I’ll never have another year like 2010 in many respects. It was a year I’ll never forget–the good, the bad and the miserable . I took a new job at my company this year that led to traveling 250,000 miles in nine months–China, Brazil, Netherlands, even Bahrain, and many trips to India. I knew my training and racing would take a hit this year with all the travel. I shipped a road bike and trainer to Bangalore, India just so I could train for Ironman Couer d’Alene during my many trips to India.
Training in India was not fun at all. The pools at the hotels were always too hot, too cold, or over-chlorinated. I could only ride my bike on my trainer in my hotel room, and I ran through human feces on trail runs. I saw some very cool things along the way but it’s not something I ever care to repeat. In Chongqing, China, all I had time to do was run the treadmill at the hotel gym but even if I stepped outside the hotel there was nowhere to run. In Bahrain, I managed a good swim in the hotel pool. I also swam a mile in the ocean at Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro but only did it for the novelty of it. The locals don’t even swim in that filthy water. The Netherlands was quite nice for running, mainly because I was staying at the popular resort town of Noordwijk on the North Sea. Yes, I was actually there on business.
In the end, my best moments were not my own races but the people I met and the events that transpired in between my races. While training in India for my Ironman in June, I was introduced to Samim Rizvi, India’s Lance Armstrong. Cisco sponsored Sam as the first person from India to qualify for the Race Across America (RAAM) and I was asked to lead the charge. In June, I found myself leading a small crew from India on an insane bicycle race from Oceanside, CA to Annapolis, MD, chasing India’s biggest hope for a a finish at RAAM. I had to pull my rider in Durango, CO after he contracted influenza Type A pneumonia. But the friendships I created along the way were diverse and unexpected, and the RAAM experience significantly expanded my understanding of endurance sports.
Just ten days later I was in Couer d’Alene, Idaho for my Ironman. I had a miserable day as I never had a chance to train in the heat, but while sitting outside the massage tent at the finish line, I met Pam Reed, a legend in the ultra running community. We immediately struck up a conversation and we’ve had a great business relationship ever since that day. For all the training, expense and time I spent preparing for an Ironman, my first Ironman finish was completely overshadowed by my chance meeting with Pam. In September, we hired Luis Escobar–also an elite ultra runner–to do a photoshoot of Pam. I spent my Labor Day weekend with Luis and Pam in the Grand Tetons of Wyoming running and taking photos, all the while amazed at my good fortune.
The last few months of the year were marked by nagging injuries. I developed plica syndrome in my right knee in Aug. and ended up getting three cortisone shots for it. Then the over-compensating that comes with an injury led to a bruised left foot and then on New Year’s Eve, a pulled hamstring. Nice way to end the year, Lynn.
A real highlight of the year was using my Ironman event as a fundraiser for the National MS Society in honor of my youngest sister who suffers from progressive MS. I have now raised over $23,000 for a good cause, and the emotional lift it gave my sister was more than worth it. I hope to continue to use a major event every year as a fund raising opportunity.
At the end of a tumultuous year, I am still grateful that I can swim, bike and run, and pursue my passion for endurance sports. I’m beginning to wonder if I have any more PRs in me. I’m having to re-think my training methods for more quality than quantity workouts, and I’m finding I need more variety in my training regimen just to keep my body balanced and tuned. I say that like I’m some kind of finely crafted piece of machinery, but this engine has been training for 35 years and it needs more attention. These days there is nothing I value more than a good massage.