Monday, January 23, 2006

It really hit home tonight

Tonight - everything I have been doing for this fundraising really hit me.

I received a phone call from one of my close friends, and after the "Hey, how's it going?" stage of the conversation, I realized by the tone in his voice, something wasn't right. He said to me, "You know all that training you are doing for LLS, well, I was diagnosed with Lymphoma yesterday."

Wow.

25 years old.

Diagnosed with Cancer.

Nearly unable to speak with a million thoughts running through my mind, I started asking questions about his condition. Without going into too much detail, he remains "cautiously optimistic" about his condition and his chemotherapy recovery program. He will know more in the coming weeks. He remains strong, and positive about things - even throwing in jokes when he can - "Man, if you needed help raising money, I think you may have found yourself a new person to donate!"

I have always said that in this program, I have looked forward to meeting people who have been effected by these diseases, but I never thought it'd be like this. Meeting people helps me appreciate what I am working/fundraising for. It helps ME appreciate what I have. I hear their stories - some positive, some not, but after this conversation tonight - it gave me a whole new light. It added "fuel for the fire".

Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers if you are reading this.


Some final thoughts:

Go out - enjoy life. You never know that today may limit you from what you want to do tomorrow.

Don't let the little things get you down.

Everyone has bad days, or even weeks, maybe even months, but sometimes "things could always be worse" is the best perspective to have.

1/21/2006 - Second brick workout

Now, that we know what a brick workout is, let's do it a few more times.

Coach primed us before this brick workout with words of encouragement like "I did this workout every saturday for 3 months to help train for my triathlon!". What we really learned is that our Coach is a psycho triathlete, and loves pain (but so do I, well kinda). When I got out to my car at 7am that morning, my cup of tea slid off my car due to all the frost on the outside of my car. Yep, it was going to be one of those type of days (hey, I thought this was San Diego!)

So, the plan was do about a 30 mile bike (from A to B to C back to A: http://tinyurl.com/9x74n), followed by a 3-6 mile run... UP Iron Mountain. Key word being up. First off, the bike was not easy. It was really hilly. There was one hill that made the Scripps Poway Parkway look like a mound on a golf course (ok, maybe not like that, but it was definitely bigger, and definitely steeper).

Then, the run - wow. Ok, Iron mountain - is definitely no golf mound neither. I actually spent at least half my time walking up this thing. The coach did tell us in the beginning that it was worth making it to the top just to check out the view. Well, low and behold, a crew of 4 of us made our 3 mile walk/run/hike way up the hill, and were astonished. We were 20 miles inland from the beach, and we could still see the great blue pacific ocean. Here is a panaramic view of what we saw (only it was more clear when we were up there): http://www.nealwatkins.net/hiking/iron.shtml Total Elevation change on the run: 2696 ft.

Again, standard saturday operation procedure: go home, stretch, eat, pass out. Awesome times as always.

1/7/2006 - First Brick workout

1/7/2006 - First "Brick" Workout. Most people look at me funny when I tell them that I am going to do a "Brick" workout. I gotta admit - it's not exactly intuitive. A Brick workout is a Bike, immediately followed by a run. Not a bike, take your time eating some food, recover a little bit, and then take - it's a get off your bike, take off your bike shoes, throw on your running shoes and hit the trail. Basically, what we do in the event. On a side note, some of my teammates and I theorized on the term "Brick". Our best guess is that you are "building a base" endurance, and "laying the foundation". Thank god we thought about this before the workout, because my brain wasn't functioning afterwards.

I took some time off from Work and training for a few weeks around the holidays to go home, and then got sick. Ultimately, I was "out of the loop" for about 2.5-3 weeks and this was my first workout of the year. Wow - this put a hurtin on me. We started from Fletcher's Cove in Solana Beach (1 mile from where I live), into the hills of Rancho Sante Fe to lake Hodges and back. http://tinyurl.com/dvt9p Then, do a 3-6 mile run through San Elijo Lagoon http://tinyurl.com/bhpnd

As expected, this just did a number on me. Let me tell you - running after biking 25 miles feels really weird. You go to step forward, but your leg wants to spin forward! After about 20 steps, your body says "ok, I remember how to do this".

Back at the first time trial for running, the coach took our lap times and final time, plugged it into a running database, and given a dataset of over 10,000 runners, projected our 10K race pace - the pace at which we are projected to run the 10K (6 miles) of the race. My projected time is 7.45 min/mile * 6 miles = 46.5 minutes. Needless to say, after taking time off - I was significantly off my race pace. I think it took me about 38 miles to do a measly 4.5 miles.

Standard saturday operating procedure followed - go home, stretch, eat, pass out.