Monday, January 18, 2010


Now that I have been back into structured training for a few weeks, it's about time that I updated the blog. A lot has happened since Ironman Western Australia and my last post.

As I was traveling Australia and New Zealand, it took two weeks for the swelling in my eye to go down. Nevertheless, I wanted to make sure that I got a run in in every place that I visited, so I still did a few short runs during those two weeks, but other than that, I virtually did nothing.

All the places I visited were amazing, but my favorite run was in Perth, a few days after IMWA. I was running on the path along the skyline and the Swan River, which flows into the Indian Ocean. As I was running, lost in my thoughts, staring at the city on the one side of me, and the water on the other side, two dolphins jumped out of the water and did a spin. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen in my life - wild dolphins from the ocean swimming up to the skyline, jumping out of the water and spinning in the air was a once in lifetime sight. I can't think of any other city in the world where that happens. But running in every city/town in that part of the world was amazing - Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown, Sydney, Melbourne, Great Barrier Reef, Gold Coast, etc. It was an unbelievable trip.

During my time off from training, I took a lot of time to think about what I have achieved and what I still want to achieve in this sport. Despite training my ass off and putting up great numbers in training, I have yet to reach my goal. The journey has been amazing thus far, even without the result, but I also want the result, so I can complete the journey. Not having achieved my goal yet has been frustrating to say the least. And I can't afford to train another year without making progress.

So after taking those two weeks to think things through - for hours on end - I decided to switch things up from what I had been doing. It has been no good performing well in training while coming up short in races. I decided that I needed some objectivity in both the way I trained and the way I executed my races. So after weeks of deliberating, I decided to hire a coach.

But I didn't want just any coach. I wanted - and needed - a coach that understand where I was coming from and where I wanted to go. My main criteria was that the coach (1) had the credentials; (2) was able to articulate not only their training philosophy, but how implementing that training philosophy on me would generate the results that I want; and (3) perhaps most importantly, believed in me (at least almost) as much as I believe in myself.

I spoke to several coaches for hours at a time, both via email and on the phone. I asked every question imaginable. And then I finally settled on one. This coach has been amazing so far. I couldn't have asked for anything more.

My training has definitely been different from what I am used to. I have done a lot of swimming and a lot running. But I have barely stepped on the bike. Both my running and swimming are the best they have ever been at this stage of the year. So things are off to a great start.

I'm not sure how often I will update the blog now that I have a coach. I used the blog in part as a way to keep me motivated, but now that I am accountable to my coach, I'm not sure that I need the blog for that purpose anymore.

I also, however, liked the blog because I wanted to share my training with others so that what I was doing, both right and wrong, could help educate others as what to do and what not to do to achieve their goals, whether it be to finish an Ironman, to go sub 13, sub 11, sub 10, or whatever. And I also liked receiving feedback from readers and getting a different perspective on what I was doing and what they were doing.

I love Ironman. I love training for it. And I love talking about it and discussing it. So I'll continue to blog, but I'm not sure how detailed I can get about specific workouts since the workouts are not mine. I'll run it by my coach...