Category Archives: Life

Some Days Are Better Than Others

Somedays life comes at you, so you just duck your head and get done what has to be done. Today I just felt really sad, watched a family say good-bye to someone that was going way to soon. Mortality seemed heavy today. I also saw the best of people too, people caring for family and friends in  their time of loss. There was a lot of really rich love and care in that church today.

I had a couple of workouts to get done today. I did my 2200 yrd swim at 5am and did a 50 minute treamill run this evening after my dinner settled. I am usually pretty upbeat these days, but it sure is sad seeing friends and their families struggling with their loss today. It’s especially hard when it seems it is “before their time”.

My thoughts and prayers go out to those hurting tonight.

Tonight let’s go with George Winston’s High Plains Lullaby.

Good night, God bless.

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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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Nice Saturday Overcast With My Pup Dog!

MarkandHavanaIt is really overcast today, so my workouts fit the weather pretty well. I had a nice 1800yd swim and a little 20 minute walk afterwards. The swim is still going pretty good too. I know that will keep progressing. The walk was just enough to get some good air.

The thing that struck me the most on the swim was something that I learned from meditation;  if you concentrate on one discipline intently the others parts will come around. In meditation if I am intent on just being in the moment with my breathing, my mind starts to clear up and I have a better outlook and it effects every part of my life. Today when swimming, I was really focusing on getting a good powerful stroke, and I noticed that my breathing issues were not there at all. So thats a lesson that I am going to keep repeating. My didstances will continue to stretch out, I am not worried about that. I think focusing on my form is really a big deal. Those little 25’s, doing them as well as possible. Then letting that just become the way I swim when I stretch out to the other distances.

My walk was relaxing. I just did it when I got back home from the Y. I took a little walk over to the college. The air was really nice, a little crisp and on the verge of having moisture in it. It felt good to just walk and think back over the week. I am going to do a brick test tomorrow and then go do my strength training that I missed on Monday. The only other excercise I didn’t get in was an optional run one day. I kind of hated to miss anything, I don’t want that to become a “norm”. I want to do the extra’s. While the load wasn’t as heavy this week, the recovery was kind of refreshing. I feel pretty pleased with how the first 4 weeks have gone since starting to work with my new coach.

Well I am going to just hang out and chill tonight. The girls have gone on a road trip to Waco, Texas for a marathon without me, so tonight it’s just me and my pup dog Havana! I took that pic of me and Havana one day when I had all the studio lights up, it was a hurry up shot with remote trigger. She didn’t really want to pose and I am pretty sure I only got about 2-3 quick shots before she bolted ! haha

Here is an oldie I like, Level 42’s Something About You. 

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Fitting It In On A Friday

triathlon-logoIt seems almost odd to be looking forward to heading to the YMCA for a swim, but that is exactly how swimming has become. Today I had two workouts on my schedule, one was a 45-60 minute trainer ride and the other was actually an optional 1000yrd swim. Doing the trainer ride was good, but the swim was the workout I was looking forward to most.

After the swim test earlier in the week where the 500 yard distances didn’t go as well as expected, I set my eyes on this workout. It was 1000 yards, to be done anyway I wanted consisting of 25,50,75, or 100s. So technically I followed my directions, here is the workout:

8 x 25 x 10r odd swim even catchups
2 x 100 x 30r swim
1 x 500 swim or to keep to the directions uh, 5×100 x 0r 😉
4 x 25 x 20r 2catchup 2swim

I really wanted to get back in there and do the 500 better and not freak the f(*& out this time. So that’s what I did. Ever since the test the other day I have planned on doing that, especially after doing the really good 200 as a cool down at the end of the test that went so well. It felt good to get a good one in, just to prove to myself it was all good.

I did a one hour easy spin on the bike that went just fine too. Mostly I wanted to get it in before we went out to dinner tonight, so that we could come home without something left to do.

Earlier today I got a call from Bill, the owner of Papa Dios, telling me that he was having the special meatloaf tonight! I love food, especially really good food! Their food is always excellent, but the meatloaf is something special that they only make occasionally. When they make it he has me on his “meatloaf” call list. So tonight we ate at Papa’s. That was good for Becky too because she got some good pasta carbs for her Sunday marathon in Waco. I am officially fat, happy, and full now!

Tonight I want a little Five for Fighting’s 100 Years.

Hope you have a great weekend.

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Test #3 – Run Time, And The Cup Is Full

running-hiWow, that was probably my best running effort to date. I finished that 1 hour run workout and heart-rate test feeling better about my progress in running than I would have ever expected. I am really pleased with it. I read something earlier today that kind of set my mental tone in a book by Dan Millman called Body Mind Mastery and he said “Strong foundations are the first and most important step toward success in sport and life. A strong foundation is based upon complete preparation of body, mind, and emotions.” My mind set was in a great place going into this workout. I was focused and as present in this run as any run I had ever done.

While my mental game was on, I also tried to remember one thing that my training buddy talked to me about the other night, lengthening my stride. He was telling me about how just adding small lengths to his stride has actually made a big difference in his pace. So today at times during my run I would try to stretch out my stride a little bit and it really did make a big difference, without a big hit on my heart-rate. There were times in the 30′ test part that I was really surprised at my pace. I was pushing myself pretty good too, so when I was finished, I felt I had given it my best.

This has been a really good experience doing the test’s this week. The swim test certainly was humbling, but still I had a positive “take away”. I know how far I have progressed. The bike test went really well too, I was pleased with my overall average MPH. I felt like it was a really solid effort too. So with todays run test, I fell great. I just feel really good about the path that I am on. After the swim test the other day I told Amanda, my coach, that I could look at it one of two ways; the cup’s 1/2 empty or the cup’s 1/2 full. I figured then the cup was 1/2 full and getting more full as we keep working. Today my cup feels full ! So if yours is low, take a little of mine. Isn’t that how it’s supposed to work? 😉

Let’s try Rebecca Ferguson’s Run Free tonight.

Well tonight we are going to go try a new pizza joint in Edmond called Humble Pie. We heard they had some really good deep dish pizza. Sounds like a good plan, Becky needs to get some carbs loaded up for her marathon in Waco this weekend. That’s a good reason to chow on pizza, right?

Have a great night!

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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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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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