Friday, March 20, 2015

A triumvirate of things worth writing about

So the last time I blogged was before three significant and neat things happened. Here is a summary of those three things:

1) From Saturday March 7th to Saturday March 14th I was in the Virgin Islands with my mom and dad and youngest brother Travis on a 47' Island Packet yacht christened Hometown Girl and chartered through Island Yacht Charters.

Out trip was bareboat, meaning that there was no captain and/or crew, the only crew was the family and the skipper was my dad. With a long history of sailing experience on his resume (and my mom's) and many years (or one or two) of sailing camp experience for myself and several trips like this under his belt for my brother, we had no problems handling the boat on a daily basis despite its size.

It has been a long time since I've sailed; I believe the last time was the summer after college when the whole family went on a crewed charter in the Bahamas...which would've been roughly 2007.  That probably corresponds to the last time I took a trip that had no "agenda," per se. Every trip since that point has had a focus of a mission (i.e. the trip to El Salvador with Habitat) or a training and/or racing agenda.

To make [what can be] a very long story a little shorter, suffice it to say that the trip was fantastic. I can't thank my parents enough for inviting me along and I am really glad I got to work it into my schedule. I got a lot of practice with taking pictures, so I was able to inundate facebook with some good images. I still don't (and never will) have the composition skillz of my brother, but since he was not there the onus was on me to provide adequate photographic evidence of our journey around the islands.

2) I watched "Touch the Wall" last night. This may not seem "newsworthy" in and of itself but what I wanted to convey was the way in which it "struck" me.

First of all, it really made me want to swim. All of my excuses seemed inconsequential when directly faced with the immensity of their training (Missy and Kara). Admittedly, I'm not trying to go to the Olympics but the dedication they had to their craft, each in their own unique way, was incredible (IS incredible, present tense).  I think the best moments of the film where when Missy's parents were watching her at the high school state championship meet and at Olympic Trials (and, obviously, in London).  SO MUCH work and dedication went into those moments, but they were also (according to Missy anyway) absolutely FUN.

I think it's an important reminder to make anything you dedicate yourself to a fun outlet for your competitive spirit (insofar as it pertains to sport).

3) On a third and final note, I've recently decided (as in this past week) to make a change from a training standpoint.

As many who read this will know, I worked with Brian Stover from January 2011 to December 2014. In total, that's four years of molding and growing as an athlete. I have gone from a MOP 25-29 AG athlete to where I am now. I have written many things about how much I like Brian and how far I have come in that time frame.

But at this point, I am going for a change. I have been "doing my own thing" for ~3 months now, which basically amounts to 9-11 hours/week of biking and running with a dab of swimming here and there along the way. I have been good about getting some hard workouts but mostly I've just been establishing some consistency and trying to stay reasonably fit.

I contacted David Tilbury Davis of Physfarm coaching for several reasons:

1) He's British, so that automatically means he's got a cool accent
2) He works with some people I really respect as athletes and gear heads
3) I knew his training would be different than what I've been doing for 4 years

I am excited to see where this goes and hopeful of trying to establish some new goals. I had been excited for this year, generally speaking, but David has helped get me really excited.  Sometimes that's what it takes; just talking with someone that doesn't "know" your story right off the bat and objectively looks at your schedule and can take it from there.  Not the best description for what I mean at all but I'm hopeful that it will end up being a good partnership for the both of us.

Race season is upon us!

Don't forget the bodyglide.

PS - I also raced bikes last weekend. After 8 days of physical hibernation it was a bit of a shock to the system that I was COMPLETELY not ready for from a physiological standpoint but I managed to exploit a situation and and come away with 2nd after a 25mi 2 man breakaway. Not a bad start to getting some more points!

Sometime during the break, photo courtesy Jon English

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