Category Archives: Meditation

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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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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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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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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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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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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