Share The Trail And Don’t Screw It Up

IRONMAN LOUISVILLE 2020 TRAINING

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WEEK 2 – MARCH 23 > 29, 2020

IRONMAN TRAINING IN THE TIME OF PANDEMIC – PART II

When the state of Illinois mandated that we all quarantine ourselves by staying in place or staying at home, the governor allowed us to still be able to go outside to exercise as long as we maintain a safe “social” distance of six feet of separation.  It was great seeing people out walking, riding bikes, and running on sidewalks and trails that were pretty much just taken advantage of by the regulars – runners and bikers like me that I see all the time, and the few neighbors that will go on a daily walk.  People were making an effort to enjoy the time to get some fresh air and utilize trails that are a great benefit to our community.  Until the people ruined it.

People ruin everything.  Give them an inch and they’ll take a yard.  In the case of our gift of being able to get outside, people ignored the mandate of avoiding group activities, openly playing soccer and basketball, and riding and running in groups.  It got so bad in the city of Chicago that the mayor gave them a stern warning.  And what did the people do?  They ignored the warning forcing the mayor to take action and closing the Lakefront Trail, one of the most used trails in the state.  No more getting exercise outdoors.

I was riding my bike on my local trail this week and I also encountered groups of people walking on the trails together and other gatherings of kids playing at parks and team related sports like basketball.  I guess everyone figures if they aren’t affecting you directly there really isn’t any harm.  But that isn’t true, and the reason we are staying in place and avoiding each other is to stop the spread of this deadly virus.  But now I fear that our local trail may get closed as well, and that won’t make me happy.  I’m betting that won’t happen, but here’s what we can do to help make sure it doesn’t happen:

  • Train alone instead of groups.  The runners in our local running club are pretty good about doing the right thing, but group runs were still going on.  Our local running club leaders implored runners to stop posting group photos so that it wasn’t appearing that we were ignoring the rules, and to consider running in much smaller groups or running alone.
  • Follow the safe social distancing rules as well as the trail rules.  The six feet of separation rules apply to families as well as friends and other trail users.  Also, if you are new to using the trail, follow the posted rules that are posted at nearly all of the trail street crossings and trailheads.  The most abused trail rule of them all is “All Users Stay Right /  Pass Left” yet I encounter groups all the time and have to remind them to share the trail.  Other trail users following the rules shouldn’t have to be inconvenienced by someone not following the rules.
  • Be courteous.  We are all trying to enjoy the outdoors and people need to understand that what you are doing shouldn’t hinder what other trail users are doing.  Walk your dog on a leash and keep him on the correct side.  Cyclists should yield to pedestrians.  All users should follow the signage and stop at road crossings. Be safe.

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Training Week Wrap-up

Week 2 was a typical spring training week.  The weather was iffy this week, so I did spend some time training indoors.  This is my fifth time training for an Ironman and I have to remind myself not to overdo it too much in these early training weeks.  This week I found myself pushing my running pace more than I should have and that could lead to bad things.  It’s a long journey to get to race day and blowing myself up in week two is not in the plan.

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More than once, apparently.  

 

TOTALS FOR WEEK 2:

  • Swim:  0 / 0 yards
  • Bike:  3 rides  /  44 miles
  • Run:  5 runs  /  19 miles

 

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Getting off my soapbox for now.

Attitude is Everything

IRONMAN CHATTANOOGA 2019 TRAINING

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WEEK 2 – Monday 3/11/19 – Sunday 3/17/19

I ended this week with the typical Sunday run and was not in a good place mentally.  I woke up on this fine St. Patrick’s Day to find about an inch of freshly fallen snow and I immediately slumped my shoulders and trudged downstairs.  Will this winter never end?  Come on, already!  I also had strained my upper left leg groin muscle on Friday’s easy run.  I can’t even go easy and not injure something anymore.  It seems my attitude lately has been pretty low.

My fellow Gunner teammates are feeling somewhat off as well.  In our group text chats this week we complained about the change to Daylight Savings Time and how that has screwed us up; our necks (Alex) and butts (me) hurting on the bike training; Alex declaring “I HATE THIS SPORT” after a windy, cold, and wet ride that was mentally draining for him; and to wondering why this sport costs so much.

By the time I got around to doing the run, the sun had pretty much melted what snow had fallen, leaving the paved trail void of any slippery spots.  As I made it around the block I questioned if I had dressed warmly enough and continued on into the nature preserve where it wasn’t long until I encountered two dogs being walked off-leash and in the preserve where they weren’t allowed.  They didn’t bother me physically, but mentally I wondered why can’t people follow the rules.  As I began climbing the hills on this run I paid close attention to that strained groin and hoped that I would not strain it more.  I backed off when I felt like it might be getting bothered and promised myself to take it easy today.  Heading back home in the last mile of the 6 total miles I ran I almost got hit by a lady who must believe that stop signs are optional, and that yielding the right of way to a pedestrian who was actually crossing the street at the time was not in her ability.  When she finally looked left and saw me she gave me the most puzzled look, like what the f*ck was I doing there in the street.  The look changed from surprise to screw you, buddy, when she realized that I wasn’t happy with her ability to follow the Rules of the Road and not kill people.  It wasn’t more than 1/4 mile later when I made it to the big intersection and pressed the WALK button and waited my turn.  That’s when the next driver decided stop lights were optional when turning right on red and didn’t bother waiting for me.

As a runner, you learn to run defensively and anticipate those kinds of things, but when you deal with them nearly every run it starts to wear on you.  When I got home I realized this week should have been a fun and easy one.  Week 2 out of 30 should be fun, but it seemed it had other ideas for me and my training partners.  But when I pushed the code to open the garage door I realized that I had made it home safely, I had gotten my run in even though I had strained my muscle, and I had completed the bikes and runs for the week, preparing the foundation of another Ironman attempt.  The sun was out, the snow was gone, and in reality, things are looking pretty good.  I have to remember that a positive attitude can go a long way in making 30 weeks of training be pleasurable.  That is on me.

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I took my bike in for a tune-up to make sure that it’s ready for riding when the weather gets better.  I’m glad I did.  Turns out the bottom bracket needed work, and one of my derailleur pulleys was cracked, so both got replaced.

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It looks like the bike is in good running shape again and ready for the season.  I can’t wait to get off the stationary bike and head outside.

 

Week 2 Training Totals:

Swims:  None     >    Rides:  3 total / 50 miles     >     Runs:  4 total / 17 miles

 

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Looking forward to Week 3!!!