Ten years – that is how long I have been training and racing at an elite level. That image header is me 8 years ago in Kona at the Ironman World Championships. There has only been two times in that long period when was I not training regularly and those where both forced breaks due to surgery – broken elbow and ruptured appendix.
If I look back over the past decade I realize the allocation of my time and energy focus has broadened. I use the word broadened because the things I was
laser focused on obsessed with 5-10 years ago are still a large part of my life, but my family and work life have ballooned and now take up much more of the pie. I have the best family anyone could ask for. My wife is loving, caring, smart, hard working and beautiful. My son is also a caring and kind soul but he is also a maniac 5 (almost 6) year old high energy boy, who’s temperament and mood at any given moment is strongly tied to to how well my wife and I responded to the last time he said his favourite sentence – ” Dad and/or Mom watch this”. He is also a smart little dude who knows that going to McDonald’s or eating candy or to much bread is not good for you. And now my wife will bring one more little soul into the world this April. My anticipation of this event is kind of the like that feeling I had before doing my second Ironman – I simply cannot wait for that time to come and even thinking about it raises my heart rate.
Back to the training……. the training necessary for competing in elite level endurance sport can harm the human body when done improperly for long periods of time (in short, too much intensity, not enough rest and not balancing family and work life properly). I have always trained hard but not always smart…… and not surprisingly the times I trained the smartest was when I had a coach. Thank you Lance Watson, Jesse Kropelnicki and Noa Deutsch for everything you taught me over periods of time you coached me, I am the athlete today largely due to all I learned from you three. Rest & recovery are often touted as the thing athletes pay the least respect to, and it took me 10 years to truly realize this. But don’t get me wrong if you have lofty goals as an endurance athlete (amateur or professional) you are going to have to work very hard and make many sacrifices.
Right now I am thoroughly enjoying my training which is 100% aerobic (Maffetone formula) base building. This means I actually have the physical and mental energy to truly be present for the needs of my son and wife……. and this feels really, really good. I have come a long way in this sport and will continue to improve my race performances with the ultimate goal of a podium at a competitive Ironman event. But I will now race less so that I am better prepared (including being well rested) for key races.
5 days in Hawaii with the family wasn’t quite enough, it is sunny outside now and I’m going to hit the trails for an aerobic run…….