Category Archives: Writing

To Be, Or Not To Be

That is the question. The answer? Elusive. Soliloquies aside, Shakespeare may have been describing my training this week as opposed to the suicidal ramblings of Hamlet. Who knew he had an interest in triathlon? Now that we’ve exhausted the extent of the literary knowledge I’ve retained from high school, let’s talk training. Or lack thereof.

This week began with good intentions. After the half-marathon on Sunday, I was looking forward to some time off my feet and in the pool come Monday. I went through the normal motions of gathering all of my gear (which seems to double, week after week), driving to the gym and walking all the way to the pool. There are few things more annoying than showing up to said pool and finding out that it’s closed. I stood there with my head pressed against the cool glass of the locked door that separated me from six lanes of unobstructed lap-swim bliss. I slowly turned around and made my way to the nearest window, the Jaws music playing in my head. I knew my fate. The outdoor pool opened last weekend and that only meant one thing: college students+outdoor pool+no class= …

mondayhate-spring-break

I felt angry. I felt embittered. I felt… Okay, maybe I didn’t feel any of those things, but I was definitely not getting in my swim workout. I looked at the tanned frat guys with sculpted bodies, many of whom I’m certain couldn’t string together 3 miles to make a 5K, and most of whom I’m certain couldn’t swim more than a lap (I know, I know, people in glass houses…). Meanwhile, I workout 6-7 days a week and I’m over here making sure my swimsuit isn’t squeezing my hip chub too much. Let’s focus here, though. Self-image issues aside, I looked at the tiny three lane lap pool reserved for lap swimming and noted the mass of fraternity guys with the feet dangling off the wall into the water. Wouldn’t want those Wayfarers to get wet, now would we? I walked away dejected, knowing that another workout would go unfinished due to those darn good-looking frat guys without awkward triathlon tan lines. Ah, the life.

Wednesday would be better, no doubt. I left thinking this positive message to myself and went home to outline my half-marathon training plan for the Fort Worth Jalapeño Half-Marathon at the end of June. With about nine weeks to train, I outlined a plan that is loosely derived from the Hanson’s Marathon Method, which I’m using to prepare for the Kansas City Marathon in October. It’s not training, but it’s thinking about training, so I chalked it up to a day well spent.

After a run Tuesday afternoon, followed by another on Wednesday, I made my way back to the Colvin Pool. This time I called in advance to make sure that the indoor pool would be open upon my arrival like it was supposed to be. I was told by the perky girl at the front desk that it was indeed. I walked past it. Lights on, lanes open. Good to go, as they say. I showered and changed and made my way to entrance to the pool from the men’s locker room. I pushed on the door first with my hand and shortly thereafter, my face when it didn’t budge. I stood there dumbfounded. “I must’ve pushed on the wrong side of the door.” I tried again. Nope. I backed up. “Maybe it’s stuck.” I walked towards it again, arm outstretched like some sort of shirtless linebacker. Nope. Not stuck. Closed. Again. After considering trying my hand at lock-picking, I gave up. It was not to be.

That’s my segue, and also the end of my depressing story. All this is to say that sometimes training doesn’t go the way you expect it to. There are days where you have to accept or decide, that it just wasn’t meant to be. Next week I will be back in Oklahoma City (read: I’m graduating college this weekend and will be moving back home with my parents until such time that: a. I find a job and can support myself. Or b. Get married and move to Kansas City in July.). This means my training should be more consistent since Oklahoma City has much better places to ride and a plethora of lap-swim pools sans frat guys. Here’s to more consistent training. And a successful job search.

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In Sickness and in Health: Day 19

Sick. Bleh. That basically describes my current status. I wish I was still eight years old and could miss a day of school and have almost no work to catch up on in my absence. Unfortunately, the years seem to have caught up to me and that option is no longer possible. See, when you’re sick as a kid, it’s almost like a vacation. For an hour and a half, it’s the best thing in the world: no school, unlimited TV and saltine crackers. Then after about the fourth item comes up on QVC, at 10:45 in the morning, your life looks rather depressing.

I had a similar experience to that today. Although, both school and work were there to so kindly break up the monotony. I come home this evening and of course, Netflix is acting up. I had only two choices that decided they would play: “Locked Up Abroad”, or “Aziz Ansari: Dangerously Delicious”. Me being me, I chose the latter. Partly because I don’t like watching depressing stories about people just trying to enjoy a vacation in a country they probably shouldn’t be in anyway (deep breath), and partly because I’m a big Aziz Ansari fan. To be honest, though, 20 minutes into the show staring at the bottom of an empty Mac and Cheese microwavable bowl (don’t judge me, I’m sick), I began to feel “locked up”. I get antsy when I’m not being productive. I always feel like there’s something I’m forgetting and I should be doing something. So here I sit: sick, “locked up”, and trying to be productive.

I’m using it as an opportunity to 1. make a pun on my upcoming marriage, and 2. because there’s something to be learned from being sick. A lot of times, we are left wondering whether or not we should workout on a given day. Half of the time, when I don’t want to work out, I go out anyway and am glad I did after I’m done. Should you force yourself to run when you’re sick, though? A general rule of thumb presented in The Non Runner’s Marathon Trainer, is if the “sickness” is above the neck, go for it. Below? Hold off. Why? Well, typically ailments like a sore throat, headache, or a stuffy nose, will not be worsened by exercise. Problems below the neck, such as chest cold, vomiting, or if you find yourself running to the bathroom every so often, can be made worse through exercise. As I said, this is only a general rule and you should make your own judgments as to your current condition, but it has served me well in the past.

As for my condition? I’ve got the usual cold symptoms: congestion, achey-ness, and the general desire to do nothing, but eat Goldfish and Ginger-ale. So I’ll be lacing up and hitting the road once The Fiancee returns to rescue me from my Benadryl-induced stupor. Should anything happen, fear not, I received my Road ID today (sorry, had to do it). Stay safe out there, everyone.

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Inauguration: Day 1

Valentine’s Day. I never understood why this innocuous day in February got such a bad wrap. Even when I was single, I never hated the day. I suppose it’s because I’m a fan of love. Not the public display, no-one-wants-to-see-that type of love, but the happy naiveté of youthful relationships. It wasn’t all that long ago for me, but I still look back on those times with a twinge of nostalgia.

Now, here I sit, a senior in college. Engaged. Moving in a matter of months to a new city. A new state, for that matter. Trying to make some semblance of making that new “place” a new “home”. I’m sure you’re very cognizant of the difference. The thought of moving doesn’t terrify me. Nor does the fact that I’ll be attempting to find a job for which I have no qualifications. (ADD Aside: Most people don’t realize how little you can do with a Commercial Pilot Certificate. There is literally, almost nothing. It’s the aviation equivalent of getting a Bachelor’s in Pre-Cold War Russian Literature. Rant over.) No,  the weight on my mind has been the impending challenges. The Certified Flight Instructor practical test before the end of May. One marathon in October and another in December. Throw in a marriage and a move and you’ve got your plate full.

I’ve also had this nagging feeling that I need to start writing. I don’t know what yet, or why. My senior english teacher told me that if I majored in anything other than english I’d be wasting my time. She expected me to become a writer. I suppose that’s the beauty of modern-day technology. Anyone with an agenda and an ISP can espouse their thoughts to the masses. Maybe that’s my goal with this blog. Trying to fulfill someone’s expectations, albeit without all the grandeur and apparent pretentiousness of the literary elite.

All jokes aside, I wanted this inaugural post to explain my attitudes and my goals. As far as the first point goes, I hope you’ve realized that overall, I’m a fairly jovial person, but a critically deep thinker. Two qualities that I feel society lacks today. The second point, my goals, is a much more broad subject. My goal for this blog is to chronicle my training and accomplishments. Any of you who have trained for an endurance event can relate to the number of hours you spend by yourself. Before my last marathon I peaked at about 40 miles per week. That’s a considerable amount of time to spend by yourself. You never truly know yourself until you’ve spent three hours alone on the country roads of Oklahoma. Self-reflection inevitably follows, followed either by self-loathing or  self-actualization. The latter was the case for me and I found that I was pretty comfortable with myself. Some of the most personal and awe-inspiring  moments I’ve experienced have occurred in the middle of a 20 mile Saturday run. It’s these moments, these flashes of perfection in an imperfect world that I want to capture and examine.

That’s really the heart and soul of this blog. “IronTry” is my attempt at giving a play on words deeper meaning. In May of next year I will be competing in my first Ironman. Hence the “iron” and “tri”, but it’s not really just a “tri” that I’m attempting. It’s the attempt itself. The “try”. The months of endless training. Pulling myself out of bed every morning, doing the work, and against all odds, finishing the race. I hope the metaphor is apparent in that last sentence because really, the hardest thing we do every day is wake up and get out of bed. Anyone can run 26.2 miles. It’s a test of endurance not commitment. That’s the point I want to make very clear in this post and on this day: that I am going to try my hardest in my training, and in my life, to finish the race. After all, it’s not about the destination. It’s about the journey.

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