Tom Garrity

Posts Tagged ‘running’

Swim Bike & Sling

In Life, Uncategorized on August 8, 2017 at 11:42 pm

Spoiler alert! Despite how the finishing photo looked, my recent Ironman 70.3 Boulder triathlon ended with a finish and a personal best time for that distance when I raced in the 2016 Toughman event in New Mexico.

The fact I could even get close to a personal best with only 41 days of training and an unstable shoulder for most of the 13.1-mile run are two of many positive takeaways from a long day on a beautiful course!

FullSizeRender 6

via Elli Martindale

The first three hundred yards of the swim was from buoy to buoy. Having difficulty catching my breath among the other 50-something age group swimmers, I let the pack thin out and finally regained composure to salvage a decent swim. The final 400 yards of the swim was filled with my brain calling out orders to the rest of the body how transitioning from swimming to standing to walking is supposed to take place. Getting out of the water, I did my best impersonation of an evolutionary tetrapod. No falling.

FullSizeRender 5The 56-mile bike effort was the best of the three disciplines. My brief training for this aspect of the race, paid off. The course was “fast”, which I really do not understand because there were points where I felt anything but fast. My time was nearly 30 minutes faster than my last race at this distance. It was fun flying by other cyclists on the downhill segments.

Then there was the run.

Throughout training, my transition to the run was the weakest element.  For the race, I set low expectations and failed to meet the minimum standards.  Yes, it was a $#!& Show that was about to go into hyper-drive in the wrong direction.

To understand what happens next, you need to know a little bit about my family medical history. Here is a recap:

  • Brother – three shoulder surgeries
  • Sister – three shoulder surgeries
  • Me – two shoulder surgeries

At mile two, my foot tripped on something and I staggered my step, some would call it a trip without a fall. The jarring nature of the event caused my shoulder to become unstable and the socket and rising out of the right socket only to capture a nerve and other things on its way back into place.  How did it feel? Think of hitting your funny bone and the sensation resonating throughout your entire arm. Welcome to my world.

It turns out the running action was causing my elbow to drop, pulling my shoulder nearly out of socket. For the next five miles I adapted by clutching my shirt, below the collar. It helped temporarily but caused some to think I might be having a heart attack or other medical event. Not so good. Then at mile eight, I hailed a motorcycle medic and explained what was happening with the shoulder. The medic fashioned a triangle bandage into a sling and wrapped it tight to stabilize my elbow. Relief. It worked! I could now run with confidence, and I did.

FullSizeRender 3About three miles from the finish it occurred to me that a new personal best might be within reach. The 2016 Toughman time to beat was 6:57:19. Honestly, I did not remember the time, only thought it was about 6:56 and change. My final time was 6:57:08, something I did not fully realize until putting this blog together.

Time to go celebrate #Cheers!

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One Medal

In Life on July 8, 2013 at 9:05 pm

One MedalApril 14, 2013, the day before the Boston Marathon, marked an important date for me.  It was 3 years, 2 months, 14 days and 16 hours earlier (yes think Forrest Gump) that I ran the first two miles for what would be three marathons, three half marathons, one ultra marathon and three 200 mile cross country relays.

My first two-mile training run, through Team in Training, was difficult.  It should have been seeing that I hadn’t run, well, since high school.  Everyone else on that two mile run was running for a reason. They had a friend or loved one battling an illness. I was running; no reason; no purpose, just for me.

That night, cruising Facebook, I saw a high school friend, Pete, was starting his chemo treatment for a blood cancer the next day. Through a brief email exchange on Facebook, I shared my concern and gave Pete my commitment that he was going to be with me in spirit for the training and running of the 2010 San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon.

So, I ran.

Today, Pete is in remission!  Finishing the races and sending him the medals provided him a “boost”. Mission accomplished! His name engraved on the back, my initials next to the time (BTW, that kind of accountability also forced me to get to as many speed training workouts as possible)!

Pete wrote back about the great encouragement the medals provided.

But then I started thinking; Pete is just one person.

Consider these United States facts: In 2009, there were 1,555,143 people suffering from cancer.  Last year, 528,375 people finished a marathon.

What if only a quarter of the runners gave their medal away to someone else? Then 132,093 people will be encouraged.

That’s why I built on a movement fueled by DetermiNation, Team in Training, PCAN, Joints in Motion, Team World Vision, Cycle for Life and many other excellent endurance training programs for charities.  There are also scores of runners, far more talented than me, participating in clubs around Albuquerque and the United States who are running for someone.  All of These groups, including my current running club the Oxy-Gen Morons, have these “One Medal Moments.”

One Medal is all about celebrating the accomplishments of others, providing a sacrifice of time and effort for someone else.

If they choose, athletes can donate their hardware, instead of placing it inside of a dusty shoebox, to provide encouragement to people going through chemo, recovery, remission or through some other reality changing life event.

If you run, why do you run?

My call to action is this: Run for someone, provide encouragement, let your time sacrifice of running, cycling and/or swimming be spent to provide someone, maybe a stranger, peace… if only for a moment.  Then share your One Medal moment on www.onemedal.com.

Run Tom Run!

In Life on November 26, 2012 at 4:30 am

Forrest Gump ran for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days and 16 hours.

As of the writing of this blog, I’ve been running 2 years, 9 months, 26 days and 13 hours.  During that time, I’ve had the opportunity to train for and complete three marathons, three half marathons, two cross-country relays and a handful of fun run 5K and 10K races.  The reason I run has been addressed in previous blogs.

My latest adventure is scheduled to be an Ultra Marathon, in Big Bend National Park on January 20th.

During my training, I’ve had the chance to be schooled by some great coaches who have provided group and personalized training.  The group I have been running with for the past three seasons is call the Oxy “Gen” Morons.  The name is funny because we are all an oxymoron in some form or fashion.  Our chant “Go Mo!”

So you don’t get any ideas.  My times will not qualify me for the Boston Marathon. And, the only way I am getting to the US Olympic Time Trials is if I buy a ticket to watch.  Here are a few of the things I’ve learned from my coaches and Runner’s World calendar provided to me last year:

  • “The healthiest competition occurs when average people win by putting forth above average effort.” – Colin Powell
  • My runs are more productive when I think about possibilities rather than reliving past mistakes.
  • “Fear is probably the thing that limits performance more than anything – the fear of not doing well, of what people will say. You’ve got to acknowledge those fears, then release them” Mark Allen, won six Ironman championships.
  • “Running is the greatest metaphor for life because you get out of it what you put into it.” Oprah Winfrey
  • “Running affords the perfect integration of body and spirit.  It makes for a fullness of life.” – Sister Mario Irvine, the oldest woman to qualify for the US Olympic Marathon Trials (She was54 when she ran a 2:51 at the Trials in 1984)
  • You train your body by running 444 miles so your mind can make it for 26.2 miles
  • “Don’t ever accept anyone else’s preconceived limitations.  If there is something you want to do, there isn’t any reason you can’t do it.” – Any Dodson, broke the 26.2 mile women’s leg amputee record by 24 minutes, 13 seconds
  • You create what you state.  Think positive!
  • “Continuous effort, not strength or intelligence is the key to unlocking our potential.” William Churchill
  • “Sport is not about being wrapped up in a cotton wool… sport, like all of life, is about taking risks.” – Roger Bannister, the first man to run a mile in under four minutes.