Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Recon mission scheduled...

We're headed to Madison next weekend (the 25th) to see Dad's family and so my first recon. I also - very excited about this - have a professional fitting at Cronometro in Madison on the afternoon of the 25th. They're apparently pretty well known for their meticulous fittings, and they're the only FIST certified fitters anywhere near here (for as much a hotbed for Triathlon as Minneapolis is, you'd think there would be more than 1 tri-specific bike shop and at least somebody around here who knew how to fit a bike.) FIST is a fitting method developed by the guys at Slowtwitch.com, which is a huge name in online triathlon resources, started by the founder of one of the major cycle/wetsuit companies out there. Anyway, FIST is considered the best in cycle fitting, bar-none. It took me about 3 years to really understand and value the importance of the right fit on the bike, and I've never had a serious, dedicated, scientific measurement on my bike. In fact, when I bought Ol' Blue the fitting literally went something like "go ahead, sit on the bike....uh huh, let's raise the saddle just a bit...how does that feel? Good? Okay, great!" (In their defense, they don't claim to be a triathlon shop, so their staff aren't versed in how to do a triathlon fitting. In my defense, they should be.) And the fitting I currently have is an entirely self prescribed recipe that I did last spring with Chad's help and a bunch of research. But what do I know? I got through last season just fine, but this is Ironman. You can't settle for any unknowns here. So this should be valuable time spent, and I'm looking forward to it.

I'll also recon the course a bit, even in the snow covered gloom of February, and I have a 9 mile run schedule for that weekend, so I'll do it on the Ironman course. Hopefully I'll get some pictures or video of both escapades to post when I return. I'm looking forward to the recon, and it should be the first of several - starting in May I hope to go out there and live one week a month so I can train on the course and familiarize myself with the terrain, etc.

Other than that, I've been in a strangely...contemplative mood the last few days. Getting really emotionally dialed in to Ironman, re-reading some of my books and some of my favorite podcasts. There's little room for emotion in the course of the race, which is maybe contrary to expectations for such an emotional event, and one that is so emotion-driven (I don't think people train and race Ironman events - or probably any ultra-distance event - for the physical aspects of it, or at least not primarily - I think it's the emotions and the feelings and the sensations that are the drivers), but emotions are physically taxing, and affect energy levels incredibly (see: how my heart rate goes up when I listen to "Lose Yourself", for instance.) So I'm trying to sort through some of that now, this early, so that I have an organized place in me for it throughout the season. Anything that requires this much time, energy, and attention in life - be it a physical event like Ironman or something entirely different, is bound to be cathartic; it seems every significant thing one's ever experienced somehow comes to mind. An Ironman veteran and respected coach, Rich Strauss, suggests that emotions should be tucked safely away, and only taken out during the last few miles of the run, when you really need them. Being that I'm an emotional person, especially when I get tired (as I know I'll be), it's good for me to start learning to keep things in check now so my training the rest of the season is consistently affected.


Todd said...

The P-I-M-P ride.......nice hair Brandon Walsh!

Anonymous said...

Good job. You're so dedicated. Impressive. Sara

Michael Anderson said...

Chris' Running: even, steady, consistent.
Chris' Biking: smooth, stable, consistent.
Chris' Swimming: practiced, uniform, consistent.
Chris' Transitions: organized, efficient, consistent.
Chris' training schedule: strick, scheduled, solid, consistent.
Chris' blogging: As random as a gassy basset hound.

What's new tri-star?