Rub Some Dirt On It

2021 IRONMAN CHATTANOOGA TRAINING

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WEEK 21 – July 25, 2021 

I was riding with Tom, my buddy from work who is training for his first half-iron distance triathlon race. He shared a story with me about this character on a show called “Eastbound & Down,” about a washed-up former baseball player named Kenny Powers taking a job as a teacher or something. The principal introduces himself as quite the athlete as well and was training for a triathlon, which he seems to think that Kenny knows all about that and Kenny replies that he doesn’t because he plays real sports and isn’t trying to be the best at exercising. Hilarious.

Old Kenny reminds me of most coaches from my youth who would tell you to rub some dirt on it and walk it off if you got injured no matter how serious the injury was. Well, as we were coming back home on our almost 4-hour ride and had about an hour and a half of riding to go, Tom hit a patch of gravel on a turn, and down he went. He literally rubbed some dirt on it, and in it. His hands were chewed up pretty good and it did not look like a fun injury. I had mentioned in an earlier conversation that morning about wearing cycling gloves to A.) alleviate any pain from holding the handlebars, and B.) to keep your hands from getting messed up if you crash. I guess it doesn’t help to add to his pain to mention that fact again. To his credit and my astonishment, Tom picked himself up, assessed his injuries, and decided to tough it out and continue the ride home with bloody and throbbing palms. Tell me that isn’t impressive, Kenny.

As I ended my ride on that very hot and humid day, I still had 45-minutes of running to do. I put on some less sweat-soaked running attire, grabbed some water, and headed out for my run. As I passed the park at the beginning of the run I saw some young men just starting to play basketball and thought nothing of it. But when I returned one of them was vomiting into the trash can. It was interesting to me that I had just completed four hours of cycling and another 45-minutes of running and this kid couldn’t handle a short game of tossing a ball into the hoop and jogging back and forth.

Back in the mid to late twentieth century, they used to say that bowling and golf were the two most popular participation sports in America. I bet that they might not even make the list today. I’m not really sure what the most popular sport to participate in is today, but if I had to guess I would say it is running. I would be shocked if it wasn’t running. Even the other sports that are popular, almost all of them involve running. Most might guess the usual football, baseball, basketball sports would dominate the list, but really, you play those games as a kid in local rec leagues, maybe into high school, rarely in college, almost never professionally, and as an adult, c’mon man, you haven’t played football as an adult ever. When you get old you run for exercise. And if you like it and stick with it you run for sport. Finishing that first 5K or marathon or any race and the sense of accomplishment is just as awesome as getting a hit every fourth-time at-bat. You might want to practice more if you wanted to stay in the big leagues, Kenny.

I hate to disrespect any type of sport. They’re popular for a reason. The professionals make it look easy, and the moments I spent coaching and watching my kids play baseball and soccer were some of my greatest memories. But I don’t like having my sport and the athletes like Tom, who came from football and is quickly learning that swimming, cycling, and running isn’t so easy, dissing triathlon. So if you stick-and-ball guys think that our sport isn’t worthy or as hard as yours, come give ours a try. Tom will have some scars to prove to you that it isn’t so easy, and I bet we would garner some respect from you.

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Come ask Tom if this sport is easy.

Swims: 2 – 3000 yards

Rides: 3 – 108 miles

Runs: 5 – 41 miles

Getting It All Done

IRONMAN CHATTANOOGA 2019 TRAINING

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WEEK 21 – Monday 7/22/2019 – Sunday 7/28/2019

 

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Triathletes joke around about how everything gets neglected when training for an Ironman and typically cutting grass is one of the first things to get behind on.  Fortunately for me, I have plenty of time to cut the grass, take care of the pool, and the other stuff that I am usually responsible for.  However, I volunteered to chaperone at band camp this week like I have done the past several years and that takes three hours out of my afternoon to do things like the above.  But band camp is two weeks long, and it is worth my time to watch my daughter and her group practice their way into another awesome award-winning field show.  Certainly looking forward to chaperoning again this next week.  Fortunately, I was able to catch up with chores on Sunday.

With the chaperoning duties to do, I did a little shuffling around with the plan to get things done.

I did my Tuesday swim on my Monday rest day.  On Tuesday I got my run in on a very nice day.  Wednesday was the typical bike/run brick workout that went just fine.  Back to cycling on Thursday, but I pushed the swim until Friday.  On Friday, I did a brief two-mile shakeout jog and then did the swim before heading to band camp.  I didn’t want to overdo it because I was racing a sprint triathlon on Saturday.

Saturday was race day, and I did very well!  I nabbed 2nd place in my age group and was 17th overall.  You can read about it here:

Race Report: 2019 Manteno Triathlon

After the race, my training buddies Dave and Jeff rode to Manteno to meet me after the race and then we did a group ride back home together.  So cool that they came out to ride with me when they could have just ridden on their own.  Although I didn’t quite get in the mileage or riding time that the plan called for, I was happy with what I accomplished.

Sunday was a long run that ended up being about 11.5 miles.  I felt good on that rather warm and humid run.  I got a surprise when I saw Dave’s son Alex running at me and calling my name, with Dave not too far behind.  Heck, if I knew that they were still in town I would have joined them!

After that run I jumped in the pool, rehydrated, and then started catching up on my chores.  First was mowing the grass, and then I did some more power washing the sidewalk that I didn’t get to a couple of weeks ago.

There’s time for training, family, and chores when training for Ironman.  You just have to be resourceful.

 

WEEK 21 TRAINING TOTALS:

Swims: 3 total, 4682 total yards

Rides: 4 total, 86 total miles

Runs: 5 total, 28.5 total miles

 

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Summer is flying by!