Category Archives: cyclist

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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Body, Mind, and Soul

Quote-439-300x300When I first started this blog several years ago the original title of the blog was “Body, Mind, and Soul”, so today I am going to go back to that pattern for this post. There are lessons that I am learning along this Road To Glaveston;  some new, some old with renewed strength. So with this being my first post in over a week, I feel somewhat refreshed and not nearly as over-whelmed in writing this morning. I like the tri-concept of body, mind, and soul; it seems to weave a really beautiful tapestry of life.

Body- Physically last week I was to have a recovery week in my workout routine. If recovery was the goal, I acheived that. I had two scheduled days of rest and ended up with 3 rest days. There were three workouts that were my highlights, each for different reasons. My swim workout was awesome this week, I really enjoy getting into the pool. I wouldn’t have ever thought that swimming would become so enjoyable. For me to come full-circle in swimming is a big deal! My favorite run this week was Saturday’s Fridgid Five in Edmond. We did this event with my brother in law. He wanted to do a run to celebrate his 70th birthday, so we had a nice dinner out with them on Friday and met them for the run on Saturday.  Jim has been a lifelong runner and has done the Boston Marathon a couple of times too. I know my wife felt good about doing that with him too. She feels like her mom would have been proud to see them running together. The bike ride on Sunday at the lake was really relaxing, it was to be 90 minutes of riding just for enjoyment. I put in my headphones and did lake laps. It was refreshing too, helped me to get my head clear.  Hopefully with the recovery week I will be able to hit this week  in full gear. We will cap the coming week off with a good trip to Austin for the Livestrong Marathon.

Mind-  My mind is in pretty good shape this week. Mentally I feel pretty positive about where I am with the Road To Galveston. There are times that I wonder “are you friggin nuts?” but those are usually fleeting and I don’t feed them with second thoughts. But more importantly there are times that I think “what else can we do?”, the opening up of a wide range of possibilities is so refreshing to me.  I don’t just mean what other exercise goals, not just the thought of another physical challenge like maybe a 140.6 or maybe something like a Leadville 100 bike challenge; I have some other challenges that are teasing me too. The ability to put my mind in better focus towards goals is opening up some other new possibilities that I have thought were maybe lost to my age.  So stay tuned this year, there just might be some other journeys on the horizon.

Soul- Spiritually this last week was really good. I had the opportunity to spend some time with another man listening to his life story; the good, the bad, the ugly. I love getting to do that, it is a real honor and priveledge. If you have never had the chance to sit down and tell someone your entire life story, warts and all, not withholding anything, give it some thought. Maybe it might be something you would consider for Lent this season. Richard Foster talks a little about this in his book Celebration of Discipline, and I believe that it captures the spirit of two verses in particular in the Christian faith James 5:16 ” Confess your sins one to another that ye may be healed.” and Matthew 18:20 “Wherever two or three gather in my name, I am with them.” When I get the opportunity to listen to someone like this, it reminds me of how we are all just human, trying our best and at times our ‘not so best’, and really I have never felt anything but a real sense of love and care that I know comes from our best “Spirit”. It also helps me to loosen some of that hyper-criticalness I have toward myself too. Looking forward this week towards Lent, I know that I have one commitment that I want to be diligent with, that is daily meditation. As far as something that I might sacrifice, I still am not sure what that will be. I am looking forward to this season though, it is one of my favorite times of the Christian faith.

So there you go! That’s the recap from last week. Hope you find something useful in my ramblings today.

Don’t you just LOVE THE GRAMMYs? Today’s tune is from Ed Sheeran and Elton John singing A Team. Elton John was a true ‘elderstatesman’ last night, what a great man he has become.

Have a blessed week.

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Test #2 – Bike Test

testbiketrainer Tonight was a Heart Rate and Power test on the bike trainer. I didn’t get started until 9:30pm. Actually I kind of like doing trainer work later in the evening.

The total time of the workout was to be 1 hr, including warmups and cool downs. A 15′ warmup, then 30′ in the test part, and finish with an easy 15′ spin to cool down. My coach said to really let it all go, push it as hard as I could. I felt damn good about it too. I don’t know that I have ever averaged that high a speed for a whole hour or that high of a watts average. So I was pretty pleased. After about 3 minutes into my cool down I noticed that I was on track to average 21 mph and I had to laugh thinking of one of our fellow bloggers post’s about averaging 20 mph, made me smile a little bit.

We are going to be using these results to reset my training Zones, both HR and Power. I am a data dork, so I am kinda curious to see how that will work out. I have read a lot about different types of training, but it is nice to have a coach to sort that stuff out and give me some solid guidance.

You know, I am really starting to have a lot of fun with this training too. I just love seeing what how much more I might be able to do. I get a sense that every day I am building a little more firm of a base. It has been fun doing this with a friend too, Jason and I get to root each other on. To me it is all kind of dreamy in a sense, five years ago there is nothing about what I am doing today that would have even been a passing thought. I just keep thinking of what one of my mentors always says to me “(life) It’s open on the big end baby!

And it damn sure is.

Wrap-up Song for tonight will be Coldplay’s Clocks.

Good night all.

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Good Country Ride

jonestrainToday I did a 2:45 hour ride from my house out to the Jones/Choctaw area. After about 5 miles you are out in a rural area on the outskirts of Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma City metro area is relatively flat, but this area does have a few hills to work on. This was the first time since probably September that I have ridden out that direction. I like to have a riding buddy when I go out there, we have had a few cycling/car fatalities in the last couple of years out there. So today I had my buddies Big Brian and Jason out with me. We did a little over 40 miles.

My favorite part of the ride is along a stretch of XXX Road that travels north-south. It is farmland, really peaceful; plus we are usually turning back north and get to let the south wind push us for awhile. We did have a little bit of an issue with a road crew that was putting up guard rails, they had put up “road closed” signs but it looked to me like we could easily get through. The first person with the heavy equipment waived us through, his supervisor wasn’t as “accommodating” as the other guys. So we took a little brow beating from the fat redneck and went on. This is part of the route for one of the bigger bike rides of the year in Oklahoma City, The Redbud. I will miss it this year because we will be in Galveston for the Lonestar 70.3.

We did stop at a quickstop in Jones to get some Gatorade. All I had for liquids was water, I should have done one water and one Gatorade. So after that break it was the last stretch back into Oklahoma City/Edmond. To me it was pretty uneventful, just a good afternoon ride. The weather was unseasonably warm, around 65 or so, but the wind was Oklahoma strong, 15-25 constant out of the southwest with occasionally higher gusts. The 65 degrees made the wind a good trade off. If you want to ride bike in Oklahoma, you just gotta know there will be plenty of windy days. While we don’t have big mountains, we do have wind!

All in all it was a good ride. A good first effort out on some hillier routes. I do think I want to do a lot more training out that way rather than at the flat lake too. So I am looking foreward to getting out that way more often. At the end of the ride I did feel like I probably should have pushed it a little more than I did. My heart rate was in the middle of my Zone 2 on average. I could have done a little more I think. But for a first Jones ride of the year, I will call it a good ride.

One thing I do like is the fact that my starting point this year is much better than last year. I am about 30 pounds lighter than my wieght at this time last January so that is a really good thing. Aerobically I think I am probably in a better place too, thanks to the running and swimming. So if this is the starting point this year, it should be fun seeing where it takes me in August and September of this year!

Back CameraNow it is reward time! Becky and I will be heading out to our new favorite pizza place in Oklahoma City, Upper Crust Pizza ! Last week was our first time to Upper Crust and it was awesome, can’t wait to go back tonight. Just saw thier web-site, wouldn’t you know it’s another Hal Smith Group establishment. They have to be about the top operators in our city.

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Inspired And Inspire

inspired
I don’t know if any of you ever follow and read what some of the professional triathletes are doing in there training, but I enjoy seeing their posts on Twitter. I have enjoyed watching them begin thier season in camps and getting ready for the new year. It is kinda cool to pick a few and follow them. I used to follow the cyclers more, but this last year it has shifted over to triathletes. On Twitter someone had posted and article about Sir Lindley, who was a World Champion triathlete and is now one of the top coaches. It was a cool read getting the feel for how positive a peron she is. She was one of the triathletes that I have followed on Twitter and she is pretty active too. One thing that I notice about the people that she works with, they all seem so excited to be working with her. Another thing that I found really cool to was that she is the coach of my coach, Dr. Amanda Stevens. I her excitement and positive way of working with people is passed along well too. Amanda has that same positive spirit when she talks to me or when we did our swim lessons. So until someone tells me I shouldn’t do this, I think I will claim Siri Lindley as my “grand-coach”! Hey they say if you want to do great things, extraordinary things; you need an extraordinary team supporting you. For the last 10-15 years I have had such a great group of mentors and teachers!

Today I had two workouts: a “hills” run and a “build” bike ride.

This afternoon after work I was able to squeeze in a nice 45 minute run at Mitch Park. The Landrunner’s, an Oklahoma City running club, uses this park to do their hills training when they are thier marathon training runs. So I loaded up and went out there for my run. It was a really good run too. The weather was really nice, just a little cool but not quiet jacket cool. There was a good gentle breeze too, but not “Oklahoma windy”. One thing that I noticed on this run was the smell of all the cedar trees, it kind of reminded me of the time I was doing the motorcycle tour through Colorado and noticing the scent of all the pines. It just had that strong a presence today. Now about the running, it went pretty good too. I was to stay in Zone 1-3, and I did a pretty good job of doing that. Occasionally I would get a little out Zone 3 on some of the hills, but I stayed pretty true to the plan. I still hope to get faster, but it wasn’t getting in my head in a negative way like the other day. I just keep reminding myself “trust the plan, trust the process, and trust your coach”.

I did my bike workout on the trainer this evening. I waited until about 8:30 or so to do it. This workout was and hour long, I did two sets of “build” drills. It went well too. I just got into the tunes and worked at keeping tunes would have been straight off the Ellen showbetween 150-155 bpm on my heart rate for the “build” portion of the workout. I love listening to tunes while I do my bike trainer work. Tonight I ended up with Rick James Radio on Pandora, I got to laughing at myself thinking about how I swear the tunes sounded like something the DJ Tony from Ellen Show would have played. So Ellen, if you are out there, you could have Tony do my tunes mix for my workouts on my “Road To Galveston”! The ride itself went pretty well, towards the end of the ride, I wanted to get that one more mile finished. It’s that slow thing again. I know, I know; stop that stuff right? Maybe it isn’t a bad thing though, maybe it is that burr in my ass that will keep me going to get better.

Attitude, attitude attitude; actually it was pretty good today. Now the dissatisfaction deal, I was reading one of my favorite authors the other day, Thich Nhat Hahn, and he talked about just smiling and saying “hello negative feelings, I hear you.” Just acknowledge them instead of trying to make them go away. It is like so many things in my life; the harder I go against them, the stronger they get. One thing that makes all the difference in the world is getting good quality meditation time too. I promise, it makes a major difference in my attitude. Hey, if I’m this crazy with meditation, do you really want to see me without it? 🙂

Tomorrow is going to be another good day too. I am switching my Sunday bike ride and my Friday swim to take advantage of the weather.I took the day off work to go on a 3 hour ride with Brian and Jason. We will head out for a good ride to the Jones/Choctaw area. I did hear that the wind might be a little stout but that will be better than a mid 30’s ride on Sunday.

Think I will throw a little Freak Power out today. They make me smile, sometimes a little music to make ya smi

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Two For Tuesday

2-for-tuesdayOK, so the early morning workouts are an awesome idea on days with two workouts!(In theory) But I have to tell you, sleep won this morning. I mean it sounds great, but not today. So that being the case, Becky and I headed out for an early evening run after work. It was about 50 degrees and drizzling mist. That doesn’t sounds so good, but it was actually pretty nice. I was dressed well for the conditions, so the mist was almost refreshing.
I did the run on the running trail at the college next door. From my mailbox around the course and back to my mailbox is a 5K. We really love the new running trail. It is going to be really cool when they finish putting the lights up around it, just awesome.

So enough about the course, the run was 40 minutes. 1o minutes of warmup, 15 minutes in Zone2, 5x 1min FAST 1min Easy, then 5 min cool down. Easy enough, right? It really was a nice run, warmup went really well. The 15 minutes in Zone 2 was a struggle, just going that slow is kinda hard on my little ego. I just felt really slow today, ugh! I hate gettin in that space. The 5 x (1×1) were more difficult than the 30 sec x 1-1/2 min that I did last week, but thats good. Maybe in time it will help me to stretch out some more and get a little faster.

I waited until after dinner to do the bike trainer workout. For whatever reason, I felt slower on it today too. Maybe it’s a good thing, if I turn that stuff into fuel for working harder so I can get stronger. I did 65 minutes on this ride; it had some single leg drills and a couple sets of hard effort intervals. I did the first half with music but went without it the second half. I was trying to keep my hard spurts all about 220 watts. Theres a certain amount of humility to actually put any of my numbers on here. But that was what I was doing. But again, the effort didn’t seem as good as some of my others.

One thing I am having to learn how to do is work. I was never an athlete growing up so I think I probably missed some learning on how to train, workout, and practice hard. It is a new experience for me. That is one reason I decided to get an actual coach. I just thought that might be something that would help me and I figured it would be a step beyond just downloading a plan. So far, so good too.

Today I will go with Madness’ Our House. Tune kinda makes me smile, reminds me of crazy times at Kramer’s trailer back home when we were in school. Kids couldn’t have as much fun today as we had then; strange how that is. No one ever got shot back then.

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Burr !!!!!!

Well the Road to Galveston was pretty chilly today. It was one of those days where emotionally and mentally I wasn’t in the best spot. On those days my best is just getting though the workouts, there was a run and bike for today. So that was what I set out to do. Becky wanted to get all of the Christmas stuff taken down and put back in the attic, so we set a time of 4:00pm to go out for our run. I was going to do my bike ride on the trainer later in the evening.

buddhachristmasI don’t think it ever got above 30 degrees today, and the windchill was 16. At four we shut down the “decontructing Christmas Project” and got dressed for our run. Becky needed to get 4 miles and I was supposed to get in 35 minutes. It was just flat out cold. We ran at the trail around Oklahoma Christian again today. I just did a 17 minute out and back basically. I didn’t run with my Ipod today, I just wanted to get out there and get this stuff done. No frills or anything, get it done and get out of the cold! Today there was a mix of “fast” intervals in my run. They were just 30 second fast runs, with 1:30 easy jogs. I was reallly kinda surprised that my pace on the fast part was as fast as it was. It kind of reminded me of last January when I started out doing 30 second jogs and 1:30 walks, except this time I was actually starting to run. I felt good about it too, like if I could go from jog/walk last year then this year I can go from run/jog to all out run eventually. Maybe? Or at least knock my pace down significantly. So that was the good part of the run. Still feeling some good hope, even on a day where I am just a litte frazzled.

My workout called for me to just ride my bike 45-60 minutes any way I wanted, have fun with it. So I figured the most fun I could have since it was bone chilling cold outside was to ride on the trainer and listen to an album that I have been wanting to download. I downloaded OneRepublic’s Waking Up, great tunes! I didn’t really even look at my power or heart rate. I did still try to keep my cadence up around 88-93 range. It went pretty well. I felt good about getting it knocked out.

So tomorrow will be another day. Hopefully I will snap this stupid funk that I got in today. I suspect I will. Sometimes life throws us a curveball when we are just sure it’s going to be another fastball. I am going to get up early and do my swim workout at the YMCA in Edmond tomorrow.

Hope you all had a great start to your New Year! Here is my favorite tune from the OneRepublic album, Good Life:

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