Thursday, May 31, 2012

One of those Days!

This was one of those weird training days!  Last night I had a water ski show and we skied really well for the second show of the summer.  I was excited about that and took a while to calm down.  I went to bed about 11:00 knowing I was to get up at 4:30 and run with the CRAZIES!  However, when the alarm went off, I heard the rain drops and decided I would sleep and get some rest.  I needed it as I slept in till 8:00, that is unheard of from me.
It rained most of the day here so I decided I would head to the Y and get some weights in.  I did chest and shoulders.  i was fairly happy with the weights I lifted but definitely realized that I need more of this.
When I came home, the kids were still lounging around and watching TV, I curled up with the youngest and fell back asleep.  I know, Tough day!  Rain was still coming down so I opted to clean my garage a little bit, it has been driving me nuts.
I finally finished the garage and decided that this was enough procrastination and I needed to get my six miles in.  As I was starting, I was thinking tempo run.  During the first three miles, I would have quit running if I was not 3 miles from home.  My gut was killing me for some reason and I just did not feel good.  As the title says, one of those days.  However, even feeling like crap, i knew I still had somewhat of a tempo run going.  At about 3 1/2 miles I decided I needed to suck it up and get after it.  It also helped that I had a tail wind for the last three miles.  Even feeling bad i was able to get this tempo run done. My splits were 8:13, 7:55, 7:43, 7:33, 7:21, 6:58 and 6:32 for the last .31.  Once I made up my mind, I knew I could do this.  Running solo and waiting till the mid afternoon made me second guess myself, but was able to mentally dig through this run.

After I got home, I decided that I would go ahead and get my bike over with as well.  It was going to be today or tomorrow and I had time so I went for it.  I put the bike on the trainer because I did not want to bundle up and head out on the roads.  I decided to make this just a base milage ride.  Once I got warmed up, my legs just wanted to go.  It was kind of crazy because I thought I would struggle for sure.  The more I rode, the better the legs started to feel.  Before I knew it, I had hit 15 miles in under 30 minutes.  I was trying to keep my cadence above 80 and that was no problem, I should have went for 90.  I rode for 46 minutes and some change and felt really good the entire time, getting 25 miles in.

For starting out as a not so good training day, I have changed that around and feel pretty good about what I ACCOMPLISHED today.  I gave my body some needed rest this morning and I need to remember that, rest is oh so important, especially since I am adding all the skiing in the mix too!  Now it is on to Sports Fans for some yummy food!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Backwater Gamblers First Show Tonight and Some good training this week!

This week has been a tough one.  Trying to juggle all the end of the school year needs, getting some quality training in, and getting ready for the first BWG Ski show of the  year.  Been pretty busy every morning working out and skiing every night practically.  Thursday was windy so opted out of skiing and got some much needed rest!

TONIGHT, if you don't have plans, come on out and see the Backwater Gamblers Perform.  It should be a fun and entertaining show this year.  We ski tomorrow as well.  All shows will start at 6:30.

Todays ride was going to be the first for Aaron M. and his new Cervalo P1, but it ended shortly with a flat tire.  Felt bad because I knew he was pretty excited about this.  Luckily we got him back to the house and I am in huge hope that the bike shop will get him righted this afternoon.
After we got Aaron back, I took off on Forrest Grove Rd. and had a decent 25 mile ride today.  Little further than I normally  go but felt good so I went with it.   I rode to PV JR. High and back, something I have not done.  Humid but good ride today.

I am looking forward to a good week of training ahead.  I plan on getting some quality miles in the pool and road, both biking and running.  I will also be adding some weight training in this week to help improve my overall game.  I would like to get the weights in about two to three times a week.  Should be good!

Another good report is that the road rash from last weeks race is starting to heal up.  The hip and elbow were pretty sore most of the week but I think I have them under control as long as I don't rip them open bare footing!

I am excited for the week to see what I CAN accomplish without having to work.  I AM expecting some big things!!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

WOW, What a week of Turn Around!

It is really hard to even think about where to begin on this post? I think in my best interest, I will start with my family!  A big THANK YOU to my wife Mary and my girls for putting up with all my training hours and time away from them.  I appreciate your patience!  Next, I will thank all my training groups, especially all my LIVE UNCOMMON teammates!  You are AWESOME, your words of wisdom and advice is much appreciated.  When my training doesn't give me the results I like, you are always there to let me know, I am on the right track.  Last week, I did not live up to my expectations, but you were there to let me know to train through it and get back at it.  I went from being pretty confident in my training, to a low that I had not expected and now with all your help, I am back with confidence, with the understanding I still have a lot of room to improve!

This past weekend, we traveled to Ogden, Iowa to compete in the Bluff Creek Triathlon.  Live Uncommon teammates Josiah Campbell, Aaron Mauer and Jeff Paul traveled on Saturday to prepare for the race.  We met close friend and training partner Brian Tritt up there as well.  For Josiah, Aaron and myself, this was going to be our first Tri!  Poor Jeff had to endure all of our newbie questions for the weekend.  It was an interesting ride up there to say the least, some drivers need to be examined.  We picked up our packets and went to Pizza Ranch for a good pre-race meal. It was pretty darn good.  Jeff may disagree with me, he can explain that!!!

I stuck to my new motto after last week, Expect Nothing, Gain Everything this past weekend.  I have come to the conclusion, I am training pretty well.  I have not had a past history of failing to train correctly.  I went into Sunday's race knowing, I have trained right, I know what I am capable of, therefore, I CAN do it!  I went with that and had fun.  My first triathlon was an awesome experience. I could not have laid it out any better.

THE SWIM- This was going to be the toughest challenge, just getting out of the water in a decent time. The start was new too, 50 people all running to get the best position possible.  I felt like a Salmon trying to swim up river. It was a bit hectic, but I remember some sound advice I been given the night before, Just keep swimming.  I stuck to my guns and just kept swimming!  Before long I was in the clear, not to many people around.  I was nice and relaxed and sighting was not a big problem.  I was surprised, the first time I truly sighted the turn, I was only about 30 yards away.  At that time I caught on to another swimming and drafted on his feet.  Just like that, I was out of the water.  In previous open water swim, I had a little trouble coming out of the water with a bit of dizziness, this time I had none!  I made it out of the water in 9:57 and was pleased with that.

T1 - This first transition went pretty smooth, considering the long run up the hill.  I didn't have to much trouble getting ready.  I had everything laid out pretty well.  Preparing certainly helps!

THE BIKE - The first part of the bike was a little hectic, trying to calm my heart rate down after the swim and just relaxing into the ride.   Everything was going well.  At about six and half miles, I had the unexpected happen.  I was transitioning from my upright position to  my aero bars.  A gust of wind hit me and blew my right onto the shoulder.  I had a started to panic a little, thinking my tires were going to pop.  As I tried to get back on the road....BAM, I was on my left side skidding across the pavement. Somehow when I came to a stop, I popped right back to my feet.  My right foot never unclipped. Everything seemed to be alright, with the exception of some road rash (pictures below). As I started to pedal, my chain had come about half off, but luckily my crank caught the chain, brought it back over the sprocket and I was off again. One funny thought I had after getting going...I could feel my left cheek and the burn.  I was thinking, I hope my pants are not ripped and my whole butt is not hanging out!  Funny the thoughts you have? Thankfully and luckily only a couple of people I had just passed came by.  I was able to pass them again.  At the turn around, I got a huge boost, the wind was at my back.  My mile pace picked up by over a minute.   I felt like I was just flying.  With about a mile left, my bike started to get a little loose on me.  I thought maybe my speed and the grooves in the road were causing this.  I made it back to the transition  and my time was about two minutes better than I thought.  I finished the 15 mile ride in 43.33.  After the race was over and I checked my bike out, my back tired was flat!  I must have punctured a small hole on my wreck.  I got LUCKY!!!  What is that saying...Got to be lucky to be good sometimes!

 My left leg, left cheek, left elbow!

THE RUN - The run started a little shaky, it took my legs a little bit to get going.  The first part of the run was slightly uphill.  Once I go to the flat, I had got my heart rate calmed and was moving pretty decent.  The entire course had a few more hills than expected but was not to bad.  I just settled into a nice rhythm and cruised in.  The run was much better than I thought it would be, I actually enjoyed the run.  I think I could push a little harder on that next time.  But this was a learning experience and I enjoyed every bit of it.  I finished the run in 22:18.

After seeing my finish time, I was pretty happy.  I finished with a time of 1:17.40.  I am not sure on my overall place, but this put me in first in the Sprint Clydesdale division.  I was very happy with my time, I was hoping I could finish under 1:30 so this is good. During the awards ceremony, the Live Uncommon team members of Josiah, Jeff, Aaron and myself lit up the awards stands!  Aaron won the Olympic Clydesdale, Josiah took 3rd in the Sprint Clydesdale, and Jeff won the overall Olympic Race.   What a great feeling coming out of the weekend with all these people who have worked their tails off  and earning their hardware.  Great job to you guys, way to finish!

I would be lying if I did not say I am pretty excited about the Quad City Tri...however, I have a lot more training to do.  I want to improve in a few areas.  Their are some differences in distance so again, I will go into the race not expecting much but having fun.

Some of the Live Uncommon member sporting some of their bling! (Sorry Jeff, they did not give him a medal, I did not get  a picture of him!)

 After last weekend, I was not sure where I stood with my training.  A week ago, I was down in the dumps having a little pity party for myself.  Actually the pity party was kind of the heeling process for me.  With the good people I have surrounded myself with, they helped pick up the pieces, got me fired back up.  I am very happy I made the choice to get back at it and so quickly!  I can't thank my friends and family enough.  I do know I CAN conquer fears and disappointments by getting out there and getting after it.  My first triathlon was a super experience for me.  Not just for my time or earning a medal (although it helps), but for the experience.  Many people out there trying to fit and make a difference in our world.  Not to mention spending the weekend with some good people.  I think I have rambled enough!

Get out their and see what you CAN do today, that you thought you couldn't do yesterday!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Unbelievably Frustrating!

Today, I feel like I have wasted four months of training!  I know that is not true but hard not to feel that way after the Half Yesterday.  Totally blew it!  Two weeks ago, I ran this same course nice and leisurely and ran it 8 minutes faster than yesterday.  I handled it pretty well yesterday, but today it has set it.  I am not a runner by trade, it has taken a lot for me to come to actually like running and do it because I enjoy it. I really put a lot of time and effort into this half and it feels like within minutes, my hopes of a PR dashed away and everything I worked for is gone.

As I write this, I can see all kinds of responses coming back, not really looking for that, this is more a way for me to vent. Sorry, I don't want to sound like an ass, but this how I deal with being frustrated.  I need to get this out of my system fast.  I am working on that part as I am writing.

I think my problem was my eating last week.  I think I ate too clean, if that is possible?  I believe I may have consumed to much protein and not enough carbs to fuel my body.  I just feel like I ran completely out of gas yesterday.  At about mile 7, I got the feeling I normally get around mile 10/11.  In the case of feeling it at 10 or 11, I normally can push through it.  Not yesterday.   I made it to about 10.5 and hit the BRICK wall.  My stomach started to cramp, heart rate was way up.  I am not exactly sure what happened but that is my guess, needed more fuel in the reserve.

The most frustrating part of the whole thing is the work I put in and the doubt that it has left me.  Did I train right, what was the cause, lot of questions.

So, with that said, it is time to saddle up, get back on the horse and ride.  It may try and buck me again, but I will beat it (not the horse) this time.  I have to overcome my mental state and stay positive.  The half is over and past.  I will race again this weekend in my first triathlon.  I am not going to worry about time.  In fact, I may not even take a watch with me, still contemplating that.  I am just going to go out and do my thing!

I am happy to say I did get out of bed this morning and get in the pool.  I seriously thought about saying "screw it" and sleeping but I am glad I got up and swam a mile.  I will get on the bike tonight and try and hammer out some miles.  We will see how my quads feel.

On the last note, if you have made it this far and listened to me wine....I have to give a HUGE shout out to all my Live Uncommon team members.  You ALL rock!  All of you who cruised to PR's yesterday and encouraged me along, I do appreciate it and it means a lot!  

I feel better after my vent, I WILL get back after this training.  I know I am better than how I performed yesterday.  I CAN beat the mind games and WILL at being the BEST I CAN be!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Toughest Week Ahead!

Really a pretty good quality week of training for me.   I feel like I got everything I needed out of the week.  As I prepare for my upcoming events, I believe I am mentally and physically ready for the challenges that lie ahead.  This week was pretty normal in training except on Wednesday I had to head indoors to the "DREADMILL" to do a track work out.  Not particularly fond of the treadmills in the first place but to spend my biggest track workout to date on one, was not my ideal workout.
For the treadmill I was scheduled to do 10 x 800's.  I knew I was going to be solo with this, so I had mentally prepared to handle this.  I went to the track first and lightning detoured my workout to the Y.  I got in and signed up a treadmill.  Normally when I go to the Y, knowing I am going to be on a treadmill, I will wear a long sleeve shirt to save on the sweat spray that comes from me.  I am a sweaty pig when I workout.  This time I had on short sleeve and the treadmills next to me paid for it.  Sweat was dripping from the treadmill, it was on the two treadmills next to me, it was on the belt, puddled in the cup holders.  Pretty disgusting!  I know it is but, it makes me think I am working hard!  Anyway, I got started on the workout and successfully nailed 10, 800s all between 3:06 and 3:12.  After number 10, I decided, what the heck, I will do one more for good measure.  I ended with 11 x 800's and 9.5 miles in 15 minutes.   Even though I had to head inside due to weather, I felt like I had a pretty good work out!

On Thursday night I was lucky enough to get outside and try my new Xterra wetsuit out.  I literally got it out of the mail and headed to the lake.  This was a brand new experience, open water, it is a bit different.  My swim was fine, I will be ok with that part.  However, I had a bit of equilibrium problem when I made it back to shore.  I would get a bit dizzy when I stand up and it goes away fairly quick but hope it does not cause to man y problems.  Secondly, I had a pretty good run that morning and my legs cramped on me several times.  I know that won't continue to happen on race day because I know I will be ready.

Today I was able to get my last big workout in before the taper starts this week.  I was able to get 20 miles on the bike using the spinervals dvd I have and jumped off and headed out for five miles on the road.  My legs really responded well today.  It did not take long to get them back on the run.  My transition was a bit longer than I like as I had to wait for the GPS to kick in on my watch.  I felt pretty good most of the run.  I saw Jon Byrne at about mile two, nice little inspirational hello from him helped me dig a little deeper!  After my run, off to practice for the Backwater Gamblers Show Ski Team, gonna be a great year for that too!

With a big week of 100 plus miles behind me, this will be my most challenging week.  Taper week!  I know it is much needed but I don't like them, feel like I am slacking.  I have my first half marathon of the year on Sunday the 13th.  Tuesday will be my last longer miles and then it will be nice and light from their on out.  5 days of resting?  That will be weird, I have not had a day of rest since April 20.  Hopefully this will make me nice and fresh for the race day.  I am pretty excited to race next weekend.  After a quick recovery on Sunday, I need to get right back at it for a couple days because my very First triathlon at Bluff Creek Tri is one week later.  I am really excited for that.  I will have some really good people doing that with me, should be a ton of fun!
So this week will be a challenge to cut back and hold my energy for race weekend!  I know I CAN do this, way to much training now to have any doubts!

P.S.  Backwater Gamblers Season has started, first show is May 27!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Rain, Rain, Go Away! Tough Week!

This has been a pretty good training week so far!  However, this weather is tough to be motivated in!  Ran is such a relaxing sound it is hard to get out of bed in the mornings!  So far this week, I have been able to get a lot done, even though we are half way through the week.
On Monday I was able to get a good swim in and do my Spinervals DVD on the bike.  I was pretty happy with my bike, as I have not been able to do that workout in a while.  I was thinking it might be a little tougher.  Mentally it reassured me that I have been doing something right with my training.  I still have a couple more rides to get in this week as well as a good swim tonight too!
Running yesterday with the Crazies was a great run.  Nice and easy, never felt labored and my legs felt pretty good coming off a late bike ride Monday night.  Today, I knew, was going to be a mentally tough day for me.  I was supposed to do my final Yasso workout until after the half marathon.  The workout called for 10 x 800's!  Last week I cleared the hurdle of 8 so this week was one more mental challenge.  As i got out of bed this morning, lightning was coming, I could see it in the distance.  I headed out to the track anyway.  I got there and got a lap in and the lightning continued.  As I looked around, all I could see was METAL BLEACHERS and something clicked in my head, "this is not a good scenario!  I had hyped my self up for this and my only other choice was to head to the Y and get on the Dreadmill to do this!  I was really not excited, in fact almost mad that I had to go inside to do these.  I was on my own (Although I know Katie was thinking about running these while getting some rest! HA HA)  Finally I got going on the treadmill with the 800's.  I felt like I was in a Matrix full of numbers.  Trying to keep track of my laps on my watch, keeping track of the .5 miles on the treadmill and making sure my recovery time was correct.  After all was said and done, I finished up with 10 x 800's.  As I was getting the recovery time in, I thought, I feel good, I am going to do one more for good measure. Why?  I have no idea, something about doing 11 seemed intriguing, no idea why, but I did.  I finished with a .5 cool down that ended with me doing 9.5 miles and 11 x 800's.     Even having to get off the treadmill once to resign up for the treadmill because the Y only lets you sign up in 30 minute increments.  I think I might have given John Byrne a run for his money on making the treadmill an absolute disaster with sweat, It was dripping off the treadmill, on the treadmills next to me, everywhere!  Overall, I was pretty happy with this workout, even thought I spent over an hour on the treadmill!  My splits for the 11 x 800's were as follows: 3:09, 3:11, 3:08, 3:09, 3:09, 3:11, 3:07, 3:06, 3:07, 3:08, 3:06.  These are fairly consistent, but found it really hard to stay more consistent on the treadmill.  Still pretty solid for me.
I only have about five more days of hard training before the taper for the half marathon.  I am looking forward to seeing how the two week adventure of back to back races will go for me.  Mentally, I have put myself in a good spot with plans  all laid out and physically, I am ready.
I will set out to prove I CAN do this and get my PR in the half!
From here on out, mentally I CAN beat any obstacle that steps in my path!