Thursday, September 15, 2016

I Tried the Eliiptical...and I Liked It!!

So, since my season never really got started  this year due to many things, I would think it would be a safe assumption to think I gained a few pounds. So right now my main goal has been going to the gym and now I am trying to lose a few pounds and I am doing that by swimming and cardio. I am really not into the treadmill and my knees are getting a little sore so I have found a new approach to getting in my miles.

The elliptical!

 
I admit, I used to think the elliptical was for old guys with bad knees and I also thought that you could not get a good workout. I really thought it was silly and the whole arm thing was a waste of time. But then to be fair, I had never actually been on an elliptical machine.

So, with me being an old guy with bad knees, I decided to give it a try after doing some internet research. (Internet research is basically useless in my opinion, I mean for every positive article I could find, I could also find a negative article).

It was actually harder than I expected. I wanted to start with 2 miles or 20 minutes. I am guessing that 2 elliptical miles does not equal 2 running miles, but I know 20 minutes is 20 minutes! I did not worry to much about calories burned or HR, I just got on it went. The surprising thing to me is how tough it was to use the arms of the machine. It really gave them a workout so much that I did not use them most of the time. The impact on my knees was nothing, but I think there is some benefit to this machine. So I will continue to use the machine at least twice a week, I will be hitting the pool twice a week, and I will be running on Saturdays.  Plus, I am still hitting the weight room every other day.

So, that is my plan. It's something new, it's something I can look forward too!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

I Am Doing the Weight Room Wrong...

So, for the past few months, I have been hitting the weight room pretty consistently. I can really feel myself getting stronger than I was and it has been a good change of pace from the typical S/B/R that I have been doing for the last 8 years or so. It has been fun and I wish I could figure out a way to continue to lift on the same schedule and get all triathlon training, but who has that sort of time? So I plan to continue to got to the gym for the rest of the year, while working in some swimming, and maybe the elliptical machine to try and lose some pounds.

And, I will admit, the weight room has had its "eye opening" moments. Sometimes I think I am doing it all wrong and if I cared, it might even be intimidating. Let me list out the Top 10 things I am doing wrong at the weight room.
  1. I don't wear all black. Now I like to wear a sleeveless shirt when I lift to let the guns shine in the light, but it seems I should be wearing all black. Shorts, shoes, hoodie, headband or hat. I know black is supposed to make you look thinner, but I thought the whole point of going to the gym was to get swole!
  2. I am wearing the wrong headphones. I have been wearing my in ear buds, like the ones I use when I go running, but apparently that's not right. It seems that I should be rocking Beats by Dre headphones, wireless beats by Dre headphones when I lift. I gues it gives you that extra umpffttt when you need it.
  3. I don't have a duffle bag I carry. I am not sure what hey all have in the bag, but I don't have one. I just walk right in and get to work.
  4. I also don't carry around a shaker cup. You know the cup that people have to shake before they can drink out of it. Maybe they don't know about the water fountain right outside the door, maybe it is some super supplement that helps them recover faster, I don't know. But I think I need to get one pretty soon.
  5. I don't slam the bar down on the ground and grunt. Ok, I get this one, really I do. We all want people to think we are strong at the gym and what better way to let them know then to make a lot of noise and let the weights come crashing down? That way they have to look over at us in admiration or utter fear of our strength, but come on, is that necessary?
  6. I only use one machine at a time. I have seen many "bros" setting up multiple machines so they can really get that burn going. It's weird cause they do about 3 reps and move to the next one and repeat.
  7. I don't sue a mouthpiece. Yeah, I am not sure about this one at all.
  8. I have never taken a selfie while working out. Instagram is full of weight room selfies, and I dunno, maybe it's like taking a picture of your dinner on FB, but I think its odd to have someone film you or snap a picture.
  9. I re-rack my weights when I am done! Nothing is more frustrating than having to take off plates from some lunkhead that was using the machine before me. there are signs posted for a reason "bros" so take the time and re-rack them please.
  10. I work legs.
So do you have any weight room shenanigans going on at your gym? If so, let me know what you are doing wrong!  But, always remember this:


Friday, August 5, 2016

MINDSET CHANGE

I have no idea who Hazel Hira Ozbek is, but as I was looking for a photo for this blog post, it struck me. It struck because I seem to always be waiting for something to start running again, or waiting for Monday to come around. It's always something, at least here recently. I am waiting for my knee to get better (that's probably legitimate), I am waiting for it to cool down, I am waiting for me to lose some weight first...excuse after excuse. And I have plenty more excuses!  I don't have the time to run like I did, I need the extra hour of sleep in the morning, I will start when school starts and the kids are up...

I do not know how many Mondays this summer I was supposed to start "my training". The latest one was supposed to be August 1, which was the golden date because it was the first day of the month and a Monday! But, it did not happen. Next Monday the kids start school, so everyone will be up and that should be a "good time" to start right? Mindset change.

All in all, I agree with Hazel, it should not matter what day I start, I just have to start. The doctor has cleared me with my knee (although, he said I should look at doing something else because it is a 44 year old knee) and I know it is going to be hot no matter when I start, unless I wait till late October. I realize it is going to be like starting over and I have to understand that it will not be like it was when I was training. My mindset can't be to get it all back in one day. Mindset Change

As of this morning, I weighed in at 205.7lbs. This is the most I have ever weighed in my life. Now I do think some of it is added muscle since I have been going to lift weights for the past two months while my knee was messed up, but still, 205?? This is another reason I need to get back to the pool and the roads. I know once I get into my groove, I should lose some weight. My first weight goal is to get under 200 lbs. My main number one goal is to get back in the 180s. Man, 25lbs sounds like a lot to lose doesn't it? I really don't feel like I eat a lot, I just eat the wrong things. Another mindset I have to change.

I think the draw to triathlon for me in the very beginning was the journey it would take to reach Ironman, it seemed so unobtainable to me. Will I ever get back to IM? I don't know, I would like to one day do a second IM, so maybe I am starting a journey to a second IM...

I started this post like 8 different times because I could not get this post to flow like I wanted it to until I found this quote. Thanks Hazel!

P.S. I Googled hazel and she is some kind of famous poet!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Mr. Brownstone

I have been a horrible blogger lately. Just haven't had the gumption to write about anything! (gumption is a Southern word which means motivation). Also when I am not blogging, it is probably a good bet that I am not training. The other day I heard a song on the radio and there is a line that describes me most mornings.

I get up around seven
Get outta bed around nine
And I don't worry about nothin' no
Cause worryin's a waste of my, time

The old line from the GNR classic Mr. Brownstone (and only that line applies here). I just have not been able to get up in the morning and get things done. So like any good triathlete, I end up punishing myself by going out to run in the 5 PM Memphis heat. Now if you have never been to Memphis in the summer, then let me explain to you that it gets hot! The heat index has been topping out well over 100 most days and the humidity is fierce! So needless to say my runs have been slow.

But, I am running.

Another thing I have been doing lately is hitting the weight room. Getting swole Baby! I really wanted to just get my knee stronger, so I really went to build back the muscle, but I hate doing legs, so I started adding some upper body. I also think it I can get my upper looking good, then my FAT GUT won;t look as bad!

Yeah, I have gained a few. I weighed the other day at 202.8 lbs. I did my IM at 183 lbs. That extra 20 lbs is what probably hurt my knee! I even have pants that don't fit right anymore! This is not good.

So, as I sit here eating Tootsie rolls (I know, but I love the flavored ones like lime, cherry and grape) I need to come up with a plan to drop weight and bring sexy back! And the best way I know to do that is to get back on a run streak and start eating sensibly again. I need to drink water and all that stuff also. SO let's get the started, it will not be so much of an Ironman journey anymore as much as a weight loss journey now.

180's, here I come!


Friday, June 24, 2016

I Can and I Will...

Last night I had my first athletic activity since tearing my meniscus in late May, and I was a little nervous in doing so. As I have mentioned, I signed up to play on a rec league basketball team at our church and made it 3 games before hurting my knee (cause I am not 25 any more). I tried to follow the doctors orders and let it rest and heal and all like a good patient. I went for my follow up appointment and the doctor said it was healing nicely, but it looked like I had some arthritis in my knee. I told him I was glad it was better because I still have a plan to do one more Ironman before I call it quits.  The look on his face said a million things. It mainly said "FAT CHANCE"

He told me that running may not be the thing I want to focus on, but I could swim and bike as much as I wanted. Obviously not what I was looking to hear. I was hoping for a "sure, start running again but ease into it and you're good!". So after spending a week in NYC and walking a million steps a day, I figured it was time to try it out with some running.

The game went really well. I did not do a lot of cutting and changing directions, or jumping either, but I did do some light running up and down the court and had no pain while running. I really thought the biggest test would come later that night or the next day, but it feels like it used to, which is cool.

Since this planned season has been nothing like I had thought it would be, it is once again time to re-assess my plan and start again. So Monday, I am starting back on a training plan for a sprint triathlon on August 27 in Sardis, Mississippi. A 1/2 mile swim, an 18 mile bike and a 4 mile run (half road, half trail). My previous PR is 1:58:10 and it was 6 years ago. So I am not naïve enough to think I can PR (although its possible), that is not my goal. My goal is simply to race and make it to the starting line. It has been so frustrating this season starting and stopping over and over again.

I have approximately 9 weeks to prepare for this race, which should be doable, to be a finisher. It will be a tough journey, dealing with the heat and summer activities, but I am an IRONMAN!!!!  And I can get this done. I am excited once again...

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Torn Meniscus

So as you know I have been training for a 70.3 in October and also been in a basketball league on Thursday nights. Well, they are both on hold as of now. I did not have a good week 2 of training and let me tell you why:

Monday night I go to hop on Stella for my ride and as soon as I get on, I notice my chain is in the small ring up front, so I hit my lever to adjust the derailleur and pop!  My cable blows out and my lever does absolutely nothing.  I have never seen a cable blow out before, and I did not want to do anything more to my bike, so I called the ride and figured I could just miss the 9 miler. I took Stella to the bike shop and ordered the repairs which will take about a week, so I figure I always need to work on my run, so I can change it up and still not lose to much right?

So come Thursday night, game night! We play ball (and lost) but had a great time, but towards the end of the game, my right knee was hurting. Hurting me enough to pull myself out and sit down, and then have trouble getting to my car. I did not remember hearing or feeling it pop or anything that would alert me to an injury, but it felt off, and was a little swollen that night. Friday morning I got up and went to work and my knee was still feeling tight and sore. So when I got home, I went to put on some shorts and saw my knee and it wasn't good. I snapped a picture for you to see.

 
 
 Look at the size of that right knee!  I know something wasn't right, so I told my wife that I think I needed to go get it checked out. So Saturday morning, we left for our running group that we lead (No, I did not run on that knee) and then we went to Campbell Clinic to figure this out.

After a decent wait, I got to see the doctor and they took x-rays and did his evaluation on my knee and the diagnosis is that I have an old man's knee (his words). basically I have a degenerative tear of the meniscus in my right knee. It is most likely aggravated form the start and stopping of playing basketball. I was given a knee brace, some steroids and direction to stay off of it for about 2 weeks.


 
This really puts me behind on training for a half in October, so I am unsure if this will happen or not. It would mean that my training would be cut down to 10 weeks for a 70.3 and I am not sure how I feel about that, and that is assuming I am cleared and ready to go on my next visit. So I have time to decide and I hope I can get going again in July and see how things progress in July and August.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Week 2-

Let me first recap week 1 before I go and talk about week 2 of my training. Week 1 went really well. I hit everything I was supposed to hit (after moving a few things around), so that is a huge win. I am still on a long road but it has been good so far. The biggest issue I had was Thursday night. See, I am playing in a rec league basketball at our church and it was a little hard running, swimming , biking and then going out and playing basketball. Let me tell you this, basketball running is ALOT different than triathlon running. My legs were killing me after the game and I woke up at 3 AM with a massive calve cramp! Oh it hurt so bad!  I went and grabbed my compressions sleeves and slept in them the rest of the night!

So here we are on week 2 and this is my plan:


I am thankful for the progression cause like I said, my journey will be a long one, but I can see me getting stronger and progressing. The only issue I have is that last night my shifter for my front derailleur popped and I need to get that fixed, so the bike might not happen this week, but everything else should.

I am planning on signing up for a super sprint race at he end of June called the Buffalo Bill Tri. It's a 400 yd swim, 8 mile bike and 2 mile run. My goal is under 1 hour. It will be good to race again.

Thanks for reading!

JFORD

Friday, May 13, 2016

Here I Go Again...



I don't know where I'm goin'
But I sure know where I've been
Hanging on the promises in songs of yesterday
An' I've made up my mind,
I ain't wasting no more time
Here I go again, here I go again

Man, does this song say it all! I have it in my head to go forward with a 70.3 race in October. So my training plan will actually start Monday, and here is a news flash, I am actually looking forward to it. I am looking to go long again, but not 140.6 long, but a half is doable. So I went and designed my training plan and I will be putting on it the blog weekly to help me be more accountable.



I designed this schedule with the idea of a three week build with a one week recovery. I designed it to have 2 swims, three bikes and three runs. The reason I chose the 2-3-3 is because I think 2 swims a week will be plenty for me. I am pretty comfortable in the water and I think the opportunity cost of adding another swim would not benefit me in the long run, so 2 swims it is.

The bike during the week should be something that I can do on the trainer if needed, but I think I might be able to get out of the Greenline once in awhile. For me, the bike is all about being steady and consistent. I am not going to average 25 mph on the bike, but I want to ride steady for the 3:30 hours I expect it to take me.

The run is always my opportunity, and I think it will be even more of an obstacle with my knees. This is the main reason I am giving myself a rest day on Friday. It is basically like I am starting over with running. I am running a 5K tonight with the family that I will use as a baseline of where I am at. I am not expecting it to be fast at all, but we all start somewhere right?

So, I am excited once again. I know this will be a challenge for me and I know it is one that I know I can do! So, come on and follow along on this ride.


Monday, April 25, 2016

It's Time to Get it Back....

This picture was taken as me and my bride finished the Warrior Dash in Mississippi. It was 4 years ago. We had a really great time doing this race, but as I look at this picture, I think to myself...what happened to me?

I mean for one, look at that left quad muscle! My legs were so lean and cut back then, and four years ago I was 40 years old! So yeah, I was quite proud of that muscle.

And I want it back!

Not really sure how it happened, but I went from die hard triathlete, to a "well I still could if I wanted to" triathlete, to a dude that has trouble getting out the door.

(As I sit here sipping a Dr. Pepper and eating sour gummy worms, that should give me a clue right?)

It is so weird how you can want something in your mind so clear, but yet you have so much trouble getting out there physically. I am reluctant now to even say I did an Ironman because it seems so long ago, and I am not referring about time, but a long time ago from where I am now. I literally feel like I am almost starting over.

And that is why it will be so glorious when I finish my next 70.3 in October. I think I have finally gotten the bug again. I am not sure if it is the warmer weather, the fact I weighed in at 199lbs the other day or what, but I can honestly say that I want to start training again and getting back into shape like pictured above. I won't expect it overnight and it will take some time, but I am going to get back where I should be. I am also going to be updating this blog more often, I really think that helps, documenting it all and everything.