“In the Long Run…”

Hey Hey Hey! It feels good to be typing away… on a blog post; it’s been too long! Nothing like starting up a new school year, resurrecting triathlon training, getting married, and taking a honeymoon in Mexico to sway my attention away from blogging. Well, my apologies to the thousands of Point Positive blog readers out there! All I have to say for myself is, “I’m back!” And, looking forward to resuming some consistency with blogging, ’cause it’s fun, and hopefully useful to someone.  😀

Rod Matteri & Doug Wilson at the Silicon Valley Marathon – They may not need Boston but they both qualified for the 2012 race. Smokin’ race fellas!!
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I’ve been spending my days doing what I do: teaching, coaching, and training (and spending quality time with my new bride of course!). A lot of my time with athletes is currently being spent devising our 2011 race schedules as well as creating meaningful training plans that design to encourage and sustain the high levels of motivation necessary to carry us through some cold, wet months to spring.
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For, what seems like ever, I’ve outlined these things for myself, so working closely with athletes over the past three years and sharing the mutual excitement of laying out an annual plan is exhilarating. So much scrutiny goes into committing to this race or that race. And, of course, for so many events these days, we have to commit so dang early, you simply must make decisions a year out, or forfeit the opportunity. I mean, Ironman Arizona went down on Sunday and filled for 2011 the next day. Anyway, you should now be in registration mode and laying the 2011 season. Here’s some of the “mountains” I’m planning to climb next year:
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The Bachelor Party on Mt. Shasta.

“In the long run, you only hit what you aim at.”  -Henry David Thoreau

When we have our event schedule laid out, then it’s imperative we consider what we most want to accomplish, and more importantly, why we want to accomplish these things. Goals and Targets must be established. Goals are [or should be for the sake of our long-term athletic life] process-oriented while Targets are product-oriented. As a coach, I’m obsessed with my athletes’ Goals; I want to coach their ability to improve HOW they train and race. Improving the process improves our “accuracy” at hitting our Targets.
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Goals represent all the things over which you we have control (our weekly training plan, the number of sessions we complete each week, the amount of sleep we regularly get, the foods we eat, the focus we bring to each training session, the attitude we choose, etc.). Thoreau certainly has it right. We gotta keep an eye on the horizon and imagine where we want to be and commit to the work it’s going to take to really get there.
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As a coach, I appreciate the interconnections between being a coach and an athlete, and a teacher for that matter. Striving to be effective in one area of your life certainly carries over into other aspects of daily living, just as working to become a better swimmer builds aerobic capacity, used not only for the first leg of a triathlon but for everything that happens after the wetsuit comes off.
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I was just in the water this morning working with a new athlete, who after an hour and half has already become more aware of both his efficiencies and inefficiencies, as I chose to spend an equal amount of time topside and in the water, working to obtain a global perspective on how to approach the creation of swim training for this eager new triathlon swimmer. One thing’s for certain with this athlete: he will improve, simply by virtue of the enthusiasm he brings with him to the pool. And just like the classroom, I know a kid’s learning, when that desire is there. That desire is contagious. Who doesn’t want to be around that?!
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Shasta. Seven miles has never taken so long.

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So, here we are, wrapping up another year of training and racing. Point Positive athlete, Chuck Potter, is fresh off a tough day at Ironman Arizona. Many of us are coming off some good efforts used to prepare for our final A-priority races of the year, such as the Healdsburg Half and Full Marathon as well as some sweet Pacific Coast Trail Runs (PCTR) events.

The North Face Endurance Challenge and the California International Marathon (CIM) are both coming up here on 12/4 & 12/5 respectively. Ted Neal and I will be down at North Face running long on Saturday while Jeff Ottoboni, Matt Gallo, and David Tett will be pushing their own limits at CIM on Sunday. After this week, we’ll all be in a more serious taper mode to absorb the training we’ve done leading up to these events. Good luck to all. We’ll need it at some point. But, as the expression goes, “The harder you work, the luckier you seem to get.”   😀

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Pug’s mug. Ted Neal’s dog, Macho after Ted ran the Healdsburg 26.2.
Wedding Day. Hangin’ out the best man’s house. Dylan checking out Dad’s birthday present: a new Cervelo from Echelon Cycle & Multi-sport
Michael Cook & Kevin Buchholz at Newcastle Wedding Gardens.
The newly wed.
Playa del Carmen. Thoughts of Ironman Cozumel…
I could get used to this.
Back on a colder coastline… Stinson Beach 50k – 11/13/2011 (Photo by Barbara Ashe). Ultra-Runners, Mark Tanaka and Jady Palko.
Newfoundland pup hangin’ out at the race.
Heading to the start with fellow Winsor Middle School teacher, Xerxes Whitney (Photo by Barbara Ashe)

Parting Shot

JB Benna shot this inspiring vid last year of Geoff Roes (current Western States 100 course record holder) and Uli Steidl running the North Face 50 miler last year.

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.+!   POINT POSITIVE   .+!

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