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Pretty Fly For A Tri Guy

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Greetings from the flip side! Now that really was a long break. Yes, same old same old. Life in general has been a repeated story of task piled onto another task. So I won’t bother to repeat that stuff. You know the score. I’m still circling between black holes and worm holes.

In my last post, I mentioned my quest for finding more balance in my training and life. Well, things have certainly headed in the right direction, and now too far in the wrong direction. I was in a good place for a good few months. I still was getting in 20-30 miles of running week. Still swimming and riding about twice a week. Then, this thing in life happened that I call the “Van Plague.” I have four kids, and with those odds, every day of life is like taking a big gulp from a vat of snot mucous made from every kid in the Flathead Valley.

So first, it was my oldest daughter with a sore throat and fever. Then my oldest boy with a sore throat and fever. Then my youngest daughter with croup and a fever of 104 for several days. Then our two year old with fever, diarrhea, and vomiting multiple times a day for three days. So like being at the DMV, my wife and I knew that it was only a matter of time before we would get royally screwed. First it was my wife one week ago. Then I got my infection in my Easter Basket. After three days of low grade body aches, couch, and sore throat, the skirmish against my immune system went into full shock and awe. Throat soreness reached Ironman ass post bike and I almost completely lost my voice. Thankfully, due to a million throat lozeranges and a steroid burst, I am feeling better today and ready to roll.

Tomorrow, after six days completely off, I will be donning the shoes and cleats again for some much needed cleansing. Normally, when I take a few days off, I end up sweating up a storm when I start up again, so I have asked my neighbors to start building arks for tomorrows breakout. I’m kind of interested to see what happens when I try to workout while tapering down off steroids. I’m happy to say that this will be completely new territory for me as I have only ever taken a steroid pak once before in my life. I remember being somewhat hyper then, but this time, man, it is like being Willy Wonka fresh out of Ritalin.

My push ups tomorrow!

My push ups tomorrow!

On the flip side of things, being stuck on my couch in misery has left me plenty of time to Google nourish my forays into rebalancing my life. One thing I have been enjoying greatly is getting back to my love of fishing. Perhaps this is related somewhat to my renewed faith. Or maybe I just like whipping water. But in any case, I have always had trouble dealing with the fact that I had hardly ever fly fished, or fished period for that matter, after moving to the motherlode of fly fishing that is Montana. So one day, I decided, “I’m going fishing this weekend.” And so the story of my learning to fly fish in Montana began.

First of the season off the Flathead River.

First of the season off the Flathead River.

The best thing about fly fishing as a hobby: I can do it with my family. Triathlon is great, but it was always an individual activity, even when racing with friends. I can’t remember a more recent happier moment than helping my two oldest kids land their first cutthroat trouts this past month. Now our summer plans are full of trips up the North Fork of the Flathead, or heading down south to the Clark Fork or Bitterrroot. Even the wife is signing up for fly fishing lessons.

And wouldn’t you know it, I even found a way to combine the holy trinity of things in my life now: fly fishing, running, and beer. Behold, the world of “Flyathalon.”

When I first saw this, I figured it was a joke. But nope, it is really there, and people really do this. I can’t wait to show up with my aero helmet on.

Okay, I’ll be back after I put these roids to use!

Tapering To The Limit

Two weeks to go until Boise and its now officially taper time. I say officially because things already started winding down volume wise last week. But after today things get real simple in the training plan: stay loose and healthy.

After a rough recovery period following last weekend’s race and race rehearsal, things have started shaping up. Thanks to divine intervention by Mother Nature, I got out on the bike three times this week. THREE! Things are feeling better with each ride, and I will be ready for the road by race day. Run has picked up again after the tough three miles of the race rehearsal. Started the week out with a slow three miles on Wed. On Friday, I got in an AM ride and then I followed that with a five mile run with 2 miles at tempo. Then on Saturday it was time for the last longish run in the plan. It was my typical routine: start conservative, hold a comfortable pace, and then book it. Here is how it went:

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This was a great run for me. Perhaps not so much for the distance, but for my confidence. For once, I am actually excited about running in a race again.

To top off the holiday weekend, I got in a recovery 40 miles with my buddies on a windless, sunny day here in the valley. And to really cap the training off, we ended the ride with growlers from Bonsai Brewing and way too many grilled hotdogs on my deck. DIVINE.

Recovery drinks from Bonsai Brewery in Whitefish, MT. ESB and Single Hop Imperial IPA

Recovery drinks from Bonsai Brewery in Whitefish, MT. ESB and Single Hop Imperial IPA

So, now it’s time to truly recover. For the next two weeks, I’ll be eating healthy, laying off the alcohol completely, and washing my hands furiously. I’m going into this race with the most intricate game plan I have ever developed for a race. Hopefully the intricacy won’t prove to be an example for Murphy’s Law. For the swim, I am simply going to concentrate on surviving and staying in form. For the bike, I have my watts dialed in for each segment of the route and programmed into my Garmin.

Planning

Planning

& plotting.

& plotting.

Nutrition is dialed in as well. In my past big races, I have not taken in enough nutrition during the bike; I have fixed that problem this time around. Overall, my only goal is to have a solid race and at least be faster than my Calgary 2010 time of 5:49.

Weather wise, things are looking quite freakishly warm. I can only pray that race day brings beautiful weather. Time will tell. For now, I’m off to pack and repack several hundred times.

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