The 2010 Carpinteria Triathlon and Beyond…

The 2010 Carpinteria Triathlon Sprint starts tomorrow morning at 8:13am.  This is my 8th triathlon and my last planned triathlon of the 2010 season.  It seems like a sudden and unexpected end to my 2010 triathlon season journey.

Expect the Unexpected

The 2010 journey has been full of unexpected moments, unexpected people, and true tests of my devotion to the triathlon sport.  I certainly didn’t expect to lose my my personal trainer in the aftermath of Ventura.  I also didn’t expect to be stung by a bee and end up nearly dead a few hours later.  In fact, the shear thought that I am sitting here typing this post excites me, for I am a live, I can look forward to 2011, and I can say that I have learned SO MUCH this year.

The Lost Dream & The Joy of the Moment

Going into tomorrow’s event is the culmination of these events.  While a few months ago I couldn’t stop thinking about how much of a personal record I would have over last year’s Carp Tri, tonight, I can’t thinking about how lucky I am just to be content with finishing.  Tomorrow, numbers are meaningless…   tomorrow is about enjoying the journey, enjoying the triathletes and their families, enjoying the venue and simply enjoying the fact that I am here.

Sure the swim is going to be hard, long and cold.  The 9-mile bike will be exciting, fun and fast.  The 5k run will be excruciating, a mental test, and full of joy.   It is a triathlon and despite the lost dreams of a few months back, it is the beginning of a new journey.

The New Journey

Many of you have asked what my future in triathlons will look like.  I admit, I was on the fence about what would happen with the Carp Tri and what my 2011 goals would look like.   I felt crushed and demotivated after the Santa Barbara Triathlon and then the bee incident a few days later.   It seemed like someone upstairs was trying to send me a message and I considered hanging up my wetsuit.

However, I have come to realize a few things since then.

  1. You are only as good as your support network.  With the changes following Ventura and the realization of who has your back and who doesn’t, it quickly became clear that I was barking up the wrong tree.  Sure they are great people, but they aren’t the people that will launch me into a top 25% finish.
  2. Success only comes when you have everything else in place.  Success is not luck.  Throughout the events of this year, I came to realize that there are so many more components to success than I realized originally.  Components that include experience, coaches, nutrition, and a few basic life principles.  Somehow, some of these were neglected, some weren’t even on the radar, and some just didn’t work.
  3. The journey must be fun.  The journey is not about training countless hours. It is not solely about spending endless hours in the pool perfecting a technique.  The journey is about the everyday moments of life that include sharing with others, waking up to see the sun in the morning, feeling the sun on your face, and being there to help others achieve their successes.
  4. Good talent comes at a price.  There is a reason that the top triathlon coaches cost a lot.  There is also a reason that some trainers come cheap.   You get what you pay for and to achieve my goals for 2011, I am going to have to reach high and dig deep to bring on coaches that can get me there. Coaches with experience, coaches with all their pieces put in place that know how to make the journey fun.

While I can go on with a few more points, these four are the most important.  They can make or break a triathlete and lead to endless successes when in good order.  With these in mind, I set my eye on the prize in 2011.

But not Before the Carpinteria Finish Line

So, tomorrow morning at 8:13am I will dive in the freezing cold water and side stroke, crawl, and doggie paddle my way to the transition area.  After an exhilarating ride and a painful run, I will have finished the 2010 Carpinteria Triathlon course and my 8th triathlon. I will relish in the achievement, the joy of doing, and the pain.  It may not be a personal record, but at least I did it and I will have yet another story to tell the grandkids in a few years.


Strawberries, Thoughts, and A New Chapter

Triathlon number six is happening tomorrow and I can’t sleep.  Hence I am writing this post. Tomorrow morning at 7:30 I start my journey in the Strawberry Fields Triathlon sprint course, swimming along shore, biking amongst acres of strawberries, and running through the community of Mandalay Shores.

Compared with all of my previous five triathlons, this one I am feeling the least stressed by.  Maybe it is because I have never done this triathlon before.  Perhaps, I have done enough triathlons that the newness has worn off.   Perhaps, it isn’t worth stressing over something that I know I will be pleased with in the end.

In reality, I think the Strawberry Fields Triathlon is an opportunity to let loose, have some fun with an event I’ve never done before and shake things up a bit.

  • I will be commuting with a friend and won’t be arriving at the crack of dawn before transition is open.  Instead much later, so finding and setting up the transition area will be more challenging.
  • Commuting with a friend to the event will be a first.  Normally I am in solitude, building my mental capacity and getting ready.  We’ll see how I do without such dedicated time.
  • I will be using a Gyst Concept Backpack 1-10 transition bag.  Check out my video demonstration of this revolutionary transition pack.  This will be a first, having everything in a single pack… will it work?  I am sure it will

Things will be a bit different this time around.  Doing things differently inspires creativity and innovation.  Just what Aric In Training needs!

Over the past few weeks since the Ventura Triathlon, I have put in training, replaced one of my coaches, and realized that I am no longer a beginner.  It is time for Aric In Training to shift from just finishing to competing for a spot in the top 75% and start thinking about what it is going to take to finish my first long course triathlon.

As much as I realize this, I also realize that another part of my life journey comes to a close.  The past 2.5 years are so full of wonderful memories, fabulous people, and events that still take my breathe away.  It also has some moments that I am less proud of, but accept as lessons and steps toward the bigger goals.

The future will be full of new, exciting memories.  The coaches may not be the same, friends may not be able to keep up, and the events are going to be harder than ever, but the challenge of accomplishing something so huge is still there.   Finish one goal, set the next goal 2.5 times higher, the next after that 5 times higher.

Sitting here typing this makes me realize that the challenge is not about one event, but about the greater goal of continuous challenge.  The Strawberry Fields Triathlon will be a fun event and I will give it my all, but the journey will not end there. In fact, it begins a new chapter in Aric’s journey to the world’s next top triathlete.