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I had talked about accountability and community earlier today, two of the keys to help with success in any endeavor. Below is the accountability schedule to share with the community!

Feb. 13 — Mercedes Full marathon–Birmingham, AL

March 12– Tom King Half marathon–Nashville, TN

May 15– Rev 3 Olympic distance–Knoxville, TN

June 11– Harpeth Century Ride– Franklin, TN

July 10– ??–Chattanooga Olympic–Chattanooga, TN

July 17– Cardinal Half Ironman– Louiville, KY

Sept. 11– Ironman WI—Madison, WI.

More than likely add St. Jude in December or Disney Marathon in Jan/12

Wishing you all a tremendous race season, and asking you to be a part of the community that holds me accountable!

john navin and associates, ironman, triathlon

Perhaps the new tat at years end?

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Cedars of Lebanon transition area

The Cedars of Lebanon triathlon was the second triathlon I ever did.  It was the first “longer” race, and is definitely a great place to race.  Team Magic is the sponsor and their races are well-organized!  I went back and forth whether I was going to even do the race this year, (feeling a little burnt out from Half Ironman earlier in the year, working through stress, and feeling less than excited recently about training), but I had signed up earlier in the year and thought “you made the commitment, go do it”.

So I awoke around 3 a.m., had ideas of business reeling through my head, and stayed awake until I left around 5.  Did prove to be great quiet time and some good things flowed through my head.  Once on the road you start to notice cars with bikes on the back, heading to the TRI!  The excitement builds and feeling a little nervous too.

Transition area set up!

My favorite part of racing is the people.  Some folks race for the thrill of competing, some come to PR and set a new Personal Record, some come to see if they can win their age group, but I come to socialize and have fun.  Racing is fun, exercise rewarding, but it is the relationships that make the difference.  It also become a heck of a lot easier to come do if you know a few people.  In racking the bike, I look over and there is Niki (a young lady from Excel swim class), all smile and yucking it up.  After a few moments of laughter and exchange, we walk to the pool for a practice swim and prepare to race.  Along the way seeing more friends from past races, run groups, and Excel aquatics.  Great to see Stephanie Knight, Ashley Whitney, Coach Kathleen, Coach Caroline, and bunch of other people—-no idea why I felt the need to start listing them?

The race was pretty much a standard triathlon–swim, bike and run.  The swim was smooth and no one grabbed my ankles or kicked me in the face.  The transition was to bike was good and seemed pretty fast, did discover some new noises while riding and came to realization that I can no longer say my bike will be ok, time for an upgrade!  The run, well the run…the run is the run.  My least favorite part, each time I start by saying “when are you going to get the rest of this weight off and keep it off”?  The run time was faster than last year, so that is good.

The finish is always climatic!  You have fans yelling, cheering, and your name announced.  Someone hands you a water bottle and another volunteer removes your ankle band timing chip.  You quickly see faces you know and share stories of how your day went.  It is amazing the quality of athletes that we are surrounded by, great talent and humble mentality.  What a beautiful combination.

Triathlon’s provide a great way to exercise, meet people, know and realize your strengths and weakness’, push yourself, and be engulfed by positive people.  Where else can you meet good people?  Looking for a place to meet good people?  Come try a tri….the water is great!

Invest in Balance-Physically.

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As in most volunteer activities the person who is giving really reaps the reward.  The same holds true for Triathlon volunteering, and held true for me today!

The Music City Triathlon event was today.  I debated back and forth to volunteer or not.  Not because I don’t like to volunteer, but because I wasn’t sure where I fit in the whole mix of triathlons this year.  Debating if I really had time or energy to commit to the sport.  This year has been a stressful one personally, business wise, and physically too.  Zapping energy and leaving me in unknown territory and unchartered water.  When I am committed to something I feel great, when I wander around, not sure of next race or where I stand, it causes me to drift and messes with my head, causing that “this is one more thing I have to deal with” feeling.  This state of indecision and stress sometime causes people (me included) to pull away from the areas and people you need the most.  This was my grand discovery in the volunteering process today.

The people involved in triathlons are amazing.  Watching all age groups, fitness levels, amateurs, pro’s, you name it, they are all there to do their best, have fun, and stay fit.  The energy level is what anyone who is in a state of quandary needs to be around.  People who are excited to be alive and shooting for their next goal.  The number of people who came up and said “thanks for being here today, I appreciate you” was more than I can remember.  The atmosphere caused me to reflect why I got involved and why I want to stay active:

1.  Triathletes remember where they started and are happy to help those who are just starting out.

2.  It is a great way to stay fit, release energy, get competitive juices flowing, and have fun.

3.  The people are great.  From meeting for a ride, running in the park, Excel aquatics swim practice, nutrition groups, the list goes on and the friends you meet are amazing!

The people and the atmosphere gave more to me today than I could have ever given them.  The experience made me realize what is truly important, people, fun, fitness, and giving back.  I look forward to the next opportunity to help and am truly impressed by all those who competed today.  It was HOT! 

 Thank you athletes and fellow volunteers for reminding me why I got involved!

See you at the next event!  I am even now considering my first marathon….Memphis in December for St. Jude or Disney in Jan.  Hope to see you there!

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Jim Day and me after the race, feeling hot and tired

This past weekend was the Team Magic triathlon in Chattanooga, TN.  It has since become one of my favorite races for many reasons, this being only the second time in competing, for some reason has me hooked forever.

The reasons that go through my head for enjoying so much are probably because it is close (only 2 hours away), well-organized, lots of good places to eat, good camaraderie among fellow athletes, and the course is challenging.  This year was no exception to providing the stated enjoyment.

Jim Day, Lisa Patton and I drove down on Saturday and arrived without any big exciting events.  We went right to the check in for the race, saw some folks we knew, and got our goody bags.  On the way down Lisa had set up a dinner for us at the Blue Grille Seafood restaurant, and started to plan a good-sized party.  The dinner included Lisa’s mom, friend, husband and child, Jim and myself.  Once settled into the hotel we grabbed the shuttle downtown.

Downtown Chattanooga has certainly evolved over the years.  I recall as a young man driving from Chicago to Florida that I would not want to stop in Chattanooga overnight, now the city is certainly a great place to visit and stay.  Our entourage met downtown, got acquainted and meandered to the Blue Grille.  We had a nice dinner, with a little too much wine considering we were racing the next day, great conversation and a good time.  Out of there before 8 we headed back to the hotel.

Race day came with all the excitement and anticipation as always.  I woke up around 3:30 and couldn’t go back asleep, impatiently waiting for my 5:00 a.m. alarm to go off.  Eventually I got up and got ready.  Biking down to the start in the dark is neat too, meeting other racers along the way, scurrying to get there and get the transition area established.  In Chattanooga you also have to take the bus to the start of the swim, our bus left at 6:25.  Being the system and process driven person I am, wanted to make sure I was on time and ready to go.  Very much a hurry up and wait situation.

Eventually we all get in line to slide into the water and the race begins.  For me I have not considered it a race yet, but more of an event to complete.  A few Highlights of the Day and Race:

1.  Typically about 200 yds into the swim I have a panic attack and freak out for about 20 seconds–having to pause, pray, mental vision and tell myself to relax.  Didn’t happen this time, so that was good, must be getting more equipped to handle.

2.  Swim went well, about 28 minutes. Onto the bike.  The start of the bike is always hilly in the beginning, have to remember to pace myself!  Did pace myself but wasn’t feeling as strong on the bike.  Like to watch others pass me too.  Like is not a good word, but do appreciate there speed. 

3.  Bike allowed me a nice conversation with a diabetic young lady.  She passed me and had her site taped up on her side.  I said to her “Diabetic”?  “I see your insulin pump site, my daughter is diabetic”.  We proceeded to have a nice conversation about the insulin pump, triathlon, exercise and pushing on.  It is amazing how much you can say in about 30 seconds on a bike.

4.  Run was good, hot, and struggle a bit with dehydration.  You should not over do your alcohol, it dehydrate you.  Lesson learned, one glass of wine is good, 3 is too many!  Finished well, sometime around 3 hours.

5.  One more highlight, Jim crossing the finish line without his shoes on.  He had not worn socks the day of the race, in transition the ground is sand and grass, making a nice little sandpaper type rub for a person with no socks.  A mile left to go in the run, Jim took off his shoes and ran barefoot because the blisters and pain were so bad.  Way to stick with it and endure the pain!

I think it is the time when you are on the bike and see the beautiful mountains that makes this race so special.  Or, it could be during the swim and seeing nice boats, or running along the river on a nice path.  Not sure what it is exactly, but it sure was a nice day and good event!

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