Tag Archives: Life

Working Shifts

work_in_progress2This was a recovery and test week in my training plan. It also marked the end of the first month working with my new coach. In reflecting back over the week and even the month I am really excited for where I am going and the progress made. I feel confidence growing, but not just some kind of motivational ‘rah-rah’. I feel confidence because of the work and the process. And here is the important part, I am having fun with the process. I have heard all my life “enjoy the journey, that’s where you find happiness”. Life is about the journey.

I was laying in bed this morning and when I woke up there was a popular television preacher/author starting his sermon. My first thought was “change the channel quick” ( ya like that “PG” version?). But for some reason I decided to watch. He talked of a concept that I have experienced and thought a lot about the last three or so years, his sermon was on “shifts”. He didn’t call it a “paradigm shift” but it is the same concept that has been really big in business re-vitalization movement the last several years. So I thought about “shifts” in training, certainly the swimming experience has been a major fundamental shift. I suspect there will be other “shifts” along the way too. Where I found the minister lacking was in his proclamation that “shifts” just happen and everything is different. He seemed to want to leave his audience with a belief or faith that all will just one day shift and be well. I believe in “shifts” for sure, but not without work. If ya want potatoes, you better pick up the hoe. I didn’t have a “shift” in my swimming by sitting watching other swim, I had to work at it. I don’t expect a “shift” in my running times without putting in the work. I don’t expect an increase in my bike power average without working at that too. To me that’s a cheap “hope”. Here is the “hope” I can buy into; when I am talking to someone that has had the experience that I would like to have and they share with me how they got there, I can buy into that. But just listening to their experience isn’t enough, you better pick up the hoe. I don’t think any of it happens just from my own determintaion though, I do think there are healing “shifts” that happen inside along the way. “Shifts” that only happen by allowing some power that is deep within us all to grow and be Present in our lives.

So what does that tangent have to do with any of this? I feel like I am on a good path with a good mentors and a coach to show me the way. And as I said earlier, the important thing is that I am really enjoying it! It is work, but it feels really good.

Today was the last test of the week, a “brick” test. I did two time-trials on bike followed by one running. I felt pretty good about the results too. But as Amanda pointed out the other day, these are to measure progress later down the road. I like where the road is going too. I feel certain that I am moving in a good direction in all three sports. Plus, I am learning a lot about myself in the process too. My one failure this week was in not getting my stregth workouts started. So next week you can be certain that will happen.

Also a special “shout-out” to Becky and Cynthia on their great week-end at the Waco Marathon. They said it was a very challenging course. Becky was top finisher in her age group too, so that was cool !

Tonight I’m thinking of going with Ray Lamontagne’s God Willin’ And The Creek Don’t Rise.

Enjoy. Goodnight

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Nice Saturday Overcast With My Pup Dog!

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

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

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

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

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

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Fitting It In On A Friday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope you have a great weekend.

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Test #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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Lifes Good On The Redman Route

IkeRideToday I rode with my buddy Lunz. We met up at Lake Hefner at noon and headed out to do the Redman Triathlon bike route. This was the first time that I had ever been on this route. Today I decicded it was time to get some saddle time on my tri-bike Ike, this would be the longest ride I have had on Ike. My workout for the day was to ride 2:45-3:00 hr without a Garmin or Heart Rate monitor, just have a fun day on the bike ! Then I was to follow it with a 20 minute run. That should make for a good workout!

Lunz and I have been riding together for about a year or so now. We have a bunch of mutual friends and when he got his bike last year he started riding with Big Brian and I. He really has picked up the bike fast. He was already a really good long distance runner, so he was in pretty good shape to begin with. He is also a running coach for Team In Training too(check that out if you want to do the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon). He started the bike deal to pursue triathlon. He did his first 70.3 at the Redman in Oklahoma City last fall. I really have a good time doing stuff with him and he has a super-supportive and sweet wife too, Jeri. That is another great thing about endurance sport, the positive people that you meet and become friends with. So Lunz and I are going to be doing the Lonestar 70.3 together. I had to laugh a little bit there, we are training together and might start together, but he will finish much sooner than I will. Having said that I did kick his much younger ass at the Hotter N Hell Hundred this year. 😉 (I do reserve the right to brag about that until next year!)

Today was my longest ride on my new tri-bike too. I bought Ike in late September and have done several rides at Lake Hefner on the trails, but today was the first time to get out on the open road with him. Ike is a Cervelo P4 with Sram Red components, a dream bike for a guy like me. Every time I ride that bike I am amazed at how smooth it really is. The only reason I haven’t done more long rides was because I wanted to get a little more accustomed to the handling of the bike. Today was a good 50 mile test too. It was really great. There were some stretches that I rode out of the areo-bars maybe more than I should have, but that was because I wanted too. Remember, my workout instructions were to have fun and enjoy the ride!

So the ride really was pretty enjoyable. I love riding out in the country-side. I really love being out in areas where there is farmland and I certainly feel right at home to see a pumping unit on and oilwell, home sweet home!!! The ride out north to Waterloo road was at times kinda tough, due to the in city traffic, but after getting north a ways it thinned out nice. There was one stretch going west on Waterloo Road that was fairly hilly and it was also straight into a pretty good wind. It seemed like it went on forever too. I started getting a little bit of an attitude about it, then thought about my directions again. Have fun, lighten up, enjoy the ride; it’s called endurance sport for a reason. So that westward stretch took us about 45 minute into the wind, but going back it was just a 30 minute ride with the wind at our back! The traffic going south back into town got a little hairy in spots, but we made it fine. I only shouted at a few cars. 😉

milkrecoveryAfter we finished the bike ride we did a 20′ minute run around the east side of Lake Hefner. I was surprised at how well that went too. That was the longest distance I had done on the bike and then followed with a run. Of course my legs felt a little rubbery at first but I actually kept a pretty fair pace, almost as good as my normal pace. So I was plesantly surprised there.

I will chalk this ride up as a success! This is going to be a fun Road To Galveston.

Tonights music will be Jimmy Fallon’s new Armstrong tune! Have a great week-end!!!

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