I was pretty care-free when I was young. But, compared to my friends, I always seemed to be a little more prepared, or brought a few more things, or planned a little bit better than they did.
As I grew older, this trait continued until I had kids, when it blossomed into ridiculousness. Now, I am like a neurotic Boy Scout – always over-prepared. I seem to, at all times, have at least one backpack full of stuff, and when the question “dad can I have?” inevitably comes up, the answer is always “yeah, I got that.” Bottled water, band-aids, fruit snacks, electronic devices, extra clothes, porcupine, Windex, somehow I manage to always have it all.
Strangely, I am utterly unprepared for my races. I cannot figure out why. Maybe because the race is not quite real life, maybe all of my preparation and planning time gets replaced by work and family requirements, maybe it is a subconscious plot to give me an excuse for my poor times? Who knows? But boy am I a mess on race day.
When I look over the past year and where I have been, the biggest “bang for my buck” on my travel dollar was a training camp with the crew at Endurance Corner. The last time I was in Boulder , it was a ski trip for my college spring break. If I had been told then the next time I would be back it would be for 30 hours of exercise, I would have not have believed it!
My focus this month is on swimming. I have to say that I now enjoy the swim way more than I used to. While it used to be scary and intimidating, it now seems more like the calm before the storm. In a race, I try to remain calm, control my breathing and HR and concentrate on moving forward. I never try to conquer the whole course; I simply aim for the next buoy and try hard not to swim off course. I concentrate on consistency for the first half, and then try to pick up the pace once I feel like I’m good and warmed up. Then once the finish is within reach, I try to push it. Unfortunately, I’m not a good judge of distance, so I never really know whether I’m swimming hard for 50 yds or 200 yds. I just know at that point that I’m ready to bike!
So what am I doing now to set up a good swim? I’m trying to hit 10,000 yds a week. The biggest challenge for me in swim training is just getting to the pool. Once I’m there, I’d rather do a really long, tough workout just because getting there usually involves so much planning and finagling.
When we go biking or running, we often take extensive steps towards preparation. We dress right, we prep our bikes, we plot a route, we pack our gear (including heart monitors, GPS devices, cadence sensors, etc). We even make arrangements for the unthinkable: road ID, ICE (In Case of Emergency), cell phone, and take other safeguards.
But what many people don’t appreciate, and what very few are appropriately warned about, is the economic dangers associated with one of our most common threats: the moron that runs us over while we are bicycling or running. You see, in New York, the laws require a motor vehicle that strikes a bicyclist or runner to pay for that person’s medical expenses, lost wages and many other out-of-pocket expenses. This is called No-Fault, because they are covered no matter whose fault the accident is. And, when the motor vehicle is at fault, its insurance company must cover other “damages” that occur, which include pain and suffering.
We’ll be publishing weekly here at NWT, with the long term goal of publishing daily–start small and finish strong!
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