Monday, October 22, 2007

Aim Small

Following up the last post about pointing in the right direction, I can also share that I'm going to have a much narrower focus this year -- at least, as far as my athletic goals are concerned. IM is big, way too big, for me to comprehend any time soon.

Actually, truth be told, I have a pretty narrow focus about anything that matters to me. For example, I have a very specific financial objective, and (almost) everything I do supports that. What's nice is that, even if I blow it, I'll still be way ahead of the curve. I'm following the saying, regrettably popularized by Mel Gibson in "The Patriot," "Aim small, miss small." Logically, the second part follows, "Aim big, miss big."

As in just about everything I do well, the only way it's going to work is with a narrow focus. Anything that falls outside my goals is extraneous.

So, as far as sports go this year, I'm going to be going after one event, and it's a little event at that. Everything else is either a building block to that little (but important to me) event, or it means I got off track.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


I'm still not going to say exactly where I'm going athletics-wise, but I'll point in the general direction... that way (man, I am so funny).

Over the last year I've read a bunch of books about endurance sports training. Interestingly, two of them (Swim Coaching Bible and Daniels' Running Formula) focus on training youth athletes. The important message was not to start with too much -- volume, intensity, specificity, etc.

I have this buddy who, seemingly on a whim, ramped up from zero to marathon training a little over a year ago. He's also got an ongoing, consistent string of injuries.

My take away here is that actual age doesn't reflect "athletic age" (I didn't make that term up, I swear -- sports scientists much smarter than me have been using it for years). The problem with so many "non-youth" athletes that start as masters or return to sports after a long lay-off is that they want to go after the big events (marathons, Ironman tris, century bike rides), despite being effectively "infants." Jumping straight into marathon training works for a lot of people, I'm not going to deny that -- and if it makes them happy, that's great. But if you're constantly injured, I'd wager your body isn't ready for the training stress.

So what does that say about me? I've been pretty lucky over the years, injury wise. A likely reason is my athletic age is probably pretty close to my actual age -- I've been swimming, or rowing, most of my life.

That said, I do have some recurring injuries related to my achilles, likely because my "impact sports" athletic age has me still in diapers. Those problems have only come about since I've been training for the long stuff, so, the direction I'm pointing right now --> no long stuff until I get this worked out.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Listen to me

...Unless you're faster than me, in which case, I have nothing of value to offer you.

...But if you're faster than me, and injured, there be a small bit of value in what I'm saying.

...If you're slower than me, you might only be slower because you listen to too many people. Stop reading so many magazines and ignore the forums. You should add "don't listen to me" to that list as well (other than following the advice in my previous sentence).

...If you're slower than me, and injured, man... that just sucks. Go see a doctor. Don't worry about an ironman; worry about being able to walk when you're 50. Then worry about running a 5k without getting injured again.

...If you're about my speed, listen to everything I say: read all the magazines, follow every piece of advice on the internet forums, ignore your doctors and spend as much time as possible researching and then purchasing the best gear imaginable (like this or this).

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My brother and his friends

So, JNM, the most artistically talented of my brothers, has gotten himself connected with a whole crew of folks just as creative, and just as car-azy as him. I don't think he even needed the interwebs to find them, they just all gravitated towards each other.

He's part of a new show, that, even if it just turns out to be a gimic, should prove to be wildly entertaining. I fully expect it to be awesome and not gimic-ey.

The title alone is clever enough to warrant a viewing. Go see it.

On the off chance someone my brother doesn't know is reading this blog and doesn't already know where to buy tickets, click here.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I'm not a beach person

I've confirmed that I am not a "beach vacation" kind of guy. I think it has something to do with the idea of paying money to sit around that doesn't appeal to me (clearly, I'd rather pay money to get all lycra-ed up and run around in a circle).

We did have a good time in St. Thomas overall though. The best days were spent snorkeling or hiking (in St. John).

The day we went hiking was probably my favorite, despite it being a little frustrating. Because of our less-than-attentive bus driver, we didn't stop at the trailhead we were supposed to, and instead hiked a significantly more challenging -- and significantly less traveled/marked -- trail to join back up with the originally planned trail. We got a little lost, got a lot hot and got even more sweaty. I had a blast, but I think Hannah was a bit cranky. It didn't help that she was dealing with the ridiculous sunburn she received the day before.

The snorkeling was really cool too. Aside from one incident where I almost swam into a jellyfish, we didn't see any big or scary sea life, just lots of smaller, happy (I'm assuming) fish that were content to let you swim around with them.

We encountered some other wildlife, none considerate enough to pose for photos. So you get some of the dregs from the digital camera:

Wacky albino crab (not its technical name)

Attack of the lazy iguanas. These guys were all on the cliff outside the condo we stayed in. Easily a couple dozen.