Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Watching an Ironman

What I love most about watching an IM is pure and genuine determination that is on display for all to see. You see in an IM there is no where to hide as it's your journey, your race done at your pace.
If you haven't done IM you'll soon come to understand the many parallels to a roller coaster with many highs and lows as you make the journey to the white line while Mike Riley says those four famous words, "You are an Ironman!"

What I learned at IM CDA 2010 is that no matter how tough conditions with heat, wind, chop on the lake people press on with the heart of champions no matter the pace, no matter the place. If the bike won't shift (sorry Lora) or the seat falls off or watch dies on the swim(sorry Gretchen) or the dreaded stomach issues/knee pain intensify (sorry Beth) people find a way to dig deeper than ever before and finish the journey.  Some luck on race day doesn't hurt either!

I also observed that no matter how much you prepare and plan sometimes things are out your control. Yes, unfortunately Steve's journey was cut short after getting hit by a car on the bike course at mile 40, however his spirit wasn't broken and he stayed to end to support all his follow Team Blaze members. The most important thing is Steve is OK and I know with his positive outlook and spirit he'll finish the journey some day.

Once again I learned that IM is not about the swim or bike, instead it's all about properly pacing the swim and bike to set up the best 26.2 mile you can!  I've found the last 7 yrs. racing and coaching IM that :10 too fast on the bike and poor hydration/nutrition usually leads to :45-:60 slower on the run if you blow apart at mile 18.  So, again a fast swim or bike time mean nothing if you're walking at mile 18.  Race smart and have plan the reflects your training!

Watching IM every year truly motivates me to be a better husband, father, coach, athlete and friend. It reminds me to be thankful for all the wonderful freedoms and positive/supportive people that are in my life.

John Collins the founder of IM once said,

"There’s a little voice in the back of your head telling you that it’s okay to stop. If you keep on going you win, if you listen to that voice, you lose."

IM is truly a physical and mentally journey that will test your limits but teach more about yourself and the goodness in people than you ever realized when you had crazy plan to pay $600 for chance to take a ride on the IM roller coaster.

Enjoy the journey!

Coach Scott

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Boise 70.3 *Finishing What We Start*

The journey while training and racing the Boise 70.3 Half Ironman was one I'll never forget for many reasons.  As I was suffering through the run I kept remembering something my parents taught me long ago which I will pass on to my son which involves making a commitment to do your best and finish what you start!  This experience reinforced many parallels of life as we al know life doesn't always go as we plan, however I feel we learn much more about ourselves through the trying times. 

Where do I begin....the good, the bad or the ugly?

We had a great group of friends in Team Blaze Spokane Triathlon Club ( began the journey training for the race over 19 weeks ago.  Everyone trained consistently through wet, cold weather weekend after weekend and arrived on race day ready for the 70.3 mile challenge ahead!

As for Boise, everyone did great considering the conditions on the day and all 21 TB athletes finished through broken bones, Kidney Stones, dehydration and cramping!  Kimberly, Kevin, Bill, Anne and Tia completed their first 70.3!  Anne, Gretchen and Staci all placed in the top 10 in their age groups!

As a coach I'm very proud of the consistent effort, commitment and determination all of you showed in training for Boise and racing in brutal windy conditions on the bike! In 10 yrs. of racing triathlon/marathons I've only raced in conditions that windy once at the Las Vegas Marathon in 2003 and the porta potties/aid stations all blew over!

I truly appreciate the support and encouragement all of you provide to me as an athlete and coach. Seeing the improvement in all of you motivates me. Thanks Brett & Tobin for all the great workouts! Maybe we can all turn it around at Chelan!

As for my journey....
 I felt really prepared and fit for this race, however as many of you know things don't always go as planned even when we train and follow a realistic plan.

I had an OK swim and bike through 50 miles, although the wind was brutal 25-30mph the whole way, I obviously didn't hydrate enough. I ended up with both hamstrings seizing up off the bike and severe pain in my right Kidney. As the run progressed the pain worsened until finally the last 5k I could only walk while short of breath/light headed and hold my side to manage the pain. After being taken to the med. tent the doctors determined based my symptoms I was passing a Kidney Stone, which explains the intense pain and other related symptoms. It's very frustrating as I really felt ready for a good race, however I hope everyone can take away the importance of hydrating consistently in hot and windy conditions. I don't want this to worry anyone, however instead reinforce that triathlon hydration/nutrition is as important as swim, bike and run. Adjusting to the conditions on race day is key!

I'm sore, disappointed/frustrated, however I'm appreciative of all the support shown to me during the race. Thank you Penny/Tristin/Gretchen for trying to get me to run with you, and everyone else for the positive thoughts. I tried to stay positive at the end, however I was in complete survival mode.

We truly have a great team made of athletes that continue to encourage and support one another. As for me, I'm went to the Dr. yesterday which reinforced the what the Dr. at the race sight diagnosed I was passing a Kidney Stone during the race. I get the rest of the lab results back tomorrow, so hopefully I'm through the worst of the ugly side of this experience.  My pain has starting to subside, so I'll be back in the pool and on the bike soon!  As for running, I'm going to give it a week as I'm having flash backs to a painful 13.1 mile experience I hope to never repeat.

I try to learn something from every race or journey preparing for race. This experience was definitely reflective of the good (all the great friends in TB), the bad (tough race conditions), and the ugly (my 13.1 mile painful nightmare at the end of Boise 70.3).

Lessons learned.....
*I truly enjoyed the journey training more than the race.

*I need to learn someday to hydrate better on the bike!

*Kidney Stones are brutal and I don't ever want to experience that pain again!

*The results don't always match up to the training/fitness.

*After I regroup mentally and physically I plan to race fun short triathlons the rest of the season.

*I know I can get through any tough race or workout and finish what I started!

Healthy training,

Coach Scott

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Enjoying the Journey

I'm finally setting up my Blog. It's only taken me 2 yrs, however I'll start to share more about my journey.

I recently was able to get my Team Marathon powered by Snickers sponsorship renew from the 2007-2008 seasons. ( Last year I hurt my knee, which was a major test in patience as I couldn't do anything for 3 months. So, I feel blessed to be healthy again, living back in Spokane and coaching an awesome group of supportive triathletes in Team Blaze Spokane Triathlon Club. ( )

I often talk to athletes about keeping life in perspective and truly enjoying the journey! We all have different motivations for heading out the door to the pool, lacing up the shoes or climb on the bike on a rainy day. The key thing I've learned over the past 10 yrs while competing and coaching triathlon is that we all need to not take the journey for granted. Keep it all fun through adding social elements to your training. Triathletes by nature are fun and social group. I enjoy sharing in the journey with others.

A few years ago my son Reece was born premature and hospitalized for his first 6 weeks of life,then I almost lost my beautiful wife to complications during a life change miscarriage, last year my father-in-law battled and survived a major cancer scare. Recently, I've had a childhood and lifelong best friend who's mom was always such sweet and kind person to me growing that lost her courageous battle with cancer. She will always be close to me as I observed how she managed tragic life challenges while staying strong keeping life and family as the priority. You will be missed by many lives you touched and your sweet nature will live on through your daughters and grandchildren.

My reason for sharing this life touching information is due to the fact it all reminds me to keep my own life in perspective. Enjoying the journey to me takes on many meanings, however one thing I know for sure is life should be lived to the fullest as you never know when you will see your last sunset! Hold your little ones/family close and love each day like it was your last!

All the best to my friends racing Boise 70.3 & IM CDA! Thanks Brett, Tobin and John for pushing me on the bike! Thanks to all my athletes I coach for inspiring me everyday! Thanks for my wife & son for always keeping life fun!

Enjoy the journey,

Coach Scott