Monday, March 31, 2008

A quick wrap-up report from Lone Star

More details to follow. Here's the quick and dirty.

Campaign results: Our North Texas Team raised more than $175,000 for much needed blood cancer research.

Event results: Everyone from our team finished their respective races. I completed my Half Iron Man distance in 6:16:02.

We did it! Thanks to all of you for supporting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Thanks for your encouragement in this triathlon effort of mine - it means a lot to me.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Reporting from Moody Gardens, Galveston, Texas

Before I head to rest and then again to wake at 4:30 AM to prepare for a 7:30 start (my age group goes first along with the elite athletes), I wanted to leave one last dispatch (thanks to Mike W. for bringing his laptop on the trip).

We just finished our Pasta Party, which as planned, offered a healthy dose of "acknowledgment, inspiration, and motivation." And a bit of instruction for our day tomorrow - repetition helps.

We heard from a 31-year old father of three who told of his story of surviving stage 3 Hodgkin's Lymphoma. October 23, 2003 was the day he got the news - the day he'll never for forget. Today, he thanked all of us, and by proxy all you, for making his survival story possible.

We also met the father of two of our team mates - two sisters who decided to join TNT in support of their father who is doing well after being diagnosed with a rare blood cancer. Gleevac has made all the difference to him, a drug made possible by funding from LLS.

Positive energy abounds with this crowd. I wanted to send some of that energy and positivity out to all of you through the ether. Your support and donations have been noticed. And from the survivors I met this evening, I'm able to send you their thanks and appreciation.

Final pre-race day

I'm off to Galveston. About a five hour drive from Fort Worth.

Today calls for a packet-up, a pre-race meeting, an open water swim, and a pasta party organized by TNT.

This will be my third pasta party with TNT. These are remarkable evenings.

The team gathers to dine and "carbo-load." Add in visiting family. Add in very enthusiastic TNT staff (gotta love 'em). Throw in a few coaches with last minute inspiring and soothing words and bits of advice. Bring forth the honored heroes - cancer survivors who, like Doug Campbell speaking last year, share amazing stories of fighting and overcoming their disease.

The net effect reminds everyone why we started this journey in the first place. It also takes us out of ourselves and our own nervous energy, bringing our attention back to those heroes and the Society we're striving to support.

Thanks to all of you once more who I have the honor of representing, donors and supporters, the real Team behind Team Goodman.

And finally, watch this space for race results soon...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Fundraising update: $2,842

Wow, I'm very thankful for the response to the St. Paddy's Day appeal! We had about a $500 day. Truly awesome. Thanks to all of you who have supported The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society - many of you for the second year in a row!

I'm officially square with Team In Training - having met my minimum fundraising amount. I'm just shy of my goal of $3,000 and it's not too late to make a donation!

If no stragglers make up the difference, I'll find a way to get across the line. I'm not going to finish a Half Iron Man and then not hit the fundraising goal. That's no way to cap a season that began in September!

Again, to this season's donors, thanks for all your support! It truly means so much to me and especially the Society...

Into the taper and race day planning

Under strict orders from our coaches, those on our way to Galveston this weekend have began to taper our training. The basic idea is to rest your body and avoid any taxing workouts in the final days leading up to your race. Pretty common sense stuff, but triathletes often fall into the "more is better" mode of thinking and need to be constantly reminded and cajoled to lay off.

This leaves me time to work on my race plan, hydration and nutrition specifically. Elevated exercise for more than a few hours requires your body fuel and replenish fluids along the way. Coach Todd from the Dallas Team gave us a clinic a few months ago which helped a lot. It's time to put pen to paper and have an actionable plan for race day.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

According to Wikipedia:

Saint Patrick's Day (Irish: Lá ’le Pádraig or Lá Fhéile Pádraig), colloquially St. Paddy's Day or Paddy's Day, is an annual feast day which celebrates Saint Patrick (circa 385–461 AD), one of the patron saints of Ireland, and is generally celebrated on March 17.

You'll find lots of cool history in this entry. Did you know that Boston has celebrated St. Paddy's Day since 1737?

It's more than enough reason for me to have a Guinness.

"Guinness is Good for You," as the poster to the right states, even for aspiring amateur triathletes.

Thanks for the great holiday Ireland and for sharing it with the world!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park

Northern California is pretty darn cool.

Banana Slugs.

Redwood trees.

Today I saw one banana slug making his away across the trail and lots of redwoods while on a run through Nisene Marks with friend and coworker Andy B., ultra-marathoner .

We ran nearly five miles into the park to the epicenter of the October 17, 1989, Loma Prieta earthquake, and then we turned around and ran right back out.

This was one of the best runs I've done in a long time, in no small part because the course is gorgeous (thanks again, Andy, and Mark too!).

Two weeks left until Galveston and the the Lone Star Triathlon. Fundraising closes next week.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Fundraising closes March 18, add your support now

Where has the time gone? The proverbial finish line is near.

So many people to thank... (Fara, I will have a card coming to you in Portugal very soon!).

If you want to help us reach our goal of $3,000 for this season - we are within reach - you can donate securely online via the season-two fundraising page.

Every little bit helps.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Open water swim practice in cold Grapevine Lake

Our first open water swim practice had the Dallas and Fort Worth North Texas triathlon teams gather 9AM Saturday morning at Rockledge Park on Grapevine Lake.

Everyone wore a wetsuit, those going to Hawaii for Lavaman borrowing from TNT alumni and other fellow team members. I tried out my new sleeve-less wetsuit recently arrived in advance of our race at the Lone Star in Galveston.

The prevailing sentiment of the entire group was, "Holy crap, this water is cold!" And it was.

58 degrees Fahrenheit cold.

I don't know how far we swam. I was in the water for just over 30 minutes and opted not to take a second lap, though a few fellow "halfers" did. Most everyone overcame the shock of cold water on their face and did the distance very well. The whole point of the exercise to gain experience in the open water which is very different from pool swimming in a number of important ways, including:

  1. You can't see the bottom or even your own hands in many cases.
  2. You can't stand up if you're tired.
  3. You can't stop and rest at the wall.
  4. You're surrounded by dozens of other people.
  5. Your surroundings are almost invariably unfamiliar.
  6. You can't swim in a straight line without "sighting" - periodically looking up during your stroke and navigating.

For certain, my sighting needs help! My swim experience from Lone Star 2007 is proof of this. I have a hard time swimming in a straight line which is only exacerbated by cold and fatigue as my swim form breaks down and my stroke tends to cross my body. Knowing these things in practice will surely help me avoid them on race day. And practice will help me improve; we're back in the open water this next weekend for a practice triathlon.