Friday, December 28, 2012

The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday.

So as the end of the year approaches, it’s time for a little reflection. Of course that reflection comes in many different forms. There are many areas of focus, race results, professional accomplishments, personal accomplishments and so on.

Recently I've seen a lot of talk about the definition of success, so I figured I'd start there. Almost none of this is original thought, rather its bits and pieces of what others have said. I've tweaked, paraphrased and copied until it fit with what I wanted to say. Hopefully this will makes a little sense.

Success isn't defined by winning a race, it is defined by each of us individually.  It's based on our goals and the things we hope to accomplish in life. Perhaps your goal is weight loss, a promotion at work, or athletic accomplishments.  What your goal is less important than what you do to achieve that goal.

Success is the silence and peace of mind that comes when mind, body, and soul are working together.  Every goal starts with a single step. That step, repeated consistently, becomes a process, a habit.  It continues until the goal is reached. Some people take the necessary steps, others do not. The only one that knows or cares about the step you've taken is you. "The vision of a champion is someone who is bent over, drenched in sweat, at the point of exhaustion...when no one else is watching."

Success is choice; it is the building of a habit. Will you complete the task that will make you stronger, faster, better, smarter? Success comes when you find love in completing those simple tasks every day. Cultivate the love for the process.  Real success is not found in a single day, real success is the cumulative effect of doing the little things right consistently.  People don't get fat by eating one piece of cake, they get fat because they eat that cake consistently.

When your brain tells you that you have every reason to skip a step, and you want nothing more than to listen to your brain so you can spare yourself the pain. That's where success is bred. Do you have the intestinal fortitude to push through? You make the decision right then, in that moment. Will you do what’s necessary to succeed - or won't you? The successful person is often times simply willing to do what the unsuccessful person was not willing or able to do. Will you give into the pain?  Will you give in to the discomfort?  Or...will you adjust to it?

Success is the journey. The challenge isn't someone else’s, it’s yours. The challenge is within us all. It's the aching in your lungs, and the burning in your legs, it's the bile rising in your throat. It’s the voice in all our heads telling us we can't. Failure occurs because we get into our own tiny little brains and defeat ourselves. Success is realizing that the only way out of hell, is through it.

Sometimes in life there is a price to be paid no matter what decision you make. For those that have set goals and succeeded in reaching them, you already know that it pays to be a winner.

The process is simple. Building the habit is simple. It's nothing more than setting priorities and following through.  Most things in life are fairly simple. Simple, unfortunately, is not the same as easy. The only easy day was yesterday.


Now I have to live by my own words.  I put on 5 pounds of crap in Mexico.  Now that the holidays are basically over its time to get those pounds off and drop down to 185.  I want to hit 350w for a 20min test, and I want to run a 10k under 40min.  Those things won't happen by accident.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Tis the Season!

Well the holidays are upon us.  For many this is a time to reflect, be with friends, family, and those we love most.  For me, its time to go to Mexico!!!  Aimee and I have our 8 year anniversary coming up, so we're both looking forward to the trip.  Hopefully it gets a little colder here in the great white north before we leave, otherwise I'm not sure the trip will feel as worthwhile as it could.

My training is coming along very nicely.  My foot seems to be doing a lot better and I think the problem comes down to shoes.  When I raced that 10k I was in racing shoes without much padding.  I had run in them before, but nothing as hard as a 10k.  So my feet were sore after that race.  Immediately after the race I started running in brand new shoes and I'm pretty sure I had them laced too tight.  I'm not 100% sure that's the problem, but I was able to run hard on Monday with no ill effects.  So for the moment all systems are go.

The crohns appears to be back in remission.  Stress = flare.  That's just how it works.  While some may view the flares as a real negative, I try to take them as a sign that I need to focus on what's really important in life.  Don't get me wrong, the flare ups suck.  But there is always a lesson to be learned.  Sometimes you can't control the external stressors in your life, but other times you can.

I've come to learn that Steelhead 70.3 will not qualify for the 2014 world championships in Vegas.  The race is a couple weeks earlier than than normal so it will qualify for 2013.  As a result I won't be doing that race this year.  I'm not 100% sure what I'll be doing.  But here is a tentative race schedule.

Jhawk Early Bird sprint- April 28
Lake Mills sprint - June 2
Liberty 1/2 Ironman (Minnesota) - June 8
Pleasant Prairie Olympic - June 23 -(try to qual for USAT)
Wisconsin Triterium Olympic - June 29
USAT National Champs - Aug 10
Pigman 1/2 Iron (Iowa) - Aug 18
Austin 70.3 (Texas) - October 27th (Try to qual for vegas 2014)

I'm thinking that this summer of races will really be about having fun and trying to figure out my best pacing strategy.  I don't know that I will really have any specific goals other than going fast and placing as high as I can.  I don't necessarily care about USAT Nationals, it would just be fun.  I will care about Austin 70.3, assuming I end up doing that race.  It would certainly be my A race as it would be nice to spend the end of 2013 and 2014 specifically focusing on the WC's in Vegas. 

With my training going in such a positive direction I'm finding that I already look forward to next season.  But its a long ways out with all of Winter yet to come.  We'll see what happens.