Thursday, July 29, 2010

Slight change in plans...

So at the end of last season I decided it would be a good idea to tackle an Ironman. I was starting to like this triathlon thing and figured with one solid season of training and competing under my belt, I'd be ready to tackle the "big show" at the end of 2010. Well, I'm still planning on tackling the hell out of it, the only difference is that it won't be an M-dot race that'll be getting done.

After a change to Anne's schedule, and some sound financial thinking, I've decided that the Rev3 race at Cedar Point (iron distance) would be a better option. While I'll more then certainly loose my registration fee for IM Louisville, I'll save money on travel and perhaps even on accomodations. Also, it makes more sense for us to travel and race together rather than make a trip to Louisville and then to Wisconsin a little more than a week later, as were our previous plans. This way I'll be saving money as well as not having to miss all that much work. It's really a winning situation all the way around. Not to mention that the two Rev3 races I've done (both Quassay half's) have been run beautifully. They really care about the athletes (pros and age groupers alike), which is important given all of the hooplah that's been happening around the WTC lately....

And now the most exciting news...

Because of this shift in plans, the weekend of August 29th has been opened. It just so happens that there's an XTERRA race 20 mins from my house and I'll be able to do it! In the past year XTERRA tri's have intriguied me and I was dying to do one. It's a bit late in the season, but I'll be able to get a good taste of it and surely sign up for more in the future. I'll have to get back on the mountain bike in a serious way though since I've been riding my tri bike exclusively for the last couple months.

So that's about all the haps for now. Anne is recovering post IMLP and I'm more excited than ever for the XTERRA and Rev3 races. I might even through a local half in at the end of the season if I have any legs left after Rev3. After that it's time for 'cross, more mountainbiking, trail running, and drinking beer! Gonna be a good rest of the summer!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bike and Run yesterday, Run and Swim today...

The last couple of days have been great training days. Unfortunately I couldn't take any pictures of my mountainbike ride as it was pissing down rain most of the ride. Still it was awesome. I choose to ride the "tourist trails" yesterday which are comprised of mostly cross country ski trails. I managed to get lost a few times and found myself knee-deep in water on several occasions. Still it was a great ride until I mangled my chain on a rocky downhill. Not for nothing, but gears suck. Well, they don't suck, but when you're used to riding a singlespeed they seem to get in the way more than they help. Granted, I may have had to walk up some of the harder climbs, so gears were great to have, but because crap derailliur I have in the back I had to cut my ride short by about 25 mins yesterday. Needless to say, I'll be doing a bit of upgrading when I get home next week.

I've got to say that I really enjoy being on the trails more than I do on the roads. Maybe it's just because I've seen nothing but my tri bike since the winter, but being on the trails and tackling some rough and technical trails is so much more enjoyable than just pedaling nonstop on open roads. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, but I definitely see some off road tris in my future.

My runs here in Saranac Lake have been nothing short of magnificent. I'm dealing with some niggles in my foot recently, so I've had to be careful, but running around such a beautiful area has reawakened my running bug. I felt like a kid today, just running purely out of joy. Didn't bother with the GPS or heart monitor, just let my enjoyment dictate the pace. I imagine this is what running is suppossed to feel like:).

After the run I hoped in the lake for a quick 10 minute swim. I had planned to go much longer, but again a little niggle in my shoulder has caused me quite a bit of discomfort lately. It kept me up through much of the night aching badly, and its only made worse by swimming. Guess rest is the best thing right now, but I still couldn't resist getting in the water just for a little bit today.

Being up here really makes me not want to go home. I'd love nothing more than to just live simply in the mountains-no tv, no cell phone, and just my bikes and running shoes. Life seems so much simpler and more important up here. Hmm, maybe some day!:) Gotta start scouting out places soon... :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Lake Placid

Up in Lake Placid this weekend for Anne. Have to say that this place is amazing! We're actually staying in the next town over which affords us the opportunity to be "out of the spotlight" so to speak. It's not that being around triathletes is a bad thing, but when you're stuck in the middle of it, especially before such a big event, things tend to get overrun. If I had to see one more person in compression socks or with an Mdot tatoo on their calf I might puke! And I'm not even racing! Again, it's not that being a tri-geek is bad (because I certainly am one!), it's just that too much of anything is enough to make your scream!

As for me, I'm taking this time up here to train, but while slightly changing the pace of things a bit. I don't have a ton on my schedule, but I am taking advantage of the mountainbiking trails while I'm up here. I haven't had much of a chance to ride the trails this summer, and since it's one of my favorite things to do, I figured this weekend, with only about 4 hours of riding would be a great opportunity. I got the green light from my coach (provided I didn't do anything stupid!) so here I am.

Yesterday I was able to get out for about an hour and a half on some of the most technical trails I've ever ridden. Long, rocky ascents and descents-made slick from the recent rains-and tough switchbacks. With my 29er (and rusty skills from not riding all summer) it made for tough goings in the begining, but once I got into my rythm and found my confidence, riding was a lot more enjoyable. Today is a longer 3 hour ride that I'm looking to do on some trails near the Olympic Training Center. From what I've heard from the locals, they're a bit more tame, and mostly on the Cross Country ski trails used in the winter. While I definately love the technical rocky stuff, it'll be nice to do a long ride on some more wide open trails. The scenery is beautiful so I'll try and bring my camera to share some pics.

Back to the Ironman, I'm super excited to watch Anne race on Sunday. I have no doubt that she'll do great and I'm looking forward to running around the course all day finding places to scream encouragement at her!:) Yeah, I'm gonna be "that" guy!:) Also, I'm sure I'm probably going to find myself on the line Monday to sign up for this race for next year. In retrospect, I'd wish I'd signed up for this race last year instead of IM Louisville. I'm sure Louisville will be a blast, but seing the course here as well as the atmosphere, I'd have to say that doing this race is definitely a priority for me. A HUGE priority that is!

That's about all for now. I'm looking forward to getting out on the mountainbike today and then relaxing this evening and drinking some PBR:). Tomorrow is a swim and hour long run, followed by and hour and 45 minute run on Sunday while Anne is out on the bike. Good times!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Something New out of Something Old

While my super girlfriend Anne is cooking dinner, I thought I'd take the chance to be a good boyfriend and write my blog for the day:).

So yesterday got done. It was busy with the trip to the city, but I still managed to get in some decent training and am happy that my legs came around so quickly from this past weekend's Rhode Island 70.3. In speaking with my coach and looking at my power numbers, I could have gone a bit harder on the bike. I'm happy to see that my pacing was my downfall and not my ability. I did feel like I was holding back quite a bit, but this was my first race using my power meter so I guess I'll just have to get used to it. I thought it would have been fool-proof but I'll have to think again. Any time you race with something for the first time you'll have to get used to it. I'm just glad that I had the chance to get a bit of a feel for it before IM Louisville.

On the run side of things I know that my downfall was nutrition. Again, I felt great, but didn't have that extra kick needed in the final 10k. In my previous best half iron distance race, I was able to ingest approx 600 cals on the run and set a personal best. For Rhode Island I only ingested 240 cals and was stuck at Ironman pace for the entire run. I never bonked, I just didn't have the "go" that I needed. Also, another indication that I was a bit low on fuel was the fact that I wanted to eat my own arm in the final parts of the run. As I told my coach, I would have eaten a cheeseburger if someone had offered it to me out on the course!

So for the pic of my mountain bike up top, I've decided to do some Xterra races in the future. Nothing "technically" on the schedule for right now, but it's something I can't wait to do in the future! While my focus is totally on Ironman Louisville for the next month and a half, I think the mountain biking will be a great release from triathlon once the race is over. So basically what I did was take my singlespeed setup, replaced the fork with a RockShox REBA shock, and threw some gears and shifters on it and created a proper 29er racing bike. It's still relatively light and hopefully fast. I've never ridden with gears or any suspension so that should be a lot of fun. Since I was keeping up with my buddies on my singlespeed I'm excited to see how fast I can go now that I've got some extra fire power! Should be interesting.

As for training today, things went smoothly with an open water swim and an interval session on the bike. Power on the bike is good and I've made a breakthrough in my swimming. I guess when you've done something (swimming) badly for a while you're bound to make some improvements somewhere! Tomorrow is another swim (back to the pool-yuck!) and threshold bike session. Looking forward to the bike, but not the swim. Why can't all swim sessions be open water swims!!!???

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

City Trip, Run, Swim, Strength?

One of those days today that isn't busy but at the same time will be. Not much on the schedule for work, but Anne and I are headed into the city for an appointment at noon, which means that I've got to get to work, get back, pick her up, head into the big city, get things done, and then head back for a quick run, meeting with a client, a sea swim, and possibly a strength session if there's time. Follow that? Because I barely did!:)

Anyway, that's the day. At least things are going to be moving along!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Goings on...

Haven't been all that great of a blogger lately. It's been a busy summer and I'm spending a lot of time training with my beautiful girlfriend Anne and working to fund our travels:). Also, the weather has been "balls hot" so any energy I've had left after training has gone to eating and doing "life" stuff.

On the race front we've both just gotten back from Rhode Island 70.3. I think it's safe to say that we didn't have our most satisfying performances. Speaking for just myself, a race like Rhode Island, where I feel I could have performed much better, just leaves me hungry for more. There are people who enjoy the journey of training and those that enjoy the races. I'm for sure in the latter group. I'm a gamer-always have been. I like the preparation of getting ready for a contest, but it's the actual "heat of the battle" that I enjoy most. Succeed or fail, I just love toeing the start line. I only wish I had more money to race more often! :)

Next up for Anne is Ironman Lake Placid. We'll be leaving late next week and I couldn't be more excited. This will be my first Ironman experience and I can't wait to see all the emotion and everything else that goes into it. I'm sure seeing Anne and all the other athletes compete in two weeks will inspire me for my own race in Louisville at the end of August.

Otherwise things are busy. We've decided to put a HUGE focus on rest and recovery-two things we've not been the best at in the last month. We both have some niggles that need to be worked out, and I'm sure that with the right R and R we'll be back to 100% in no time. The pic above is Anne doing some Yoga. Obviously I decided it would be a better idea to get some "work" done on my computor. Can't say I'm the best yoga student in the world!

So anyway that's that. A bit of rest early this week and then it's on to Ironman training for me. I've got some serious work to lay down between now and the end of August. I really think I'm gonna like this Ironman stuff!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Back in the game again...

Been struggling a bit with motivation as of late. At this point of the year (as well as this point in my development as a triathlete), I believe it's hard to always keep your eyes on the big picture. Sometimes you get bogged down with numbers, performance, training, and recovery so much that you forget about the whole reason you started this crazy sport in the first place. You start to doubt your capabilities, your motivation wanes, and the confidence that used to be sky high is now rock bottom. I assume this happens to all athletes in all sports, and I've reached the point where it's happened to me.

I started making excuses about what I should be doing. I started to think about different paths to take, and different things that maybe I was "more correctly suited to". In other words, my confidence hit a low and instead of digging myself out of the hole, I thought of ways to quit. The problem with that is that I'm way to much of a stubborn bastard to quit. The last thing I quit was football in the fourth grade (only to pick it up again in highschool and college!), and I wouldn't dream of repeating that incidence all these years later.

So what have I written in the past two paragraphs? Basically I hit a hole and now I'm out of it. I realized that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that what I'm going through is normal. Everyone that made anything of themselves, either in sport or in life has been hit with some obstacles. Winners don't think of ways to quit. Winners overcome obstacles and failures. Winners get hit, and hit, and hit, yet still stick around and show up each and every day ready to battle in order to progress.

Ok, so enough with the mushy, "Gatorade commercial" talking crap. The proof is in what you do, not what you say. I've been able to turn things around the past couple of days and I'm happy to be a triathlete again. Success will come with consistency, and that's really one of the only things you have control over anyway. Show up, come to play, and eventually, you'll get what you want. It may not happen every day, but in the end, the reward will be worth the journey.