My cat turned 6 yesterday. I fed her some of my almond roasted gelato to celebrate because she was begging me for some. She's much like me... she really wants it in the moment and then majorly regrets it later (well I never majorly regret it later- but she sure did!). How does this relate at all to a sports blog, racing or coaching? Well let me tell you. It was May 1st. That means that in about 18 days... I will have officially been on the island of Oahu for exactly 7 years! Yes, 7 years. I think about all the experiences I've been though, the friends who have come and gone, and the many transitions and phases I have grown up into in life. By far, I think a person can make the most leaps and bounds in their 20's. I know that in this past weekend, I was thinking about what a huge step it was for me to have gone from being a beginner triathlete 6 years ago to now being able to lead a group of athletes in their own training camp. And a hugely successful one it was. Let me divulge.
|My Cat 6 Years Ago....|
|And her stunned (-ing) bday look...|
|Myself 7 years ago... yes, my shoulders were ACTUALLY|
larger when I was training for trials ;-)
|And 2 weeks ago... pretending to surf CL's wave|
Since BC Endurance is a much smaller group this year I had the leeway of asking the athletes if they wanted to stay on island or go to the big island. The consensus was that everyone wanted to stay on Oahu and do an on-island training trip where they could stay downtown in hotels and pretend like they were gone but still attend to their cats/dogs/ and families (if necessary). I decided I could take full advantage of knowing the entire island and set up some pretty cool training days!
So on Friday we set out to do an around the island bike ride supported by a sag wagon (or vehicle) following us and stopping at set-points. I had 5 athletes participating in this... 4 of which had never gotten to the 100 mile mark before (and some even past the 60 mile mark). They said they were a bit nervous... but what they didn't realize was how much more nervous I was. The last thing I want is to have to peel 5 athletes off the pavement from bonking at mile 90 and figure out a way to bribe them back to their hotel. I shouldn't have worried. I don't think I've ever been on or coached a smoother 112 mile bike ride before. We had a blast. Slowly, towards the end... we even started skipping schedule aid stops because the athletes were doing so well! At the end, after all the high-fives... we all looked at each other and said we wanted to do it again. It was that much fun. Of course, there are some harder points... like my one athletes telling a tourist on Pineapple Hill that the Polynesian Culture Center was MILES AWAY (and pointing them back through the pineapple fields)... but those are the moments to laugh about and reminisce on for months to come (and honestly... who stops a cyclist in the middle of a climb to ask for directions when they missed their destination 45 min ago?!). Definitely a successful day and silent victory for me to have safely and happily have gotten these athletes around the island on their first 112 mile bike ride.
|100 Mile Mark for these four athletes!|
|Did I mention the street sweeper we got stuck behind?|
It was like a personal escort... at 7 MPH. Fun for... a mile?
|Gil (our strength coach) and rest stop #2. His part in the bike ride was to squat my bike without dropping my bottle on his head.|
|A great group of athletes for the bike ride... missing two so we'll be doing it again!|
|Gerald and Tara ... at mile 15 still smiling!|
|Paul calling our sag wagon at stop one... wondering where|
our vehicle went and how the rest of the day might go if stop one
was too hard to find... ;-)
Of course... there was more training.. food, fun, laughs, and more training for the rest of the weekend. But what really was amazing was sitting at lunch on Sunday and realizing what a great group of athletes I have to coach and how satisfying it can be to get through a weekend safely with each person feeling accomplished and still in good spirits about the work they put in.
I think the reason why this is such a reflective blog report is because you hear about a lot of athletes and their races/daily life. But at some point- the tables turn and it is nice to hear about inspiring other people. Inspiring people to achieve THEIR dreams, THEIR goals, and THEIR a-races. Don't get me wrong- I still love to race, to train, to do well. But sharing this passion with others is quite as inspirational as well.