Tag Archives: Good Life

Nice Saturday Overcast With My Pup Dog!

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

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

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

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

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

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Fitting It In On A Friday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope you have a great weekend.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great night!

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Test #2 – Bike Test

testbiketrainer Tonight was a Heart Rate and Power test on the bike trainer. I didn’t get started until 9:30pm. Actually I kind of like doing trainer work later in the evening.

The total time of the workout was to be 1 hr, including warmups and cool downs. A 15′ warmup, then 30′ in the test part, and finish with an easy 15′ spin to cool down. My coach said to really let it all go, push it as hard as I could. I felt damn good about it too. I don’t know that I have ever averaged that high a speed for a whole hour or that high of a watts average. So I was pretty pleased. After about 3 minutes into my cool down I noticed that I was on track to average 21 mph and I had to laugh thinking of one of our fellow bloggers post’s about averaging 20 mph, made me smile a little bit.

We are going to be using these results to reset my training Zones, both HR and Power. I am a data dork, so I am kinda curious to see how that will work out. I have read a lot about different types of training, but it is nice to have a coach to sort that stuff out and give me some solid guidance.

You know, I am really starting to have a lot of fun with this training too. I just love seeing what how much more I might be able to do. I get a sense that every day I am building a little more firm of a base. It has been fun doing this with a friend too, Jason and I get to root each other on. To me it is all kind of dreamy in a sense, five years ago there is nothing about what I am doing today that would have even been a passing thought. I just keep thinking of what one of my mentors always says to me “(life) It’s open on the big end baby!

And it damn sure is.

Wrap-up Song for tonight will be Coldplay’s Clocks.

Good night all.

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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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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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The Road To Galveston Via Fort Lauderdale !

Ft-Lauderdale-Beach-South-Florida-007I am so pumped up! We are going to go to Fort Lauderdale in February and I will get a chance to do some open water ocean swimming! It was one of my concerns for a few reasons. I don’t have any real experience in a wetsuit, so this will let me do some wetsuit work. Swimming in open water is something that I need to get a chance to do. So just to add a nice twist to the wetsuit open water swimming, my triathlon is in the ocean too. Getting to do this in late February was a perfect opportunity.

How did it all come together? Well we had a couple of tickets from Southwest that were about to expire, there were just a few times or places that we could go to with our schedules and the airlines availibility. We have been doing these tripa on the west coast, but unfortunately there weren’t any availible flighta open. So we eventually found some open flights to Florida. We have talked about going to Florida for a while but, it was just hard to “not go” to Del Mar. We have had some great times there over the last several years. Becky also has a pretty good chunk of hotel points too, so we were able to book our room using those! So it will be a relatively inexpensive trip. We are both really looking forward to it.

So when we go, I suspect that swimming will be my focus while we are there! Getting the chance to do some open water swimming will be so good for me. Hopefully it will help me feel a little more at ease in Galveston. The bonus of getting to do a little open water ocean swimming is really cool too. I was checking the weather online and the water temperature should be roughly the same as Galveston in April. Seems the stars are still aligning!

Today was a double workout day, one run and one bike. I am doing them both in the evening, one before dinner and one after. My run was 45 minutes of running anyway I wanted BUT, I was to leave the Garmin and heart rate monitor off. My coach wanted me to just enjoy running. I. can get to “thinking” way to much sometimes and I was probably mind screwing myself to much with the data. It was pretty cold outside so I did the run on the treadmill. I even covered up the distance and pace data so it wasn’t like using the Garmin.

After the run I told Becky I would cook dinner tonight. I made salmon, brocolli, asparagus, and sweet potato. I am not a cooking guy normally, but it was pretty good!

My bike workout was a 1:20 hr trainer ride, doing a few drills. It felt pretty good too. I was used to doing 1hr training rides so this one was stretching me out an extra 20 minutes. I love riding the bike, no doubt it is my total favorite of the swim/bike/run deal! Tonight I jammed out to a little Foo Fighters while riding. I was having fun doing the work too. I work up a great sweat on trainer rides! Well thats enough for today.

It was Foo Fighters on the trainer, but I am going with David Gray’s Babylon.

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