I was talking with the gentleman who works at the printing company we work with, as we always get off topic from work stuff and get onto other interests, and he was telling me how he just takes a tea break (he's English, go figure) twice a day and writes for 15 minutes. Hm. I think he's on to something. It's all about making the time to do things. I hate to be so scheduled, but in this busy life we all live, sometimes it's simply inevitable. I write down WHEN I'm going to yoga, WHEN I'm swimming, WHEN I'm cycling, WHEN I have meetings, WHEN I'm going to get my laundry done, WHEN I'm going grocery shopping; why not write down WHEN I write?
The idea of 15 minutes is great too, because it means that you're not sitting down and thinking "gee, I want to write about that race but I don't have an hour!" Even if the thought process gets interrupted, at least I've got the damn thing done in 2-3 days as opposed to 2-3 weeks. I LOVE writing about my experiences.
So, 15 minutes, twice a day. I'm going to start with 15 minutes a day for a week. I'm a creature of habit, so once I build into a habit, it's not hard to keep doing it - I just have to really commit to it.
As for the other stuff -
a) Injury is healed. Thank you for everybody's concern and well-wishes. Cristi was right (and everybody else who said so) - the rest was good for me, and I can flex my toes without really even any tightness in the ligaments, so that makes me very happy. I've gone on some long runs and been fine, still taking the precautionary measure of ice and ibuprofen afterward, but everything is great. The rest was also really good for me- on my long easy ride Saturday, I simply just felt SO GOOD.
b) It's a really fantastic feeling when you can say that an avg speed of 18mph on the bike is "easy, long slow distance pace."
c) I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT VINEMAN.
d) Thinking a lot about what all the prep means to me - the event itself is just half of the experience. I so thoroughly love what training brings to me: the socializing, the focus, the adventure, the challenges and the strength it builds in my mind and body. I honestly can say that I don't care if I don't get top whatever, or if I don't make it to Clearwater. That's not to say that I'm not going to try for it. Maybe saying "I don't care" isn't the right phrase. My purpose next Sunday is to go out and perform to the absolute best of my ability and enjoy pushing my body. If me pushing my hardest and digging deeper than ever before means I get to go to Clearwater, then that's even better. More than anything, I am just so excited to go out and see what I can do after all these months of preparation and hard work.
Klaus Barth was an Olympic swimmer and a national record holder in West Germany who, after moving to California, because a swimming and water polo coach. In his mid 30s, he turned to triathlon and in the 3rd year of his Hawaii Ironman debut, came in fourth behind Dave Scott, Mark Allen and Scott Tinley. Apparently, not only was he a fantastic athlete but a fantastic coach who truly inspired his teams.
In 2000 he was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme, which is the severest type of malignant brain tumor one can have. True to form, he outlived the usual prognosis, which now stands at 12-15 months (back in 2000 I'd estimate it was probably 9-12 months - they hadn't yet approved the oral chemotherapy that is standard treatment for this type of tumor). He passed last October (2006), and I was sad to hear it. I first heard about him from Scott Tinley's Tinley Talks column of Triathlete Magazine in April 2006. I couldn't believe that this all-star triathlete had been diagnosed with this horrible disease that I tell people about every day and he was still surviving! I began to tell the patients I spoke to about Klaus, and meant to write into Triathlete mag as well, but erm...never got around to it. (Tinley also wrote a great article in April 2007 on the broader subject of dealing with the randomness of having life threatening or life-altering illnesses. Interesting perspective: http://www.triathlete-digital.com/triathlete/200707/?pg=26)
When I found out he passed, there was a write-up in the Long Beach Gazette about him. One quote in particular really moved me, and it's become a mantra of mine during training:
You have no idea what the human body can do.
"Berg remembers how Barth’s training influenced him and his fellow swimmers at Wilson.
“He sat us down for one of his Klaus talks before one of our workouts,” Berg recalls. “He was a specimen of strength. He was truly inspirational. He told us, ‘Boys, you have no idea what the human body can do.’... Then he had us go out and do 70 100s and would ask ‘How are you doing?’”