Saturday, May 30, 2009

First Tri Of The Year Is Just 7 Days Away

So I got out this morning with the goal of riding 40 miles and then running 5. Pretty aggressive plan for a brick, but I felt I was up to it.

The weather couldn't have been better, it was picture perfect. I set out a bit later than I would have liked but that extra hour sleep really felt good, really good. Should have left my gear ready last night, that took an extra half hour or so.

The ride was uneventful. No one tried to run me off the road, no falls, spills or other mishaps to report.

The one hill that was better than me last week, I conquered this week. My average speed was .2m/hr faster for a ride that was 5 miles longer. Slight improvement, but improvement nonetheless.

At the end of the bike ride my legs were feeling it, the were heavy and tired. I took off on the run after a 4 minute rest. Somewhere around the end of the first mile I heard my legs talking to me and I think they were telling me "enough already".

I managed to get a 3 mile run in.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

First Time in the Lake

Today was the first time this year I went swimming in the lake., and only the second time ever. 6am came early, I was ready but anxious. I made a commitment yesterday that I would not postpone this any longer and go give Old Hickory Lake a try. Went to ACME and picked up a wet suit to give it a try as well, after all in just a week and a half I will be doing the Mach Tenn Tri which is wetsuit legal and I will be wearing one. Didn't really think it would be a good idea to show up race day without knowing what the experience would be like.

I'm not sure why but from the moment I picked up the suit anxiety hit me, sometimes it was strong enough to make me doubt; doubt whether I should be doing this wet-suit-lake-swimming-at-6-am-thing.

I have been swimming in the pool consistently for a few months so I wasn't worried about my swimming fitness... or was I?

I arrived several minutes before six. Skip was the only other person getting ready to go swim. Two of our HEAT teammates were there, Mark and Chuck. They were not going in, they were there to show support, help and advise.

The water was cold, really cold. We planned our route and took off. The first leg was about 150 yards away. We just wanted to make it there, rest for a bit and return. No big deal, right?

What happened to my stroke? What happened to my breathing? I must have looked like I had never been in the water before, it sure felt like it. Everything I have been practicing for weeks was gone. It was survival time. Then I remembered a piece of advice Chuck gave me a while back. "Relax" he told me. "Get on your back, catch your breath, concentrate and go on". This I did. The rest of the distance seemed to go better.

Upon arrival to the starting point Chuck told me to let my stroke "glide". He told me that it looked like I was "pushing" through the stroke using up more energy than needed. This made sense to me, I have been working on this for a while.

I took a second shot at the water. This time across the cove and back. It was about 75 meters in distance one way. I the other end the water was shallow so I felt a bit of security in that. This time I took my time with each stroke, with each breath and it made a difference. It felt better, much better.

I learned several things today. First and foremost the fact that to get good in open water you have to practice in open water. Second, you need to warm up. You do this at the pool, you need to do this on the lake. You just cant take off and expect the same results. Third (this is obvious but needs to be mentioned), there are no "walls" on the lake to grab on to for rest or to push from. This makes a big difference.

I will be out again next Wednesday and "God willing and the creeks do rise", every Wednesday after that for the remainder of the summer. Skip, Mark, Chuck... you guys in? Anyone else want to join us?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Shifting Gears - Ironman 70.3 Augusta Here I Come

Three weeks have passed since the Country Music Marathon and my last post to this blog. I have been absent from the blogosphere for a couple of reason.

One: I have spent some time absorbing and assessing the entire experience, and two: I have taken this three weeks to fully recover; physically and mentally from the entire experience.

I came out of the marathon with a very high high. I was in pain and seriously doubting my running future. But the doubt lasted no more than a few minutes...really. Quickly I realized what I had done and knew that the pain would go away.

By Monday, two days later, as friends, family, coworkers and customers asked me about the experience I began to realize how wonderful it had been, how blessed I had been to have been given the opportunity to partake in such an event and the ability to fulfill my goal.

It wasn't long thereafter that I was making plans for future events. The memory of the physical pain was just that... a memory.

From the very beginning my goal has been to finish an Ironman 70.3 prior to my 55th birthday (hence the web address of this blog: and I started to seriously give this idea consideration.

The Ironman 70.3 Augusta will take place on Sunday, September 27th. This is just 7 days prior to my 55th. This seemed like a great opportunity to accomplish this. I researched and downloaded several training plans and assessed my ability to fulfill this commitment, not the commitment to finish the event but the commitment it would take to properly train for the event.

On Thursday May 14th, I took the plunge and registered. From this point there are only 133 days left. I will be ready!

As usual I have received the great support of family and friends. Most that don't understand why we triathletes do this tell me how crazy they think I am, but throw their support in. All that do understand why we do this have thrown tremendous support and excitement my way. For this I am pretty appreciative.

So I guess plans for my summer have been defined!