Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Tribute to My Team

As I was running on Monday morning I thought that this would be a good time to acknowledge those folks that I call my team.  I’m not talking about my team of fellow racers that make up the Atlanta Center Triathlon Team.  I’m talking about my team of friends, neighbors, and family.  No matter what one might think, Ironman is not a solo competition.  At least the long training portion of the Ironman experience isn’t.

My team includes my friend Jim Macie who got me started running foot races again after a 6 year hiatus.  Jim and I met when we worked on the 2008 Lake Spivey Road race together.  I wasn't running much back then while Jim was running a race every weekend.  He encouraged me to enter my first post-hiatus race; the 2009 Run For the Kids 5K in Vinings, Georgia and my first marathon; the 2011 Museum of Aviation Marathon in Warner-Robins, Georgia.  I finished 4th in my age group in the 5K and 6th in my age group in the marathon.  Then there's my friend Neil Coleman who got me riding a bike again after about a 10 year hiatus.  Neil and I met when I working in the front yard and I flagged him down as he rode by my house in 2004 or 2005. Like a little kid I asked him a slew of questions.  Who are you?  Where are you going?  How far are you riding?  How often do you ride?  My old Trek 1500 was still in the basement at that time.  Then there are my friends Dave Rehm and Chip West.  Dave ran with me during that first and only marathon in January.  Dave had just completed the Goofy Challenge the week before.  If you're not familiar with the Goofy Challenge it's a half-marathon followed by a full-marathon at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.  Not surprisingly Dave was scheduled for knee surgery the following Monday.  Chip got me started doing triathlons again after about a 20 year hiatus.  Chip’s talk about the thrill of competing in triathlons and especially his recounting of the 2010 Ironman Louisville motivated me to train and register for 2011 Ironman Florida.

My neighbors, though they don’t know it, are also part of my team.  They’ll see me walking down the street cooling off after a run and give me a few words of encouragement like you're not goin' fast enough or come on, step it up.  That always feels good.  I’ve noticed lately that they also leave me alone and don’t ask me to do neighborhood stuff.  I guess something has got to give!

My family is the most important part of my team.  That includes my dog Max. Max doesn’t get as much attention as he deserves since I started my training plan.  I suspect this will get worse before it gets better.  My wife Susan is the leader of my team.  Her duties as leader mostly include making sure I eat right and eat enough, washing the heaps of dirty/sweaty clothes I generate every week and being there to take pictures and cheer me on.  More than Max, Susan has had to spend more time alone than she did before I registered for IMFL.  I guess I'll have to make it up to her and finish remodeling the basement.

Thanks to my team for getting me started and keeping me going!

Thanks for reading!