Who’s Doc?

I’m not an attention seeker, but it seems most of the blogs I follow seem to have a page detailing their background.  So here goes:  My parents were educators and missionaries to Africa.  I was born in Nairobi, Kenya and grew up with my older sister traveling from Kenya to Malawi, then lastly Ghana.  Not surprisingly, I developed a love of soccer while there.  I continued to play soccer after we returned permanently to the US and went on to play in college.  I remember running in the Summer before our preseason soccer camps but there wasn’t much organization.    Playing soccer kept me in shape and I kept playing for a few years after graduation until medical school took all my free time and I gained 40 pounds.  Yeah, not good.  After quite a few fat years, (old pictures are brutal), I started running again just for fitness.  The weight came off slowly and my endurance improved. 

My first official road race was at my college, a four mile run.  I sprinted the first mile and limped home the last 3 miles.  A newbie runner was born.  A few years later I finished my first marathon, the St. Jude Marathon, in 4:30+.  I felt great for 14 miles then again limped home.  I don’t remember my training but it would probably be funny to read now.  I probably did one 18mile run and assumed I was ready. 

My triathlon career surfaced a few years later.  Like most current triathletes, I watched the Hawaii Ironman coverage and dreamed of one day doing the same.  But, that wasn’t the driving influence.  Maybe I just needed a new challenge.  I ran a couple of other marathons but didn’t improve my time and was losing interest in the training demands.   So, I thought, let’s try triathlon and train for 3 disciplines at the same time.  I do remember being dropped on my head as a child.  My first triathlon was in Birmingham, AL at the now retired, “Tri-It-On Triathlon”.  It was a 200y swim, 8mile bike, and 2 mile run.  I was excited and very nervous.  I was swimming a little and riding a bone stock aluminum Felt road bike with clip-ons.  I went anaerobic after 25 yards and  tread water for a second before finishing but the bike and run were fun.  I was hooked.  Since then I’ve raced at all distances up to Ironman…no interest in Ultraman at this point. 

Each year I try to set new goals and do a few new races.  It’ll be more difficult over the next few years as my kids are getting older and my triathlon budget will shift to college funding.  Wonder if I can make a major comeback at age 55+ and get to Kona.  Stay tuned for new developments.  It’s frequently painful, frequently frustrating, but rarely boring.  That’s Doc’s multisportlife.

2 responses to “Who’s Doc?

  1. Ken Coopeer

    Hey Doc –
    Enjoyed your blog. Considering Chattahoochee Challenge as my first half IM in spring ’14. Would love to get some feedback from you on the race, etc if you can spare a few minutes. Thanks – Ken

    • Hey Ken-

      I think it would be a good first time race.
      Pros: inexpensive cost; smaller race=less congested course; swim with current (at least 2/3); running on Riverwalk is scenic.
      Cons: During my year (very shallow in some sections of swim); biking on Riverwalk is slow-best for recreational cycling; smaller race=less supporters along the way

      Overall- It’s a well organized, smaller early season half. I’ve done the Gulf Coast Half Iron distance in the past in May but it’s more expensive to stay at the beach. If you’re close, the Chattahochee Halfis definitely worth doing. Locals support the race well.

Give me a shout!

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