Tag Archives: swimming

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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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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It’s Not All Roses

Red-Red-Rose-roses-11662034-1280-800Generally my attitude is pretty high and positve; today it wasn’t so much. I wasn’t just way down or anything, I just had a taste of reality when I was looking back over yesterday’s run times. So I played with that for a little while knowing that I had to go out for an afternoon swim workout. There is a certain fairness and honesty about getting into shape, there aren’t any shortcuts. Physically, what you are is what you are. Fitness, it is what it is too. No magic buttons to push or free advance cards, just work. Inspiration seems to be a word that kept coming up this week, sometimes you can grab that emotional boost. I love when that happens! Then somedays you just have to ignore your emotions and negative mind and put in the work.

Today was a day that I had to “just go to the gym and swim”, do your work. I had already made a commitment to meet Jason at the pool so that always helps. Accountability, that’s a big part of working with friends and having a coach. I want people to hold me to the path that will get me to where I want to go. So we met up to do our swim. It went pretty well too. Afterwards I felt good, I always do when I ignore that negative crap and do what I am supposed to do. Technically I felt that my “breathing” was off a little, I need to get that breath a little sooner than I was today. The last 4 x 25s I tried to get real conscious of doing that right. The catch-up drills help me with that too. I even thought about doing that last 4 x 25 all as catch-ups, just to work on correcting that. Might talk to Doc about that next time we talk.

I did have a nice talk with my coach today. We talked about the “slow” run thing and we are going to do another “heart-rate” zone test the following week. This week we are going to bring in strength training. So I am looking forward to that too.

So does my mind mess with me sometimes, hell ya. Does it last, only if I let it. And that reminds me of another story. 😉 A story that the Abbess Master Jian Mao told us one night at Budda Mind Monastery. “You know how to get a ball to stop bouncing? Stop bouncing it.” So I try my best to just let the negative crap pass, don’t fight it but don’t play with it either. It never lasts to long if I turn to something positive or God forbid call someone else and see how they are doing!

This tune always cracked me up! Outkast and Roses, that’ll work!

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On Top Of The Water

common-dolphins-leaping-tim-mellingToday was a new day and today my swim workout was probably the single best workout in the water that I have had to date. I don’t know what it was, but it just felt good to be in the water swimming. My attitude was good, I felt pretty relaxed, I didn’t fight the water, and I was breathing really well. So that really fired me up! It was kind of like how that 90 stroke golfer who chases the ball in the tall grass for most the day then hits that 300 yard drive right down the middle like Arnold Palmer feels. You know the deal, where it feels so good you can’t wait to get to go again! So that was a welcomed improvement over my down day yesterday. Now I am back on top, ready to keep on going!

The workout today was 2000 yards. It was a mix of 25’s, with some 75’s and 100’s too. I used the fins for some and did a pretty good amount of “catch-up drills”. I had one stretch of 18 x 25 catch-ups that went really well, for some reason after about 4 lengths, it just clicked. I just hit the breath stroke just right and the rest were really good. There’s nothing like feeling like you “nailed it”, especialy when it is something that you have had to really work hard to do. So today all is well.

It was just a good productive day all around. I was visiting with a couple of my buddies about our bike ride this week. I think I might take advantage of the warm weather on Friday to do my long bike ride, if I can get off work. My buddies Brian and Jason are looking at going with me too, so that will make it a good day.

Love the tunes for tonight! The lifeguard at the pool was playing this tune this morning. The video is by a pool, so that’s cool. The really funny thing is the title “Cough Syrup”, sometimes you just have to laugh. For those that know a little more about me, you know it’s a good sign that I can laugh at that! Life’s to short let the past be anything but the past, cut it loose and let it go.

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The Road Is Longer Than It Might Appear

sbr At the first of the year I suspect we all set goals or have ideas of where we want to try to go, not only in our fitness life but other areas too. As a person that was never very athletic and didn’t get any physical exercise for many years I have really been blown away by how it has affected me. To me, it did so much more than just improve my physical fitness, it affected every area of life, life became more vibrant. So after I had completed my first 100 mile event, I felt like I was on top of the world and could do anything! This summer will mark my 3rd year of cycling, and while I do have some real lofty goals this year, I also have had to take a little humility on the road. Below I will tell you of just a few experiences that have been some of the growing steps and some of the more humbling ways I have had to come to grips with just where my starting point actually was.

After finishing my first Hotter N Hell Hundred, one afternoon my wife who is a marathon runner was going to go out for a quick run. Feeling all pumped up about my accomplishment, I said “hey, why don’t I come with you ?” She gave me a somewhat quirky look, but I think she felt like it was kind of sweet that I was willing to go along with her. So that seemed to trump the “doubt in my ability” skeptism that she had. I had no clue that cycling ability did not translate into running abilty. After jogging out the front door and maybe 30 yards down the street, I was done! I learned real quick that I was just a beginer in this fitness thing. I had “baby steps” to endure if I was to start running and eventually swimming too.

Getting an understanding of my true fitness level was one lesson I had to learn, and then in May of 2011, we came home to a house filled with smoke. It was the most surreal experience in my life, you never think that is going to happen to you. We hustled to get all of our pets out of the house while the fire department came. We were fortunate that we caught the fire in an early stage. So what does that have to do with my 2011 fitness goals? Life happens and some things just take precedence over my own plans and family needs had to be the focus. We were living in a motel for 3 months and it was a full 6 months before all of the construction was finished. What happened was all of those New Years plans just couldn’t happen.

Having made it through a chaotic 2011, I was ready to get going! In 2012 I wanted to do a triathlon! So I set out to do it with an organization that helped you with your training; great people and an organization with a wonderful cause too. So what was the catch? Well they met for swimming on Monday nights, a night that I had a previous commitment. This particular commitment was with a group of people who absolutely have saved my life. It is something that if I didn’t have it in my life, there would be no other goals. These people gave me life and helped me find a relationship with God in a way that changed me forever. I tried to justify not going for a short period until my event was over, but in my heart of hearts I knew where my priorities needed to be. This is the place that God gave me life, and it is the place where I get to be most effective in helping others have that same experience too.

My new fitness life is amazing, it has affected my entire life from the inside emotionally and spiritually and also physically too; but it hasn’t been an overnight event. I have had to take and am still taking many baby steps along the way. While my fitness goals do have a high priority level, they are not the most important priority; God and family have to be in the proper order too. It takes time to find that balance. It is more about finding a new lifestyle that can be balanced in all areas.

Best of luck with your fitness goals in 2013!

Todays workout was a 2-1/2 hour bike ride followed by a one mile run. It was work, but good work! I even did a pretty good job of following my coaches directions for the workout today!

Tonight let’s go with a little FUN.!

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Drill Day At The Pool

cichlidThis was the third day in a row that I got up at 4:30 to make it to the pool before work. I haven’t been a morning guy, but I like how I feel when I do this. My workout went really well too.

Today was a series of drills. Some “catch-ups”, using the pull bouy, single-arm drills with fins, using paddles and then some kick at the end. Doing the workshop with Amanda gave me some familiarity with the different drills and how to do them. Now it is about putting it into practice. The pull bouy was a little awkward at first, but after the first 50yds it came around pretty good, actually all of them went good. I had 1700yds on this workout and felt pretty really good when I left.

For some reason this morning I was thinking of something my dad used to tell me about when he was in college. He said he never stressed out on test day. The work was all in the preparation, so test day was time to relax and just do it. That is how I felt at Tulsa for the half-marathon, I just relaxed and enjoyed it at the level I was prepaired. It was a great experience. That is how I figure Galveston will be too!

My attitude is full blown back tt where I want it too today. I have an hour drive into my office and I really enjoyed the sunrise. The colors reminded me of some of the African Cichlids I used to have and would enjoy watching in my aquarium. They were just beautiful.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Tunes for the day will be an oldie from Steve Miller Band, Fly Like An Eagle ! Enjoy !!

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Better Attitude = Better Workout

waterFour-thirty in the morning sure comes early, but it sure feels good to get up and get my swim in to start the day. I have never been a morning person but that just might change if I can get better at going to bed earlier. I know that I do feel more alive when I start my day after a good morning workout. I was reading somewhere that it really only takes about 30 days to change your sleep habit and get acclimated to doing that every morning. We will see, the jury is still out. 😉

The swim was to be 1900 yards. Looking back on the workout, I would say it went pretty well. My breathing technique was pretty good. I did struggle when I was stretching out to some longer distances, but on the second set I remembered to just relax and let it happen instead of fighting it. I was supposed to do a few more “catch-up” drills than I did, I wasn’t paying attention to my plan when I first got in for my warmup laps. I’ll be more attentive next time.

So this morning I copied my workout plan down and put it in a little sandwhich bag to keep it dry and by the pool. That worked out pretty well. One thing that I have seen several people use when they do their swim workouts is a counter. There are times when I struggle to keep my counts on laps. I might look into that when I go to the swim shop next.

So today my attitude was much better. I didn’t have that funk that I was carrying yesterday. I wouldn’t say it has all passed, but I feel a little better.

So far I have been staying off the sweets and candies like I had said I was going to do after the 27th! I still crave a Reese’s everytime I go to a quickstop though. I figure it can’t be any more difficult than getting off the smokes. I knocked off 4 pounds just from eating better this last week!

Well the new year is here, so time to get to work. Before I go here is todays tune, Little Wing by Neil Young.

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The Fitness Lifestyle Reveiw For 2012

2012There was much to be happy about fitness in the year of 2012. In looking back over the year I will tell you about some of my favorites. From the OCCC SuperSprint Triathlon, Hotter N Hell Hundred, new bike, swimming, and doing a couple half-marathons. It was a full year with ups and down, detours unexpected, even frustrations to overcome. But looking back and taking the year as whole, it was very satisfying. If you put it on a 10 year plot, it is off the chart of posibility. So here are a few highlights.

OCCCtriThe big goal starting off the year was the OCCC SuperSprint Triathlon. Starting off the year I was not able to run or jog at all, not even 50 yards. And if my running was at zero, then my swimming was a -100. So it was a challenge. I had inteneded to train with Team In Training, but didn’t really get a good understanding of when they trained before I signed up. That was a problem beacuse the swim training was on Monday nights and I have another commitment on Monday that kept me from being able to swim train with them. I had started raising money, so I had an obligation to do it. I wanted to keep that commitment. I never did get where I could swim with my head in the water, I just did the ‘tarzan swim’ for the 500 meter swim. I hadn’t progressed enough to even jog the entire 5K either, I had to just do a jog/walk. The only thing that I really was ready to do was the bike, and that went fine. I did this event with my two friends Jeri and Jason Lundsford. We had a good time too. At the end of the day it was a start of something that I would have never believed possible. I was a little surprised by how out of shape I was and didn’t realise how much work it was going to be, but at the end it felt good to complete the event and it was fun doing it with the Lundsfords.

HHHLife is about relationships and shared experiences with friends and family. So there was nothing better than training and doing the Hotter N Hell Hundred this year with our daughter Cynthia. It was fun getting out on the bikes with Cynthia. We got to spend some good times working out hard and visiting together too. We road a many miles from our house out to Jones/Choctaw and back. She even got to witness my Rottweiler crash and burn too. It was a great feeling to be on the starting line with her and 13,000 of our best cycling friends. I also had a good time also riding with my friends Brian Johnston and Jason Lundsford too. I will refrain from saying what order the three of us finished. 😉 Humble, I am. haha As fun as it was starting with Cynthia, it was really cool getting to take our picture together at the finish line too. It was an awesome weekend.

IKEshopHave you ever seen a kid not smile when he gets a new bike? Hell no and you can bet this big kid was smiling too when I went to get my new tri-bike, “Ike”! Ike is a Cervelo P-4 decked out with Sram Red, Zipp 404s, and a CycleOps power meter. I am a gear nut. The picture is Marty and Steve at Schlegel Bicycles getting it all rigged up, they even stayed late to get me hooked up and fit. It was a great time! I promise you one thing, my parents are glad we didn’t have a Schlegel Bicycles in Seminole when I was growing up, that place is my adult equivalent of a “candy store” !

swim Notice that in this picture I am at the pool and almost smiling! Yes swimming makes my list of 2012 highlights. After struggling all year long something finally happened in November and I started swimming freestyle with my head down in the water! Sounds simple enough, right? Well for most it would be, but with my water-phobia this was a big damn deal for me. After starting to get that down I eventually went to a swim clinic that Amanda Stevens did at The Lighthouse Fitness Center in Oklahoma City, that was a blast too. Now I have had a few extra lessons with her and she is coaching me for my triathlon training this year too. Getting that swim deal down was huge though. It opens up a whole new realm of posibilities for the coming year and beyond, starting with the Lonestar 70.3 !

484971_4839303948589_1502879578_nProbably the biggest highlight was the Tulsa Route 66 Marathon and Half Marathon. It was the perfect combination of family and achievement. My wife and daughter did the full and I did my first half-marathon! As I wrote previously, getting to actually go to the starting line with them as a fellow participant was so cool. I have taken them to many marathons and wished them well as a supporter and spectator, but who would have ever thought that I would be lining up with them? It was an awesome day, I enjoyed ever minute and ever step and stride of the run. I took it all in like you should always do, I soaked up the whole experience! Then getting to take the picture with the girls at the finish line was a proud moment for us all! I suspect there will be many more in the future too!

So to say I have had a full fitness life this last year would be an understatement! Who would have ever thought when I bought that bicycle three years ago and went out to ride that first 10 mile loop around Lake Hefner that eventually I would be doing all of this stuff? Not me, and I bet non one else that knew me! No way, no how. So thank you all my family, friends, and supporters for a truely blessed 2012.

Close out tune for the year will be Michael Franti’s Say Hey (I Love You) ! Happy New Year my friends!

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Rise And Shine…. And Swim Too

SwimmingThis morning was an early start! I am usually not a big fan of the ‘early morning’ but I had a 2200yrd swim workout on the schedule and early morning was the best time for me to get to it. My buddy Jason said he would do his then too if I wanted to go at 5am, so I begrudgingly agreed to it.

Since making the decision to stop the “Tarzan Swim” and learn how to freestyle right, I havne’t put in the kind of distance that I was supposed to do today. I was a little worried about being able to do it. The workouts were arrainged in a series of 25’s broken up by sets of 4×100’s. In the 25’s I was to swim a 25, then do “catchup” drills on the return 25. When I first started doing the “catchups” I looked like a paniced drowning rat, thankfully I have progressed since then. I am starting to see the payoff in doing them now. The 4×100’s were to be done with fins, so that gave me a little relief and help. I did start out way to fast on the first set of 4×100’s, but I eventually ‘settled in’ to a more comfortable rhythm and found my breathing form and just tried to relax into the swim. My biggest struggle on the 4×100 was just getting winded from not doing much length the last 6-8 months, plus I am doing it a different way too.

Overview- it went well and I am pleased with getting in the 2200 yards. I feel really positve too, I know that it will just get better and stronger. I actually believe that too! I am going to have to find me a set of fins that fit fat feet! I did leave with blisters on both my big toes. Other than that, I am glad I got up and did it first thing in the morning. Now I don’t have to fret over how or when I will get it done, my mind it clear. I like that!

Hmmmm…… Tunes….. Let’s go with Neon Trees this morning.

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