Wednesday, September 11, 2013

An important lesson to a Triathlete from Dragoncon.

Last week was a far departure from the "norm" of this blog. This week I think I would like to consider it a bit more of a "transition" back to the standard fare. It's also going to be a little heavy on the musings, so for all of you out there that don't enjoy philosophy and basically just a bunch of wild and desperate ravings...  Sorry.

So, what was this little thing that I seemed to have forgotten that going to a convention (at least perceived to be) devoid of athletes reminded and enforced to me?

It's ok to be what you are. In fact, you should be proud of it. Hell, Celebrate it.

In the past few years I've made some pretty significant changes in the way I live my life. I've went on in moderate detail about my lifestyle prior to becoming a triathlete, and when I started my "metamorphosis" to athlete (and still, I use that term VERY loosely) it alienated a large portion of my acquaintances. (I use that term instead of friends because my real friends are still around) Even my family and close friends have had a very tough time understanding. Heck, for a long time I had the same trouble. Every new bike, pair of running shoes, wetsuit...whatever... would get a strange look of no less shock than if I had screwed my head around backwards a la exorcist.
Running stairs is a good form of cross training, and you can do it in your own home. Spider walk for added difficulty, or if by chance you are possessed by the king of wind demons...
And so, if you're like me, you almost end up "apologetic" for your lifestyle. "Sorry guys, bummer, I have to get up in the morning and swim." or "Oh... yeah it's just kind of a hobby." or whatever your excuse may be so that the rest of the world sees you as a bit more normal. I mean... you don't want everyone at the office to know just how serious you are about training...right?
But at Dragoncon I noticed something just standing around the lobby people watching. A lot of these guys and girls weren't ashamed that they were passionate about something... whether it was anime, video games, RPGs or whatever. They were celebrating it. And it worked. At no point did anyone look out of place just enjoying the sh*t out of what they loved. And that got me thinking, why the hell am I (are we?) not proud of what we love? Is it because we don't want to sound like we're bragging? F that. I worked my butt off! I'm not saying every time I meet someone on the street I'm going to kick off with a handshake and "Multiple Ironman Finisher" but if somebody asks, I'm not going to downplay it any more. Yeah, it was a long way, yeah it's a lot of work, yeah I love it. All of it.
Wearing spandex and half drowned, I'm having the time of my life.
 a person, typically described as being overly intellectual, obsessive, or socially impaired. They may spend inordinate amounts of time on unpopular, obscure, or non-mainstream activities, which are generally either highly technical or relating to topics of fiction or fantasy, to the exclusion of more mainstream activities.
So I'm a tri nerd, and I'm proud of it. It took a trip to a convention as far removed from triathlon as you can get to remind me of that fact.
I apologize for disrupting your regularly scheduled blogging... I promise next week the crazy rants about non-tri stuff will be over and we'll be back to normal. But hey, I'm on a roll.
Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?
As for some real tri related stuff, I decided to do my long ride inside on the trainer last Sunday. No, it wasn't raining, it was actually very nice out. Why did I put myself through 4 hours on the trainer then? Ehh... I haven't done it in a while and every now and then I like to test the mental as well as the physical. Long rides inside seem to really kill some people... I've always been at least "ok" with them... (when training for the Full Rev3 I did a 6 hour ride... that was pretty miserable I suppose) they aren't the most fun you can be having, but it's riding my bike so it can't be all bad. The key is to have a LOT of smaller goals and not just some big stretch of time where you are "grinding." Grinding is giving your mind time to reason out why you should cut it short. Here's what my 4hr ride looked like
30' spinning warmup
15' building (200w for me)
15' 210w
15' 180w
15' 200w
4x10' pushing a big gear @ 210w / 5' spin between. Each set drop a cog in the back (& cadence)
2x(1/1, 2/2, 3/3, 4/4, 5/5) @ 250w, equal time recovering after each set.
30' cooldown
That passes the time pretty quick. Of course you need to make sure you're taking in sufficient calories and water during that time, and a LOT of fans and good music certainly help. Of course using that model you'd need to adjust for your own power levels (My FTP is sitting around 29X at the moment) and this ride ended with an Intensity Factor of about .85
I'm also excited to announce a new member to the stable.
Excited to build this fellow up
That's right. A long(ish) hunt for a new race bike to replace the Planet X at last turned up a winner. This 53cm Aluminum P3 will be my main tri bike next year...after a little modification (and paint work) of course. Finding one of these guys in 53cm is pretty tough (in my experience) so I'm lucky I snagged it! Doesn't hurt that it's got some perfectly fine Dura Ace 7800 in the package. Of course I'll keep you all posted on the build (and on the likely transformation of the Planet X into a Single Speed/Fixie.)

As for other things in the works... I've finally gotten back around to my CR1 after a big order to Fiberglast. Filler has been applied and now it's just a matter of a quick carbon re-wrap around the stays and to get it painted. I'll try to get some pictures of the final bit of the process.

Anyways... Next week I'd like to get a review in, but we'll see what happens.

Thank you all for reading. Remember to be proud of who you are :)

- Christopher Morelock

1 comment:

  1. As a fellow nerd, its great to be who you are. I've always been a nerd, I was a nerd long before I was a triathlete. In high school my Friday nights were spent either at the arcade or playing video games at home. I quote Star Wars daily. My P2 is named "Darth Maul". I enjoyed your last blog post, I would actually love to go to a convention like that. Congrats on snagging the P3