Monday, February 25, 2013

10 day magic...

My high school track and field coach Erik Belby used to tell us about the 10 day rule to getting in shape.  Coach Belby used to tell us it took about 10 days of working out for the body to adapt and actually feel the gains made through the initial days of training.  I've always remembered this and always felt it to be true.  This year is no different.  On day 1 I was slogging my way through a 3 mile run.  By day 10 I had run 50 minutes and it felt easier than the 20 minutes of day 1.  I have felt better in the pool and stronger on the bike.  I'm a true believer in the rule of 10 days.  I worked out with our high school team on Friday running hill repeats with kids who have a lot more speed than I do...they are also half my age now.  I mentioned to Coach Belby who still leads the Spartan distance group (and has won 4 state championships to go along with 2 runner-up showings) how the 10 day rule has always come to fruition for me.  I also told him that the rule should include a disclaimer that it must be 10 solid days of working out.  Maybe 1 day off should be allowed but the rule of 10 days would not apply to an athlete that works out 1 day and then takes the next 2 on and so forth.  Week 2 had me sick half way through the week and feeling down on energy.  I skipped some late night bike rides and opted for the extra sleep leading me to missing my bike goal.  I only biked 75 miles this week but hit my running goal of 33 miles and my swimming goal of 9,000 yards.  I met all my other goals on my weekly checklist.  The one area I need to get more focused is on my eating.  I have not eaten clean and it shows in my weight.  I started training at 171 and today I weighed 172.  I cannot run or bike my best at this weight.  I know running typically gets a lot easier for me when I start training because I get in better shape and combine that with losing weight leading to big gains.  I'm missing the weight part right now so I need to get that under control.  I do feel much stronger as I was able to complete a 60 minute run yesterday for my longest yet this year.  This week will see modest increases again as I remain patient in my training for 2013.  I'm still sifting through all the possible races and deciding what ones I want to do.  I'm looking at not racing until June 8th but I would like to find something in late May to get the cobwebs blown off and get over the initial sorness that comes with the first races because I'm contemplating racing on June 8 and June 9th and that won't be possible if I haven't done any races prior.  I will be so sore from June 8 that I won't be able to race the following day.  Either way I'm excited about the year and the progress I'm making in training.  Thanks for reading...feel free to take the 10 day challenge and let me know how you feel on day 10 compared to day 1.  DREAM BIG!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Why not you? Week 1

On Monday I was half way through my first run of the year.  It was a 3 mile run at 7:10 mile pace.  I was struggling...hurting bad.  My legs were on fire.  I was on the treadmill and was all over the place unable to find anything that resembled rhythm in my stride.  I began to realize how big the mountain is.  I began to realize how far I have to climb.  I also began to wonder...why not you?  If I can do this...starting in the shape I am with goals of going sub 4 hours for a 1/2 Ironman and sub-9 hours for a full Ironman within 8 months why can't you do this also?  I don't remember 3 miles ever being so tough, yet I have no doubts with daily committment to the work that needs to be done I will be able to attain my goals.  Can you do the same?  I have no doubts you can.  My first swim was equally painful.  I made it 2,000 yards and thought I was going to drown even if my arms didn't fall off...which they felt like they were about to.  Why not you?...Why not now?  Maybe your mountain is to run a mile...maybe it's your first 5k...1/2 marathon...marathon...or even an Ironman.  Regardless of what your mountain is and how far away you feel from the top make the committment and believe that it is possible.  I'm right there with you...looking up the mountain from the bottom and although it can be daunting to think about the climb I can tell you it will be well worth it.  I have climbed this mountain in the past.  In November of 2008 I began the climb weighing 186 lbs. with a goal of getting to the top of my mountain which happened to be earning my professional license.  11 months later I reached the top of that mountain.  I actually think I enjoy the process of climbing the mountain more than I do the feeling of reaching the top.  The top only lasts briefly.  You will come down...but the journey to the top is where the memories are what makes the top that much more enjoyable.  Week 1 was a great week although it was difficult.  I started to make my way up the mountain and am looking no further than week 2.  Slowly I'll get there.  I ran 30 miles, biked 115 and swam 8,200 yards.  I met all my weekly goals and was able to put a checkmark next to all of them on my weekly goal checklist.  It was a good start.  Set goals and begin your climb.  Why not?  If I can picture the top at my current condition I know anyone can.  Let's make this climb together.  DREAM BIG!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Journey Resumes...2013

On Saturday I wrapped up my first coaching duties since I began training to be a professional triathlete in the fall of 2008.  I enjoyed being back in the rhelm of coaching and it certainly kept my competitive side at bay through the first part of my off-season.  I was really proud of the way our 9th grade girls basketball team progressed through the course of the season.  Early in the year I was not excited about the effort, energy, and intensity we played with at practices and games on a day to day basis.  One day would be great and leave me so excited I could hardly sleep.  The next day would be a huge letdown leaving me frustrated.  Over the past 5 weeks the team showed growth by coming to practice every day ready to work hard.  I'm excited about the future of our girls basketball program.  This coaching position was pefect for me in terms of traithlon preparation.  I poured a relentless amount of time and energy into the position even though it was "just 9th grade girls basketball."  Doing things 100% is what I do.  This position was no different and because I put 100% into this position I put 0% into triathlon training which I think was necessary.  Over 2.5 months away from anything resembling organized and disciplined training is exactly what I needed to do to start my 2013 season.  I believe the lingering injuries I dealt with in 2012 are completely gone.  I believe my body is more rested entering a season than it has been in 3 years.  Last year I was in tremendous shape in April but was fading fast by the big races in July.  This extended break forced me to delay the training and delay the peak fitness I hope to achieve later in the season this year.  With basketball being wrapped up I now turn my focus to my goals for the 2013 season.  I have a new fire burning and hope to achieve more than I have to date.  I'm super excited to get back to that "machine like" feeling that comes with getting into great shape.  I have printed my weekly goal sheets and begun writing in my new training journal.  I can now focus on eating healthy and knowing that every day is a chance to get in better shape than the day before.  I will be sore in a few days.  That comes with beginning any new training cycle.  I am excited about that.  I am working out a race schedule but know a couple races for sure with my peak race already penciled (penned) in for September 8th at Rev. 3 Cedar Point.  That is a full distance triathlon I did last year for the first time and loved.  For now it is time to let the work begin so I can be ready.  I'm racing for a cause in 2013 and hope to let that cause fuel my motivation.  I'll announce that later once I've finished wrapping up the details of what charitable cause I'll be supporting.  I've appreciated all the support from friends, family, and followers through the first couple years of racing professionally.  I hope you'll continue to follow this journey and that it may motivate you to stay healthy, fit, and goal oriented leaving you to DREAM BIG!