Category Archives: Lake Hefner

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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Lifes Good On The Redman Route

IkeRideToday I rode with my buddy Lunz. We met up at Lake Hefner at noon and headed out to do the Redman Triathlon bike route. This was the first time that I had ever been on this route. Today I decicded it was time to get some saddle time on my tri-bike Ike, this would be the longest ride I have had on Ike. My workout for the day was to ride 2:45-3:00 hr without a Garmin or Heart Rate monitor, just have a fun day on the bike ! Then I was to follow it with a 20 minute run. That should make for a good workout!

Lunz and I have been riding together for about a year or so now. We have a bunch of mutual friends and when he got his bike last year he started riding with Big Brian and I. He really has picked up the bike fast. He was already a really good long distance runner, so he was in pretty good shape to begin with. He is also a running coach for Team In Training too(check that out if you want to do the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon). He started the bike deal to pursue triathlon. He did his first 70.3 at the Redman in Oklahoma City last fall. I really have a good time doing stuff with him and he has a super-supportive and sweet wife too, Jeri. That is another great thing about endurance sport, the positive people that you meet and become friends with. So Lunz and I are going to be doing the Lonestar 70.3 together. I had to laugh a little bit there, we are training together and might start together, but he will finish much sooner than I will. Having said that I did kick his much younger ass at the Hotter N Hell Hundred this year. 😉 (I do reserve the right to brag about that until next year!)

Today was my longest ride on my new tri-bike too. I bought Ike in late September and have done several rides at Lake Hefner on the trails, but today was the first time to get out on the open road with him. Ike is a Cervelo P4 with Sram Red components, a dream bike for a guy like me. Every time I ride that bike I am amazed at how smooth it really is. The only reason I haven’t done more long rides was because I wanted to get a little more accustomed to the handling of the bike. Today was a good 50 mile test too. It was really great. There were some stretches that I rode out of the areo-bars maybe more than I should have, but that was because I wanted too. Remember, my workout instructions were to have fun and enjoy the ride!

So the ride really was pretty enjoyable. I love riding out in the country-side. I really love being out in areas where there is farmland and I certainly feel right at home to see a pumping unit on and oilwell, home sweet home!!! The ride out north to Waterloo road was at times kinda tough, due to the in city traffic, but after getting north a ways it thinned out nice. There was one stretch going west on Waterloo Road that was fairly hilly and it was also straight into a pretty good wind. It seemed like it went on forever too. I started getting a little bit of an attitude about it, then thought about my directions again. Have fun, lighten up, enjoy the ride; it’s called endurance sport for a reason. So that westward stretch took us about 45 minute into the wind, but going back it was just a 30 minute ride with the wind at our back! The traffic going south back into town got a little hairy in spots, but we made it fine. I only shouted at a few cars. 😉

milkrecoveryAfter we finished the bike ride we did a 20′ minute run around the east side of Lake Hefner. I was surprised at how well that went too. That was the longest distance I had done on the bike and then followed with a run. Of course my legs felt a little rubbery at first but I actually kept a pretty fair pace, almost as good as my normal pace. So I was plesantly surprised there.

I will chalk this ride up as a success! This is going to be a fun Road To Galveston.

Tonights music will be Jimmy Fallon’s new Armstrong tune! Have a great week-end!!!

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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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Road To Galveston Week 5 Recap !!!!! AWESOME !!!!!

My Granddad’s Hardhat

I am pretty pumped about this weeks training. For all around effort I give the it an A-, withholding a little for the Tuesday “no-show”. But as a whole I feel really good about the week. There were two thoughts that stick out the most this week. 1) Just three years ago I would have been sitting on the couch doing “nothing”, weighing in a about 240 LB’s. 2. I was thinking of my last conversation with my grandfather. He was grasping to breath dyeing of emphysema. Before I left, both of us knowing it would be our last time to see each other, he said “Come here, I need to tell you something. I quit smoking over 25 years ago and it wasn’t soon enough. Those cigarettes are lying to you if you think they aren’t going to kill you. I know you’re still smoking and I’m here to tell you there’s no promise you can quit before you end up like this.” That was the last of many gifts that man gave me in his lifetime. I think about him often when I am out running or riding my bike. I loved that man. Thanks Dad.

So this week I was to do the following workouts: swim 3, bike 2, run 4 and strength 2. This week I was able to get them all done too. I was so tired from staying up most the night the Saturday before, I ended up resting both Monday and Tuesday.

Swimming continues to be a positive. The breathing breakthrough is awesome. I still have some trouble putting long lengths together, but I know that is just around the corner. My focus has been on just becoming comfortable swimming with my head in the water. I haven’t been worrying about the distances or drills that the workouts call me to do. Instead my focus has been simply on becoming more and more comfortable with swimming with my head in the water and not struggling with doing it. I still have been staying for the “time” that the workouts call me to get; this week it was 1hr, 1:15hr, and 45min. I am just so fired up about getting through this breathing block, you have no idea how excited I am about this. I’m talking about a 45-year-old fear that I have finally moved through! That’s friggin’ awesome!

I had 4 running workouts that I was to get in this week. Three 45 minutes and one 1:30hr run. The long run was stretched out to 1:46:02, so I could get a solid 8 miles. It was so cool too, I was able to get negative splits on the whole 8 miles! That’s damn good for me! And yes I did use my “mantra”. And no, I still will not share my “mantra”, ha! Becky went with me on this run, she wanted to get a good run in too. We went to Bluff Creek Park. That was the first time I have ever run there. It was pretty cool too, a little more scenic and the trees knocked down some of the wind.

My favorite exercise is cycling. This week there was a 1hr and a 1:30hr ride. The weather was absolutely perfect for the rides too, especially the Sunday ride. I did both of the rides outside at Lake Hefner. It is a pretty flat track, but that is what my training plan has been asking me to do. I really like riding out there. The time change through a kink in my Sunday plan of starting my ride at 4pm. Luckily Becky reminded me of the time change and I hustled on out there at 3pm. I was really pleased with the ride and effort too. The Sunday ride was to be a total of 1:30hr, with 1hr at 20bpm under my Zone 5a LTHR. I’ll tell you, at the end of that 1hr, I was ready for a little ‘recovery’ spin! My average speed was 17.1 mph, which is pretty good for me. Oh and that was without anyone else to draft with and it was on Hank, my road bike. So I was really pleased.

Doing weight training is still a new deal for me. I guess I was supposed to have changed this workout up a little this week, but I didn’t see that until today. Hey, I’m gonna give myself a break on that anyway. I did put out the effort and got two workouts done, even if they weren’t exactly like the ones that were listed, WTF.

So considering the whole week, I am really pleased. You might even say I am pumped! I just have a feeling that I am creating a positive “snowball” that is going to keep building steam and push me to a place that I don’t even think I can fully comprehend.

So tonights music will be a throwback tune in honor of my Granddad, Warren Cunningham. Take it away Glenn!

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Road To Galveston Week 3 Recap

Week 3 was a recovery week; a week of highs and lows, a week of regrouping, a week to rethink some of my plans. I know where I would like to go, and I believe it is even achievable but, that doesn’t mean that I can jump ahead of where my current physical fitness level. I also can’t neglect the fact that I have some deficiencies skills and technique. That could sound a bit on the negative side but it is all balanced with the fact that I am a guy that has over the last few years came from deep in the couch to where I am now. A chain-smoking, junk food eating overweight 40 something year old guy that was weighing in at 240 pounds. That is not who or what I am today. I am down to 209 pounds and love my life today!

So let’s get on with the recap.

The swim part was made up of 3 workouts. The two shorter workouts were mostly used to try to get my breathing down, and I made some progress with those workouts. I actually have started to believe I will eventually learn to swim and breathe right. I’m telling you, the level I am starting out at is remedial at best, so while some might be discouraged if they were at my level, for the most part I am not. The progress was good enough to encourage me to keep going. Now the 2400y workout today didn’t really go well at all. I plodded through the distance but it sucked. After doing some reading on a new blog I am following, waterbloggedtriathlete.com, I think I will look a little more seriously into finding a coach. There are 3 options that I am thinking about; local triathlete that’s a top-notch swimmer, a local masters swim coach, or maybe a workshop in Houston doing Total Immersion training with Third Coast Training. It all just depends on time availability and cash.

This week there were just two running workouts. The first was a very slow and easy zone 1 run for 45 minutes. The plan encouraged me to do it alone because it would be so painfully slow it might seem embarrassing. That’s sort of funny to think of how slow it would have to be to embarrass me! I mean, I am slow to begin with! Just how slow would that have to be? At any rate I ‘slogged’ thru it and felt good about it actually. The second run was to be done to measure and evaluate my progress during the next recovery week. I had to back track though, I needed to use this workout to get a good LTHR for both running and biking. I had been using that 220 – age deal and was reading about how counter productive that can be so I use my evaluation to do a LTHR test. I did that and found my LTHR to be 166 on the run. After doing the test I went ahead and finished out the hour. I think his will give me a better bench mark to work with now.

Cycling was about the same as running this week. I did two different cycling workouts. The first one was to be a one hour ride in zones 1 and 2, mostly 1. I just used the old zone charts that I had been using the last year or so. It was a windy day but I churned through it anyway and enjoyed being out at the lake. I really love riding at Lake Hefner, it just feels good to be out there with a bunch of people all smiling and doing something positive. It just seems to me like people who exercise are just happier people! The second workout was to be an evaluation workout, much like the run. I used that time to get a good fix on my cycling LTHR too. My cycling LTHR was 169, in Friel’s book he explained that the run and cycle would not be the same, and they weren’t. So now I will have a good bench mark to work with here too.

There were a couple of weight workouts too that were pretty uneventful. Nothing good, nothing bad to report. The main thing is that I got it done.

So as a whole I feel good about the week. I managed to get all my workouts completed, even if some had to be altered. I also think getting some good working LTHR benchmarks was a good thing this week. So I am pleased with the progress. For a guy that was never really all that athletic, I think I have made some good progress and feel pretty damn good about it. After watching some of my friends hobble around from injuries during their high school days, I sometimes think it might have been a blessing to not have been all that athletic when I was younger. At least I can still walk and get around fairly well today. I am blessed with the health I have and for that I am grateful!

Tunes for tonight will be Robert Palmer with Power Station, remember this one?

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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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Road To Galveston- Week One Recap

What a great week to be starting a training plan for an Ironman event! It’s Kona time, the SuperBowl of triathlon. Talk about an inspirational week to begin. Every 10 minutes there is a new post on my twitter feed from one of the many athletes or support sponsors talking about Kona.When I was at Redman watching my friends compete, it gave me a great feeling and I wanted to be a part of it too. So this was week one of my training.

This week was made up of 10 different workouts, three swimming, three running, two cycling, and two weight training. I promise you, there were a few times this week that I had to really make myself go. I suspect that as I get back in the habit of weekly workouts it will get easier. I took almost a full month off after the Hotter N Hell Hundred at the end of August. I was a little disappointed in some of my run times, I really lost some of what I had gained. The swimming is still a huge issue as far as technique. I powered through and got the distances done, two 1500 meter and one 2000 meter swims. The bike went good, I did an “isolated leg exercise” on the trainer and then a 1-1/2 ride at Hefner. The 1/2 hour of the Hefner ride was all out, so I could get a better fix on my training zones. The last lap was at a snails pace, as close to zone 1 as I could get without falling over. ha! It was really cold and windy that day. The weights were a new thing. The staff at the YMCA in Edmond helped me out and showed me the exercises and machines to get the workout that the Joe Friel AA workout plan prescribed.

So how do I feel about week one? Awesome actually! I mean, it feels really good to have completed the week. Plus, you know how when you are about to do something that you know you shouldn’t do but you are telling yourself “you won’t feel bad about it, this time”, so you do it and then feel like shit? Well the opposite is true about that too. If you do good things for yourself and others, even if at times you don’t want to, you can’t keep that feeling of goodness from coming up either! So I feel really good this evening as I am writing this. The thing about it is it effects every part of your life when you feel good about yourself; family, friendships, work, anything that that you are involved with gets to benifit! Thank you life, thank you all, thank you God.

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