Showing posts from 2015

The 25 Year Journey

You're 75, had 2 bouts with cancer, been through an aortic arch aneurysm and dealing with some arthritis.  What kind of goal do you set for yourself?  If you’re Al Lucas you sign up for an Ironman, and not just any will do. You sign up for the Ironman World Championships in Kona Hawaii.  A legend even among hardened triathletes.  The distance: 2.4 mile ocean swim, 112 mile bike ride through the lava fields, and 26.2 mile run finishing back at the beach where it all began.
As with any great story this one begins long ago, and with a family that is deeply involved.  Al’s son Greg started this with the first entry into Ironman Hawaii in 1986.  Not long after, in 1988 Al’s daughter Julie also entered the race.  Al began racing triathlons himself at age 43 with more of a background in traditional Indiana sports like basketball and baseball. 
With the Hawaii Ironman embedded in family lore, Al made his initial attempt at the race in 1990.  Making it through the swim and bike he suffered …

How to Survive a Zombie Run

This past weekend was my second Zombie run, but first time as a runner, and not a Zombie chaser. The event was a 5k at Fowler Park featuring several obstacles, lots of hills, and of course numerous Zombies trying to chase you down. You wore a belt like flag football with 3 flags. Kind of like flag football over a 5k in the woods.

The event started at the covered bridge, you had to climb a 6 foot wall, and then the first set of zombies were waiting just on the other side.

Tip Number 1: Run with a group to keep the Zombies at bay

The second obstacle was a 12 foot wall, but thankfully it had a rope (actually a rubber hose) to make the climb, and descent on the other side.

Tip Number 2: Wear shoes with particularly good traction

Tip Number 3: Wear light gloves for the climbing

After the second obstacle we proceed into the first wooded section where you guessed it, several more zombies awaited. Here is where I made the crazy move of going out on my own. A couple of young guys were run…

Paul vs Monster Man

If J R R Tolkien wrote a triathlon race report it might go something like this ...
It was still dark night when I set off to tackle the beast known as Monster Man.  My trusty steed ShadowFelt loaded and ready for battle.  We set off only to be greeted by a blinding rain, a storm of epic proportion. Undeterred we persevered till dawn finally broke.  
Now within the sight of the battlefield the gray clouds appeared in place of a rising sun.  A light mist filled the air as thick as the apprehension in my inmost being.
The quest began with a swim of 750 meters across the lake deep in the valley through depths unknown.  With this complete I quickly acquired my mount on ShadowFelt and set off up the misty mountain in search of this Monster Man foe.
Climbing higher and higher we ascended.  Now as the terrain freed of climb we headed out full stride.  Faster and faster we went as ShadowFelt gave its best.
Descending and ascending we looked to attack this said Monster Man.  Once it's tent…

Reading Rob Dreher & Haiti

Just in the last couple of weeks I started reading a column by Rob Dreher.  Most of his articles of late has to do with how to live an “orthodox Christian” life in the modern world.  Today’s article was related, but a bit different.  This one is on a 9 foot tallstatue ofSatan unveiled inDetroit this past weekend.  Rob mentions specifically his previous cab rides with native Haitian drivers who brought up the very real threat of the occult in the form of Voodoo in Haiti.  Having experience Haiti on a number of occasions, and seen the effects of voodoo myself, I know exactly of what he speaks.
Here is a link to the Rob’s article
All I can say is I feel for the innocent people of Detroit who have put up with way too many bad things in the last decade.  If this is a harbinger of Detroit’s future even worse days are ahead.
If you want to witness a work changing the world visit Mountain Top Ministries in Haiti.  Where once voodoo…

Unexpected Answers to Life’s Biggest Questions

Just returned from Camp of the Woods in northern Ontario Canada.  Sounds like its way north, well yeah it pretty much is.  Love going to this camp even if it is a long drive.  Some of my closest friends make the trip every year to help out the camp and get it ready for the kids coming during the summer.  Sure we did some good work, but mostly this is about investing time with friends in a great setting.  Not to mention you can run, bike and swim with whatever energy you have left. 

This year I came away with the some interesting answers to life’s biggest questions.  Mostly thanks to a book I had the opportunity to read from Manhattans own Timothy Keller.  The book is titled “Unexpected Answers to Life’s Biggest Questions”.  I’ll cut to the chase and offer the best part of the book for me (page 29-30):
“David Foster Wallace. He go to the top of his profession.  He was an award-winning, bestselling postmodern novelist known around the world for his boundary-pushing storytelling.  A fe…

Mama didn’t make the Thunder in the Valley Triathlon but …

This past Saturday was the 30th anniversary of the Thunder in the Valley, Terre Haute Triathlon.   Mama wasn’t there to see it, she’s in heaven, but I think she made arrangements.  I’ll explain.

Sometimes days just come together like they were made that way, or perhaps helped along.  This is my favorite event on the calendar, kind of like Christmas in spring time for me.  I get to do what I like to do, at a park that I like, and with people I like.  My family is there, and we had a couple of special guest that I like.  All in all, everyone should be so fortunate. 
The event started with a dinner with 6 times Ironman World Champion Dave Scott, my wife Sherrie, Ethan Page, Ron Page and another guest to the event.  Fun times just hanging out and enjoying a Thursday evening.  Friday Dave put on a swim/run clinic at Hawthorn Park, and I got to swim the course a day in advance.  Nice opportunity to get some needed swim tips, and practice my sighting on the actual swim course.  Swimming str…

Top 10 Tips to Prepare for Your First triathlon

First triathlon can be a daunting experience.  Here are 10 tips to make it go as smooth as possible.1. Take the mystery out of the race with mini race sessions including transitions. These should be short swim/bike sessions, or bike/run sessions.  Be sure to practice the transitions multiple times.  On the day before the race do one of these, just keep it very short like 3 mile bike and 1 mile run.
2. Get as familiar with the actual race course as possible. 
First thing a professional triathlete would do is know the course.  What sight lines to follow in the swim, how transitions are laid out, and what obstacles could exist?  Follow their lead and do the same.
3. Practice the swim in race conditions with or without a wetsuit depending on what you will race in. 
If the swim is a pool or open water you need to practice in similar conditions.  Use the same swim gear you plan to race with.  If open water get out in it, but not by yourself.  Bring a kayaker and practice sighting.  Consider t…

Dominican Republic in the Spirit of Dante

Bound for Santo Domingo I found myself on a Boeing 737 among an intrepid group of 28 travelers visiting the good people of the Dominican Republic.  The journey was an initiative by Indiana State University, Center for Community Engagement known as Alternative Spring Break.  An opportunity to spread community service on a more global scale.  This particular team was of the Greek life; all members of fraternities and sororities coming to serve. 
Much like Dante’s passage into the Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise we were about to see a mixture of these journeys intertwined within the next 6 days.  Arriving at Santo Domingo, and stepping outside in the warm air, sunshine and welcoming atmosphere it felt much like paradise.  During the bus ride to the SCORE complex in the city of Juan Dolio we received a bit of an introduction to the Dominican society just watching the view out the window. 
Our guide for all these service projects was Felix Fils Reyes.  Much like Dante’s guide Virgil, h…

Goals for 2015

Like last winter I’ve had some calf muscle issues that have kept me out of any serious running most of the winter.  Nevertheless I’m still thinking positive about the upcoming triathlon season.  No reason I can’t still work on my swimming and cycling fitness, and overall health.  Seems they both help my running anyway.  With that in mind here are my goals for 2015:
Compete in the Terre Haute Triathlon and try to win the 55+ age group Run sub 6:00 mile at the Mayor’s Cup Mile on July 4Do at least 1 Xterra off-road triathlon in the summerTry to be at 100% fitness for the Lake Lemon (Monsterman) Triathlon in September and win my age groupFinish a Gran Fondo (100 mile century ride) Last year I was part of the local Forward Motion Triathlon Team, and for 2015 it was renamed the Illiana Multisport Team.  They have a renewed focus for this year, and the team has really grown with the inclusion of a good group from Illinois.  Hopefully I can be a good representative of that team for this year…