A couple months ago, my good buddy and Team Sheeper Teammate, Keith Terada asked me if I might want to be a guest coach at one of the local Team In Training group’s workouts. This group is an AMAZING group of people (I would come to find out) and is training for the Lavaman triathlon this April in Waikoloa (http://www.lavamantriathlon.com/waikoloa/). I guess you could pick a worse place to race, right? Anyway, Keith thought it might be fun, since I’m a new pro, to come “run” a track workout (terrible pun intended). This past Tuesday we were finally able to put it on the schedule and what a night!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Team In Training (http://www.teamintraining.org/), it’s an organization that helps people train for various events while also promoting fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I considered training with this group in Dallas when I did my first triathlon back in 2006, but never ended up joining. I have always wanted to be a part of the organization because I think it’s such a cool idea, so I was definitely excited about my opportunity not only to attend a practice, but to coach one.
The night had a theme – “Hoedown” which I thought sounded fun. Unfortunately even though I lived in the Dallas area for 8 years and you’d THINK I’d have some GREAT western wear to show off, I had nothing but a checkered bandanna. Better than nothing, I guess? To start the workout, they usually have a cancer survivor tell their story of recovery. Unfortunately I did not get the woman’s name, but it was so inspirational to listen to her talk about her battle with cancer and ultimately overcoming the disease. It was also a great reminder that I need to appreciate my health while I have it and not complain about the little things!
Once the speaker was finished and a few announcements were made, it was my turn to take over! There were about 50 people at the workout, which was initially a little intimidating, but within the first minute everyone made me feel right at home. I love getting the opportunity to talk to new athletes about my journey in triathlon. I was not an overnight success, not by any stretch of the imagination. I think my first Olympic distance race was over 3hrs and my first half Ironman was over 6. I know when people get started in triathlon, maybe they are nowhere near the front of the race or even their age group, they might think they’ll never be “good” at the sport. I think I’m a perfect example of how mediocre early results don’t necessarily mean you can’t make huge improvements and surprise everyone, even yourself. It took a lot of hard work, determination, and dedication to get where I am today, but you don’t have to qualify to race pro at your first triathlon to have potential. SOOO all you TNT racers out there – keep working your tails off, you never know!...
Okay, on to the workout. My #1 goal was to get the group to work hard, but to have fun at the same time. I also wanted to keep with the hoedown theme as much as possible. Here’s a quick breakdown of what we did:
• 10min light jog around the track to warm up
• 5min active stretching – my favorite was the Frankenstein walk to stretch out the hamstrings in which everyone began to moan like zombies without any direction from me – LOVE IT!
• 10min strength and core – focusing on glutes (don’t forget to squeeze those butts, I want to see dimples!) and abs – sorry for the backstroke kicks – OUCH!
• 10min run – 5 x 1:30 @ 60% perceived effort (PE), 30 sec 80+% PE
• 10min group line run – the group holds a moderate pace and the last person has to sprint to the front of the line – fun to do on a run OR in the pool!
• 1 mile relay – each team member had to run 200 meters and to tag the next person on the relay, you had to do-si-do with them – WOW was there some great do-si-do-ing out there, VERY IMPRESSIVE!
I was able to get in a little running during the workout myself and even joined one of the relay teams. Unfortunately I couldn’t pull us to victory, sorry team 5, I let you down! I really had so much fun at the workout. The group was so energized and excited. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time, I think my abs got more of a workout than anything else. I told Keith he might have to let me coach another workout soon. I am also super excited that I was added to the group’s facebook page so I can continue following all these amazing athletes on their journey to competing in Lavaman in a few months. I wish them all the best of luck and I know they will have a great race! I will be rooting for you TNT SV Lavaman 2012 aka TEAM KICK ASS!
This guy deserves to be my next VIP not only for what he has done for me, but what he is doing for so many others. My VIP#6 is a great teammate, a great friend, and the head coach of TEAM KICK ASS!
Keith Terada! It has been so much fun getting to know Keith through Team Sheeper over the past 2 years. He’s a great triathlete, a stellar mountain biker, and an even better swimmer. Kind of annoyingly Keith developed these great swimming skills as a surfer, growing up in Half Moon Bay (if only I had done the same instead of spending 9 years swimming 9 workouts a week!). He has been my swim buddy and even offered to left me draft in Kona. It was a perfect plan as we were out of the water 13 seconds apart – too bad it’s almost impossible to stay with anyone in particular at the start of that CRAZY mass swim so I ended up losing him almost instantly.
I think Keith displayed the true teammate mentality when a couple weeks ago he agreed to do a timed swim so I would have someone to pace me. Not just anyone would agree to a 1,000 yard all out swim on a Sunday morning when they really didn’t have to. He’s extremely selfless and I am so lucky to call Keith a friend. And no I’m not writing this so he’ll agree to do the next timed swim with me as well…or am I? Thanks Keith for everything you do!