Thursday, June 30, 2011

True Recovery Day

After my surgery was scheduled for Tuesday, I was emailed my weekly schedule form my coach. It is time trial week. I have a time trial scheduled in every discipline. I was able to get in my swim TT in and two other normal workouts before surgery.

For the first time, i have been forced to take true recovery days. Often when I take a recovery day I still work, mow grass, or do an y number of activities. Even when I had the flu I tried to sneak in some workouts.

The last two days have been OFFICIAL recovery days. I have done nothing. I have laid in the bed, done web design, and slept. Oh, and taken my weight is Vicodin. I am sure that this break is good for my body in terms or training; i know the break is good for my body in terms of recovery from surgery, but it is killing my mind.

I am itching for two things- a cheese burger and a brick workout.

Does anyone else ever crave workouts when they are forced to rest?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Accountability 06/23/11

06/20 Morning weight: 184
06/21 Morning weight: 182
06/22 Morning weight: 179.9
06/23 Morning weight: 177

Goal: AM swim (again) and PM 40 mile ride.

Results: Overslept again. Once I woke up I reported to the pain cave and did about 55 push ups. After work I needed to finish mowing the backyard and get in my 40 mile ride. I weighted my options and given I knew I would not have much time to mow Saturday before CB's bday party I decided to mow for an hour first and then go ride. An hour turned into an hour and a half. This meant I would be returning from my ride about 10pm. Since I intended to get up for a 200m swim I decided I should do a short workout on the bike instead. On the trainer I did a 10 minute warm up, 3 x 3 minutes trying to work to threshold (without any way of telling), tabata sprints in a hard gear, tabata right leg only, tabata left leg only, then tabata sprinting in an easy gear. I followed that with a few sets of core work (I can't remember what now),  then 4 sets of 2 pull ups, 1 set of 3 pull ups (max), 1 set of 4 neutral grip pull ups, and last 3 back bridges for 15 seconds each. I cool down with stretching with a strap.

Diet: diet bar, grapes, steak, mushrooms, rice, water.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Accountability 06/22/11

06/20 Morning weight: 184
06/21 Mornign weight: 182
06/22 Morning weight: 179.9

Goal: AM Swim and AM Track workout

Results: Wednesday is my 2nd shift day so theoretically if I get up at 05:15 I can fit more in my day. My body didn't agree. I overslept again and got up with 20 minutes to get ready. Since I only had 20 minutes I went to teh pain cave and did 60 bicycle oblique crunches and 20 full body crunches.

I planned to get my speedwork for my lunch, but I had a lot of work to do so my lunch kept getting pushed back until before I knew it it was 8 Pm and time to get home. Since I had brought my running clothes to work I made a decision to stick to my challenge and get it in. I changed at work and once I got back in town instead of going home I went straight to the track.

The workout was a ladder of 400, 800, 2x1200, 800, 400 at a 7:30 pace (10k). The first two went well. Durign the 400m I had to slow myself down. The first 1200 sucked because i could not hold the pace, the second 1200 was worse. I took a minute rest before the 800. The first half was good but I slowed dramatically. For the last 400 I started steady and sped up every 100m; I made a point to not check pace until I hit the finish line. At that point it was 6:23. 400's good- longer intervals still need work. 6 weeks to the next olympic distance race.

Diet: eggs, banana, grapes, hummus, carrots, lettuce, cucumber, grilled chicken, peanut butter, fluid recovery drink. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Accountability 06/21/11

Goal: AM Swim, PM brick

Reality: I overslept through the alarm clock. Actually, I don't think it went off, but CB says it did. With oversleeping there was no swim, but with my quest for a morning workout I completed 55 push ups. After work I came hope and completed a brick. It sucked. I wanted to quit and my legs had no turnover. I averaged 10:30 miles- slowest in over a year- but I completed the workout.

Diet: Breakfast bar, grapes, carrots, hummus, banana, salad, grilled chicken, Fluid Muscle Recovery Drink.

Setbacks: 2 diet Mt. Dew and 1 Diet Dr. Pepper.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Accountability Check 06-20

Goal: AM fat burning workout, Upper body weights, speed work swim.

Results: I was struggling with sleep so I did not get up as early as I would have liked. However, I stuck with my plan and did 20 minutes on the trainer. I did a warm up, followed by 10x 30 second on my third toughest gear, then some one foot spinning, and a cool down. At lunch I completed upper body weight per my training plan, plus day 2 of the 100 push up challenge, and 6 x 20 ab exercises. My last workout of the day from the training plan was a swim with 100m warm up, 200m, 3 x 400m, 200m, 100m cool. The plan was do it as soon as I got home from work, I was exhausted so I made myself a deal. I set a schedule. 5:40-6:00 sit in quiet and eat a snack, 6:00 vacuum and then take dogs out, 6:15 read, 6:30 make salad for dinner and change into swim trunks, 6:45 head to pool. I really wanted to skip this was workout, as of late I have not looked forward to swimming in general and even less to speed work. I think this has something to do with struggling at it so much. I promised myself I would not skip it. It has been two weeks since I have been in the pool and my lungs are hurting from allergies so I decided I would swim it with fins. This should be a confidence booster and since I am getting in extra workouts I will return one morning and get it in without the fins.

Diet: With the exception of a diet bar and a small bowl of cheerios as an afternoon snack everything else I ate was whole foods. The diet bar was because today is grocery day so we were low on lunch foods and the cheerios were because I felt like I was bonking and needed some carbs for the swim. The other foods of my day included grilled chicken, romaine lettuce, spinach, green peppers, red peppers, cucumber, green grapes, and a quarter of my first ever pear (not sure I like it)

Now I will go mow grass for 15 minutes (to split it up before the weekend), shower and be IN bed by 9pm.

Today's missions are accomplished- Tomorrow I intent to unpussify the mission!

Gut Check Time

My Couch, Oversleeping, Oreos, Fried Chicken, Coke, McDonald's, Wendy's, Dairy Queen Blizzards, Mountain Dew, Doritos, Pizza, and Corn Dogs- These are the thing my Bachelor life was made of. These are the thing that got me a solid start on the road to being 300 pounds by 30.

I started last week exhausted because I spent the weekend pulling 20 hour shifts in my office, glued to the computer, drawing up website layouts for a project I have been hired (for free) to do. I returned to work tired. Slightly before the end of the day I was victim to some foul career sabotage. This sent me to a place similar to the mental exhaustion I have at the end of a work week, but on the first day. I shut down. I checked out. My mind reverted. It reverted back to bachelor life. After a year, apparently it is still my default behaviour. I filled my time at work and off work with different combinations of the my bachelor life. Despite slipping in a 16 mile run and two short brick workouts I arrived at the end of the week four pounds heavier and with the highest weight I have had in some months- 184.4 lbs. My goal has been to break the plateau of 180 and hit my next mile marker 175. This would put me 10 pounds from my goal- but I AM FAILING.

I hope my mental week off was enough, because it is time for my figurative as well as literal gut check. I am recommitting myself to accountability. I am three weeks out from my next race, but the race is not the concern. If I perform poorly it is my fault. I am committed this week to getting things back together. I am challenging myself this week to cleansing my diet- I will stick to primarily whole foods. I am challenging myself to getting up for morning workouts- regardless of how short. I am challenging myself to hitting every workout on my training schedule. I am challenging myself to do the research and figure out what help I need to start getting quality sleep again. I am challenging myself to remain accountable by posting my daily success and failure for all to read.

Anymore Challenges?

Monday, June 13, 2011

When annoyance turns into a learning experience

When I began this blog last year I wrote several posts about my background. I wrote about how prior to starting to train in multi-sport the only "sport" I had been successful at was martial arts and how I have a natural ability to pick up techniques. I also wrote about how it is still a love of mine and I would like to continue my training and maybe compete again given the chance.

Last January I began teaching a children's karate class at a for disadvantaged kids at a near-by community center. The organization it is through started with the purpose of providing karate and cheer to children who may not be able to afford it. I use the income from teaching this class to pay for multi-sport expenses.

Last semester I had a child in my yellow belt class who routinely did his own thing, barely paid attention, and over exaggerated every technique to a ridiculous point. I was at a race for belt testing and the instructor who conducted the tests for me passed him to green belt.

My green belt class is my favorite class, they have high energy, they pick up things fast, and we have a lot of fun. I was already thinking about how having him in that class may change how the class ran. I decided that I would sit the class down and without pointing him out talk about focus and how starting this year there would be penalties for not being focused or doing your own thing.

I started the class and as we did warm-ups the kid acted like he couldn't do push up or sit up. He just laid there not trying. We then reviewed basic kicks and he kept falling down (he been doing these for a year, nothing new) so I told him some things to do at home to make it better. Later in the class we were doing sparring drills and I would demonstrate the drill and they would take turns doing the drill on the bag I was holding. When it was his turn he walked up and did something completely different. I then stopped him and was giving step by step directions for the drill. Half way through my instructions he would stop listening and do his own thing. I sent him to the back of the line when he stopped listening, it had been my intention to make him do push ups for not listening, but I wasn't ready to do this yet.

After the class, I discussed with his mom about what i told him to do to help his kicks. She then told me that was probably because of his Aspergers. I nodded my head and said ok, with a calm face. In my head I blew up, thinking to myself WTF!!!!!! WHY HAS THIS KID BEEN IN MY CLASS FOR 6 MONTHS AND YOU HAVE NEVER TOLD ME THIS!!!!!! I have been thinking it was ADD, laziness, and/or poor home training. Now I need to readjust because punishing him with push ups just doesn't seem fair to me.

I plan to take my lunch hour today to research Aspergers and Autism and see if there is a way for me to adjust my teaching methods. This completely blindsided me, but I think it is a good opportunity to learn and grow as an instructor.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Race Report: Kerr Lake International Distance Triathlon

Usually when I write these I follow my day from beginning to end. This race report is a little different. I am starting with my overall thoughts, because for this race that is the most important part to me.

This is my longest race to date. My goal was to finish in under 3 hours, but I really wanted to be done in under 2:45. I finished in 2:46:22. I am VERY HAPPY with this. In fact, my REAL time may have been better as the RD was yelling at us when we got out of the lake that one of the buoys had drifted and we had probably swam even further. I think two of the buoys drifted, but more on that below. Also adding time included the pouring rain and stopping for extra fluids.

This race was a conquest. Simply completing was the goal. I could not be more happy. After I cooled down, I stretched and had a snack, then I checked the tentative results and was disappointed because I was 6 of 7 in my AG. This is when I decided to head back to camp to take everything down and pack up. CB was already starving and soaking wet from standing in the rain for several hours. After I got home I saw that the tentative results were only showing those who had finished at that time. I was actually 6 of 10 in my AG. This made me feel better.

I had been worried about my fitness compared to my peers going into this race. I had a hypothesis I based off of the first 10k I ran and I was hoping it would not be proven. When I ran my first 10k I had ran several 5k's  and just a month earlier had an AG 2nd place at one. I did not plan to place at a 10k, but thought I would hold my own. I ran it and ran HARD. I got back to be the next to last non-walker to finish. I was happy having completed it, but learned that everyone runs 5k's- children, grandmothers in wheel chairs, pregnant women pushing double strollers, etc. To run a 10k fast took a SIGNIFICANT jump in fitness and not everyone is ready to make that jump so those who do make a more serious field of competition. I was afraid this would be similar.

I was scared this would be the same, but i don't think it was. Despite so many of my competitors sporting their mdot tattoos, wearing their 70.3 race shirts, and racing in Ironman tri suits, I still finished 68th overall and less than 30 minutes behind the average time for the top 10 men. I know what needs improvement. I take this race as a MAJOR VICTORY.

OK, my filabuster aside here is how the day went:

Pre-Race: Our campsite had the nosiest frogs I have ever hear. CB and I struggled to sleep because of how loud they were. At 04:50 thunder and lightning started. At 05:30 it began to monsoon. I finally fell asleep and was awoken by the alarm at 06:00. The rain had stopped, I got up, had two homemade whole wheat pancakes with peanut butter and honey, then I drove to the race site to drop my bike and claim a good spot on the rack. I returned to shower, dress, and get CB. The hot water was not working so I brushed my teeth, washed my face, dressed and got CB.

Got back over there with 30 minutes until transition closed. I had a little more work to do than usual since I usually rig some of my stuff before I leave home (or the hotel). I set up, had a half banana and a gel. Then went to the water to warm up. I swam a bit and it was glorious. the water temperature was beautiful. The water was dark but had enough visibility to see just in in front of your hand when it is fully extended. I got out soaking wet, hugged CB (she was SO mad), and hung out by the starting corral.

Swim- 41:39
Grade C
I will admit upfront that this is the hardest endurance thing I have done to date! THIS KILLED ME! I can do 1500 meters in a pool in 30 minutes (sometimes more, sometimes less). Wanting to avoid the meat grinder for my first open water swim I placed myself in the back right and slowly entered the water to let the heard thin. This was not the best as I ended up behind the guys who intended to swim breast stroke the entire way. It was hard to get past them. Once passed them I started into my groove. Unfortunately, I could not see the buoys and would swim breast stroke myself every time I needed to look for them. I also would get startled every time someone would run into me and swim breast stroke for a few and then transition back. Honestly, I swam over 50% of this race in breast stroke. Once I would get back to front crawl I was actually more relaxed, but I could feel me legs falling underneath me.  At the halfway buoy lightning, thunder, pouring rain, and slight chop started. This continued to the end. The buoy at the first turn was off according to the race director, but when i made the final turn I noticed that I was not in line with the buoys leading to the swim finish. I think this one was off too. My garmin had a distance closer to 1.1. miles. I got out of the water and ran for tranistion, uphill a few hundred meters. I put my garmin on my wrist and my hear rate was 170.

I gave myself a pity C for this leg, similiar to when someone is failing a class but the teacher passes them because they tried hard and were active in class.

T1- 1:10
Grade- A-
Long for me, but good considering. I drank a quarter of a bottle of nuun, put my helmet on, drank another quarter, and left. Due to the rain I did not flying squirrel onto the bike, or so the kick-push mount. I simply ran out pulled to the side and got on. I was annoyed  by the people who STOPPED at the mount line to mount. If you stop AT the mount line I am standing behind you waiting to pass the line so I can mount.

Bike- My HR was still 170 and I needed to ride the first half under 144. I concentrated on spinning to get it down. I also already felt hungry. I wanted to save my 360 calories for the last 20 minutes so I grabbed my emergency gu pack and had a quick snack. By mile 3, I was spinning slow, being passed, and my heart rate was still at 165. It wasn't coming down. There was a pack of about 30 riders who went out in front of me and they were breaking away. At this point I made a decision- FUCK IT- Go get 'em! I worked up momentum, hit the big ring and started taking them down. Shortly after I started my attack there was a spot on the road where someone had spray painted GO FAST!!!- I loved it. By mile 10 there were only three left in front of me, and there were times I was going over 30 mph. I was taking in HEED every ten minutes as planned, but with the inreased exertion level only had a few sips left. Then the clouds parted and the sun shined down on the asphalt in front of where it read H20 ahead! PERFECTION. I missed the first one, but got the second one. First hand off ever! in the last half I slowed down but I maintained my speed at or over my planned average of 18.3. The last few miles contained a long, low grade climb that killed my speed. I had my fuels as planned and felt good. I had an average speed of over 20 mph. This is faster than any sprint I have ridden and twice as long. A for effort, a minus for not following my plan.

T2- 45 seconds
Grade- A
My shoes had puddles in them, it made me laugh.

Run- 49:46
Grade- B
This was an out and back, two loop course. I liked it because I knew what was coming at every point. They had water, heed, and ice. Ice was great for pouring down my suit. The rest was great too. My planned pace was 7:30. Off the bat I was running at 08:30 and struggling and I had to pee BAD. I planned to just be comfortable for the first half and push the last half.  The second half came and I was still struggling. I was keeping good form, arms pumping and standing up straight but it was labored. I was concentrating hard. I kept yelling at myself saying "this is a race, not a training run- PUSH! PUSH! PUSH" In the last mile I decided that every time my garmin pace alarm sounded, I would run fast for 10 strides. This worked to improve my average speed. At one point I ended up running next to another guy and he yelled at me for it, so I took off again. I dug deep for a final 50 meter charge.  It was slow, but I think that my fast bike split MORE than made up for it (by my math)

Post-race: I grabbed a water and went to float int he lake. Had half a bagel and was disappointed, this race advertised for the best post race food in the series. WHAT A LIE!

Post-post-race: We stopped for cheese steaks when we were done. Delicious. We got home and Cb made pizza for dinner. I ate half and felt like a bottomless pit.

I had a good time, a great race, a fun learning experience, and plan to use it all for improvement. Sights are now set on August.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Back to duty

Back from the race, unpacked, and the bike is sorta clean. No really, it was ridiculous how dirty it got from one race. Covered in sand and I am not even sure where the sand came from, plus it was covered in grease too. Grease in places that did not make sense, like the top tube and crank arms.

I will have a full race report Tuesday. I am now heading to bed (despite it only being 8 PM here) because I have to be at work at 0430 tomorrow. I get to play at the range with new assault rifles. YAY for blowing shit up with NATO 5.56 projectiles!

Today is the 365 day of existence of my blog. To celebrate I am going to host a contest and giveaway. I am going to be giving away a selection of home work out gear, to enter I want you to send me pictures of you home work space. More details to come, but as always with me- there will be twists.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I am excited and I can't sit still, so I'm blogging. Thank you everyone for the kind words and support.

Fyi- I brought whole wheat with pb and honey, plus a banana for breakfast. A gel for before the race. I have heed calories and 360 calories in hammer gel in flasks with a few drops of water. I also have a bottle of nuun , but more on that later. I also have two montana huckleberry gels in a flask for the run.

A few hiccups on the ride here, but <b> no worries</b>. I realized I forgot to put a cage my bike so my aerobottle is it! My plan was to take nuun as soon as I got on the bike and then use that bottle to refill. I will now stop and drink BEFORE I leave t1. I also got here and found my pump (not bike pump) didn't fit my air mattress. I've had it for 4 years and never used it. I went back into town and got a pump, I needed to get some dinner anyhow. Got back in and hunted the race site. I wanted to find my rack and scout the buoys. My rack is the second into transition from the swim. Score. Buoys were not up yet, but I did see it was a 200m run up a large pine straw hill to transition. I may leave my flip-flops out at the end. I really wanted to see how far 1500 would be- oh well.

My coach emailed me to remind me this is just a dress rehearsal for the usat championship qualifier in august.

I have fire lit, cb is making fun of me for blogging, time for smores, uno and sleep.

Can't wait for tomorrow!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


Packed and waiting to leave for Kerr Lake.

Packing for an overnight race has proven interesting the last two times. This time is even worse. Normally for a weekend, its bike, race bag, and a bag of clothes/toiletries between us. Since I don't like taking my wheel off before a race it limits space even more than a bike in general.

For this race I have all my camp stuff in an action packer, plus regular pillows (instead of my normal stuff sack w/ clothes), plus linens in another bag (I'm bringing an air mattress since I'm not backpacking why rough it), then it becomes a question of how to fit everything. I don't like anything hard near my bike and I don't want to get anything girly on it (or cb doesn't want bike grease on her bags). I put everything in with great care, but it never fails I bumped my pedals and dropped my chain.

Had a great swim yesterday. 1000m plus a few extra w/ fins. The guard said the temp was 86+. My wet suit hasn't got here yet, but the race director posted the water was 82 this morning. Don't need the wet suit but so much for 2 days shipping.

Off to the race!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, June 2, 2011

My new non-fitness related venture

For the third period in two years I have found myself playing with web design in my spare time. This time probably a little more in depth than the last two. I have been playing around with open source design software, searching for tutorials, getting deeper into coding, doing spec work and going through blogs and articles about freelancing.

While doing this I stumbled over a blog about how to become a freelancer in 31 days. I read over the site and started some notes in a notebook. I then decided I would treat it as an experiment and see where following the program gets me. As an experiment I decided to share my results of each step, much like a scientist with his findings.

I posted yesterday asking for tips on how to journal my work. Blogging came back as the answer. I took Mandy's tip and went with wordpress. I hated the dashboard and couldn't figure it out so I came back to blogger. I spent last night setting things up and writing my posts through the end of the week (can't work while I'm out of town to race). I looked ahead to next week's assignments and saw that several days are spent working on a wordpress portfolio, so today I worked on wordpress and got familiar. It seems some my issues were my theme. Personally, I find blogger more user friendly, but Wordpress more professional looking.

So before my wife even knows what I am up to, I unveil to you, my friends, The Freelance Experiment- Freelance or Failure.

I can't get the page tabs to change order, but the one entitled "The Experiment" explains the background some.

Since I am using open source web design programs, open source graphic design software, open source vector software and open source blogging, I enabled comments on wordpress so i could incorporate other's tweaks. It has the ability to be an open source business.

Note: this is not the project I was asking about mentoring for. That will hopefully come later.

Nervous Excitement, Peter Organics Winner

Nervous excitement, that is what I have today. It has been brewing all week. I am sure it will build further tomorrow. I really should take the day off work just to be focused. I know that sounds odd or like I have poor work ethic, but honestly when I get excited before a race I can't focus at work. Being at home lets me work out in the yard and get my mind off things. Being here in the office lets me obsess about details.

Wait, why am I excited? Three weeks ago I decided to change my race schedule to try to find more Sunday races in my series. This lets me work my part time and be able to afford some of my races. This Sunday, with only three weeks of thought going into it I have my first Olympic!

This will be my longest race to date. This will also be my first open water swim in a race.

Can you see why I might have nervous excitement. This is a big weekend for me. The upside is that it is not just general nervousness, but excitement.

The swim will be my biggest challenge. I have only done one open water swim, it was 4x100 and is sucked. That swim should be warmer as that swim was about 68 degrees and I was in a tri suit. My Sponsors at Synergy Sport have given me a great deal on a new wetsuit. I look forward to getting it today or tomorrow. It has a 5mm front and a 2 or 3mm back. This should help the shock of cold water as well as some extra buoyancy. The downside is that as I wrote the temp. above, I realized I should check the current temp. of the lake I will be swimming in. Yesterday's temp. was 86. Not only is that above, the cut off for awards, this is above the cut off for swimming with a wetsuit at all. Hopefully it will drop by then or my new suit will be moot and I will wish I had ordered a skinsuit instead (I almost did).

The next big question then becomes nutrition. During my long brick last week I combined gel every 45 minutes (I think) and water every 10. I will do this again. However, we decided to camp at the race site, it is a state park, so I am not sure how to do breakfast. I usually have toast, except I have no electric at the campsite and no toaster. After reading Jeff's race report and Mandy's race plan I am considering some sort of substitute like Ensure, paired with a sandwich. I am also considering taking something like an uncrustable on the bike, just in case I need a little extra.

Funny story- I wanted to stay at the same campground as the race site. I had to reserve a campsite and was scouring over all the course and park maps trying to figure out where would be closest to the race. After an hour of this, it hit me- screw closest to the race, at 0dark:30 I want to be closest to the shower!

Clearly, I have some directed nervousness at this point, I want it to get to race day so I can get it done, I want to be able say I've done it, move on to training for the USAT qualifier and have more confidence in my ability to do a 70.3 once I have this down. I have been discussing possibly doing REV3 in South Carolina with Cb, but it's a question of how to afford it. We are still working out the details for REDMAN as that will be an ORDEAL.

In the end, wet suit in transit, registered for race, campsite reserved, tonight after my workotu and working on my new project I will go into the attic to grab the tent and stuff.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

More Thinking.........

I am once again reaching out to my peers for a suggestion. I am about to embark on a new project/experiment. It is completely non-fitness and dieting related.

I have been working on this project for the last two days and want to document and share my results. As it doesn't seem to fit here I don't want to use this space to document it.

Everything keeps coming back to starting another blog, but i want to avoid that as I have this one already, plus my other one I update once every 6 months (it was intended for once a week, hows that working for me?).

I searched around facebook thinking they might have a blog type feature and didn't find one. Any suggestions on how to do such a task via any venue?

Sadly, this experiment is creative in nature so i feel sheepish asking for brainstorming help as it seems paradoxical. How am I going to succeed on a creative project when i am not creative enough to figure out how to document it?

After thought: If I decide to go with a blog I then consider if i stay with blogger for this one or do i mix it up and move over to wordpress, just for the experience?

Out with the old, In with the new