Category Archives: TrainingPeaks

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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Test Week – Swimming…… Good Bye Tarzan

stopwatchI have to say, right now, I am just on fire inside! I just finished my first swim test since starting to work with my new coach. I wanted to say that right off the bat to set the context for how I feel about where I am. I struggled BIG TIME doing the first of two 500’s for my test. I finished with a cool down of 200 that was beautiful, maybe the most relaxed swim ever. So today I set a benchmark for the next time we test. It could have been easy to get really overwhelmed with the struggle of the test, but not when it is in it’s proper context.

So this was the first time I have ever done a swimming time test. I started off with 500 yrds of warm-up 25’s. They felt fine, nothing out of ordinary. Just the same drills from the last month. I felt pretty comfortable, my breathing was ok. When I did the fast laps, they felt really great. Then after doing the warm-up it was time to do my first 500 yrd time test. I jumped out the on the first 25 really fast and probably by 50 I was really struggling. I don’t really know why but I was worried I wouldn’t be able to even get to 200. My instructions were to not worry about it if I couldn’t do the straight through 500, just pause catch breath and start back. So I had to do that several times after about 150-200. I was really having a hard time not struggling with the water. Occasionally towards the end I would relax for a 25; but it was kinda ugly, I’m not gonna lie about it. After the first 500 swim I was to rest for a minute and put on my fins for a 500 with fins. That went much better, of course. But besides the help of the fins, somewhere after about 50 with the fins I settled down inside. I didn’t fight it so much. It never felt so good to have my buddy that was timing me say, “that’s it”. I was damn glad to get it done!

After the test I was to do a 200 cool down. My first thought was “shit, I just struggled my ass off to do that first 500. How am I gonna do 200.” Then I pushed off the end and it was the best damn 200 I have ever put together. I was totally relaxed, felt like I was cutting through the water down the lane. My breathing was in perfect stride too. Unbelievable. The only comparison
would be playing a round of double bogey golf and finishing 18 with a sweet drive 30 yards from the green and chipping in for an eagle. Was a great way to finish. Hopefully next time I will relax into the timed part like that too.

So what was the take away? I have a benchmark for comparison, I have my first time test under my belt, I know I will get much better, and I feel great about the thought of just how far I have actually come in the last 2 months. Seriously, until the first of November I couldn’t even swim with my head under water so this is great! I have no doubts that the distance will get there now. It was a great feeling this morning when I finished. You can’t even imagine how it feels to be on the otherside of something that had dominated me for over 45 years! The days of Tarzan Swimming are over! And the Road To Galveston looks a little bit brighter today!

Musically today I want to use a clip from one of my favorite moviesAugust Rush. So here is a clip of Jonathan Rhys Meyes doing This Time. This movie always makes me smile.

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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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Relaxing Into A Recovery Day

crestedbutte

“The man who removed the mountain began by carrying away small stones.” ~CHINESE PROVERB

Today is a rest and recovery day! So rest and recover, I will!

I think this cold snap has kicked off a strain of Colorado memories for me, lots of great times in Crested Butte. Was a strange time of life back then, I guess just a part of growing up. Today I look back on it fondly, Crested Butte will always have a special place in my heart. So for tunes today I am going with Dan Fogelberg’s Part Of The Plan. Enjoy and have a blessed day.

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Be Your Own Inspiration

Fruits-Table-Lamp_2Today as I was running I was thinking it would sure be nice to meet some people that are at the same begining level that I am. I had a mentor that used to like to say “seems like just about the time I think I am leading the pack, I look up and I realize I am dead last”. Well I had to laugh at that this morning; I never “lead the pack”, that is for damn sure, but I was right there around the tail end of the group. Today I was to do a 2:05 hour run. With the weather that was coming in our way I knew I wanted to get up and get it done! So joining my wife and daughter at the Landrunner’s 8 mile run was a great way to get out there and get it done.

While I was one of the last ones to finish, that didn’t mean it was a bad run for me. I know that my starting point isn’t where most the other people’s starting point is. I also know this, there are still a bunch of people laying in bed too that are behind me! 😉 So my goal today was to follow the directions for my workout. I wanted to try to stay in my Zones when it asked me to, no matter how slow it might seem or be. It went pretty well too. I did a much better job of staying focused on my run. If it asked me to stay in Zone 2 I tried to keep in that Zone, if it asked me to step up to Zone 3 I pushed it on up. I did do the water stops as they came up. So after I finished the 8 mile run, I went on to complete the rest of my 2:05 hour run. It was kind of cool looking up when I was on the last 1/2 mile and seeing Becky, my wife running toward me. She was to do 16 miles today, so she and our daughter started an hour before the scheduled run.

“Therefore, Ananda, be a lamp unto yourself, be a refuge to yourself. Take yourself to no external refuge. Hold fast to the Truth as a lamp; hold fast to the Truth as a refuge. Look not for a refuge in anyone beside yourself. And those, Ananda, who either now or after I am dead shall be a lamp unto themselves, who take themselves to no external refuge, but holding fast to the Truth as their lamp, and holding fast to the Truth as their refuge, shall not look for refuge to anyone beside themselves, it is they who shall reach the highest goal.”
— Mahaparinibbana Sutta

That is the story that kept coming to mind as I was running. I was thinking, I wish I knew someone who had started out much like myself that has already achieved the same goals that I want to achieve. The thing is, I don’t think I know anyone here locally that fits “my story. As I was thinking of that, inside I knew that I had to be my own motivation and had to let my own story be what pushes me on. The just may not be another story that I will find that can match mine. Sure there are similarities, but I think probably the most important thing is “finding that lamp of my own“. Isn’t that a life truth too? So becoming my own motivation was the message of the morning.

Well after getting home we went out to eat at one of my favorite places, Charleston’s. I had my favorite, grilled salmon with carrots and a side Ceasar. We had a really relaxing meal followed by good one hour massage. Now we are going to try to stay warm and watch a little football and basketball.

Hope you all have a great afternoon too.

Let’s go with Elton John’s Tiny Dancer for tunes today!

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Good Country Ride

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Inspired And Inspire

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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