Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Life simplified

It has been a long time since I posted anything. Anyone who actually read this blog is probably wondering why, so I thought that I would give an explanation.

In a move to simplify my life I have decided to shut down my blog posting indefinitely. What prompted this?

That is an interesting story. On my drive home from work every day I pass by this billboard that has a giant advertisement for Dos Equis beer. It is a picture of "the most interesting man in the world", love those commercials. Anyway, the add says, "The bulk of your life should be lived off the record". After passing it everyday for weeks it finally sunk in that this ad was trying to tell me something and it was not to go buy beer. It was that our lives have become very public. Some of us by choice, others by accident. I thought, do I really want my life so public and do others really care. The answer to both was no so as a result I have decided to quit blogging and even though I will keep my Facebook page you might notice that I rarely post anything there either. After all does anyone need to know when and where I am eating dinner. If I wanted you to come with me you would be there or I would have actually picked up the telephone and called you. Does anyone care that I am sitting in a coffee shop at 10AM? Shouldn't I be working? I would rather spend my time reading and learning something stimulating rather than lurking online or writing stories that no one reads. It is just not me and it is time better spent elsewhere in my life right now.

So this is part of my attempt to live my life off the record. Thanks for reading and until further notice...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Injury and attitude

Last time I promised an entry on my new training philosophy but it seems more appropriate to talk about injury and attitude at this time since this has been at the center of my universe all week and I don't know when it is going to end.

So last week I started the training week looking forward to putting in a great few weeks of training before my next race and BAM! Monday morning I am in the pool doing paddle drills when I felt a sharp pain in my shoulder. Luckily it was towards the end of my workout so I finished up and tried to pinpoint the location of the pain. After an hour or so the pain went away so I decided that I would take care of the shoulder and try again in a few days.

Tuesday and Wednesday went as planned except for some rain that forced me inside on the trainer on Tuesday. Thursday I got back in the pool and immediately felt the pain in my shoulder again but it was more dull this time so I suffered through. After swimming I finally put in a run after 10 days off from running altogether for scheduling reasons. It was 6 miles with some hill sprints thrown in and towards the end of the run my right knee started to feel funny. I did not think much of it but Friday morning I hopped out of bed and felt the knots right away. I had a track workout scheduled and I was actually looking forward to it (I love track work). So I taped my knee with KT tape and showed up only to quit after only 400 meters because my workout partner noticed I was limping. This really annoyed me and I was not a pleasant person to be around. Luckily I was not going to be in the office all day. I was driving to different job sites and would be alone to sulk in my own injury induced sorrow.

Not injury related but On Saturday I was going to do a long ride. I was excited because This was something that would not aggravate any injury I might have. Then BAM! 5 miles into the ride I hit a piece of glass and had a complete blowout. Not just a flat tire but one that ruined the tire too. I figured this was a great opportunity to try out the old dollar bill in the tire trick. If you have never heard of it you are basically using a folded dollar bill inside the wall of the tire to keep the tube from bulging out the side and blowing out again. Well it worked beautifully for about 2 miles as I headed towards home. Then the tube blew out through the dollar. In the end I walked about 3 miles home and had to jump on the trainer instead.

All that aside I figured Sunday would be better so I went to test the knee and rand 4 miles before I felt any pain. Ended up walking 1 mile out of the 8.5 I ran and it was a slow run but there was some promise in there because of the Friday debacle.

Today was another test of the shoulder and immediately I felt that sting in my shoulder. Depressing, but at least the knee is getting better. I will probably get to the Physical Therapist later this week and see what the extent of the damage is but with a race coming up in two weeks I am a little nervous about it.

So what about attitude you say? Well, I learned a lot about panic, frustration, anger, and acceptance this last week. What I decided is that it does no good to panic and frustration is normal. Once acceptance sets in you can actually make progress towards recovery. I rearranged my workout schedule to increase the amount of recovery for running and swimming and figured that more cycling can't be bad. I have started to take care of the injuries and play it safe. I will replace some workouts with weights too. I will see a doctor and give an update soon. For now i have to keep my eye on the goal and not let the frustration of injury get me down. I can see how easy it would be to just decide to sit on the couch the rest of the season.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pflugerville Race report

So on Sunday I raced. It was unexpected, I did not decide to race until Friday late. I figured worst case I would get to have a great brick workout since I have been working on speed lately.

I did not know what to expect from my body at the race. I have been just getting back into doing speed work after a 6 months hiatus because of Ironman training which is almost exclusively long endurance. I need to do a post about my new training philosophy soon but for now here is a race report for the Pflugerville Tri:

This race is an awesome beginner course. It was my second time doing this race. I did it a few years ago as my second ever triathlon and found it to be a great venue. This time I decided to race the Open wave instead of vie for an Age Group win. I like racing with the fast guys and the pros when I can because they push me faster than I normally would go.

The swim was perfect. It is only 500M so I can go all out the entire time. The open wave was small, kind of disappointing, but also less traffic. I quickly found a rhythm and fell into place behind a local triathlete named Todde with Richard, another pro, not far behind. I knew from previous races that I could swim with these guys any day of the week so I was able to draft Todde the entire swim. There were a couple of times that I lost site of his feet and panicked thinking that he had pulled ahead but I would lift my head up to site and realize that I had just drifted off line. Exiting the water the three of us were within milliseconds of each other. I exited the water 2nd and left transition 3rd. The other athletes in the wave were not even in contention with us so it would be a three man race all the way.

Once on the bike the three of us stayed close for about 2 or 3 miles, but Richard quickly opened a gap that neither I nor Todde could match and that was the last I would see of Richard until the run. I decided to test my legs in this race even if it meant disaster. The bike leg is only 14 miles so it is a perfect distance to go all out.
I have hired a coach recently and one of the things that we are working on is my muscle endurance so I figured by hammering it on the bike I would test the leg endurance to identify any weaknesses. After analyzing some previous races we determined that I am fast at short distances but have trouble keeping that fast pace for long periods. Some of this comes with time but can be trained specifically too. Anyway, I stayed close to Todde for a good 8 miles before he started to pull away (there is that muscle endurance limiter). Todde ended up with a bike leg only about 1 minute faster than me though. On the bike It took me about 8 miles to get my heart rate down to a manageable level. I think a lot of that was nerves. Usually on the bike there is someone that is a speed demon that catches me but this day it felt good to come off the bike in 3rd place uncontested. All I had to worry about was catching the guys in front of me.

Off on the run I went out pretty fast and ended up with wind cramps. I was redlining my heart rate within the first half mile. I eventually settled in, got my heart rate down, and just tried to chip away at the leaders. The run is a loop around the lake we swam in so you can see exactly where you are compared to the other competitors. I saw that Todde over took Richard in the first 1.5 miles and I checked my pacing figuring I was about 2 minutes back from Todde. I knew I would not catch him because at this distance he can easily run a sub 6 minute mile. I worked hard on the run to close the gap on Richard but ran out of real estate. I think if I had another mile I could have caught him though.  I came across the line in third place just over 2 minutes behind the leader, which is an eternity in a sprint like this one, and 1:30 behind Richard.

In the end there were 3 other age groupers that finished faster than me. They started 3 minutes behind in another wave but overall time was faster. So overall I was 6th. Not too shabby of a performance. A great confidence booster and I learned that I need more muscular endurance on the bike so that on the run I have more energy and can run a little faster at the end.