Friday, September 17, 2010

As the mtb wheels turn...

Having a blast training the way I feel. It's amazing to see how much unstructured training and working out just for fitness makes you feel. I'm not saying that I don't enjoy a structured program-9 times out of ten I'm sure that I'd rather be "told" what to do by a piece of paper or a computor program-but for right now and where my head is at, I can't say I'd rather be doing anything other than waking up, deciding what bike to ride, and riding it for as long or as short as I feel.

Yesterday I ripped up the local trails on the mtb and got even got in a few road miles with Anne afterward. I'm really, really, improving my mtb'ing by leaps and bounds. I bought and am reading Ned Overend's book "Mountain Bike Like a Champion" and it's amazing how much it's helped my skill level. I believe my good result in XTERRA Schiff Scout was a result of my fitness, but if I'd really like to take this whole off-road thing seriously I'd better get my skills up. It's so much fun going out and working on a new skill every time I ride. You can definately fake bike skills on the road, but usually it will end up costing you some skin on the trails. Either that or you're gonna be riding like a granny and havin people pass you left and right:).

With the loads of cycling I've been doing I've also managed a run this week and a few swims. I've been weary of running as I want to let my foot and the other little niggles I've developed over the summer completely heal, but after about 30 minutes on the trail a couple days ago all seems fine. I'm not going to push it so 30-45 minute runs are all that I'll see for now, not to mention they'll all be done strictly off road until further notice. The last thing I want to do is wind up delaying the healing process while I'm out having fun.

Otherwise things are just moving along. Work is finally getting back to normal so the cash should hopefully start rolling in again. August was an incredibly tough month and I barely made it out alive. The only thing I'm not looking forward to is Anne going back to the UK, but I'm planning on traveling right behind her by a week or so, so that should soften the blow a bit.

Time to nap! Haven't done that in a while!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Surf's up!

Ok, so I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY need to start adding some pics to my posts! Had a great weekend with Anne this past weekend. Funny to think that while we were shopping on Sunday we should have been out on the run in the Cedar Point Rev3 iron-distance race:). I know she would much rather have been there than shopping at the Oakley store, but things worked out for the best I think. While she gets her body back in order and I get my motivation back, a weekend of doing whatever we wanted and relaxing was just what the doctor ordered.

We were invited this past weekend by a client of mine to head out to the east end of Long Island-Montauk-to do some surfing and stay at their summer house. They were great hosts and we wound up having a killer time. The surf was great and the company was even better. Not to mention the fact that I ate like a king and feel like a stuffed pig before a roast:).

So the beach and surfing was Saturday and on Sunday we bummed around, went shopping, and stopped in little towns to do some walking around on the way home. The east end of Long Island is great this time of year. You miss out on all the crowds and "Hamptonites" that frequent the twin forks at this time of year, but you still get all (or most) of the warm weather, warm water, and fun that you'd see if you went out there in the middle of the summer. You can really enjoy the towns for what they're suppossed to be without all the "city folk" and celebraties gumming it up! I know I sound like a cranky old man, but it's annoying when the natural beauty of a place is replaced by Starbucks and 7-11's everywhere. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big supporter of my local Starbucks and 7-11, but it's a little sad when people depend on them so much they're brought in to these "getaway" towns to make things easier. For goodness sake, Main Street in East Hampton looks exactly like Park Avenue in Manhattan...are they really getting away?

Anyway, so the weekend was great and in all honesty I didn't miss the fact that I wasn't racing but was glad I saw my good buddy Grant finish at Rev3 on their live online service (note to them-they really need to get an athlete tracker figured out. I know it's not Ironman live, but if they want to compete they need to have some way to track your buddies doing the race. I apologize if they have one and I couldn't find it, but then how accessible is it if you can't find it?). In the end this season was a big learning experience. More and more I think back to how I just kept pushing and pushing without resting from last season and it came back to bite me in the ass. Certainly WON'T be doing that again!

So for now I'm just happy in the relaxing weekend that I had with my lovely girl and looking forward for the week to come. Training-wise I'm just sort of taking it as it comes. I'm really having a good time riding my bike lots and doing just that. I haven't run in a few weeks now (not since XTERRA Schiff Scout) and swimming has been an occasional pleasure. I'm enjoying mixing things up and getting out on the road bike again and throwing in some 'cross practice when the mood strikes. There are a couple races, both 'cross and mountain bike, that I'm eyeing this fall, but nothing set in stone. The mountain bike race is a 6 hour race/ride that I'm just looking to do for the expierience and the opportunity to have some fun with new friends. 'Cross is gonna be fun, but I really don't want to spend too much money traveling since there aren't too many local races availible. I'll still do a few of them but I'm not gonna go out of my way (i.e. spend money I don't have!).

So that's really it for now. Gonna be a good week and I'm looking forward to watching my Jets beat the piss out of Ray Lewis (murderer!!!) and the Ravens tonight on Monday Night Football! Wow, can't believe it's that time of year already!!! Nuts!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

In the books...

That's a wrap for this season. After getting the diagnosis for Anne and her back problem as well as my general lack of enthusiasum for the upcoming race in Cedar Point, I've decided to call it a season and start my off season a couple weeks early.

For the most part, it was a good season. Not exactly the one I would have expected, but good in the fact that I learned a lot about myself and where I'd like to go with triathlon. First and foremost, I learned that Ironman may not be for me. The ultimate goal of this season was to log an iron distance race. Originally it was to be IM Louisville, but then as money and time dicatated it was to be the iron distance race at Cedar Point with the Rev3 folks. Looking back, I think that the issue of switching races dealt less with budget and more with motivation. Ironman seemed like a good idea at the end of last season when I was coming off the high of doing well in my last half iron distance race. As it turned out (I still don't know entirely for sure), it might just not be for me. The training was going well and I was getting physically stronger, but my mind was slowly cracking. The nature of the race and the strict pacing was driving me nuts. Sure it's a great accomplishment, but right now, for the athlete I am, the steady pacing for hours on end is what ultimately drove me mad. Hopefully all this makes sense to you as a reader. I'm not ruling out EVER doing one, but for right now and most likely next season, Ironman is just not for me.

On the up-side though, I have found something new that I'm completely in love with. Finishing the season with an XTERRA race was probably one of the best things I could have done. I started the season with a win in my first race and had then turned in some pretty sub-par results. With finishing 4th overall in my first XTERRA, I've not only found something I'm good at, but something I'm super excited to focus on next season.

All in all it wasn't a bad summer. I got to spend it with a girl that's everything I could ever dream of, ride my bike, and occasionally race well:).

The next few weeks will be dedicated to playing (mostly on the bike) and dabbling in some 'cross races and finding new places to explore on my bike. Lots of good roads and trails are ahead of me:)