Seizing life's joys and challenges physically, mentally, and emotionally.


Don’t Wait

Don’t wait. Life is unpredictable.

That was a written in a text I received yesterday morning from a friend I swim with. I had sent out several “Happy Thanksgiving” messages and he and I were chatting a bit after I swam. He had run the local Turkey Trot that morning and now is considering a marathon after a few years off. Being a distance swimmer first, he is also looking into a 10 mile swim next summer. That is something I can not imagine, nor do I have the desire to attempt. I did share with him something I have not even written in my blog yet. This past Monday the 19th Ironman Arizona in Tempe had open registration online for the very few spots available. I went online just when registration opened and I was able to apply. I saw the words “your spot will be held for 15 minutes while you complete the application” and I started slowing down my typing. I have been considering a full Ironman triathlon, but my initial plan has been to do it in 2014. In the end I decided to wait. I would like to do another marathon next year as well as at least one century bike ride before I commit. When I told my friend I stopped the registration process because I wanted to wait, he replied “Don’t wait. Life is unpredictable.”

The race filled up within an hour, so I know I am not going to do it. There is a small part of me that has not completely committed to participating in a full Ironman triathlon. The distances are daunting – 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of cycling, and 26.2 miles running. All must be completed within 17 hours. I think I could complete it within 14 hours or so, but still the idea is overwhelming to me right now. Not to mention the training commitment. What I do know is that I have to be completely committed to the task before I register. That is what held me back. Still my friend’s words resonate within me.

This morning I ran 5 miles easy. I took today off from work, so I was able to sleep in and run while the sun was shining. I tackled the hills in my neighborhood and ran the 5 miles in just under an hour and kept my heart rate average at 133. My efficiency is certainly improving. I did not run with music but rather took in the experience both in sight and sound. And my mind rolled over those words. Don’t wait. Life is unpredictable. I do not regret waiting for the Ironman registration. But I want to remember these five words for so much that comes my way. Life is unpredictable. I want to continue with triathlon and running for as long as I am able and take on challenging races when I know it is right. More than just in sport, I don’t want to hold back sharing my appreciation for those in my life, experiencing things I have on my wish list, and taking in the beauty of each day. I know I do not want to have regrets because I waited when I could seize the day – today.


Swimming Uphill

Today I swam a 3,400 meter workout my friend suggest I do. It was very well thought out and the send off times were based on what I have done in my 100 meter and 1,500 meter time trials. The warm up was the now standard 1,000 meters of 500 swim, 300 pull, and 200 kick. The main set totaled 2,000 meters: 4×100 on 2:15, 1×400 on 9:00, 4×100 on 2:10, 1×400 on 9:00 and 4×100 on 2:05. Cool down was 400 pull. When I saw the main set, I did cringe at the last 4×100 on 2:05. I struggled to get all 6 100’s in on 2:10 on Tuesday. The overall time per 100 meters of the main set is 2:12. I averaged that when I did the 1,500 time trial. Unfortunately that was not the case today. My average for the main set was 2:18. I knew after the first 4×100 this was not going to be my best time. I felt as if I was swimming uphill. There is so much I can attribute it to: this is my first week of 5 swims, the older man sharing the lane with me was slower and I had to avoid bumping him, I lifted last night…. I could go on. It was just not my day. I have said before, I have to work hard at improvement. The hand I have been dealt is uneven, my passion for triathlon and my natural ability are not equal.

Motivation is what keeps me going. Today was a hard one to dig deep, but I did. And I was given a good reminder why. A fellow blogger posted an amazing story today. Please check out Manage Better Now and read about Sister Madonna Buder. I don’t want to butcher my friend’s wonderful writing, but the summary is she is a nun who holds the record as the oldest to complete an Ironman race. She has completed 45 Ironman Distances. There have also been races she didn’t complete, but she has not given up. She plans to compete this year in the 80+ age group. Some days are just not going to be the best, I mentioned that on Monday. It is my nature to analyze why it didn’t go well and what can be done to improve. I also have to be pleased that I did it, and now I have a bench mark to improve upon.

Not every workout will be an improvement of the last. Life is not that linear. We have slopes and curves and the lines are sometimes broken. But we still get from point A to point B. How we do it, what we learn from it, and how we pass it on is up to us. I am determined to make the best of it and be grateful for friends who take time to coach me and inspire me.