Thursday, January 1, 2015

Is There Magic In Those Ears?

It’s New Year’s Day and I finished my last hard work out before the Disney World Marathon weekend which is just days away.  I am kind of sad the hard efforts are over as tapering is hard for me, but with the aggressive and demanding last month of training, training I have NEVER experienced before, I am actually welcoming the taper and associated recovery and rest.

We are always excited to race at Disney as we have made this an annual family vestige.  Both grandmas, May, Elli and I will all return to our childhoods for a week as we enjoy the magic that only Disney can supply.  Having the grandma’s along is always fun, but it also provides May and I the chance to sneak away and have some alone time as well.  That is if we can actually stay awake long enough to enjoy Downtown Disney.

While signed up for the Dopey Challenge, if I had a chance for a “do over” I would have signed up for the only the Marathon. Always up for a challenge, it’s only been recently that I desired a do over.  Since that is not going to happen, I am hoping there is some serious magic in those big old ears that are so becoming to Mickey Mouse.

Back in August, coming off a very disappointing triathlon season with numerous illnesses and over aggressive goals and aspirations, I set my sights on making 2015 the year that it all comes together!  With IRONMAN Louisville on October 11 my main goal, I decided to sign up with QT2 Systems to help me reach my goals.

While getting my USA Triathlon Level 1 Coaching certification this summer in Charleston, I was blessed to have a large majority of the class taught by Jesse Kropelnicki, Founder and Managing Director with QT2 Systems.  I learned more from Jesse in one day that I had learned in four years prior and knew immediately that if I wanted 2015 to be the “BEST” racing season in my career, I needed to learn from the BEST.  I have not been disappointed.

Since mid-August my fitness has gone from what I thought was really good to being in the best shape of my life!  With an awesome coach in Pat Wheeler, I am going into Disney ready to let it all rip a week from Sunday!  The best part is while I am in the best shape of my life, Pat reassures me we have only scratched the surface and by far, the BEST is yet to come!  That is not only encouraging but exciting. Every race since joining QT2 has resulted in a PR and I am enjoying the process.

This year I am racing at 49 and have always run the Disney Marathon well.   While I have no expectations on the marathon (OK that is really a bold face lie) as my sights are squarely set on IRONMAN Louisville, I can’t help but let the gremlins sneak in a push my inner self to do the absolute best I can for the Marathon.  It’s a pride thing, but if not a challenge, why do it?

I plan to run the 5K, 10K and Half at a recovery pace and actually enjoy the events in a different manner than I have in the past.  While that is easy, it will still take a toll on my legs and my body and thus the wish for the do over. 

With The Core Diet as my fueling plan and some recovery tactics in place, I am looking forward to leaving my mark on Disney with the best effort I can give.  During training I have learned to run a LOT on very tired legs and have built up a lot of physical durability but maybe more importantly I have developed a higher tolerance to discomfort and built some mental toughness. 

I am excited this year to not only have Pat Wheeler and the QT2 Systems team helping me with my training, I am excited, honored and humbled to be racing for the QT2 Team as a member of the Advanced Team. While not the fastest or strongest, I am passionate and looking forward to representing the team with energy, enthusiasm and professionalism.

So the recovery begins and the anticipation for the Marathon builds.  While I am hoping for there is a little “Magic” in those ears, I am more confident in my training and abilities and looking towards leaving it all on the race course come race day.  Who knows what the time will be when I cross the finish line, but I do know I can rest well knowing I gave it my all and represented the team to the best of my abilities.

HERE’S TO BEING FIT FOR LIFE! Chris is a Certified Personal Trainer, USA Triathlon Level 1 Coach, Group Exercise Instructor, exercise and endurance enthusiast.  He competes yearly in numerous triathlons, running races, marathons, ultra-marathons, and other endurance events.  He is a member of the QT2 Systems Advanced Race Team and is coached by QT2 Systems. @QT2 Systems,,