Am I the valley of
Air, but sawdust instead;
Twenty gazillion more;
Every time I look at you,
Rain pours down my eyelids.
Am I the valley of
Air, but sawdust instead;
Twenty gazillion more;
Every time I look at you,
Rain pours down my eyelids.
A few months ago, I set a goal to run a marathon (26.2 miles or 42.2 km) in under four hours. That would require a pace of 9:09 minutes per mile (5:41 per kilometer), including rest stops. I did a lot of research and put together a training plan. I focused on my diet, nutrition, and daily lifestyle. I incorporated certain types of workouts that would benefit my faster tempo speed. For Ironman training, I hadn’t been running with a high heart rate. But in my previous failed sub-4-hour marathon attempt, my heart rate was too high for too long. So, this time I worked on improving heart rate efficiency.
In the end, I achieved the goal! I want to thank Taylor H. for his huge help during the pivotal 3/4ths of the race. He ran with me and handed me bottles when I was feeling down. Thank you!!
This attempt was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. One way to visualize it is by Relative Effort (RE). Strava calculates Relative Effort from a variety of metrics like heart rate and pace. Out of all 1,200+ activities I have recorded on Strava, this sub-4 hour marathon was my highest relative effort by a massive margin.
406 Relative Effort: The sub-4-hour marathon
330 RE: 84 mile hot, hilly ride
311 RE: Failed sub-4-hour marathon
249 RE: 107-mile hard rainy ride
245 RE: My first marathon
244 RE: Another 100-mile ride
I went through stages of grief during this race. To better understand the experience, I’ve summarized each mile of the race.
Mile 1: LET’S GO!!! I just finished listening to a David Goggins’ speech I was super emotional at the start.
Mile 2: I realize now that I forgot to pee before starting the race.
Mile 3: Selecting my music: epic Christian hits to go deep outside of myself.
Mile 4: First time I stopped for a drink of energy/electrolyte mix. Feeling solid.
Mile 5: My fastest mile by effort. Settling into a good pace.
Mile 6: My neighbors raking the leaves are looking at me funny after seeing me six times in the last hour.
Mile 7: I took a longer break here to pee and refresh with my drink mix and ginger tea. My stomach was feeling good. I took off some warm outer layer clothes, like my hat and gloves, as I warmed up.
Mile 8: One hour done. Feeling way better here than I did last time.
Mile 9: My heart rate starts to rise from my all-day pace into my tempo pace. From here onward, I’m burning more than I can replenish. That means the clock starts ticking on my energy reserves.
Mile 10: I start to get that small voice at the back of my mind telling me I’m uncomfortable.
Mile 11: The last mile that I run during which I feel “good.”
Mile 12: This is when the run starts getting difficult. I’m barely halfway and I feel like I’ve been running forever.
Mile 13: At the halfway point, I feel a boost of positivity, but this is short-lived. I’m under pace, but not by much. I bought myself a bit of wiggle room by running faster than I need to. But I’m getting tired.
Mile 14: The voice gets louder, yelling at me that I’m tired. But I get a savior: Taylor texts me that he’s on his way, and to stay strong. I shake my head in disagreement.
Mile 15: Taylor joins me for this mile. I can barely talk or breathe. I’ve still got my headphones in. We run together and blast out a solid mile time.
Mile 16: Taylor lets me run alone and instead manages my water station. Every mile I complete the loop, he hands me a bottle so I can sip and jog without stopping. I drink my mix according to the plan of one bottle per hour. I continue sipping lemon & ginger tea to help my stomach settle.
Mile 17: The wall gets bigger and my legs are heavy. I push a last effort to stay under pace, but I can’t. I fall backwards into stages of grief.
Mile 18: Grief stage 1: Denial. I have more than an hour remaining. My pace is slowing. I push harder, worrying that I’m about to hit the same wall that destroyed me last time at Mile 19.
Mile 19: Grief stage 2: Anger. I am livid at myself. This is the first mile during which I can’t run under pace. My speed starts slowing. Negativity washes over me like a deluge telling me that I won’t make it. I cry weakly.
Mile 20: Grief stage 3: Bargaining. I tear apart my old self and begin from the start. I don’t care about maintaining a pace. I care about finishing under 4 hours. I will do whatever it takes. I start doing mental math at how slow I’m going: calculating how much time I can lose on each mile and still make under four hours. Taylor has to leave so I’m on my own for aid.
Mile 21: Grief stage 4: Depression. For the last six miles, my heart rate had entered threshold pace. This is like putting the clock on my energy reserves into overdrive. I now have minutes, not hours, of energy left. I start to lose touch with reality; in a way the connection between my perception and surroundings starts to “melt.” I wonder if I can live with myself if I can’t finish. The reality of failure starts to make more sense.
Mile 22: Grief stage 5: Acceptance. I’m at my lowest. I would cry but I don’t have the energy to. I’m in a unique kind of pain. This pain is not sharp and obvious. It’s like the earth has ratcheted up the force of gravity pulling down on me. I can’t stay upright. Roots and molasses rip me downward. I know only one thing: I have to keep moving forward.
Mile 23: I build upon my acceptance. The clock on my energy has entered hyperspace as my heart-rate enters super-threshold. I am working the hardest that I’ve ever worked before. I switch my playlist back to David Goggins, looking for inspiration. But I feel distant from it.
Mile 24: I count every step, minute, and second until my torture is over. This is my slowest mile by time, but my hardest perceived effort so far. I finish my last drink bottle and throw it to the ground. Nothing else can help me now.
Mile 25: Wait, there it is. I can see the light now. The pacing math becomes easier. I see now how I can maintain this exact pace without pushing more, and still finish under four hours.
Mile 26: But it’s going to be close. I push harder again. My mind starts to reconnect back with my body and surroundings as I realize that I can do this. I count each .01 mile interval and I look down at my watch every couple of steps. I repeat to myself that I have to finish. I have to do it.
Mile 0.2: I push my pace to a sprint, which is the hardest I can run. This is the longest two minutes of my life. The only thing I’m focused on is staying upright. I stare down at my watch as the distance creaks higher.
Finished. I see the watch hit 26.22 and I’m done. I collapse onto the ground. I thank God and I am grateful to be done. I text Sahyli and text Taylor and call my brother Peter.
It’s over. A few minutes pass by and I am heaving air through my lungs.
I turn over. Struggling, I stand upright.
I completed the Ironman Wisconsin Triathlon race on September 12, 2021 with a time of 15:30:46.
I had to dig deep to finish. I made all the excuses and hit all the walls. I was ready for the race to be over around mile 30 of the bike ride, with 80 more miles to go plus the marathon remaining. And there were the pangs of soreness and loneliness and weakness while running in the dark past 10:00pm: the feeling of molasses when the legs just grind down to a walk.
I learned that everyone hits waves of difficulty during the Ironman. It’s that feeling of deep exhaustion that weighs down your attitude. I hit the first big wave around mile nine, when my pace slowed as my effort stayed the same. I was trying harder to run faster, but I was going slower. My heart rate was dropping, my glucose levels flatlining, my stomach turning upside down. I still had to complete lap one while running. I watched others run by me who were finishing. Meanwhile I had another 13-mile lap. My wife and brother were cheering me on as I started that 2nd lap. I told them I’m going to finish this motherfucker. I told myself I had to finish it now, today, so I would never have to do it again. I vomited on State Street a short while later in front of some college kids and families. Then I kept going.
I knew that my training increased my physical fitness. Training beats back The Wall so it hits later in the race, closer to the finish. But sooner or later, it hits. The Wall is the biggest one that finally breaks you.
I remember around mile 23, hitting the biggest wall of my entire athletic career. I’ve never been hit with a wall like that. My past races were short enough that the breaking point hits differently. But this one was unique: it was a slow creeping of vines out of the abyss, grasping and constricting my limbs until I was chained in place. My vision and senses grew distant as I started to lose touch with reality. I had to focus 100% of my attention on moving my limbs. I was losing control of myself.
How do you go through The Wall that breaks you?
The answer for me is to put one foot in front of the other. The answer is to not stop. I stop when I’m done. I told myself to finish it now so I’d never have to do it again.
It broke me not only because of the physical toll, but also because of the mental toll. By that point, I started failing all the mini-goals I had set for myself. Don’t walk between aid stations: failed. Don’t say negative thoughts: failed. Run an average pace-per-mile: failed. My mental attitude starting unraveling. But not completely, because there was still one goal left: finish within the time limit. I had to concede the little losses in order to win the war. I talked to both angels and demons in the last couple of miles, but my legs never stopped.
By the time I crossed the finish line, I didn’t feel strong and accomplished. I felt broken and weak. The race preparation over the last two years had taken my time, attention, and comfort. And today it was literally killing me. But it didn’t kill me. And that’s the only reason I finished.
I had spent the first couple of miles of the run imagining what I would do when I crossed the finish line. I thought I would let out a guttural roar at the top of my lungs. Over the course of the marathon, slowly I lost interest. By the time I pushed through the chute down the finish line and into the bright lights… by the time I heard my name called over the loudspeaker by legendary Mike… I gave a grin for the camera and then hobbled across the finish line. I let out a weak “Yes” to myself and started crying. The weight of years slipped off of me and I felt empty. I wasn’t even hungry. I didn’t want to celebrate. I wanted a shower and bed.
It was truly an amazing experience in total: pushing myself to my absolute limit of physical and mental capacity. I feel very close to the entire day. I get emotional when I think about it. But completing an Ironman Triathlon on one particular day was less of a stepping stone than I thought it would be.
But I don’t feel different. I truly feel that I was changed in small increments over the last two years during my training. That day, I thought I would feel strong. In reality, the race showed me how weak I could become when I am broken. But it didn’t kill me. I’m strong in how much brokenness I can handle. And even when I was broken and crawling on mile 23, I kept going. So in fact, this shows strength.
The last two years have been an intense ride. There was an easter egg in my training sessions that I posted to Strava:
I listed every excuse to NOT train. To NOT do the Ironman. To NOT push myself. Every workout that contributed to my training, I labeled with an excuse like “Stop Pre.”
In total, every training session was like the race itself. Every stroke, every pedal, and every step broke me down further and further into the deep dark of excuses, weakness, and death. Now I can grasp the entire list of every training session and every excuse in my two hands, and then smash them to dust. Every excuse along the way could not stop me, just like every step I needed during the race could not kill me. I can look back with pride at all the workouts I did, reminding myself that I didn’t succumb to the excuses. My goal remained. I was beaten and broken for two years plus 15 and a half hours, but I still made it out alive.
To see all these excuses at once, here’s a list of all my workouts that contributed to my Ironman Triathlon. There were others that I didn’t name with “Because,” especially in early 2020. So it’s not every workout. But what remains is a list of 506 workouts and 506 excuses. But I bolded some of my favorite titles.
Now the question is, what’s next?
|Aug 27, 2019||Because what if I give up?||Run|
|Aug 28, 2019||Because I had too many Sweet Martha’s cookies last night||Run|
|Aug 28, 2019||Because Happy Hour||Ride|
|Aug 29, 2019||Because I’m too hungry||Ride|
|Aug 29, 2019||Because I’m tired||Run|
|Aug 30, 2019||Because I’m too busy||Run|
|Aug 31, 2019||TK: Because I shouldn’t push it||Ride|
|Sep 1, 2019||Because I’d rather snooze||Run|
|Sep 3, 2019||Because I’ll get stuck in traffic||Run|
|Sep 4, 2019||Because I’m sore||Ride|
|Sep 4, 2019||Because I’m tight||Run|
|Sep 5, 2019||Because I forget how to swim||Run|
|Sep 5, 2019||Because I got a bloody nose (not pictured)||Ride|
|Sep 6, 2019||Because I must’ve tweaked something||Run|
|Sep 7, 2019||Because it’s too steep||Ride|
|Sep 8, 2019||Because it’s raining||Run|
|Sep 10, 2019||Because I don’t have time||Run|
|Sep 11, 2019||Because I just swam||Ride|
|Sep 11, 2019||Because I’m about to ride||Swim|
|Sep 12, 2019||Because my heart rate tracking is not accurate||Ride|
|Sep 12, 2019||Because thunderstorms||Run|
|Sep 13, 2019||Because I woke up late||Run|
|Sep 14, 2019||Because it’s in the 40s||Ride|
|Sep 15, 2019||Because I usually sacrifice form for speed||Run|
|Sep 16, 2019||Because there’s no place like home||Run|
|Sep 18, 2019||Because of standing all day||Run|
|Sep 20, 2019||Because my flight was delayed||Ride|
|Sep 20, 2019||Because my hip flexors are tight||Run|
|Sep 20, 2019||Because no GPS||Run|
|Sep 21, 2019||Because we need to get a couch||Ride|
|Sep 22, 2019||Because I didn’t know you could lace your shoes in a way to increase ankle support||Run|
|Sep 23, 2019||Because it’s Monday||Ride|
|Sep 23, 2019||Because of weak rotator cuffs||Swim|
|Sep 24, 2019||Because of detours||Ride|
|Sep 24, 2019||Because bricking makes for wobbly legs||Run|
|Sep 25, 2019||Because warm-ups take longer and longer||Run|
|Sep 25, 2019||Because I’m ready for rest day||Swim|
|Sep 27, 2019||Because I got a flu shot||Run|
|Sep 28, 2019||Because TK||Ride|
|Sep 29, 2019||Because fireball, dancefloor, and boats||Run|
|Sep 30, 2019||Because it’s too nice not to ride||Ride|
|Oct 1, 2019||Because I’m already soaked, so might as well||Swim|
|Oct 3, 2019||Because I just had dinner||Swim|
|Oct 3, 2019||Because it’s too late||Run|
|Oct 4, 2019||Because it’s too easy to blame the technology||Run|
|Oct 5, 2019||Because the Coastline Paradox is a thing apparently (FitBit 7.31 mi = Strava 8.66 mi)||Run|
|Oct 6, 2019||Because of that wind though!||Ride|
|Oct 7, 2019||Because my light ran outta juice||Ride|
|Oct 8, 2019||Because winter is coming, but not today||Ride|
|Oct 8, 2019||Because why start now when I could start later?||Run|
|Oct 11, 2019||Because say it ain’t snow, Joe!||Run|
|Oct 13, 2019||Because of the Vikings celebration||Run|
|Oct 14, 2019||Because now it’s actually cold||Ride|
|Oct 15, 2019||Because I hate the 5am alarm||Run|
|Oct 16, 2019||Because it’s just a quickie||Run|
|Oct 18, 2019||Because it’s hard to say “no”||Run|
|Oct 19, 2019||Because I can’t Stillwater in less than 3 hours||Ride|
|Oct 20, 2019||Because I am out of electrolytes||Run|
|Oct 22, 2019||Because lobster ravioli is waiting for me||Ride|
|Oct 23, 2019||Because you have to keep your steps light||Run|
|Oct 23, 2019||Because all I need is SUN: Sleeves, Umbrella, and Night vision goggles||Run|
|Oct 25, 2019||Because the best laid plans and mice and men oft go awry||Run|
|Oct 26, 2019||Because I’m right on the edge of zone 2||Ride|
|Oct 27, 2019||Because you gotta have a plan||Run|
|Oct 28, 2019||Because it’s a homemade brick||Swim|
|Oct 28, 2019||Because it’s too perilous||Ride|
|Oct 29, 2019||Because I finally got warmed up after the first 12.56 miles or so||Ride|
|Oct 30, 2019||Because it’s back into the belly of the beast||Run|
|Oct 30, 2019||Because the pool is empty||Swim|
|Oct 30, 2019||Because it’s the 25th hour||Run|
|Nov 1, 2019||Because this month has to be “no snooze November”||Run|
|Nov 2, 2019||Because my feet turned to ice blocks||Ride|
|Nov 3, 2019||Because of dogs, dogs, dogs!||Run|
|Nov 5, 2019||Because it takes more than hail to cancel a ride||Ride|
|Nov 4, 2019||Because I need more lunch||Swim|
|Nov 5, 2019||Because it only takes 10 minutes until mediocrity gives up||Ride|
|Nov 5, 2019||Because I was ready for this one to be over before it started||Run|
|Nov 6, 2019||Because it’s a bit slippery||Run|
|Nov 6, 2019||Because it’s hard to stay upright while 2-beat kicking||Swim|
|Nov 8, 2019||Because will is a muscle||Run|
|Nov 9, 2019||Because how did I forget my padding??||Ride|
|Nov 10, 2019||Because it’s ice in snow’s clothing||Run|
|Nov 11, 2019||Because it’ll take months before improvements come||Swim|
|Nov 12, 2019||Because vroom vroom||Virtual Ride|
|Nov 12, 2019||Because I need a trainer tire||Virtual Ride|
|Nov 12, 2019||Because I saw it happen today||Run|
|Nov 13, 2019||Because it’s a snow day||Swim|
|Nov 14, 2019||Because other people’s reasons for your insanity wear off after 2 months (3.73 actual miles at 10min pace)||Run|
|Nov 15, 2019||Because it’s like a tattoo. Even if you don’t see it, it may still be there||Run|
|Nov 16, 2019||Because beware the coyotes||Ride|
|Nov 18, 2019||Because was the extra Friendsgiving pie slice worth it?||Run|
|Nov 18, 2019||Because I have water in my goggles||Swim|
|Nov 18, 2019||Because did you know the average bladder holds up to only 20 fl oz?||Ride|
|Nov 20, 2019||Because these two||Run|
|Nov 21, 2019||Because if you can get through to doing things that you hate to do: on the other side is GREATNESS. Thank you, Goggins.||Run|
|Nov 20, 2019||Because float like a manta, sting like a jellyfish||Swim|
|Nov 23, 2019||Because go east, young one||Run|
|Nov 24, 2019||Build Me Up – Sneaky – Because today I’m fighting something||Virtual Ride|
|Nov 24, 2019||FTP Test (shorter) – Because 318 never felt so good||Virtual Ride|
|Nov 25, 2019||Because my whole body is tired today||Swim|
|Nov 26, 2019||Because it’s a mini rest day||Run|
|Nov 26, 2019||Build Me Up – Zone Benchmarking – Because of things that go creak in the bike||Virtual Ride|
|Nov 27, 2019||Because brace yourselves||Run|
|Nov 27, 2019||Build Me Up – Pedaling Drills – Because why not?||Virtual Ride|
|Nov 28, 2019||Build Me Up – Devedeset – Because gobble gobble||Virtual Ride|
|Nov 29, 2019||The McCarthy Special – Because I’m trigger happy||Virtual Ride|
|Dec 1, 2019||Build Me Up – Red Unicorn – Because I need a fan and a towel||Virtual Ride|
|Dec 3, 2019||Because ice skating in the dark without skates is actually incredibly good training for mental focus and light cadence||Run|
|Dec 2, 2019||Because it’s a bother||Swim|
|Dec 3, 2019||Because treadmills and I typically disagree||Run|
|Dec 5, 2019||Because if you can’t go slow, you can’t go fast||Swim|
|Dec 8, 2019||Because of creaky knees||Run|
|Dec 10, 2019||Because I thought about running outside for a second||Run|
|Dec 12, 2019||Because of allergies||Swim|
|Dec 13, 2019||Build Me Up – Yellow Unicorn (only half because tacos)||Virtual Ride|
|Dec 15, 2019||Because shoelaces are for finishers||Run|
|Dec 15, 2019||Because I could be watching football||Swim|
|Dec 15, 2019||Because no skipping||Run|
|Dec 17, 2019||Because the pool is under maintenance||Run|
|Dec 17, 2019||Because of pride||Run|
|Dec 19, 2019||Because I should fight evil until I can’t. Then, run.||Run|
|Dec 21, 2019||Because the tracks may be gone, but the legacies remain||Run|
|Dec 22, 2019||Because arm blasters beats rest day||Run|
|Dec 23, 2019||Because if you know, then you know||Run|
|Dec 26, 2019||Because Connor and I had some catching up to do||Run|
|Dec 30, 2019||Because literal ice skating is better than the treadmill||Run|
|Dec 31, 2019||Because how else will I practice water-in-goggles drills||Swim|
|Jan 1, 2020||Because my phone froze to death at 38% from exposure||Run|
|Jan 1, 2020||Because God witnessed me, even though Strava didn’t||Run|
|Jan 2, 2020||Because it’s New Year’s at the gym||Swim|
|Jan 4, 2020||Because I’m at 18,000 steps already…||Run|
|Jan 6, 2020||Because you can’t forget to log||Swim|
|Jan 9, 2020||Because I fought sharks||Swim|
|Jan 11, 2020||Because it feels like a dream||Run|
|Jan 12, 2020||Because why walk when you can take the armored motorcade to the helipad?||Run|
|Jan 13, 2020||Because always look both ways||Run|
|Jan 15, 2020||Because of a scratchy throat||Run|
|Jan 17, 2020||Because it’s a bit too cold out||Run|
|Jan 18, 2020||Because what if I forget to enjoy the journey?||Run|
|Jan 19, 2020||Because I need a double of Zone 2, over ice||Run|
|Jan 21, 2020||Because burns take a long while to heal||Swim|
|Jan 22, 2020||Because I already summited Alpe Du Zwift||Run|
|Jan 24, 2020||Because double in the lane makes for a bumpy ride||Swim|
|Jan 25, 2020||Because nothing like stepping in a big ole puddle in the first 30 seconds||Run|
|Jan 26, 2020||Because never skip the cooldown||Run|
|Jan 27, 2020||Because there are ants by the pool!||Swim|
|Jan 29, 2020||Because what if I can’t squeeze in the time||Run|
|Jan 30, 2020||Because who invented this drill, anyway?||Swim|
|Feb 2, 2020||Because I cannot part the puddles||Run|
|Feb 3, 2020||Because I’m wobbling hard right now||Swim|
|Feb 5, 2020||Because transition has 11+8 steps. How can I remember 19 steps?||Run|
|Feb 8, 2020||Because the goggles go under the cap||Swim|
|Feb 8, 2020||Because apparently one leg is longer than the other||Run|
|Feb 11, 2020||Because today I need a revival||Run|
|Feb 11, 2020||Because the couch is calling||Swim|
|Feb 13, 2020||Because there’s an exam on Saturday||Swim|
|Feb 16, 2020||Because there are 24 hours in a day||Run|
|Feb 17, 2020||Because there are storms coming||Swim|
|Feb 19, 2020||Because a little less conversation, and a little more lower my heart rate||Run|
|Feb 20, 2020||Because restructure, rinse, repeat||Swim|
|Feb 21, 2020||Because of achy legs||Run|
|Feb 23, 2020||Because surprise parties||Run|
|Feb 25, 2020||Because blink and you’ll miss it||Run|
|Feb 25, 2020||Because suck it in||Swim|
|Feb 26, 2020||Because shifting rest day||Run|
|Feb 27, 2020||Because I don’t have a swimmer’s body||Swim|
|Mar 1, 2020||Because yesterday was bonkers||Run|
|Mar 2, 2020||Because it’s almost beach week||Swim|
|Mar 10, 2020||Because there are many shades of blue||Swim|
|Mar 11, 2020||Because of morning showers||Run|
|Mar 12, 2020||Because salt water is a good way to lose a pair of contact lenses||Swim|
|Mar 13, 2020||Because I am who you say I am||Run|
|Mar 14, 2020||Because la vida es un carnival||Run|
|Mar 18, 2020||Because the pool is closed||Run|
|Mar 22, 2020||Because the events will probably be canceled||Run|
|Mar 24, 2020||Because of Jocko||Run|
|Mar 26, 2020||Because of social distancing||Run|
|Mar 27, 2020||Because a little detour for us can mean the world for someone else||Run|
|Mar 29, 2020||Because it’s another brick in the wall||Run|
|Mar 31, 2020||Because my hips don’t just “release”||Yoga|
|Apr 5, 2020||Because everything in moderation, including moderation||Run|
|Apr 6, 2020||Because warriors aren’t static||Yoga|
|Apr 9, 2020||Because of virtual family happy hour||Run|
|Apr 10, 2020||Because it’s Good||Yoga|
|Apr 11, 2020||Because some habits never change||Ride|
|Apr 12, 2020||Because pasta has many shapes||Run|
|Apr 13, 2020||Because what’s good doesn’t feel good at the time||Yoga|
|Apr 15, 2020||Because I can’t touch my toes||Yoga|
|Apr 15, 2020||Because I need a spin||Virtual Ride|
|Apr 19, 2020||Because this is the only way to watch Netflix||Virtual Ride|
|Apr 21, 2020||Because I need extra recovery||Virtual Ride|
|Apr 21, 2020||Because leave no stone unturned||Run|
|Apr 22, 2020||Because the quarantine bod is out in full force||Run|
|Apr 25, 2020||Because 100+ cadence in the drops = drills over frills||Ride|
|Apr 25, 2020||Because my first mile heart rate is too damn high||Run|
|Apr 26, 2020||Because this half, too, shall pass||Run|
|Apr 27, 2020||Because make sure to hold your breath as you pass||Ride|
|Apr 28, 2020||Because when I woke up sore I knew I’d go to sleep sore||Run|
|Apr 28, 2020||Because the wind feels like winter again. Should’ve worn something, anything else.||Ride|
|May 1, 2020||Because factor out the transportation time||Ride|
|May 1, 2020||Because of my Hesiod seminar||Run|
|May 2, 2020||Because I’ll have one for takeout, please||Ride|
|May 3, 2020||Because ice cream is not a good pre-workout||Ride|
|May 3, 2020||Because the 70.3 is postponed anyways||Run|
|May 5, 2020||Because yesterday is too easy to blame||Ride|
|May 5, 2020||Because it feels just like I’m riding on broken glass||Ride|
|May 5, 2020||Because new supplements, new gut||Run|
|May 6, 2020||Because my headphones are broken!||Virtual Ride|
|May 7, 2020||Because due in 10 minutes? Do in 10 minutes.||Run|
|May 9, 2020||Because everybody in the house is streaming HD video||Virtual Ride|
|May 10, 2020||Because that warm-up was a bit much||Run|
|May 11, 2020||Because Plato just hits differently||Ride|
|May 12, 2020||Because I cry out for glucose right around 1.5 hours||Run|
|May 13, 2020||Because a little squeak gets louder||Virtual Ride|
|May 15, 2020||Because that was the lowest heart rate brick I’ve ever done||Run|
|May 15, 2020||Because what if the big boy pants don’t fit?||Virtual Ride|
|May 16, 2020||Because I could just sleep in||Ride|
|May 17, 2020||Because I thought the pools were closed||Run|
|May 18, 2020||Because that gust almost knocked me out||Ride|
|May 18, 2020||Because one thing leads to another||Run|
|May 19, 2020||Because finals||Ride|
|May 19, 2020||Because of intermittent fasting||Run|
|May 20, 2020||Because footwear||Run|
|May 23, 2020||Because all cleaning and no riding makes Grant a dull boy||Ride|
|May 24, 2020||Because the early bird gets the rain||Hike|
|May 25, 2020||Because everyone is out||Ride|
|May 25, 2020||Because is any day really extra||Run|
|May 26, 2020||Because beat the rain||Ride|
|May 26, 2020||Because the Simpsons already did it||Run|
|May 30, 2020||Because the nation is looking to us for how to act||Run|
|May 30, 2020||Because there’s imbalance||Ride|
|May 31, 2020||Because the line separating good and evil passes through every human heart||Ride|
|Jun 1, 2020||Because why not the longest run of the year be on the hottest day of the year||Run|
|Jun 3, 2020||Because blisters||Ride|
|Jun 3, 2020||Because long term or short term?||Run|
|Jun 5, 2020||Because it’s quiet, too quiet||Ride|
|Jun 6, 2020||Because life isn’t a box||Run|
|Jun 7, 2020||Because it’s a headwind or heatwave: pick your poison||Ride|
|Jun 8, 2020||Because waffles are part of a balanced diet, right?||Ride|
|Jun 12, 2020||Because there’s nothing like a new shoe feeling||Run|
|Jun 13, 2020||Because something is grinding and it ain’t coffee||Ride|
|Jun 14, 2020||Because I resolved the grinding but the popping remains||Ride|
|Jun 14, 2020||Because at least the popping isn’t in the knees||Run|
|Jun 15, 2020||Because the Garmin body battery makes me feel like a robot||Ride|
|Jun 16, 2020||Because there be Zombies, so Run!||Run|
|Jun 19, 2020||Because holidays give us a reason to remember||Run|
|Jun 20, 2020||Because the new kit is fresh||Ride|
|Jun 22, 2020||Because rest days beget rest days||Run|
|Jun 23, 2020||Because Velofix comes in the clutch||Ride|
|Jun 24, 2020||Because school is re-canceled||Ride|
|Jun 24, 2020||Because check that: school is un-re-canceled||Run|
|Jun 25, 2020||Because it’s just a few seconds longer||Ride|
|Jun 25, 2020||Because next stop, Virginia||Run|
|Jun 28, 2020||Because that’s 2L of water in 45 minutes ü•µ||Ride|
|Jun 29, 2020||Because some things stay the same, like construction on Custis||Ride|
|Jun 30, 2020||Because don’t look back||Ride|
|Jul 1, 2020||Because so hot the earbuds are falling out||Run|
|Jul 3, 2020||Because it only feels like a gazillion degrees||Hike|
|Jul 6, 2020||Because of overnight drives||Ride|
|Jul 6, 2020||Because no aero bars on my Brooks||Run|
|Jul 7, 2020||Because there’s nothing like turning around and all the trees look the same||Swim|
|Jul 8, 2020||Because I haven’t lifted in months||Run|
|Jul 9, 2020||Because the stones don’t worry me; the empty space does||Ride|
|Jul 12, 2020||Because tomorrow will be sorer than today||Run|
|Jul 13, 2020||Because my broken bottle and broken holder can only last so long||Ride|
|Jul 15, 2020||Because now it’s the backs of my hips that get tight||Run|
|Jul 16, 2020||Because some doors close; some doors open||Ride|
|Jul 17, 2020||Because some days I feel like this car||Run|
|Jul 18, 2020||Because it’s cleaning & anniversary day||Ride|
|Jul 18, 2020||Because the path is well traveled||Hike|
|Jul 21, 2020||Because it’s the first ride after the head bang||Ride|
|Jul 22, 2020||Because the fruits must be crazy!||Ride|
|Jul 25, 2020||Because it’s the humid-er remix to Giro de Pepin||Ride|
|Jul 26, 2020||Because more water required||Run|
|Jul 28, 2020||Because all it takes is one Evil Corp||Walk|
|Jul 28, 2020||Because it’s rabbit season||Ride|
|Jul 29, 2020||Because GAFA got shook today||Run|
|Jul 30, 2020||Because it’s Randonautica vol. #1: “Refreshing”||Ride|
|Jul 31, 2020||Because it’s Randonautica#2: “Attractor”||Run|
|Aug 1, 2020||Because I would ride 100 miles and more: 2 flats, a spectacular crash, and many Tour De Tonka wannabe riders.||Ride|
|Aug 2, 2020||Because it’s after the fact||Hike|
|Aug 3, 2020||Because the oven is getting replaced||Walk|
|Aug 4, 2020||Because every day is day one||Run|
|Aug 4, 2020||Because the wheels come off||Ride|
|Aug 5, 2020||Because we hurry up to wait||Run|
|Aug 6, 2020||Because it’s too “intense” – Randonauting #3||Ride|
|Aug 6, 2020||Because there are only 48 half-hours in a day||Run|
|Aug 6, 2020||Because we have a 23:19. Rando #4: Simple.||Ride|
|Aug 7, 2020||Because news will be news||Run|
|Aug 9, 2020||Because you should be dancing||Ride|
|Aug 10, 2020||Because who needs sleep when there’s fun to be had?||Run|
|Aug 10, 2020||Because a watched tire never pops||Ride|
|Aug 11, 2020||Because the world goes by with our earbuds in||Run|
|Aug 11, 2020||Because the cities are flat they said, there aren’t any hills they said||Ride|
|Aug 12, 2020||Because the gateway to happiness is a moving target||Run|
|Aug 12, 2020||Because there are miles to go before we sleep||Ride|
|Aug 14, 2020||Because the I Do is affordable||Ride|
|Aug 15, 2020||Because it’s a toss up: post hike burger or post hike remove the boots||Hike|
|Aug 16, 2020||Because I’ve got to keep up with Kenny||Run|
|Aug 17, 2020||Because what if biking is more fun||Run|
|Aug 20, 2020||Because of||Ride|
|Aug 20, 2020||Because worship only the sacrifice||Run|
|Aug 22, 2020||Because canceled plans = free time||Ride|
|Aug 24, 2020||Because out of service||Run|
|Aug 24, 2020||Because it’s better left unsaid||Ride|
|Aug 25, 2020||Because on Tuesdays, we forget headbands||Run|
|Aug 25, 2020||Because it smells like paint||Ride|
|Aug 26, 2020||Because it’s a small world!!!||Run|
|Aug 27, 2020||Because curfew||Ride|
|Aug 29, 2020||Because I could be watching Le Tour||Ride|
|Aug 30, 2020||Because you know I had to try it||Run|
|Sep 1, 2020||Because what if you had one gear||Ride|
|Sep 2, 2020||Because make it count||Ride|
|Sep 8, 2020||Because today is the first day of winter||Ride|
|Sep 10, 2020||Because maybe we’ll just order pizza||Ride|
|Sep 12, 2020||Because it’s time to cash the checks||Ride|
|Sep 13, 2020||Because of the 4.5 hour Zoom sesh||Ride|
|Sep 15, 2020||Because it’s so catchy||Ride|
|Sep 17, 2020||Because we’ve entered the Alpes||Ride|
|Sep 19, 2020||Because if Pogacar can do it||Ride|
|Sep 21, 2020||Because fall is here||Ride|
|Sep 25, 2020||Because I could use a day off||Ride|
|Oct 25, 2020||Because of symmetry||Walk|
|Oct 30, 2020||Because the fire alarm takes priority||Walk|
|Nov 1, 2020||Because it’s 75 degrees… Inside my jacket||Walk|
|Nov 21, 2020||Because it’s the first breath after shave||Walk|
|Nov 25, 2020||Because if you have to trip and fall, go the long way round||Walk|
|Dec 5, 2020||Because the final stretch is always the best/worst||Walk|
|Dec 6, 2020||Because you can’t hide from the clock||Run|
|Dec 8, 2020||Because I need boost||Run|
|Dec 9, 2020||Because I thought it was shorts weather||Run|
|Dec 11, 2020||Because some fears are rational||Run|
|Dec 13, 2020||Because I’m incomplete without my phone||Run|
|Dec 16, 2020||Because it’s DIY cryonics out here||Run|
|Dec 17, 2020||Because one day I’ll learn the difference between St. and Ave.||Run|
|Dec 19, 2020||Because what if I repeat myself?||Run|
|Dec 21, 2020||Because futility is resistance||Run|
|Dec 22, 2020||Because tonight’s gonna be a long one||Run|
|Dec 24, 2020||Because everyone has an angel. Wendel skidded out onto the median and after taking food to friends. Madison stopped by and offered a cable. We pulled Wendel out and he got home safe.||Run|
|Dec 25, 2020||Because a time trial is better when it’s summer||Run|
|Dec 27, 2020||Because it’s impossible to get the sand out||Run|
|Dec 28, 2020||Because doing nothing is scarier||Run|
|Dec 30, 2020||Because this light takes 5 minutes to change||Run|
|Jan 2, 2021||Because the cobwebs are dusty||Virtual Ride|
|Jan 2, 2021||Because the gps caught me skating||Walk|
|Jan 11, 2021||Because I wasn’t fitted||Ride|
|Jan 22, 2021||FTP Test: 343W, 3.61 W/kg – Because you’re closer than you know||Virtual Ride|
|Jan 30, 2021||Because it’s all a game that can be made or un-made||Run|
|Feb 5, 2021||Because we’re out of vegetables||Virtual Ride|
|Mar 4, 2021||Because the niche is nailed||Run|
|Mar 4, 2021||Because it feels like Friday||Run|
|Mar 7, 2021||Because rough living grates on me||Run|
|Mar 9, 2021||Because I’m already sunburnt||Run|
|Mar 11, 2021||Because we skipped right to autumn||Run|
|Mar 13, 2021||Because the shoes haven’t arrived||Virtual Ride|
|Mar 13, 2021||Because the elevator is so convenient||Walk|
|Mar 13, 2021||Because no coffee on race day||Run|
|Mar 14, 2021||Because of daylight losing time||Ride|
|Mar 16, 2021||Because the gasoline is watered down||Run|
|Mar 17, 2021||Because everyone needs a tour of their backyard + Taylor!||Run|
|Mar 18, 2021||Because it was just a little love tap||Ride|
|Mar 19, 2021||Because the sun still sets||Run|
|Mar 20, 2021||Because just follow the monster||Ride|
|Mar 21, 2021||Because determinism is a choice||Run|
|Mar 24, 2021||Because it’s easier to run in snow than rain||Weight Training|
|Mar 25, 2021||Because it’s afternoon TT time||Ride|
|Mar 26, 2021||Because to love something, love everything||Run|
|Mar 28, 2021||Because missed turns are just new opportunities||Ride|
|Mar 29, 2021||Because just 100 steps more, then I’ll stop||Run|
|Apr 2, 2021||Because my reduction was too viscous||Ride|
|Apr 2, 2021||Because my last run gave me food poisoning||Run|
|Apr 3, 2021||Because it’s easier to drive||Ride|
|Apr 4, 2021||Because what if I run out of calories?||Run|
|Apr 5, 2021||Because the AC broke||Ride|
|Apr 8, 2021||Because we were 10 steps away from 10k||Run|
|Apr 10, 2021||Because all it takes is 5 windbreakers, 3 sandwiches, and 1 spare tire||Ride|
|Apr 11, 2021||Because the will gives up before the legs do||Run|
|Apr 14, 2021||Because there’s no need to look over my shoulder since nobody’s out tonight||Run|
|Apr 14, 2021||Because I can multitask||Ride|
|Apr 15, 2021||Because if could ever drop 20 more pounds, this shit’ll get easier||Run|
|Apr 16, 2021||Because I am Klarg the bugbear now||Ride|
|Apr 17, 2021||Because just keep smiling when you’re going up||Ride|
|Apr 20, 2021||Because I don’t have to Zwift||Ride|
|Apr 20, 2021||Because life is a rollercoaster||Run|
|Apr 21, 2021||Because I’ll have salt sticks for dinner||Ride|
|Apr 21, 2021||Because the difficulty is a choice||Run|
|Apr 23, 2021||Because this is the first second vaccine dose||Ride|
|Apr 25, 2021||Because it’s only a footnote of life||Run|
|Apr 26, 2021||Because I’ll need at least 14mph||Ride|
|Apr 26, 2021||Because I need hip correction every day||Run|
|Apr 29, 2021||Because lakety lake lake||Ride|
|Apr 30, 2021||Because they didn’t let me swim||Ride|
|Apr 30, 2021||Because there’s a monster in the lake||Run|
|May 1, 2021||Because I packed for only 50||Ride|
|May 1, 2021||Because this is it||Run|
|May 2, 2021||Because Lionel can do it||Run|
|May 3, 2021||Because my legs can’t move||Ride|
|May 6, 2021||Because when you’re going through a migraine, keep going||Run|
|May 8, 2021||Because what are the chances the world is small?||Hike|
|May 9, 2021||Because it wouldn’t be possible without moms||Run|
|May 17, 2021||Because it’s hard to be easy||Swim|
|May 20, 2021||Because what if these habits are bad||Swim|
|May 21, 2021||Because get in loser, we’re going shopping||Ride|
|May 22, 2021||Because don’t taunt a guy with a weapon||Ride|
|May 23, 2021||Because it’s duck season (w/ Taylor)||Run|
|May 24, 2021||Because reaching is faster than pulling||Swim|
|May 26, 2021||Because it’s wine o’ clock||Swim|
|Jun 1, 2021||Because reach long out, turn on the side, manage endurance, build the pace, and breathe in 3s||Swim|
|Jun 1, 2021||Because red eyes are no fun||Ride|
|Jun 2, 2021||Because it’s snowing allergens||Run|
|Jun 3, 2021||Because what if nature dials #2||Run|
|Jun 3, 2021||Because don’t thread the needle||Ride|
|Jun 4, 2021||Because I still have so many questions||Swim|
|Jun 5, 2021||Because it’s too hot too early||Ride|
|Jun 6, 2021||Because outdoors is way different than indoors||Ride|
|Jun 6, 2021||Because everyone’s a gangsta til they run out of bottles||Run|
|Jun 8, 2021||Because don’t forget to bring a towel||Swim|
|Jun 8, 2021||Because high elbow, straight arm, trickle breath||Swim|
|Jun 9, 2021||Because it sure does look like a storm||Ride|
|Jun 9, 2021||Because yep, it’s a storm||Run|
|Jun 10, 2021||Because my body cannot do it||Ride|
|Jun 10, 2021||Because everything is so hot right now||Run|
|Jun 11, 2021||Because it’s just a start||Swim|
|Jun 12, 2021||Because PB&J a la sweaty jersey is not that bad||Ride|
|Jun 12, 2021||Because we all have plans||Run|
|Jun 13, 2021||Because the recovery is the workout||Run|
|Jun 15, 2021||Because I need to zip up and keep those fingers down||Swim|
|Jun 16, 2021||Because why isn’t this a crit||Ride|
|Jun 16, 2021||Because I’m still fasted||Run|
|Jun 17, 2021||Because it’s just 38 more of those 100s||Swim|
|Jun 18, 2021||Because where the heart goes, I follow||Run|
|Jun 19, 2021||Because we don’t go out anymore||Ride|
|Jun 20, 2021||Because memories rush in like a brick wall||Run|
|Jun 22, 2021||Because all I get is 3 perfect strokes in the middle of a workout||Swim|
|Jun 23, 2021||Because what if I forget how to change a flat||Ride|
|Jun 24, 2021||Because I used to be much faster, I swear||Run|
|Jun 25, 2021||Because no one would notice if I took a rest day||Ride|
|Jun 25, 2021||Because I’m not breaking any records||Run|
|Jun 26, 2021||Because there’s a first time for everything||Swim|
|Jun 28, 2021||Because even the best fail sometimes||Run|
|Jun 29, 2021||Because it takes 72 hours to sink in||Swim|
|Jun 29, 2021||Because my bike bag was stolen, again||Ride|
|Jun 30, 2021||Because it’s a long drive||Ride|
|Jul 2, 2021||Because it do be that hot||Run|
|Jul 3, 2021||Because I’ve got to practice the post race celebration||Run|
|Jul 6, 2021||Because I’m back from the abyss||Swim|
|Jul 7, 2021||Because there’s no time to waste||Ride|
|Jul 7, 2021||Because this bottle ain’t big enough for the two of us||Run|
|Jul 8, 2021||Because safety is relative||Ride|
|Jul 9, 2021||Because I should eat breakfast||Swim|
|Jul 10, 2021||Because I don’t even go here||Ride|
|Jul 10, 2021||Because of the tummy rumbles||Run|
|Jul 11, 2021||Because the clock don’t stop||Run|
|Jul 14, 2021||Because it’s the flu, at worst||Ride|
|Jul 15, 2021||Because it’s all I can muster||Run|
|Jul 17, 2021||Because I guess the steam room is open||Workout|
|Jul 18, 2021||Because I’m back||Ride|
|Jul 19, 2021||Because the wetsuit feels better now||Swim|
|Jul 21, 2021||Because the air quality is bad, mmmkay?||Run|
|Jul 23, 2021||Because new tires make all the difference (thank you, Velofix!)||Ride|
|Jul 23, 2021||Because I don’t have to worry about the cold temperature||Run|
|Jul 31, 2021||Because family first||Walk|
|Aug 1, 2021||Because I’ll sprint it next time||Hike|
|Aug 2, 2021||Because 1 week is long enough||Swim|
|Aug 2, 2021||Because I’ve got to get comfortable with sitting||Ride|
|Aug 3, 2021||Because no one was at the auto shop||Run|
|Aug 3, 2021||Because it’s just 5 minutes a day||Weight Training|
|Aug 4, 2021||Because it works now||Run|
|Aug 4, 2021||Because what if I lose steam||Ride|
|Aug 5, 2021||Because it’s better together||Run|
|Aug 7, 2021||Because I missed my swim today||Weight Training|
|Aug 7, 2021||Because it’s only miserable if you let it be||Ride|
|Aug 9, 2021||Because the only thing that happened in my hometown for 18 years was a guy on the loose with a samurai sword||Run|
|Aug 10, 2021||Because sometimes it’s better to recover (steam)||Workout|
|Aug 10, 2021||Because I learned about new shoulder muscles during that one||Swim|
|Aug 11, 2021||Because failure is an option||Run|
|Aug 12, 2021||Because my 2nd water bottle cage is a clip-on||Ride|
|Aug 12, 2021||Because I have Gatorade in my veins||Run|
|Aug 13, 2021||Because my eyesight is pretty bad||Run|
|Aug 14, 2021||Because the 40% rule applies||Swim|
|Aug 15, 2021||Because taste the pain||Ride|
|Aug 17, 2021||Because I can’t hold my bottle without my rubber band||Run|
|Aug 18, 2021||Because sometimes multitasking is necessary||Swim|
|Aug 20, 2021||Because take care of your eyes today||Ride|
|Aug 21, 2021||Because the berserker is a state of trance||Run|
|Aug 23, 2021||Because I’m on nurse duty||Weight Training|
|Aug 23, 2021||Because it’s one eye at a time||Swim|
|Aug 24, 2021||Because the number of the counting shall be three||Ride|
|Aug 25, 2021||Because does pain have a limit?||Run|
|Aug 26, 2021||Because there’s only a 51% chance of hail||Run|
|Aug 28, 2021||Because it’s State Fair szn||Run|
|Aug 29, 2021||Because just one more turn||Ride|
|Aug 29, 2021||Because it smells like autumn||Run|
|Aug 30, 2021||Because we gotta replace the whole engine||Swim|
|Aug 31, 2021||Because it all needs to be rewritten||Run|
|Sep 1, 2021||Because it’s orientation week, when intersections are made up and traffic lights don’t matter||Ride|
|Sep 3, 2021||Because existence is ambiguous||Run|
|Sep 4, 2021||Because I need a mental toughness day||Swim|
|Sep 5, 2021||Because I’m elevated||Hike|
|Sep 5, 2021||Because I’m iced||Hike|
|Sep 5, 2021||Because I’m rested||Hike|
|Sep 5, 2021||Because it’s taper week||Hike|
|Sep 6, 2021||Because I got 8 badges||Ride|
|Sep 7, 2021||Because I’m afraid of fish||Swim|
|Sep 10, 2021||Because it is too late to back out now||Ride|
|Sep 10, 2021||Because there are plenty of reasons to say no||Run|
|Sep 12, 2021||Because I only need one reason to do an Ironman (1/3)||Swim|
|Sep 12, 2021||Because I only need one reason to do an Ironman (2/3)||Ride|
|Sep 12, 2021||Because I only need one reason to do an Ironman (3/3)||Run|
On July 25, 2021, I completed the half Ironman 70.3 in Ohio, USA. It was one of the hardest experiences of my life! But I had so much support from family, friends, and volunteers on the race course. Thank you!!
SWIM (1.2 Miles, 1.9 Kilometers) = 00:44:59
T1 SWIM-TO-BIKE = 00:08:11
BIKE (56 Mi, 90 K) = 3:00:22
T2 BIKE-TO-RUN = 00:08:31
RUN (13.1 Mi, 21.1 K) = 2:37:59
TOTAL TIME = 6:40:02
I am planning on doing a more in-depth analysis of the race.
I’m looking forward to the full Ironman Wisconsin in September, which will double all the distances.
This is a simple notification that I did the half Ironman.
So for now, time to celebrate!
It’s two days before race day, which is Sunday, July 25th. It’s the half Ironman 70.3. I’ve done all my tapering and relaxing these past two weeks. I’ve already put in the miles and hours of training. Now is when I need to finalize the packing list and plan out each item for each step. I use Trello to organize checklists so they’re easy to understand.
Take a look at my packing list and day by day plan.
I’ll talk to you after the race!
In 2021, I did things better than in 2020.
In 2021, I started doing longer swim sessions and once per day. In 2020, I was doing two-a-days and shortening the swim. But I’m not a strong swimmer, so I need to spend more time in the water.
In 2021, I started doing more brick workouts. A brick is a combination of bike then run, in that order. A brick trains your body to get used to running right after biking. I was only doing one brick workout per week in 2020. But in 2021, I was doing at least 2-3 bricks per week.
In 2021, I took swim lessons from a coach. I learned so much about efficiency and power that I would not have picked up on my own. In 2020, it was me, myself, and I.
In 2021, I got fitted onto my bike in a road position and aero position. I also got aero bars. In 2021, I will race in the aero position, which is much faster and more comfortable. In 2020, I only had the road, upright position to ride in.
In 2021, I got another pair of goggles. These goggles are anti-fog. In 2020, I only had one pair of cheap goggles. Also in 2021, I bought a wetsuit that I didn’t have in 2020.
In 2021, I got calf compression sleeves for my legs. These reduce muscle fatigue for races or intense workouts. In 2020, I was relying on my bare legs.
In 2021, I started practicing with nutrition. I tested out 3-4 different endurance mix powders and took them on long workouts. For what it’s worth, I landed on Infinit Performance Nutrition. I also bought the Maurten gels and Quantum bars that will on course at the race. I bought Salt Sticks and took them everywhere. I trained with a mix of Gatorade and water. In 2020, I was trying out a things without much discipline.
In 2021, I started running with a water bottle. I can’t understate how important this is. I will race with a water bottle containing my Infinit endurance mix. And, I can refill the bottle with water and Gatorade and cola. This way, I can sip on fluids in between aid stations.
There were other smaller things I did differently from 2020 to 2021, but these are the big ones.
One thing that remains the same is the commitment and motivation from 2020. That has only grown in resolve in 2021.
I started training to do an Ironman triathlon since August, 2019. But from then until now, I’ve gone through ups and downs in my training. Below are some summaries of the distances / durations per week of each discipline: swim, bike, and run. My training has been split up into distinct blocks.
This post is not about stairs.
It is about me trying to understand what’s happening in my city, country, and culture. I do it the best way I know how, through metaphors.
If you were walking up the stairs and saw this, what would you do?
A New Step #1 was recently installed with new wood. The Old Step #2 matches the original build.
Where would you put your weight to climb the stairs: On #1 or #2? In other words, the question is whether you trust the old or trust the new.
There’s no right answer in every case. Each case depends on the context and personality.
Put my weight on the new: The old step broke away due to time and disintegration. So it’s more likely that the other old step will break, too. The new was installed with newer, better parts.
Put my weight on the old: The old has still more experience than the new, which hasn’t been tested yet. Maybe it was installed wrong and I’m about to find out. The new could be incompatible withe the original build.
This post is about Daunte Wright and Kim Potter. It’s about split second decisions. About desperation and stress. About equality and justice.
Daunte Wright was killed by Kim Potter. This loss is a tragedy for our city, country, and culture. The protests, counter-protests, and surrounding conversation are as much about the moments that ended one life and changed another as it is about competing ideologies; about where we should put our weight.
Old Step #1 broke, and the New Step #1 inserted itself in. There is a new movement calling for justice, demanding outrage, and condemning silence.
We as a people are now looking at Old Step #2.
Is Old Step #2 sturdy or most likely to break?
Was the breaking of Old Step #1 an outlier occurrence, or was it an indicator that the old wood is disintegrating?
Do we trust the original foundations or do we think it’s likely to break and hurt someone else?
Is the New Step #1 incompatible with the original build, or is it more advanced with updated parts?
This very week, during the Chauvin trials of the killing of George Floyd, ideologies are arguing louder than ever again. We have to choose whether to protect Step #2 and trust the sturdiness that lasts. Or we have to choose to replace the outdated old wood and replace it with a newer and updated build.
What’s the difference between paranoia and planning? When is it reasonable to live in fear?
My car has started to turn off randomly while I’m driving. I’m going about 25 miles an hour with a small amount of pressure on the accelerator. Each time it has happened, I’ve been able to react quickly by pulling over to the side of the road to restart the car. Nevertheless, it got me worried.
I took the car to a mechanic. But the mechanic wasn’t able to reproduce the issue and couldn’t fix it. But he said to try different gasoline and pay attention to see if it happened again.
Well, it did continue happening. It’s happened about five times now. It’s hard to predict. But luckily, it’s only happened on small roads, not at high speed on the highway.
While I’m going 20-25 miles an hour, I should be able to coast to a stop if I’ve been paying attention. Given this new risk, I’ve actually become more aware of my surroundings at all times. Imagine if I were texting and the car turned off suddenly. I would lose valuable seconds. At the least, it would be embarrassing to stall in the middle of the road. At worst, it could cause a crash.
In addition to driving un-distracted, I now drive with a game-plan. I’m always thinking, “what if it turned off here? Or there? What’s my exit strategy?”
I’m not a mechanic or a financial advisor or really anyone that should be giving advice. But I think I might keep my car like this and ride it out for a while.
As a result, I will drive less distracted and with an exit strategy plan in mind. I know that this will improve my driving.
If you watch car crash videos, you’ll notice two things: 1. These videos are super addicting. 2. And many of the crashes were caused by distracted drivers.
The easier we make it to drive, the more distracted we allow ourselves to be. Massive innovations in autonomous and self-driving vehicles are coming soon to new car buyers. Even any “regular” car produced in the last few years has so much comfort that it lowers me into a state of relaxation, allowing my mind to wander away from the road.
Paranoia is different than planning. Someone that lives in a constant state of tension and preparation for a zombie apocalypse is paranoid. But a “global pandemic” should move from paranoia to planning to prevent it from happening again.
If I drive with constant fear and attention that my car will turn off, this is planning because it’s happened before and could definitely happen again.
When my car resolves its issues, or when I get a new car, I’ll no longer need to live in paranoia. But I can keep my planning. Maybe I won’t need to spend each moment thinking of an exit strategy, should my car turn off. But why not keep the un-distracted driving instead of going back into the comfort of distraction?
This past Sunday morning, we lay in bed listening to Lofi Lofts music and dozing. I felt like I was living out something more than the music itself: some aesthetic of Lofi-ness. We were seeking to embody a life of coziness and stillness.
Something like wanting to be the Lofi Girl.
Instead of listening to the rest of this blog post, instead listen to the Lofi Girl:
The Lofi Girl has been sitting and writing in for over a year now. She was around before then. But she’s been live ever since February, 2020, around quarantine in the USA.
The soundtrack beats onward with different tunes. But the feeling is the same. Here eyes are relaxed, on the verge of drifting into dreaming. Her head slumps into her hand. A bit of writing and turning the page. It’s dark inside, but not gloomy. It’s calming, but focused.
The pieces settle together like they weren’t organized there deliberately. The books are scattered on the desk and shelf. But everything rests exactly where they are without tension.
There’s no activity outside. The sun rises and sets, the seasons change, but the girl and her cat still persist. There’s nothing else she’s missing. There’s nothing else worth doing than what she’s doing right now.
The girl looks up at her cat, and we expect something to happen. But no: its tail swings lazily. The cat is perfectly content where it is.
That’s really it: being content where we are.
We live in a disorganized world. But when we sit still in the early morning, we can gaze outside at nothing in particular. We realize there’s nothing under the bed or in the closet out to get us. There’s nobody waiting to knock on our door and send our life into a tailspin.
In that moment, stillness hangs in the air.
That’s what we felt when we slept in. Like we could wake up, yes. But we’re not missing anything. Why not appreciate the stillness as such. The world will still be there from one moment to the next. Right now is the perfect time to settle into something or nothing. Simple, straightforward, and slowly.