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!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Oh, the Possibilities...

I am sad to say that I have already ran more this month than I did in January. 8.25 miles is all I have logged this month and I am beating January. But here is the thing that I have not felt in a long, long time. I am starting to...

I can honestly say that it has been awhile since I enjoyed it, but I guess a year off is the right amount of time to miss something!  Go figure! The hardest part for me has been taking it slow and building back. In my mind, I am still in Ironman shape (did I mention I was an Ironman? never mind) and I should be able to go out and knock out 10 miles no problem, but that is so not the case! My runs are short right now. As a matter of fact, my longest run this year has been 2.5 miles! This has all been part of my master plan though. I plan on using February to try and build some sort of base. I doubt I go over 4.5 miles in total distance. In March, I will add some biking and swimming and hopefully by May, I will be ready for my first sprint race in 3 years! (which I am really excited about doing). After this sprint in May, it is "GO TIME", time to focus on Redman 140.6. IM #2!!!

But before that, there are a couple of races I am thinking of doing and some I will do. Seems like every year I make a list of races I am doing, then life gets in my way and I only hit about half or less of them, so this year, this is my races that are on my radar list. So here they are and some quick thoughts on why I want to do them:
  • Los Locos Duathlon- (April 12) This is a good race to gauge where I am at. It's a 2 mile run, 15 mile bike, 2mile run. It is in April though, which is a drawback for me, seems early, much preferred when it was in Sept.
  • Rebelman Sprint Triathlon- (April 12) This is a nice little sprint at Ole Miss. The only thing I do not like about it is that it is a pool swim, plus it is on the same day as the Los Locos Duathlon, so choices will have to be made. A 480 yd swim, 13 mile bike and a 3.1 mile run might be a good refresher for me.
  • Memphis in May Sprint Triathlon (May 2015)- This is a race I am looking forward to because I know so many people that race. Even some of my friends are planning n the sprint to be their first triathlon, so I definitely want to be there. My wife always races this one as well, so it could be our first triathlon together!
  • The Harbortown 5K- (June 5) I did this race one time when I first moved to Memphis and loved running through the area. I really want to run this with my wife, just because it is something we can run together.
  • Navy Nautical 10 Miler- (June 7) Never ran this before. I have learned that 10 nautical miles is closer to 11 miles for some reason. They have cool medals and would definitely be something new for me. I know I need to work on my running.
  • Dragonfly Triathlon- (June 13) I hate this triathlon! It has a trail run on it and it is usually hot as fire! However, I have not raced this in about 4 years, so maybe it might be worth re-looking at. 1/2 mile swim, 18 mile bike, 4 mile run.
  • Mighty Mite Triathlon- (July 18) Another sprint triathlon in Arkansas. Last year both my wife and I signed up for it and then realized we could not make it due to family obligations (bad planning). This is a point to point race, and is a pretty fun race. 600 yd swim, 13 mile bike, 3.1 mile run.
  • Elvis Presley 5K- (Aug 15) How have I lived in Memphis for 14 years and only ran this once?? Last year my bride and I ran it and had a great time. We agreed to make it an annual race for us to run!
  • Redman Full- (Sept 26) Everything listed above should have something to do with this race. This is my A number one race, with the main goal of beating 15:53 first and then on beating Brad D.
  • Ragnar Relay- (Oct 26-28)- This is just straight up fun. The old team that I did it with in 2013 is back together and we are adding a good friend of mine to run. This will be a great end of the year race.
So again, I am not saying this is my race schedule, but these are the ones I am interested in running. If I hit them all, then that would be a lot of races for 2015. I am just happy I am actually looking at races again and even thinking about a schedule. I have to remember to build slowly and take care of myself, which I am doing, along with a 30 day ab challenge!!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

3 for 1

I know it has been awhile since I have posted and for that I say sorry to the 3 or 4 of you that still read. I have been busy. So that is why you get a treat today. You get 3 topics for one post!  JACKPOT!!!  So let's get going!

  1. I have to mention that last Sunday my bride and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary! (and we got to watch the Superbowl) We did get to have a nice evening out on Saturday and will hopefully celebrate later this month even more. I am truly blessed to have spent the past 24 years with this woman (18 in marriage and dated for 6) She is everything to me!  I love you babe!
  2. The Superbowl. I only have two words for this game. LOVED. IT.  Yes, I thought the Seachokes were going to win, and probably should have won, but what can you say, the Pats made a wicked good play! The game was a great one, but the halftime show and commercials were horrible in my opinion. The Halftime show was just silly and boring. I wanted more Lenny Kravitz, and since when did Missy Elliot become relevant again? I mean, it is pretty sad when the most talked about thing in the halftime show is the dancing sharks. The commercials were about the most depressing and lame as any Superbowl ever. Come on advertisers, use those millions of dollars and give us some of the good stuff, not about dead kids and cars driving around "living the dream"  C'mon Man!
  3. So the past few weeks I have been having some issues with my shoulder and my wrists have been bothering me for a long time, so I figured it was time to go get them checked out. I was really afraid my rotator cuff was unhappy and that it would be a serious injury because I was having trouble lifting my arm and I did not want to train for anything if I knew I was going to be out with shoulder surgery! So reluctantly I made an appointment with an ortho doctor and got it checked out. It turns out to be a good news/bad news type of visit.
    1. Good news- It is not a rotator cuff issue at all, just some tendinitis in the shoulder. I got a cortisone shot in the shoulder, and with a few days off, and some shoulder exercises, I should be able to get it back to where it was.  Huge relief!  Huge!
    2. Bad News- the wrists. It seems I have moderate arthritis in my wrists already, which he said was rare for someone my age. It can be managed, but it sounds like it can only get worse. I will be getting shots in my wrists in the future and hopefully managing it with medication. So that news could have been worse, and it is kind of a bummer, but I can handle it.
So there are three hot topics in one post. Now my goal is to get back to working on my 10 minute plank, and to run the majority of February, and then in march, start riding and swimming, building that base until Redman 2015 training starts sometime in May!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Training Plans

I think  that a good training plan is one of the most important things to hammer out before you start training for a triathlon. Years ago, I would have just gone out and S/B/R whatever I wanted and just made sure I could do the distances. Now I rely on a good training plan to start off my training on point.

I normally will search the web prior to pick out a training plan. I have tried dozens of search terms to try and find a great plan for me, but I have not ever found it yet. I always end up going to beginner triathlete and using a plan from them. A lot of plans on the web are expensive. They require more time than I have (after all, this is a hobby, not my life) and it is not quite what I want.

For example, I do not want weight room training in my workout schedule. Now I am in no way discounting the benefits it may or may not have, I am simply saying that I do not want to go to the weight room. With all the swimming, biking  and running we do, I am not sure I could find time to lift things up and put them down. My core workouts even slack off once I am into a plan. So there is no way I am going to the weight room.

I also want to find the right length of training. In 2013, when I became an Ironman, (suttle enough?) I trained for months. I started training in March for a September race. 7 month long training plan!  By the time race day got there, I was so ready for it to be over! I think that is one reason that it took me so long to recover mentally from that race. So now I will be sure to not train to long for a race.

SO, here is what I use. I use the Beginner Triathlete's custom made plans. I input all the information like, date of race, when I want training to start and even the pace I think I can do throughout the race. I then select how I want to focus my training. Do I want to focus on swimming, biking or running?

This time for Redman, I am swimming 2 times a week, biking 3 times a week and running 3 times a week for a total of 8 workouts:

Monday- medium swim
Tuesday- medium run, medium bike
Wednesday- short bike
Thursday- long swim
Friday- short run
Saturday- long bike
Sunday- long run

I know there is no rest day, but if you read this blog, then you know I am not opposed to taking a rest day when needed. This schedule gives me some flexibility to live my life and do the things I need to do all while training to be a two time Ironman and to beat Brad. It also means that I do not have to get up early every single morning so I can sneak in my lunch swims if possible. The beauty of this IM plan is that I will not start it until mid May, which I think will help me a lot more than last time.

Monday, January 12, 2015

4 minutes 4 seconds

That is where I stand now on my 90 day plank challenge. I started with a max of 3:05 and my max out last night was 4:04. My goal is to get to a 10 minute plank. So this week, my plank workouts will be three (3) 2 minute planks. This week I have found the secret to doing a good plank, one that will make you feel the burn and make strides is to wear the right shoes. There is no way I could do planks barefooted cause it hurts me toes! So I have to have on my running shoes to guarantee that I do not slide around while trying to bang out a plank. I think it also helps to begin your plank at the start of a commercial while watching TV. We all know commercials run about 2 minutes, and nothing makes it harder for me than to stare at the stopwatch watching the time. So I either look away or make sure the watch is not in my line of sight. So seven days down, only 83 more days to plank! I also realized that I do not need to do 5 days of planking to get gains, so I have skipped a day in the week, but I can seriously see myself hitting a 10 minutes plank in the future.

As far as my other workouts, well, if you have seen a weather map, or if you have been on FaceBook, then you know it has been cold. It got down to 7 degrees here in Memphis and that's not normal. It is not suppose to get that cold here. So needless to say, that made it difficult for me to get out. Not only was the outside cold, but everywhere you went INSIDE was also cold. I do not think we build frigid proof houses here like maybe they do in Minnesota or Wisconsin. I don't know, but I had no desire to get outside unless I had to and that only meant going to work, going to church or going outside to get some firewood!

So now that the Holiday season is over, my wife and I thought we should do something crazy, so we decided that now is the perfect time to put our house on the market and try to sell it! We simply need more room and we have been putting it off for awhile now, so we decided to go for it. It should officially be on the market this week, which honestly, scares the crap out of me. I mean, what if someone does buy it, then we have to find a new house! We are waiting to even look at new houses because I do not want to find a house we love and then be stuck because ours has not sold yet, but I think once that ball starts rolling, it will roll fast! I would love to find a house that I can have a workout room or "man cave" I could setup my bike and get a treadmill and some weights and turn it into a PAIN CAVE! I am sure we will find the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood in the perfect time, but it is still a little scary....Wait, I have to find all new running routes!!!!

Friday, January 2, 2015

90 Day Challenge- Join me???

Welcome 2015 and welcome all the "new" me's and better eating habits we will all have this year. As with every January, I have been hit with several challenges to start off 2015 the right way. I really looked into these challenges and I have finally focused on a couple (meaning 3) that I am going to participate in and I have one I want to share with you!!! But here are the two challenges I have accepted for the next 90 days, beginning Jan 5, 2015.

  1.  The church I attend has issued a challenge to read one chapter of the Gospels everyday for 90 days. This doesn't sound all that difficult does it? Many years I have always tried to read the Bible through in a year and I have failed. I struggle with finding a quiet time, but I can always find time to train!  That seems messed up right?
  2. Drink water with all my meals. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will all have a big O glass of agua to wash it down. (Okay, I count coffee as my water for breakfast). I always agree with people when they say I should drink more water, but somehow I am tricking myself into drinking by saying I am going to have it at meal time, and not totally giving everything else up.
  3. 90 Day Plank Challenge or 90 Core Challenge- This is most likely more up your alley as readers. I am going to really work on my planking for the next 90 days to build up my core strength, because I know a strong core will benefit my swimming, my biking and my running, plus it will make me look good! I have thought about doing Day 1 picture and then day 90 pictures, but I make no promises.

Here is how my planking challenge is going to work:
  • On Sunday, will do a max out on plank time. Each Sunday, every Sunday.
  • Monday through Saturday I will plank 5 times, letting me have one day to rest.
  • I will take my max plank time and divide it in half, and then do 3 sets of planks for that time.
  • Example: Last night I planked for 2:30. So my weekday workouts, which I will do on MTWTHF will consist of three (3) 1:15 planks, as my max time increases, then my weekly time will also increase!
Sounds simple huh? Will it work? I have no idea. All I know was that when I was serious about my core, I was doing 5 minute planks. I want to go longer. I honestly think I can get to a 10 minute plank. It might take longer than 90 days, but you never know. If I do hit 10 minutes, I will video it and out it on my blog! Who is with me???

Sunday, December 28, 2014

2015 Anti-Resolutions

This is the time of year that most, if not all people start to write their new years resolutions for 2015. I would bet you that if you went back on this blog, you would see a few posts at the beginning of the year where I listed out things I wanted to accomplish in the upcoming year. I will say that I honestly had good intentions, each and every year, but I can say with certainty that I most likely did not accomplish any of them. Without even looking back, I can almost bet that those goals included the following at one point:
  • six pack abs
  • sub 20 minute 5K
  • PR every race
  • learn the guitar
  • save money
And probably a few more are on my lists of failures. I heard a stat that only 8% of people keep their New Years Resolutions! So with this in mind, I have decided that I am going to set my anti-resolution goals for 2015. Basically it is things that I plan on starting, but I have serious doubts that I will complete. So when I do not complete them, I will have succeeded!  Brilliant huh? So here are my 2015 anti-resolutions:
  1. Lose 20lbs- Yes, I would love to hit 175lbs before Redman 140.6, but I doubt I do it!
  2. Have a DR. check out my wrists- I have had some wrist pain for quite some time, but I am afraid of what he might find out, so I doubt I will even have them checked out!
  3. Six pack abs- who does not have this on their list? I think it is required, but hey, I am 43, so it is highly unlikely.
  4. Eat healthier- I really would like to eat healthier overall, but I love Taco Bell, BBQ and I have 3 kids, so this won't happen.
  5. Drink more water- this one is totally doable, and I can do it for a week or so, but it won't stick, never has, never will.

Wow, that was so much easier than trying to figure out what I am capable of, and then actually trying to do it! By setting up what I am not going to do in 2015 really takes a lot of pressure of me honestly. And please, do not hold me accountable to not doing these 5 things, it will not help me at all if you do, but they say accountability is the best way to hit goals! I already feel like I have not accomplished so much this year!!!!