I’m Number One!

Well, I’m actually number One . . . Hundred and Eighty Nine. . . but it’s a start.

I think these rankings for Ironman are a new thing, and for the U.S. in my age group I show up at 189 out of 2907, which I am both happy with and quite motivated by.

Here’s an explanation of the Ironman point system.

I’m planning to do a little more damage next year.  For one, I’ll be adding an additional race.  For two, I know what it takes and have already started working on the little things that will make a big difference.

I went to a physical therapist yesterday for a check up and he confirmed everything I suspected, which is . . . I’m out of balance.

I’ve had a bum knee, a weak achilles, a sore heel, and wank shoulder.  The shoulder has been screwed up for years thanks to a football game at work.  It really only limits my swim range.  The other stuff came from running.

My left leg and ankle are much weaker than my right side counterparts, so I over compensate and the result is more weakness . . . and pain.  This off season will be about symmetry.  Strengthening my left leg so I don’t have to baby it on the long runs while forcing my right leg to pick up the slack.  This is not going to be easy, however, because I’m kind of impatient with this stuff.  It took me an entire lifetime to build this ghastly inequity and it won’t correct itself overnight.

I could give you a long list of plans for box-step-ups and yoga moves, but it’s not the actual process as much as the mental motivation to do things that “feel” insignificant.  It’s hard enough to psych yourself up for workouts . . . but adding another 15 minutes before and after for shit that seems straight out of a senior citizen post-lunch/pre-nap conditioning hour?

“Grab those soup cans and hold ’em high!”

Anyway, now is the toughest time of the year for triathletes and it’s more important than ever to keep your head straight.  For me it starts with diet, hydration, and rest.  And while I do mean recovery/rest, I’m more concerned with actual sleep after strategic workouts because I’m still convinced a good attitude starts with sleep.

I was just talking with my coach, Robbie, over lunch and the last thing we covered was Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000 hour theory,” which exerts that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert.  I think Robbie and I agreed that his theory is full of holes because you can do the same insignificant workouts for 20,000 hours and improve less than if you did intensely focused and more productive work for 5,000.  Hell, Navy SEALS claim they can master nearly anything in 24 hours.  There’s also David Epstein’s book, “The Sports Gene,” that questions Gladwell’s theory from an entirely different perspective.

So what’s my point?  (Besides the fact that I am 189th in the US in my age group?)  I have no idea.  Besides, it’s only a damn blog.

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