Category Archives: couch to 10k

IT’S OPEN ON THE BIG END, BABY !!!!!

yogiI know that I have used this quote on more than one occasion, but I just love it ! It is so true too. I really like where my mind is going these days in terms of my fitness goals and triathlon goals. There have been plenty of occasions that I could have chased out some negative thread of thought and said “No way I can do this.” Even this morning at the pool I had one more occasion to get to ride someone else’s negative rift, but frankly I just feel to good about the progress made so far to allow that! I am still feeling pretty high from the weekend at the Austin Marathon, my confidence is growing. What was once my worst fear of an event, swimming, is now becoming one of my favorites. While I thought that my running times seemed so insanely slow, I made progress that was beyond what I would have thought possible. So today my mind is right on track!

I remember one thing that my mentors in another area of my life always told me “you can’t think yourself into right action, you have to act yourself into right thinking”. If I had not learned this lesson and listened to people that had learned how to make positive changes in their life and then taken actions that at times didn’t appear to even make sence, I wouldn’t have the life I have today. Truth be known, I would probably not be alive. So I keep that experience close to my heart when I hear those negative voices, either internal or external, giving me the skeptics chant. Those voices are only real if I act on them instead of acting in a positive way regardless of what else might be heard.

Learning to shelve the negative voices is only a part of the game though, watering the seeds of the positive life-giving voices is the other side of the coin. The more that I feed “the good wolf” the stronger it will get! So everytime I complete one more good workout , I feed “the good wolf”. Everytime I do my workout even when my mind might want me to slough off, I feed “the good wolf“. The smile I get after completing my swim workout, that is food for “the good wolf“. The time I spend getting to practise meditation, that is food for “the good wolf” too.  Every time I get the chance to give someone else a lift of encouragement and share my experiences with my difficulties and how I was able to walk through them, that too is feeding “the good wolf“. That’s what I want to be about, feeding “the good wolf“; not only mine but others too.

One of my favorite sayings that my mentor consistenly tells me is “life is open on the big end , baby” ! The guy helped me walk through some of the darkest times of my entire life and kept telling me that over and over.  He didn’t ever promise me it was easy though, but he always told me it would be rewarding beyond my wildest dreams. Ride a bike 100 miles? Run a half-marathon? Swim a mile? Do a 70.3 triathlon? Not even imaginable 5 years ago. Ride a bike 100 miles? Run a half-marathon? Swim a mile? Do a 70.3 triathlon? Hell ya !

And ya know what, that’s just what I can see and dream today! I believe in the un-imaginable today ! IT’S OPEN ON THE BIG END, BABY!!!!!

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Weekend In Austin

austinstartThe last couple of years we have gone to Austin, Texas for the Livestrong Austin Marathon/Half-Marathon. Austin is one of my favorite cities to visit, which is strange for a life long Sooner to say, but we always enjoy our visits to Austin. In the past when it is marathon weekend I am usually really relaxed and I have always enjoyed following the girls all around the course to cheer them on, but the last 6 months have changed our game plan since I am now running too.  One part of running in these events that I really enjoy is getting to see a city from a different perspective, seeing the city on foot running is different than any other way to experience a city. My fitness level continues to get stronger, feeling the difference physically from the two earlier half-marathons to yesterday’s was really gratifying.  So to give you a glimpse into the biggest part of my weekend training, let me share a some of the Austin highlights.

The city of Austin has a  feel unlike any other city than I have ever visited. There is just such a positive vibe about the whole community. Austin is considered one of the most physically fit cities in the country and my experience has been that the more physically fit I have become the happier I have become too. So it is no surprise that people in general just seem to be happy about life, there is a certain aura that people generally have in Austin, they seem to have this carefree positive attitude that just exudes from them.  Of all the places that I have ever visited in my life I am certain that there are more people out with there dogs in Austin than anywhere else in the world, seemed like everywhere you went there were people with their pup dogs tagging along. Who doesn’t smile when they have a great dog-friend to run around with? So besides the music and awesome food, those two points stick out about this great city!

So the stage is set, we are getting ready for a great weekend in Austin on marathon weekend. I have done a bunch of these events with Becky and Cynthia over the last 12 or so years and always loved following them around the different courses to root them on! As a spectator watching your family members get to work hard and accomplish their goals on race day, that is a lot of fun. I am always really proud of them. That was how race day had always been until this November when I became a participant myself. Now the thrill is different, there is more of a common bond about being at the start of these big races with them. Not only is it the excitement of getting to expereince what you have worked hard to do, but getting to do that with your family is even extra-special for me. The girls do the full marathon and I am doing the half marathon. There is a since of closeness doing that together that I suspect few get to experience. It is just so odd to even be thinking about it too, going from someone who never exercised to actually being out there doing this type of thing still blows me away. None of us would have ever thought that we would be doing this stuff together until the last few years. So we are really gratefull for the experience.

The start of the race was at the State Capital, it is a really beautiful place too. After leaving the capital you weave through downtown and eventually head out on Congress Avenue through one of my favorite places to hangout and eat.  One thing that is dieffernent in Austin than in Oklahoma City is all of the food vendors in “coaches” or trailers throughout the city. There are even trailer park type areas that they are alll set up in that have bunches of picnic tables around  for customers to sit and have their meals. They have some great park areas in Austin too, I hope someday Oklahoma City develops a park system in that same class. As I was running I made notice of all the dedicated bike lanes in the roads, there are some many bike lanes throughout the city, it is just awesome. You could actually safely commute to work on bike in this town without getting run over or have some fat cig-smoking,  jelly donut eatin’ neanderuthal riding up your ass and honking at you to get out of his way! (and yes that may or may not have been me 3-4 years ago) One of my favorite parts of the race was when we were running at about 10 miles with all the Livestrong volunteers out on there in their yellow cheering us on, they were absolutely great!  Again, the atmosphere of Austin makes the race.

medalaustinNow about the race and my fitness gains, this was my best half marathon so far. I was able to improve my half-marathon time by 17:19 minutes! I was really pleased, to say the least. I really wanted to do well and I felt I was in much better shape than back in November and December, but I was a little apprehensive about expecting a great gain in time. At Dallas after the first one in Tulsa, I was actually slower; that stung my pride pretty good. I thought surely I would do better than time.  So with that experience I was a little gun shy about my expectations, especially since I knew this would be a tougher course than the others. I had a little piece of paper on me that showed where my mile splits would need to be for 3 different finishes, one being a “pie in the sky” time that I didn’t think I would even be able to do. Well at mile 11 I was so close to the “pie in the sky”, I couldn’t believe it. If mile 12 didn’t have that one major hill, I could have maybe done it. I tried, I really did, but I just wasn’t able to get up that bastard like I needed to close it out. Having said that I was so pumped about the time I was going to be able to pull off! It was actually a better time than I honestly thought I could do; 2:33:49 ! I felt so stoked about that! I was one big major smile when I crossed that finish line!

 

So that was my training highlight this week, I leave Austin feeling really confident that I will be able to do Galveston. I know that my run is getting better and stronger, I also expect it to be even stronger by April 7th.

Tonight let’s listen to an Austin favorite son Jimmie Vaughan live at Antone’s.

 

 

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The Hopeful Path

hopeagainFeels good to get all my workouts in today. My attitude is getting back in shape and just knowing that even though this week was sorta abnormal in the way my schedule unfolded, I feel good about the fact that I will get all my workouts done this week. That’s just pretty cool too. I just decided to not sweat it, just do the stuff as I could. Get flexible, and create a way to get it all done!

This evening I had two workouts to get done; one run and a swim. The run was a 50 minute run that i did at Oklahoma Christian running trails. It is so cool to get out there and see all the work they have gotten done on the trails. They are working on installing the lighting that will light the entire path at night. Night running is just around the corner, that is going to be so cool too. It will make my training so much more flexible; with a good lighted path, that opens up earlier morning runs and later evening runs. We are really excited about that. The swim workouts are the most difficult to work into a busy schedule, but it is possible. Ya just gotta think about the possible, not worry about the impossible! So I flipped this swim workout to tonight just to make sure I got it in. I am continuing to enjoy progress in swimming, I actually really like swimming now. Tonight I had 2000 yards to do, I thought it went pretty well too. I did several drills with the buoy too, that is getting more comfortable all the time too. I got to share a lane with a guy that looked like he was swimming like I was swimming in September/October, it was nice to see. God, he looked like he was pissed at the water! It was like he just wanted to kill the water. So I knew I was making some progress.

I was reading something on Siri Lindley’s(my grand-coach) website earlier that caught my eye. It was about her coaching philosophy, she said “My goal is to have every athlete I coach, achieve their every dream while having fun, and learning about themselves, every single day.” I really like that idea too. She is my coaches coach, and thats the same attitude I get from my coach too. I belive in the process and the road that I am on, and it’s getting more fun every day. It’s work, but damn it sure feels good.

Tonights tunes will be, The Fixx doing “One Thing Leads To Another”. One of my all time favorites!

Good night !

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Be Your Own Inspiration

Fruits-Table-Lamp_2Today as I was running I was thinking it would sure be nice to meet some people that are at the same begining level that I am. I had a mentor that used to like to say “seems like just about the time I think I am leading the pack, I look up and I realize I am dead last”. Well I had to laugh at that this morning; I never “lead the pack”, that is for damn sure, but I was right there around the tail end of the group. Today I was to do a 2:05 hour run. With the weather that was coming in our way I knew I wanted to get up and get it done! So joining my wife and daughter at the Landrunner’s 8 mile run was a great way to get out there and get it done.

While I was one of the last ones to finish, that didn’t mean it was a bad run for me. I know that my starting point isn’t where most the other people’s starting point is. I also know this, there are still a bunch of people laying in bed too that are behind me! 😉 So my goal today was to follow the directions for my workout. I wanted to try to stay in my Zones when it asked me to, no matter how slow it might seem or be. It went pretty well too. I did a much better job of staying focused on my run. If it asked me to stay in Zone 2 I tried to keep in that Zone, if it asked me to step up to Zone 3 I pushed it on up. I did do the water stops as they came up. So after I finished the 8 mile run, I went on to complete the rest of my 2:05 hour run. It was kind of cool looking up when I was on the last 1/2 mile and seeing Becky, my wife running toward me. She was to do 16 miles today, so she and our daughter started an hour before the scheduled run.

“Therefore, Ananda, be a lamp unto yourself, be a refuge to yourself. Take yourself to no external refuge. Hold fast to the Truth as a lamp; hold fast to the Truth as a refuge. Look not for a refuge in anyone beside yourself. And those, Ananda, who either now or after I am dead shall be a lamp unto themselves, who take themselves to no external refuge, but holding fast to the Truth as their lamp, and holding fast to the Truth as their refuge, shall not look for refuge to anyone beside themselves, it is they who shall reach the highest goal.”
— Mahaparinibbana Sutta

That is the story that kept coming to mind as I was running. I was thinking, I wish I knew someone who had started out much like myself that has already achieved the same goals that I want to achieve. The thing is, I don’t think I know anyone here locally that fits “my story. As I was thinking of that, inside I knew that I had to be my own motivation and had to let my own story be what pushes me on. The just may not be another story that I will find that can match mine. Sure there are similarities, but I think probably the most important thing is “finding that lamp of my own“. Isn’t that a life truth too? So becoming my own motivation was the message of the morning.

Well after getting home we went out to eat at one of my favorite places, Charleston’s. I had my favorite, grilled salmon with carrots and a side Ceasar. We had a really relaxing meal followed by good one hour massage. Now we are going to try to stay warm and watch a little football and basketball.

Hope you all have a great afternoon too.

Let’s go with Elton John’s Tiny Dancer for tunes today!

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The Road Is Longer Than It Might Appear

sbr At the first of the year I suspect we all set goals or have ideas of where we want to try to go, not only in our fitness life but other areas too. As a person that was never very athletic and didn’t get any physical exercise for many years I have really been blown away by how it has affected me. To me, it did so much more than just improve my physical fitness, it affected every area of life, life became more vibrant. So after I had completed my first 100 mile event, I felt like I was on top of the world and could do anything! This summer will mark my 3rd year of cycling, and while I do have some real lofty goals this year, I also have had to take a little humility on the road. Below I will tell you of just a few experiences that have been some of the growing steps and some of the more humbling ways I have had to come to grips with just where my starting point actually was.

After finishing my first Hotter N Hell Hundred, one afternoon my wife who is a marathon runner was going to go out for a quick run. Feeling all pumped up about my accomplishment, I said “hey, why don’t I come with you ?” She gave me a somewhat quirky look, but I think she felt like it was kind of sweet that I was willing to go along with her. So that seemed to trump the “doubt in my ability” skeptism that she had. I had no clue that cycling ability did not translate into running abilty. After jogging out the front door and maybe 30 yards down the street, I was done! I learned real quick that I was just a beginer in this fitness thing. I had “baby steps” to endure if I was to start running and eventually swimming too.

Getting an understanding of my true fitness level was one lesson I had to learn, and then in May of 2011, we came home to a house filled with smoke. It was the most surreal experience in my life, you never think that is going to happen to you. We hustled to get all of our pets out of the house while the fire department came. We were fortunate that we caught the fire in an early stage. So what does that have to do with my 2011 fitness goals? Life happens and some things just take precedence over my own plans and family needs had to be the focus. We were living in a motel for 3 months and it was a full 6 months before all of the construction was finished. What happened was all of those New Years plans just couldn’t happen.

Having made it through a chaotic 2011, I was ready to get going! In 2012 I wanted to do a triathlon! So I set out to do it with an organization that helped you with your training; great people and an organization with a wonderful cause too. So what was the catch? Well they met for swimming on Monday nights, a night that I had a previous commitment. This particular commitment was with a group of people who absolutely have saved my life. It is something that if I didn’t have it in my life, there would be no other goals. These people gave me life and helped me find a relationship with God in a way that changed me forever. I tried to justify not going for a short period until my event was over, but in my heart of hearts I knew where my priorities needed to be. This is the place that God gave me life, and it is the place where I get to be most effective in helping others have that same experience too.

My new fitness life is amazing, it has affected my entire life from the inside emotionally and spiritually and also physically too; but it hasn’t been an overnight event. I have had to take and am still taking many baby steps along the way. While my fitness goals do have a high priority level, they are not the most important priority; God and family have to be in the proper order too. It takes time to find that balance. It is more about finding a new lifestyle that can be balanced in all areas.

Best of luck with your fitness goals in 2013!

Todays workout was a 2-1/2 hour bike ride followed by a one mile run. It was work, but good work! I even did a pretty good job of following my coaches directions for the workout today!

Tonight let’s go with a little FUN.!

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