Sunday, September 27, 2009

Wake Up Call!

I had my annual physical on Monday, and the came back on Friday to discuss the results. The cholesterol numbers were rather ugly. Cholesterol is a hereditary factor in my family. My father's was bad. My two older sisters deal with it. Over the years I've managed to keep mine down with the amount of endurance training I had done for triathlons. These last few years my endurance athlete lifestyle has been non-existent. My feeble effort at this year's St. Anthony's triathlon was an exercise in going through the motions. A canceled swim was probably the only thing that save me from a DNF. My "race" report can be found here.

Winter was a miserable son of a bitch, and left me totally unmotivated to do much of anything except work on Tae Kwon Do. That has been a very positive thing for me in terms focus, concentration and coordination. I've come a long way since my first class when I swore I had 3 left feet, and couldn't even get past the first two movements of a beginner routine that most people learn in the first 15 minutes of their first class. Now I am just below black belt, and barring horrendous injury, I will attain that rank next June.

This past June I competed in the ATU National Championships and won my division, Red Belt 50+ Female. However not many women start doing Tae Kwon Do in their 50s so my competition was me, myself and I. I showed up, my competition didn't.

National Champion?!

There is a serious flaw in my Tae Kwon Do training in that I don't have the sustained aerobic workout I would get from swimming, biking and running. It's been hard for me to get excited about doing an of those three sports without specific races and goals in mind. After having a long string of successes from 2002 to 2005 I got kind of spoiled. 2005 also burned me out with all the racing and traveling.

Getting back to Friday's discussion with my doctor, his prescription; get back to doing the three sports. Biking and swimming won't be that hard for me. Running is a different story. I have to start all over again. I pulled out a beginner program, and that's what I'm going to follow.

Today was the Westchester Triathlon. My race. I worked as course marshal on the bike course. The weather sucked. It was raining, and the section of road that I was covering had a bunch of metal plates in one part and two nasty potholes. It's not a closed course but the auxiliary cop at my intersection did a good job with all the impatient drivers who had to wait for hoards of cyclists coming through. Most of the amateur racers totally ignored the yellow line rule and went outside to avoid riding over the plates. Not that I blame them, I probably would have done the same thing. The pros took the plates carefully.

As I stood out there in the raining pointing out hazards and cheering for the racers, I thought to myself "I'm so glad I'm not out here in this crap." I felt really sorry for the poor newbies doing their first triathlon. Shortly after the last two cyclists passed by I went back to my car to head back home. I caught up eventually with the sweep car and cop car tailing the last racer. I don't think we were going much more then 5 miles an hour up that hill. That's not even the hardest climb in the race. That comes later. I hope she made it through the race okay.

It's time for me to start thinking like a triathlete again. I have to get over myself in terms of what I used to be able to do. The 55 year old me is slower and heavier then the 51 year old pictured below.

Maybe I can see that weight again, but I think my days of 8:45 miles are behind me. I may have to outlast my fellow baby boomers to have a chance in my age group again. Hopefully in the mean time I can stand myself. I am finding inspiration from a wonderful young woman who calls herself The Unlikely Triathlete. She working on losing weight, and using triathlon as a tool in that journey. I've got three months to clean up my diet, and get my act together. I don't want to go on meds for my cholesterol.