Monday, September 10, 2012

Blog Post #600....Thoughts from the Tri-Journey

I've been anticipating blog post #600 for a little while, wondering what I might do with this monumental multiple of 100.

My weekend sort of set the stage for this post. Yesterday I returned from a quick trip to Myrtle Beach (pics here and here). The kids and I drove 360 miles each direction for 40 precious hours at the beach. Throughout the weekend, we talked about things that we don't normally discuss a whole lot - dating (no hurry), how to hold a wine glass (stem), drugs (spend that time and money making life genuinely and not artificially happy), why the shower curtain should go IN the tub (avoid flooding), what makes a life happy (little to do with money). It wasn't preachy or dictatorial, just conversational -- suggesting things for them to consider as they formulate their own ideas along their life journey.

So when I woke up at 4:11 am today, I knew what I would do with this post - 60 thoughts gleaned from my tri journey and reflected in the 600 blog entries written since May 4, 2008.

In absolutely no order and typed in one sitting:
  1. At least once, run under a full moon 
  2. Dream bigger than you think you should
  3. Smile for the race photographers, it won't slow you down
  4. It's OK to invest in a decent bike, but focus on your engine
  5. Train consistently - NO excuses (or at least very few)
  6. Train in solitude enough to develop your own positive thought patterns
  7. Give up soda
  8. Don't look at race results right after you finish. Wait and linger in your personal feelings before breaking the spell.
  9. For most people, it only takes six weeks to train for a 5K (not six months) and maybe 12 weeks for a sprint triathlon...not six months. Don't make it too big a deal.
  10. Run and race an assortment of distances. Know how to go long AND fast.
  11. Find goggles that work and buy multiple pairs
  12. Have a good massage therapist/rolfer/ART etc person
  13. Wake up early every day and go to bed early as often as you can
  14. Hang up your workout clothes to dry, they will last much longer
  15. Don't go out of your way to add carbs in your diet, we get more than we need
  16. Keep "emergency" clothing in your car just-in-case: arm warmers, hat, gloves, rain jacket, etc.
  17. If you want to race your best, work with a coach if at all possible
  18. Learn to change a's time.
  19. Have the equipment you need, but not to excess. Take care of it and it can last a long time.
  20. Support your local running and bike shops even if it means spending a little more to shop there
  21. Be systematic about race packing - have a list and keep all your race things together
  22. Live a healthy lifestyle, but don't be an annoying martyr
  23. Talk less about your sports, people aren't really that interested
  24. You should be hungry a few times a day (except pre-race day)
  25. Pump your tires and be sure your bike wheels spin freely before every ride
  26. Track your workouts (online is best)
  27. Get race nerves under control or they will wreck your enjoyment of the sport
  28. Eat green veggies, at least once but preferably twice per day
  29. Strength train 2-3x a week
  30. Keep emergency food in your car so you won't eat junk. It should be healthy, but not too tasty (so you won't eat it unless you need it).
  31. Accept that injuries are part of the journey and they have much to teach us. You'll bounce back.
  32. Plan your training and fit it into your schedule. It WILL fit...somewhere (even if at 5 am)
  33. Take a moment to be grateful every time you swim/bike/run
  34. Race in costume once in a while
  35. Encourage newcomers and others in the sport, be inviting and not exclusionary
  36. Don't take yourself too seriously (we are not professional athletes)
  37. Doctors are mainly helpful if something is broken or torn; for all other cases see a GOOD sports physical therapist or soft-tissue expert.
  38. Double-check the forecast, but train regardless of the weather
  39. Eat fast food nearly never; eat ice cream regularly
  40. Get off the road and hit the trails. Your soul and legs will thank you.
  41. Learn to suffer in workouts (where appropriate) so it's no big surprise on race day
  42. Don't overthink how you feel during a race week taper. Just ride it out.
  43. Keep your phone in a ziplock bag or waterproof case no matter what the forecast.
  44. Don't expect miracles on race day and be disappointed when they don't materialize
  45. Establish good pre-race routines - eating, packing, setup, warmup - and stick to them
  46. If you get the chance to race at a national level race, do it
  47. Eat out as a special occasion, not as a matter of habit (or laziness)
  48. Listen to your coach 98% of the time; reserve 2% to be a bit of a rebel when needed
  49. Don't waste time thinking about limits, you can't possibly know what yours are
  50. Have a little in reserve for that finishing kick, then burn up everything you have left in the tank even if there's no one chasing you.
  51. Invest in many identical pairs of high quality running socks; it makes laundry easier
  52. Have a professional critique your swim stroke periodically
  53. Be open minded (often requires shutting mouth and opening ears)
  54. Inspect and replace swim suits and bike shorts as needed, we really don't need to see your butt crack through the paper thin fabric
  55. Stretch and roll
  56. When injuries hit, don't waste time. Get help pronto (PT or massage) -- the root causes can extend beyond the area of pain. 
  57. Don't complain out loud; it's probably petty anyway
  58. Have a trusted adviser outside of the sport
  59. Be silly on a regular basis
  60. Love and be loved

To think I was the kid in school who would write big and use huge margins to "stretch" my papers out because I hated to write....LOL!

Thanks to all who read and comment and share a piece of their own journey with me!!