My friend Liz is hosting a giveaway on her blog for a graphic novel called Return of the Dapper Men. Now, I'll admit I've never even read a graphic novel, but the illustrations on this one have grabbed my attention--and I want to win it! (Check out the book's Facebook page here.)
Apparently the book is about best friends and their successes, so I'm writing about my best friend and his successes. Lucky me, my best friend also happens to be my husband, The Engineer!
I'd like to focus on The Engineer's athletic success. As a high school student, he was a fantastic runner. He ranked #23 in big ol' California in cross country, running a 3.2 mile race at an average pace of 5:00 per mile. (That's crazy fast!)
And sure, I'm proud of that--but honestly I'm more proud of him now. High school students have lots of time for extracurricular activities. The same can't be said for an engineer with a wife, two kids, and church volunteer responsibilities. So I think it's awesome that about a year and a half ago, he started training to be a triathlete.
He does sprint-distance triathlons. The distances vary, but a typical race involves a 750 meter swim (almost 1/2 mile), 20 km bike (about 12 1/2 miles), and 5 km run (3.1 miles). The Engineer has done plenty of cycling and swimming in the past, so those weren't too big of a deal for him.
But he grew up in an area without a lot of swimming, so he while he could stay up in the water, he couldn't swim far. He couldn't even exhale underwater. He took a Master's swim class and got wonderful training from a coach who competed in the Olympics for her home country of Lithuania. Now he regularly goes to the gym and swims over 2000 meters (1 1/4 miles). He's become a very good swimmer; and despite being pretty new at the sport, he's even pretty fast. Amazing!
He's also been running more often. Now, a 41-year-old man isn't ever going to match his 18-year-old run times, but he ran his last 5K in 22:36 (7:17 per mile.) For a guy who's training in three sports and spends most of his training time swimming, that's pretty awesome...a pace I don't expect to ever come near!
So I'm pretty proud of my best friend (and glad he's more than a friend.) He's fit and dedicated, even with all his other responsibilities. I love it when I get to see him come across that finish line!