Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Run Your Own Race

This morning I was listening to something and it reminded me about "Running Your Own Race." For the most part, I am always competing with myself which is a good thing because I know I can do better. It keeps me motivated! At the same time, it can be depressing when I don't reach a goal.

Sometimes friends talk to me about why they don't start something even when a looming health condition is weighing on them, some are frustrated at the quality of their life because they can't move around as they once did a few years back. Others are concerned that they can't keep up with the "Jones."


Keeping up with the "Jones" is a real struggle for many because who wants to look silly in front of peers. However the great thing is that as you start walking that extra block, do that extra push up, drink a few extra ounces of water, or anything that is good for yourself. All those worries about looking Bad in front of others or concerns about health start to fall to the wayside and you will notice that you will are on the path to "Run Your Own Race" because it was you who took that first step, no one else.

Love to hear some great stories and if you want to start something let me know  Let's get started!





.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ironman Training - Longest Bike Ride Ever on August 30, 2014

Last week, I receive an email from my coach that indicates 5 hour bike, so I began to think, hmmm where should I go?  Then I get a facebook message from my IronFit Endurance Teammate, Christa. "Noah I have a 5 hour ride Saturday . Not sure about you or if you want to risk riding with me." I reply with "Where do you want to go?" and in the back of my mind, I am thinking, please no flats and patches of sand :)  

Christa and I left the parking lot of Mather Hospital around 5:30am, with the sunlight barely lighting up the eastern sky as we headed east on a chilly route 25A.  My thoughts, It better warm up soon! We met up with our other teammates, Susan and John about an hour into our ride.  Both of them, Ironman so it's really great to be able to ride and spend some time with them.  It's a real special group that we belong to, and I am super happy to be part of it.  So many awesome people involved!

Funny, some of the roads that we biked on, we normally travel on with a motorized vehicle.  Who travels out towards Eastern Long Island, let alone on a bicycle?  All I can say, is that if it were not for Susan and John, Christa and I might have made this 5 hour tour a 10 hour tour!  Even with a smartphone it might have turned into a 7 hour tour.  I am use to making rights that would point me into north, south, east or west, but on these roads, I thought I was heading north but really I was heading south.  SMH

Eventually, the 2 smart Iron"men" already decided 3 hours was enough and we parted ways on William Floyd Parkway.  Christa and I still had over an hour to get home and we both still had to run. I greatly appreciated that Susan and John came out to ride.  What I love is that they still love doing it.  They've accomplish some awesome feats and are still in the game.

By hour 4 my neck and shoulders were sore from having to look up ahead.  By now it's early afternoon and the traffic started to pick up.  We were about 10 minutes to 5 hours and we road a little further down to Rt. 112.  It's ok at 6 am but the volume of cars at 11 am, it was sketchy at best for cyclists.



Finally, we made it back.  Christa looks at her watch and says 85 miles (I usually wait until I get home to confirm and it was like 84, but I am not going to mince numbers only because I forget to hit start again for a 7 mile stretch)  That was the farthest I have ever done, and in most days that is the farthest I have ever done in a car!

We were still not done!  A 30 minute run for me and Christa had 40 minutes.  Mind you that Christa stands on the podium at many races, so there was no way for me to keep up with her because the Laws of Physics has put a kibosh on my Achillies and Foot.  I have to dial it back.  Well I made it back with not to much complaining.

You remember me mentioned about the awesome people involved, well, I am midway though my and at that time I was running.  All of the sudden, I hear, "Noah!" I am like, someone must be calling their kid!  And thanks to Noah Wyle, it seems like every boy now has the name Noah.  I see a Jeep slowdown and with the driver side window lowered, it was a fellow Wildwood Warrior, Michelle!  I see her with her phone out to take this picture :)



Christa and I had capped our training session with brunch at Crazy Beans. We thought about the first time we did a marathon and we could not even walk down the stairs.  We just worked out for close to 6 hours and we can probably still have done more (don't tell our coach.)  With our races coming up in November, I said based on what we just did, we technically still have another 7-9 hours to complete our Ironman races! 

.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Support Island Harvest to End Hunger with Triathlon Cycling or Running Gear


Wow! 79 days, 10 hours, 14 minutes,  and 26 seconds (give or take a few seconds) I will be in the chilly sub 60 degree water of Tempe Town Lake in Arizona with about 3500 others treading water waiting for the cannon to start us off.  Each of us with different reasons and stories that will have us swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run 26.2 miles to earn the title of Ironman. 

My short story, began several years back, when my friend, Dan Grinberg shared some Long Island Hunger stats.  I remember the feeling of surprise and angry.  Now that Hunger stat has grown to over 300,000 people with 100,000 children, and that should never happen in any community! 

My family and friends have assisted in different events and food drives, and want to continue the fight until this Challenge is over.  So when I decided to take on an Ironman, I wanted to dedicate my journey to Island Harvest. 


What I am especially excited is that I am able to offer some of the gear that I will be wearing during my Ironman Race to my friends and family!  Show your colors of support with a triathlon kit, cycling kit or running shirt, and we are able to offer you a discount with proceeds going to Island Harvest.  Here is an example design on a really cool cycling jersey.


Sizing Chart












Options

















Please email me at noahlam@optonline.net with your order.  The deadline is 9/1/2014!
·       Quantity of each item and sizes
·       Your Mailing Address

I will email your final $ amount and you can mail payments and in the memo indicate "Ironman Noah"
Island Harvest
199 Second Street
Mineola, NY 11501

Again, :)  I know many of you think I am crazy for taking on an Ironman, and triathlon, biking or running is something you don't do now, please visit http://bit.ly/CrowdriseIronmanHunger and support Island Harvest with your generosity.  However, watch the following YouTube video and tell me if Anything is Possible... http://youtu.be/qjxxYoL7nSU and I will be there to support you!

Feel free to call me at 631-921-0043 with any questions.


.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Ironman Training - A Little Adds Up

Today, I was uploading my data from the 2nd Annual Wildwood Warrior Sprint Triathlon on to Training Peaks. I was anxious to see how I performed.  Also to give an update to my Coach, so that she can plan my workouts accordingly.  



Funny, I've never paid attention to the pie chart, labeled fitness summary on the right hand side of the screen.  This time toggled the choices and one was labeled Completed Distance.  To my surprise, this year so far I swam 52.97 miles of swimming, biked 1178.88 miles and ran 349 miles! Give or take a few miles!  

It took me a few minutes to digest what I just saw.  Literally hours have been spent in the pursuit of this endeavour.  The payoff isn't earning the title of Ironman. The payoff is that others being happier and wanting to excel in their pursuits.  If it were not for this journey, I may never have seen my wife look so determined to swim and test her boundaries.  I might not have seen my son look so proud coming out of the water first as he heads into transition.  I might not have seen the many smiling faces that run by me.  I guess I chose this path because I chose to be happy, and this makes me happy knowing I am part of someone else's happiness.

My friend John mentioned the word, sacrifice.  I that resonated with me and last night I realized what I am doing and others like me are doing and have done is really an Amazingly Awesome Gift that we are giving ourselves and others.  Is it really a sacrifice?

See those kids swimming, biking and running yesterday was a highlight, and even if I didn't attempt doing an Ironman.  So if I happened to stumble upon the kids race by chance.  I would have said, "That's inspiring and I want that for my kids!"

Give me a few more days to catch up on my Ironman Timberman 70.3 and Wildwood Warrior Sprint Triathlon!  Looking forward to going back to work as well!


Monday, August 4, 2014

Noah Plans, God Laughs and Don't Spook Irene at the Riverhead Rocks Triathlon 2014

The ringing buzz from my phone woke me up at 4am for our Riverhead Rocks Olympic Distance triathlon race (1500m swim, 40 km bike and 10k.)  Both Irene and I were competing in it and I rolled over to Irene and said, "Time to go."  Thank God, we pack everything and mounted the bikes on the rack the night before.  In the back of my head don't say anything that will spook her...

She was excited to do this race, as for me I was preoccupied as I reviewed my plan checklist in my head about the different disciplines, especially the transitions of stripping out of my wetsuit, putting on my bike stuff and later on getting my running shoes on...
 
We arrived at the Riverhead Waterfront and I was surprised to find parking, and we found a great spot.  Yippee, not to far from the transition area!  The kids all piled out of the car and we gathered out gear and headed over.

To my surprise, the transition area was unusually smaller than normal and this time only 224 participants showed up.  Probably due to the fact that many years ago, the Peconic River had bad news about the water quality, but the town has been going through a revitalization to improve the town.  The area looks great and growing!

Irene had 142 and I had 141, and we found our bike spots.  There were plenty of Event Power volunteers assisting with directions to find our place easily.  And I am still thinking about what to do next.

We eventually, did our preparations, like visiting the port-a-potties, set up our transition areas (laying out our shoes and stuff), being encased in our wetsuits, listen to the national anthem, walk down the boardwalk to the jump off point for the swim...

We got to the edge of the dock and watched a dozen racers hop off, sink then pop up again and start swimming up the river for 600m, back 600m then 300m more to complete the course.  I had Irene go first so that she would at least have a 10 second head start.  For me I was worried that she would be pulled out of the water.  She was nervous enough about the little hop into the water and might panic.  I watched her jump in, go under, then the volunteer said, "Uh oh." and she popped up and took a few strokes in the right direction.  I was like, "Good!"  I crossed the timing mat and did the same, but as I started, I saw her stop, so I paused and she said, "Go on."

The whole time I was thinking, "Where is she now?  Is she swimming?"  As I approached the turn around, would I see her during the swim.  I was taking it easy, not going too fast to be to tired for the bike and swim.  Just an easy pace, again thinking about what to do next.  A few people ran into me and I had to stop as we looked face to face.  I continued to aim for the next buoy and then the next buoy.  All the way to the finishing dock.  As I put my 2 hands on the dock, I was like, there was no way I was going to push my way on to the dock and hoping someone would pull me out.  One guy grabbed my right arm and I am like this is not going to work until another guy came over and grabbed my left arm.  Up I went on to my knees and then they helped me stand up.  I felt a little disoriented from being horizontal for about 40 minutes to be turned vertical, but I jogged up the ramp where I bunch of my teammates from the Wildwood Warriors cheered for me.  I ran through a sprinkler tent to quickly rinse off, got out of my wetsuit and on to the bike, which I was looking forward to. 

I mounted my bike and started to pedal out of the parking lot.  There was a slight incline up to Main Street, so I shifted to the low gear to make it easier and settled in.  When I was about hit the hammer, my right thumb went to press on the shifter to click it to a higher gear and there was no shifter to be found.  At that point, I was like, "Ok, still do your best."  It was tough not being able to squeeze out some extra speed on the flat parts of the course or down inclines, but I made the best out of it pedaling at much higher cadence than I normally would spin at.  Around the 3 mile mark, 1 biker slipped and biker behind crashed into him.  They both got up and hobbled to the side and got back on to their bikes, both cursing.  I slowed down to check on them and they said they were fine.  I was thinking and hoping that Irene was not pulled into the boat at this time.
During the course, a light rain pelted me as a few friends caught up and passed me during the rain.  Around mile 18, I heard something drop and make a metallic plinking sound.  I began to panic and I looked down at my bike to make sure it was still intact and functional.  Maybe I should have stopped for safety, but I kept pedaling.  Later on, I noticed that one of my CO2 cartridge was missing from my rear mount.  The whole time leading up to the race, I was thinking of fixing a flat tire, not thinking about a broken shifter or missing CO2.

Before the final turn, I saw a bunch of Warriors, my kids and brother-in-law, Ray cheering me on.   Cheers during the race help so much.   When I got back to the transition, I looked for Irene's bike and it was gone.  That was a relief but I was not sure if they took her timing chip.  I placed my bike on the rack, swapped my bike shoes for my running shoes and left the transition area.  I stopped at the nearest port-a-potty to pee and as I came out, Jeff Reynolds, yells out, "You can't stop at the port-a-potty!" and zoomed ahead.
 
My first 3 mile loop, I took it nice and steady to make sure my troubled Achilles was good.  It did not give me any troubles with dialing back the running and treatment from Champion Sports Performance.  However  my legs were not use to running and my left quad was cramping up.  So during the second loop, I ended up running and walking, because I did not want to re-injure my Achilles. Then Zachary runs out and yells at me to sprint to the finish.  I ended up with a 10:37 pace (no potty break, a little quicker).  Much faster than when I first started running 6 years ago :) 

I walked back to where the kids camped out.  On the way, I saw a Teammates and my Coach, we chatted about what happened.  A few of them like John Graziano, Jason Cohen, Mike Irizarry, Susan Roman and Jose are Ironman from Lake Placid  It is so nice to see them cheering us on!  Coach Danielle Sullivan, our coach from Ironfit Endurance, waited anxiously for Irene to finish.

I then walked over to the kids and Ray and asked if they took Mom's timing chip.  They said that she still had it, and a few moments later, we saw her running with a someone who had a Team for Kids Singlet.  They both passed though downtown on their way to the second loop with a volunteer biker to follow them as they were the last male and female on the course. 
Based on her past running pace, I knew we had some time to collect my gear, load it up and return to the finish line to see her cross.  About 36 minutes later, she was smiling as she heading down the chute.  Our friends the Leibowitz's stayed around as well and that was so cool of them to watch her finish as well.  I can see Irene tear up as this was her first Olympic Distance Triathlon.  The kids greeted her.  Because of all the craziness at the finish line, the Event Power Staff asked her to run through the finish line tape again.  I thought that was so nice of them to have her do that!  Jennifer Ross then asked us to take a family picture under the finish line as well.

Super Proud of Irene! She never gave up!



Learning lessons, the whole time I was thinking on the course, I wasn't present to what was going on and enjoying the race and being lucky to do something like this.  Setting up the transition area, making sure my bike is ready, making sure my hydration is filled, my food is packed, wetsuit is packed, what am I going to wear, fixing bike tires, no extra gears to pedal, kids have snacks and make sure they are not fighting...For the next race which is Timberman 70.3 which is a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run on a hilly course.  I will get the planning out of the way well before and enjoy my time up in New Hampshire, as I think Noah Plans, God Laughs on my way to Ironman Arizona!




Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions... Cancel my 2014 NYC Marathon and do it in 2015 or Crush Ironman Arizona