Monday, September 12, 2011

"If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gurkha." G.M.

ask Mallory.....

Dear Mr. Mallory:

I'd like to inquire as to your thoughts on the best speed work for sprint triathlons. Lifetime Fitness, B.P., Exxon, Haliburton, and Wal-Mart are sponsoring a big-time triathlon in my town and the entry fee is only $478, so I really want to go for it. Plus, some of the proceeds of the race will go to Greg Mortenson. Someday I want to be a real Iron Man and go to Hawaii and be on TV!

Do you suggest doing track work with short repeat intervals, or longer speed work such as Fartleks and Tempo runs? Should I hire a life-coach? I have a carbon set-up but its last year’s model, what kind of carbon bike/wheel-set should I ask my parent’s for?

Also, what are your thoughts regarding using heart rates vs the Relative Perceived Exertion scale for maximum efforts? Or should I get the new Garmin that does all of it? Would it help me to have my VO2 max measured? What about EPO?
Thanks so much, 


Ps: Do those carbon fiber pants work, cost is no issue?


Dear Friends and Loyal Followers of Sir Mallory:

As many of you may know, as I pen this letter, our esteemed leader languishes, albeit with steadfast conviction, in a common jail sharing stale bread and the like with common street criminals. Old Mallory is being charged for disorderly conduct stemming from an incident at a citizen’s triathlon sponsored by Lifetime Fitness and Wal Mart, involving several hundred participants, race officials, and a young malcontent known as “Chip.”

To begin, upon receiving the above letter of inquiry from this Chip fellow, regarding participating in a triathlon, Sir Mallory, (who has never fully recovered from his untimely death on Everest) essentially snapped! Armed with his trusty ice ax and bolstered by a platoon of loyal and fearsome Gurkhas, Mallory attacked a local triathlon proceeding. Luckily Mallory had given the order to refrain from exercising extreme prejudice to the Sherpas and thus none of the frail triathletes were seriously injured. Once the Law appeared, the Gurkhas were rightly allowed to leave the scene, provided that they agree to attend an anger-management course, but Mallory was arrested, yet not before engaging in fisticuffs with a legion of policemen many of whom received bloody noses and split lips for their efforts. Finally a brigade of National Guard soldiers was able to subdue the “game-as-ever” elder DBD statesman.

Having spoken to him recently, two dayz past, via passenger pigeon, he assures me that he is well, that in due time he shall be proven innocent, and that he has found favor with the warden due to a shared interest in fine brandies. Nevertheless when you hit your knees tonight to thank Your Maker, please include Mallory in your thoughts, wishing him “Godspeed.”

But enough about Mallory, he is a big boy, can fend for himself, and a little quiet time maybe just what he needs to settle his nerves down a bit.

A cautionary tale follows—concerning running as a Gateway Drug to far more sinister and self-destructive behaviors. The main purpose of this letter is to use Chip’s letter as a platform from which to warn the people of the threats associated with running. Running is a gateway drug to triathlons. Chip’s decline is a perfect example. Chip began with a local 5k race where he ponied up $25 to run around the city park for twenty-plus minutes. When he finished the race in the middle of the pack, they gave him a brightly colored T-Shirt that proclaimed, “I survived the _____ race,” along with a shiny medal and they told him how great he was… When he got to his car on the windshield was a flyer that advertised another race. Chip ponied up for that race as well. In that race he did the 10K (all these races have multiple events and infinite categories of runners),they charged him $40, which his parents willingly paid, and he won his age group (37 to 38 age category; Clydesdale division, Category 3.5B). He was happy and self-assured and his parents were happy too because he wasn’t doing drugs or in a gang or both and he began to even talk about looking for a job.

The trap was set. Chip began to train, he began hanging out at the local Lifetime fitness center, located in a strip-mall on the edge-o-town near the Interstate (by the Wal-Mart Super Store). But in order to improve and to fit in with this crowd, he needed more expensive gear. Soon the running was not enough, he needed to swim, but to swim well, he needed a special wet-suit. You know where this is leading…running, then swimming, then… Soon Chip was obsessed with obtaining everything CARBON. Last spring, he stole his Dad’s credit card and bought a $9000 Triathlon bike, but the bike did not have carbon wheels, so he spent another $3000 to get the carbon wheel set. His Dad was furious, but his Mom reminded the dad that at least Chip was not on drugs.

Several dayz later they found Chip in the alley behind the new Trek store (where you can only buy Trek stuff). He was fighting for his life; having fallen victim to a massive carbon overdose. Such is a story that is being repeated over and over again across the country. Mallory had the courage to do something about it….do you?

Ernest Shackleton