Looking back on 2013 I feel really pleased with the way it all went; there were highs and lows, but certainly more highs than lows. It was a great year of progress and learning too; some things gracefully and some things not so gracefully. It was a year with three pinnacle events and milestones; experiences that deserve a story all to their own. I wanted to finish out this year before my 50th birthday living life as fully as I possibly could and I have.
When I attended the Redman Triathlon in September of 2012, I left wishing I was on that line and doing that race. I knew that 2012 was a year of progress, but while I was satisfied I knew I had more in the tank to give and more progress to make. I remember coming home last fall and registering for the Ironman Lonestar 70.3 and knowing that this was a “stretch event” for me physically, emotionally, and mentally, but somewhere in my mind was that old saying of “if you can think it or dream it, you can do it”. As many of you knew, swimming was a bigtime issue and had been for my entire life. Getting to the point of being able to even visualize swimming 1.2 miles was probably the biggest hurdle of the year, the second biggest was actually doing it. I was fortunate to get the chance to do some work with Amanda Stevens, who was to become my coach for the year. She worked with me at workshops and a few private lessons then helped me to stretch out my distances and eventually get to my goal. While swimming had its own unique set of challenges for me, so did running. When I started out the year I had never done anything beyond a 5k, and that wasn’t what you could even begin to call a great base to begin with. Over the course of the season I was able to finish four Half-Marathons and eventually my first Full Marathon in Chicago. That was the perfect end to a full season!
When I first started cycling four years ago none of this could have ever even been on my “radar of possibility”. After finishing the first Hotter Than Hell Hundred in 2010, it left me really high with a feeling that the sky was the limit! True, but what I learned about that sky was it wasn’t going to be as easy a trip as that beginning enthusiasm made me think it would be. There was to be much hard work along the way. Sometimes the progress has seemed so slow too, but it always came if I kept to the work. Endurance sport is so honest; what I mean by that is that there are no short cuts to take. The work you put in determines the outcome you get; and when the work is short-changed, the outcome is too. That was a humbling lesson I learned this year. I am proud of finishing the two Ironman 70.3’s but, I also know that I had the ability to do more physically if I had done a more consistent job of training. The cool thing about that, I know that next year has the potential to be another year of progress for me. I know that I will gain more strength and physical ability this next year, but I also know that will be as much about changes in mental toughness maybe more than my physical changes.
So looking back on the 2013 Season there were three pinnacle events for me: Ironman Lonestar 70.3, Ironman Buffalo Springs 70.3, and the Chicago Marathon. Each event was special for different reasons. The Lonestar 70.3 was an awesome experience of accomplishment for me; it pushed me on all levels of my being. Right from the very first jump into Galveston Bay, it was an endurance fight for me. Being able to gut out the swim and make it onto the bike was huge for me. I know that when that was over that was the biggest physical challenge I had even met, it was an unbelievable experience. The Buffalo Springs 70.3 was a different event, my coach encouraged me to go when I wasn’t sure I could. Again, I didn’t get the follow through that I wish I could claim in preparing for the race but Amanda encouraged me to just do it! So I did, my swim was much improved over my Lonestar effort! That was a huge deal. Then there was the bike, wow. This course had some climbs that were tougher than any climbs I had ever done to that date. Driving the course I told my wife “I’m not sure I can make those climbs”, so when I made it through the bike portion I was really feeling satisfied in what I had done. The run was pretty damn tough too, but I knew I could gut through that with run/walks and get to the finish line. The final pinnacle event was the Chicago Marathon. It was probably the most enjoyable event of the year, just an awesome feeling doing something with over 44,000 other people. It was the perfect way to top off the year.
I can tell you this for sure too; none of this is possible all on my own. First and foremost without the Spiritual life that has been spoon fed to me throughout my life and my coming to find God in a way that is special to me, this never happens. Frankly the last 25 years of life wouldn’t even have happened and those that have known me throughout my life know that is truth being told. Right behind my relationship with God is my family; my wife and daughter are always an inspiration to me. How can you not be inspired by watching someone come out of a battle with cancer to do her very first marathon 14 years ago and in Chicago of this year qualify for the Boston Marathon. If that’s not enough inspiration, how about this: she is also a polio survivor too! My daughter Cynthia is always the most encouraging and sweetest young lady that I know; she and her mother will have accomplished doing 12 marathons in 12 months! I believe they call that true Marathon Maniacs. My Spiritual support community, my training friends and my coach were all a big part in this too. No great achievement is ever done truly alone. On the starting line of all these events was my grandfather Cunningham whose last words to me were encouraging me to stop smoking, as he said ” the damn things got me Mark”. So every race I started with him and took him with me.
So it was a great season. Farewell 2013 Season, you were a good friend to me. You have taught me some valuable lessons along the way this year. You will always have a special place in my heart, you helped me put a perfect crescendo on this year leading to my 50th birthday. When I look back on the year I see the places for improvement but, I am proud and satisfied beyond what I could have ever dreamed even a few years ago. I hope all of you get the chance to experience a year like I have. Thanks everyone, I love ya all !!!
Hmmmmm…. and a tune to end…. wouldn’t wanna short change ya!
Filed under Amanda Stevens, Attitude, Austin Half Marathon, body, Buddhism, Chicago Marathon, Christianity, cycliing, Cycling, Determination, discipline, Edmond, Fitness, Good Life, Gratitude, Half Marathon, Herman Memorial 70.3, Hotter Than Hell Hundred, Ironman Buffalo Springs 70.3, John Lennon, Lonestar 70.3, Memorial Hermann 70.3 Texas, mindfullness, Now, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City Memorial Half Marathon, Recovery, Redman Triathlon, training, triathlete, Triathlon
The last couple of years we have gone to Austin, Texas for the Livestrong Austin Marathon/Half-Marathon. Austin is one of my favorite cities to visit, which is strange for a life long Sooner to say, but we always enjoy our visits to Austin. In the past when it is marathon weekend I am usually really relaxed and I have always enjoyed following the girls all around the course to cheer them on, but the last 6 months have changed our game plan since I am now running too. One part of running in these events that I really enjoy is getting to see a city from a different perspective, seeing the city on foot running is different than any other way to experience a city. My fitness level continues to get stronger, feeling the difference physically from the two earlier half-marathons to yesterday’s was really gratifying. So to give you a glimpse into the biggest part of my weekend training, let me share a some of the Austin highlights.
The city of Austin has a feel unlike any other city than I have ever visited. There is just such a positive vibe about the whole community. Austin is considered one of the most physically fit cities in the country and my experience has been that the more physically fit I have become the happier I have become too. So it is no surprise that people in general just seem to be happy about life, there is a certain aura that people generally have in Austin, they seem to have this carefree positive attitude that just exudes from them. Of all the places that I have ever visited in my life I am certain that there are more people out with there dogs in Austin than anywhere else in the world, seemed like everywhere you went there were people with their pup dogs tagging along. Who doesn’t smile when they have a great dog-friend to run around with? So besides the music and awesome food, those two points stick out about this great city!
So the stage is set, we are getting ready for a great weekend in Austin on marathon weekend. I have done a bunch of these events with Becky and Cynthia over the last 12 or so years and always loved following them around the different courses to root them on! As a spectator watching your family members get to work hard and accomplish their goals on race day, that is a lot of fun. I am always really proud of them. That was how race day had always been until this November when I became a participant myself. Now the thrill is different, there is more of a common bond about being at the start of these big races with them. Not only is it the excitement of getting to expereince what you have worked hard to do, but getting to do that with your family is even extra-special for me. The girls do the full marathon and I am doing the half marathon. There is a since of closeness doing that together that I suspect few get to experience. It is just so odd to even be thinking about it too, going from someone who never exercised to actually being out there doing this type of thing still blows me away. None of us would have ever thought that we would be doing this stuff together until the last few years. So we are really gratefull for the experience.
The start of the race was at the State Capital, it is a really beautiful place too. After leaving the capital you weave through downtown and eventually head out on Congress Avenue through one of my favorite places to hangout and eat. One thing that is dieffernent in Austin than in Oklahoma City is all of the food vendors in “coaches” or trailers throughout the city. There are even trailer park type areas that they are alll set up in that have bunches of picnic tables around for customers to sit and have their meals. They have some great park areas in Austin too, I hope someday Oklahoma City develops a park system in that same class. As I was running I made notice of all the dedicated bike lanes in the roads, there are some many bike lanes throughout the city, it is just awesome. You could actually safely commute to work on bike in this town without getting run over or have some fat cig-smoking, jelly donut eatin’ neanderuthal riding up your ass and honking at you to get out of his way! (and yes that may or may not have been me 3-4 years ago) One of my favorite parts of the race was when we were running at about 10 miles with all the Livestrong volunteers out on there in their yellow cheering us on, they were absolutely great! Again, the atmosphere of Austin makes the race.
Now about the race and my fitness gains, this was my best half marathon so far. I was able to improve my half-marathon time by 17:19 minutes! I was really pleased, to say the least. I really wanted to do well and I felt I was in much better shape than back in November and December, but I was a little apprehensive about expecting a great gain in time. At Dallas after the first one in Tulsa, I was actually slower; that stung my pride pretty good. I thought surely I would do better than time. So with that experience I was a little gun shy about my expectations, especially since I knew this would be a tougher course than the others. I had a little piece of paper on me that showed where my mile splits would need to be for 3 different finishes, one being a “pie in the sky” time that I didn’t think I would even be able to do. Well at mile 11 I was so close to the “pie in the sky”, I couldn’t believe it. If mile 12 didn’t have that one major hill, I could have maybe done it. I tried, I really did, but I just wasn’t able to get up that bastard like I needed to close it out. Having said that I was so pumped about the time I was going to be able to pull off! It was actually a better time than I honestly thought I could do; 2:33:49 ! I felt so stoked about that! I was one big major smile when I crossed that finish line!
So that was my training highlight this week, I leave Austin feeling really confident that I will be able to do Galveston. I know that my run is getting better and stronger, I also expect it to be even stronger by April 7th.
Tonight let’s listen to an Austin favorite son Jimmie Vaughan live at Antone’s.
Filed under Abundance, Attitude, Austin, Austin Marathon, bad coffee, Buddhism, Christianity, couch to 10k, couch to 5K, Determination, discipline, Dreams, Edmond, Fitness, Galveston, Good Life, Gratitude, Half Marathon, Jimmie Vaughan, Livestrong Austin Marathon, Lonestar 70.3, marathon, Memorial Hermann 70.3 Texas, mindfullness, Music, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Road To Galveston, Running, Texas, training, TrainingPeaks, triathlete, Triathlon
“ “Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other fifty percent is physical” ~ Yogi Berra
Those that have been following my blog on this adventure to the Lonestar 70.3 Ironman in Galveston know and have read of my swim “issues”. From my earliest memory of sinking in the pool as a kid, to struggling to learn to swim as an adult has damn sure had its ups and downs. It was a summer of struggle and I almost gave up, then going out to support my friends Jeri and Jason I just knew i had to get back in there and keep trying! As with so many things in my life about the time I realise I am going to have to show a little humility and get help, a break though happens. I had been “cross-blogging” with our blogging friends The Water Blogged Triathlete and they had suggested searching out area Master’s Classes as a way to find a good coach in the area. One of the places in Oklahoma that was on the site to search for classes was The Lighthouse in Oklahoma City. I was getting ready to put a call into them when I saw a twitter post by Dr. Amanda Stevens announcing a swim clinic in Oklahoma City at The Lighthouse! So it was time to get a move on my coach search!
After going to The Lighthouse to inquire about the workshop, I checked out the facility and they hooked me up with Brian Kidd who is over the aquatics center. So leading up to the workshop I had a few sessions with Brian to get a little more of a handle in my breathing work. Brian was really good in getting me going and giving me some good early direction that helped me move forward.
I signed up to do the Workshop on November 28th, what an awesome experience! Here are a few of the highlights for me: 1. It put me in a setting with other people that had the same interests and I quickly realised that I wasn’t alone in my “water struggles”. 2. Doc Amanda is not only a premiere triathlon swimmer, she is a great coach too.
Being a part of a group with people that have a common interest and cause has saved my life. So it’s no wonder when I get in settings like this with a group of people that all have a mutual interest and passion, it feels at home. Getting to just be a “fly on the wall” and listen to the people that were veterans in the sport was fun and inspiring. I love the fact that the group was made up of people from a wide range of experience. While most all there were much more advanced than I, there were others that were of a similar level to me. For some reason that kind of “lightened my mental load”. It helped me to relax and feel comfortable. If you only knew how friggin self-conscious I have been about this swimming deal for my entire life, you would know that was pretty damned amazing for me. It left me with a feeling of “hope”. I knew I could do this, when I left. And I don’t mean from a “technical” standpoint, I mean from the “mental/emotional” side of this deal. So a big “thank you” to all of the participants that were there with me.
First of all, I have to tell you I was a little bit intimidated by the thought of doing a workshop with Amanda Stevens. I mean she is only the Ironman Swim World Record Holder! Amanda is like many of the other truly gifted people that I have met; they have a passion for sharing what they love with others. She took us through several exercises in a classroom type setting for the first part of our session then we all went out and got in the water. She would break us up into several different groups and kept us all going with different drills and exercises. I really had a good time with it, even though I struggled with some of the drills. Her husband Randy also helped, great guy with a helpful attitude too! I got alot “technically” from the workshop too. The work in the water helped me to improve on the spot. It was super-cool. But again, while it was a big help “technically” it was probably an even better help “mentally”. I swear, this whole thing is as much mental as anything.
After doing the workshop I set up a couple of 1 hour swim lessons with Amanda for me and a friend. The first lesson left me feeling really good. My buddy Jason was fired up too! A great hour experience. I also have asked her to coach me at least through the next six months and through the Lonestar 70.3. I am really excited that too! So here we go The Road To Galveston is going to be a great time, no doubt.
There is still one more workshop coming up on December 15th. Click on this link to find out more!
And yes, I wouldn’t ever blog without posting a song!
Next post will probably be about our trip to Dallas for the MetroPCS Dallas Marathon ! The girls did the full and I did my second half. Also I will be having my 1st Annual 49th Birthday on Sunday the 16th. I have a blessed life.
Keep those who are struggling in your thoughts and prayers this holiday season too. I know some really special people that are having some tough times right now. We Sure love you all.
Filed under Abundance, Amanda Stevens, Attitude, bad coffee, body, Determination, Dreams, Edmond, Fitness, Galveston, Half Marathon, Lighthouse, Lonestar 70.3, mindfullness, Now, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Slow Fat Triathlete, spirituality, Swimming, The Human League, triathlete, Triathlon
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!
Filed under Abundance, Attitude, cycliing, Cycling, cyclist, Determination, Dreams, Edmond, Galveston, Glenn Miller, Gratitude, Lake Hefner, Life, Lonestar 70.3, Memorial Hermann 70.3 Texas, Music, Now, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Running, Swimming, TrainingPeaks, triathlete, Triathlon
So I am a little slow in getting out the week 4 re-cap. Probably three reasons: 1) I was really tired this week from working “crew” for my wife and daughter at 24 The Hard Way this last weekend. 2) I just haven’t been able to get the time to sit down write a blog entry. 3) I just don’t want to take the humility and say I missed one of my workouts last week. (There, I said it!) So last week I was to have done 3 swim, 2 bike, 4 run, and 2 strength workouts. I missed one of the strength workouts. So how did the week go? Pretty damn good actually! I still struggled with early week workouts, but I did get things to come together at the end of the week.
Running, I felt pretty good on the runs. I feel like I am making some steady progress. I stretched my long run out to an 8 miles this weekend, and that’s pretty good. My knees seem to be recovering pretty good too. While there is a little strain in the left one after the weekend, it seems to bounce back after the monday rest day. When I was out at 24 The Hardway with Becky, the people set up in the spot next to us were doing the 24 hours as a relay team. They were really fast as hell, they were a group of triathletes that were doing that event for the fun of it. I was really kinda shaking my head seeing how good an athlete they all were and I started to think “why the fuck do you even think you can do that”? It started to work on me a little, but then I remembered two life lessons that kinda pulled me up. One was my old mentor who talked to me about how we don’t all start out in life at the same starting point and that when we accept where we are instead of wishing or being down about not being where others are, then we can find some peace and start to grow in our own journey. The second life lesson was from my move to Scottsdale years ago. I had this great positive “vision” of how beautiful it was going to be but in the month before I left I had a bunch of family and friends start to say how desolate and ugly the desert was. They clouded my “vision”. The cool thing was once I got there is was every bit as beautiful as the “vision” I had. So I always remind myself not to let ANYONE else’s negative bullshit cloud my dreams! I am Galveston bound. I found my mantra too. Becky tells me that she is superstitious about sharing her mantra, so I will hold that to myself until I decide if I want to share that or not. Do any of you run or exercise with a manta? Do you share yours or keep it personal?
Swimming is really cool! I am making some really good progress in my swimming since I just decided to work on getting the technique down and my breathing down. It is pretty amazing how just in a day, something happened that changed everything. For some reason when I went to take my breathe, I actually had some good body rotation and it made the breath easier. It was a fluke that it happened, but it was a game changer for me. Now I am actually keeping my head down and swimming the way I am supposed to swim! The cool thing is how much easier it is and how much less effort it is taking now. I am starting to think that I just might not drown in that Galveston Bay now!
Biking is still my favorite. Both of my bike rides went pretty well last week. The 1-1/2hr ride was a nice ride at the lake, but it was still a little nippy. Having to be out at the Ultra-marathon the night before all night in the 30 degree cold made that a little less than appealing, but I got thru! I don’t think I actually got warm until Tuesday! Another note on the cycling front, I ordered a CycleOps Powertap Hub this last week. The bike shop said it should be in by the weekend. I will probably wait to have it installed next week. That is going to be pretty cool. A friend of mine said I could make some really good strides and train much more efficiently training with power for my cycling. So I am really fired up about that.
Strength training was the where I missed the mark in completing all of my workouts. I got one weight workout done on Friday and intended to get the other on Saturday or Sunday, but just didn’t get it wedged in. I should have had it done on Monday or Tuesday and then it wouldn’t have been an issue. I still was thinking I had done one weight workout on Wednesday and just didn’t get it logged, so there is an outside chance that I actually did get it all in. But since I didn’t get it logged and can’t be certain, I will call it a “no go”.
I want to also mention a little more about the Ultra-Marathon that my wife Becky and daughter Cynthia did this last weekend. The event is called 24 The Hard Way. It is an annual event in Oklahoma City that the girls just love doing. I think Becky has found her passion in ultra-marathons! She has made some really great strides this last year too! Becky’s had three main goals this year at this event: 1) Finish and stay out on the course for the whole 24 hours. 2) Try to get 80 miles. 3) Keep her feet in healthy condition throughout the race. No doubt she exceeded her goals! She finished with 93.5 miles and was 1st place Masters Division! Awesome job and I am so proud of her. Cynthia completed 58 miles and we are really proud of her too. Becky is already thinking ahead to next year and looking forward to the challenge of breaking 100 miles!
Dream big or go home, baby!
Think I’ll go with Foo Fighters and Learn To Fly!
Filed under 24 The Hard Way, Abundance, Attitude, body, CycleOps, cycliing, Cycling, cyclist, Determination, Dreams, Edmond, Fitness, Foo Fighters, Galveston, Gratitude, Life, Meditation, Memorial Hermann 70.3 Texas, mindfullness, Newton Running, Now, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Running, Slow Fat Triathlete, Swimming, triathlete, Triathlon, Ultra-marathon
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?
Filed under Abundance, body, cycliing, Cycling, cyclist, Determination, Edmond, Fitness, Galveston, Gratitude, Joe Friel, Lake Hefner, Life, Lonestar 70.3, Memorial Hermann 70.3 Texas, Music, Now, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Power Station, Robert Palmer, Running, Slow Fat Triathlete, Swimming, Total Immersion, TrainingPeaks, triathlete, Triathlon
As part of the plan that I have downloaded from Joe Friel, today was to be a testing day on my bike. When I was looking at how I was to do that I realised that, I needed to get a good LTHR to set up my zones the way they set them up in The Triathletes Training Bible.So instead of doing the workout in the plan I did a workout to get my LTHR so I can set up my zones in the same fashion that they call to use them. It was interesting to see the differences in the zones when doing it this way. There wasn’t alot of higher end differences, but zone 2 gave me a wider and higher range for my heart rate. Becky helped my by recording my times and heart rate at each half mile as I increased my mph on each ‘lap’. So my LTHR turned out to be 169, a one point lowering than last year. After finishing the testing part I finished out the hour in a zone 2 finish.
I really want a CylceOps G3 power meter hub, but they just are so damned expensive! I had an idea of how to shuffle a few funds $$$ around to do it, but I am just not so sure I should. What I need to do is sell this damn set of D.W. drums and use that money! If ya know anyone that is looking for a good deal on a great drum kit, let me know. Hey Steve Schlegel, you ought to take up the drums dude! I got a deal for ya!!!!!
Gotta go with the all time greatest drum solo!
Filed under CycleOps, Cycling, cyclist, D.W. Drums, Drums, Edmond, Fitness, Galveston, Iron Butterfly, Joe Friel, Life, Lonestar 70.3, Memorial Hermann 70.3 Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Schlegel Bicycles, Slow Fat Triathlete, TrainingPeaks, triathlete, Triathlon
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!!!!!
Filed under Attitude, bad coffee, body, Buddhism, Cervelo, CycleOps, Cycling, cyclist, Determination, Edmond, fall, Fitness, Galveston, Gratitude, Half Marathon, Happy, Joe Friel, Lake Hefner, Life, Lonestar 70.3, Meditation, Memorial Hermann 70.3 Texas, mindfullness, Newton Running, Now, Oakley, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Outkast, Route 66 Marathon, Running, Sidi, Slow Fat Triathlete, Sram, Swimming, TrainingPeaks, triathlete, Triathlon
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.
Filed under Coldplay, CycleOps, cycliing, Cycling, cyclist, Determination, Edmond, Fitness, Gratitude, Hotter N Hell Hundred, Joe Friel, Lake Hefner, Life, Lonestar 70.3, Memorial Hermann 70.3 Texas, mind, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Running, Slow Fat Triathlete, spirituality, Swimming, TrainingPeaks, triathlete, Triathlon
This weekend we had a great time at the Redman Triathlon in Oklahoma City. The day was started at the ‘start line” wishing my friends a great race! It was awesome to be there to cheer on Jeri and Jason L ! Jeri had been fighting sickness all week-long and had to pull out in the bike portion, I sure admired her drive and determination to gut it out. Jason finished in a little under 6 hours! Awesome job my friends, so proud of you both!
I watched the swim portion and then some of the transitioning to bike portion. It was pretty cool getting to see all the bikes lined up and watch the competitors work to get going on the bikes. Later in the day Becky, Cynthia, and I worked the Landrunners water stop. This was really cool too. Getting to be there to support all the competitors. It was also good to get to spend that time with the girls too!
So what was the ‘take-away’ from this great event? As excited as I was for Jeri and Jason, I sure was wishing I was standing “with” them getting ready to jump in that water, instead of standing there as a “supporter”. I really want to do this. So what’s the old saying? “Put your Money where your mouth is.” I went ahead and pulled the trigger and entered the Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas! It will be April 7th, 2013 at Galveston Island, Texas. I have 6 months to get ready! This ought to be an awesome adventure for the next 6 months.
So today for musical inspiration let’s go with a little Glen Campbell singing “Galveston“.
Filed under cycliing, Cycling, cyclist, Gratitude, Life, Lonestar 70.3, Memorial Hermann 70.3 Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Redman Triathlon, Running, Swimming, TrainingPeaks, triathlete, Triathlon