Monday, June 27, 2011

Training Alone

Happy Monday!!!!

I just finished reading a blog "do-you-train-alone", where the question was asked if you like to train alone. When I saw the question, my first response is no.  I would much rather train in a group.  Someone to push you, conversation, competition, and camaraderie.  There is almost nothing better than accomplishing a PR and having someone there to high five or to celebrate with.

But then I remember my training schedule.  Is it realistic to expect anyone else to keep such a crazy schedule.  My workouts are totally dependent upon my work schedule and the weather.  My first workout of the day recently have been at 5:00 AM.  P90X.  Yippee. Lots of fun.  But I think when this programmed 12 weeks are over, swimming or running at this time will definitely be doable.  For cycling, I am still a little scared of riding this early.

I think that the best place for me to have a partner will be in swimming.  Swimming makes me feel like a total loser.  But I think with a partner I will not dread going and may be motivated to continue beyond my current frustration threshold.

The same blog also asked about hydration.  This is another area of total weakness for me.  I am not a big fan of running with a handheld or a belt.  I have actually tried a handheld and it never felt comfortable.  As far as a belt, I am too vain for that.  Maybe once I start longer runs, I will have to face this issue and address it more seriously.  But for now I will try to hydrate before and after.  I am sure I will regret this strategy, but sometimes that is the best teacher for us vain runners.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Three Little Pigs

Phew.  What a relief.  I went into this event with so many different emotions, as you can tell by my previous blogs.  Now that it’s over and I think back, like always, it was confirmation that I need to get back to triathlon training.  I love this competition so much.  It is so addictive.  

I arrived at the SRAC at around 6 and was immediately greeted by Jody.  He’s a fellow blogger buddy and now a FB friend as well.  He recognized me immediately.  It was awesome.  We exchanged greetings and agreed to meet backup after we setup.  Picked up my race packet and got marked up.  The kid that did my marking was a little confused.  He marked me as a MC.   That definitely made me chuckle.  

I was fortunate that I was first in my rack, so I was able to setup on the outside position.  That allowed for easy in and out, very exciting.  It's going to be a good day.  Then I try to inflate my tires and when I go to pump up the front tire, it get no air.  It just goes flat.  I begin to feel my heart flutter.  I try a couple of times with the front and the same thing. I decided that it must be the pump and decided to try the back to confirm and the same thing happens.  Now I am in all out panic.  Fortunately Jody was setup right behind me also on the outside.  I ask him for his pump and he was able to save my day.  Thanks again Jody. 

Now for the fun part, the waiting game until my start time.  My transition setup was completed by 6:45.  My start time was 8:15.  So that means lots of waiting around.  Fortunately I didn't get nervous.  Jody and I hung around together for the majority of the time.  At about 7:00 Andrew B. walked up.  It was great to see him.  We talked briefly and then he went to finish setting up and stretch.  

Finally 7:30 rolled around and the event started.  I am always impressed with the early starters.  I guess it is just my envy of the swimmers.  lol.  They make it look so easy.  Oh well one day.  

Jody and I sat and talked.  It really helped to keep the anxiety down.  We were pretty much in the same boat.  He was 268 and I was 262.  So he would start shortly after me.  

Finally it was time to get into the pool.  Now for the nerves.  I was visualizing the swim and telling myself to just relax, and think about smooth strokes.  Breathe and relax.  I get to the starting block and starter from last year was there starting us again.  She remembers my name and also remembers that I was really nervous last time.  She cracks a joke that I cannot remember right now but it made me smile and I ready to go.  

I am off.  I start really smooth and easy.  I remember to breathe.  I make it to the first turn really easily.  Turn and make it back to the second turn.  But here like always is where it goes to crap.  I can't breathe and I forget how to swim.  So I walk a little and start trying to swim again.  I take about 10 strokes and have to walk again.  Not gliding at all.  Oh well.  Just get to the end.  Jody passed me about lap 5 of 10.  No problem.  I am not expecting to set any records in the swim.  So I just keep moving forward.  Finally out of the pool and hustle to transition. 

Once at transition, Jody is having a contact issue.   I can completely understand that problem.  Fortunately my goggles held and I didn't have the issue with a missing contact.  So I quickly change and head off.  My mount and dismount still need a lot of work but I am able to get going.  I start fidgeting with my Garmin and never get it started and just decide to forget it.  Within the first quarter mile, Jody flies past me.  I am astonished but I am ok with it.  I decide that this will be my motivation.  I decide to keep him within my sights.  I stay with him.  Not drafting but within shouting distance.  

We are moving at a pretty good pace.  We are checking off people as we move along.  At about the 7 mile mark, I get close enough to pass Jody.  As I pass, I shout encouragement.  He gives me the thumbs up so I continue moving.  Then we make the turn toward home.   I am still pedaling comfortably.  No issues.  Then at about 10 Jody gets his second wind and passes me back.  We play leap frog for about 2 miles and then he clears me for the remainder of the ride.  I begin to cramp.  Nothing major, just a concern.  Then we turn into the park and the cramp gets worse.  I hobble into my bike stall and start grabbing my hat, shoes, and number.  There was another guy next to me and he dropped his water bottle crossing the railroad tracks.  I gladly give him mine as I had not even touched it.  

So I head out of the transition 2 right on Jody's heels.  I am still trying to work the cramp out of my leg so I am not able to really take off.  I finally pass Jody and try to encourage him to just relax and get into a rhythm on the run.  I grab a cup of water and pour it down my shirt and think pace and rhythm.  The run was good.  It was shaded and relatively flat.  So I am able to make pretty good time.  I again start chasing people down.  I decided that my cramping was over and I could just enjoy the run, no worries.  I get to the 3 mile mark and start hearing the finish and I step on it.  Finish Strong.  

Overall the race was great.  I felt pretty comfortable the entire race.  My passion for triathlons completely renewed.  Even though I was not overly concerned with my time, I knew that I would not be happy if I didn't do well.  I think this wait was harder than the wait to start.  Finally my time is posted.  1:14:32

I am really happy at this point.  Andrew set the course on fire finishing 1:06.  He killed bike, finishing in 38 minutes.  Awesome pace.  Jody did great as well, considering it was his first triathlon in more than a dozen years.  He beat me in every leg except the run.  I was really happy to have him to push me in first two legs.  

Swim:  6:28
Bike:  43:09
Run:  22:08
Overall - 84th Male finisher out of 246.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The day before...

Three Little Pigs.   

Tomorrow will be another first in my Tri life.  Doing an event a second time.

As you  know from reading this I have recently changed gears and have been doing P90X instead of the base Tri training.  With that being said, I should really approach tomorrow's race without any expectations and just go out and have fun.  Well I am not sure how to just reduce my race day expectations. I am not sure it that is possible. 

My makeup requires me to go all out all the time.  As much as I try to say that I am just going to having fun, I know that I will be balls to the wall tomorrow. 

Last year my time was 1:16:04.  So this year my goal will be simply to beat that time.  I fully expect to do it. Let's just hope my next blog doesn't require tissue.

Monday, June 13, 2011

P90X Week 4

I know, I know I have fallen down when it comes to posting.  I know, I know, I do not have a valid excuse.  My workouts have decreased in number, time and distance so I should be able to sit down and drop a few lines about what I am doing.   Ok I will do better. 

I am in week 4 of P90X which is a recovery week.  So far the workouts have been sufficiently challenging and I can definitely tell a difference.  I have almost totally stopped running, biking and swimming.  I know I am supposed to still be doing all but I just haven't  been able to keep it up so far.

This weekend I have the Three Little Pigs Tri coming up.  This was my first triathlon and now I am returning.  I feel a little pressure to do better than last year but I have not really trained for it this year.  With the P90X the last 4 weeks, I have not built my speed up in anything in order to peak this weekend.  At the start of the  season, this was my "A" race for the year.  But now its just the end of my season.  I am a little disappointed and heartbroken.  I have not made the progress this year I wanted to make. 

Can I have some cheese with my whine? 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


I know that I have been talking about my life as a new triathlete but I have decided to take a step back and work on my core strength.  I have decided to do P90X and take some time to greatly improve my swimming. 

I have one more triathlon scheduled for this year.  That will be the Three Little Pigs in Smithfield, NC.  This was my first tri and I have a time to beat.  So we will see how much I have improved over the year. 

What has replaced my run and bike is P90X.  I know that I am getting on the bandwagon late but better late than never.  Physically, I do not think it will be a problem.  The tough part will be the diet (yes that is a four letter word to me). 

I have never really ate properly.  Fortunately I inherited great genes that allowed me to abuse my body for 40+ years and not really pay for it yet.  But lately I have received some warning signs that I better start paying attention.

I actually started P90X on 5.23.11.  I am doing a modified version so that I can continue to run, bike, and swim just to maintain a level of stamina in each.  But it will not be any where near the level of exercise that I am use to. 

As an added incentive, my son JC has also started this workout.  Wish us luck.  I will post progress reports.