Tuesday, October 19, 2010


My life has been a whirlwind as of late. Sorry for the handful of readers out there who have been crying everyday for the loss of stuff to read here. I have started week three of my new job. Everything is going really well. I’m learning all kinds of new things. The people I work with are nice.

Here’s the FAQ on my job transition:
Where do you work?
Delta Dental. It’s at NW 63rd and Broadway.

What’s your schedule?I work a shift that is basically 2p-0p. while it was definitely the one worrisome issue when deciding to take the job, I must say that it has not been that big of a deal. I still get up and go to bed at the same times, still run and cycle at the same times. I just have a chunk of time in the mornings to use as I see fit before going to work.

Do you ride your bike to work?
No. While it’s possible to do it in the future, my present priority is to learn my job and learn what days will be light days and which will be heavy days, as far as workload is concerned.

What do you do?
I perform daily (nightly) operations on a computer, which basically means I kick off a mostly automated process that moves insurance claims from one location to another and turns it into payment info. At several points in the process I report on the numbers to make sure everything is working as it should. I still need to fully learn what is going on behind the scenes, but I know enough to get the process done.
Of course, the best part of the job has been how infrequently I have to talk to people. Yes, I know how curmudgeonly and misanthropic that sounds but after 11 years of talking to the public on the phone about their needs, both real and perceived, I was ready to be done with it.
All that to say, so far so god on the new job.

In other news- I ran my first duathlon on Sunday! “Duathlon? What’s that?” Well, you know how a triathlon is swimming, biking and running? Well, in a duathlon you replace the swimming part with another running section.

On Sunday I did the Fall Classic Duathlon in Purcell. The distances were 4k (something close to 2.5 miles) run- 24k (about 15 miles) bike- and another 4k run. (When you’ve run 26.2 miles and cycled over 100 miles, it’s pretty easy to get motivated for these shorter distances. The only variable at this point is pace. And that brings me to the one thing that was going on in my head in preparation for this event. In most of my other races, I have never pushed myself, as far as pace is concerned. I’ve always gone into distance races with a pace memorized and internalized and just gone out and “done it.” Just like hundreds of times before. This has been a way to calm nerves, the thought being “You can do this, Mike. You’ve done this exact same activity many, many times.” I also hate the feeling of being tired. I hate being on the edge of not being able to catch my breath. “what if I I run out of breath and have to stop ?” runs through my mind, probably subconsciously.
I decided that I would focus on going past the point of comfort with this race.

Each leg was a distance I’ve done many times. I decided to try to make myself tired this time and try to catch my breath on the transitions. (The transitions are the points where you grab your bike and change out of running hoes into running shoes and vice versa.) And it worked! I went out fast on the first run, the fastest pace I’d done in months (on an obscene running course I’ll add, with a 6% hill in the middle of it), quickly changed shoes in transition to get on the bike and REALLY pushed myself on the bike. I never get to huffing and puffing on the bike on flat stretches but, but decided that I was serious with this thing and was pretty quickly making up time on a few faster runners than me. It felt really good. I remember thinking: “Man, you are pushing too hard! You won’t have anything left for the run and that giant hill.” But I immediately blocked it out and thought, “I’ll worry about that hill when I get to it.”

Turns out, I should have worried about that hill while I was still on the bike!

Granted, I wasn’t the only one slowed to a crawl by that point. There were quite a few walkers. But I refused to walk, even though I was climbing at a pace barely above a walk. I looked at my watch and saw that I was waaaay ahead of where I expected to be at that point and there is also the undeniable physics lesson in that for every ascent there is also a descent, and that helped me visualize the finish line and good friends waiting for me. (Thanks, Whitesides and Clint.)

Overall, I ended up finishing 13 minutes faster than expected, was 2nd in my age and weight class. I FINALLY left a race feeling like I had given it everything I had.


At 7:56 AM, Blogger jenn said...

That is exciting about your race! Congrats! Its also exciting about your job...i'm glad you are liking it!


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