Monday, April 16, 2012

Moving On

Last year I essentially roamed around the country, playing the part of the "nomad triathlete." Moving from place to place every 4-6 weeks. It was great. I saw some new places, trained in some cool locations, and experienced life and my country in a way I never had before. I am sure when I am old and grey I will look back on 2011 with a fond appreciation of the experience.

This is not to say however, that the travel did not have its downsides. As anyone who has done it (particularly on a rather modest budget) will tell you, living out of a suit case (or a suitcase, duffel bag and bike box in my case) gets old. Pretty fast. Being away from family and friends, in foreign locales also begins to wear on one quite a bit.

Given the foregoing, I was excited to start the 2012 season with the Squad as the first two camps I would attend were set to take place just inland of San Diego. San Diego had served, up until last year, as my home away from home and secondary training grounds essentially since I began serious training. I have a great group of friends there, and it is not too far from home and my family and friends in LA. It sounded great.

Once the first camp began however, I quickly realized something was missing. I didn't have the same fire and excitement about training with the Squad as I had in the past. In short, I wasn't enjoying the work.

I have been asked by many how long I plan to do this. My answer has always been "as long as it stays fun." Please understand what I mean by "fun." I do not mean that I want to be giggling like a school girl all day. I don't find hard intervals on the bike, track workouts, or the cold pool deck at "O' dark :30" to be "fun" as the word is typically understood in modern parlance. So hindsight being 20/20, I guess I should rephrase my stock answer to, "as long as I enjoy it." I enjoyed the hard efforts. I enjoy the long rides. I enjoy the work. Or at least I had.

During the first camp I found that I was not enjoying the work. I left a career as an attorney to pursue professional racing. I can tell you there are much easier ways, to make a much more stout living than professional racing. If I am not enjoying it there simply is no reason, in my mind, to continue.

It was this realization that lead me to consider all aspects of my then current circumstance. When I evaluated my position, I knew it was not triathlon or the work that I was not enjoying. It was simply the format under which I was pursuing my racing career. My interest in the sport, in the training, and my enjoyment thereof remained, it was simply the environment I was operating in that was running interference. I knew I still loved the sport and I didn't doubt my desire to continue racing but I also felt something needed to change. I knew I needed to leave the Squad.

I have had some great times with the Squad. I got the opportunity to do some great training, with great athletes, and create some wonderful memories. I learned volumes from my experience. I am grateful for the opportunity and value the experience. It was just my time to move on.

As for the immediate future, I will continue to prepare for upcoming races while writing my own training plans. I do not want to make a coaching decision in haste and thus will spend some time doing my research and seeking the opinions and advice of some close friends who I trust an respect.

On to Wildflower.



  1. Good luck in your new path, sounds like a tough but valid decision.

  2. Yup, I also had a great "career" as a triathlete in the late 80's/90's, awesome team workouts/friends in Puerto Rico, great sponsors: Powerbar, Trispoke, Peregrine, Specialized, Oakley. Motorola, Unilever, etc. Loved it. Will never forget the day Jimmy Riccitello's mom said I should turn Pro after winning Smith Mountain Lake in Roanake, Virginia. I said no, this is just a hobby. Holds true to this day! It has to be fun for me as well. Alex Garcia

  3. That was so much better and clear Ian...... You just missed the part where you will keep training and Racing...... Just a little detail haha!