Thursday, June 30, 2005

Books and What's Next?

I met Eric and Krisanne at Garage (not The Garage, just Garage) for dinner and pool, except we chatted so much we didn't play any pool!

I got some interesting reading recommendations: Botany of Desire, Cloud Atlas, Deep Survival, and Tipping Point. All sound very interesting! I have a backlog of books I already bought but haven't read, but I think I can squeeze a book or two in at the front of the line. I recently finished up Life of Pi and Freakonomics, and am currently reading Swimming to Antarctica. Freakonomics applies economic theory to various situations, and the logic is interesting to follow. I found the section on real estate to be particularly timely... but the book bogged down at the end with a huge analysis of the popularity of various boy's and girl's names. So far, Swimming to Antartica is very interesting, because to me, long distance swimming is a paticular kind of crazy: lengthy swims (8+ hours) in cold water (55 degrees or less) without a wetsuit - wow! Of course, long distance swimmers probably think triathletes are crazy. ;)

Eric asked me "What's next? What do you do after Ironman? Ultramarathons?" Ultramarathons are any running event longer than 31 miles, or an even 50 kilometers. I think I could do a 50K run, but then running is pretty harsh on feet, ankles, and knees. I joked that I would try adventure racing instead! Adventure racing involves map and compass navigation (using a GPS is cheating) to go from checkpoint to checkpoint. It also involves a variety of sports, from rock climbing, rapelling, kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, and so forth. While there are short adventure races ("sprints"), many are 12+ hours or multi-day, and become exercises in sleep deprivation. This doesn't sound that fun to me, but perhaps there are "shorter" ones that would be OK.

Another problem with adventure racing is picking up a ton more gear for all the new sports that are involved!

I've also thought about an XTerra triathlon, which are off-road triathlons. Instead of biking on roads, it is biking on trails - i.e. mountain biking. Instead of road running, it is trail running. This sounds fun as far as mixing it up, but the problem is I'd need a mountain bike to do one. And biking is expensive enough as it is - I don't need to be getting a mountain bike just to do an XTerra tri. I might be able to borrow or rent one, however.

What is really in my future, as far as sports, is rest, and then a late season tri. With my aerobic base from ironman training, I will try some speedwork. This seems like the best thing to do.

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