Friday, August 20, 2010

This one's for YOU, Alan R.

Sleep. Swimming. Sleep. Swimming. Guess which one won this morning? I deliberately didn't set the alarm clock, though that doesn't mean much. Amelia the alarm clock cat takes her breakfast wake up duties very seriously. Her internal kitty clock runs very fast. Even faster now that the vet gave me shit for allowing her to gain so much weight. She's now on a more restricted diet. At least she likes the new food, given her enthusiasm at inhaling it.

Once I fed her I went back to bed, and slept through the time I'd have had to be up to make pool opening time. I slept through the pool opening time. I slept through the last moment to get into the pool so I could finish before the floatie invasion. It's not that I didn't want to swim. Not at all. Lots of mornings just like this I'd have gone. I could have gone today and probably have had a perfectly nice swim. But I figured if I was asleep, then I needed the sleep more than another swim.

Even when I started my current work project from home, my feet were reminding me they wanted to go for a run today. My legs are a bit tired, but a run would be perfect for loosening them up and blowing some of the cobwebs out of my brain. My coach had yet another gradual build scheduled, and yes I suck at just about all gradual builds. Biking, on a trainer, carefully watching the cadence and heart rate monitor is about the only place I've succeeded in a gradual build. The big issue with the run is that there isn't much space between what I generously call "run" (most people would say this is being grossly optimistic), and the fastest I can run for more than a few minutes. Which, in the grand scheme of things isn't very fast. Still, I don't have to be fast, as long as I don't stop.

Once upon a time I worked at a place where lots of people ran. Before work, at lunch time, and after work. I didn't run then, and only started swimming during that time. I used to yank the runner's chains as they went out for a run in 30 C heat. I've since apologized to those that I've run into again. One of the guys that worked there used to run a lot. He was trying to explain to me one day about sightseeing, and being able to get more stuff in because he ran from place to place rather than walked. He'd run a bit, hang out at whatever was there to look at for however long it was interesting, then run to the next place. He also introduced me to a great goal for life: "I aspire to schedule my work life the way most people schedule their vacation life." I'm sure working on it. It's a pity he can't really run anymore, plantar fasciitis.

So today I ran around the neighbourhood, mostly not too fast, not going any particular route, but going past a few places where interesting stuff is happening. The siding being replaced on the townhouse we used to live in down the street. A couple of homes where they are doing major work on their front yards. The bakery that is opening soon in the nearby strip mall. Some painters discussing the poor taste of the home owner, whom I assume is NOT within ear shot. I'd speed up and run fast for a few minutes, then slow down again before I got too tired. Mainly I was concentrating on having good form and light feet no matter the pace. That was about 45 minutes and I'm really pleased how it went.

At the moment I'm feeling calm and confident about the upcoming week.
There is lots to do, but I have lists.
There is a very long tough day coming up, but I have trained for it.
I've never done it before, but I've had great coaching, and lots of advice.
I'll be alone in my head most of the day, but that's been the case for almost every training session, AND there will be people cheering for me.
I'm the one who has to power every stroke, every pedal turn, every step of the day, but there's a small team of people that have helped put me in a position to do those things. They believe I can do it.
There are millions of people that would give anything they have to be able to swim, ride, and walk, let alone run, let alone be able to do those things well enough to attempt an Ironman distance. I am unbelievably lucky and privileged to be able to do this at my age.

My goals:

  • No need to visit the med tent during or after.
  • Cross the finish line under the cut off without having to sprint and collapse and barf to make it.
  • Have fun, and enjoy what is going to be a unique experience.

I think my two mantras are going to be:

  • Pain is temporary, pride is forever.
  • Brag the rest of your life, because it ain't bragging if you done it.
  • Don't stop till you're done.


  1. What...I don't "get one?" Who's this "Alan" fellow, anyway?

  2. Have fun Keith (which I think is the most important goal)!

  3. Good luck Keith! And yes, don't come and visit me in the med tent, I am sure I will be busy enough ;). Your bib number is added to the list of people to track.

  4. Hey Keith, glad to have apparently had a positive influence on someone's life, haha! I don't too much miss running, just grateful I can cycle, scramble, rock and ice climb and all sorts of other stuff these days. Thanks for the blog comments!! Keep on running, riding, begets energy!! Alan

  5. don't forget the running in -24C weather...wish i hadn't done that because then there was no excuse to go out unless it was colder. lol.

    great goals and mantras! you will have a ton of support out there and you will accomplish this goal! of that i have no doubts.

    see you soon!

  6. Have a GREAT race, Keith, you really deserve it. I may not be there in person to cheer, but I'll be cheering you every step of the way from l'il ol' England following you on athlete tracker.

    And that feeling WHEN you cross the line, will just be, oh so good :)

    Enjoy it :)


  7. Your "two" mantras, huh? I'm thinking that you've got so much pool water on the brain that you have lost your ability to count. Here in Ameruka we say, "One, two, THREE". Perhaps, however, counting is different in Kanadia?

    Good luck, Keef! You can do it!!!
    (The counting, I mean, and not necessarily the IM.)



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