I just spent a few days in Chicago watching the Badgers win the Big 10 Tournament, then headed north to hang out in Beloit, Wisconsin, home of . . . 7 High School Basketball State titles and FatWallet.com.  The first thing I always do is walk down the hill from my parent’s house and gaze at the pool where I learned to swim and flirt with girls.

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It’s kind of a crazy place but we never once called it a Natatorium.  It actually looked like this when I grew up, though I was definitely not swimming the day they took this picture.

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In all seriousness, it was a pretty badass pool to have 200 feet from your house.  The “swim test” was across and back at the widest part and somehow I made it, but mostly you could have found me on a Pabst Blue Ribbon beach towel off to the side.

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In other news I JUST remembered I’m signed up to do the Rock/Creek River Gorge Trail Race a week from Saturday.  That’s just over 10 days to get ready for 10.2 miles of rugged terrain that everyone says is easily the equivalent of a half marathon.

Today, I ran my dog for one mile, then decided to add a few more, but a delivery guy pulled up next to me at the end of the block (we were high school classmates) and he asked where I was going.

I said, “Running.”

He said, “You can’t run now, I’m taking this pizza to your house.”

Dad strikes again.

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So, one of my favorite football players, Chris Borland just retired after one season in the NFL because he feared the long term effects of concussion.  My dream was always to be a back up quarterback in the NFL.  No collisions, along with NFL quarterback status sounds about as good as it gets.

The whole thing reminded me that I seriously considered “retiring” from triathlon a month or so ago.  In some wild-stretch-of-the-imagination I was also a bit concerned about the long term effects of Ironman training.  Not from a safety perspective, but it can really take over your life.

I mean, it’s fun and all, but kind of a grind.   I’m sure the aforementioned River Gorge race (that I’m totally unprepared for) will lift my spirits.

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This weekend I’m heading to Madison and it will be impossible not to think about my first Ironman.  I spent a lot of my youth there, but that city will always remind me of one of my greatest days.  And maybe, just maybe, that is where I will recover my mojo.

I will gaze at Lake Monona and remember the rush of 2,700 people swirling around me as I set out to do something I wasn’t sure I could.  Every cyclist will trigger thoughts of pounding through the Wisconsin hills.  And the state capitol will forever be the symbol of success.  The end of one day . . . that took 12 months to finish.

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Random Thoughts From Wisconsin

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