me anymore!!) and these bafoons decided to put the marathon on the day that molten lava was coming out of the man-holes!!" It was hotter than all get out...but you just keep moving your legs (that are subsequently burning and melting into the ground). My goal was under 4 hours...that is all I cared about. When you set that type of goal, 3:59:59 is absolutely acceptable! There is a great sense of accomplishment when you hit your goal time, whatever it is. It could be 24 hours....it doesn't matter....that is the beauty of marathons...you run against yourself, your best time, your own goal....everybody else is just a spectator, even the other runners. I finished at 3:57:12.....an average pace of 9 minute miles. It was spectacular!!

Words can't express how you feel when you see the finish line and then cross it.....I think the first marathoners went 26 miles to start out, and then they thought to themselves "what could we do to really slam your hopes of finishing right at the end of the race.....ah, yes....let's add .2 miles!!" That last .2 miles is the most exhilerating, emotional and painful distance in the whole marathon, hence the dismantled facial expression!

I had this to look forward to throughout the race and especially at the end. There is something about seeing your kids, the expression of absolute joy and pride that they have on their faces as they cheer "GO DADDY". I wouldn't trade that for anything.

The whole clan at the end. The crowd, the unknown spectators that push you along and somehow, not knowing any of them for the most part, they buoy you up and give you that extra boost. Some of them know from experience, some can just imagine; they all just come out and cheer for strangers, people they don't know. It was one of the best experiences in my life. It has spawned a much greater passion for endurance sports that I am proud to be a part of.....

Let the updates begin!

OK....the next few posts are going to be a racing re-cap over the past 5 months. After that, I am going to introduce my favorite people in the world....Abigail (wife) Brandt (son) Hadlee (daughter) and Elsie (daughter). I would have introduced Fred and Tyrone (goldfish), but they died a while back.....My son re-assured me that it is "ok, dad" so I am not too sad.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Blogger blog

OK, so my wife set up my blog and this is the first post she put on here....I figure this is a better way to capture moments in time that I would otherwise never put in my so-called "journal" (which is basically a dust collector at the side of my bed). It seems as though blogging is dominated by the women in my life (my wife and sisters are all serious blogging advocates), so I hesitate to be thought of as "girly". But then again, who am I kidding?! I watch the Disney channel when my kids aren't around (Hannah Montana and Kim Possible are a couple of my favorites) and I enjoy chick flicks, sometimes more than my wife! In any case, hopefully you will find something that resonates with you here since I expect it to resonate with me....Peace...

Here is a quick preview of what the majority of this blog will be dedicated to.....if I am not spending time with my beautiful wife or my 3 incredible children, I am either running, biking or swimming!

Run Bike Swim.....Need i say more!!!