Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Jamaica/Training Update

The first 2 weeks into the 2nd half of the season have been up down.  Almost immediately during my first week back I was experiencing a lot of lower back tightness.  I dealt with it Monday and Tuesday and then on my interval workout Wednesday I had to pull the plug.  With each passing hard interval my back was getting tighter and tighter.  I could tell it was affecting the way I was running and I decided to stop.  Since then I have run very little.  It's frustrating because going back to my last race and my week off I have barely run 50 miles over the past month.  The lack of running allowed me to focus more time and energy on the bike and in my first week back I had a great bike workout.  I put in 321 miles on the bike that week including 3 really tough interval workouts.  I build strength quickly when I start doing interval work.  I typically am not able to combine high mileage with lots of intense work but due to the lack of running I was able to do so. 

Last week Jen and I went to Jamaica for 6 days.  It was great to get away.  In the 10 years since we have been married we have only really taken 1 vacation for more than a couple days and this was our first since our kids have been born.  It was tough being away from them for 6 days but the trip was awesome.  Since we are both extreme fitness nuts we made that part of our vacation getting up early to swim in the ocean or do some work in the "fitness center" on the resort that we called the "hot box" due to the lack of air conditioning or air flow in the room.  It was probably over 90 degrees in the room.  I didn't enjoy riding the stationary bike too much in the hot box so I found that pedaling the paddle boat in the ocean was a great alternative. 

Jen and I did some hard interval periods in the paddle boat...maybe the 1st time vacationers have done that in Jamaica.  I put in over 2 hours of paddle boating one day and it was awesome cruising around Bloody Bay in Negril.  I also did a bit of kayaking one day for my workout.  I paddled out around an island called Booby Cay which happens to be the island where Gilligans Island was filmed in the 70's.  You can see Booby Cay Island in the background of the picture above where Jen and I are standing on the beach.  There is a guy out on the island who catches lobster and puts them on the fire for you.  He left me alone after he realized I had not brought any money with me on my kayak adventure.  I also enjoyed swimming in the ocean until I got stung by a Jelly Fish.  It was my first experience with this.  I have never panicked during open water swimming in a lake but the ocean is a different story.  The abundance of creatures that can kill me scares me a bit.  I was swimming along about 1500 meters into a swim when I felt what was like an electrical shock go through my body.  I panicked and headed for the shore as quickly as possible.  I figured it was a jelly fish sting.  When I got to shore I had a big rash on my left arm and leg.  I think I got stung twice.  It itched and burned something fierce.  I got back in and headed toward the resort and within 2 minutes I saw a sting ray that scared me back out of the water. 
After running 3 days in a row my lower back was really tight and swollen so I decided to swim Saturday morning rather than run.  While swimming I saw a jelly fish right in front of my face (as you can tell from this picture they are very difficult to see until they are right in front of you) and I completely panicked and it caused my back to tighten worse than ever.  I think the sting would have been nice compared to how my back felt.  On our last day just to make sure I didn't think about ocean swimming for a long time I got stung again but this time it was not nearly as bad.  Both times I got stung I never even saw the jelly fish.  The last one got me on my wrist and I believe my watch helped protect me.  I HATE jelly fish about as much as redwing blackbirds now. 

The start of this week has been a big volume week.  I wished I could have flown Dr. Kaminski and his great staff down to Jamaica to help with my back but couldn't do so.  I got in yesterday and ran last night.  The pain was less than it has been in quite some time.  I'll put in a lot of base volume the next couple weeks to chip away at the weight I gained on the trip. 

I am proud to announce that iHope is partnering with Barre563, a new barre fitness studio on Utica Ridge Road. For every new client special (15 days of classes for only $20) purchased with an ‘iHope’ promotional code entered at check out during the month of July, Barre563 will donate $10 to the charity. Check out for more information and a list of classes.  I'm really excited they recognized the great things iHope can do to help children in our community and were so gracious to extend this offer to new clients.  $20.00 for 2 weeks of unlimited classes is a tremendous offer.  The fact that 1/2 of that amount goes to iHope shows the generosity of Barre563 owner Sarah Coon.
Barre fitness classes have become very popular in larger cities and female fitness magazines over the past few years. Barre563 is the first studio dedicated to this technique in the Quad Cities. Barre classes combined elements of ballet, Pilates, and yoga. Participates rely mainly upon one's bodyweight for resistance, performing moves that target specific muscle groups, your core, and balance. Barre workouts are designed to help an individual achieve a “dancer’s body” — strong, sleek and streamlined.  I'm planning to visit Barre563 because I know it can help with my flexibility and core strength which is so important to getting into a more aerodynamic position on the bike.  The classes have gotten very popular quickly since Barre563 opened in June.  Again, the promotional code to enter for this great price is "iHope"  Barre563 also has posted updates and some feedback from those who have tried it at

Speaking of iHope, I got word from our administration center of a VERY generous gift made to the foundation by Nick and Jessica Ludwig.  Nick and Jessica were classmates of mine at PV and I was thrilled they wanted to help with the foundation that provides technology resources to low-income students displaying outstanding character and work traits.  To help make a tax deductible contribution to the foundation you can click here.  Thanks for reading.  DREAM BIG!!

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