Even though I have not been blogging lately, I surely have not gone too far. I had to really step away from writing because on my last blog that recapped my Ironman in Hawaii, I got a very nasty comment. First one I have ever gotten in 15+ years. At first, of course, I was mad. But, once we traced the IP address, I realized how silly the person that wrote it is. I mean, we all read blogs for different reasons and we all can relate or think “that person is crazy” with many of these blogs. However, where that crosses the line is when someone takes their precious time to actually make a rude and immature comment anonymously. Most of us are mature, self-confident and secure individuals who do not need to spew any negative energy or thoughts towards someone and then not have the balls to fess up to the comment. Never in my life have I ever left an anonymous comment. Nor, will I. If I have something to say – I either attach my name to it OR say nothing at all. And, trust me, I am no shrinking violet.
The mean comment was just from someone who was giving me a hard time because “we had a fast day in Kona.” Ok, really? WHO cares? So, for ONCE I had a nice Ironman day. It was about damn time. I put in my dues in Kona with years of 50+ mph cross winds one year – no joke. After 250+ Triathlons, I think I earned the right to a nice frigging day. And, you know what? Good for us that finally got a “nice” day in Kona. And, a “nice” day in Kona is no frigging picnic, I might add. Also, I will NEVER apologize for my success or hard work. Clearly, my hard work, consistency and passion for this sport has allowed me to continue to live the way I want to live – with integrity.
So, anonymous commenter: F*CK you. If you have something to say, email me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, get a life because you are not important in mine.
Back to regularly scheduled programming:
After Hawaii I took some time completely off training. It was glorious for about 2 weeks and then I just needed to move. If I had any niggles, I would have taken more downtime, but I was still motivated and feeling great post Hawaii. I decided to jump into a few CycloCross races in November. I used to Cross race a lot in 2006-2008, but I have been out of the circuit for the last few years because usually by October-ish I am over racing and I am fearful I will get hurt. This year, for some reason, I was still fired up and wanted to race Cross before it ends and I wanted to not let that “fear” rule me. However, this fall I have missed a ton of races due to travel. The last race is the State Championships this coming Saturday that I will compete in. I have really enjoyed the few races I did this season and as long as I am healthy next fall plan on competing in all the races.
I am writing this blog on the way home from Tucson. We went to Tucson again this Thanksgiving week as a family and it is the highlight of my year. It is the one time of the year that both Jerome and I are not racing, working or really training. And, there are no kid commitments either! It is the only week all year I really try to un-plug. While I cannot completely un-plug, I can keep off my laptop all week and that allows me to rejuvenate and rest a bit. The kids love Tucson & we are so active the week we are there. Hiking, riding, running, climbing and just enjoying the 70F degree temps before heading back to Chicago for the winter.
This is my absolute favorite time of the year. I love the holidays and all the shopping and hustle and bustle that it brings. I also like to reflect on the previous year and look forward to a new year – both personally and professionally. I love the extra time I get to spend with loved ones and friends.
As a Triathlon coach this is also the time of the year when I spend planning for 2014: Camps, Triathlon clinics, swim clinics, continuing education, new podcasts and new and exciting ways to get faster and stronger. Planning different workouts to challenge athletes and keep everyone motivated and excited for the season is not easy. I am a believer in repeatability but also really believe that the coach needs to be creative and inspiring to each athlete they work with. Getting to know each athlete takes time, patience and a degree in Psychology (kidding, wanted to make sure you were still reading).
As a Triathlete, I also get to look at 2014 fresh – and start my 20th year of racing with wide eyes. For me, getting up every morning at 5am is the easy part. I wake up and cannot wait to train. The real issue for me is deciding how much time I want to commit every year to training while keeping some sort of balance in my work and personal/family life. I love my kids. I really do. I love my job. I really do. While the kids are gone all day now in school, the times I am home with them, I want to be engaged and active in their lives. I am coaching Graham’s basketball team again this fall/winter. I want to continue to do things like this because I realize, with them turning 12 in January that these little moments are going to become less and less each year.
So, 2014 will be the year of short course for me. Ironically, I still have a pull to do another Ironman. Goodness. But, I will pass in 2014. I decided to stay local, race a lot of short course races like USAT Nationals, Chicago, etc. And then mix up a few 70.3s because that is my favorite distance…Eagleman always and possibly 70.3 Worlds. We shall see. All I know is I am going to race more frequently including swim meets (my fav!), indoor TTs and maybe even some 5ks to keep it real. I also will spend time doing fun events with Lululemon and socialize locally a bit more – because, well, I really like that. And, somehow I convinced Elizabeth to still be my friend & help me again in 2014.