Thursday, July 23, 2015

"Bare Wood"

It's been awhile since I've blogged.  There's a reason for that.  Actually, a couple reasons.  

First, I will say that my fitness is going well for 2/3 sports.  I'm seeing gains, especially in the pool.  Swimming a mile easy nowadays.  More importantly, I'm enjoying both swimming and biking a lot.  I crave being in the pool and being on the bike.  But notice how I only said 2/3.  That means one is not going well, and obviously that's running.  

Running and I have a love/hate relationship.  Always have, always will.  I can go months where I love running.  Love putting on my shoes and hitting the bricks.  Then there's weeks or months where I hate running.  Can't stand it.  To look at my shoes is to glare with hatred.  That's where I am with it currently.  To pinpoint why I am despising running, I consulted a friend of mine, who is also an airline pilot, about the issue.  He's a triathlete as well.  He said that lately, we are all working very very hard.  We have seen our days off decrease and our flight time increase.  Furthermore, our overnights just aren't allowing us to get adequate rest to where we can find the strength to go out for runs.

It makes a lot of sense if you think about it.  I have always found solace with running on the road.  Swimming is very difficult to do while traveling, and riding is generally done on an exercise bike.  But running?  You can do it anywhere, right?  It's something that has no boundaries.  You don't need a pool or a bike.  You just need a pair of shoes.  But when you get in to the hotel late, and leave early, day after day after day, you just want sleep.  You crave sleep.  And running falls by the way.

So what is a guy like me to do?

Borrowing a term from boxing, I am stripping my running down to "bare wood".  I'm going to take it from the beginning.  That means no Garmin for awhile.  No outrageous distance goals.  No time worries.  Long story short, I am going to run because I know somewhere, I like to run.

Back in 2007/2008, when I was attempting to change my ways from Fat Kid, I had a treadmill workout that I did.  It's a profoundly simple workout, and to be honest, it does nothing for anyone with even an ounce of running skill, but when you are stripping your running to "bare wood", you do what you need to.  For me, this is a return to the womb.  Back to basics.  Use whatever metaphor you want, but it'll get the job done.

Other than that, I'm attempting to manage my life at work better, and let's just say that in July, a lot of work stress piled on all at once.  With that, my fitness took a short dive.  A lot of people use work emotion to pull themselves along a workout.  Me, I am more the "dwell on it" kind of guy.  I'm not very good at using emotion for my benefit in fitness.  Playing hockey growing up, I was never the guy who jumped around before a game, screaming at the top of my lungs.  No, I was more the guy who just went out and did his job.  Emotion has never played a big part in my fitness.  Well, I'm hoping to change that, to challenge negative emotions into positive workouts.  Stay tuned on that front.

I do also appreciate everyone's support, no matter the venture.  I have had a lot of good energy thrown my way during some difficult work days, and for the most part, it's been overwhelmingly positive.  When you doubt yourself, when you are unconfident in what you are doing, it helps that the vast majority of people that you surround yourself with believe in you.

Cheering at Peak and More: Catching Up

It's really been three weeks since I've posted? Geez ... 

I've been training. I was supposed to have been racing (70.3 Muncie, July 11), but due to losing so much training with the house, we scrapped the race, unfortunately.

We rode the 105 down in Sedalia and saw a fitting sign due to the jersey I was wearing.

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I participated in Bike to Work Day (and thankfully only worked a short day as there was horrible, awful flooding on the very paths I took to work) and Brandon joined me for both trips.

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Mmm, pancakes.

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Fork? I don't need no stinkin' fork!

I don't have pictures from it, but a fun little perk for being a Skirt Sports Ambassador is that I got to be one of their real woman models! None of my photos have appeared on mailings/their website yet, but if I see one, I'll post it here. Because dude.

A side perk of not driving to Indiana to race 70.3 Muncie was being able to cheer on a colleague of Brandon's, Mark, on at his first ever triathlon - Boulder Peak. For it being his first tri - and on a hard m-f'ing course, too - he pretty much rocked it.

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Talking pre-race.

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Possibly my new favorite picture of Mark.

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Artsy beach shot.

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All ready to go!

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And he's off!

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Swim swim swim ...

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And he's out of the water.

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On to the bike.

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TriSports.com teammate Liz on the bike.

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Awards.

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Done with the bike.

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"This is f'ing hard." Also: it is not normal for one's hair to look THAT good after swimming and biking ...

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Liz almost done with the run.

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Brandon running a tiny bit with Mark.

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And another triathlete has joined our ranks.

Like all of us, he thought it was horrible, hard ... and can't wait for his next one. We have plans of coercing him into doing Boulder 70.3 with us next year ...

Thursday, July 2, 2015

June Round-Up

The progress begun in May hath continued in June ... read on:

Swimming: 9100m (5.65 mi)
% to goal: 21%
Cycling: 180.28 mi
% to goal: 16%
Running: 22.51 mi
% to goal: 23%
Lifting: five sessions (1:30)
Other: seven yoga sessions (1:46), one hike (1:15)

I didn't quite get into 5 digits for swimming like I did the first three months of the year, but it took until the last week or so to get into a consistent, two to three times a week swim routine. I had my first three-swim week in who knows how long, so I'm really happy about that. I also did a 1400m* set (short variation of one we did during IMAZ training) for the first time since March and, out of the six times I've done the set this year, had my 2nd fastest time. My measured 200m time, however, was average. 

This was my second-highest cycling month this year which is a really good thing, but I need to get a lot more miles in ...

Average running month, but, like swimming, it's been taking a while to get into a consistent rhythm. I also had my first three-run week in way too long, too. 

I've also been adding in a ton of yoga, and it's been feeling great. I can tell I neglected it for a while because when I first started adding it back into the routine, it was rough. Flexibility is coming back (what little I have), but balance ... not so much. It'll get there, I hope ...

For July, I'd just like to build on June ... including getting outside on the bike more because that will be the easiest way to build mileage. We're not doing Muncie now (booooo)(month off will do that), but I've kept the days requested off at work, so I'll have almost a week to hopefully get in a lot of good training. I've got some plans for riding that, if they pan out, will be awesome ...




* When I built back up to include this set earlier this year in February, I decided that I'd use the all-out 200m portion of it as a good gauge of where I am in the pool. Times did drop over the next two months; overall, and for the 200m. Since I'm back about to that range of swim workouts in the pool again, I decided to go for the set and was pleasantly surprised that the overall time wasn't too far off from when I last did the workout. The sprint, however ... we'll work on it.