Monday, May 23, 2011

5 Things I Learned this Weekend During My 3/4 Ironman

I believe that every experience can be a learning experience, but sometimes the lessons you learn can surprise you. This weekend at Clearlake I learned a lot of things about myself and life in general, and a lot of them don't pertain just to training for an Ironman.

1. The first thing I learned is that I am easily pleased with mediocre accommodations. I had been told that the Anchorage Inn was so nasty that some of my friends' wives (not naming names) wouldn't go to Clearlake if they had to stay there. I was ready for stains on the floors and sheets, and bugs in the bathroom, but I was surprised that we were given a cute 2 bedroom apartment with bathroom, living room, and fully functioning kitchen. I remarked that the place was nicer than many of the apartments I've lived in in the past...of course, no one else said they could share that experience. :)I thought it was especially nice, since it had a cute little swimming pool.
2. The second thing I learned was that good goggles are something your should spend your money on. I've been buying cute tri bikinis to wear in the water (and on the run), but I should have bought a new pair of goggles. I had to swim about a mile and a half with my goggles full of water. At one point I tried to swim without them, but that wasn't very comfortable either.
3. I learned that you should always bring extra shammy butter with you on long bike rides. I don't want to go into details...but after about 40 miles I could have used some more lubrication, and so by the end of 101 A LOT of things hurt.  This learning experience could be seen as just pertaining to Ironman training...but if you generalize it a little bit, it could help you out in other situations: always bring enough lube, you never know when you are going to need some.
4. Some lessons are harder to learn than others. I learned this weekend that being sad can make it a lot harder to get up in the morning, and a lot harder to motivate yourself to run 16 miles. But I also learned that if you have really great friends to support you and you realize you are doing it in honor of a  loved one that you really miss, you can find strength you never thought you had, and things that once seemed almost impossible, can turn out to be somewhat fun. Thank you Jas, Les, Tyler, and Eddie for running with me and just being with me that day. :)
5. And lastly, this is one everyone has been telling me, but this weekend I finally realized how true it is: an ice bath is absolutely amazing. You should always sit in cold water for at least 20 minutes after working out!

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