Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Gearing up ...

People say having a baby will change your life. It's such an obvious thing that being told that seemed almost annoying. Little did I know just how far reaching the "change your life" would go. I can't just go for a quick run. I can't hop in the lake off the dock in my back yard and go for a swim. There's no short TT ride around Clear Lake either. In fact, I feel lucky when I leave the room without protest from my little boy Mercury.

Even so, I'm finally catching onto the way to go about things, organizing my schedule and timing the help of friends and family. My mom comes over in the morning so I can run with the Medical Lake XC team in the morning ... at 8 AM! That's really tough for me, but I like getting it out of the way. When she doesn't come over, I take Mercury in the jogger. The runners and Mercury enjoy each other, but Mercury loves to go over the bumpy terrain and start humming to hear his voice vibrate with the bumps. He gets louder and louder until he's almost yelling and it's so funny hearing his voice breaking with the bumps that we have a tough time running.

The McCoy family treat him like one of their own. That's particularly beneficial since they take turns watching Mercury while Mike (McCoy) and I go out for our training. As little as I've been swimming, it's really REALLY tough to keep up in the swim. In fact, I get dropped every time and struggle to go 700m. I can still swim every distance up to Ironman, but I'm not confident about my ability to continue on with much success afterward. The biking is where I really benefit as this guy is easily one of the most talented triathlete bikers around. He's not quite as fast as Roger, but he's not far off.

In the evenings, Amanda and I split up the runs with him in the Jogger while the other does something that is less practical (biking) or not possible (swimming). We got the smallest helmet for him we could find when we went shopping for him, but it's still not a good fit. As a result, we don't take him out for many rides. I usually try to find another small kid who's willing to go for a ride as long as he/she tends to Mercury and keeps the helmet from tilting forward and covering his eyes. That would annoy me to have a helmet covering my eyes, so I can't imagine a baby would have a good time on a ride like that.

All of this boils down to me actually starting to get into shape again. I'm not in great shape, but my run is improving enough that I don't feel like running sub 6 pace is barely possible. Today I actually rode over 24 MPH for the first time in a very long time and that was after 47 miles yesterday and several hard days, including speed work (run) with XC early in the day.

I've had some great results in the past, including one side-ache away from an undefeated year with over a dozen course records. One thing I haven't done that I've always wanted to do ... only once though, is to win a half Iron. I've always trained specifically for sprint distances, which make Olympic tough, but possible. The half on the other hand was just way too far for my 50 mile weeks on the bike. So, if all goes well, I think I'll actually train for a half and see if I can bag a victory some time next year. I'll make sure to avoid races with Tim O'Donnell. I might even try to do it in an Ironman Canada qualifier and see if I can get a decent result there so my 16:50:57 isn't my only memory there ... along with my 8:21:59 marathon (one of the slowest in history).

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