Its funny how one can become quite reflective the week prior to an IM. I thought of the experiences that brought me to this race distance many years ago. Everyone has a story and I thought I’d share briefly my journey from a football, baseball, and basketball guy to triathlete.
The thought of taking on an IM began about 20+ yrs ago. A sticker, yes, a sticker was my FIRST exposure to IM. I can still remember the store and how I saw this sticker that came with a pair of Scott Tinley running shorts. On the back of the sticker were the distances of the three sports. It was at that moment that I was intrigued and personally challenged. I think we all have similar stories that drew us to this race distance and for me it was a sticker. I still have that sticker somewhere.
To keep this post short (I still need to get my bottles ready for IMF tomorrow) I will skip quickly to my first race that 'sealed the deal' for me. I think it was the summer of 1992 when I toed the line at the Rye Playland triathlon. Unbeknownst to me, this was a sprint championship of some kind. Mountain bike, worn out Nikes, cut off cotton T-shirt (with Somers High Football proudly represented on the chest), red spandex shorts, and an oversized helmet were my 'weapons' of choice. Take a look at the pictures to the right to see exactly what I am talking about!
I had NO clue what I was doing, but LOVED every minute of it! I represented with breastroke for the duration and probably finished dead last. Results were mailed to you back then and ChampionChip had not evolved yet.
Fastforward to 2000 and I am now ready to take on the IM distance. The Lord had other plans though. A motorcycle took me out 1 week prior to IMF. I should not be here today typing this post out. Brain trauma, pelvic and cocyx fractures, sliced and diced L leg, and hang time in the ICU took me out of the game. If you want to see a news clip on this take a look: http://www.wsoctv.com/family/14494269/detail.html
They did not get the story exactly right. I was not 'mad' I was actually grateful for this 'set back'. Say what!? Let me clarify please. This accident opened my eyes to how fragile and weak I was (and still am) and how strong and able Christ is! I could have taken my last breath that day, but He allowed me a BIG 'second' chance. He is a God of MANY second chances. It blows me away!
I found using a wheel chair and a walker to learn how to walk quite humbling.
So, IMF 2000 did not happen, but IM 2001 did. I can still remember my meticuluous note taking in my training log/journal. In those days I logged 20 to 25 hr weeks regularly. I put in the typical 100 plus mile rides and even some Raleigh to Wilmington rides. I loved the volume and the training. IMF 2001 went well and I was left wanting more. Missing the big island by minutes per two trips to the porta john did not settle well with me.
Lets bring this post to a close friends. Pressing fast forward again I find myself in 2010. This is my third go at IMF. What I look forward to most tomorrow is seeing the difference between my 2001 training default and my 2010 methods.
20 hrs of training per week vs. 7:30 hrs of training per week. How will it go friends? I certainly do not know the splits or the finishing time, but I know who does. The Lord will direct my steps and I look forward to seeing how the day will unravel.
It is important for me to note that I dig volume that is purposeful and relevant. I simply don't have the time like I did back in 2000 to train long. Thus the creation of "IM in 10" in 2009. I clearly believe one can 'break tape' at the IM distance in much less time and with much less training volume.
Have an outstanding weekend friends,