Monday, September 23, 2013

Challenge Atlantic City

I have been completely absent from this blog for a while, but the reason(s) are very valid.  First, I am totally unable to access this from work; I used to update occasionally in the AM or at lunch.  Second, I am far too busy when I get home at night to dedicate an hour, heck even 10 minutes to write down what the heck is going on with me.  Lastly, I have been trying to figure out what to do with my athletic endeavors.

I supposed I should pick up from about two months ago, kind of where my 2013 race schedule when right down the drain.  As I wrote a while back, I suffered a pretty bad sprained ankle while playing in what is now my official last soccer game.  It was probably the worst ankle injury that I have ever dealt with, far worse than any sprain I had ever had.  It has taken a while for what the doctor said to really sink in and for me to come to my own realization about what I need to do.  It comes down to me being happy and at what cost to my health.  Here is what I have decided, if I stop running I will be miserable.  My wife will then be miserable and my kids will wonder why mommy and daddy are miserable.  Also, if I stop running I will get fat which will lead me to be miserable...and so forth and so on.  The reality is that I need to be active, yes I can ride my bike and swim, but I also need to run.  So what is my solution?  First, I need to lose weight to limit the impact that my ankle endures with every step.  Second, I need to make swimming and biking my focus, running will have to come third.  Lastly, listen to my body, if something hurts rest.

Alright, so I have addressed my bad ankle.  Now for what I a somewhat big announcement...I have signed up for Challenge Atlantic City!!!  It is a mere two hours from my home and close to where a ton of my friends have shore houses.  This race is Challenge-Family's first race in the USA, having had tremendous success in Europe for years.

For those of you who are unaware, Challenge-Family is a global series of long distance triathlons, being very similar to the Ironman brand, but different.  Challenge Roth is probably their most notable race, regularly drawing the best triathletes in the world, the biggest crowds (over 400,000 fans) and super fast times.  Their goal is to break in to the US market and grow their business to compete against Ironman, which I am all for (competition is a good thing!).

I have laid out my training plan which will officially kick off the second week of December.  As for right now I am going to be building my base so that when the plan kicks off, I am a lean mean triathlon machine!  I am pretty fired up for this race!

I suppose that last thing to speak about is my job situation.  Ugh, I am not in a good place with regard to my job.  I should be thankful that I have a job, right?  With that said, I am really not happy doing what I am doing.  I want a change.  I have had a couple close calls over the past eight months or so, but nothing has come to fruition as of yet.  I am hoping to hear something tomorrow or later on this week about a great opportunity as well as an other one that could open up in October.  My fingers are crossed, I really want to be happy in my career.

That is it for is getting late and this is already too long.  I hope to be writing on this more often in the coming months.  Oh, if anyone else out there is doing Challenge Atlantic City let me know.  Cheers!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Friday, July 26, 2013

Bad Luck

The past three weeks have pretty much sucked big time, there is not other way to say it.  I have been the unfortunate recipient of some bad luck and I desperately need some thing(s) to happen to get me in to a better state of mind.  In short here is what has happened:
  • Thursday, July 11th - Driving home from work I am stopped and a woman backs into my brand new car.  I literally had the car for no more than two weeks.  It needed over $7,000 worth of work in order to get it back in driving shape.
  • Thursday, July 18th - I am asked to play goalie for a friends soccer game, which I excitedly/hesitantly accept.  About 60 minutes in I tip a ball over the crossbar and land on the outside of my right ankle bend it sideways.  A doctors visit on the following Monday reveals that it is a bad sprain, but thankfully not broken.  During that same doctors' visit I am told that I have pretty significant arthritis in my ankle joint and that I should start limiting my jumping and running activities.  I explain that I am an endurance athlete, to which he thinks I should focus more on the swimming and biking and much less on the running.  UGH!!! (pic below is two days after, the swelling was pretty bad)
  • Thursday, July 25th - I have been interviewing for a new job and everything seems to be going well and I very excited about the opportunity.  I received a voicemail last Thursday (7/18) telling me that everyone has been impressed with me thus far and they want me to come in and meet with the Senior Management for the last round of interviews.  I followed up with a phone call and an email, but haven't heard back from the internal recruiter since the voicemail he left.  I am not optimistic about my chances now (I went through something similar five months ago and it didn't end well for me).
To some, maybe this isn't so terrible, but it seems I am not getting any "good" with the "bad".  Example:  I get a new car which is great, but then I get in to an accident and end up having to pay the deductible because it was a hit and run.  I am finally feeling like from a training standpoint I am back in the groove, then I hurt my ankle and am limited to only swimming for the past week (can't get my cycling shoes on my foot yet).  The job thing, I just want an answer, I want closure, either a phone call setting up the next interview or communicate to me that I am no longer a candidate.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I signed up for a race tomorrow (signed up two days before my ankle injury) that I am not going to be able to do (because of the injury) and I don't think I am going to get any refund or credit for future races.  Friggin' great, $105 down the drain!!!!

Alright enough "woe is me" for now.  On a positive note two blog buddies are doing Ironman's this weekend:
Good luck to both of you!!!  Hopefully I will be back for my second to last Ironman next November at IM Arizona 2014....with my last Ironman hopefully being Kona in 2015.  One can dream can't I?  Cheers!!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Training So Far

As is the norm for me, I haven't written much down on my blog lately.  There have been some things going on in my world (e.g. job change, looking for a newer job, family stuff, training stuff, etc.) that have prevented me from spending a few minutes jotting down what is going on with me.  First and foremost, I will state that I have a finalized race calendar:
  • Saturday, July 27th - Born To Tri, Asbury Park, NJ - Sprint Distance
  • Sunday, August 18th - Wilkes-Barre Triathlon - Olympic Distance
  • Saturday, September 21st - ChesapeakeMan-SkipJack - Half Iron Distance (modified)
I may try and add in the Atlantic City International Triathlon on September 15th, only because it looks like a cool race.  With that said, it probably isn't a good choice since my "A" race is only six days after, then again my training schedule says that I should be doing a 14 mile run and 2,200 yd swim that day....I think a race might be neat change.  I'll have to wait and see how I am feeling and if I feel like dropping $180 on the event.

I supposed I should touch on my training, which over the past week or so has turned a corner.  Prior to that, training was atrocious!  The heat and humidity have been killing me and my allergies/exercise-induced asthma.  All of my runs had started out great, right around 8:15/pace, then would drop off significantly over the next few miles to where I was forced to walk in order to survive (e.g. my heartrate would shoot up over 180 BPM and my breathing was very labored).  From Thursday of last week through today, I have been feeling like a new man, running around 8:15/pace on my shorter runs, feeling great on the bike and even smooth in the water.  I have been really using my inhaler wisely and trying to run at the right time of day.

Last night was one of my best workouts on the bike in a while.  I opted to not hop on the trainer and instead did a three-loop 5.3 mile course around my neighborhood.  Each lap was progressively better than the previous and I felt great the entire ride.  I averaged just under 20 MPH for the entire ride (16 miles) and all of my stats were sport on (e.g. heartrate, cadence, etc.).  Tonight I have a 4.5 mile run and 1,400 yd swim (probably end up doing 1,800 yds), I hope that heat doesn't kill me too much on the run.

I am ten days out from my first race in a year.  Granted it is a Sprint Tri, but it is still a race and I still need to be prepared for it.  This is all part of my 2014 plan and I am finally feeling like I am getting healthier and in better shape....although I can't seem to drop the weight I need to....ugh!

Catch you all later, peace out!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Training and Planning

I believe that I have narrowed down my race schedule a bit and with that am getting closer to an actual training plan.  After much debate I think I am going to target ChesapeakeMan as the 1/2 Iron distance race for this year.  The main factor that played into this decision was the fact that the race takes place late in September and it will give me an extra week or two of preparation (looking at around 14 weeks of training).  Now it is time to back fill with other races, probably two sprints and one Olympic.  I hate to say it, but I think I am going to pass on NJ State this year because of the cost and the fact that the Atlantic City International Tri is so close to my "A" race makes it unlikely as well.  I have highlighted the races in ORANGE that I will most likely participate in below:

  • July 20th - NJ State Triathlon, Mercer County, NJ - Sprint ($125)
  • July 27th - Born To Tri, Asbury Park, NJ - Sprint ($85)
  • August 4th - Belmar Tri, Belmar, PA - Sprint ($80)
  • August 11th - Steelman Tri, Quakertown, PA - Sprint or Olympic ($80 - $100)
  • August 17th - Tri the Woods, Wildwood, NJ - Sprint ($109)
  • August 18th - Wilkes-Barre Triathlon - Olympic ($75)
  • August 25th - TriRock Asbury, Asbury Park, NJ - Sprint ($120)
  • September 8th - Skylands Tri, Clinton, NJ - Sprint (TBD)
  • September 15th - Atlantic City International Tri, Atlantic City, NJ - Olympic ($149)
  • September 21st - ChesapeakeMan, Cambridge, MD - 1/2 Iron Distance ("A" race) ($195)
  • Now it is time to find an appropriate training plan and I hope that all of the races fall into place.

    Lastly, I actually had a decent week of swimming, biking and running.  My lower back is still giving me problems, but I think that as I lose weight and strengthen my core, the pain will subside.  I was amazed that my first 100 yds in the pool was done in 1:34 (super fast for me).  I have been consistently around 1:42/100 which is good for me considering I haven't been in the water since last September.  Also, I had a decent bike on Saturday which at a mere 20 miles was a bit short, but I felt good from start to finish and had some good climbs mixed in which built some confidence.

    That's it for now....time to get some work, who am I kidding.

    Thursday, June 6, 2013

    Triathlon Schedule - Time to Pick Races

    I have been silent for quite a while now; I have been trying to build up some sort of base fitness, which hasn't been all too successfully.  I think my issue is the fact that I don't have any target races and don't have a training plan in place.  So with that said, I have to pick my races and sign up for them (also decide if I should renew my USA Triathlon membership). 

    Here is the list of races I have to choose from (favorites in blue):
    • July 20th - NJ State Triathlon, Mercer County, NJ - Sprint
    • July 27th - Born To Tri, Asbury Park, NJ - Sprint
    • August 4th - Belmar Tri, Belmar, PA - Sprint
    • August 11th - Steelman Tri, Quakertown, PA - Olympic
    • August 17th - Tri the Woods, Wildwood, NJ - Sprint
    • August 25th - TriRock Asbury, Asbury Park, NJ - Sprint
    • August 25th - North East Tri, North East, MD - Olympic
    • September 7th - Shoreman Half Distance Tri, Port Republic, NJ - 1/2 Iron Distance
    • September 8th - Skylands Tri, Clinton, NJ - Sprint
    • September 8th - Diamondman, Lums Pond State Park, DE - 1/2 Iron Distance
    • September 15th - Atlantic City International Tri, Atlantic City, NJ - Olympic
    • September 15th - Savageman Tri, Swindon, MD - 1/2 Iron Distance
    • September 21st - ChesapeakeMan, Cambridge, MD - 1/2 Iron Distance
    • September 22nd - Bethany Beach Tri, Bethany Beach, DE - Sprint/Olympic
    • October 13th - Dottie's House Tri, Island Beach State Park, NJ - Sprint
    I think I should be putting a 1/2 IM distance race on the calendar for September and then back fill the rest of my summer calendar from there.  Based on where I live and other factors, either DiamondMan, ShoreMan or ChesapeakeMan will be that race (SavageMan is 5 HOURS from my home).  Because of Hurricane Sandy, most of the races that would have happened along the Jersey Shore are taking this year off.  DiamondMan and ShoreMan might just be too close, not leaving me to train adequately, thus making ChesapeakeMan the front runner at this point in time.

    If anyone has any thoughts (that is if anyone reads this anymore), I am open to suggestions or even let me know if there are other races out there that I am missing.  Cheers!

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

    I'm Back...Kind Of

    I went to the doctor yesterday and was told that I can start running, albeit at about 25% of what I was doing prior to my injuries.  So today, my oldest daughter and I went out for a 1.45 mile and finished it in around 20 minutes (she needed a few walking/crawling breaks).  Regardless of the time, it was great to spend a bit of time with her and actually shuffle my legs a bit.  Hip hip hooray!!!

    Oh, a little back story, after visits with two doctors, I was told my do have what is technically considered a sports hernia, but not something that either would fix with surgery.  Instead I was told to go to physical therapy to strengthen my core and hip.  I have been at it for about three weeks and I can honestly say that my "core" is sore and in much better shape than it was a month (or even three years ago).  The rational is that the pain I was feeling coming from my lower back and the stronger my abdominal area is, the less pressure will be placed on my lower back.  So far so good, I just have to keep up with the PT and ease back into training.

    That is it for now...I hope that everyone is getting ready for a great season ahead and enjoying the warm weather (80F+ here in the Mid-Atlantic).