Triathlon Training, the Ultimate Race to Give, and the Next Strides Group

There has been so much going on as of late, that I haven’t been keeping up on my blog!  There never seems to be enough time to do everything that you want to do.  When you add work and other commitments into the mix, the day fills up rather quickly.  I will start this entry in no particular order, with exception to the first part…

A huge shout out and congratulations to my dear friend and training partner Kara, who just completed her first open-water sprint triathlon at the Iowa Games this past Sunday.  Kara did amazing, and it sounds like she is already planning on the next one.  So very proud of her!  Here is a picture of Kara running strong to the finish line: 

 
She is an amazing woman, and I am honored to call her my dear friend.  Love you to the moon and back Kara!

The other day, Fleet Feet Sports (my favorite running store) had a social run where you get to try on a certain brand of shoes for a demo run.  This is not the normal “run on a treadmill” type of run, but rather a run outdoors with hills and such!  What a cool idea, to “try before you buy”.  This week, the shoe sponsor was Altra, which I am the stores “ambassador” for.  So I was pretty sure I had better show up for this run.  

I decided that I would wear my Altra shirt that was given to me (with a pair of ProVision 2 shoes) when I became ambassador.  I got there and there were several styles of shoes to choose from, in various sizes, and also watermelon for after the run.  Andy, the owner of Fleet Feet, introduced me to the Altra rep and started to say that I was the store ambassador for Altra, when the Altra rep quickly said “I knew that right away. That’s the only way to get that shirt.”  Good thing I decided to wear it!

I decided on a pair of Torin zero drop shoes for my run.  The difference in the ProVision 2 and the Torin is in the amount of arch support.  Some days I want it, and I wear the ProVision 2’s.  But it’s when I don’t want that much arch support that I have an issue.  Well not any longer; the Torin will be the next shoe style I purchase.  They were very comfortable for the 3.5 mile run, which inculded a lap around Capital hill.  They felt great the whole time, and is the style that I want to add to my running shoe group. 

 
The Ultimate Race to Give is underway, and I am at $450 of my $1000 goal!  Not too bad, almost halfway there!  The coaches at Zoom Performance have been sending daily training schedules, and thankfully I am allowed to switch them around to suit my daily life (today is a rest day, but I have today off.  So I went on a 24 mile bike ride to work on endurance… I finished the ride with an average MPH of 17.7).  If you have donated to my cause, thank you.  If you haven’t donated, there is still time, and here is the link: http://www.gofundme.com/x3qhtg

Please share this with everyone you know.  I am raising money for the Animal Lifeline of Iowa, a no-kill special needs shelter in Des Moines.  They are such a wonderful group, and do an amazing job caring for all the animals that come to the shelter.    Murphy, our Great Dane, came from the Animal Lifeline.

  
Training has been going well, but there never seems to be enough time to get in all the workouts that you want to.  Swimming in a wetsuit has went amazingly well.  I actually swam 1.2 miles non-stop in a wetsuit!  But there was an issue we were overlooking: what if a race is not wetsuit legal? If the water temperature is above a certain degree, then wetsuits are not allowed.  So we are beginning to work on swimming in open water without the aid of a wetsuit.  It’s hard, but in the end we will be ready, no matter what.

The Next Strides group I mentor on Tuesdays and Saturdays are improving in leaps in bounds.  It is incredible to watch these people transform into seasoned runners.  This Saturday was the halfway point in the training program, so most of them were signed up to run the Midnight Madness 5k in Ames, Iowa that night.  I could not go, as I had a wedding to attend, so I came to the morning group run to see who would show up.  Did I mention it had been raining for hours, with no sign of letting up?

Sure enough, two brave souls showed up to run 6 miles.  I gave them the option: run in the rain, or run in the parking ramp.  They chose the rain, and I am glad they did.  These are the types of runs where memories are made, and this one was no exception.  We selected our route and took off, only to find that The Color Run 5k was setting up.  As we ran past we laughed that surely they wouldn’t run the race in the rain.  Who else is crazy enough to run in the rain?  So we laughed and chatted and went on.

As we ran, we were getting soaked by the rain.  We didn’t care though, and we actually seemed to enjoy the coolness of the rain as we were getting warm from running.  As we headed back, we got a surprise: they actually DID start the Color Run 5k, and now they had the sidewalks blocked with stuff.  The only way to really get through was to join the run, so I said “Wanna crash their party?”, and the three of us ran through the yellow color station. We were the only three not dressed in white, but they threw powder at us anyway.  We had to run through one more station (pink) before turning for home.  Here is what I looked like from just two color stations: 

 
When I posted this on FaceBook, one of my friends commented that I had to be “one of the happiest people that I have ever met.”  That really touched my heart.  I hope that’s what people see in me; a positive, happy, caring individual.  Life is too short to be miserable, so enjoy it (even if it means getting pink powder thrown on you!)

Live healthy, be happy!

Travis

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