Kupa’a

 

It’s my 2 year old’s new favorite word. And I have decided that it will be the name of our next dog. Kupa’a – the theme of this year’s Ironman World Championships in Kona. Kupa’a is a Hawaiian term meaning steadfast, firm, and committed. This word is imprinted on my souvenir sweatshirt, on my race poster, and on my hefty finisher’s medal. It will forever remind me of the day, the journey and the commitment I made to take all of this on. I undertook this journey for two primary reasons: to commemorate my 40th birthday and to prove to myself that I could accomplish this feat.

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Training for a Victory Lap?!

IMG_1476“So how’s the training for Kona going?” Each and every time I get this question, I pause, a bit unsure of how to craft an accurate response. Physically the training has been going as well as can be expected. My body has sent out a few warning signs that maybe it isn’t too keen on training for another ironman right now, but I’ve been able to take care of myself pretty well and stay healthy. In training, I’ve been feeling relatively strong on the bike and consistent on the run. My swimming is “ehh” as it has been for a while, but you can’t be feeling great in every discipline when training for an ironman. Something has got to give. So you would think the question posed at the outset of this post would evoke a positive response, as physically I feel like I’m in a good spot. My hesitation arises from my mindset. My mental game. This is the area where I feel a bit unsettled. A bit uncertain of where I’m at. This unsettled feeling stems from the fact that I’m not quite certain of what I’m trying to accomplish when I toe that starting line in Kailua Bay.

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Ironman Lake Placid 2016: The Mystery that Never Unfolded

 

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Heading into this race, I had a plan which culminated in a projected finish time. Based on training, I thought I could do the swim in 1:00, the bike in 5:45, and the run in 3:30. Add in some extra time for transitions and miscellaneous other miscues, so sure, maybe I could finish in 10:30. Did I expect the race to unfold this way? Absolutely not! I know that in ironman racing there are so many uncontrollable factors that can and often do interfere with your race plan. I expected this interference to come into play. I was prepared for it.

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Mindfully Balancing the Juggling Act of Life

I could just work, have someone else take care of my kids during the day, come home for dinner, put the kids to bed and hang out on the couch watching TV. But that doesn’t really appeal to me. Instead, I have a part time teaching job, a reasonably full docket of triathletes to coach, an ironman to train for (LP2016!!), as well as three crazy, young boys to chase after. I have chosen this path. This lifestyle full of twists, turns, changing gears, and non-stop action. A typical day for me consists of a 5:00AM wakeup to workout for a couple hours followed by breakfast with the kids. Then I run off to school to teach high school seniors a lesson on game theory. I maybe try to squeeze in a quick 30-minute durability run before rushing home to partake in monster truck races, bouncy house games, and perhaps a pile of fun (jumping off the couch into a pile of pillows) with my three boys before the dinner hour strikes. After dinner, I get the kids cleaned up (maybe), watch a couple episodes of Curious George, and put the kids to bed. Then I feed the dogs (wait, did I remember to walk them earlier??) and hop on my computer to check out my athletes’ workouts for the day and analyze their progress. I work on training programs and answer emails until the clock hits the bedtime hour (no later than 10:00!) as I know that my lifestyle is not conducive to being overtired.

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