Archive for December, 2012

Wow what a year! I am currently breaking tri-geek protocol with a glass of fine Riesling, as I reflect on 2012. There will be one or two more before the ball drops. 2012 was a huge year for so many reasons. I’ll start at least from the triathlete perspective.

2012 was my year of renaissance, my comeback to the sport.  I went all-in, with both feet. Joined the Endurance Nation team, and tried to string together as many “right” things to do that I am capable of. In my singular “world view”, I was shaking in my boots. I was going from zero to 70.3 after a 14 year hiatus from the sport. My “A” race was Ironman Syracuse 70.3, a half ironman event.  Goal accomplished, I overcame and adapted as the year unfolded. It was not a perfect race season, but a very good one. I worked through whatever happened, and I literally enjoyed all of it.

For my overly positive perspective, I can easily point to Endurance Nation, the EN team,and coaches Rich & Patrick for the majority of it.  Even though I am much older, certainly much slower, as compared to my glory days of my thirties, I felt more empowered, and in control of each and every event. Having the mental toolkit to deal with the actual race was a game changer for me.  The race season include several sprint tri’s, an olympic tri, Syracuse Ironman, 4 half marathons,and an assortment of 5k’s,and other mid distance running events. The one disappointment was NYC marathon which of course was canceled. Mother Nature can be a very cruel in her fury. Recovery for the people in those areas is still on going. Despite the destruction, the cancellation, The “Run Anyway” event that came together that Sunday, was inspiring, and a lifetime memory.

Race season slowed after the first week of November. I entered into a bike concentration plan that is now just ending. As you will understand further, the past month leading up to this was very stressful, and not as productive training wise as one might hope for. Despite the awe inspiring comeback year, My professional life took it in the shorts a week before Christmas. My company was sold and only half of the engineering team was offered a position in the new company. Myself and the one other remaining original founder of the company was not invited back, as well as other very talented engineers. Ying and Yang in full effect for me personally.

Not all is lost. I am starting a new technology company, and we’ll see if it sinks or swims. I am driving the bus for now. With that it leaves some uncertainly for Ironman Lake Placid, which is my “A” race for 2013. Obviously if I am not successful  I cannot afford the costs associated with the event. It is an unknown for now. In the mean time, I have a career plan, and an ironman plan in place to succeed at either or both (both is the correct answer). It is more important to succeed with the company in order to keep our land, our home, and to contribute to our bills. In that regard, triathlons take a back seat. It does mean that I will be at fewer races, which is ok as far as not distracting from the training plan for Lake Placid. I can live with that. As we are taught how to adapt to race an iron distance  endurance event, I must adapt to the abrupt change in my career as an engineer. My quest to cross the finish line as an ironman could realistically be postponed. Either way, I will continue to train,and make the best of it. After all triathlon is my play time, my stress relief.

There is a crossover from the tri world to the career world as well. The goal driven mentality, the perseverance, the stick with it till you make it mantra, all comes in handy on the real life side of things. I can assure you that I will apply all of those things within my power, and capabilities. My lively hood is at stake, and while I train for a full ironman, reality for making the distance, and making my company succeed, will never be more than a thought away.

I will be truthful, as much as I have had many great things in 2012, I am doubtful and worried about 2013. In both work and play, I am tackling two very large unknowns. In my plus column, I have the unwavering love of my wife and family, my health (a big thank you to my doctor, Dr. Lynn Cunningham), and I am blessed in so many ways. Team EN will have my back as they always do, and with any luck, 2013 will be a pivotal year, even more so than 2012.

With that I leave you in a hopeful but concerned state of mind. I wish you all a great 2013, and I hope to cross paths as our lives forge forward. Tomorrow you can find me at the Resolution Run in Syracuse, and you can be sure I have a few resolutions to carry with me throughout the year.

God bless, and may your travels this holiday season be a safe one.

Mike

Run Anyway update/tattoo

Posted: December 13, 2012 in Running, tattoo
Tags: , ,

For those of you unfamiliar with what “Run Anyway” event was/is, take a look at the banner pic  that exists currently on Facebook,and copied below. On top of the epic  and awesome vibe that went along with this, you have to recognize what a group of people put together in literally hours, no CEO, no operating budget. None of the usual things you would expect to make a running event that had thousands of runners participating in. Volunteer, charity or for profit, this was a huge success. The power of social media via facebook, twitter, etc shined on that day, and is an example of what good came come from it.

 

Running NYC marathon was on my bucket list of things I want to do in my lifetime, as I write this, I am still conflicted, not sure that I will ever revisit doing this race. In the world view, the humanity view, it’s just a huge marathon, and any significance beyond that is primarily an emotional response. 5 weeks have past, NYRR is still flailing about with no resolve, exceptionally poor PR and even worse communications. Marathoners do not appreciate how poorly they have handled this. People in the affected storm areas still having many difficult problems, and will feel the effects for some time.  The haters, and the threats have either gone off to some other subject or quieted down to a whisper. They do leave behind a bad impression of the big apple, and of NY’ers, which is a shame. I know many folks from down state, and have great friends from the city. Unfortunately a black eye for many of the good people there. In time the city will bounce back, it’s what they do and are known for.

On to my third topic.

The collection of artwork expressed in skin otherwise known as tattoos, that I currently have, have significant meaning in one way or another. My artwork celebrates family,  my wife, and great marriage pushing on 13 years, hunting passions, and my love of endurance sports and personal milestones that I have conquered. If you do not sport ink, or dislike tattoos, my comments won’t do much in helping you understand the significance or why some us chose to get them. I am fortunate to have talented artist Josh Payne and my other go to guy, Scot Clark (Pinpoint Tattoo) in the same county.

I originally wanted to get ink’d after finishing NYC marathon, for many personal reasons. Needless to say, that idea fell apart. As I described in earlier posts, the Run Anyway event transpire into a epic, and awesome day. It is fair to say that it uplifted those who chose to participate. Given all that, it was a life event experience that is a wonderful memory, and worthy of committing to skin. Originally I had picked Josh Payne of Ascend Gallery in Cortland , NY to do the original NYC marathon idea. I have several tattoos done by him, and wanted to go with his big graphic, new school color that he is known for. Typically I have a good idea how it will come together, I had important elements I thought should be there, but no idea how it would come together. It’s good thing to trust your artist.  We had discussed this a few times prior,and Josh was very familiar with the race and the NYC area. An initial pencil sketch gave the project a green light. Josh gave it a refinement to better fit above the ankle,and it came together literally in minutes. The elements I gave him to work with : event name, big apple, central park, storm Sandy, and a beautiful sunshiny event day. The initial drawing had a cobble stone bridge coming out of the apple as a tunnel, but did not fit the targeted body space. Josh incorporated some old school feel into this with the wrought iron gate, lettering, and busted out the surreal color on the apple. Super stoked with the tattoo, hope you enjoy.

 

 

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Solid focus in training for the big dance! Halfway through the 4th week of bike focus. I can tell things are progressing as I am notably becoming tired of sitting on the trainer, and bored to death after about 20 minutes spinning. To help with this, my wonderful wife Lee tolerates the bike being in our great room off center to the big screen TV. That does help the hours pass. At some point I hope to remember that these two hour Saturday rides will be short work outs come this spring when 4-6 hours in the saddle will become the new norm. Even though I have gained some weight, my head is back into it, and focusing on diet, using the calorie counter, and renewing my effort to a slimmer 160lb me come July or high water. Running is feeling good, no aches or pains, and it is nice to switch up from the long run focus of marathon training. Of course we’ll revisit that again long before July.

Hunting season was very productive and expedient this season. Being tagged out until muzzleloader season has given me more free time to train at my preferred times as opposed to “fitting it in.” Along with that,  we have a freezer full of quality lean protein (wild turkey & venison) which is a preferred staple in our home.

In a few short weeks , training will switch to Out Season plan, and will focus more on speed, and high quality workouts. I will diverge a little from the plan to get swim lessons, and up my swimming game before I switch to the ironman plan in April. I like the approach as 30 some weeks of ironman focus only has got to be hard on the mental game.  I also hope to make the switch to training with power on the bike. It won’t change how hard I’ll need to train, but it will help with not overdoing it, and more precisely measure my progress. Power meters don’t care how much coffee or red bull you had, or if you are having an off day etc. In the end, watts are watts.

Really liking the Endurance Nation training methods, and the knowledge base that I can draw from. So far much of it is like my experience in training for Ironman Syracuse. That will be different soon enough once April arrives. Having the resources and confidence in coaches Rich & Patrick , and my EN teammates having my back, makes the unknowns of tackling 140.6 miles less intimidating.

Looking forward to the constant progress,and the upcoming phases in route to Lake Placid. Hope that your off season training has begun on a high note. I’ll report back in again  as the weeks roll by!