Going Forward

Written by Ian on . Posted in General

It’s been a while. Too long, I think. Maybe not long enough according to some. But I thought an update was in order.

After Ironman Lake Placid I took a little break to let the little aches and pains find their way to the exit and to recharge my mental and emotional batteries. Many people, myself included, will tell you that “you learn something from every race.” I believe this is true. Although I don’t necessarily think it must be something “new” per se. Rather, many times I find a race will reinforce wisdom gained from prior experience. Lake Placid brought with it both new knowledge and reinforcement of old. The former I have already touched upon but it was only within the past few weeks that I realized the latter.

As this is my job, I tend to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of training and racing and fall into the trap of looking onto the next race too soon. Sometimes even before I’ve put the pending race behind me. That is REALLY BAD. Not quite so bad, but still not a good idea, is rushing from one race into the build to another. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are numerous athletes who race “doubles” or even “triples” and I think that is fine. You can plan for that, execute the plan, tick off the races and even have great performances in the later outings. That is not what I am talking about here however. What I am talking about is trying to “rush the process.” Whether it is a single Ironman, a Half and a full, or two fulls within short order, there is a training, racing, and recovery process. And it is not just physical.

Coming off of Lake Placid with a Kona start secured, it was easy to focus on Kona rather than the immediate need for some downtime. Fortunately I was able to push aside  the anxious energy and stick to the recovery plan. However, I was not so graceful in my ability to accept the resulting “slow down” that accompanied my return to training and after a few days of letting frustration and doubt creep in, I had to remind myself to “enjoy the process.” Deep down I knew the fitness was there, I just needed to find it, dust it off and polish it. But I also needed to enjoy that work, that process. A build, a race and the recovery can take a great deal out of you. You have to respect that process and allow for it before moving on. Lake Placid, the whole process of it, reminded me of that. The very phrase “Peak Fitness” implies that there are times when you are not at that point. When you are in the bottom of the valleys that the peak stands tall above, and when you are on the upslope and down. You have to enjoy the process of climbing and descending that slope.

After those initial days of frustration, I have focused on enjoying the process and training has been going well. I wouldn’t say I have been in full “lock down” mode, but Kona looms large and my focus in high. With four weeks to go, I am feeling good and the pieces are certainly coming together.

For quite a few years now I have been wanting to race one of the more historic “local” races however it has always seemed that my schedule wouldn’t allow for it. This year, I am stoked to say its a perfect fit and I will get to race the SuperFrog half iron distance here in San Diego on Sept. 29th. Personally I like racing 2 weeks out from an Ironman and not having to travel is just an added bonus. Add to it the fact that the race is for a great cause (the Naval Special Warfare (SEALs)) and it only gets better. If you’re looking for a half, come join me.

So that’s whats been, what is, and what is coming up. SuperFrog and then Kona. I’ll try to enjoy the process. All of it.

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Ian

Professional triathlete, coach, lawyer.