Thursday, October 27, 2011

Have You Seen My was here somewhere..probably with my keys.

As the end of October approaches I am already firmly in the grips of the winter doldrums.  I really thought a short rest from training would do me good and I would be in the mood to hit it like never before. Unfortunately the only thing I have been hitting like never before is the all you can eat buffets.  Really..actually ate at the Chinese Super Buffet.  I had no idea the Chinese ate so many fried foods.  Fried and breaded sweet potatoes, donuts, chicken mcnuggets.  I am surprised that China does not have more of an obesity problem.  I have also gone out the last few weekends to enjoy the Brewers, Badgers and Packers with my rowdy friends that I have not hung out with for six months. (A shout out to my boys Jeff and Scott and badger girls Kelley (and whatever your boyfriend's name was) and Jenn..and of course my designated driver, wingman and caretaker Kristine). Needless to say this involved partaking in alcohol and fried foods. (mmm. cheese curds)   In the last six months before my Ironman race I ate pretty good and did not drink at all.  The night of the Badger/Nebraska game I drank six months of fruity drinks.  I decided to do the rainbow by doing one drink of every color.. long island iced tea (brown) Blue Hawaiin (blue) Some sort of red fruity drink(red), screw driver(orange), grasshopper(green) girl scout cookie (green again), purple people eater (purple), axe murderer (red again)  all topped of with an Irish Car Bomb. Needless to say I felt less than stellar..but the Badgers did win.  I also apparently came down with a case of food poisoning that night and next day since I just really did not feel well.. of course sleeping on a tile floor curled up in a ball did not help either. So the fruity drinks are out of the system now..both figuratively and literally and I will not need to have one of those again for a year.  Some how I have also put on weight.  As of today I am up 11 lbs from 9-11-11. A magnificent 215 on the scale.

Worse yet the motivation to work out has just not been there.  I think partly because the triathlon season is over and I have no goal staring me in the face.  Another is that the group rides and workouts are also pretty much over for the season.  I think I am much more of a team sport guy then an individual sport enthusiast.  This may be part of my midwestern upbringing where team sports are popular and hanging out after the game is even more popular.  I started playing volleyball again which is fun..and much less of a strain on my knees since losing my weight.  I am also contemplating joining a soccer league ( a sport I have never played before) just because of the camaraderie.  Triathlon is an individual sport for the most part but I always try to have a training partner or partners. For me being part of a team is huge.  When I mountain biked in the midwest it was always a group Colorado you see a lot of solo mountain bikers. I have half-joked with my coach that we need to get team kits so we can be identified as a unit. ( Honey Badgers  ..Because Honey Badgers don't care...Honey Badgers are Bad Ass.)  For some reason it is much more fun and satisfying to me to accomplish something as a team rather than an individual.

I have also soured on the sport of triathlon a bit.  I have met a lot of great people while doing triathlons..but I have also met a lot of complete d-bags.  I think for some reason the individual sports seem to attract a larger number of anti-social, self centered, arrogant individuals that do not mesh well with my personality.  And in my opinion, the proportion of these d-bags increases as their eliteness increases (or more likely their perceived eliteness).  Yes I know that this is a gross generalization and some of the elite athletes I have met are some of the most wonderful people I know..but I am just going off my experience.

Unfortunately I meet the guy in the video above on a lot of my rides and it really ticks me off and adds to my "experience" database.

So I am done whining now.  I need to get back on the horse. My run fitness has nose-dived, I think I remember how to swim and unbelievably my bike fitness still seems to be ok.  My plan of attack for the next month is to set my race goals, get back on track nutritionally and schedule my workouts as I would meetings so I don't miss any more.

I was able to have a great ride last weekend with my coach Sonja (one of the truly wonderful elite athletes that I have met) and a few of the ponies in her stable.  The ride made me remember how much I actually do like the sport and the majority of the people in it that I have met.  I will also be reading the blogs of my online buddies to help me keep motivated. (You can too..they are listed on the side bar).  Hope everyone is well and keeps moving forward.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Year In Review

Ok..not quite a year but close enough.  I was disappointed not finishing IMMOO 2011 and thus have decided to look at the bright side of things. In 2010 I finished a sprint triathlon in Maple Grove Minnesota. The Dare to Tri race is in Maple Grove (obviously) and 2010 was the inaugural race. It was fantastic.  There is a sprint and olympic distance and in 2011 they partnered with Tristar 111 and added a completely different race distance. A 1 km swim, 100 km bike and 10k run. Macca raced the event this year and said he would be back in 2012.  I really want to do this race but it is only 3 weeks out from Ironman Wisconsin. If you ever get the chance to sign up for the race you should do so. It is a blast and the little engraving your finishing medal onsite with your time are awesome.

Anyway I did the race in August 2010 and looked back at how I progressed in 13 months.  At Maple Grove I had to swim a little over 500 yards.  I averaged 2:30 per 100 yards and at IMMOO I averaged under 2:00 per 100 over 2.4 miles (4100 yards).  I averaged a little over 15 miles an hour on the bike for the sprint IMMOO with quite a bit more elevation gain I averaged 14.5 mph over 112 miles.  Not the greatest speed but I was pleased.  At Racine I averaged over 16 mph over 56 miles.  Lastly, I walked/ran the 3 miles in the sprint and averaged a little under 12:00 minute miles.  During training for IMMOO I was running 12 -13 minute miles over 13 miles.  I think my fitness improved significantly.  One huge improvement was in my quad, hamstring and hip strength from the training. I have been dealing with issues related to my knee surgery in 1998 since..well 1998.  My right leg has been significantly weaker than the left ever since the surgery..often times causing me to run in circles. I saw my PT Joy last week and she said the strength I had gained was incredible and it is by far the best she has seen my leg in the three years she has known me.  By the way if anyone in the Denver area needs the best Physical Therapist around for athletes Joy is the one to see at University of Colorado Sports Medicine.  She knows her stuff, is an athletic trainer also and can deal with head cases (she has dealt with me for a number of years).  Also I think the photos below show that I lost a little bit of weight. (Amazingly enough I am wearing the same tri shorts in each picture - spandex is truly a miracle fabric)

the original fat boy (233)
new and improved 203 (down from 242)

I have learned quite a bit in the last year. From learning how to swim efficiently with total immersion, train while still having a family life from my coach Suzanne at Steel City Endurance, to how to pee on the bike.  Unfortunately I was never able to practice this in real life since I was never hydrated enough to actually need to go..but I did get advice from some of the best.   I also met a number of wonderful people..from those I shared some training time with (Doreen, Kelli 1, Kelli 2, Angela), to fellow racers in Racine like Doug from Marshfield, and elite triathletes..Go Sonja!!! - who as I write this is only a few hours removed from finishing the Ironman World Championship in Kona in 10:08:44. 

Lastly it has been great getting into a healthy lifestyle and sharing the sport with my family and friends. My sister-in-law Adrianne finished her second tri at Maple Grove this year PRing..and my wife Kristine is now firmly into the lifestyle and will probably be beating my butt in the near future. My soon to turn 4 year old daughter now gets off her bike and then wants to run after she goes through transition.  She also says "on your left" when she passes people on the walking path.  Finishing IMMOO 2012 is the goal for this next year but like this year I think the journey with my family and friends will be the real reward.