Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Louie Bonpua Memorial Triathlon

This past Sunday was the 5th annual Louie Bonpua Memorial Triathlon at Treasure Island (near the Bay Bridge between Oakland and San Francisco). The triathlon is a day for the entire IronTeam to train, and more importantly, to remember why we do what we do as we celebrate the life of a true IronMan... Louie Bonpua.

Louie was an IronTeam participant. He finished IronMan Canada in 2001 with only 3.5 minutes left before the official cutoff. That fact makes him remarkable. But to those who know would say that him finishing was a miracle. Louie had leukemia.

He tried to remain upbeat in with his disease, but it eventually caught up to him. Shortly after IronMan Canada 2001, he set his sites on IronMan Canada 2002. He would never race again. In January 2002, his condition accelerated, and his end was near. His downturn happened 2 weeks before he was supposed to carry the Olympic Torch as the relay made its way through San Francisco.

Some would say that he willed himself to stay alive just so that he could be part of that Olympic moment. He also had some help from friends that "broke him out" of the hospital. He pulled up to the Golden Gate Bridge in an ambulance. His frail body seemed to have new life, though he must have been in tremendous pain. He carried the torch for 0.2 miles... on his own power.

After he passed the torch, he got back into the ambulance and made his way back to the hospital. Later that night, he would slip into a coma. He died 2 days later.

Louie lived like we should all hope to live our own lives; to the fullest. I have never personally met Louie, but I feel like he is there with me on the swim, the bike, the run. There are times when I feel like quitting, but I know that Louie wouldn't have... so I don't either.

If you would like to read Louie's personal story, in his own words, visit his website at www.shrimplouie.com.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Rain, Hail, Biking, Swimming

Today, the team met at Treasure Island for a nice morning open water swim. Then we spinned on our bikes for 1 hour followed by 30 minutes of riding followed by 30 minutes of spinning.

Did I mention that it was frickin' cold? It is a downright miserable day in the San Francisco Bay Area. We were poured on several times, and at one point, it was hailing. The swim was actually one of the warmest parts of the workout. I don't know how cold it was, but the weather forecaster said to expect upper 40's and 50's.

It wasn't too bad. I'd do it again!


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Stress and scheduling

Okay, it's starting to get to me.

I love the workouts. I love to train. Similarly (but to a lesser a degree) I like to work. I just got a butt-load of work at my job. Don't get me wrong, the project is rewarding, but a bit overwhelming.

But then, that's life... it's like an IronMan. It isn't easy. Along the way, you will have challenges. How do you deal with them? There's a finish line out there. Are you willing to do what it takes to get there?

-"I did a marathon to take on something that was bigger than myself. In the end, it was never really big at all... I just always felt smaller than I really was"-- Rommel

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy New Year!

It's been difficult to maintain the BLOG over the vacation, but rest assured, I've been training. I ran, swam, and biked over the holiday. I was also able to catch up on some much needed rest.

Just a few things I wanted to get out of my system... ahem...

Cal won the Las Vegas Bowl!!! GO BEARS!

also... GO SHARKS!!!

I recently made a challenge to my friends. 3 out of the past 4 years, I have run the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in San Diego. I'm running this year, and I have invited my friends to come along. I thought it might be fun to hang out in San Diego together... why not throw in some mutual suffering and pain!

Some of them are in the same boat as a lot of people... they have never run a marathon. Surprisingly, it doesn't take as much prep time as one might imagine. In as little as 16 weeks (2-3 training sessions per week), you could be race ready to run 26.2 miles. You may not run every bit of it, but you can travel the entire 26.2 miles by foot.

My wife is a perfect example. When we trained for the Mardi Gras Half-marathon back in '02, she had not run more than 1 mile in her whole life. 3 months later, we are crossing the finish line in New Orleans... 13.1 miles. We did Rock 'n' Roll a few months later... 26.2 miles!

I have found some good training schedules at www.RunnersWorld.com. There are others on the internet, but I'm not sure what they are. Curious? Interested? Check it out. If you need some extra motivation, train with a team, such as www.teamintraining.com. You get fit, and raise money for a good cause.

Shameless plug... you could always donate money to my fundraising. See the link at the right, or go to www.IronMel.com.