Have a good time!

1 August, 2011    “Have a good time!”

Beginning today and continuing for 13 weeks I will “have a good time” as I train for and compete in my 9th Iron distance triathlon. This year’s race, like the past three years, is the PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon (B2B). My goal for this year’s B2B, as in every race I’ve entered since my accident on 5 April, 1988 will be to “have a good time.” “Have a good time” is always a superb strategy. It allows me to focus on enjoying myself and not worry about speed. And when I get back to work Monday after the race and people ask “how did you do?” I respond – honestly – “I had a good time!” They don’t know if that means a fast time or an enjoyable time but who cares? Unpredictable things happen in races that slow you down. Keep you from meeting your clock time goals. Flat tires, wind, whatever. You might just have a bad day. But when I focus on enjoying myself, on meeting fellow racers and spectators and volunteers and officials, when I enjoy the sights and the sounds and the scenery, when I stay in the moment – I always have a good time. I see outstanding volunteers, enthusiastic spectators, motivated athletes, deer, eagles, turtles, sunrise, sunset, stars, the moon, even when it’s cloudy it’s fun.

The day begins with a 2.4 mile swim:

Transitions to a 112 mile bike ride:

And finishes with a 26.2 mile run:

Of the 8 I have completed, my fastest took just over 14 hours. 7:00 AM start. That means I finished slightly after 9:00 PM. My slowest was last year and it took over fifteen and a half hours. I got off the course after 10:30 at night and I was freezing. I registered for this year’s race as soon as registration opened.

As I commence training today, my life will boil down to:  eat – sleep – work – train – repeat. Of course, I’ll still be walking dogs. I have to get my dog/river time. I suppose that’s training. Or recovery, etc. Speaking of recovery, ask any endurance athlete you know – the best “recovery drink” is chocolate milk.

When you train you get to drink lots of chocolate milk. It’s a superb recovery drink – seriously. Ask anybody. When was the last time you had a glass of chocolate milk? That stuff is outstanding. I mean, I can not even believe how much I like drinking chocolate milk. Of course, practically by definition I’m drinking it at the end of a hard, hot workout. So anything I drink automatically tastes more delicious. But chocolate milk is just out of this world.

Anyway. Today kicks off training. I am overjoyed. I will update sporadically as I train, but I will still be taking my river hikes. It’s going to be a fun three months. Happy August!

About Jay McLaughlin

I am a rehabilitation counselor. I have many friends with autism and traumatic brain injuries. They help me learn new things constantly. I hike with dogs at the James River in Richmond - a lot. I've completed an Iron distance triathlon a year for 11 years. My most recent was in Wilmington, NC in November, 2013. I currently compete in mid-distance triathlons. And work and hike and take pictures and write and eat.
This entry was posted in Endurance, Fun, People, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!). Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Have a good time!

  1. Grace says:

    Congrats on training for another Iron Man. Great motto and as always I am inspired by your ability to cultivate positive endurance. I agree wholeheartedly with you about chocolate milk. I drink some everyday! (Fun photo of the milks, by the way). Happy training!

    • Great to hear from you Grace – I didn’t know you knew the secret of chocolate milk. I think that as an “adult” (chronologically, anyway) I’d forgotten all about it. Wow. Once I start drinking it I have a hard time stopping. And it’s very photogenic! Have a great day,


  2. Andrew M. says:

    I’m finally getting off my horse and doing a tri this weekend! My Plan?:
    1. Sprint Distance
    2. Iron Distance Pace
    3. Have a good tme

    • Excellent! What race is this weekend? Is it in Goochland? You can’t go wrong with that plan. I figure you’ve got a couple years left before Drew starts beating you like a rented mule. The great thing about the “have a good time” plan is, who cares how fast it is? It’s all about the experience. Have a good time! Talk with you soon,


      PS Got back not long ago from Workout 1, a one hour swim at Tuckahoe. Great workout, it feels great to be training. Fantastic chocolate milk after. Mmm.

  3. Evelyn says:

    I know you will enjoy this process. Great photo of the milk – pop art! Sounds like you may also need more ice cream since you’ll be burning additional calories.

    • The milk picture was fun. “Andy Warhol visits Martins”. I will definitely be needing more ice cream. Like my old reliable “no such thing as ‘too much chocolate,'” there is certainly also no such thing as too-much-ice-cream. Especially not in Richmond in August! It’s not just for breakfast anymore.

  4. Denice Ekey says:

    Good luck on the Iron Man Jay…both my kids do the sprint versions and those seem incredible!:)and FYI…a good website for sports psych is http://www.theextragear.com…..as you know ..it’s also about “training your brain”!! :)…hugs to the pups!..extras to Max!

  5. Pingback: Counting down… | NEWFAZE

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s