Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Creative Help Needed

Again using this medium as a springboard for figuring out life-

I need help giving my newest clsss a names. At this time I am calling it RUN.JUMP.KICK.

The class is a children's fitness class with a karate base. Think boot camp meets Aerobic Kickboxing. Push ups, sit ups, and a lot of bag and pad work. No traditional lining up and punching from horse stance.

If someone supplies a name I like better there may be a prize.
Thank you everyone for the help.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sorting things out Volume I

“We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”
-Tyler Durden

Have you ever had so many things on your mind you didn't know where to start? Or so many topics you don't know which to write about?

Than is how I feel today. I was thinking about fitness, sorting life out, figuring out how to plan, making that plan, a product review, and more.

I could not decide where to start and I feel like I have many meaningful things to say and I know that if I take one road and not another I will forget. I remembered that I had seen a quote yesterday (above) and saved it in blogger. I decided to start I would go back the the saved post and just go from there.

 That quote is one of many from the movie Fight Club that resonates with me. I remember being raised with elementary teachers and my mom and other adults telling me I could be anything I want to be when I grow up. THAT SHIT IS A LIE!

There are several thing that never get said to young children or even older children.
1- You may pick a career you don't have the aptitude for.
2- You may pick a career you don't fully understand and once you pursue it and learn the ins and outs its a little harder to turn back and decide again.
3- You may pick a career that isn't suited for your personality.
4- Sometimes your life leads you down a road that prevent a career before you even know it.
5-You may pick a career that DOES work out with all of the above but by the time you are entering the "real world" we will have no idea about the economy so we don't know if that will be an option.

I will case study myself. Go figure. I remember when I was young I was aked by my mother what I wanted to be when I grew up. I remember standing in the hallway outside of my room in the house where we lived at the time and telling her either a preacher, or a fighter pilot, or a cowboy.

I had a love for jets as a kid so I was probably thinking about one of my many toys when I gave that answer. The truth that no one would have told me at that age is that that is a highly competitive field because they aren't that many jobs available. Next, to be competitive you have to have a lot of things going right for you and many of those skills are learned when young. Honestly it was about that time that I went off track. I speak about this particular job with good understanding as one of my two best friends from high school and my high school girl friend both did puruse this job for the Air Force, they both did ALL of the right things. In the end neither of them got it. Kera is a navigator and Nick is a pilot but of a KC-130 not a F-15 as he had dreamed. They both love what they do, but no one told them of the possible limitations when they were young. Of course as they got older they knew about the obstacles, but luckily it wasn't too late.

I think I answered preacher because my mom would like that answer. That one would work for most of my listed prereq's except that I really don't like people, CB says I have no emotions, and by the time I was older I had some interesting beliefs about organized religion. I am still religious, but don't agree with a lot of what I see or get told. This would probably be a problem for seminary.

Last in terms of being a cowboy my life had placed me in an urban area so training for that career wasn't an option.

I think its odd that I was never told these intricate details about career paths. I understand that at six decisions will change so it may not be worth getting into the details too deeply, but I think you see my point.

I grew up wanting to be a helicopter pilot from 3rd or 4th grade on. On my own I did the research, I knew I would need a college degree to fly for the military. I knew my estranged grandfather was an engineer and was successful so I figured that I would be one too. I even took two engineering classes in high school. At the time it seemed to make sense. When I was a senior in high school I started struggling with math; not because it was hard, but because I got bored too easily. It got worse in college, I was diagnosed with ADHD (I have since been told I do not have ADHD, but something else). I knew the military did not like to accept people taking vitamin r, as they called it, so I decided not be medicated. Without medication  the classes were too much so I changed my major to something with less math- Criminal Justice. I pursued this and did well in my classes, then the year before graduating I was told by a recruiter that because I had been diagnosed with asthma I could not join the military. This crashed everything down and I had to reevaluate.

This is an example of  how effect being whatever you want to be. I could even go on from there to what led me to my current career location.

Next week I turn 28 and I still have no idea where I want to be and what I want to do when I grow up. I guess the next few steps will be trying to decide where I want to be and how to get there.

Any suggestion for finding new directions?

The Winds of Change

This blog has gone through some changes over the last year . It started out as a place to for my to track my day to day battle with weight loss, to find support, and to have accountability.

After a few months it became my own personal beginner triathlete forum where I got support for racing and training. Over the last few months between my personal life and my training it has become sporadic posts with whats been up and monthly race reports.

I have been trying to make some changes in my life and career since May and the end of my "official" and planned season brings an increase in time to train the rest of my life. I enjoy my training. Exercise has always made me happy- before I was ever on the high school track team, before college summers spent running 10 milers, before now; I used to just go run when I was upset or overwhelmed. Today, my training in part still does that. When doing any other swim workout other than a long swim, I think about nothing but swimming. When I run my mind becomes cleared off all external stresses. When I am on long rides I often zone out and pray. The only problem with this is upon my return I am catapulted back into real life. Sometimes it feels like being slammed into a wall upon my return.

I have decided to put concentrated work into training the rest of my life. I am sure it is clear through some of my posts that I battle with depression from time to time, sometimes very deep. It is spawned by long term effects of events in my life. I am going to TRY to take charge of these things and make changes.

If I was able to take charge of my health and fitness I feel I should be able to take charge of this too. I am planning to begin using this blog as a medium for brainstorming and hopefully to get feedback from my fitness friends. I have no real friends here in my area as all I have done since moving here is go to work. My work tends toward being filled with people who want to have misery for their own company; I do not want to speak to them about many of these topics. I feel that having a Jedi council of the bloggers I have had some my longer relationships with will be of great help. I know that this direction will lose followers and also attract some negative feedback from those who do not understand what I have gone through or agree with the changes I want to make. I thank all of my true friends for the feedback in advance.

I realized that much of my personal turmoil stem from my career and the life style it forced. The truth is I hate working for with inmates and I loathe the criminal justice system. When I was in school all of the CSI shows  made everything look so sexy. Truth is it is not, and it a very small percentage of people who get the really cool jobs and I have come to the conclusion most of the people in these positions probably had some combination of upper middle class up bringing, a special skill, political or family connections, and good credit. Unlike TV ex-strippers and ex-cons do not get these jobs.

I have been reading many lifestyle and business blogs lately, many of them very extreme, and am going to try my hand at some of their concepts. It is my goal to be content with 90% of my life.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Lake Logan International Distance Triathlon

This was a great weekend and a great race. CB an I had plans to stay at a favorite hotel near our old alma mater. It would have been about an hour past the race site, but we though it would be worth it to stay in our favorite room. However, the good rooms were booked (why stay in a riverside hotel in western NC if you can only get a room with a parking lot view?) so Thursday I had the epiphany and started looking for a cabin rental closer to the race. This was a little daunting since it is summer vacation season, but none the less I found one and at got it reserved at the last minute. Quaint two bedroom cabin for $129 a night right on a creek. Having the kitchen really made pre and post race dieting even easier.

This being my second oly in a row I am really starting to enjoy this distance. Short enough to hammer, but long enough to enjoy my time on the course. I say this as opposed to a sprint where when I finish it seems like I just started. Plus a short sprint has 4 times the prep time (travel, warm up, set up, etc.) on race weekend than I actually spend racing. Olympic distance seems to have a better return on the time investment. What is even better is that this race was a great benchmark. Not only was it my largest race to date, but it was a serious step up in competition. Interesting enough was that it was not the normal competition for this serious, since this was a qualifier for US Age Group National Championships it brought out a higher level of athlete- I didn't see a single mountain bike or cruiser on this race. There were even several members of US Pro Tri and some other pros. The race winner finished in 1:50 just five minutes faster than Andy Potts at the Philadelphia Triathlon.

My overall time was 2:42:02. This is a 4 minute 20 second improvement on my first race and I feel this was a more difficult course.

The Swim 35:33 Grade A
AG 16 of 21
This was a large improvement over last time. The wetsuit helps, but I also think the improvement in form, as well as the confidence building and sighting practice from open water swim class made a great deal of difference. I swam crawl the entire way with the exception of four misplaced frog kicks. Sighting was great. I was directly on line the entire time. This is the only time I have second thought about racing. It is during the swim I consider why I am doing this or consider quitting. In fact it is during the swim I think about a lot of things, such as my rescue squad, past role models, the rest of the race, swim class; I have a lot of time on my hands. I enjoyed this swim much more, but it was still tough.

Once you grabbed the dock and hoisted yourself out of the water it was a long run to transition and then it was an equal distance to my rack. I started off in a jog, got my wetsuit half off, goggles and cap off then by the time I was actually in transition I had to walk because I was still gassed from the swim. This was my first time taking a wetsuit off in a race. This is not easy, but I didn't have any real problems. Once you leave transition there was a 50 meter gravel road you had to run to get to the mount line so I elected to put my shoes on in transition adding a little more time. They had set up a grass lane after we left for the swim, I might not have done that had I known.
Bike 1:13:09 Grade A-
AG 16 of 21
This course was not the flat course they advertised. It wasn't awful, but I wouldn't call it flat, maybe rolling except for a few serious climbs. I kept a 22 mph average speed until mile 17 where I started to bonk. I got it back up to 20 mph until mile 24 where the last climb slowed me to an average speed of 19 mph for the bike leg. Although I was going faster than my last oly, I was passed like I was sitting still several times. I got chicked a few times too :).  As always the climbs were my strong point and this is where I passed. Even on the last climb that killed me I was still passing people. I was doing it while sitting and spinning and getting "eat shit and die" looks from the guys stand up mashing. Overall, I probably should have gone a little easier to save it for the run. This course also reminded me I want to change to a double from my triple.

In and out, except I left my bike shoes on coming in thinking about the gravel road.

Run 50:25 Grade A-
AG 13 of 21
I realized on my way out I forgot my Garmin. I decided at this point to push, but have fun. I probably would have pushed harder had I had it. In the first mile me and another guy were almost next to each other so we decided to embrace it and run next to each other. We encouraged each other and cheer for others. We were both cussing the lie of a flat run course. It was three miles uphill and then three mile back down. In fact according to map my ride it was about 500 feet of elevation gain over the 3 miles to the turn around. My new partner and I decided once we hit the turn around we would hit the gas- and we did. Taking our 8:45 pace to closer to 7:30. Shortly after the turn around I noticed two blister one on top and one underneath my left foot- I kept pushing. At mile 5 I got a cramp and had to slow down till it passed. Once it was gone I hit the gas again and took down two guys in my age group I saw. I tried to push as hard as I could until the end. Sadly it wasn't hard enough for a pukie.

Overall, I was 15 of 21 in my age group, 149 overall of the 400 finishers (oddly this event was sold out at over 700, supposedly over 900 athletes with relay members, I don't know what happened to all of them ???). I thought I would fare better given the level of competition at previous races, but I did not do as well as I had hoped. I am still HAPPY and had a GREAT time!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Down to the short rows.

Almost anyone raised in the rural south or a part of the south that was formerly rural knows this saying, however I am curious to know if the saying is known throughout other parts of the country.

It is hump day in the last week of my official tri season. This morning was another open water swim class and then a 3 mile recovery run. I had a short brake then some power work on the trainer for 4 minutes (tabata). Tomorrow will be my last official training day and then Saturday I will be racing at my region's USAT age group qualifier- Lake Logan International Distance Triathlon.

I have a funny feeling about this race. With nearly 1000 athletes it is my largest race to date. I feel under-trained and do not feel I will do as well as I would like. However, I am very relaxed and do not feel very competitive. I am looking forward to going out and enjoying the race and the weekend overall.

If I didn't feel under-trained maybe I would feel more competitive. For several weeks I have actually been leading the series field in points but was sadly dethroned this weekend. My series used the same formula as USAT for races and while I average about 7200 points on a sprint and 7500 on an oly, the guy who dethroned me is getting over 9000 a race on a sprint. He is much faster than me and clearly deserves top spot.

After this Saturday things will change. I am looking at changing my off season training. I will put a large amount of focus on my swim. I also am going to experiment with an unconventional training program and may resume terrible Tuesdays.

Except for one 5k the race calender is clear. I am looking at a few possible marathons and if possible may sneak in another tri from my series to see if I can up the points by getting a higher point race than my first one.