Friday, February 5, 2016

How To Get Your MOJO Back???

I don't know about you, but I have a daily battle with motivation. The motivation to get up from a nice, warm, comfortable bed to going out into the cold, dark morning and running or swimming. Or maybe it is the motivation to hop on the trainer at night, watch a TV show, but you fall victim to that nice comfortable bed...again.

Well if you read this blog, then you know I battle motivation constantly. Ever since I did Ironman (have I told you about that?) things have been different. I still that the desire, but not the "physical want to" like before, so how do I motivate myself? Let me share...

Blog About it!  Nothing motivates me more than to write on this blog about my workouts. This entire blog was designed to be an accountability piece for me long before I published it and thought anyone would read it. After writing a good blog piece, many time I realize that everything I say is keeping from getting out there is just an excuse (and that I can be a weenie sometimes), so talking it out on here will motivate me to get out there.


I know, self explanatory right?

Yes, the unspoken part of triathlons. Sometimes...ok, a lot of times I will go ahead and shave to get me back in the right track of mind. (I don't think I have ever blogged about shaving before). Something about it makes me feel like an athlete, makes me feel fast and awesome. I will cut my hair short, shave my legs and body and then I am ready. Does it make me faster? Heck no, but I feeeeellll faster and that is the important thing!

and finally...

New Gear!

Who doesn't like new stuff? New shoes, new running shorts, new watch, anything, it doesn't matter! Luckily, I had a Sports Academy gift-card from Christmas and I went and got new compression sleeves and new goggles!  I love swimming in new goggles! I like to go out and purchase motivation when I can. It doesn't have to be expensive, but it has to be something related to the sport.

So those are my "get out of a funk" tips. Tell me yours, what do you do to get yourself going again??

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Rollercoaster...Up Down Up Down

So January is over, for all intensive purposes (my wife loves when I say that) and I am still plugging along with my workouts like a elephant going through a mudhole. I am not sure what my deal is but I can't seem to stay motivated. I have the "want to" in my mind, but physically I am sucking.

I want to know this answer...

As I wrote earlier, me and my bride are both signed up for  the Memphis Runner's Track Club Winter Cross Country Series. So far we have completed the 3K and the 5k trail runs. The 3K was a very cold day and was fun. It really felt good to get outside and run instead of being on the dreadmill. It was also the first time my wife had done a trail run, so that was cool. Two weeks after the 3K, we did the 5K. It was the muddiest, sloppiest run I have done in awhile. It was also the slowest 5K EVA! but we had fun.
follow me on Instagram: jford2309

The next days though, no running, no biking, no swimming, just eat, eat and eat!

I swear I am the heaviest I have been in years and I do not like it, but I am not doing much about it except writing it on my blog (much to often too) I do not know why I can't get focused. I know my running sucks cause my knees hurt when I run (because I am heavier than I have ever been). I know I should stop drinking Dr. Peppers (like the one I am drinking now), I know I need to get a plan and stick to it instead of changing it every time it gets tough. I do what I don't want to do (Biblical reference, know it?), and that is why I am frustrated.

I do not feel like myself.

I know what to do and what not to do, but I can't seem to get a grasp on either one. I feel like I am on a rollercoaster and this is new for me, and I don't like it.

One reason I started this blog was to keep me motivated and accountable. Sometimes it is just a place to vent and sometimes it is a place to call myself out. A lot of times when I am writing a post, it gets me fired up (you'd think I would write more huh?), so my posts will be all over the map, so for the one or two of you reading, thanks, I appreciate it. I know I will someday get out of my pity party, but for now, you get what I am thinking about!

Thanks, Happy January!

P.S. By my nest post, I hope to have enough runs in to do a review on my Hokas, or that's my goal!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Like an Old Rusty Lever...

Don't worry, I am not going to do a week by week of my training, but I had to blog about my first week back into the triathlon world. It was not epic! The running was hard, the swimming felt like it was fairly new and the biking reminded me that I have not sat on a bike seat in awhile.

I guess the best way to describe this week would be like this: imagine you have an old lever that is supposed to shift back and forth with ease. Now imagine that lever all weathered and rusted. It takes a lot of effort to get hat lever to move like it did when it was a newer younger lever. So you really have to work to get that lever to move. And you do not want to give up on that lever because you know about the goodness that will flow after you release that lever. So you slowly inch that lever forward, and then backwards, until it loosens ever so slightly.  Sometimes it takes multiple sessions to get that lever loose!

Well my body is that lever if you did not catch my attempt at symbolism. Day 1 was tough and felt like I had not run since October, probably because I had not run since October. My first bike was only 7 miles, but this was 2013 post Ironman JFORD thinking "it's only 7 miles", not JFORD who hasn't been on his bike since June. My first swim was probably the easiest of the 3 disciplines, but it was nowhere close to what I remember swimming, speed wise. So it was a wake up call. I always tend to think like "2013 post Ironman JFORD" and now realize I have work to do.

One new thing to share is that I bought my 1st pair of Hoka One One and they arrived the other day. I admit they look weird, but they seem so comfortable and I can't wait to get them out on a run. I am hoping the Hoka's will help like WD-40 does on old rusty levers.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

If I Did Not Know Any Better...

I know it has been awhile since I last blogged, and I have always had good intentions on maintaining this blog, but since this blog is about training for triathlons, and since there has been little to zero training going on, I really have had nothing to blog about. So I haven't blogged.


  • Last week I made a wish list of races I might be interested in doing in 2016. The main one I will always do, even if it is only for fun will be the Memphis in May Sprint triathlon in May, but as I was thinking about that race, other races caught my eye.
  • I also signed me and wife up for a cross country winter race series that starts soon. It consists of a 3K, a 5K, and 8K and a 10K. Already registered.
  • I did work up a training plan for the MIM sprint that I will start on Jan 4th. Since it is only a sprint race, it is totally doable in the mornings or afternoons and will allow me to stay in the weight room some.
  • I did order new running shoes.
  • I also found some old pictures of me racing that I actually liked and I want to look like I did back then...
Sharpshooter Triathlon

So if I did not know any better, I'd say I am on my way back!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

I Knew This Would Happen...

Saturday afternoon, the Ironman World Championship aired on NBC. I did not watch it live, but I did record it. And I knew exactly what would happen once I watched on Sunday afternoon. I knew I would be thinking about Ironman again.

So I ask myself, Am I that easily swayed? Can a simple TV show fire me up that much?

Simple answer: YES!

I always love watching this presentation and I love the way the narrator builds each athlete up talking about how each athlete has their own personal reason for doing this race. I like that. And its true. I love watching the beginning of the swim and I remember how I felt wading in the water waiting for the gun to fire. I love seeing the riders flying down the road (much like I was not doing), but I felt like it, and I envisioned my run looking exactly like the pros ran. Effortlessly. It's funny the way we can look back at one of the most painful days of our lives and still smile and sigh.

So yeah, this show got me thinking about getting back. I only raced one triathlon in 2015.I did some run races and Ragnar, but only one sprint triathlon. So that will change in 2016.

While I am not sure about committing to a full 140.6, I do have my eye set on a 70.3 down in Bama! I have been wanting to do this race for a couple of years and I am thinking a 70.3 is perfect. (It's funny how 70.3 miles does not seem that far anymore)

I have been hitting the gym, swimming and running short distances already, and I am starting to feel really good. My wrists are not as big an issue anymore and I have some other physical issues that I feel I am turning the corner on, so it is a definitely possibility.

P.S I am doing No shave November right now, so there will be pictures to come!

Monday, November 2, 2015

A Triathlete in the gym...

Yesterday my wife and I went to lift weights at our local gym. This is probably the 2nd time I have set foot in the weight room this year. I have just never really been into weights, it's been all about the swim, bike and run for me. Besides, when training for a race, who has time to add weights to the mix?

Well, races are over for me this year, and I am gaining some weight, so I need to do something. I am not interested in large miles running  (more than 5) right now and I am not interested in sitting on my trainer, so that leaves swimming and short runs. I thought about trying to start another run streak, then I thought about trying to make it into a run/swim streak for 30 days but running just for a streak doesn't really motivate me, but then the gym happened.

I actually enjoyed lifting yesterday. Now my wife had to show me how to work some of the stations and how to make the right adjustments, which did not make me feel weird at all, but it was fun. There were several machines that I think can really benefit me, mainly the machine that works your hip abductors. (I have never seen another guy on that machine, but who cares right? And now you know which machine I mean)

So today, Monday, I am already feeling it from yesterday, which I suppose is a good thing. It is also surprising how little strength I have. I admit I am weak. So what I am lifting is not important to this post, but I think I am going to work out a swim/run/lift plan. It seems so foreign to me as a triathlete to not work out everyday, and I am not sure how to work out the lift/run, swim/run or lift/swim days of the workout. So it all could change. But this is my plan (you should know by now that I am big on planning)

Sunday- Run, lift run

Monday- Run, swim, run

Tuesday- Run, lift run

Wednesday- Run, swim, run

Thursday- Run, lift run

Friday- nothing

Saturday- run (4 miles)

With this schedule, I can run to the gym, which is about a mile each way. This would give me about 12 miles running a week, I could swim 2500 yards a week and lift weights 3 times a week. I am not sure about you, but that looks like a recipe for success. Now if I can only eat better...

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Ragnar TN, The Aftermath...

We finished.

End of post.

I am not sure what to write about it. It was tough. It was fun, it sucked, it was memorable, it was Ragnar. This year was different in that we ran 2 teams, Memphis Grit and Memphis Grind. This ensured that everyone had a running partner, which was good and bad. It was only bad because I held my partner back a lot and I felt guilty about it. It was good to have someone to run with and to be accountable with.

Other memorable happenings include a teammate getting stuck in a porta potty without TP, apparently one team got their hair did mid race, Olive Garden and Ruby Tuesday's, and lots of good conversation along with new friendships.

Leg 7 was the beast I remembered it being. An uphill battle against will. I did a lot of walking on this first leg and it really effected legs 19 and 31. Leg 7 is a never ending climbing that goes to the left and then to the right, each turn teases you that the end is near, only to turn back up the hill again. I was so glad to finish that hill. I was only slower by about 3 minutes from last time. My partner killed it and would have ran right up that sucker if he had not been waiting on me.

Leg 19 was a makeup leg for me in a way. While it was still slow, there was no walking! it was actually longer than I thought by .2 miles, but it was good. perfect nighttime weather for a run. We started at about 9:45 PM. I was happy to "run" the entire leg.

Leg 31 was the last leg, and I think everyone is just wanting to be finished by the time they hit the last leg. A 5.9 miler that had some walking in it, but overall was pretty good.

Our team finished in 34 hours and 9 minutes. Almost 200 miles covered with 12 friends, 2 vans, 2 days and 1 night of running. I am officially retiring form the Ragnar TN relay, but I had a great time and I am glad I did it a second time.

A couple of our teammates had Go Pro cameras and made a video, check it out:

Friday, October 16, 2015

Sure, Let's Do It Again! Ragnar 2015

Ragnar 2015 is happening in one week from today and the group I did it with in 2013 is doing it again! This year we have expanded and now we have 2 teams running. We have Memphis Grit and Memphis Grind! Once again I am the 7th runner on Memphis Grit. I get the same dang legs I had last year. I am the first runner from van 2. the only difference this year is that I will have a running buddy, Philip, to chug along with. This was done because some of the female runners felt weird running out at all hours of the night, so this way every runner will have a partner. I think this will help in the times when you need that encouragement and hopefully to pass the time away. We will start in Chattanooga, TN and run to Nashville, TN, 196 miles. Here are the legs I am running once again.

Leg 7 is a beast. I hate leg 7 if I am being honest with you, and I am. So let me tell you why I hate Leg 7. Leg 7 is a 5.3 mile "hard" leg that provides no van support and has one water stop along the way.  If you will look at the elevation chart, you will notice that the first mile is a lovely run through the park, then it changes. The next 4.3 miles of this leg are uphill. There is a total of elevation gain of 1303 feet. One other thing that makes this a tough run is the camber of the street. Not only do you feel the uphill battle, but also I remember feeling like my ankles were at a weird angle due to the slope of the road. So, my plan is to be smart on this leg and not kill myself because I will still have two other runs to complete. Last year I finished this run in 1:02, but I am not sure I see that happening this year.

Leg 19 will start at approximately midnight, maybe earlier on Thursday night at a school if I remember right. This run is hard to describe because it is at night and all you have to go on is what you can see from your headlight. I remember it being in the 20s last year when I took off. It is a 6 mile "hard" leg that again provides no van support. Last time I finished in 1:06 and I think that is doable once again.

Leg 31, my final run is a 5.9 mile "hard" run. Notice that every leg is consider a "hard" leg!!! This will definitely be the hardest run due to the lack of sleep, recovery and fuel I will have. I will be so ready to finish by the time this gets here! This leg can provide full van support, which means they can drive by and yell for us I guess, or they can drive by and tell me to start running again, either could happen. I really have no idea what to expect other than keeping that mantra 'Forward is a Pace"

All in all, this is an experience. It will most likely be my farewell Ragnar Race. I do have concerns about that stupid hill, so after the hill, it will be A-OK with me, I just have to beat that hill. I feel like I am ready for this race half the time, and the other half I feel as if I am going to die. That's normal right? Anyways, I have my list to pack and I am getting things ready. if you want to follow me while running, first thing I would say to you is Get a Life! The second thing would be to get the MapMyRun app and go MVP for the free month and friend request me.

I know it has been a minute since my last post but I will update the blog on hos Ragnar 2015 was!  Thanks for reading.

Monday, September 7, 2015

44 Years Old Today!

Well today, Sept 7, is my birthday. I turned 44 today. I remember when that used to sound so old to me, but that is so not the case any longer. I was trying to put it in perspective so I decided to look for some other things that are turning or are 44. Here are some famous folks that are 44: Marky Mark AKA Mark Wahlberg, Meghan Kelly, Kid Rock is 44. Jeremy Renner and Matt Damon from the Jason Bourne movies are both 44.

A lot of other cool stuff also happened on Sept 7 throughout history: The Beatles first appeared on US television on Sept 7 1963, same day the Pro Football Hall of Fame opened. The People's Court made it debut on Sept 7, 1981. And of course, JFORD arrived on Sept 7, 1971, so all in all, it is a pretty good day and year if I do not say so myself. So How did I celebrate this day?

Well, first off I arranged for the entire USA to get a day off from work! After that, I was able to sleep into till a little after 8 AM!  It was glorious and felt great. Then my wife and I got up and headed to the pool for a swim. A 1000 yard swim this morning. (I almost had a blog post about a lady hogging a swim lane when she was walking half the lane, which really ticked me off, but I am staying positive in my old age) After a good swim, we went to the weight room together. This was the first time in a weight room for me in a long time. I mostly did my ab workout, but I did try and use some machines while I was there.

Later we came home did some chores and then we just could not wait any longer and had to dive into the cookie cake my wife got me. It was delicious! We then opened presents, and I got a lot of cool Arkansas Razorback stuff, which I really needed. I am also getting a new Garmin 910XT, which should be here by the end of the week.

I am really excited to get this new watch. I have read review after review on it and it sounds awesome. I am looking forward to using it in the pool and running.  I am sure it has so many things on it that I will actually need to read the book to figure it all out, but I can't wait. I already feel faster after just ordering it! I am sure I will be posting more about it once I have it in my hands!

I have been dabbling with a new program called Periscope, this is a program that lets you broadcast from anywhere. I mostly have been just using the hashtag #DailyTrainings and then talking about my posts. I am not sure how often I will use it, or ho long I will continue to broadcast, but it is a pretty neat app.


Monday, August 31, 2015

I want a BIG MONTH...

So I was looking over my logs in for the last few months and the numbers aren't that great. Do you ever feel like you have been more active than you really were? Well this is one of those times. And this is the reason I think that logging your workouts is so important. If you look at my running numbers, I am almost embarrassed to call myself a runner!

May-12.4 miles
June-38.6 miles
July-26.12 miles
August-27.01 miles

Those are my big training numbers for the last 4 months. It's not good. I know of a guy that recently had over 300 miles in one month!  That's more than I did in a 1/4 year! So I do not care what I think I did this summer, I in no way did what I am capable of and that is why I am having trouble being as fast as I think I should be.

Simply: I am not running enough to be the runner I want to be.

I have about 2 months to prep for Ragnar TN. Plenty of time to get up to speed I think, but I am going to have to get a plan. Apparently just thinking about running does not translate into actually running.

I am not far off from where I want to be regarding distance. I wanted to be at a solid 5 miles by Sept 1, and that is doable at about a 10:15 pace. I want to be around 8 by the end of Sept under 10 min. My legs on Ragnar are around 5-6 miles apiece. Only problem is that I am having a hard time finding a training plan for this like I would for a triathlon, which means I will make it myself.

I am not sure I will set  specific number for mile in Sept, but I guarantee you I am looking at more than 27 but less than 300.