Monday, June 15, 2015

DAY 15 of the Streak...


Yes, I am 15 days into the streak and I thought I would give an update on how it is going. Before I started the streak, I posted on the BT forum that I was going to start streaking and asked if people had done one and if so, what did they get out of it. Most people seemed to be worried about injuries more than anything else. Some were concerned about burning out and some thought a streak was a great way to have active recovery. Well, after 15 days, here is what I think about it.

I am actually enjoying the streak. I admit it has been tough some days to work it in, because I am also sticking to my sprint triathlon training plan, which looks like this now (7 days run, 2 days swim, 3 days bike). On the days where my plan does not have me running, I am still running a 1.1 mile course around my house. So in the first 15 days of June, I have already covered 26 miles running!

I will admit, that some mornings it is tough to get up and run, but other days I feel awesome running to the pool, swimming and running home. My 1.1 mile run is usually taking me less than 10 minutes, so it is really more of a scheduling process than anything to get it in and get to work on time. I am really aiming at getting through June.

I also agree with the group on the BT forums about the 1.1 mile run being a great way to recover and loosen up those legs after a tough workout. My 1.1 mile runs are never meant to be fast, but I am finding that I am running them faster than when I began, and I am not even trying to run them fast. Go figure!

Another benefit I am seeing (along with some watching what I am eating) is the fact that I am losing weight. I am down to 188 lbs. Early in the year I was pushing 200 pounds, which was not good for my knees! So now I am comfortable running without a shirt, and believe me in Memphis, it gets hot and humid! It was almost 80 degrees the other morning here.

I said shirtless! I'm not totally streaking!

Will I continue the streak after June? I am not sure, but so far it has been fun and it has brought back the joy of running for me.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Run streak? 1 mile a Day

So my bride and I have decided that we are going to do a challenge in the month of June. We have both agreed to run at least a mile a day during June. I am going to be doing this in additional to my preparation for the Mighty Mite triathlon in July. I am doing this for two reasons.

Reason 1: My run sucks in triathlons. I know this, and if you have read this blog long enough, then you know it also.  I always tell people that if you want to swim/bike/run better, then you need to swim/bike/run more. So why not take my own advice? Because it might actually work??? I am putting my money where my mouth is. So everyday in June, I am doing at least a mile. Somedays it will be longer, if that is what my plan dictates, but regardless of it, I am running.


Reason 2: Vanity. I need to lose about 5lbs. I am already down about 6 or 7lbs, but another 5 will get me back in the 180s. This will make a difference on the knees and get me back where I want to be (plus we are heading to the beach in late June).

So why is my wife doing this with me? She is a good accountability partner for me. Many times she is the one that gets me out doing things when I do not want too, so I know this will benefit us both. We have talked about other people doing running streaks and figured we should give it a try as well, even while on vacation at the beach. Who knows, it may last longer than 30 days!

Started June 1st
Weight 190lbs

 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Memphis in May Sprint Tri Race Report

It has been a while since I had raced a sprint race, actually it had been 3 years since I have done this distance so I was really looking forward to this race. Another reason I was looking forward to this race was because it would be the first time I got the chance to race alongside my bride, and a third reason I was looking forward to this race was that a lot of my friends were doing this race as their first triathlon! So it was a big day for all!

To bad the weather decided to make this day a lot harder than it needed to be. It rained ya'll!  Hard. The day before and even into race morning, it was a mess. The expo tent was ankle deep water and honestly, it would have been very easy to say "forget it". I have raced in the rain before and I hated it! Thank God for radar apps on the iPhone! We were checking it  often waiting for the rain to move out, which it finally did. We were then able to get our transition areas setup and get in the water for a swim. I was mulling over the decision of whether or not to wear a wetsuit because they said the water was 75 degrees at race time and I leaned more to the short swim vs. time to take off wetsuit and decided to go without the wetsuit, which  in hindsight was the right decision for me. It started raining once again once we started to line up for the race and I was shivering, I couldn't wait to get into the water. So, with no further delay, let's get into the race itself:

Swim: 13:57

Finally a race picture I like!
The swim was a basic triangle shaped swim that was said to measure 580 yards. We all started on a time trial start going off every 3 seconds. The line moved pretty fast and before I knew it I was jumping between people that were walking and wading into the swim. I felt very little bumping heading towards the first buoy and was doing OK. It was a little tough to sight due to the weather conditions and I brought the wrong goggles. I meant to bring my clear lenses but for some reason, they did not make the trip. As I got to the first green buoy, there was a lot of bumping. It was awesome! We all made it around the buoy and started heading for the next green buoy. There was about 8-10 of us I am guessing that were all in a group. Out of nowhere, I see a canoe near me and someone yelling, so I stop to see what's up and they are yelling that we are suppose to go around the orange buoy before hitting the next green one! So I make a 90 degree turn and head back to the buoy!  I know!  What was I thinking? I should have just kept swimming. This really cost me some time and added an additional 100 yards or so to my swim. I was very upset at myself for messing up the swim. I just did what I could and I knew my time was going to suck. As I was running up the ramp, a friend of mine yelled that my wife was about 10 seconds ahead of me! My reply was "you kidding me?" and he assured me she was already in transition. Now, my wife is a strong swimmer, but I had a good minute or two on her and while she might beat me in a pool swim, I am more at ease in open water, so yeah, I was surprised. It was only later that I found out my swim time and it was no where close to the 10-11 minute time I was expecting. Swim pace: 2:23/100
 
T1: 1:06

Knowing that I was already behind my expectations, I think I had one of my fastest transitions ever. I was slamming things down and getting out of there. I really wanted to beat my wife out of T1, which I did because she opted to wear the wetsuit.

Bike: 39:34

After the crappy swim, I decided I needed to crush the bike, so I went out harder than normal. I knew it might affect my run, but I did not care. I was able to pass a ton of people and felt fast! I stayed in aero a lot. The roads were wet with some flowing water going all the way across the roads, wasn't an issue but it made me nervous. My max speed got up to 27 mph and I tried to hang on to top speed as long as I could. I averaged 18.2, which I was happy with. I felt good on the bike, I felt fast.

T2: 1:30

My feet were so wet from all the water on the road that I had trouble slipping my feet out of my shoes as I was riding in, so I just kicked out of my pedals and ran it in my bike shoes to rack my bike. I had my shoes tied up in bag incase it rained some more and I had trouble getting my shoes out. I made a bonehead decision to go without socks on the run. My thinking was that my feet were already so wet that shoes probably would give me an issue for the 3 mile run. Yes, this will come into play shortly.

Run: 29:42

Yeah, I can't believe I was under 30 minutes either. This run was tough because (1. I was undertrained and (2. I made the bonehead call to run without socks. My watch never picked up after T2 and that messed with my head also. The 1st turnaround seemed really close and I thought that was a good thing, but since I did not know the run course well, I did not know about a 2nd turnaround point. After the 2nd turnaround point, it was much hillier and my feet were blistering up pretty good, so yeah I was hating life. I think the one thing that turned my attitude around was that I was talking to someone along the course, telling them about my bad swim and how I went harder on the bike, they simply said, "those are over, run this race". True words indeed. I knew I needed to suck it up and finish strong, so I quit worrying about the other legs and hit the levy and ran it home.

Finish time: 1:25:52

All in all, it was not a bad overall time, it was only a few minutes off my sprint PR time. Yes, I wish I had a better swim, and yes I wish I had worn socks on the run, and yes, I wish it had been dryer, but that's the way it goes sometimes. That is what is great about triathlon, you never get what you expect and then sometimes it works out better. I expected to do better, but I was right on the mark of where I wanted to finish. I also found joy in doing sprint races. It doesn't have to be long races anymore for me to feel like a triathlete.

Another win for me was racing with my wife. She always has a big smile on her face when she hits that finish line and truly looks like she is having a great time. Sometimes I wish I had that joy of finishing rather than the disgust of missing a buoy!

And Congrats to my friends who did their first triathlon!  Jay, Jason, Philip and Dwight!  Proud of you guys and I hope you enjoyed the sport as much as I do, and I must warn you, my journey started with a sprint race...just say'n.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Opps, I Did It Again...

I have a race in 4 days, a sprint triathlon and I am not trained for it. This is starting to become a habit for me and it's a bummer. Things were going well on the whole training aspect until we moved, then it broke up a little bit and now I am here with a nasty head cold that leaves me only wanting to go to bed. I am suppose to be jumping in a lake in an hour to get in an open water swim, but I am not sure that being sick and jumping into a 65 degree lake is the smartest thing to do!



So I know I am not trained for this race, but the odd thing is this. I still feel like I can go out and hit a 1:25 for the sprint. A 580 yard swim should be around 10-11 minutes, a 13 mile ride conservatively should be 45 minutes (that's based on my trainer rides) and a 3 mile run, even giving myself 30 minutes, this all equals a 1:25 minus transition times. IS that so far fetched??  I'm not sure honestly.

Like I have said, I have not done this distance in a really long time. It should be fun. Yes, It should be fun, and I am sure I am going to get smoked because there are always really fast people at this race, but I could careless (yeah, I know, it means I still care by caring less, blah, blah, blah) This race is about me (and my wife and my friends doing their first triathlon). SO whether I smoke it it sludge through it, I am gonna have fun.

***Side note*** I have found the perfect weight loss plan for me. It 's called "Not eating on the new white sofa" plan. Seriously, since we got the new couch (see previous post) we have rules about eating on it. And apparently I am too lazy to get up and stand in the kitchen to eat a snack vs. taking it back to the couch to eat that I choose not to eat anything at all! I am down to 191 lbs! (And it ain't from training either) Maybe all these experts are right about diet!






Monday, May 4, 2015

Let's Get Caught Up...

Every time that I try to commit to blogging more, it seems that commitment has the opposite effect to my blogging! All though, in my defense, I have had a lot going on and I am going to share today! Here are the top things going on m=in my life and why I have not blogged in awhile.

  1. We moved! My family moved to a new house in late April. We added a couple of bedrooms, a dining room, pantry and more space. We are loving it! It already feels like home to me, now if I can just get rid of all the boxes!
  2. We got a new King size bed and I am loving it! It is so comfortable. I can't wait to go to bed at night to sleep!
  3. We also got a new couch which is also very comfortable! See pics below.
  4. My son Jared was in a school play and my wife was the "play mom", so they were out of pocket practicing everyday for awhile, so it was just me and my two boys most evenings. The play was excellent and of course my son did a great job!
  5. Birthdays! In the past 2 weeks, my son Jared, my mom, my niece and my grandmother all had birthdays in April! Crazy huh?
  6. NBA Playoffs are on!  I love the Playoffs! I only wish my Grizzlies could get past the Warriors!
  7. Ceiling fans! I have been hanging ceiling fans in my house with the help of my new neighbor! I am not a handyman, so I have needed the extra knowledge to get this done.

So I have my first sprint triathlon in about 11 days from now. I am worried about how I will do. I have not been hitting my workouts like I should have and I have been blaming the move. Whether or not that is a legitimate excuse, it is what it is. I am still looking forward to the race and I know I will finish it, but after all is said and done, I am thankful to be able to race and I am going to have a great time!

The right way to use a couch


The Proper way to use a couch

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

DNS FOR REDMAN 140.6, OR IS IT?

I guess technically it is not a DNS (Did Not Start) if I never registered for it, but it is as it reads, I am out for Redman 2015. This was the race that I was going to go mano y mano against Brad D from Brad's Ironman Journey. Here is the back story:

Brad D did IM Texas, I did Redman 140.6. We compared times. Brad D claims IM Texas is harder cause it is IM branded. I claim they are both 140.6 and are no different. Texas is flat, Oklahoma is flat. We beat our chest, we each claim we are badder than the other and from that I issued a challenge to him to race me one on one at Redman 140.6 in 2015, which he accepted. The table was set, the trash talk started and we were having fun with it! This was all beginning in 2013. So fast forward to 2015...

As you might remember from reading this blog, a few weeks ago I went to the Orthopedic guy to get my shoulder and my wrists checked out. At the time I was actually more concerned about my should pain than my wrists. It turned out that there was a touch of tendinitis in my shoulder, nothing that a shot of cortisone couldn't sure, which it did. The wrists however were a different story.

The doctor took x-rays and did some other tests and determined that I have moderate arthritis in my wrists. The keyword is moderate to me. Moderate is worse than some arthritis but is not as bad as severe arthritis. He wrote a script for some meds and then asked to come back in a few weeks. On my next visit, he suggested that I do Cortisone shots in my wrists, but warned me that once we start these shots, I was guaranteed to need to continue them until I was prepared to do surgery, which I am not.

So this leads me to my opening statement and title. Right now, I can not imagine being on a bike for 6 hours with my wrists the way they are. I know I could stay in aero the whole time, but that is not the way I am. My grip strength has diminished a lot already, and the thought of trying to hold on to handlebars for a race, including the months of training does seem to be in my favor. I thought this through and talked it over with my wife and came to the conclusion that an IM is not in my future this year in 2015. I am not totally shutting the door on another IM, but right now it ain;t happening. So I did what I had to do...

I called Brad D on the phone and let him know that I was not going to be able to race. This was a call I was dreading to make, but knew I had too. I started the challenge and I needed to end it. Brad understood completely since it was an injury issue and not because I was wussing out, and for that I am thankful.

Right now, I am good for rides under an hour, anything after that really starts bothering my hands, so it looks like a summer of sprint races. I still love the sport and I am not ready to give it up. So I will compete. I will swim hard, run hard and make it through the bike. It has been three years since I did a sprint race and I am looking forward to it.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

My Toes Cramp In The Pool!!!

This is one of life's mysteries for me. I hate getting a toe or foot cramp while swimming. It usually happens about 800 yards into a swim. I feel the toes tightening up, then its the arch of my foot. Usually it is only one foot at a time. I can ease the tightness somewhat whenever I get to the wall and push off, but it never subsides. I also tend to get toe/foot cramps at night in bed, and the only way I know to get rid of them is to stand up. Which is not practical when I am already in bed and it's 1:30 AM. So why do you get cramps in your toes while swimming? Let's turn to Google...

First thing you should know is my search parameter was this: Why do toes cramp while swimming. Results, 2,020,000 results. So I guess I am not the only one with this issue! Here are the following answers I got:

  • I am not stretching enough. "swimmer" says I should stretch out all my muscles and not just the ones that are stretching every night.
  • Blonde tornado says it is because I am dehydrated
  • Others say to eat bananas (typical cramping answer)
  • Jim T says it is because the water is cold and the blood gets pushed away from the extremities.
  • The rest are more of the same

I really don't know why it happens, but it can kill a workout. I can be cruising along at 800 yards into a 1200 yard swim (remember, sprint tri training plan) and BOOM, toe cramp with 4 laps left! You can push through it, but it ain't fun.

I think I finally found an answer on swimming.org that totally makes sense to me. It is the most common complaints from triathletes, which proves that I am one!  Wahooo!!!

Anatomy of a kick

“Cramp occurs when a muscle is fatigued and overused, when a swimmer is dehydrated and has a electrolyte deficit or if the muscle is tight from a previous session,” said Butler.
“The plantar fascia is a fibrous, connective tissue which surrounds the muscles in the sole of foot.
“It’s stretches from the toes to the heel and works closely with the main calf muscles in the back of the lower leg – the gastrocnemius, soleus and the tibalis posterior.
“These are the main muscles involved in pointing the foot and toes during streamlining and kicking. Cramp in any of them will be felt in the back of the lower leg or the sole of the foot.”

Prevention

“The first thing to remember is to stay hydrated, not just with water but with electrolytes, and to eat the right things to help your body before and after training,” added Butler.
“Secondly, stretching is vital for maintaining flexibility in your muscles and should be included in your warm-up and warm-down for pool and land-based sessions.”

Specific muscle stretches

Try these stretches for the individual muscles on the calf and foot – hold each stretch for two minutes in 10, 20 or 30 second intervals.
  1. Gastrocnemius stretch – stand with one leg in front of the other and lean against a wall. Bend your front leg and keep your back leg straight with your heel on the floor until you feel the muscle stretch in the back of the lower leg between your heel and knee.
  2. Soleus stretch – stand with one leg in front of the other and lean against a wall. Bend both knees and transfer your weight to your back leg, ensuring you keep the heel of your back leg on the floor. You should feel the muscle stretch in the back of the lower leg.
  3. Plantar Fascia stretch – stand with one leg in front of the other with the toes of your front foot on or up against a raised platform (such as a step or a wall). Bend both knees until you feel the stretch in the sole of your front foot.
  4. Alternative plantar fascia relief – roll your foot over a golf or hockey ball. If you find this too painful, try it in warm water to help the muscles relax more.
So maybe, just maybe, that chocolate milk and Snickers bar I had before I swam wasn't the right fuel for me. Hmmmm.

Anyways, let me hear your thoughts on how to deal with them and more importantly how to not have this as an issue!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Rain Rain go away...

So after posting about how I was back and training hard, I got a little case of strep throat, which sort of stopped me for a few days. I am a firm believer in resting and letting the meds work rather than try and push through the illness, which in my experience only makes it worse. So I laid off for a few days while I healed. And I am ok with that!

My goal date was to get back to it on Sunday. Last week was a recovery week anyways, so I do not feel like I missed a whole lot by taking a few days off, which was really only Wednesday through Saturday. By Sunday though, I was ready to get back to the plan. My plan called for a 2.7 mile run (I love this sprint triathlon plan). The only issue was that it was raining on Sunday.



I had no desire to go to the gym to run on the treadmill, I wanted to run outside. So after church, and before lunch, I threw on my rain jacket and some shorts and my white, no sun seeing for months legs went out and ran.

Now, nothing makes me feel more like an athlete training than training in conditions that most people would not train in. I did see cars driving by as I ran, and I like to think they were saying to themselves, "dude is a beast!" or something to that fact. In reality they were probably thinking more along the lines of "idiot, it's raining" or its even possible they could not have cared less that I was running. But I cared dangit!

I loved it. I actually love running in the rain, when it is warmer. It was 55 degrees on Sunday, so that made it not quite as fun as I would have liked, but  fun nonetheless. But the important thing to me was just getting out there and doing it anyways. The important thing to me was that I did not let the weather act as my excuse. I very easily could have decided to take a nap on the couch, but I am not where I want to be.

So rain, rain, stay if you want, it won't bother me!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

And Finally... JFORD is back

There has been a lot going on in the Ford World these past few weeks. We have sold our house and bought another one and are just waiting for all the papers to be signed and things inspected, appraised and everything else that goes into selling/buying a house. we will have a lot of junk to pack up, but hopefully this will be our chance to get rid of it, no need to carry it to a new house, only to crowd up that attic as well.

But, this is not a house moving blog, this is a triathlon blog, so let me tell what has been going on there.

I will say this, my last training plan was for 140.6, and I am loving the training plan for a sprint race. I had almost forgot how much fun this was! I love waking up and knowing I have a 600 yard swim ahead of me! That leaves me plenty of time to also get a 2-3 mile run before work! My longest ride has been 15 miles!  I love being able to train, and train hard and still be in bed by 10:30 PM!

The best thing is that I am on a solid 10 day streak of hitting all my workouts! Imagine that!

I think this is probably the smartest thing I could do, use this sprint as a way to build my base and then transition into the full distance afterwards. I know it would not be wise to jump into a 10 mile run that first week. It would probably frustrate me and make want to throw in the towel. So this has been a perfect way for me to ease back into the triathlon world.

It even has me thinking about course goals again. I know my Achilles heel is the run, but it is a 3 mile run, so I should be able to kill it. The weather has gotten nicer, which means saying bye-bye to the treadmill, and I am even seeing a few pounds drop off (Thankfully the Girl Scouts will be done selling cookies soon too!) All in all, I am satisfied with where I am right now, but I am looking to get faster.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

I am going Old School...

Do you remember your first triathlon? Do you remember the first time into the water, the first bump, the first transition and so on? I do. I remember almost every little detail about my first real triathlon. (I say real triathlon because I do not count my indoor tri in the same manner as I do outdoor ones.)

I remember it because it was simply horrifying!

This was my 1st triathlon and I honestly thought I was either going to quit because the swim was killing me or that I was going to get pulled by the lifeguards before the first 200 yards! The water was so cold it literally took my breathe away. I knew there was no way I was going to finish that swim and I was not even sure if I wanted too! I swam a speedy 2:16 pace. I remember feeling dizzy coming out of the water and wondering how I was going to ride my mtn bike with slicks when everything was spinning! I remember taking 10 minutes in transitions! And I remember my first Olympic time of 3:44:03.That triathlon was none other than the Memphis in May Triathlon at Orgill Park on May 18, 2008. You can read my race report here if you'd like.

Now you may be asking yourself, why is he talking about this again? Because the Memphis in May Triathlon is going back to Orgill Park! The last few tears, the race has been held at Tunica, in an ideal venue. I set my PR in this new venue (2:47:58), and I loved this venue. So let be clear on this next statement. I DO NOT LOVE ORGILL PARK.

I have nothing but bad memories of that place. So when I got the email saying that MIM Tri was going back to Orgill, I was alittle excited and a little freaked out. (MIM lost the venue in Tunica when the host hotel closed, so the race was in question of even happening) I mean I am thrilled that the MIM tri is happening, but I am not looking forward to Orgill, because of the above paragraphs. So will 5 years of triathlons make a difference?

You bet it will. After a few minutes of thinking about this race, I am attacking it. I am going back to Orgill to make it mine. While I am only doing the sprint this year, I am going to after it like it stole my girl scout cookies! (Tag-alongs please) I have my training plan set, my race fee paid and the best part is I know a bunch of first timers that are going to be there,  which always ups my game!  (Vanity at its best right?)

So with this race going back old school, I thought I'd leave you with some old school music. Enjoy and your welcome!