Okay maybe that title is too harsh (maybe not). But Lance Armstrong
is was my idol. I stood by Lance Armstrong through all the ridicule and accusations. Defending him among friends and others who called him a liar, cheater, and a fraud. I still had faith and believed in him right up to the moment he admitted he doped. He was one of the reasons that I got involved in cycling and in the sport of triathlon.
His adventures into triathlon brought excitement to the sport and now he may never get to compete in a triathlon ever again. I still have respect for everything that he did for LIVESTRONG and the hope he gave people fighting for their lives. That’s something that can be stripped or banned.
Now I’ve found another athlete to look up to. Someone that is winning the old fashioned way, with hard work. Craig Alexander, Crowie, is one of the world’s best triathletes. A husband, a father, and a true winner. He is someone that people should look up to and want to be like.
This sums up my feelings almost exactly: (from a fellow blogger, http://tri-kelly.com/2013/01/18/my-letter-to-lance-armstrong/ )
….I’m sad for the sport of triathlon. I’m sad for what you could have brought to the sport. Like when Tiger plays in a golf tournament and the ratings go up 500%, you could have done that for triathlon. You would have made the sport exciting to all the people who don’t know what an Ironman is; you would have made age group triathletes push themselves farther and faster to get a chance to share a race course with you. You could have brought millions of eyes to Kona when you raced against the best the sport has to offer in the World Triathlon Championships. You could have dominated and crossed the finish line first. You could have shown the world what 140.6 miles of awesome looked like. Now we’ll never know.
But your downfall isn’t about me and how cheated and duped I feel. It’s about the millions of people with cancer who looked to you for inspiration. It’s about the millions who read your Livestrong website faithfully to learn about living healthily and achieving a healthy body. About learning to push their bodies athletically to levels they never thought possible. It’s about the millions who supported you through your cause by wearing Livestrong everything – yellow bracelets, t-shirts, hats, shorts, jackets. You name it and the Livestrong label was on it. And people bought it. They wanted to Livestrong Like Lance; they wanted to believe in a superhero.
I will continue to live strong. To live strong in being an honest athlete. To live strong in pushing my body to the limit. To live strong in EARNING medals and trophies. One of my favorite inspirational quotes was from you, “People ask me what I’m on? I’m on my bike busting my ass for six hours a day. What are YOU on?”
“I’ll answer you, Lance. I AM on my bike for 6 hours at a time busting my ass. I AM spending hours in the pool and on the road running. I may never have the privilege of being a professional athlete, but I am something you will never be. I AM AN IRONMAN.”
My training: Week 13 had its ups and downs. On Thursday the weather almost hit 50 degrees out so I finally got outside to do my first outdoor ride of the year! I went 3o miles, part of which was on the Ironman course. There’s quite a difference between biking on a trainer and riding outdoors. It was hard keeping a straight line and at some points I caught myself looking down at my bike instead of up at the road, not very safe. The outdoor biking left my legs felt a bit sore the next day for my run. My calf had started feeling better for both of my runs leading up to my brick
run on Sunday. Got about 30 minutes into the run and I had the same exact pain as I experienced over a week ago, not fun. This week I’m gonna try and add more biking into my schedule and limit the amount of running if possible, maybe throw in some water running.
Week totals: 14.5 hours
- Swimming: 3 hours
- Biking: 8.75 hours
- Running: 2.25 hours
- Core/Lifting: .5 hours
Week 13 –
Tuesday: 2 hour spin. Main set was 10 x 3 min Z3, 3 min Z2. 45 minute swim
Wednesday: 1 hour Z2 spin, 4x 9 min Z3. 45 min run Z2
Thursday: 1.75 hr bike ride OUTSIDE! Got in 30 miles on the bike. It was a little chilly and muddy but it was definitely better than sitting inside on the bike! Got on a part of the Ironman Wisconsin course as well.
Friday: 45 min swim. 45 min steady run Z2
Saturday: Brick day. 1.5 hour spin followed by 45 minute run
Sunday: 2.5 hour group spin at Endurance House – West.
Favorite workout of the week: Thursday’s ride. Finally got to bike outdoors. Felt amazing!
Least favorite workout of the week: Saturday’s brick run. Re-injured my calf after it had started feeling better all week.
Advice of the week: Don’t forget to enjoy the training, its all part of the ride. If something goes wrong on raceday, you want to be able to look back and be proud of what you’ve accomplished along the way.
Thing I’m looking forward to next week: Baseball is back! Brewers opening day is today, going to the game Saturday
Great post and I agree with most of what you wrote. It is athletes like Crowie, Peter Jacobs, Chrissy Wellington, and Rinny that give me hope that there are still great athletes that we all can look up to.
Great post Eric, I feel the same way, I looked up to Lance also and defended him to the end, what a shame we had to find out just how human he was after all. Ever since I started my Ironman dream I have followed Crowie and Rinni, it makes me even prouder to know they are both Aussies! I look up to them for not only their abilities but also their attitudes, They are both humble, hard working athletes who have proven just how much you can accomplish with a good dose of old fashioned spirit, tenacity and self belief.
I am with you on most of the Lance stuff. I do feel a little cheated in that he got me into cycling after I was somewhat into triathlons. I guess the thing that I take away from it was something Lance said in his confession to Oprah. Basically that the professional cycling world was so bloated with PID that he did not view what he did as cheating. That he was not given an unfair advantage over the other athletes because they were all on “something.” I am not making excuses for him, just throwing a thought out there: once Lance was stripped of his Tour titles, there was no winner declared because of…? Couldn’t they find a clean rider to declare a winner?
I digress. Anyway, nice piece and Crowie is awesome (Chrissie is/was as well)!
See, to me the “it was a level playing field” argument isn’t even relevant. The way Armstrong bullied, intimidated, and pursued his critics through litigation is what really matters. He destroyed lives. Ask Frankie Andreu about losing jobs. Or Greg LeMond about losing his company. And there are countless others who lost their reputations and lived in fear of this man. This almost two decade long campaign was a far greater transgression than doping and is the reason I lost all respect for Armstrong long before he even finished winning his Tour de France titles.