Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Eight Years Old

It was eight years ago that I became a father for the first time.  My oldest daughter, "The Diva" turned 8 years old today.  "The Diva" started the day not feeling all that special, probably very tired from the past few days, a virtual endless Christmas.  She is happy that her birthday is here because she knows that she will be getting presents tonight once my wife gets home from work.  "The Diva" is feeling very entitled today, as though everyone should bow down to her and cater to her every whim.  "The Diva" is in for a rude awakening.  "The Diva" needs to understand that it is her birthday and that she hasn't been named Queen of the household.  It will be a good day once we are all on the same page. 

So, it is just past 11:00AM and I need to get some things started.  I can not just sit around the house all day while the girls watch Scooby Doo cartoons all day.  It would be good to take them ice skating or maybe over to the rock climbing gym, but with my little one (5 years old) not quite "there" yet, neither option is a possibility.  Hmmm, now what?  We need to get out of the house; we have been stuck in here for the past two days and we need to get out and get some fresh air.  Maybe we'll just head into town and walk around for a bit before getting lunch. 

Anyway, back to me and the theme of this blog....triathlon training.  First and foremost, my training has slipped big time now that the holidays are here.  I have been pigging out on chocolate cookies and taking plenty of seconds at the dinner table.  I have packed on a solid 13 - 15 lbs since IM Arizona and I am disgusted with myself.  I haven't really found anytime to get out to run over the past five days and have only made it on to the trainer two or three times.  Swimming hasn't happened since last Thursday.  I had to be one of those New Years Resolution-types, but I think January 1st is going to be the day that I kick my training back into gear. 

I am kind of jumping around here....sorry....but this does tie in with the above.  For Christmas my wife got me two great books:
  1. Strength Training for Triathletes
  2. Training Plans for Multisport Athletes
I am looking to increase my strength this coming year, but no necessarily get bigger.  I also am looking to increase my bike considerably and also be able to run faster off of the bike for the longer events.  Of course, I need to keep swimming and improve there where ever possible.  I really need to take a few minutes and really lay out my race year and put together a solid training program.  I want to capitalize on the successes I had in 2010 and use them to drive me in 2011.

Time to get back to the girls!  Cheers!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Holidays

Two days before Christmas and things are looking up.  My wife has done a great job of preparing for the big day, I have just about everything done on my end and the long awaiting job stuff is close to being resolved (more to report in the next week or so I hope).

This is just a quick post since I'm not sure when I will post again.  My legs are feeling good, having just gotten done running around 6.4 miles.  My swim stroke is finally coming back after a few weeks of losing it.  All else is good with the world.

Have a Merry Christmas everyone!!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

On the Mend

My once daily blog, became a four day a week blog and is now a weekly blog.  Amazing how things gain and lose importance so quickly. 

First things first, it has been 32 days since I completed Ironman Arizona and I am feeling good.  I have begun to get back into the swing of things, swimming a couple days a week (albeit only ~1,000m at a time), running three days a week and riding the trainer one or two days a week.  I am definitely taking it easy and you can see it on me (additional 10 lbs of mass added to my already "athletic" figure).  As great as it has been to not have to follow a rigid training schedule, I think it is time to get back on one.  I do miss the structure and need to have a plan.

I had originally hoped to do an Ironman 70.3 race in San Juan, Puerto Rico in March 2011, but I don't think that is in the cards right now.  The expenses would be a bit too high at the present and with job stuff still up in the air, it wouldn't be a smart trip to take.  Damn!  I really wanted to do that race and make a nice vacation out of it.

So it looks like I am going to be focusing on the UNITE Half Marathon at Rutgers University.  I did this race last year and set a PR despite being hit with back spasms the week before and having to go with no training for the better part of a week leading up to it.  I am hoping to get somewhere close to 1:30:00, that is if my legs are capable of running so fast for such a distance.  The training for the race will begin on January 1, 2011!

Now I move onto some specifics about my current injuries.  I did go to my sports doctor on Monday and he didn't seem to all to concerned about my pain.  He attributed it to going from training for triathlons, basically unilateral movements and then going and doing multilateral activity (soccer) without any training.  He worked out my hip flexors pretty well and told me that I can start playing again.  Funny how my right leg feels fine right now, but the night of the injuries, that is the leg that was giving me the most pain.  Now my left leg is the one with the residual discomfort and even numbness on the outside of my thigh.  He said it could take a couple weeks/months before it feels normal.

So that is pretty much it for now.  Christmas is three days away and I am excited to spend it with my wife and kids.  Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Too Soon

Well, let's see, what the heck has happened to me over the past week or so.  I begin with Tuesday evening, feeling super great after a solid four mile run where I had no pain or soreness in my legs, I was asked to play indoor soccer at 10:40PM that night.  Heck yeah, count me in.  Well, it all started out great, I scored on my first touch of the ball, a beautiful left footed shot to the lower right corner of the goal.  About 15 minutes later as I was sprinting back on defense I felt a twinge in my left quadriceps muscle, like a rubber band had snapped.  I literally thought that someone had kicked me or hit me in my leg.  I kept playing thinking nothing of it.  Then with around 15 minutes left in the game, I lined up a shot with my right foot, miss hit it and BAM!, a pain in my right quadriceps.  It felt like I strained a muscle or possibly pulled it.  Ugh, not a good night.

I spend the rest of the week taking it easy, knowing that it was probably too soon to get back into my post-Ironman routine or rather starting to do the things that I put off doing because of Ironman training.  It is a week after that night and I am feeling much better but I am definitely out of soccer action for at least a few weeks as I need to let me hip flexors recover (self diagnosis based on experience and the Internet).  I will be seeing my sports doc later on this week for a confirmation and some treatment.  I guess I was extremely optimistic to think that two weeks after putting my body through the toughest of tests, it would be ready to handle a 4 mile run and then a 50 minute indoor soccer game.  I should be sticking with one session a day with very moderate activity.

As for the rest of the week, I took it easy.  There was no running, biking or swimming at all.  That was the good news.  The bad news is that I am still eating like I am in full on training mode and I think I have packed on 10 lbs since November 21st.  Not a good thing, but then again I guess I have earned the right to pig out and eat bacon cheeseburgers whenever I want to....at least for a little while longer.

Sunday I decided to try getting on the bike.  I was nervous about my hip flexors, but everything went pretty well.  I felt very good, not uncomfortable at all.  As for my fitness, well I have definitely lost a bit; however, I still felt solid riding, keeping a high cadence and decent speed for the trainer.

This week I have been trying to get back into running.  Monday I did around 4 miles at a very easy pace, gauging how my quads were feeling.  Still a bit tight, but they loosened up considerably by the time we were done.  I started out today with a trip to the gym and a very quick 600m in the pool  That was all I wanted to do, so that was all I did.  I hit the weights for a bit before heading to work.  My lunch time was spent putting in an easy 4 mile run, which felt much better than Monday, I definitely felt looser.  I am still a bit concerned about my left thigh as it just doesn't feel right.  As I said above, a visit to my doc is definitely in order for Thursday or Friday.

That is about all for now.  I'm still trying to figure out what to do with myself on the weekends now that I'm not training.  My wife has been great, letting me sleep in a bit and not keeping me too busy with chores that went undone for the past 10 months.  Of course I am finally able to do all of the family things that I missed during the "training".  Life is good...but of course I am anxious to get back to training for something because I do not like this extra weight I have put one...it has arrived too soon!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fat Tuesday

I have a feeling that postings here are going to be less and less frequent.  It isn't that I don't have a lot to say, it is more about the fact that the intention of this blog was to track my journey to my first Ironman.  I have a few things planned for 2011, but nothing of the magnitude of what I did in 2010.  There will be a couple half marathons, a bunch of triathlons and most definitely a half iron distance event at the end of the season.  There just isn't that BIG event that I am used to having.  I guess I will just have to make the half iron distance race my BIG event.

So here I sit typing away and I feel fat.  Yeah, I am about 16 days out from Ironman Arizona and I feel like I have put on a solid 15 pounds.  The reality is that I have definitely put on some weight, probably around 7 lbs, but I feel like a fat slob.  I haven't done anything the past two weekends that resembles exercise.  I have had intentions of doing something but it never materialized.  I have gotten advice from some Ironman veterans (Thor and Scott), basically I should do what I want to do, what I feel like doing, and not what I feel obligated to do.  If I am going to run or bike or swim, it should be because I want to and I should make it fun.  That is a tall order because honestly, I really don't like running all that much and it is too friggin' cold out to get in a outdoor ride these days.  Swimming, well, I want to swim just because I don't want to start at square one again like I do every season.  I want to maintain some swim fitness and build on it come 2011.

So what have I been doing the past few days?  Like I said above, I didn't do anything this weekend aside from spend some quality time with the family.  We got our Christmas tree on Saturday which excited the women of the house to no end.  Sunday was tree decorating which I left to my lovely wife....I watch football all day in the basement, my sanctuary.  I did have ambitions of getting on my bike, but I don't think it got above 35F all day.  I did make the decision to start getting back in the groove on Monday and that is exactly what I did.  Monday I was up at 5:00AM and I hit the gym.  I did an easy 1,000m swim (it was tough), lifted some weights (I am hurting from that) and chatted with some friends about my Ironman (I hadn't been to the gym in a while).  I followed the morning work out up with an evening run when I got home from work with my dog.  Today I bailed on the gym and did a solid 4 mile run at work (31:13, 7:47/mile pace).

I am feeling a lot better and want to maintain the level of fitness that I am at.  I also want to lose my post Ironman fat and get to a better weight for me so that I can be more competitive in my future races.  I really need to put together an off-season list of goals and a 2011 race schedule.  Maybe for my next post.  That is it for now.  Cheers!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ten Days Later

It has been ten days since I finished my Ironman adventure and truth is I really don't feel any different having completed it.  I'm not saying that I expected to turn into some sort of superhero or for the achievement to bring me to some higher level of enlightenment.  I guess I thought that it would have had a bigger impact on me than it has. 

Once I crossed the finish line I was happy, really happy, but I didn't have that moment that I experienced when I've finished marathons.  The one where I get really emotional and within a split second I see everything that got me to that point and a surge of emotion washes over me leaving me sobbing like a fool.  After Ironman Arizona, I was psyched, elated, and excited to spend the time with my family and to talk about it all with them, but I never shed a tear.

Now as I sit here typing I'm still not sure what I should feel.  I am proud of what I achieved, heck everyone tells me that a 12:07:04 for a "first" Ironman is great.  I think it is pretty great too, but the competitor in me isn't content with that time, I know that I can do better and that I should have done better (and that's not because Skip beat me).  Maybe that's what is driving my inability to accept that it is all over, maybe I don't consider the journey complete yet.  I should state here right now, in case my wonderful and amazing wife happens to read this (which she doesn't do all that often), I have absolutely no intentions of doing an Ironman in 2011.  She made so many sacrifices for me over the past year that it would be completely and utterly selfish of me to ask her to do it again so soon after. 

I guess I will just have to keep the fire burning inside and somewhere down the road, when the time is right, get back out there and try to beat that 12:07:04.  It might be in 2012 or it might be in 2020, who knows, but I don't think I am done with this Ironman thing just yet.

I have finally gotten back in to training  this week.  I went out for an easy 4 miles on Tuesday with my friend Bill.  I felt great, like I could have gone faster and farther.  With that said, on my way home from work, my body sternly told me that it wasn't quite ready for such activity just yet.  My lower back was really sore and on the verge of full on spasms.  Yesterday I felt better and did 3.5 miles with Chris, this time at a bit of a slower pace in a nice rain storm.  My back was a little sore, but not debilitating.  I'm not going to run today, but I might try a short swim after work if time permits.  I can't believe that I haven't been in the water in a week and a half (since IMAZ in Tempe Town Lake).