Sunday, November 11, 2012

The long, hard road ahead: week 1

It's no secret that I have high hopes from my 2013 season. I'm the first of 4 kids, all of whom (with the exception of myself) have competed in the Olympic Trials with my brother making it all the way to the Canadian finals. We were all born with an extra dose of ambition which suits us in some aspects of life -- such as athletics -- but also means we can be deficient when it comes to other characteristics like putting others before oneself, sustaining friendships etc. I do try but I guess you can't have it all! And since it's already made its rounds in some circles I'll go ahead and publish it: I want to be AG world champion.

Now some may be quick to label me arrogant, but I call this accountability. I have a long, hard road ahead and there will be many moments when only the thought of the skeptics will renew my sense of purpose and allow me to complete that threshold set or wake up at 4:30 in the morning. So to my supporters and skeptics alike, I thank you.

I think it's safe to say that for the majority of the world's people, Ironman is considered taboo, even crazy. Heck I was in that camp a year ago when the most I'd run was a couple miles and the thought of biking, much less driving 100 miles had me queasy. I started small, a sprint and several back to back races culminating in a half-iron distance. It was the idea, the temptation of conquering "the impossible" that brought me to register for my first full-Iron distance. I made all the rookie mistakes: over-training, under-tapering, you name it but I finished it. And please trust me when I say that given the proper training Ironman is nothing close to crazy. It's fun, it's social, it's healthy... And I continue to compete because I am addicted to the atmosphere, the competition, the smell of chlorine and the endorphins released in training. I compete because I want to prove to myself that an all-around mediocre athlete can be the best at something. That a chronic asthmatic who spent back-to-back winters battling pneumonia in the ER, who to this day has the lungs of a long-time smoker can be a world champion. That when you put your mind to it, anything is possible.

Now enough of my monologue, lets get to week one of my L,HRA:

On Monday I kicked off my new program which in triathlete lingo is called "the base." In my case this base is designed to get me strong and efficient. Specifically, we're focusing on my legs and core and are optimizing my run stride and relaxing my body. This means 100 crunches every morning, track sessions with the coach, and a couple sessions a week in the gym. Every grain of stress in an endurance athletes body is wasted energy, and over 140.6 miles the smallest tension can mean a couple minutes so this stuff is important.

This week I spent some time on the track, on a yoga mat, and wasted myself in the gym pushing weights that are apparently far too heavy -- it's a good sign because this means I have a ways to go and I'm looking forward to how this materializes in terms of a bike split. On Thursday I flew to LA for my real job where I had the honor of working with Jason Reitman (of Juno and Up In The Air fame) on a new commercial for Google. With trashed legs from the gym this proved to be good timing because business travel never bodes well for training. Today, I got in an easy bike ride with some threshold pick ups with my father -- as the season picks up these are harder and harder to come by so I was happy to be able to spend this time with him.

With that, I wish you a happy work week (yes, I have a day job too) and leave you with this completely random but fantastic song:

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