Run for Dom – Air, Land & Sea

Posted: March 23, 2011 in Training
Tags: , , ,

Last year when I was working on my goals for the year I was extremely close to listing:

Complete my first triathlon.

I left it off of the list as with the Austin Marathon serving as my “A” race where I would hopefully earn another “Boston Time”, followed by the ING NYC Marathon in November, I was not sure that I would be able to really make an honest effort at learning to swim before 2011 draws to a close.

I know that the swim for me is going to be a tough transition.  Perhaps the most technical of the three disciplines for Triathlon success, the swim is a new frontier.

All of us have ridden a bike before.

All of us have run.

Certainly there are “technical aspects” to the bike and the run.

On the bike I am working hard on staying in the most aerodynamic position as much as possible during my rides.  I focus on keeping my legs in tight to the frame of the bike, and not allowing my legs to “wander” outside of my shoulders.

I have been trying to perfect my cadence – or the revolutions per minute that I turn the cranks, staying smooth and steady changing gears to match elevation inclines and declines, all the while ticking off 90-92 revolutions per minute.

I have been improving and I have been getting faster.

On the run over the past year I have spent hours and hours and hours, miles and miles and miles running hills, tempo work, fartleks, pace runs and long runs to get speedier and speedier.

I have transformed myself into a strong hill runner only one year after the Boston Marathon exposed that weakness in my game.

But the swim?  I know that I am going to need some expert advice and coaching.

I am comfortable in the water.  In fact I really love being in the ocean.  I surfed quite a bit in College, love to wake board and feel comfortable around the ocean and lake.  But being “unafraid” and being “technically proficient” are two entirely different things.

Thankfully my 6 years of running has taught me a few things, the first of which is that bad habits are hard to break.  It is better to start out with the proper technique, equipment, training regimen and coaching than trying to “figure it out on your own”.

So this week I believe I have found my coach.  Coach Claudia Spooner here in Austin, TX who is a USA Certified Coach in the Triathlon, Cycling, Swimming, and Track & Field.  You can see visit Claudia at:

So this injury of mine which on the surface has been extremely frustrating with plans to race this weekend’s Cap10K and next weekend’s Cooper River Bridge Run all but certainly scrapped.

Like most things that happen to us, you just have to take a breath, stop feeling sorry for yourself and look for the silver lining.  It is almost certainly there if you look hard enough for it.

For me, I have found the next challenge, one that will allow me to continue to improve as an endurance athlete and maybe, just maybe make me a better runner as well.

The Triathlon, Swim, Bike, Run.

New experiences, new adventures, new friends, new successes and most certainly new failures.

They will all be mine however – each and every one of them.

Now I won’t just be running for Dom.  I will be swimming and cycling for him as well.

Each October there is a half ironman here in Austin.

1.2 mile swim

56 mile bike

13.1 mile run

Half-Ironman 70.3

In October of 2012 a first time half-ironman participant will wade into the water and wonder if he has what it takes to finish, the same athlete who stood in front of the Art Museum in Philadelphia in November of 2006 wondering the same thing about the marathon.

Those race days provide great memories; I can remember every single one of them like they were yesterday.  But it is the hard work and training that goes into those race days that I am most proud of.

We’ll just be taking it up a notch or two as we take to the Triathlon.  

Air, Land and Sea.  I can hardly wait.

  1. Nicholas G. says:

    I’m excited that you’re entering the world of triathlon! It’s challenging for sure, and you’ve set your sights high with a half Iron. My triathlon training also began out of necessity after an injury. After a full summer of tri training, I found myself a much stronger runner in the fall. I look forward to following your adventures in swim, bike, and run!

    • joerunfordom says:

      I’m excited about it myself Nicholas! I’m sure I am going to have quite a list of new stories as I get out of my element a bit in the water and on the bike. Will be a lot of fun however!

  2. luau says:

    You are a braver man than I.

  3. Cortney says:

    YES!!!! i love it!!!! Do Pflugerville with me as a warm up! I’m doing the Rookie too.

  4. Shelley says:

    Wonderful, Joe! That means I’ll be able to learn from you in a year or two, after I have my first marathon under my belt! You will dominate the triathalon, just like you do the running! No doubt about it.

    By the way, I love what you said… “Like most things that happen to us, you just have to take a breath, stop feeling sorry for yourself and look for the silver lining. It is almost certainly there if you look hard enough for it.” SO TRUE! I try to live my life with that thought process squarely in my line of vision. A positive attitude is so important. Can’t wait to follow you on this new journey!

    • joerunfordom says:

      Shelley – you know me – I hope to learn every secret there is and pass every single one on to you. Nothing makes me happier than to pass on knowledge and know that not everyone has to learn everything the hard way 🙂

      Thanks for all the great support! Looks like they moved the date of the ADC party – hope to see you there when it happens. Take good care!


  5. Andy B says:

    Good luck! I was out running at 1pm yesterday and it felt like swimming.

  6. onelittlejill says:

    Wow- jumping right into the 70.3, huh?

    Truthfully, this doesn’t surprise me- you are an amazing athlete and I know the triathlon is going to be the next big adventure for you! And I know, like with running, you will make it happen! For you, and for Dom!

    • joerunfordom says:

      Hi Jill! Thanks for the support and the encouragement. I feel a lot like when I put it out there that I was going to train for and complete my first marathon.

      A mixture of excitement, awe, fear, nervousness …. but knowing that whatever happened it was going to be one of those life changing experiences. I’m ready to get going and get those first terrible swims out of my system, so I can start learning and improving.

      Maybe I can talk you into Austin 70.3 in 2012?

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