Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I am very excited to go to Ironman but a few things recently have helped me keep my perspective on the event. Talk about putting things in perspective. As important as this is to me, there certainly are things out there that are bigger. It is easy to lose perspective at times.

A friend of mine was in a near fatal car accident. She is lucky to be alive. Trying to balance family and work with training is always fun. Most recently however though, my wife’s grandmother had a stroke.

The woman is in her 90’s and still mows her own yard – 3 acres!!! She is amazing and I only hope to be so fortunate when and if I live that long. She was a bit out of it as she fell and hurt her neck and head pretty good. After a couple days in the hospital Lindsay, who is there, called to give me a status report.

We were unsure how such an independent woman would face the facts that she is basically paralyzed now on her left side. Her first comment to Lindsay: “Well, I never got to deal with a challenge like this before”. – WOW!! Can you believe that?! No Poor me, no, what am I going to do, just hmmm, this should be interesting. She is amazing.

I know I could learn a lesson or two from this woman and how to have a positive outlook on life no matter what cards are dealt. Talk about a perfect mental approach to triathlon. Heck SHE should be doing Kona next week.

Also I would like to extend a HUGE THANK YOU to all who have contributed to the charity I am racing for in Kuna. Race to Cure Blindness is an organization my friend Michael Stone was instrumental in helping to set up. Michael is in a battle for his eyesight. You can read more on this on the website I created for him: www.fightblindness.org/goto/zucco.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Not even sure what to Title this one.

Ok, sometimes I swear things are stacked against us just to test our mettle. Training you would think is hard enough, but add the sense of humor of God at times and we have a unique concoction of small miracles and just making ourselves look like complete asses.

Enter Adam-

I have a wonderful daughter and stepson. They definitely add a unique dimension to the daily “To Do” list at times, but always worth it. My daughter and I get to enjoy her gymnastics practices every Monday and Wednesday night together. Before I continue let me explain that I do not live full time with my daughter, she lives with her Mom. I see her very frequently usually 7 days out of every 14 so I work very hard to maintain a very active roll in her life. In addition to that, when I have her I try to make most functions centered on the kids and giving them the attention they deserve.

Back to the gym- These being my nights with her, I was not extremely excited to have to observe her through an observation window for 90 min. My daughter isn’t too pleased that it cuts into our time either, but I think it is good that I play a roll in as many aspects of her life as possible.

99% of the time I have everything done and am able to watch her do her practice in entirety. With crunch time for IM training, this particular day I was running behind and justified leaving for 40 min of the 90 to do my short run. After all, most of the other parents do not stay, so I really would not be a bad Dad doing this…

Ok, I take her in, it’s already raining, and I am thinking this is really going to suck running in the rain, and changing out of wet running clothes in the car, but I am committed and to get it done today, it is what is required. Back to the car, I put on the running gear and go to put on my running shoes – no insoles! Come ON I think, I must have switched them as they had my orthodics in them. OK, I am resourceful, Ill take them out of my casual shoes and just make the best of it. My shoes I’m wearing this day have insoles glued in… I pick at them for a second now willing to totally ruin the shoes to get them out, but it is not happening. OK, Ill run without insoles, it’s a short run, I’ll be OK. After a quick inspection I realize I have the new Nikes with the ability to put the pod or whatever it’s called in them. Well I do not have a Pod, so I have a damn hole with a hard plastic rim in the center of my arch. This is getting ridiculous I think, OK Ill try it. At this point what do I have to loose?

I start running, of course feel it a bit, but try to draw on my Marine Corps days and pretend I do not want the Drill Instructor to know I screwed up and forgot something knowing the discomfort of whatever I am currently experiencing will only be compounded if I go noticed. On we go, and it really gets to be OK.

Of course I am SOAKED, to the core. I come back from the run and assemble the best I can the dry clothes on the passenger seat, knowing I have 50 min of “safe time” to change in the parking lot until the class of 5-7 year old girls and Moms’ pour out of the building in mass to all the cars- I can do this.

The parking lot seems very crowded today and I can’t seem to figure out why. Well I found out. There is a NEW class also going on. That class gets out 45 min before my daughter’s or more accurately exactly the point in time I whip my wet clothes to the back seat and am totally exposed! Shit! I scramble to get my underwear up my wet legs which of course is rolling up and getting caught on everything. There is no way I am going to make it and I scramble for my shirt and a towel to cover up. Oh, this is going to look real great I think to myself, imagining the headlines in the Police blotter the next day and having to explain to my kid why she had to help bail Dad out of jail.

Of course the car next to me must have been designated the car pool van for the day and more kids then clowns getting into the cars at the circus are able to pile in, all the time, thank goodness the mom is focusing on strapping in these youngsters and not thinking to look at the covered up half naked man in the car next to her. Finally I am able to finish getting everything on without being discovered and become fully clothed – RELIEF.

As I get out of the car and give the Mom a waive I think to myself, “Boy that run was worth it”. Man the things we do to fit everything in at times.

I just wanted people to know I can relate to having to fit things in around a very busy schedule. It gets to be tough at times, but you know what, it is worth it.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Nice Work!

Congratulations to my 3 athletes who raced Wisconsin.

Paul W, nice PR and you finally got your Kona spot!!!
Jim D, Kona for you as well, and doing so with an Age Group record by 30 min!
Dennis J, 30 min PR for you on a tougher course.

Very exciting to watch you 3 today!!!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Learning from some of the best

It has been awhile since my last post. I just seem to never find the time to do these.

I came back from Boulder a few weeks ago. I was lucky enough to train for a week with Macca, Paul Ambrose, Brent Sheldrake, Simon Thompson, Cam Widoff, Bryan Rhodes, Wes Hosbson, Gordo and others. Well, Wes and I didn’t technically “train” unless you count watching the Olympics and sharing some great laughs.

I was able to do all of this because this year I have been getting some help from Macca and he was kind enough to let me tag along for a bit. These guys are simply on a different level. They are amazing to watch train. It has been a tremendous learning process to be able to train with the guidance of a current World Champion and get his insight into success.

What is interesting to me is their mental willingness to have fun, laugh at each other, encourage each other and train hard. We all know they train hard, but what I was most impressed with is the mental approach all these athletes have.

I am getting ready to go to Hawaii in just over a month. I know I’m prepared; I’m racing the best I ever have. I was totally honest with Macca about my being excited, but also nervous. He had some great insight into how he approaches his race there, and shared tips with me he has learned from others, as well as his own experiences.

I have spent so many years racing “scared”. I have been criticized by people who want to see me fail, people I thought were my friends, and the worst yet- myself. In so many races I have raced to “not do bad” versus “the best I think I can do”. These guys simply do not think this way. All of these guys have had amazing races as well as very poor races and even DNF’s. I used to think that they would DNF because they had to race again to earn a different paycheck. While I am sure this is true, I would guess now it is because they just lay it out on the line. They are willing with the consequences of their effort. They are willing to laugh at themselves, learn, and move on to the next race almost immediately.

I had some insight into this mental aspect while training with all of these guys in Boulder. It is hard work as an age grouper. We invest so much time energy and emotion yet still have to balance the “daily grind”. I have found myself a long the way forgetting to have fun. Macca told me specifically to not get so caught up in analyzing that I forget to execute.

My promise to myself going into Hawaii, and the thing I have been talking to all of my athletes about is to not forget to enjoy the moment. As Macca told me, make sure you do not over complicate something that is supposed to be very simple: Swim, Bike, Run.