Thursday, December 30, 2010

Is it brainwashing? Should I feel shame?

My daughters (ages 2 & 3) have a race coming up in June.  It is the kids Splash, Pedal and Dash at Pacific Crest Weekend Sports Festival ( 

Photo courtesy of PCWSF

They didn't chose to race.  I think I kind of just told them they were racing.  In my most excited voice possible I described how they could slide down a slide into the water, then wade through a bunch of pools, then ride their bike (one wants to ride really fast) and then run and run and run until they get to raise their hands over their head and cross a line and shout "I did it".

Some other parents brainwashed her!
They are so excited, they now tell everyone that will listen about the race.  They really have the core message down -  slide, wade, bike, run, "I did it".  They also know they will get a necklace like I get.

Is my excitement and "pressing" this event brainwashing?  Is this okay or should I feel shame for wanting my girls to enjoy this sort of thing?

I guess it really is too late to change the course so I might as see if I can find carbon dimpled race wheels for their bikes.  Do you think it's too early to start looking for sponsors?  I think they really have a chance for AG podiums.
Not my kids

Monday, December 27, 2010

Parent Triathlete: Recommended? Possible? Reasonable?

I've recently read quite a few posts on forums like Beginner Triathlete ( about whether Parents (specifically those with young children) should be be triathletes.  I won't bore you with a bunch of reasons other than yes, it is possible, and I recommend it.

Now the hard part - what are reasonable expectations for parent triathletes?

First, I don't think we are necessarily a reasonable bunch of people.  Okay, I don't think I'm that reasonable when it comes to triathlon.

1.  I have a really expensive third bike (Felt B2) that is really light and fast and amazing.  At some point, I thought it was reasonable for me to own a bike like this even though I'm not light, fast, or amazing.
2.  I now have a Aero Helmet - My wife told my girls it looks like a rain drop.  I was ready to describe it as a sperm hat but then my wife gave me "that look".  It would not be reasonable to try to explain sperm to a 2 and 3 year old.
3.  I think that if I trained 2 more hours per week, I could Kona Qualify.  Nothing in my racing history would support this and I have never completed an IM but this doesn't stop me from making plans during my long bikes and runs.
4.  I would like to be sponsored so I could get a custom jersey and free stuff.  I think it is entirely reasonable that a company would want to invest in me.

So now that I've proven that I am not totally reasonable.  I do think that there are some reasonable expectations that a parent triathlete can have.

1.  People will think you are crazy.
2.  You will have to give up some family time and some training time.
3.  Your race results could have been better if you had somehow been able to be a part of the Brotherhood of Saint Triathlon which devoted their lives without distraction to triathlon.
4.  You will feel utter delight the first time you hear your kid tell another person about how they are going to race their next "kids spash and dash" triathlon.
5.  People will think you are crazy.

What do you think are reasonable expectations for a parent triathlete?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Training turned to fun

I've been in Ashville NC area traveling for work for the past week.  It was the typical long days and late nights of meetings but I was able to sneak away for two runs.  It was freezing on the first day and my motivation and energy were low.  Add to that, I didn't know where to go and all options pointed up.

I finally got out and started up - hoping to find some trails and enjoy the mountains.  Up is hard work and my legs and lungs were hating it.  However, as I climbed I started to be flooded with memories from when I was a kid hiking with my family.  I grew up in Japan and our trails were pretty much dirt with occasional huge rocks.  My older brothers and I would run like crazy pretending to be on motorcycles and launching off the rocks. We called it "Jumping Motocycles". 

Well, I was climbing so I only grunted as I tried to get up the rocks but those thoughts really helped get me up the hill.  On the way down, the fun started and I started to play again.  I gingerly launched (more like a slight hop) off a rock and then I couldn't stop myself.  I didn't make motorcycle noises but I wish I had. 

I ran for an hour and had a great time.  Yesterday I ran for another 1:40 and it felt like a short jog.  I had a great time.  I wonder why running and biking don't feel the same at home?  I wish they did.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Red, no peddals, no seat

I love my new bike, not that I have ridden it yet, but I love it, and maybe not even in a normal healthy way.  It's been invading my dreams.  There are a ton of things that I like about it, however my girls can't stop talking about three things.

Red, no pedals, and no seat.  It just cracks them up and they don't understand why Baba (what they call me) has a bike like that.  My father in law also can't stop talking about how much I spent on a bike without pedals.  Whatever I tell him about the logic of no pedals, he just doesn't get it.  My daughters just think I'm superman an can ride a bike without pedals but he thinks I'm an idiot to spend so much and not be able to ride the bike.

Both problems will be corrected as soon as I do the fitting.  I wonder what will require super powers next? Also, what I can do so he isn't as worried for his daughter's future?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Somthings make you faster than others

It has been a tough couple of weeks with some health concerns for my wife and girls.  Things ended up being fine and everyone is very healthy.  Trying not to write a sappy post so I'll move on.

It's amazing how much energy is drained by worry and also how much energy is added from being thankful.

I just bought a new bike (new to me).  It is a 2010 Felt B2 and came with stock and carbon race wheels.  This bike makes me want to be fast because it deserves to go fast.

Bike fitting in a few weeks and then I start training on this monster.  Having my family supportive of this crazy hobby and race schedule not only gives me focus but is helping me get out and do the work in the cold so that this summer when I'm racing, I will be able to show I valued the time and money spent on this sport.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Modified brick workout

I ate less than my little girls yesterday for lunch because I had big plans for their nap time.  I've been wanting to get a brick workout with at least 1 hour on the bike and about 45 of running.  I'd been planning the workout since Friday.

Here was the plan, ride the trainer so that I could be "available" if the girls happen to need me during their nap.  I placed the baby monitor in a place where I could see it and then I started to ride, knowing that they would sleep well past the time their mom was to be home so I could go run.

After about 20 minutes on the bike I was soaked and really feeling good, and then I saw the first sign of trouble.  The lights started to slowly pulse on the baby monitor.  I quit pedaling and heard the shrieks.  She was awake -- way too early and in desparate need for attention.

I ran a very quick transition (similar to T2) out of my bike shoes and upstairs to try to work my magic and get her to sleep.  I wasn't successful.  We ended up coming downstairs and sat on the floor and cuddled and read.  I couldn't sit on a chair because my wife would kill me if I sat on furniture with sweat drenched clothes.

It was fantastic to spend time with the little one and it was a highlight of my day.  My wife came home, I got back on the bike and rode to 45 minutes of trainer time, then I ran a 4.75 mile loop in 33 minutes.

I came home and both girls were up and ready to snuggle and read more.  Life didn't go as planned, I guess extra transitions, made quickly and with an open attitude, really is what training for an ironman and being a committed parent is all about.

FYI - I'm now registered for the Full Vineman on July 30 and Boise 70.3 on June 12.

Monday, November 1, 2010

My family is sick!

Take this comment in both senses (is that how you say two ways)?  The first way is literal sickness.  The second is from my 1980-1990 heritage of snowboarding, skateboarding, being a punk.  That time of my life was sick (as in wicked awesome)

First, my wife and daughters are all feeling ucky in its various forms.  If one person had all three of their maladies it would include stomach aches, funny nose, congestion, green snot and everything seeming loud.  My oldest woke me up at 2:30 this morning to tell me the train was too noisy, even though the tracks are about 2 miles from our house and I could barely hear the whistle.

Second, my oldest brother and his wife just gave me my Christmas present.  He registered me for the Full Vineman which will be raced on July 30.  He also sent out invites to most of our family and is making a big reunion cheering festival over it.  If racing wasn't enough, now I need to explain to people why I'm not going to win.  Even though I was planing on registering for this event, having it paid for and having such family suport is plain sick!

Now that I have your sympathy and jealousy, I can go back to dreaming of winning Vineman.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'm so hungry

I staggered to the break room (We have a company policy that says we can't eat at our desks.  I should change that because I can but that is a different post)...with a small bag of trail mix yesterday and by the time I had walked the twenty feet, I already was eating.  Eating really doesn't describe what I was doing.  For some reason, I had decided that I didn't want to get the trail mix crumbs on my hands (sweat and salty mix from Winco bulk section) that I had opened the bag and was eating directly from the bag. 

At this point I had crumbs all over my face and I think I had some sort of peanut membrane in my hair.  I didn't stop, I just went in for another repulsive feeding frenzy. 

At this point, I looked around the small room to make sure I was alone in my eating frenzy...thankfully no one had to see that low point in my day.

I am so hungry after morning swim and 10K lunch runs.  I am eating a good breakfast and lunch but wow, the three o-clock hunger really is going to drive me nuts and ruin my standing in the office.

Any advice or easier ways to mainline trail mix?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Could train less and still have a great IM experience?

I've read several stories recently about people who either did a full IM on a bet signed up for a full because they enjoyed their first HIM so much that they did a full on two weeks rest. 

What I don't like about these stories is that it makes me think two things.
1.  The amount of training I'm doing and will do over the next 40 weeks isn't necessary to pull off an decent IM.
2.  I'm not a "natural" triathlete in that I know from experience that I need to train or my race doesn't go well.

I want to run a great IM race as well as keep balance in my home and work.  In the balancing problem that I have, training takes away from family and work time but also in some weird ways, it gives back to them. 

I'm fine with compromises and I don't need to train like a pro, but I also don't believe going into this half-heartedly.

So to answer my question, Yes, I could train less and have a great IM experience, but not the experience I want.   I want more than simply suffering for 15-17 hours, I want the process of planing and giving it my best shot. 

So I will train as other sleep.  I will play with my kids when other train, and I will stick to my plan as best I can so I have the experience that is best for me.

How do you deal with this same issue?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Feeling Tired

My girls are sick (wife included) and no one seems to be sleeping well.  It seems like the alarm goes off (5:05 AM) just as I finally get to sleep. 

Now that I have my whining out of the way.

It seems so easy to skip a day but I find days that I skip my swim or my lunch run seem to drag on for ever.  I tried to manipulate my office today so that I could not only have my long delayed office birthday lunch outing but it could be fast enough that I could go run before the bad weather settles in.  I invited a former employee who notoriously loves Taco Bell and just turned 80.  I thought for sure he would pick the speedy and affordable TB.  However, for some reason I can't explain, he chose Olive Garden.  Nothing wrong with the food but it took forever, I ate too much and now my day is dragging by.

Maybe next year's birthday could involve the Hot Dog stand along the Columbia River and I can just meet everyone there.  No more trying to sway the crowd with an 80 year old for me!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Were you exercising?

I like coming home from my early morning swims.

I snuck out of the house at 5:10 AM (alarm goes off at 5:05 which is odd) and at that point of the day not only have bad breath but also a bad attitude.  My wife is still asleep and I try to be sneaky so my girls don't wake up.

I got home at 6:45 and used the microwave to heat some milk and bring it upstairs.  I don't know why microwaves are so noisy to open and why the beeping needs to be so loud.  Even the buttons make noise. I try to be quiet because if my wife is lucky, our early risers will not know it is morning yet.  I quietly opened the door to our room and my older two year was "sleeping on my pillow".  She opened her eyes, smiled and said, "Baba, have you been exercising?" 

I wonder what she is learning from me?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Getting going

I'm a dad of two girls (both currently two years old) and an age group triathlete.  I also work full time and don't have "people" to do things for me. 

Why I share this is because I am learning that in the world of Triathlon, this isn't too common.  Many participants are single, have "People" and have all sorts of time and money on their hands.

I have been looking for a place on-line to connect with triathletes that are like me and have to balance really important commitments with the triathlon hobby.  Since I couldn't find the place, I created this blog.

I encourage you to write, set the tone for the content and lets work to be the best dad and triathletes we can be.