Friday, August 3, 2007

Positive/Negatives, and more positives

Things have been a little hectic, with a roller coaster of positive and negatives. In the end though, there are more positives than negatives, and I am back to being excited about things.

Negative/Positive #1 - Got sick. I was a bit worried about it, as it kept getting worse. Yesterday morning I decided to go see the doctor though, and finally face the music, and see if I could actually get in the last block of training necessary to do Ironman Wisconsin.

Of course, being sick sucks. The good news, no strept throat, just a sinus infection, and the doc has me on a 5-day antibiotic, and gave me the go-ahead to train. He works with a lot of athletes, and knows his stuff. We also discussed my bee sting issues, and how my reactions seem to be getting worse each time. He said this was common and prescribed the Epi-pen, which a shot of adrenalin you give yourself if you get stung, to prevent a serious allergic reaction. We also discussed the issues of this being an illegal, performance-enhancing drug, and how I could fail a drug test if I have to give myself a shot in the race. He explained how he has worked with WADA already on this, and in the case of emergency, it is legal, without consequence. He'll also help me to get a TUE, (therapuetic use exemption). That was a relief. So you can expect to see an Epi-pen attached to my bike from now on.

Negative/Positive #2 - My grandmother died yesterday morning. I got a text message from my dad, letting me know. My dad isn't really a phone guy, and I knew it was a tough thing for him to write, as he had to come to grips with the loss of his mother. My brother and I are now his only family. Her death was a long time coming, and I have been amazed how long she lasted. Her condition really deteriorated over the past few years, and became something our family just didn't even talk about, because it made us all depressed. I didn't tell my wife until she got home from work, and it was really hard to tell her. The words actually struggled to come out of my mouth. I tried to act like it didn't bother me all day, and I honestly was believing it, until that moment.

The positive part is our family can now breathe a sigh of relief, and know she is finally at peace. It was so hard for awhile.

Negative/Positive #3 - This morning I got back to training, trying to find some sense of normalcy, and return to routine. I was a bit nervous this morning when I headed to the pool, wondering how my body would respond to 4 days with only a single 3K swim workout, and battling sickness. I figured I would be about 176 lbs, and I wasn't looking forward to stepping on the scale to see it. I've been drinking a ton water, to battle the sickness, and had a good breakfast, so I tried to prepare myself with, "Don't worry Jim, it'll be mostly water weight."

To my amazement, 171 lbs! I couldn't believe it! I was suddenly a bit excited, but wondered if I would be pretty weak in the water. 3600 meters later, I stepped out of the pool surprised, confident and eager to toe the line at Wisconsin! Couldn't believe how well I was swimming.

Peter told me back in the early part of the year, when I got a little sick, that Mark Allen was always excited when he got sick, because he knew his body would come back so much stronger. Maybe that wasn't entirely a load of sh*t he was handing me???

Another positive, with no negatives....

I received a great email from a client I coached this year, who made tremendous gains. I knew he improved, but when he sent me this in email, it really put it into perspective..

"Thanks for the kind words, I know I am MUCH better than when I first started with you, and raced safely all season thanks to your guidance…and that isn’t something that shows up in statistics. No injuries, no overtraining, and steady improvement all year. I’ve lost 16 pounds, 2 inches off my waist, and down to 19% body fat from 24%...

Last year I did the La Jolla Half Marathon in 2:16 (my first ever), this year was 1:57; last year’s Solana Beach tri was 1:11, this year was 1:00. Ran my fastest ever 5k at the Encinitas sprint tri at a pace of 7:24. Was 5th at the Baja 70.3 (actually was 3rd but they got it wrong), 4th at Encinitas, 10th at SDIT, 9th at Carlsbad sprint tri, 31st at Vineman. Since July last year, I’ve raced successfully 14 times including 4 – ½ marathons, 1 marathon, 3 – 70.3’s, and 6 sprint/intl’s.

You motivated me, guided me, showed me a ton of stuff and for that, I will be eternally grateful. Feel free to use me as a reference for potential coaching clients (as if you need one) anytime."

That's why I coach, for emails like that.

Vance - 2007 NFA

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