Music City Triathlon 2015 – Swim Report

The last two years I have been kicking myself for missing the Music City Triathlon, now part of me is kicking myself for doing it.  It’s a really cool set up in downtown Nashville, but don’t let the serenity fool you, this race was tough; mainly because of the swim.MCTtransition

The looming swim always intrigues me, and Music City was no different.  I pass over the Cumberland River daily and peer into its murkiness while daydreaming about a quick dip. Yesterday, I got my chance . . .  and it nearly overwhelmed me.  It certainly overpowered others and forced organizers to cancel the Sprint Distance Swim (during the race) because few, if any, people even finished.

It was genuinely like swimming in an Endless Pool as you can see from this video shot by Hannah at Pro Hydration Therapy.

A few days before the race I posted a preview of the course and it turned out to be completely wrong.  For some reason they reversed the direction.  Instead of starting upstream along the bank for about a third of the rectangle, we were now starting down-current for about 500 yards before swimming upstream the next 800 or so, then angling back to the swim exit.

On Saturday the current looked strong, but I heard they were going to slow it by shutting the dam, which they allegedly did the morning of the race.  I stood in line and watched as swimmers went out before me and laughed at the absurd turns people were making around the first buoy.  Instead of angling toward the next one, they were getting whisked down river 50-100 yards.  It was ridiculous and very few of the swimmers seemed to be handling the corner.  I should have stopped laughing because I was about to be another case study.

They “said” it was 500 yards to the first turn buoy, but felt like it took me two minutes.  As I neared the orange triangle, I swung out a bit to the left so I could get a good angle before cranking my effort to 10 and digging 45-degrees up and over to hit the next buoy near the other side of the river.  This is when shit got interesting.

After 10 very hard strokes around that corner I looked up and saw that I was literally 20 yards downstream from the buoy I just cornered.  Talk about freaked out!  I was swimming as hard as I could and going backwards!

I guess human instinct is powerful because somehow I found my bearings and decided to get to the other side of the river while sacrificing forward progress.  That was a devastating decision, but I had no choice.  Here are some things that ran through my mind at that point (sorry for the overuse of exclamation points, but this was intense self-talk):

1.  Holy shit, you’re going backwards.
2.  Swim harder!
3.  Yeah, who’s laughing now, Mike!
4.  Fuck it, I’m quitting.
5.  No!  Embrace the challenge and you’ll be better for overcoming it!
6.  Just get to the shore.
7.  Damn, my goggles are fogging.
8.  Where am I??
9.  I bet my dog is sleeping right now.
10.  Don’t stop swimming!

That last thought may have been the most important.  Though I was barely moving, the slightest 3 second break would send you flailing toward Kentucky (which I understand is where the Cumberland River goes).

Once I got near shore, I turned upstream.  I had no concept of time, but it felt like it took me two minutes to get to the first turn buoy, then about 10 minutes just to get across the river (maybe I should have walked along the river bank like one guy I talked with after the race).  Now I was plowing head-on into a “weaker” current near the opposite shoreline, but it was still tough.  I swam very hard and it must have taken me at least 10 more minutes to get back to even with the starting line.

Now I had another 400 or so to go before turning back to finish.

I breath to my right and all I could see was the Nashville skyline, but nothing really gave me an indication of just how slow I was moving.  That was, until I closed in on the last turn buoy.  I had it in my sights, maybe 25 yards away, and was catching and pulling harder than ever.  I put my head in the water and sighted every 5 strokes.  I was working HARD and 5 strokes barely moved me.  30 strokes later I could nearly touch the buoy.  I was maybe 10 yards away.  It was RIGHT THERE.  I dug even deeper, sighting every stroke, and let me tell you, I wasn’t moving!  It felt like I was in a Snow Glob with orange triangle buoys popping up all around me.

I finally did reach the buoy where a whole new challenge emerged.  You had to get about 5 yards past it before you turned or you might get hung up in the plastic triangle or its ropes (which I heard at least two people tell me they did).

Once I successfully navigated the corner, there was another 45 degree angle across the river at a target around 400 yards away.  This was infinitely easier than crossing the other way and I swam easily and let the current take me to the swim exit.

As I cruised toward the ladder my only thought was, “Holy fuck, how are people going to finish this?”  I am not a great swimmer, but effort-wise that may have been the best swim of my life and still took me 30 minutes for 1,500 meters.  Thirty people took over an hour and 23 others swam in the 50-60 minute range . . . for an Olympic.

To put that in perspective, my first Olympic swim was an absolute disaster and took me 42 minutes.  I was hanging on kayaks, floaty noodles and treading water the whole time.  Yesterday, nearly a quarter of the field at Music City Triathlon swim field clocked in at over 50 minutes.

To add another perspective, the median swim time for most age groups at Ironman Chattanooga in 2014 (over twice the distance) was under an hour.

Music City was a difficult swim, and as I sit here thinking about it one day later, I am happy it worked out that way.  It was a major challenge and reminded me of the brutally cold and rainy Olympic I did in Knoxville a couple years ago.  It really sucked at the time, but I am 100% sure I it has made me a better triathlete.

 

Music City Triathlon – Pre Race Madness

It’s the night before Team Magic’s Music City Triathlon.  Earlier today we were down there to check-in and it was BY FAR the smoothest check-in I have experienced as a triathlete.  Transition is set up in the middle of Lower Broadway in Nashville and were were talking about how cool it be if the race would have been going on at the time with an onslaught of overzealous tourists.

I’m not sure what was going on, but downtown Nashville was packed.  I had lunch with Elyse at ACME Feed & Seed, and that place was rocking!  I am not kidding when I say there were at least 4 bachelorette parties going on inside all with blow-out dancing, drinking games, etc. in full swing at 2:00 in the afternoon.

FullSizeRenderRegarding the actual triathlon, I was very surprised to hear the race looks like it will be wetsuit legal.  It has been scorching here for over a month, but I guess the flooding in Kentucky took precedent.

The bike course is ready and I saw a lot of volunteers out sweeping the roads for the run.

But back to the party, I mean there were people everywhere downtown, and part of it was the Music City Brewers Fest.  Traffic is a mess because I-40 is closed, so non-conventional transportation was thriving.  I’m not kidding when I say I saw 3 bachelorette parties on Pedal Taverns today and they don’t have clips, race wheels, or power meters!

They even called in the rickshaws!

IMG_2430

Regarding the race!  Looks like it’s going to be a perfectly HOT day tomorrow.  Sunshine and mid-90’s but hopefully I’ll be long done by the time the highs hit.  If not, I can always try to catch a lift with one of these golf carts.  golfcart

What the hell is going on?  I really think in a genuine way, we’re going back to the Wild West in this town.

Anyway, good thing the roads are closed for the race tomorrow or this could get out of hand.  Good luck to everyone.

Unconventional Triathlon Preparation

I have the Music City Triathlon tomorrow and I’m not really sure what to write, but I have to write, so I’m gonna try to dig something relevant out of my ass . . . oh, like maybe the beauty of rage, and why I want to punch my neighbor in the face right now.

Rest assured, this isn’t Neighbor James (who has unfortunately moved) or Doug, or Aaron, or Joe, but the guy four-doors-down who is always working on his crap-ass truck every time I walk the dog.  And Every time I walk Mattie, she decides she wants to piss in his yard.  And Every time she pisses in his yard he stops working on that shitty truck and yells, “Is that dog shittin’ in my yard??” To which I respectfully respond, “No, she’s just taking a piss, but if she does, I always clean up with this bag.”

But today when it happened, something in me snapped.

Mattie stopped next to his mailbox, and took a piss.  3-2-1 . . . “Is that dog shittin’ in my yard??”

I was listening to a “personal growth podcast,” so I debated acting like I didn’t hear it and walked a few more steps in ignorance.

“Hey, that dog shittin’ in my yard??”

I stopped in the gravel on the side of the road, looked at my neon yellow shoes, took a deep breath, and said, “No, but if she does, I will pick it up for you with this bag.”

“He better not be shitting in my yard!”

“I get it!  Why do you ask me that every damn time?”

“I’m sposed to ask, it’s my damn yard.”

I’m seriously boiling at this point.  I went from the calmest place of podcast meditation to a raging-dog-walker that wanted to run up that hill, grab him by his greasy collar and say, “Look fucker, I’ve lived here 5 years and you’ve never even said Hi to me!”

But I just said, “Look, man, I’m your neighbor, I’m gonna pick it up if she does.”

No thanks, no nothing, he just stuck his head back in the engine of that rust bucket like a ostrich in the sand.  I tried to convince myself that he must have recently read “Shop Class as Soulcraft,” but I just couldn’t do it.  He won by taking me off my game.

I tried to calm down as I tugged Mattie’s collar through a long loop around the neighborhood, but I was boiling.  I knew it was that guy’s problem, but couldn’t shake the questions.

Why would someone be such an asshole?

What else could I have done?

Why has fate put me next to this dick bag?

All of these things flooding my spine with unwanted tension.

After the walk I sat on my porch as Mattie laid at my feet in oblivion.  I focused on my breath and eventually calmed down enough to take a nap.

That’s when the lesson hit, and it dawned on me that this could also be a triathlon analogy.

Just when the race seems like it’s going great, some problem, or pain or asshole disrupts your flow.  And the question becomes, “How do we respond?”

We can either let that stuff get into our head, or move past it and focus on the real goal.  It’s always going to be something, especially in triathlon.  We have to know our plan, be confident in what we’re doing, stay focused and execute.

I clearly bombed this morning’s test.  I should have never acknowledged that guy.  I knew what I was in for, and it was so far out of the sphere I had created, that I was bound to blow.

So, tomorrow, if and when something tries to get in my way, I have a solution.  Keep my eye on the target and don’t look back.

10302746_10202722695921122_2088523990209632058_n

 

Music City Triathlon – Race Preview

I’ve had a lot of requests for a Music City Triathlon Course Preview so I thought I’d drive down to the river and take care of business.  Now, I raced the old course, so my information might not be totally accurate, but really the only information you need is that it is supposed to be 100 degrees that day.

I’ve compiled three expertly crafted videos, one for each portion of the course: swim, bike, and run.  Regarding the swim, I think you swim up about a 1/3, then a full length with the current, then 2/3rds back into the current… but please double check when you get there!  The bike and run videos are about 5 minutes long, and I know that’s time consuming, but those minutes could save you seconds on this course!!

Please share with your friends who are racing.  (That goes for you too Team Magic :)

Music City Triathlon – Swim Course Preview

Music City Triathlon – Bike Course Preview

Music City Triathlon – Run Course Preview

Like Crushing Iron on Facebook.

Racing For A Cause

The other day I found myself in a discussion about racing for a cause and it’s certainly a good question because “a cause” can definitely motivate us.  It’s something I ponder all the time.

Why do I race?

I think the short answer is; I train and race with the ultimate intention of being true to myself and the best, most consistent person I can be. One of my favorite authors, Charles Bukowski probably said it best, “You begin saving the world by saving one person at a time; all else is grandiose romanticism or politics.”

I also race because I can.

Too many people leave this earth before they take real steps toward their dreams.  Time either sneaks up on us, or we sit by and let it run out.

I’m typically most motivated by fear of regret.  Life is here for the taking but it takes a lot of guts to go after what we want.

Last year at Ironman Louisville I wrote the names of four friends on my arm in marker.  Each (at certain stages of my life) could have been considered my closest friend and they all died with far too much potential on the table.  None ever got to see me tackle an Ironman but I think about them often and use their memories to keep pushing forward.

This post is not meant to be morose, it is simply a reminder that life is short and typically the best time to do something . . . is now.

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 10.34.58 AM

Click photo to watch video

Gil

Gil’s real name was Mike and we began our relationship as competitors in Rockford, IL. I opened a screen printing shop one block from his and, while early on fought each other for business, our destiny was to become close friends.  He was a musician, a writer, photographer, and an athlete.  He was me, but 10 years older.  He’d been through a lot in life and had a beautiful way of looking at the world.

He was serious, but never took anything too seriously.  We could talk about music, sports or war and wind up rolling on the ground laughing at the folly of life.

Years after we met (and both sold our businesses) he moved to Nashville to take a crack at songwriting in, what he liked to call, “the City of Broken Dreams.”  But Gil was a throwback.  The modern country-music-machine wasn’t for him and he struggled with forcing his creative formulate into a box.

The Nashville songwriter dream lasted about a year before he moved back to Rockford to be closer to his son.  Not long after that he told me he had prostate cancer.  He stayed upbeat and, after a year or so of periodic treatments, he pulled up his stakes to go perform songs with his friend at the beach in South Carolina.

I lost track of him but saw a lot of pictures on Facebook and he seemed really happy.  A few months later a mutual friend sent a concerned message asking if I knew anything about Mike. She’d heard things weren’t well.

I called Gil immediately but couldn’t get through.  I messaged his friend at the beach and he told me things were pretty bad.  Mike had moved back to Rockford and he was in hospice care. I called and emailed several times to no avail.  Mike died within a week and we never spoke.  I did write a letter, but wasn’t sure if he saw it.  At the funeral his son told me Mike did read it and it meant a lot.

Gil was an artist first, but he loved to run.  At the time, I always made fun of him for jogging.  I never understood it, but now realize it’s probably where he found the most peace.

Snide

“Snide” was short for Schneider.  Mike and I became friends, baseball teammates, and eventually roommates in LaCrosse, WI where we went to college.

It was the week before school one Fall semester and my housemates threw parties 6 nights in a row. After the fifth night I was outside cleaning the yard and saw Snide sleeping in a car.  As usual he’d been the life of the party the night before and had everyone cracking up with his matter of fact statements like, “You fucked up, you trusted me.”  But here he was crammed into the backseat surrounded by clothes, towels, and a home stereo.  I knocked on the window and asked, “What the fuck are you doing?”  He said he hadn’t found a place yet. He slept on our couch for a while and eventually moved in when another friend left school.

Snide was a rare athlete, one of those 3 sport guys in high school that played the most important positions.  Quarterback, point guard, shortstop.  He was a great hitter, but somewhere along the line he lost all capability of fielding, so he was the team’s designated hitter.

His personality was so magnetic that during his senior year the coach let him start every game, even though his job never allowed him to practice.  It was hilarious because Snide would stop by practice in his work clothes and watch us slave away through running drills while laughing it up with our coach.  Then, on game day, sure enough, coach would read the line up and Snide was batting 4th as DH.

The guys called him “skillet” because his fielding got so bad it seemed like he was using a frying pan.  As the team boarded the bus for our spring trip to Florida one year, coach stood by the door taking count.  When Snide walked up carrying his glove, coach looked at him, pointed to the glove, and said, “What the fuck are you bringing that for?”

After he graduated Snide went to work for my dad in minor league baseball, then with the Indianapolis Indians as Ticket Manager.  When I left school he got me a job with them and we were roommates in Indy for two years.  I was there the night he met his future wife; they later had two kids.  I left Indy and we fell out of touch.  A couple years later I got a call from a former co-worker who told me Mike had an aneurism and died in his sleep.

You just can’t describe how it feels to catch up with old friends after news like this.  A bitter-sweetness pours into your soul and you promise never to forget the good stuff.  His laugh, his wit, and his tenacious competitive streak.  Snide’s approach to life taught me nearly all I needed to know about the absurd demands of Ironman.

Danny 

Danny was one of my first grade school friends.  He was a neighborhood kid who had long hair, rode mini-bikes, and had a natural tendency for innocent rebellion.

His immediate neighbors were hard-core bikers and, even as a young kid, Danny spent a lot of time mingling in their mischief.  He was wise for his age, street smart, and I always looked up to him.  He was also the fastest guy in our elementary school.

His running form was that of a cyclone.  Long hair bounced back and forth, arms pumped wildly, and feet moved in a tight blur.  We didn’t see each other as much in high school because Danny ran with an older crowd, but I was happy to see he was still spending time on the track team.  Our high school was usually in the top 10 at State and specifically excelled in sprints.  Danny ran the 400 and crushed the school record his senior year.  A few months later I went off to college and Danny stayed at home.

About four weeks after I started school, my mom called and told me Danny was in a coma.  I guess he had been out drinking, came home to his parents and fell down the stairs.  He hit his head on the corner of a bed frame and never woke up.  He died at 18.  I still have a tough time with this and think of him often, and always when I hear Elton John’s, “Daniel.”

In many ways he set the tone for the type of person I have always inspired to be.  He was a Renaissance Man before I ever knew of the term.  A well-rounded athlete that was far more than his physical abilities.  He had a natural talent for anything he tried and is the perfect example of a guy that would have settled in to crush an Ironman later in life.  Sadly, we’ll never know, but he always runs with me.

Tim

I’ve written about Tim many times and losing him still impacts my life on nearly a daily basis.  He lived in Savannah for the last years of his life and we rarely saw each other, but talked almost daily.

These phone calls ranged from long rants about dreams and passion to sincere searches for ways to overcome the pain and struggle of life.  We were each other’s therapist and while his passing was a major influence on me deciding to do an Ironman, it pains me that we never got to share it.

Tim was also a great athlete.  He was only 5’6”, so that worked against him, but he was lightening quick and possibly the toughest guy I’ve known for his size.  His junior year he moved to Los Angeles and was an all-conference shortstop at a local high school.  He came back to Wisconsin as a senior and added all-conference wide receiver to his list.

He was fearless in sports and life.  For a short stint he worked at a convenience store and a guy tried to rob him with a knife.  Tim calmly hit the alert button, distracted the robber, then leaped over the counter.  By the time the cops came, Tim had the crook in a headlock and calmly handed him over to the police.  His escapades are endless, and include a sales job for a 25-year-old company that never had a Fortune 500 client.  Tim gave them 3 in his first year.

But Tim struggled mightily with addiction.  He went through rehab and cleaned up for a long time, but eventually his view of the world clashed too hard with how things were.  He had a natural gift for being 3 steps ahead in any situation.  It was almost a game for him and when he couldn’t find anyone to play, he went into isolation.

In the last Autumn of his life, we spent hours on the phone talking during Wisconsin Badger football games and much of the time he complained about his back.  Finally he had it checked and they spotted cancer.  He took it in stride and we had many discussions about changing his lifestyle and beating the odds.  For a while he ate better, started juicing, exercising . . . He decided he would move back to Wisconsin and be around his family, catch Badger, Brewers and Packer games.

The plan was for him to stop in Nashville on his way and we were both very excited to catch up the following weekend.  We talked on the Friday before, then late the next night it dawned on me that we didn’t talk during the Badger game.  This was very rare.

On Sunday morning I was out running errands.  It was a beautiful Fall day and I remember being in a solemn mood.  I picked up grass seed, dog food, and made printer copies at Kinkos.  As I drove home, I crested a hill and looked to my right to see the Veteran’s Cemetery that I’d passed dozens of times.  Near the bottom of the hill, I instinctively slammed on the breaks and drove in.  I spent about an hour driving slowly, reading the headstones.  It was a surreal event that seemingly had no explanation.

I was back home unloading the car when our friend Marty called.  The first words were, “Are you sitting down?”  Tim died at some point between the Badger game and my trip through the cemetery.  He was an Army veteran and suddenly that abrupt right turn made sense.  We don’t talk anymore, but I always hear his voice when I run.  Especially when it’s tough.  His inspiration was always simple, honest, and to the point.  “You got this, Fucker.”

Tribute Video: Ironman 70.3 Muncie 2015

Here’s a little video I edited together from the footage my brother shot at Ironman 70.3 Muncie this year.  Maybe you or someone you know will be spotted.  It’s cut to “15 Steps” by Radiohead.  Enjoy.

Ironman 70.3 Muncie 2015 National Anthem

If this video doesn’t get your heart racing . . . well . . . maybe you’ll see somebody you know.

I’ll be posting more video from Ironman 70.3 Muncie, so sign up for the email to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Thanks to my brother Chris for manning the video camera all day like a champ.

Ironman 70.3 Muncie – Race Recap 2015

I went into Ironman 70.3 Muncie with some lofty goals and hit one of them . . . but it was probably the reason I didn’t hit the most important one.  The start was delayed 15 minutes because of traffic, so I got in a nice warm up swim and was ready to go learn some lessons. Three to be exact.

My overall goal was to be under 5 hours and I felt pretty good considering the alarm went off at 4 am and the last time I was up at that hour was during an all-night Netflix marathon. The cooler temperatures and tons of rain turned it into a wetsuit race and the weather was nearly perfect.

MuncieTransition

Ironman 70.3 Muncie pre-race transition. Photo: Chris Tarrolly

THE SWIM 

The first thing I noticed was how different the buoy line was from the course map.  I wrote about tactics for the Muncie swim a few days earlier, and Ironman threw a wicked curve ball.

Instead of the traditional inverted triangle, the first leg was a bowed curve and the backstretch was a straight line.  My mind was frazzled as I thought of the dozens of Crushing Iron readers I had misled, but quickly came up with a plan to outsmart the Ironman-course-layers, but you never beat Ironman.

I had a decent swim (just over 36 minutes) but going in I thought I could be around 34:00.  I stayed with the buoys for the most part, but tried some “short-cut” strategy against that buoy-curve and think it ultimately cost me some distance.

After the race we were talking at our Bed and Breakfast and Joanne (who swam 33 minutes) said she followed the buoys the entire way and her Garmin read a nearly a perfect 2112 yards.

First lesson learned at Muncie:  Follow the buoys.

MuncieBuoys

Ironman 70.3 Muncie curved buoy swim course. Photo: Chris Tarrolly

THE BIKE

Muncie was the first time I’d experienced my age group going off at the front.  There was one group ahead of us, but it was strange being in the first 50 people out of transition.

As we all knew, the course was fast and very tempting, but that’s also why I think it’s hard. No hills means you are churning the entire time with no real chances to give your legs a break and I wasn’t quite prepared.

I had a sub-5-hour overall goal, but was also trying to get top 5 in my age group.  I was 17th out of the water in my age group, so I knew that most of the people ahead of me were direct competition.  As I approached the first turnaround a lot of people were way ahead other way and I was in serious jeopardy of getting blown off the podium.

I didn’t “hammer” the bike, but I was just on the edge and pushing a little more than I would have liked.  No power meter or heart rate monitor, I just knew I was a tad out of my range.

I didn’t know how far off the front I was, but it turned out that my 21.5 mph average was only good for 20th in my age group!  I lost three slots on the bike, but I’ve realized that most of us older guys are better cyclists than runners, so I took a deep breath and hoped my extra run training would pay off.

2nd Lesson learned (remembered) at Muncie:  Don’t go even a hair out of your comfort zone on the bike.

MuncieBikeOut

Ironman 70.3 Muncie Bike Out. Photo: Chris Tarrolly

THE RUN

The second I got off my bike, I knew I might have trouble.  I’ve never dealt with hamstring issues, but suddenly I could “feel” both of mine.  I didn’t have much bounce, but hoped a couple miles on the run would remind my legs that they have been running really well.

I was timing my pace by hitting restart at the mile markers and my first three were all under 8 minutes, which was likely too fast because my breathing was a little heavy.  I settled in around Mile 4 but by the time I reached the ever-elusive turn-around, my hamstrings felt weak.

I focused on short strides and a pace I knew I could keep.  At this point it was managing pain and simply not stopping.

When I looked at my pace for Mile 8, I was stunned to see a 9:30.  I mean, I knew I was losing a little steam, but that was a dramatic shift considering I was sub-8 through the halfway point.  I desperately tried to pick up the pace and Mile 9 was around 9:15.  I grabbed my first GU and washed it with water, then knocked out Mile 10 at 7:45.  I was back!

I couldn’t locate GU at the next aid station and Mile 11 fell back to around 9 minutes.  I squeezed in another packet and Mile 12 went back to sub 8.

It was a strange run that ended at 1:49 (8:20 pace).

I had raced Muncie before and commented on how the hills caught me off guard.  For some reason, I chose to ignore that wisdom and it bit me.  They aren’t huge, but they are constant.  Up and down, not much in terms of flat running.

3rd Lesson Learned (remembered) at Muncie:  Run a lot of hills and fuel earlier with something other than Gatorade.  

MuncieRunOUt

Ironman 70.3 Muncie Run Out. Photo: Chris Tarrolly

SUMMARY

I’m just not in good enough shape to be talking about podiums.  I think my speed is close, but all three of my events need more endurance training.

My goal for the bike was 21 mph and I really think that extra .5 mph threw off my run.  The run goal was 1:45 and came in at 1:49.  The time was more or less a trade off, but in the big picture, my efforts made the bike and run less enjoyable.  Not to mention took any possibility of a great run off the table.

But, you live and learn.  Despite what I would consider a disappointing run, I still moved up from 20th to 13 overall in my age group (out of 133).

My time of 5:06:21 was about 8 minutes off the podium and clearly points to one thing.  I still have to #do work.

MuncieMikePete

Me after the race with Pete who drove in from Wisconsin to surprise me at the finish line. Photo: Chris Tarrolly

MuncieRunOut3

Ironman 70.3 Muncie “Run Out”. Photo: Chris Tarrolly

MuncieRunOut2

Robbie heads out on his way to a stellar race. Photo: Chris Tarrolly

MuncieSwimExit

The straight buoy line into the Swim Out. Photo: Chris Tarrolly

 

Lose Yourself In The Moment

By far, Eminem is my favorite workout and pre-race music, and “Lose Yourself” is probably the best.  I cut this video for my friends who raced Ironman Louisville and I really miss these fuckers because they all moved away, but it still pumps me up.   Lyrics below.

“Lose Yourself”

Look, if you had, one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted. In one moment
Would you capture it, or just let it slip?
Yo

His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy
There’s vomit on his sweater already, mom’s spaghetti
He’s nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready to drop bombs,
But he keeps on forgetting what he wrote down,
The whole crowd goes so loud
He opens his mouth, but the words won’t come out
He’s choking how, everybody’s joking now
The clock’s run out, time’s up, over, bloah!
Snap back to reality, Oh there goes gravity
Oh, there goes Rabbit, he choked
He’s so mad, but he won’t give up that
Easy, no
He won’t have it, he knows his whole back’s to these ropes
It don’t matter, he’s dope
He knows that but he’s broke
He’s so stagnant, he knows
When he goes back to his mobile home, that’s when it’s
Back to the lab again, yo
This whole rhapsody
He better go capture this moment and hope it don’t pass him[Hook:]
You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go (go)
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo
You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go (go)
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo
(You better)The soul’s escaping, through this hole that is gaping
This world is mine for the taking
Make me king, as we move toward a new world order
A normal life is boring, but superstardom’s close to post mortem
It only grows harder, homie grows hotter
He blows. It’s all over. These hoes is all on him
Coast to coast shows, he’s known as the globetrotter
Lonely roads, God only knows
He’s grown farther from home, he’s no father
He goes home and barely knows his own daughter
But hold your nose ’cause here goes the cold water
His hoes don’t want him no more, he’s cold product
They moved on to the next schmoe who flows
He nose dove and sold nada
So the soap opera is told and unfolds
I suppose it’s old partner but the beat goes on
Da da dum da dum da da da da[Hook]No more games, I’m a change what you call rage
Tear this motherfucking roof off like two dogs caged
I was playing in the beginning, the mood all changed
I’ve been chewed up and spit out and booed off stage
But I kept rhyming and stepped right into the next cypher
Best believe somebody’s paying the pied piper
All the pain inside amplified by the fact
That I can’t get by with my 9 to 5
And I can’t provide the right type of life for my family
Cause man, these goddamn food stamps don’t buy diapers
And it’s no movie, there’s no Mekhi Phifer, this is my life
And these times are so hard, and it’s getting even harder
Trying to feed and water my seed, plus
Teeter totter caught up between being a father and a prima donna
Baby mama drama’s screaming on her
Too much for me to wanna
Stay in one spot, another day of monotony
Has gotten me to the point, I’m like a snail
I’ve got to formulate a plot or I end up in jail or shot
Success is my only motherfucking option, failure’s not
Mom, I love you, but this trailer’s got to go
I cannot grow old in Salem’s lot
So here I go it’s my shot.
Feet, fail me not, this may be the only opportunity that I got

[Hook]

You can do anything you set your mind to, man

Finding Time To Train

Two days ago I decided to delete Facebook and I’ve caught myself staring at the phone like something is missing.  The truth is, I’m finding something.  More time.

Not only that, I feel like I have just a hint more peace of mind.  Sure, it’s way too early in the experiment, but there has to be some value in clearing any kind of clutter in your life.

I could literally feel myself getting anxious, even angry at times, while scrolling through my Facebook feed.  All of these people doing so many “amazing” things like hanging out at hip places or having babies.  All stuff I haven’t been doing.

It’s not like I’m taking my new free time and changing the world, but I do feel like maybe, just maybe, this is a step in the direction of putting my eyes on what’s most important in my life.

Sometimes I hate when I do stuff like quit Facebook because it seems like, well . . . I’m a quitter.  “Why can’t you just look at it in the morning and once at night?”  I don’t fucking know!?  I just can’t.  It’s easier for me to just walk away from stuff that feels wrong.

It’s also easier for me to go after things that feel right, and at this moment, that is training.

Yesterday was a rest day for Muncie and it was weird.  It felt like I had way too much time.  Crazy how your body misses moving so much.

When you boil it down, movement is life and I think that’s why triathlon has become such a big part of my routine.  Doing crazy ass things like an Ironman is the ultimate form of meditation.  Being in the moment.  It’s just impossible to think about stupid shit like that dreaded meeting on Monday when your hip is falling off.

I love racing, but I’m starting to feel the same way about training.  It’s not a nuisance as much as it is a healthy every day challenge.  It’s not a means to an end . . . it is the end.  And hopefully this is the end of Facebook on my phone as well.

Twitter, however . . .

Waste-on-Facebook.0011

Image: SocialMediaToday.com