Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cheat Meal? I wish!!!

As a runner that is wanting needing to lose about 10 lbs, I have really been focusing on my diet. Right now I am about 193 lbs, and I should be around 183, so I can either lose weight or I can focus on being a Clydesdale next year when I take on Brad D at Redman (might make it fair huh?) Just today in my Triathlete magazine it had an article that says when someone loses 10 lbs, they can expect  their marathon time to be 10 minutes faster!! (At least that is how I read it, I did not read the whole article, just the chart to the side) So that told me I was in the right mindset.

Dieting is hard.

Eating right is harder.

During the week I feel I do better than the weekend. My wife usually cooks fairly healthy meals for us, so I can only blame her for the 10 lbs I picked up. Just kidding. The weekend is usually where I stumble. (Sidenote: while laying here in bed typing this, she literally just offered me a piece of Belgium chocolate!  No lie!!) So anyways, as I was saying, the weekend is tough for me. It is easier to eat out, their are usually donuts at church, I work in the yard so I feel I can justify it, and I could go on and on.

So eating right is tough and I know about cheat meals. In fact, I support cheat meals, and maybe even cheat days, but I had a cheat weekend last weekend! My wife and kids were out of town, so I was a bachelor all weekend. And, I ate like a bachelor! I went to the store and here was what I bought (and I am not proud of this!) I bought steak sauce, Fruity Pebbles, Double Stuff Oreos, cream cheese (for a dip I love), tortilla chips, a 6 pack of Reese's peanut butter cups and a Dr. pepper 2 liter.

So this weekend I ate steak or cereal for meals and I had Oreos, Reese's, ice cream and chips and dip for snacks.

There, I feel better that it is out, so now that the food is gone, or close to being gone, I can get back on track!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

2 Signs I am Training Again

I almost hate to type this for fear of the dreaded jinx, but I can say I am back in training mode. It is very evident to me when this occurs. I mean, I have been running some, but I honestly can't say it was training. So what is the difference you may ask? Well, there are two definite signs with me that tells me I am training again.

A #1 guard to the dome!

Yes, a haircut. I like to have my hair short. I like a #1 guard. This means I do not have to worry about my hair. It dries faster. I do not have to use "product". It is cooler and another very important reason is this, really short hair makes me feel faster.

Now I have never really had long hair like you might think, but lately, it has been longer than it has been in years. I even went to a barber to get it cut a couple of times, yeah I spent money on a haircut. Now I really did enjoy the hair washing that came with the cut, but I always felt weird. So the other night, I buzzed it short. Now for reason #2...

Early morning runs!

Now this has nothing to do with a late night Taco Bell run. This has everything to do with getting my butt up for bed and getting out. There is something special to me about getting up to train. I have said it before, but rising early to train makes me feel like this is something I want more than just running when I feel like it. And I think that is important for me. I have not been "wanting it" lately.

Having not raced a lick this year has had an effect on me and I admit I have missed it. So I am ready, and I want a new PR. That is my goal, and I have a plan. I will not be doing any triathlons this year, just run races, and I am actually excited about it!!

So let's go running...

Sunday, July 20, 2014

MY 1st DNS

Saturday I was registered to run the Mighty Mite Sprint Triathlon in Forest City, AR. This is a really great race and one thing that sets it apart from other races around here is that it is a point to point race. Meaning that you swim to the bike, you ride the bike to the next transition and then finish, so you never come back to the same transition area.

So fees were paid and plans were made. In all honesty, I was not as prepared for the race as I should have been, but I was still anxious to see how I would do. This was going to be my 1st race since Redman 140.6, so I was intrigued. My bride also had signed up since she was coming off her first ever sprint triathlon in May. We were both looking forward to racing on July 19, 2014.

But we forgot one thing...

If you read Daily Trainings much, then you know I have three boys. A 14 yr old, a 13 yr old and a 5 yr old. So we are always involved in something it seems and normally we do a great job about scheduling around the boys stuff, but this time we failed somehow. Our older boys had been planning to go a the church Summer Music Missions Project (SMMP)for months. They were heading to New York for a week! A great opportunity. Well for some reason, one we can't figure out how we missed it, they were required to be at the church at 11 AM. Our race started at 8 AM and was a minimum of an hour drive (if all went well). This meant there was absolutely no way for us to race and make it back to them in time. So I recorded my very first DNS of my triathlon career.

So I admit, it kind of bummed me out most of the day. I really did not want to dwell on it, cause what my boys had going on was way more important and I wanted them to know I supported them, so I would have made the same choice every time. But it was weird, and stupid me, I went to the website to look through the results and hated, HATED seeing my name with no times. It was embarrassing because they had my team's name out to the side of all those zeroes!

So what did I do?

I went for a run that afternoon and started focusing on whatever is next. I know I have a half marathon I am signed up for in Dec, but nothing else, so I am thinking that I am really going to work on my running for the remainder of 2014 and then 2015 will beat the year a I crush Brad's dreams at Redman when we go head to head. So maybe me missing this race is a good thing, it has just added to me resting up and preparing for next year!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

3 Things of Many Topics...

I know it has been awhile since my last post, but things have been busy. There are a lot of things I could write about. I could tell you about our wonderful vacation in Florida that we had as a family, or I could tell you about our mini van blowing a transmission on the drive home from said vacation and how we had to purchase a new car in Byron GA in order to get home. I could write about those things, but I am not going too. Not because they aren't worth writing about, but because this is a blog about training and racing, and I really have not been doing either one consistently very much. So instead of talking about the above things, I want to write about 3 things:

1. Mighty Mite Triathlon
2. Women's Run Walk Group of Memphis
3. St Jude Marathon

1. The Mighty Mite triathlon is a great race I have done many times, and it is alot of fun. I had actually signed me and my wife up to race this on July 19th and paid the registration fees. I was a little worried about the bike course, but felt confident about the swim and the run. We also had made travel arrangements since it is about an hour away, we were going to ride with a another Warriors teammate. So I had decided that I was racing this race for fun, not time. Well last night, my wife and I realized that our boys were leaving on a church trip that leaves on July 19 at 11 AM! (I thought they left on Sunday) There is no way that we can get to the race site, run the race and get back in time to get them to the bus. They (my boys) have been so busy this summer that I feel like I have not seen them much and I just can't make a case for me not being there when they leave for New York. So Mighty Mite, enjoy our race fees and my wife and I learned a valuable lesson about scheduling.

2. Every summer, the Memphis Runner Track Club puts on a running clinic for women. They train for 8 weeks and then have a graduation 5K race. My wife has advance from the beginners class to the advance class this year and always enjoys this group. In the past she has always thought that I should help coach but I was always training for something and it never worked out, until this year. So I am assisting with the Intermediate 1 group this year. I am really looking forward to see how this group works so I can take somethings back to the groups I lead at church.

2A. One of the other coaches in the group was someone I thought I knew, so I finally asked her name and once she said it, I instantly knew her from her blog. I met Cecilia from Mommiesrun.com I found this blog when looking for local races around Memphis. It was cool cause she also read my blog. It is really kind of weird to meet people that you do not know that actually read what you write!

3. St. Jude Marathon, or the Half marathon, cause that is the race I am doing. I feel like due to my lack of racing this year, that I should really focus on this race and really go for that PR. My half marathon PR is 1:56, which is respectable, but with a flat course, and let's face it, I should be well rested, why not shoot for that PR. A 1:40 would feel really good. I have never run the half course before so it will be something new for me. I need something to focus on. I am still planning on doing a 140.6 in 2015 and I know my run sucks, so I need to run it.

So there ya go, three short topics for one read. I really plan on blogging more in the future, but it has been crazy with work lately, I am actually having to work all day! LOL

Monday, June 23, 2014

What Does Vacation Mean to You?

I can guarantee when the word vacation is mentioned, meaning people are thinking about relaxing on the beach, drinking beverages and eating lots of food. I would even bet that many people expect to gain weight while on vacation and do not really think twice about it. Well, I have a different take on vacation.

To me, it means long runs on the beach. It also means long swims in an outdoor pool or better yet, the ocean. It means eating fresh food, straight out of the ocean and it also means drinking lots of water and Gatorade. You see, that is my mindset for the next 2 weeks while on vacation in Florida. And I can't wait to get it started.

See we left Memphis Saturday afternoon after we ran a 5K race that morning. We drove to Macon, Georgia or about 7 hours and then we got up and drove the rest of the way to the beach Sunday. Monday was a sleep in day (and I sort of tweaked my back loading the van), but the rest of the days are going to involve running on the beach and swimming.

I am normally not a huge fan of swimming in the ocean, but being able to swim and swim and swim without turning around at the wall is going to be awesome. I have my GPS packed so I should be able to get a good distance marker measured. I would like to run one day and swim the next and just alternate this daily. And I think I will. Plus I should be able to work on my tan while I am doing it.

To me, this is a vacation. No work to get in the way and no fast food, cause there really isn't anything close by! Win/Win/Win!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Flabby Armed Spanking Machine...

I feel ya K-Man!

I have to admit, it is tougher and tougher to get to the pool these days and to get a single lane because there is more and more going on! Swimming lessons are starting and swim team is happening all the time, I used to be able to expect my own lane at the pool, but it is no guarantee any more.

I know part of the issue is this. I am not getting up as early to swim as I was when I was training for Ironman. Swimming a max distance of 1500 yards is so much easier to work in than say 4000 yds! So I have been enjoying my sheets alot more than in the past. It seems that during the school year, I always have a lane to myself on the morning. Now that it is summer time, they have the younger swim team practice in the morning and the older swim team practice in the afternoon (after work), and nothing sucks quite as bad as getting hosed by a 10 yr old in the pool. I try to tell myself "he's resting after every lap", but in all honesty, he is probably swimming alot more laps than I am. Then I tell myself that I would totally whoop him in open water, which may or may not be true (I know I'd get that little sucker on the bike though)

I have tried going during lunch, but then you battle swimming lessons. Now the swimmers don't take up a lot of lanes, but the parents all sitting around the pool kinda weird me out. They sit there reading magazines or something and in walks a 40 something year old dude to swim. Kinda weird...

But the worst group are the people I affectionately call the "floaters". You know these people right? About 70 years old, bathing suit from the 60s and they hog an entire lane floating along going the speed of melted cheese?? God Bless them for exercising, but c'mon man! Then you have the old lady group that does the water aerobics who want to complain about the water temperature everyday. Again, Bless them for getting some exercise, but do they have to act like they own the pool?

I guess I should be grateful that my workouts are shorter and do not take me as long to do, but I sure do not remember these issues last season.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

EnergyBits Review and Giveaway

So I tried a new nutritional product this week that I want to share with you. I will say this, it was not what I expected when I got the sample and checked it out. I was expecting something more along the lines of a 'chomp", and what I got was so not like a chomp, it was better!! Let me explain.

About a week ago I got a tweet from Energybits asking if I would like a free sample of their product. I guess they know I am a sucker for free product that I said yeah, I will even do a review on my blog about them! It was a match, I sent them my address and waited for the delivery.

So once my package arrived int he mail, I immediately opened it. It contained two plastic packages and a lot of information. Here is the first thing I looked at and read.
found on the Internet

So my first thoughts on this product were:

1. Man, that's a lot of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and I am not sure what they do!
2. 100% Spirulina, which I had no idea what that is
3. Dosage: 30-40 tablets before a workout. Say what????
4. Algae? it's algae???

Now I will admit, three of these four four things gave me pause. SO I had to keep reading to find out exactly what this stuff is.

From the information provided:
"ENERGYbits have the highest concentration of protein in the world and deliver a steady stream of energy all without sugar, caffeine, chemicals or stomach distress" ENERGYbits are the only protein in the world that also contain natural antioxidants and Omega 3 which reduce muscle inflammation, iron which prevents fatigue, chlorophyll which builds the immune system and electrolytes which replenish mineral imbalances, all for just one calorie per tab. No other protein offers all this.

Sounds good so far, now what is this algae stuff?

Algae is a food, not a supplement. FACT THAT I DID NOT KNOW!
ALGAE is a crop that is grown, like all other foods found in Nature! BOOM FACT DELIVERED!
Supplements are made in a lab, Algae is not. BOOM ANOTHER FACT!

"Taking ENERGYbits is the nutritional equivalent of having a great night sleep, a natural cleansing and an invigorating workout all at the same time" So, I decided it was worth a try...

My Thoughts:

When I first opened the package, there were a lot of tablets in that package. Knowing I was suppose to swallow them all at once was concerning, plus it did not smell that great. I really thought about only taking a few of the tablets, but I did manage to take all the dosage at once (OK, in three drinks). They really went down very easy and I did not taste them, so I can't report on that. So I went for a run and felt great. I came home and mowed the yard and felt great. I never got that 2 P.M. "James needs a nap" feeling. I also noticed that I did not have that "snacky" feeling all day, but one of the most important things was that I never had any stomach issues or burp issues (which I kind of expected) and we all know that this is very important to endurance athletes! So what is my overall opinion of ENERGYbits?

Run went well
No stomach issues
Felt energetic all day
No crash late in the day

Dosage amount
Cost ($115 for 1000 bits)

I am probably not doing this justice, but it is definitely a product I would recommend. So one lucky Daily Trainings reader can win their own sample of ENERGYbits. (Unfortunately it is only open to the U.S.A.) And I am going to make it easy for you. Here are the requirements to enter yourself in the drawing. 1. Leave a comment 2.Become a follower (If you already are a follower, just mention it) So two ways to enter. The winner will be announced on Monday.

ENERGYbits are only available at ENERGYbits.com, and Jonathan (their Community Manager) has shared with me that he'd be happy to connect anyone with a current ambassador to share a discount on a bag of bits, or more info on their sample program - you can email him at jlevitt@energybits.com ENERGYbits has also generously is giving a 10% discount for Daily Trainings followers. Simply type in the word "BLOG" into the coupon box!!!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Why Do I Blog? For a SUB 1:20!!!!!

Why do I blog?

I ask myself this occasionally whenever it has been awhile since I last posted. Do I blog so that I can let more people like I have a "FaceBook" life? (You know, a life where I always tell you the good things in my life or the things I am doing that are great but try to downplay it)Do I do it for web hits and comments? I admit that in the beginning, I was all about post views and how many comments a post got. The more comments, the better I was. But lately, things have changed and I think I am blogging for a totally unrelated reason.

Now do not get me wrong, I like knowing that people are actually reading this blog, it still surprises me actually. I also do like to hear peoples thoughts on my posts as long as they agree with me. But lately, this blog is not really aimed at getting likes or posts or whatever. It is more about keeping myself motivated, which as you know has been an issue for me.

It seems that every time I come to this blog, I end up leaving more motivated than before. It is a place where I can bang out my thoughts (I am a horrible typer or typist, I don't know). Sometimes it does give me inspiration to read all the misspelled words I am putting out there for all to see. It is an accountability thing as well.

Because I know that if you stumbled on to Daily Trainings, then you are or have gone through some of the same things I am talking about. You most likely have had the same struggles as me, the same disappointments, missed as many workouts or just did not feel like working out, or even wondered if you could really accomplish the task before you. Or, Or if you have not gone through these obstacles, I bet you will.

For me it is sometimes about answering my own problems. It seems alittle weird to call them problems, cause in the grand scheme of things, these don't really matter, but we all have issues and hangups and we all have funks. I know that this blog is all about staying out of my funk and moving forward because I know someone will read it. It may just be my mom, but I know someone will read these words. And I know it is good to give myself a kick in the butt occasionally and maybe someone else will get that same kick.

Now I got to go swim. I have a race I signed up for and I would like to hit a PR. I am racing the Mighty Mite Sprint Triathlon on July 18. (1/3 mile swim, 13 mile bike, 3 mile run) This is the 1st sprint distance I have done in over 2 years, all my other races have been Oly to HIM to IM, so I would really like a good showing. My previous PR on this course is 1:20:44 set in 2009 (wow, that will be tough) So that is my goal, SUB 1:20!!! There I put it out there.

P.S. Stay tuned for a product review coming soon and giveaway!!!!!!!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

I Asked Myself 3 Questions...

Last year at this time, I was only thinking about heading to Ironman. Everything revolved around Ironman. Right now though, I am having a hard time focusing on a sprint triathlon, and this has me confused.
Maybe it is normal to go through an "Ironman funk". Maybe I am a one timer, I am not sure. All I know is that even though I want to S/B/R, I am having a hard time training, or more like a hard time getting excited about training. I really thought that last weekend would jump start me!

The Memphis in May triathlon was last weekend. Normally I do the Olympic race, I have for 4 of the last 5 years. It is a great race and normally it is the one race to do around Memphis. Everyone is there, and it is a good measure of where you stand in the tri community here in Memphis IMO. I choose not to race, partly because my wife was doing her first sprint race and I wanted to be there to support her and make it here weekend since she has been to many of my races waiting at the finish line! And the other part was that I just could not get excited about training.

Is it normal after a 140.6 to have the mindset of not be able to get excited about a 3.1 mile run?

I really expected me to get back into "it" after MIM and being around the atmosphere and seeing my bride do so well in her first race but I am still fizzling. So I had to ask myself some questions to find out what's up!

Question 1: Do I still want to race?Answer: Yeah I do. I like racing, I love racing. I still have visions of me crossing the finish line, and I still want to get my second 140.6 under my belt!

Question 2: Is it a weight issue?Answer: I know I have put on weight, but it is muscle. I have been working with a trainer for the last 14 weeks. I know I gained 3 pounds of lean muscle and my bidt fat is at 14%. My core is stronger than ever, so it is not a question of being in shape.

Question 3: Why don't you sign up for a race? That is motivation right?
Answer: Yeah, I'm right. That is what I always tell people also. Sign up for a race, pay the money and then you will do it! So I am committing to doing the Mighty Mite Sprint Triathlon in July.

Maybe this is just a down year for me, a year for me to just be, and then to come back strong in 2015! I don't know. I know Goosepond HIM is definitely not a definite race anymore. More to come on this I am sure, but right now I need to get registered for Mighty Mite and go back and see what my old times are and see if I can beat that. I have no doubt in my mind that I can cover the distances now, because I have been training, but man, is it tough to get out there.

So tell me all you Ironman finishers, did you have a "funk" afterwards? And if so, how do you shake it??

Friday, May 16, 2014

If ‘If’s and ‘Buts’ Were Candy and Nuts, We’d All be Triathletes!

I am sure you will soon realize by the proper grammar skills and correct spelling of all the words that I did not write this post. Today's post is from my bride, who is competing in her 1st triathlon on Saturday. Here are her thoughts as she prepares to race this Saturday at the Memphis in May Sprint Triathlon.

So I am finally putting to rest all of those “ifs” and “buts” that prevented me from taking the plunge into triathlons, as in, “if I had more time” or “but I’m not sure I could actually do it.” Now, I’m ready to attempt my first “real” triathlon, Memphis in May sprint, this Saturday. So how the heck did I end up here?

I can only assume( as I usually do) that this is actually all my husband’s fault. Watching him over the years competing in triathlons of all distances – sprint, Olympic, 70.3, and even an Ironman - it was probably inevitable that I would finally bite the proverbial bullet.

Around the time he got serious about triathlons again, we welcomed our third son. So there was no hurry for me to train for my own races. I was more than content to be the cheerleader, child wrangler, and masseuse. I especially enjoyed the venue at Memphis in May because there is a great pool right along the race course. Our 3 boys and I would watch the swim, cheer James on at transition, get in the pool while he was on the bike course, get out and cheer him on at the finish. It’s pretty spectator/kid-friendly.

Maybe I entertained the idea of being out there on the course myself. It did seem like such a rush to cross that finish line. I wondered if I had what it took to do one, but I wasn’t really a runner and the only biking I did was trudging around on my mountain bike with my youngest on front.

But, about 4 years ago, I started running. I've never enjoyed running in any way except for the sprinting we did in 6th grade for the Presidential fitness awards. That I could do. However, Memphis has an amazing running program for women every summer at Shelby Farms, one of my favorite places in Memphis. Hundreds of women participate and it’s broken down into nice categories based on experience. I started with a group of hopeful beginners and surprised myself by enjoying the freedom to head out on Monday nights starting in July and run with other women. I was hooked. I could actually run. I’ve been back every year since and keep moving up a level.

Then I asked for and received a road bike for Christmas. Before that, my biking had pretty much be limited to riding my youngest son on the front of my mountain bike and tootling around. Once I got my new road bike out on the Greenline and rode it, well, I felt a huge sense of freedom. 

And then, there is the swim. I’ve always been a decent swimmer. I was raised by a mother who body-surfed in the ocean when she was eight months pregnant with me. To teach us to swim, she let go of us in the water as toddlers. It was sink or swim, literally. My only concern is that I'm the type of swimmer who doesn't even like to share a lane. Swimming in the open water where it's inevitable to get bumped is going to freak me out a bit. 

I’m Guessing Stopping to Comb my Hair in Transition Would be Frowned on?

So the disciplines were coming together. Then came Valentine’s Day. My darling husband gave me a training plan as a gift. (Crazy, huh?)  And, I was actually excited about it. (Even crazier!) Being able to see in each little square what training I should do each day made me feel like I could give it a go.
The past few months of training have been interesting. I’ve learned that it’s true that we make time for what’s important to us. I’ve always been impressed by James’ ability to balance training and having an engaged family life. Since that often meant getting up at 5 in the morning while training for his 140.6, I could hardly complain about fitting in a 2-mile run.

That’s not to say I didn’t have to be creative. I do still have a 5-year-old at home. So on Mondays, a swim day, I would take Jesse to the Rec. Center with me. He'd go to the childcare while I did an hour of weight-training. Then, I’d swim my laps. After that I’d go get Jesse and we would splash around and swim for a bit. It was a three hour process, but I will never forget having that time with my son.

Other days, I’d wait until my older boys got home from school and then go do my run while they could watch Jesse. If I took Jesse with me on my runs, he’d ride his bike. Once it took us an hour and a half to do 2 miles! We did stop to play on the playground and throw rocks in the creek. Sometimes you have to adapt.
I’ve learned that training can be fun. It’s made me order my days differently trying to fit a specific workout in. For example, I happen to teach a college class at a community college right near our city’s greenline, a 7 mile paved trail. This semester, after I gave my final exam, I  celebrated by changing into my bike kit and hitting the greenline for a refreshing 11 mile ride. (Usually, I reward myself with something like a Gigi’s cupcake and running home to watch a DVRed Sherlock Holmes  before I have to pick my youngest  up from Mother’s Day Out.) Guess which one I now prefer.

I’ve also learned that training makes me feel like a badass, especially wearing my team’s kit. It may sound a little odd to already be part of a racing team when I haven’t proven myself. But, the team I am on is about much more than races. It’s about people, specifically being an encouragement to people with cancer. If you follow this blog, you’ve surely seen James post about Jessica Hambrick who with her husband, James, founded the team GI Jess’s Warriors for a Cause. Even though Jessica entered eternity a month ago, her spirit and her vision and her compassion will live on through this team. She was such an encouragement to so many triathletes and Christians and cancer fighters.

A few weeks ago, the team met at Jessica’s parents’ house to make a plan to go forward. It was there that I bought my Warriors tri top.  Putting it on for the first time made me feel like a triathlete. And wearing it to train as I see people watching me run or bike makes me feel so inspired to represent this team well. I feel like I belong.

And I vow to remember that when the doubt and worry creeps in. The “Can I do this?” “What was I thinking?”  “Can people tell I’m a newbie?” voices will be drowned out by the “Warrior Up” yell I know Jessica would give me. I will!