Monday, September 03, 2007

TAG Time Again

TAG is Triathlon and Give. The fees that the members pay for this program goes to charity, minus 20% which goes to the coach. Every year we designate a charity and this year, as it was last year, we designated Girls on the Run as our charity. TAG is our program specifically targeted for beginning triathletes. This Saturday was the first workout for the fall program.

Coach Neil with students and volunteers. Going through instruction and teaching the new crew how to ride in a group and use hand signals for communication. I'm a big fan of Neil. He knows how to motivate and empower the shy and timid.

I like being involved and this is my third stint of helping out with this program. It's a lot of fun. You get to meet really great people, you watch them grow and gel together and you get to help them achieve their goals. We get everyone, from former high school / college athletes to recent converts to the athletic lifestyle.

I help out by coming to the workouts and sharing what I know. Most of the help is needed on the bike rides where the group is out on Marin riding the usual routes. We need leads and sweepers. We need people who know the routes and is willing to help change a flat or two, things of this nature.

The program reminds me of my own roots with YMCA Triathlon. I was injured training for a couple of big ultra races, tried it out to keep myself in shape and ended up loving it. The camaraderie, the group dynamic was so different from all the lonely, solo training I was doing for ultra. I stuck with it and never looked back. I'm no longer involved with the YMCA but have continued my triathlon activities with my current tri-club - Golden Gate Triathlon.

After the TAG workout several of us headed out to Marin for a short easy ride. With us was D'Anza who finished Ironman Canada last week with a 12:29:10. She joked that she should have gone harder cause she felt great. The group ended up getting split up because of an accident involving two of our riders. There was a dislocated finger involved, not life threatening but she was taken by emergency personnel. It was bent in an awkward position and she preferred to have medical staff snap it back into place. I don't blame her. We sent the other riders out while some of us stayed to make sure she was okay. It was a good reminder to me that our bodies are fragile despite all the feats of athleticism. It only takes one fall, biking or running.

J.P., Tracy, D'Anza and Janet.

The rest of the day was all work, deadline on Tuesday, but it was a great time to be out. Looking forward to another successful TAG program.

Ran into Lem back in San Francisco, apparently the "active release" massage he got has done wonders for his IT Band. He's training for Firetrails 50, his first 50-mile.


  1. Anonymous6:28 AM

    Hi Rick. I'm one of the silent readers of your blog...good stuff!
    I run long distance as well and am curious what type of pack you carry your water and camera in? My north face water backpack irritates my back so I'd like to make the switch to waist pack. Any suggestions? Thanks.

  2. darn. if i'd done this ride, then maybe i would have had a better race at the Giro. bike race season is done, so i'll be back out to help. when are the rides?

  3. Hey Scott, welcome. I use an Ultimate Direction waist pack, the design is no longer being offered so you can see a pic of it here.

    I like the small bag for energy drink powders, camera, etc. Waist packs have their own issues as well though. I've had chafing on the love handles. I suggest tucking in your shirt or making sure the top of your shorts is between skin and the belt. Sometimes it puts a lot of pressure in my stomach.

    On long races like a 100-miler I will use both a waist pack and a my DaKine backpack. I too have had some back irritation issues with my pack but only if I'm wearing my heart rate monitor chest strap.

    I would try out a bunch. Bring a full water bottle with you. You want to test the pack for "bounce". You want that baby tight and snug while you run. Some of the new versions of waistpacks have small pouches in the front, great for a camera.

    Good luck.

  4. Anthony. Hey bike racer. Saw your email on the club list and it looked like a great event. Unfortunately I was home working...all day.

    I will have Janet add you to the volunteer list. Your help on the bike will be awesome.

  5. Scott I should clarify that. I'll use the waistpack for the first part of the 100 then the backpack for the second half.

  6. sounds like a fun ride (except for that poor person's finger!). I'm so glad to hear you're donating to Girls on the Run. My eventual goal is to start one of those programs at the school I'm teaching at, after I get settled for a few years :) I think it's a fabulous program!

    great job out there :)

  7. Rick, your volunteering efforts are most admirable. It makes me want to get off my butt and do something. Nice job, and I hope you had a great holiday weekend!

  8. Sounds great! I love how you always take the time to give back.

  9. Anonymous6:07 AM

    Thanks for the info on the waist pack. Yesterday I ran 11m without HR belt and backpack...without scratches. So yah, the combo of HR belt and that pack is what causes them.

    I looked at REI and their selection is weak...I wish there was a Sports Basement here! I'll go to some specialty stores to check them out in person.

    Thanks for the tips.