So, How Many Hats Do You Wear?

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Pensacola, Florida, United States
Husband. *Dog Dad.* Instructional Systems Specialist. Runner. (Swim-challenged) Triathlete (on hiatus). USATF LDR Surveyor. USAT (Elite Rules) CRO/2, NTO/1. RRCA Rep., FL (North). Observer Of The Human Condition.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Ask Coach, Kona, and Good Ab Days

Ran into the above cartoon as I was pondering my swimming prowess (or lack of it) yesterday morning. Wonder how many would-be triathletes would take up the sport if there was an "Arm Floatie" division (kind of like the Clydesdale/Athena division, or the Fat Tire division...) at the local event. The only saving grace I can think of for my own pitiful skills, outside of what I mentioned yesterday (10-percent of a typical triathlon), is obvious...I can only improve.
And it is true. I know because I'm not as horrible a swimmer as I used to be nearly two years ago. Someday I hope to be able to no longer use the 'I grew up in the freaking desert' excuse for my lousy swimming. I might find another one, or I might just resign myself to the knowledge that, unlike dolphins, I can type 60-plus words-per-minute. Take that, Flipper.

Seems one of my athletes has a girlfriend in her early fifties, who has not run consistently until this last year. They ran a 5K course near their house, finishing in a little under 40 minutes. The conversation continues: 'I could see her putting in 35-36ish without much problem. With proper training, I see (but haven't said, of course) a 30ish in her future. What do I do with her now? Track? A steady plan? She's not a competitor at heart, just a happy participant, but I know she'd like to progress. Advice?'
I didn't mention I felt "a happy participant" was a great goal - heaven knows with the number of cranky people I've seen after a 5,000-meter road race, we could use a few more happy participants. So, I suggested 'steady running. Let her go out, run & enjoy herself. If she gets the bug to compete & thinks she needs to improve, then you point her in the general direction of your "friendly neighborhood Jedi master." If you push she might rebel. If I push she might rebel. Let the incentive come from within.'
Sounds like one of my local triathlete friends will be paying a few more large bills between now & October 10th; he qualified for the Ironman Triathlon World Championships in Kona, Hawai'i. Talk about the flip side of the coin; yesterday a friend misses the privilege of finishing her second Ironman by eight minutes on the bike, today three knuckleheads at that same triathlon decide not to accept a Kona slot (For those of you who may not know, Kona is Boston for tri-geeks. You either pay lots of money to get a charity slot or you work your butt off & qualify.). Some times the circumstances beyond your control are in your favor, I guess. Congratulations, Mark. I guess Steven and I will be riding the IM Florida course about the same time you're making your way back toward Dig Me Beach.
One of my friends has motivated me to try & achieve the goal of having "good ab days." For lack of a better definition, I guess that means getting some definition in the abdominal area...which means getting rid of some of the adipose deposited in the general vicinity of my mid-section for starters. To facilitate these metabolic (diabolic?) changes, it seems necessary to profoundly cut back on french fried darn near everything. That's a lot easier than it looks, especially if you're the type who doesn't take lunch in with you.
Most fast food joints have menu offerings like Henry Ford's 'Model-A Dictum:' You can have anything you want, as long as it's deep-fried.

Good Ab Days notwithstanding, the dietary advice & counsel provided by six-time Ironman world champion Mark Allen & Huichol shaman Brant Secunda in their recent work, Fit Soul Fit Body, only made more & more sense. Something that flies in the face of if the furnace is hot enough it will burn anything. Face it, it ain't going to get any easier to become a lean, mean triathlon/running/swimming/bicycling/coaching machine if some sensible chances don't come to pass. Doesn't mean I can't enjoy myself, or my food.
It's balance, friends, that counts.

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