Category Archives: Happy

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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It’s An Inside Game

light_of_hope__1This morning it was COLD outside at 7am ! I was so tempted to roll over and go back to sleep and wait until later in the day to do my run. When we do Landrunners Becky usually leaves before me to pick up Cynthia, they usually do a little more than I do,  and then I leave a little afterwards. It was so tempting to just get back under the warm covers when she left, but I didn’t. Now that it is 3:30 in the afternoon I am glad I didn’t do that, but it was so tempting.

My running workout today was to be a 90′ run, mostly in Zones 2 and 3. I stayed pretty true to the plan, there were a few times that I would get out of Zone, but for the most part I held myself within Zone 3. My top heart rate in Zone 3 is 160 bpm. I did notice after the run I had downloaded the data off my Garmin that my pace within those Zones has improved, so that’s a good thing. I got a little down about my slowness a few weeks back. I think the testing last week and then some of the intervals made me see that I can and will improve, it just isn’t an over-night deal. One thing I am reminded of is the fact that “fast changes” in life rarely translate into sustainable longterm change. So what it takes is just what it takes! I did notice that my legs felt pretty shot afterwards. I think some of that might have been the night befores bike workout that I didnt finish until 10pm, I did that workout “out of order”. I was actually suposed to have down a 200o yd swim yesterday, but I wasn’t sure I could get it in on Friday with work so I switched it with the bike.  Amanda sent us (her clients) an email and it talked about keeping workouts in the order because they were designed that way for a reason, I’ll do better next week. 🙂

I also added stregth training this week. I am to do two workouts per week. Today I did the one that I needed the weight machines, it went just fine. It was a set of 6 or so workouts to be done in 3×10 set, actually 2×10 and 1x 15 this week. I thought of doing the other set at the same time, but I held back and saved that set for tomorrow. I can do those execises at home, so I will knock that one out in the morning before the afternoon ride.

My attitude is doing better today. I still need to get better at doing a setting meditation EVERY day, it just makes such a difference. Getting that time to let things “settle”, even when it doesn’t “feel” like it is doing anything at the time, always makes my days go by better. A little time with the Creator goes a long way. Ya know, how can you have a relationship with someone if you don’t spend time with them? Or like one of my mentors used to say, “how you going to know what God’s will is in your life if ya never spend anytime with God asking him?” Good point, huh?

Right now I am reading three books; Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time by Marcus Borg, Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Naht Hahn, and Body Mind Mastery by Dan Millman. I have really enjoyed all the books by Thich Nhat Hahn, they helped me find some new tools for life and some new perspectives that in some ways I had never had, but in some ways I had always had. The Borg book is kind of challenging for me, actually it feels kind of like my struggle with learning to swim. I am going to just push thru it and see what happens with it. The Millman book was a gift from my daughter for Christmas, Phil Jackson is a big supporter of this book, that endorsement alone makes it worth giving a read.

Well I am going to cut out, it’s 4pm and I am thinking its about dinner time. 😉

Just found this song today, Caught By The River by Doves. Really like it too, reminds me of spending time at the park watching the ducks and squirells when I was going through some tough times. 🙂    

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Working Shifts

work_in_progress2This was a recovery and test week in my training plan. It also marked the end of the first month working with my new coach. In reflecting back over the week and even the month I am really excited for where I am going and the progress made. I feel confidence growing, but not just some kind of motivational ‘rah-rah’. I feel confidence because of the work and the process. And here is the important part, I am having fun with the process. I have heard all my life “enjoy the journey, that’s where you find happiness”. Life is about the journey.

I was laying in bed this morning and when I woke up there was a popular television preacher/author starting his sermon. My first thought was “change the channel quick” ( ya like that “PG” version?). But for some reason I decided to watch. He talked of a concept that I have experienced and thought a lot about the last three or so years, his sermon was on “shifts”. He didn’t call it a “paradigm shift” but it is the same concept that has been really big in business re-vitalization movement the last several years. So I thought about “shifts” in training, certainly the swimming experience has been a major fundamental shift. I suspect there will be other “shifts” along the way too. Where I found the minister lacking was in his proclamation that “shifts” just happen and everything is different. He seemed to want to leave his audience with a belief or faith that all will just one day shift and be well. I believe in “shifts” for sure, but not without work. If ya want potatoes, you better pick up the hoe. I didn’t have a “shift” in my swimming by sitting watching other swim, I had to work at it. I don’t expect a “shift” in my running times without putting in the work. I don’t expect an increase in my bike power average without working at that too. To me that’s a cheap “hope”. Here is the “hope” I can buy into; when I am talking to someone that has had the experience that I would like to have and they share with me how they got there, I can buy into that. But just listening to their experience isn’t enough, you better pick up the hoe. I don’t think any of it happens just from my own determintaion though, I do think there are healing “shifts” that happen inside along the way. “Shifts” that only happen by allowing some power that is deep within us all to grow and be Present in our lives.

So what does that tangent have to do with any of this? I feel like I am on a good path with a good mentors and a coach to show me the way. And as I said earlier, the important thing is that I am really enjoying it! It is work, but it feels really good.

Today was the last test of the week, a “brick” test. I did two time-trials on bike followed by one running. I felt pretty good about the results too. But as Amanda pointed out the other day, these are to measure progress later down the road. I like where the road is going too. I feel certain that I am moving in a good direction in all three sports. Plus, I am learning a lot about myself in the process too. My one failure this week was in not getting my stregth workouts started. So next week you can be certain that will happen.

Also a special “shout-out” to Becky and Cynthia on their great week-end at the Waco Marathon. They said it was a very challenging course. Becky was top finisher in her age group too, so that was cool !

Tonight I’m thinking of going with Ray Lamontagne’s God Willin’ And The Creek Don’t Rise.

Enjoy. Goodnight

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Week-End Update and Wrap Up

weekendupdateThis was a really good week of work. Looking back at all of the workouts, I am pretty pleased. The main thing is the effort was there and all of the workouts were completed, the best I could. As I mentioned a few days ago, I even had fun while doing it too! That’s what its all about; having fun with the process, enjoying the road. I just rounded out my week with a nice call with my coach. So all is well; I am chilling out watching a little football now and tomorrow we will start a new week.

Today I capped off the week with a 2 hour morning run on the Oklahoma Christian University trails. My wife, my daughter, and my friend Lunz all met up at our house to head out on the run. Becky and Cynthia went on ahead and Lunz lagged back with me for the majority of the run. My legs were a little sore from the day before, but that went away after the first 1/2 mile or so. I wanted to really work on following the directions today. The last time Amanda gave me a run workout like todays, I totally spaced out on the directions. So today I wanted to get my head out and do it right. 🙂 It went pretty well too. I was satisfied with how it went. I think one thing that kind of chilled me out was seeing my “threshold pace” go down 50 seconds this last week. It made me feel good about the process and progress.

Speaking of measuring progress, today talking to my coach we over this weeks workouts. We will be doing some testing on all three disciplines. I really like that too. I think it will be good to compare it a few weeks down the road to see how it is going. We will be testing for heart rate and power for the bike, and heart rate and maybe pace on the run, and then cover a couple of 500 times on the swim. Probably will get Lunz to come count laps and time for me on the swim test, just to make sure I get it right. Another thing we will be adding is stregth training this week, it’s gonna be a fun week!

I was visiting with a cycling friend today and we were talking about this early January training and how we were both excited to see where it takes us in the summer months. I know that I am getting a big jump on where I was this time last year, and the extra work ought to really pay off in August and September.

I really can’t say enough how grateful I am to be able to do this. I know that I am fortunate to get to enjoy the life I have. No doubt.

U2’s Beautiful Day will be tonights tune.

Have a great week.

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I GO TO EXTREMES

medalApply, Apply, Apply; trust the process, trust the process, trust the process; have fun, have fun, have fun; I feel really good tonight. There are a lot of workouts now that I just go do my work and enjoy ever bit of it, even when its hard or I struggle with something I am just learning. I feel invigorated; when I finish my workouts I just think of how good it is going to feel getting into that water and being a part of the Lonestar 70.3. I’m not even sure I know how to explain it.

Apply; do the work. Follow the plan. Put in the sweat. Those nights when you get home and you know that you still lack that 1 hour bike ride, but you do it because you know you are going to grow. You know you are going to gain strength. You know that somewhere down the line you are going to get to apply everything that you used in your training to accomplish something you have never done before. How can you not get charged up about that? I have lived a bland life, I know what that is like. But I have also tasted a new life the last three years too; one that has pushed me into new ventures, stretched me in ways I wouldn’t have ever thought possible, and given me the chance to be in awe of the experiences that I am getting to have! How do you not love that?

I never knew what training was about until I trained for my first 100 mile bike ride, the Hotter N Hell Hundred. When I bought that first bike and looked at that schedule to build endurance to 100 miles, I never would have dreamed of what it would be like to be among 14,000 people to do something beyond normal. The feeling of doing something for the first time, the feeling of accomplishment; frankly being a person that has all to often settled for “just enough” in life I don’t know that I had ever really experienced the benefits of a long term process that prepared me for something so big. I know that might sound mellow-dramatic for some of you who have expereinced living with that kind of purpose, but for someone who just found got my first taste of enjoying the fruits of my labor; this was awesome. So I do trust the process in my training for this triathlon. I even expect a great outcome too.

Who would do it if it wasn’t fun? Think about it, you ever see a kid in a pool swimming that isn’t having fun? You ever see a kid hauling ass down a big hill that isn’t laughing? You ever see a kid out chasing his friends running that isn’t smiling? Hell no! It just can’t get any better than that. So why did we ever stop? Who knows, but I sure am going to hang on to this life as long as I have enough health to do it. I think someone told me it was a part of being a good steward with the gift of health that God, or how ever you express that power that is bigger than us individually, has given us.

So today was a swim. I did 2000 yards today. It went pretty well, I continue to build length and get better at my technique. I am so glad that in November I made myself stop and learn how to swim right! I think back to last January and I am so thankful for the progress that I have enjoyed. There were some tough times; some times that I thought of pitching it all in but I am so glad I didn’t stop. I left the pool today with a smile, another since of accomplishment. I just feel like everytime I hammer out one more workout, I am adding another brick to the wall. I know that I am building an experience that will be amazing!

A little fired up? Damn right! And here is the kicker; if I can do this, so can you!

Can’t think of a better tune that this one tonight! Billy Joel I Go To Extremes!!!

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Fifty/Sunny…. Not Bad For Winter Workouts

Transition Large Oval(1)It was really nice outside this evening when I went for my running workout, about 50 degrees and a slight breeze. Not to bad for the winter! I went on my “home course” the new running trails at Oklahoma Christian University, I was surprised there weren’t more people out. I suspect that some of them were like me and thought it was colder than it actually was. I over dressed in compression pants, shorts, long sleeve compression shirt, light gloves, beanie, and my Asics Jacket. It didn’t take long to start sheading stuff off!

The run was a series of hard runs with minute easy runs between them, 3 sets of 10 minutes each. After the first set I was pretty winded and on my rest minutes I was doing half light jog and half walk. Not sure that was right to do it that way, but I did. I was trying to stay to the theme of “just running” and not getting all heady thinking about “zones this and zones that” but I did kind of set a bare minimum of where my heart rate was for my hard efforts up above Zone 4. Kinda makes me think my Zones do need to be tweaked, hmmmm. Another thought might be, let the coach coach and let the athlete follow the expereince of someone that understands what training is about. After looking at the Garmin file, I was pretty pleased when I saw other similar distances and durations in the past 6 months. TrainingPeaks also sent me an e-mail notification that my “threshold pace” had improved my 54 seconds. There is progress, no doubt! I will say this too, I have a really high level of confidence in my training. I think my confidence in being able to do the Lonestar 70.3 is growing all the time too.

SuperMagneto_Pro_5040e96eba0fd_370x370I did my one our bike trainer ride after watching Oprah and Lance. The ride felt good. I just got into trying to do the exercise the best I could. It was a “strength endurance” exercise, doing some lower cadence bigger drills. I use a CycleOps SuperMagneto Pro trainer and it has 4 different setting to work. I have been using the “Interval Setting”, but think that I will switch it on up to “Mountain Setting” the next time I do a trainer ride. I did feel good about the session, I just keep feeling that I am building success!

On another note, since starting to work with my coach on December 27th I have done a weekly thurday weigh-in. It started at the high post Holiday weight of 217 pounds. Once again this morning I have shown another weekly loss in weight, I am now at 209 pounds. Keep in mind, weight loss is not the goal, it is just a bi-product. Lsat year at this time of the year I started at 239 pounds, so a sustained 30 pound loss isn’t to bad for one year. I really will not be shocked if I am at 190 pounds or so in the summer time.

Tunes? hmmmmmmmm Dave Mathews Band and American Baby.

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Awesome Swim Workout

Ignacio GonzalezToday was another day where I could feel confidence growing in the water. Actually it was there even before I got to the pool, I was genuinely looking forward to the workout. Now for those that have been following my swim workouts and issues, you know that is light years ahead of this time last year! A big part of today was mental, I was in a really good frame of mind this morning when I went to the pool. I keep coming back to good ole’ Yogi Berra’s quote “Baseball is 90 percent mental, the other half is physical.” So true in the water for me. But to actually be going to the pool and looking forward to having fun with it is an amazing jump forward, even a big just over two months ago.

Todays workout was 2000 yrds total.

8x25x10R (All Catch-Up)
8x25x10R Swim
8x50x20R Fins (Odd: 25 Kick, 25 Swim; Even: 25 Swim, 25 Kick)
8x50x20R Swim
6x75x25R Fins (25 Left Arm; 25 Right Arm; 25 Swim)
1×200 Swim
6x25x15R CD

It felt so good to be able to do the drills and the lengths and not be stressed about it. I was smiling and happy the whole workout today. The most difficult was doing the 6x75x25r (25 Left; 25 Right; 25 swim). My left is so much weaker than my right. It also reminded me of how much weaker my left side is doing single leg drills on the bike and how my left knee is the one that starts to show weakness on runs too. But back to swimming, this was a fun day! It feels good to have days like this, days where you think “if I just keep doing the work, race day will be so much fun.”

I’ve been on a Lennon kick here lately. Let’s go with Mind Games today!

Hope you all dream big and move towards it too!

memorialherman

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Crisp Air Afternoon Training Run

stockingstuff

What a great day for a run ! It was about 40 degrees outside but I was dressed well and enjoyed the crisp air. I was to do a 1-1/2 hour training run to close out my week (and month, and year too). This was the begining week with a new coach too. So it was a perfect ending to the week.

As I mentioned above, it was a crisp 40 degrees outside so I bundled up in just the right clothing. I wore a pair of compression tights, shorts, socks, long-sleeve turtleneck compression shirt, short sleeve tech t-shirt, Nike hatphones, gloves, Road ID bracelet and my Asics jacket. I was dressed for the occasion. Actually it was just the right gear. My body temperature was excellent, I never felt to hot or cold. The picture above was of the three items that were “stocking stuffers” from Christmas; the gloves, Road ID, and Nike hatphones. All three of those were great for todays post Christmas run. The Nike hatphone was really cool. I never run with music, partly because my ears start to feel tender from ear buds. I saw the hatphones at OK Runner in Edmond the other day and had to have them. That was the first time I have been able to comfortably run with music, and I love music. There are speakers in the bottom band of the hat that land right at your ears. The sound was really good too. So that was a great addition to my running gear! My favorite part about my new Road ID bracelet is that you got to right something on the last line after your vital information. So after my name and emergency contact information, the last line says “DID YOU GET THE TAG #?” ! The gloves were handy too. So I was ready to have a good run with my cold weather gear.

My overall run today was good. At first I was a little bummed about how slow I am in Zone 2, but I shook that off really soon. Probably my favorite part of the run was just enjoying the new running path that Oklahoma Christian University has built as a gift for the community to use. They have been hard at work on the path for sometime now and they are near completion. When it is finished it will be a 5k lighted path that circles the perimeter of their campus. They are a great “neighbor”. The part I like the most is around the northwest corner around a small duck pond, it is just so peaceful back there. I enjoyed getting to watch the birds overhead too. Along the path there were still several patches of snow that were really beautiful accents too. It was cool to see all the deer tracks in the snow and along the soft dirt around the path. Besides making sure I did the workout as it was outlined, I wanted to remember to enjoy the moment, take in the whole of my surroundings. That is what made the run that much more enjoyable. So mentally besides the early mind-screw of “you’re to slow”, I bounced back really well. It kind of reminded me of the experience I had with the Tulsa Route 66 Half-Marathon.

Another thing that helped me to feel good about the run was realizing that it was putting me on the path to be able to enjoy the Lonestar 70.3 too. Ah yes, Galveston is ever on my mind. Even in the slow times of my run, I felt like it was preparing me for being able to preserve myself in my triathlon so that I can get to the finish line. I felt like I could do this, again. I also feel good about the new relationship with my new coach too. I seem to have a trust in her guidance. I have tried the coach deal before, but this feels different. For one thing the last time I was going to try that life threw us a curveball with our house fire and dealing with that took me out of that deal. Another thing that comes to mind too is that old saying of “when the pupil is ready, the teacher will appear”. I think that just might be the case here too!

Well I am getting tired now and am ready to put the keyboard away, so I am going to “checkout” for now! Hope you all had a productive week too!

Tunes for today will be Bruno Mars’ doing “Just The Way You Are”.

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Road To Galveston Week 2 Recap

What a week! This week my schedule consisted of: swim 3, bike 2, run 4 and strength 2. It was a rocky week at times. i got off to a bad start when I didn’t get my weight workout done on Monday and had to play “catch up” all week-long. I had thought that Friday was going to be an easy day to shuffle in the lost workout but I had not noticed that this week there were 11 workouts instead of 10 like last week. That made the “catch up” a little tricky. Then if starting off in the hole wasn’t enough, it rained almost all day Saturday. I had to shuffle around my Saturday and Sunday workouts and ended up doing my long run on Sunday morning and my long ride on Sunday afternoon. Fortunately it all came together, with a little prodding and encouragement by my wife!

Swimming was pretty good this week. On my two shorter distance swims during the week I made some good progress in my technique. I was about to put some fairly good distances together with my head down and breathing the way I need to. It was a first to get the lengths that I did. So that was a big positive on the week! I am still looking into getting a swimming coach, just having trouble finding one in Oklahoma City that fits with what I need to do. There are people who are great swim coaches for “real” swimmers and triathletes, but that’s not what I am. I need some remedial help. I still struggle with the whole water issue. My friends and family all know that I was a guy that didn’t even learn to dive until I was in my mid 20’s and that the earliest memory I have was sinking to the bottom of the pool at 3 years old. My Saturday swim was the longest that I have ever done, 2149 meters. I was in a bad mood and I didn’t even try to worry about form or anything, I just wanted to get it the done. So get it done I did. So all in all, I was pleased with the swim week.

Biking was fun this week! There were only two workouts: one on the trainers doing “isolated leg exercises” and the other a nice 1-1/2 hour zone1-2 ride that I did at Lake Hefner on Sunday. The trainer exercises are kinda tedious, but it reminds me of doing hills. So I figure somewhere down the line it will help me build some strength. Now the Sunday ride was awesome, the weather was the best possible. Nice sunny day in the 70’s with a good breeze out of the north. You just couldn’t have asked for a better day to be at the lake on the bike. The atmosphere was excellent too, all kinds of people out getting exercise on the trails. People in nature getting exercise are just a happier people than most. They smile more! One thing that really made the ride enjoyable was staying focused on “enjoying this ride” doing my best to block out any “goals” or stuff like that. When my mind started to wonder I would just say a little prayer and try to focus back on the ride at hand.

Running this week came around too. I had started to build up some descent distances towards the end of August but then when I had to get a problem on my foot looked at, I slacked off and didn’t run for a good 3-4 weeks. I really lost some of my momentum, as far as distance goes. One benefit from the rest is my knees seemed to get some needed re-coup time. They were pretty tender from jumping up the distance a to aggressively. So while I am having to back track a little on distance, I am doing it with a pretty fresh feeling pair of knee’s now. I did a 1:20(hour and twenty-minute) run today. On my last two “distance” runs I have gotten back into that “sweet spot” at about 2 miles where my breathing cadence gets into a good rhythm. So that’s really encouraging. I am still a little nervous about being ready for the Route 66 run in November, but I will just gut it out and make it happen.

Strength workouts were probably the easiest to do. The time flexibility to do these workouts is just so much easier than any of the other workouts. I was pretty pleased with my progress too. I am doing the “AA” workout from Joe Friel‘s The Triathlete’s Training Bible. The particular workout is made up of 8 workouts done in a circuit. They are not heavy loaded in weight, but you do 30 reps of each exercise then repeat the exercise 3-4 times. This week I went up a little in my weights on each of the exercises. I felt pretty good about it too. I have never done any weight training before now, so this is a total new deal for me.

This week was a good solid week. My attitude at the end of the week is really strong and positive. My main goal for next week is to get the exercises done! I want to keep up my search for a swim coach and I have been thinking a little more about “power training” for the bike too.

I have a great life and I appreciate that more every day.

Music for this week is a little Outkast doing The Way You Move. Enjoy!!!!


Only 174 Day 2 Hours 52 Minutes to go!!!!!

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