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 BT.com 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.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Second Verse...

This week has been a runners dream weather-wise!  If you had ever said to me that the lows would be in the upper 50s in Memphis in August, I would not have believed you for a second, but I can testify!  It has been absolutely gorgeous running weather this week, which has really helped me get back on track with my running. I have Ragnar TN coming up in October and my plan legs of the run are in the 5-6 mile range each. So my plan was to be at a comfortable 5 mile run by the first of September, and I feel like I am there.  My running partner (we have two teams this year) is going to be faster than me, so I need to start working on speed as well. If this weather stays like it is (and I am hoping this blog post doesn't jinx it) I plan to be in the 7-8 mile range by the end of September.

So now to address the title of this post. Second verse, same as the first...

I am back on an ab/core challenge again. I have done this several time before and never completed it, so I guess I should titled this more like 14th verse, but never mind that, cause this time I am serious! And heres how Ima gonna do it!

I challenged some other triathletes I know through social media to join me. I find I am more accountable when I have others working with me.  So I put it out there and there are actually a few people that said they were on board. I started 2 days ago (no six pack yet) and I really want to see this through. At 43 (fixing to be 44 in a few weeks) I am not sure if washboard abs are in my future, but I know a solid core will help me in many ways. Here is the plan I am using:

This is actually a combination of two plans I found on the net and morphed them together and came up with this. It is also on my IG account if you can't see it. I am really hoping having others work along side me will get me to day 30. Time will tell won't it!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Sometimes It Is Just About The Finish!

Many times through my training schedules, I have either read or been told that the race is often more about the journey to the finish line than it is about the finish. Now I get what they are saying, and I have probably even muttered those words to people before, but sometimes its not about the journey.

Sometimes it is simply just about finishing.

This applies to a race, to a training run or just about anything you do. Just finish Baby!

Many times in my running career (yeah, I know that sounds weird but...) I have simply just wanted to quit, to just stop and go home. The mental battle is toughest thing about endurance sports in my opinion. If I can get those voices out of my head that tell me I am tired or that it is too hot, then I win! It is easier said than done.

People still ask me about Ironman and how hard it was. I used to say that it was the toughest day of my life, but now I answer them differently. Now my answer is this, that was the longest day ever. The reason it was so long was that it was a lonely day. I had a lot of time inside my own head. A lot of thoughts bouncing around (although now, I do not remember half of them). During an Ironman, you are thinking about the journey to the starting line, you are simply thinking about finishing. You are thinking about getting off that bike and how good it will feel to walk, then you are thinking about finishing that run. I do not remember a time thinking about the journey... until well after it was completed.

On Saturday, my wife and I lead a running group. As I was running with a guy, he said something about how running was a journey, which I do agree on 100%, but I also know that sometimes, you just have to finish. It's about getting through when you aren't sure if you can or if you even want to anymore.

You still have to finish to continue the journey!

Sorry about the song, but I love this video

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Sometimes I Get Freaky With My Foam Roller...

Oh foam roller, you wonderful painful piece of foam I could not live without!  Oh how I love, yet hate you all at the same time.

Needless to say, the foam roller is turning out to be one of my most important pieces of running gear I own. This was not always the case. I mean, I have always used the foam roller, but I didn't really usseeee it, if ya know what I mean.

In the past, my time with the foam roller was short and sweet, mainly because it hurt like the dickens. This should have been a sign to me that I needed to spend more time rollin. But honestly, I was never quite sure how I should have been using it. Or how long should I be using it???

About 2 weeks ago, I was talking to a buddy that is a super fast sub 3 hour marathoner (something I will never see) and we were talking about how my knees were starting to bother me. The inside part of my knee is what was bothering me. So we talked about this and he mentioned that it was probably my IT band that was causing the pain! He explained to me how the IT band could be affecting my knees. He went on to say how spends up to 2 hours on the foam roller. He will search and search until he finds that sweet spot and then just work it out.

I have never been on my roller for 2 hours!!!

So I went home and did about 20 minutes.  Close enough right?

I rolled very slow and methodical and it hurt, but I could actually feel my IT band releasing after a few solid minutes on it. So I did the same thing the next night and the night after that. 3 straight nights I spent on the floor with my roller. And guess what?

My knees are feeling much better. So I am sold on it and I have been doing it just about every other night and I am loving it ( I really hate it, but you know what I mean) It's a lot like running, you may hate the mile you are on, but you love the end result. So if you do not have a foam roller, get one!

Friday, July 17, 2015

It's The Right Time...

How I feel once I am done with a morning run...
I like to think that I am a strategic type of guy. A planner if you will. I feel great when I have my day planned out and I know what is going to happen and what I am going to get accomplished, however, I would not consider my self so much of a planner as to where I am not adaptable and can change on a whim and still get what I need to get done. I like to think that anyways...

But I am not when it comes to my workouts.

I am an early morning workout type of guy. Always will be. Afternoon or evening workouts just never "work out" for me. (Did you see how that worked out? I did it again!) Many a morning when I wake up, I just don't want to run, or swim, or bike. Some of those mornings I will talk myself into changing my plan and I will plan on leaving work a little early and then workout. I go so far as to pack my backpack with running clothes even. I plan my lunch around it because although I LOVE Taco Bell, its not good for me to eat tacos for lunch and then run later. So my mindset and intentions are always good and strong.

But it never fails. Life happens. Work happens.

It seems like every time I verbally tell someone I am going to try and get out early from work, something happens. Or there is something at home that I forgot about or that pops up during the day. I should have learned this by now, but yet I always resort to talking myself into doing it later that afternoon. So No more!  I am saying no to skipping morning workouts and I am just going to start telling myself that if I do not get up, it most likely ain't gonna happen!

So I need to remember why I like to get up in the morning and get it done.
  1. No cell phone calls from work or anyone early in the morning
  2. It's not as hot
  3. I feel more productive throughout the day
  4. It's not as hot
  5. Does not interrupt family time since they are all still sleeping
  6. I feel like a more dedicated athlete
  7. I can then tell all my friends how dedicated I am and how they aren't
  8. I can eat Taco Bell for lunch
  9. Less traffic on the streets
  10. I sleep better knowing I got up early, ran and worked all day

That list took me less than a minute to come up with, so it's a no brainer right?