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.

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?

Friday, July 10, 2015

Daily Trainings Update

courtesy of Fatbooth
It's good to be back!  From where you may be asking. Well, my family and I went to the beach for almost 2 weeks and spent time hanging on the beach, catching fish, crab hunting at night, working on my tan, boogie boarding and eating very well! It was hard to come back from work last Monday for sure. I know while we were 'beaching it", a lot went on in this world, from flags to rainbows! So I thought my first blog post back should be an update. I usually do an update when I have several things I want to write about, but I know I will not get around to doing a separate blog post for each thing, so here it goes.

  1. I know everyone is dying to know what day of the streak am I on? Well the streak died on day 22, the morning we had to get to the airport. I managed to get in 38 miles in the month of June, so I was very happy. What did I learn from it? Well, I actually really enjoyed it and will likely do it again, it was fun to see how long I could go and a mile is nothing. Since I am running Ragnar in October and have no more tris on my schedule, I think I am going to focus on running and swimming going forward.
  2. I am not doing the Mighty Mite Triathlon this year. A very good friend and a mentor to my son is getting married on that same day. I do not think it would be a problem to get there, race and get back, but that would leave my wife with a lot to do that day. I think this day is more important.
  3. My weight is down to 188, even after vacationing. I am down 10lbs since this winter! How did I do it? Well, having a white couch and a wife that won't let me eat on it helps, I mean, who wants to eat chips and salsa in the kitchen and not in front of the TV? My snacking throughout the day has slowed down and even eating late at night, I am sure the constant exercise helps.
  4. I am so ready for NCAA football season!  Go Hogs!!!  WPS!!!
  5. I have been foam rolling like a champ!  I have really spent some time doing it. It hurts a lot but man does it get me feeling better. My IT band has been very sore, which has been effecting my knees I think. I was told that since it connects to the knee, that if you stretch out the IT band, it can take away some of that knee pain. I will let you know how it goes.
  6. We are leading a running group at our church and the first run is tomorrow! yes, I know July is a prime time to start a running program, but we have about 20 people signed up and I hope it grows and grows.
  7. We got a new cat! I told Jesse, my 6 yr old, that after we moved and after vacation, that we would get him a cat. Well he remembered, so we went to the animal shelter and picked out a torti cat and named her Reese cause she looks like a Reese's peanut butter cup. So far she is doing really well and has not been a problem!

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.