Sunday, February 17, 2008

Mom's Away...It's Time To Play

Ok, its a couple weeks since Epic Camp ended and I am starting to feel a little like a rock star. The top end isn’t there yet so I am keeping the pace down a bit and letting my body continue to soak in the massive training volumes I did. I just got around to looking at the blogs and listening to all the pod casts. It was nice to hear Molina say that if he had to do it over again he would have taken some years off from Ironman and worked on his top end speed. That’s exactly what my body and mind is telling me to do now. Mentally it’s difficult to handle all those long miles for longer than a few years and, currently, my body is craving something different.

After listening to all the campers speak, there was one thing that they had that I didn’t. They had a goal. I was just at the camp for the experience. That makes a big difference in the amount of discomfort that you are willing to accept. Aside from that, I still completed PR training volumes for the week. I haven’t swum that much in 20 years or so. It just left me wondering, What if I was able to build up my tolerance to volume, would I get faster? All these guys obviously do so much more training than I do. My guess is no, because by adding this to my family and job expectations, it would most likely result in burnout and ultimately, sub par performances. It would be a waste of time I otherwise would have and should have had spent with my family.

Another question I had was that some guys got stronger as the camp progressed. My body just shut down. Was it my age and the inability to recover? Was it the lack of deep base? I was a couch potato and have only been back in the sport for 3 years after a very long layoff, whereas some of the other guys have been at it for decades.

I noticed some of the guys wore leg compression garments after the days of training and even slept with them on. The popular model was called “Skins”. So when I got home I ordered a pair from

I put them on one evening after a longish ride and I just went about my household business. Dana, my wife, said “What……….are you wearing?” I proceeded to tell the story about the guys at the camp and was immediately cut off. “TAKE THOSE OFF YOU LOOK LIKE A FREAK!!!!” ….But, but….NOW! I wasn’t wandering outside. I was in the privacy of my own home. I can remember when Molina invited us out for a night on the town in Queenstown, Andrew Chirnside was wearing his black Skins under a pair of shorts and I think he had on a pair of sandals on too. Molina made a deadpan comment “You’re not wearing those out with us are you?” I got a chuckle out of that. They do look kind of silly.

Dana really isn’t into me developing the epic camper’s lifestyle. I think she was pretty amused with Molina’s blog when he called me a “gone burger”. “That serves him right for leaving me here alone for 10 days with the kids.” She had a custom Speedo made for me with that name sublimated on the rear. It looks like in the future, I’m going to have to be a bit more stealth when I wear my skins.

So this weekend Dana took a trip to Austin, TX to visit our friend Lynne Smith, the English Channel swimmer, and run the ATT half marathon. I was left with the kids. On tap for the weekend was a gymnastics meet “The Nadia Comanchi Invitational” at the Bart Conner Academy. Nadia was off in Russia for a benefit but Bart was there. It was a big meet. A group was there from Mexico. Next week Payton travels to Padre Island. That would have been a closer event for the Mexicans.

I was well equipped for this meet. I had Nintendo DS’, books, and some Will Ferrell movies for the drive there and back. My son Braden has become the ultimate Will Ferrell fan. He has his Dad’s taste in humor. I ran into some difficulty when the charge ran out of the game device three hours into the meet. That meant I needed to come up with something pretty imaginative to keep Paige and Braden occupied or the kicking and screaming and the numerous pleas to go home would begin and escalate very rapidly.

So, I thought, what keeps the average male in front of the TV all weekend? The love of the sport?….Yes, but they also most likely have some wager running on the games they are watching. So I invented the game “ Fall off the Beam”. Genius!!! This was better than Jai Alai.

Here’s how it worked. We each wagered a nickel for each gymnast as they stood waiting for their beam routine to start. The bet was simply, stay on or eat mat. It was amazing how I got the kids to watch and pay attention to the event. Occasionally, it did get pretty embarrassing when a cheer was let out when one of the girls fell. Some parents turned around. Luckily, there were other events going on at the same time. I would just point to the floor and indicate to the parent how that girl really nailed the jump. Overall, we ended up having a good time. Braden wagered that his sister would fall. Loser!!!!! She was solid!

Next time I think I will bring poker chips. I was also thinking, the same could be done in swim meets. I might be able to come up with some odds system for the kids with the slower seed times. It’s just too easy betting on lanes 4 and 5 all the time. Who knows, there might be a future business in this;)

No comments: