Oct 30, 2007

I Won't Be Bullied or Pressured to Wear His Uniform!

My coach's company recently mandated that all athletes are now "required" to purchase and wear the uniform which prominently displays his company name and its sponsors. So beginning in 2008, all athletes must wear the company race uniform. Ostensibly, this change is so that we can feel like we are part of a team, but the requirement and mandate felt so heavy-handed and obviously one-sided that I made the extremely difficult decision several hours ago to end my wonderful coaching relationship with Amanda. Amanda has been great and she coached me through a broken ankle and other mishaps to ultimately record a PR in the Carpinteria Triathlon. My time was so significantly better than my best case scenario that I was stunned. She is awesome and did a terrific job.

I do feel terribly about losing my coach, and it's no fault of hers at all. While I do respect the decision of the small business owner to change his policy and require athletes to purchase and wear his company-branded race uniform, I disagree so vigorously with his demanding style and approach to charge his athletes to be his literal billboards on the racecourse, that I can no longer affiliate with his company. Philosophically, and on so many other levels, I just completely disagree with his business approach.

I signed up for a coach, not to be a sponsored athlete; I want to make my own choices about whose gear I wear or whom I decide to represent. And my choice is to represent my great friend Tom. But according to my former coaching company, I would be breaking my contract with them if I were to wear his "TomStrong" gear during a race, and that is completely unacceptable to me. Please see Tom's story and link to the right, in "My Support Team."

Of course, now I have no coach at all, and no real prospects. And so I begin the search to find someone that can help me stay focused through the long months ahead as I work toward my first big test which is the Hawaii Ironman 70.3 Triathlon on May 31, 2008.

Oct 19, 2007

Endless Pool, YMCA or SwimEx Pool?

I've wanted an Endless Pool for a long time. This would really help my swim training because I've calculated that swimming in the 25 meter pool at the YMCA is really only about swimming 15 yards with 5 yards on each lap used up by the flip turns and wall push off. I'd love an Endless Pool where there is no turnaround, no resting, no flip turns etc.

So I have been looking around and have received two DVDs; one from EndlessPool and one from SwimEx. I like what SwimEx has to say and they really seem to be a high quality company. I really do not care for the Endless pool. They have too much metal just sitting in the front of the pool. My strong preference seems to be the SwimEx pool. We just have to figure out how to dig a hole so deep and so big. Also, how are we going to get that 20 foot pool into the backyard!

Well as an update, I have called the SwimEx people and have learned that it will cost about $38,000 - $40,000 to build, ship and install the pool with the options that I wanted. It's amazing, because the pool is advertised at about $22,000, but the reality is that it is nearly DOUBLE the advertised price to actually get it into the ground and running. That was a huge shock to me.

So based on my SwimEx research, I think I may head back to talk to Endless Pools about thier new FastLane Product. Apparently this sells for about $10,000 and is a free standing pool with the motor unit, but it's only a vinyl set up, not a real, in-ground fiberglass pool and it won't have tiles, or jets or benches or any such item. It is built only for one thing, to swim against a moderate current without having to make flip turns.