Saturday, February 28, 2009

112 Days and Counting....

-Breakfast: Honey Wheat Bagel with peanut butter and two cups of coffee.
-Lunch: Big bowl of granola with 2% milk, 2 sticks of cheese, and a handful of wheat thins, 12oz of gatorade.
-Dinner: Haven't eaten it yet, but gunning for pitchers of PBR and hot wings at the Wing Dome! (reward for another good week of training).

-Training: 90 minute run, with the GPS watch instead of the HRM today, to figure out my distance and pace. I was really happy, as I ended up at 10 miles, in 88:21.
I also recognize that some of you may be wondering what the heck the picture above is for... A cute story actually, of when I met my wife. She knew I was training for an Ironman, but had some pre-conceived notions of what we sometimes wear. She had a fear of what she calls, "The Man Panties" and didn't want me to be a speedo wearing freak. She actually sent me an email once and asked if I thought a little speedo brief was appropriate beach wear!

Needless to say, I am NOT a brief wearing athlete (I prefer jammer- think waist to knee shorts), and I was somehwat confused by her paranoia. But, take a look at the guy below...

Yeah, he is wearing "The Man Panties" and a sports bra. Weird? Yes.
Weirder? That guy is Faris al Sultan, 2005 IronMan World Champion.
I still won't wear them baby, so don't worry... Eye Luh Ewe.

Friday, February 27, 2009

113 Days and Counting...

-Breakfast: Honey wheat bagel with peanut butter, 2 cups of coffee.
-Lunch: Cup of Ramen, piece of fruit leather, bottle of vitamin water.
-Dinner: Can of vegetable beef soup, goldfish crackers.
-Snacks: 2 pieces of fruit leather, bag of fruit snacks, 2 peanut butter granola bars, rice krispy treat, handful of almonds, handful of fritos, bottle of vitamin water, bottle of propel, 24 oz cran-raspberry juice.

-Training: Swim, 32 minutes straight, focused on form, RPE 4. Tried to keep my pace down today, and just focus on efficiency, and nice, smooth, form. My effort felt very low, but some of the speed work must be paying off, as my last 100 was at 1:36.

Bike, 60 minutes on the trainer. 15 minutes easy warm up small ring RPE 3, 30 minutes big ring RPE 7, 15 minute cool down RPE 3. Just punching the clock on the bike today, nothing special.

The focus on efficiency brought back an article that I read the first go-round, and had a big impact on my approach to training. The point that the article made, was that an average marathoner will take about 28,000 steps during the course of the race. A minor flaw in your form that costs 1 calorie every 10 steps adds up to an additional 2800 calories spent during the run... A bit of a stretch, yes, but you get the point. Economy of movement enables you to race longer, more comfortably. Which is important if it's going to take 15 hours. :-)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

114 Days and Counting...

-Breakfast: Packet of oatmeal, 2 cups of coffee, piece of fruit leather, handful of fruit snacks.
-Lunch: Cup of ramen, peanut butter granola bar.
-Dinner: Cheese tortellini, 12oz of cran-raspberry juice.
-Snacks: Package of fruit snacks, 1 piece of fruit leather, Chex turtle bar (these are great!), bottle of vitamin water, bottle of propel water.

-Training: NONE. Rest day....

Today was a lesson in how sometimes life just smacks you in the face and shows you who's boss! Nothing bad happened, but I was scheduled for a 90 minute long run, and I planned to do it after work on the treadmill (it snowed again in Seattle, so I wasn't doing it outside!). I was eating and drinking all day to make sure I was fueled, and plugging along happily at work. It was an average day, by all accounts, until about 4pm. I started an interview (over the phone), and though I'd gotten about 5 phone calls all day, my phone went BERZERK. I got 11 phone calls during my 4-515pm interview!! Most of them required some level of immediate follow up, so around 630, I found myself starving (hadn't had dinner, or a chance to eat anything since 3pm), frazzled, and with my stunning wife walking in the front door from work.... I sometimes feel bad banishing her to bad TV while I hit the bike/treadmill. Put all of that together, and I just decided I didn't have it in me today. I just needed to eat, and relax (and give the pregnant lady a backrub!).

I had initially planned on Saturday to be my day off this week, but took today instead... It may even work out better, because if it is sunny on Saturday I can run outside!

The flexibility lesson is one I learned my first go-round with IM CDA; if you're not careful, and you let the training run your life, it takes the fun out of it and can burn you out fast. On the other hand, you get much more benefit from the process if you build in time to enjoy the routine of training, and to just let training go by the wayside when it make sense.

Concentrate on your process, control the variables you can, surrender to the ones you cannot, and the outcome usually takes care of itself.

Confucious say, "Listen to Fluffy."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

115 Days and Counting....

-Breakfast: Honey Wheat Bagel, with peanut butter, 2 cups of coffee.
-Lunch: One packet of oatmeal, bottle of vitamin water, peanut butter granola bar, package of fruit snacks.
-Dinner: Breakfast burrito, with scrambled eggs and bacon, and colby jack cheese.
-Snacks: package of fruit snacks, peanut butter granola bar, piece of fruit leather, handful of almonds.
-Training: 30 minutes swimming, continuous, RPE 5. Felt nice to JUST swim for a spell... A bit of a recovery, and a chance to gear up for some longer days to come before the end of the week.
I am inluding a link for everyone tonight, and one I hope you will take a few minutes to look at... A couple of GREAT friends, Kim Urbom and Jared Franz, started a blog as well. I know how much a few of you like blogs (no love lost), but you need to check this out.
I've known Kim since our sophomore year of High School, and I've known Jared since 7th grade (historical sidenote, we won a 3 on 3 soccer tournament in 9th grade; dude, we should have gone pro). They are currently in South Africa, working for a couple years with the Peace Corps. I got an email recently from Kim, that really put a lot of things into perspective.
I realize that writing down my food intake, and reciting how many laps I swam/biked/ran isn't that sexy. Frankly, it sometimes even bores me. But Kim's email indicated that some of the stuff we all take for granted (goldfish crackers, fruit snacks, breakfast burritos, honey wheat bagels), is pretty hard to come by. NOT that they aren't eating well, but some of the bounty that is so easily acquired stateside is much harder to come by in other, more rural parts of the world.
So, I would simply ask that you take a look at their blog, consider following it, and keep the good people who go out into the world to make it better, in your thoughts.
If that doesn't get you to look at the blog, they have pictures of rhino's and elephants... (Everybody has a price....)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

116 Days and Counting...

Super fast post tonight, I have get upstairs and read a story to my baby girl... She was kicking like Chuck Norris on Meth last night because I didn't talk to her! :-)

I ate the same thing I ate yesterday... Boring, I know.

-Training: 60 minute bike, RPE5.

Immediate transition to run, 45 minutes, 6mph, 4.5 miles.

Off to daddy practice!

Monday, February 23, 2009

117 Days and Counting....

-Breakfast: Honey wheat bagel with peanut butter, 2 cups coffee.
-Lunch: Large bowl of granola with almonds and raisins, 2% milk.
-Dinner: 2 packets of maple brown sugarl oatmeal.
-Snacks: 2 chex turtle bars, 1 packet of fruit snacks, 24oz of cran-raspberry juice.
-Training: Swimming, 25 minutes continuous, RPE 7.
Running, 45 minutes, 6mph, for 4.5 miles.
The pool today was FREEZING cold. Like I should have had a wetsuit, my toes were numb, and I almost got hypothermic freezing. Something must have been wrong... I was supposed to swim longer but my toes really did go numb. I wasn't intending on swimming at RPE 7, but I couldn't slow down or I would have been even colder!! So, we got the swim in hard and fast.
The run felt good today too. No issues with my legs, or fatigue. Nice easy pace, and done in a flash!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

118 Days and Counting....

-Breakfast: peanut butter granola bar, 12oz. cran-raspberry juice.
-Lunch: Can of vegetable beef soup, grilled cheese sandwich.
-Dinner: Cheese tortellini with tomato sauce, bottle of propel fitness water.
-Snacks: Chex turtle bar (awesome new find), honey wheat bagel with peanut butter.

-Training: Swim first thing in the morning. 13 minutes straight at RPE 7. 11 minutes of 25 sprint (RPE9) then 25 recover (RPE 2).

In the evening, 60 minute recovery bike session, all at RPE 2, very low gear. My legs were VERY tired from yesterday. Not feeling pain, or anything wrong, I can just tell I did a long run yesterday... The bike helped loosen them up a bit, so we should be good going into next week.

Next week will be a repeat of the first week of this plan, scaling back a bit as a series of shorter, less intense training sessions. It will serve as a bit of a recovery, but I am really pleased with how I feel so far. The long sessions have not been to tough, and my legs have felt very fresh up until today. I still feel strongest about my swimming, but am happy that I have not manufactured reasons to skip out on my cycling sessions.... It is my least favorite, but I feel like I'm making good progress there.

We tried putting together our 3rd and last piece of baby furniture this afternoon, an armoire. (crib: done. Changing table/dresser: Done.) I have to tell you, if there is anything that can make you feel like you ate a bowl of crazy flakes for breakfast, it is putting together a piece of furniture that comes dis-assembled in a box. Weird pieces, hundreds of screws, all packaged in a box that looks like Fed-Ex threw it in front of a train before they delivered it to you. And as we found out today, the train usually wins in the chicken match... We had a bunch of broken pieces, and couldn't put it together. I guess instead of the joys of furniture assembly, we'll have to put up with warm fuzzies dispensed from the curmudgeony customer service people from

As I conclude this post, I must confess that my adorable wife just brought me a bowl of Girl Scout Samoa Cookie Ice Cream... Just livin' the dream people!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

119 Days and Counting...

-Breakfast: Honey Wheat Bagel with peanut butter, 2 cups of coffee.
-Lunch: Big bowl of granola with almonds and raisins, and 2% milk.
-Dinner: 4 slices of pepperoni pizza
-Snacks: 1 bottle of vitamin water, can of mountain dew, Mikes Hard Lemonade, 20 oz Cran-rasberry juice.

-Training: 90 minute run, about10 miles. Felt Really good! I actually got to do this run outside, as it was a nice day in Seattle. Only about 40 degrees out, but sunny, so I had to take advantage. I was curious how I would feel after doing the all my running since December on the treadmill, but it felt great.

Kind of a fun evening tonight... Heather and I are totally nesting. We had ordered a dresser/changing table for the nursery, and we got it out of the box and put it together tonight. I swear, nothing tests my patience, and my intellectual abilities like putting together furniture. I wish I could explain exactly how inept I am at it (people, I got a D in Jr. High wood shop), but it is frustrating!! But, we got through it without me drilling a wood screw into my hand, or stabbing myself with the flathead screwdriver.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

-Breakfast: Honey Wheat Bagle wtih peanut butter, 2 cups of coffee.
-Lunch: Bowl of granola with raisins and almonds, 2% milk.
-Dinner: Breakfast burrito with bacon and chedder.
-Snacks: 2 bottles Vitamin Water, 1 piece of fruit leather, 12 oz. cran-raspberry juice, 1 bag of fruit snacks.

-Training: 30 minutes continuous, all at RPE 7. I measured my first 100, a middle 100 , and my final 100 (prior to a 50 cool down), and they measured at 1:33, 1:31, and 1:34, so I was pretty consistent.

Today the swim session felt GREAT. I pushed pretty hard for the duration, and after starting out with some stiffness in my arms, I loosened up quick, and was able to maintain my pace.

I've been googling IMCDA a lot recently, and found several other similar blogs of people also training for the 2009 race. It's kind of cool to find some other folks out there who are doing the same "crazy" 20 week ritual to get ready. :-) Makes me feel a little less "weird" for doing all the training, and a little more connected to the other 2000 people who'll be at the starting line.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

121 Days and Counting...

Feeling super motivated and excited today (good couple weeks of training) so included a picture of my good side from the 2007 IMCDA marathon.

-Breakfast: Honey wheat bagel with peanut butter, 2 cups of coffee.
-Lunch: Large bowl of granola with raisins and almonds, 2% milk.
-Dinner: Wheat thins, and 2 large pieces of cheddar cheese (doesn't sound like much, but it hits the spot).
-Snacks: Handful of almonds, more wheat thins and cheese, popcorn, 2 pieces of fruit leather, bottle of vitamin water.

-Training: 60 minutes on bike and trainer. First 10 minutes were small ring warm up. Next 40 minutes were hard effort (RPE 7) on big chain ring, mostly aero (that is getting more comfortable), and last 10 minutes were small chain reing cool down, easy effort. Drank 20 oz of orange gatorade.

Immediate transition to run, and did 45 minutes on the treadmill at 6mph (4.5 miles), nice and easy effort. Legs and feet felt a little stiff right out of the gate, but stopped briefly to loosen up the laces on my shoes, and that helped. Drank 12 oz. Propel fitness water.

Not much to philosophize about today, just feeling really motivated, and excited for the race. The last 2 months I have been pretty focused on base fitness, and the last 3 weeks, as volume has increased, my body has really responded well. No stiffness, no knee pain (I've had nasty IT band issues in the past), no bone spur issues in my left foot, and no sickness (lost almost 7 weeks last year to bronchitis). It is fair to say I am really feeling lucky! I guess that is also a part of the answer to the question "WHY do you do this?" Days like this, where I feel like I got the absolute most out of the day (work, time with awesome wife, excellent training), are great. During the race, its like hundreds of days like this happen all at the same time...

That might be a lame explanation, but it is pretty accurate. It's a great feeling!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

122 Days and Counting...

-Breakfast: Honey Wheat Bagel with peanut butter, 2 cups of coffee.
-Lunch: Large bowl of granola with almonds and raisins.
-Dinner: Cheeseburger, fries, and a lemonade (hey, I live with a pregnant lady; when she wants Dairy Queen, she GETS Dairy Queen, and so do I!)
-Snacks: Fiber One Bar, 2 pieces of fruit leather.

-Training: Swim, 36 minutes continuous, RPE 5 (all race pace).

Run, 60 minutes, all on treadmill. 10 minute warm up at 6mph. Then, upped to 6.5 mph, and did 20-30 seconds strides (increased speed to 8mph) every 2 minutes for 40 minutes. Then 10 minutes cool down at 6mph.

Today was a good day for training... A bit tougher run than previous, working on speed, but still really felt good. I also had the pool to myself, which I am finding is pretty frequent at the LA Fitness where we're members. It is absolutely fantastic to have the entire pool to myself! No one splashing in my lane, no noise, not having to share space with someone slower... AWESOME!

I also had a very cool experience tonight. Our baby girl has been going Chuck Norris in Heather's tummy, and being VERY active. It is very fun to feel those movements, but tonight she did one better. As Heather was eathing the aformentioned Dairy Queen Butterfinger blizzard, I actually SAW her moving! Heather's tummy jumped and wiggled.

I guess our little girl is also an ice cream fan!

Monday, February 16, 2009

123 Days and Counting...

-Breakfast: Peanut Butter Granola Bar, one piece of fruit leather, 2 cups of coffe.

-Lunch: Cup of Ramen Noodles, handful of goldfish crackers.

-Dinner: Cheese tortellini, tomato sauce.

-Snacks: 2 pieces of fruit leather, 2 packets of oatmeal, handful of wheat thins, 2 chocolate truffles.

-Training: REST DAY!!!

In Baby Class today we learned about pain management in labor and delivery... We're a little nervous about the big unknowns in the process, but still very excited. :-)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

124 Days and Counting...

-Breakfast: Fiber One Bar, piece of fruit leather, 2 cups of coffe.

-Lunch: honey wheat bagel with peanut butter.

-Dinner: Cheese tortellini with tomato sauce.

-Snacks: 2 pieces of fruit leather, small bowl of granola with almonds and raisins, 2 chocolate truffles, handful of goldfish crackers.

-Training: 2 hours on the bike, on the trainer. mostly RPE 5, some sections where I simulate out of the saddle climing (2 minutes out of saddle, every 10 minutes, for 40 minutes).

I tend to get pretty bored riding the bike inside, and as I've mentioned a good action movie helps the time go by. Today I watched Robocop 2 On Demand... It is a crummy movie (the central criminal is a 13 year old kid who is a "drug lord" that buys off the mayor of Detroit for $50million), but lots of guns and explosions, and that helps!

Not much of a post today, I'm tired, and off to bed... I googled "how to change a diaper" and "how to use butt paste" tonight, getting ready for our baby girl to get here. I am very excited, and our good friend Stacy helped Heather register for her baby shower today, so that gave me a little "baby on the brain."

Saturday, February 14, 2009

125 Days and Counting...

-Breakfast: Peanut Butter Granola Bar, fruit leather, 2 cups of coffee.
-Lunch: 10oz Steak, scrambled eggs, and fruit plate.
-Dinner: 2 pieces of cheesecake; berry swirl and key lime!!! (Todd and Mike must be so proud)
-Snacks: One bowl of granola, with almonds and raisins, 2 strips of fruit leather.

Some of you may be asking a question at this point about my diet. That question might be "WTF?!" I know, admittedly, I have not been AS focused on that as I was in the last 2 years. Couple reasons for that: 1). I don't have weight to lose, I'm were I want to be, and 2.) I have realized that it's okay to relax. I actually read an article that talked about periodizing your beer selection throughout the season! It isn't a green light to eat ice cream 3 meals a day and wash it down with Bud Light, but more of a reminder about balance... I can't train all day every day, I have other obligations; I don't need to eat soy, granola and broccoli every day, other things taste good too.

-Training: 40 minutes continuous swim.
Felt good throughout, and got in about 10 minutes of speed work (swim 25 @ RPE 7, 25 RPE 3). Otherwise, at race pace (RPE 5).

A kind of funny question I have gotten before that I was thinking about on the swim today; "What do you THINK about during all this training? Don't you get bored?"

Honestly, I don't get bored at all. I'm pretty good at letting my mind wander (um, it took me 11 years to graduate from college), and putting the physical exertion on auto-pilot. An interesting twist this year is I think about what to write here!

But to be perfectly honest, I do a ton of what can only be called "mental imagery." I think a LOT about having good form (efficiency is important, but that is another post). I think about feeling good on the course, cheering crowds at the race, setting a personal best on the bike, crossing the finish line, all sorts of good thoughts. I know, this is a post where a lot of people are going to call me silly, and make fun of me and my ooey gooey sports psychology; before you do, digest this little tidbit.

I also think about things that make me ANGRY. Social injustice, someone being mean to my wife, etc, etc, etc. Today, I measured my pace at 100 meters 20 minutes into the workout. I did 100 meters in 1:40. Then, I gave myself a couple minutes to think ANGRY thoughts. My 100 pace after that? 1:26. 14 seconds difference, in the same workout.

Imagine how fast I could be if I raced the whole Ironman pissed off?!

But in all seriousness, visualize yourself swimming 100 meters (4 lenghts of the pool).... Then look at a watch, and wait 14 seconds. It is a statistically significant difference.

What is the point of all this? Ironman is a mental challenge, not just a physical challenge. The physical part is a straightforward physiological process; eat well, put in the mileage, and your body will adapt and be able to carry you to the finish. The hard part, is convincing yourself to keep going, to not stop, to continue moving forward. It may seem simple, but it really isn't. Everyone who's ever done an endurance race of ANY kind, knows the mental process of convincing yourself to keep going; it happens in a 5k, 10k, half marathon, any race. We convince ourselves to just put one foot in front of the other until we cross the finish line ending our silly, but sentimentally important, quest for some arbitrary title.

In the Ironman, you have to do that for a LONG time (upwards of 14 hours for me). How long before you think you'd run out of persistence, or material, to convince yourself that the pain and discomfort is worth it? The importance of mental training cannot be dismissed at any level, but especially in triathlon. A common sentiment among the triathlon community, is that your body is capable of MUCH more than your mind will give it credit for. So the question becomes, when you're at mile 18 of the marathon, your legs are dead, your body is absolutely exhausted and you've used up all sources of energy to fuel muscle contractions; what will your mind tell your body to do? It will say whatever you trained it to say, and if it says "keep on trucking, your reasons for doing this are good, and valid", your body will oblige.

If you think I'm crazy, look at this you tube video:

Once you've watched it, would you have gotten up?

Friday, February 13, 2009

126 Days and Counting...

-Breakfast: Honey Wheat Bagel with Peanut butter, 2 cups of Coffee.
-Lunch: Grilled cheese sandwich with pepper jack, on wheat, with one strip of bacon in it, handful of goldfish crackers.
-Dinner: Small bowl of Granola, 2 pepper jack cheese quesadillas with salsa, one strip of fruit leather.
-Snacks: 2 packets of oatmeal, strip of fruit leather, rice krispy treat, 2 bottles of vitamin water, one package of fruit snacks.

-Training: 90 minutes on the treadmill, 6mph, 9 miles total. Took 6 pina colada shot blox (200 calories) and 24 oz Propel water (50 calories or so?). Actually felt really good on the run, little to no fatigue. I took in 100 calories of shot blox at 10 minutes in, and the other 100 at 50 minutes in. Also had no sloshing with the propel, which is good I normally use just water or gatorade (we need to go grocery shopping!). I also stretched well afterwards, and as I am writing this I am feeling really good; no stiffness in the legs, no sore feet, nothing... We'll take that as a good omen. :-)

Also wanted to add another video link for those of you digging the you tube stuff (I assume at least one of you watch the videos!). This is another tear jerker, so get some kleenex.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

127 Days and Counting...

Above is the transition area in Lake Placid, in the Olympic Speed Skating Oval.

-Breakfast: 2 packets oatmeal, and one fiber one bar, 2 cups of coffee.
-Lunch: Cup of Ramen Noodles, handful of goldfish crackers.
-Dinner: Honey Wheat bagel with peanut butter.
-Snacks: 2 rice krispy treats, chips and salsa con queso, 1 piece of fruit leather, 1 package of fruit snacks.

-Training: REST DAY!!! I have a long run, swim, and bike coming in the next 3 days, so a good day to freshen up my legs. But, that means with no training to recap, I am forced to wax sentimental about racing again... Sorry. :-)

Someone asked me recently when I told them I was doing another race, if I expected to win. I laughed, because for those of you familiar with my race times, I am not considered a "podium threat." My fastest finish time, 14 hours 30 minutes in Coeur d'Alene, was more than 5 hours after the winner completed the race.

Yes, you read that right, 5 hours. I ain't fast.

But one of the really cool things about triathlon, and especially in long course races, is winning takes on a completely different meaning for everyone. My first race there was a competitor who was a double above-the-knee amputee. Other noteworthy finishers are: a blind man; a dad who finished with his quadraplegic son (towed him in a boat, rode tandem on the bike, and pushed him in a wheelchair on the marathon), and a man with Lou Gherig's disease (no use of his hands; see the video below, and tell me you can do it with dry eyes).

None of them came in 1st place, but did they win? Since they each swam 2.4 miles, biked 112, and ran 26.2, its hard to argue that they didn't...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

128 Days and Counting....

-Breakfast: Fiber One bar, 2 packets of instant oatmeal, two cups of coffee.
-Lunch: Cup of Ramen Noodles, two huge handfuls of goldfish crackers.
-Dinner: Cheese filled ravioli in a cream sauce.
-Snacks: Several handfuls of goldfish crackers, 3 rice krispy treats, Tostitos and salsa con queso, 24oz cranberry juice

-Training: 60 minutes on the bike, RPE 5, all small ring.

Immediate transition to the run, did 40 minutes on the treadmill, avg. 6mph.

"Win or lose, you will never regret working hard, making sacrifices, being disciplined or focusing too much. Success is measured by what you have done in preparation for competition."
-John Smith

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

129 Days and Counting

Picture above is of the Lake Placid swim course right before the start....

-Breakfast: Fiber One bar, package of fruit snacks, 2 cups of coffee.
-Lunch: Cup of Ramen noodels, handful of goldfish crackers.
-Dinner: Ham and cheese sandwich, on wheat bread, with jalapeno mustard and pepper jack cheese; handful of corn chips.
-Snacks: 24oz cranberry juice, 2 rice crispy treats, handful of goldfish crackers, quesadilla on flour tortilla with pepper jack cheese and tobasco sauce.

Training: 35 minutes swimming, RPE 6, no drills.
Bike: 60 minutes, RPE 7. 50% largre ring, 50% small, all hard effort. I wasn't going to get in a long session today, just too much to do between work and life, so I wanted to push it today. My cycling legs are still a bit weak, and today was tough. It felt good though, as cycling is my definite weak link. Lots of time to build up endurance though, and 60 minutes was plenty!

I did something this week that was stepping a bit out of my comfort zone... I reached out to a local triathlon club about joining up, and was welcomed into the Jet City Triathlon Club. I am a little anxious, as for the last 2 and 1/2 years, I have been "self-coached." I downloaded free training plans off the internet, and read hundreds of articles on workouts, training methods, and nutrition. Then, I put it all together as best I could...

And while it is exciting to meet up with other like minded folks who have bought into the triathlon lifestyle, all the weird Junior High insecurities tend to come creeping back! Is my training plan wimpier than everyone elses? Will I be the slowest IM racer? What if my bike is the oldest and cheapest one? What if I can't keep up on group rides?

Of course, all ridiculous questions, and completely irrelevent. Everyone has their reasons for racing, and this sport has a reputation for excellent sportsmanship (everyone sticks around at the end of the race to cheer for other finishers; last place gets a louder ovation than first place). Just a funny snapshot that even as we get older, and things change, the more they stay the same. :-) I never thought I'd relive Junior High!

Monday, February 9, 2009

130 Days and Counting...

Someone asked me about the pictures in the posts, and yes they are all my pictures (minus the beer bottle). No real reason for some of them, other than I am hoping to make the posts less boring by adding visual stimulation. :-)

-Breakfast: fiber one bar, one packet of fruit snacks, 2 cups of coffee.
-Lunch: One can of chili, mixed with 1/3 cup of salsa con queso, and fritos chips (BEST munchy fix EVER).
-Dinner: 2 packets of instant oatmeal.
-Snacks: 24oz of cranberry juice, chocolate truffle, Cheese, and a HUGE helping of goldfish crackers.

-Training: 55 minutes on the treadmill at 6.5 mph (RPE5, pretty close to race pace). Didn't have time to do a brick workout today, as we had baby class again. That was pretty cool, as we got to talk about stages of labor and delivery... Seems crazy that it is 13 weeks away!

While I was on the treadmill I watched the recap of the 2008 IM World Championship from Kona, HI (I taped it on the DVR in December). It is absolutely incredible and motivating to watch. My only hope of getting there is if I win a lottery spot (you have to qualify with a fast enough time, or win one of 200 spots given out in a lottery), but the people and the stories of that race are amazing. One of the profiled athletes was a 20 year old kid who broke his back in a moto-cross accident when he was 18, and was competing with a hand cycle for the bike segment, and a wheel chair for the run segment. Seeing stories like that REALLY put into perspective how lucky we are to have what we have, and do what we do.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

131 Days and Counting...

Okay, for those of you following, you've noticed I have been MIA for the last few days (you did notice, right?). I took a quick trip back to Utah to see family, and get in a little skiing.

Because I was on the road, my diet took a little bit of a hit (lots of fries, onion rings, bacon, beer, and wine). But I got back home tonight very motivated to get going again with my routine tomorrow. And I actually did fine with the food, I think the beer and wine got the best of me though....

And while I did not do any swimming, biking, or running, I did get in a bit of cross training. I spend a full 7 hours Friday skiing in knee deep powder. Anyone who has any experience in that knows it is a heck of a workout. I hadn't skied in a while, and not in Utah for a couple years (Seattle snow kind of stinks), so it was AMAZING.

We'll get back in the routine tomorrow of posting in detail, and I hope everyone is doing well.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

136 Days and Counting...

-Breakfast: 1 fiber one bar, 2 packets instant oatmeal, 2 cups coffee.

-Lunch: 1 can of soup, sausage and chicken gumbo, handful of goldfish crackers.

-Dinner: 2 breakfast burritos, with egg, bacon, cheese, tobasco.

-Snacks: 2 packages of fruit snacks, 1oz. beef jerkey, 36 oz cranberry juice, chocolate truffel.


60 minutes on the bike, all small ring, RPE 3 (easy spinning). Just water.

Immediate transition to run, and 60 minutes on the treadmill, RPE4 (6mph, 10 minute miles). 16oz of gatorade.

A great day of training... It didn't feel as long as I thought it would. I watched The Bourne Supremacy, so lots of kung-fu-ninja action helps the time go by. :-)

A bit of a random thought today, from a book I am re-reading (it is a favorite), called "The Art of Happiness."

Foster those things that are based in love, compassion, generosity, etc. Seek to remove or minimize those things that do not foster them.

Easy as that!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

137 Days and Counting

Monday marked the first day of my 20 week training plan... IM CDA is June 21st 2009, so though I've been building up my base level of fitness, the training takes a much more structured turn now. Volume and intensity are more planned, as is recovery. But since this is real life, and work, family, and the super bowl can all get in the way, I am very flexible with the plan. I tend to modify sessions as needed, by shortening them, or decreasing intensity. I'm traveling back home to Utah this week, so will miss a couple days of training. Not a big deal, I just am making sure to get the most out of my volume this week.

On Monday, I am skipping the food entery... It was a busy day, and instead of half-assing the entry (I seriously can't remember everything), I'll focus on the training.

Swim: 30 minutes continuous, RPE 6. The plan called for 800 yards of drills, then 1500 continous. I did 1850 continuous (I've mentioned my lack of affection for drills).

Run: 45 minutes, RPE 4 (6mph). Good recovery run, and setting the table for more LSD.

Monday, February 2, 2009

138 Days and Counting....

Okay, Super Bowl Sunday Post!

Per an anonymous comment from yesterday, I went totally Chuck Norris on Super Bowl Sunday. What did I eat? Fajitas, chips and dip, rice crispie treats, chili.... What did I drink? BEER. After I had beer, I had more beer. And then more beer. And then some more.

Training: Beer. See above

Thank you Todd, Mike, Scott, Deuce, and Craig for all the support and Inspiration. This was my last day before the 20 week training plan started on Monday, so it was a great way to kick off the countdown.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

139 Days and Counting...

-Breakfast: Bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast burrito, 2 cups coffee.
-Lunch: BlueBerry Bagel and cream cheese, 12oz. blueberry pomegranate juice.
-Dinner: Ham sandwich on wheat bread, with pepper jack cheese and jalepeno mustard, handful of potato chips.
-Snacks: 1 bottle vitamin water, handfull of pizza rolls, several pizza bagel bites, chili-cheese dip and corn ships, 2 cans of Bud Light. This was my superbowl warm up (thanks Mike!). Oh, and the Jazz got killed.
Training: 27:30 continuous swimming, RPE 6. Felt GREAT. My last 150 meters I timed in at 2:30. At that pace, I did about 1650 meters. I continue to REALLY feel great about the swimming. My first race in Coeur d'Alene I finished in 78 minutes; my 2nd race in Lake Placid in Finished in just under 72 minutes. I am optimistic that if stay focused on the swimming, I can shave another few minutes off the time this year. Thus, the repeated IM swim photos (2008 Lake Placid above), and the IM swim start video to the right!
Today's post is quite a bit more random than most, but I think it bears mentioning. It is the hardest question to answer, but probably the most frequent around Ironman. It comes from friends, family, and complete strangers. "2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run? WHY would you choose to do that to yourself??"

A completely candid answer would require significantly more time and space to answer than I am willing to commit to, and frankly, more than you all would care to read; if you're not already bored stupid, that would most certainly get you across the threshold. I'm also pretty sure that the question is, more often than not, a rhetorical one! So instead of trying to answer in one ridiculously melodramatic, soul baring post, I'll try to give you pieces of the answer every now and again... Maybe along the way the real, the complete answer, will fall into place piece by piece.
I got on this particular topic earlier today reading a magazine article, and it had a quote in it that caught my attention. It certainly isn't the magic answer to the question, but I felt it was a good start on explaining motivation.

"The masters in the art of living make little distinction between their work and their play, their labor and their leisure, their minds and their bodies, their information, their recreation, their love and their religion. They hardly know which is which; they simply pursue their vision of excellence at whatever they do, leaving others to decide whether they are working or playing."
-James A. Michener

Do I think I am a "master of living"? Not at all!! But I do think there is something to the thought that who we are, the things that motivate us to push ourselves, and how find what will be important to us, are all linked. More importantly, that titles like WORK, PLAY, PRIORITY, TRAINING, and ATHLETE are subjective, and our own deeply personal definitions for them are what really matter. We only have to convince ourselves... and then not pay attention when someone tells us we're crazy, calls us a tool, makes light of our passion, or thinks that what makes us tick is weird, silly, dumb, etc.