December 24, 2010

The story of the candy cane

A candy maker in Indiana wanted to make a candy that would be a witness, so he made the Christmas Candy Cane. He incorporated several symbols for the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ.

He began with a stick of pure white, hard candy. White to symbolize the Virgin Birth and the sinless nature of Jesus, and hard to symbolize the Solid Rock, the foundation of the church, and firmness of the promises of God.

The candymaker made the candy in the form of a "J" to represent the precious name of Jesus, who came to earth as our savior. It also represents the staff of the "Good Shepherd" with which He reaches down into the ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like all sheep, have gone astray.

Thinking that the candy was somewhat plain, the candymaker stained it with red stripes. He used the tree small stripes to show the stripes of the scourging Jesus received by which we are healed. The large red stripe was for the blood shed by Jesus on the Cross so that we could have the promise of eternal life, if only we put our faith and trust in Him.

Unfortunately, the candy became known as a Candy Cane - a meaningless decoration seen at Christmas time. But the meaning is still there for those who "have eyes to see and ears to hear".

I pray that this symbol will again be used to witness to the Wonder of Jesus and His Great Love that came down at Christmas and remains the ultimate and dominant force in the universe today.

December 23, 2010

coffee thermos & comuting by bike

I commute to work on a bicycle & I love coffee. Not an easy combination. I could never find a coffee mug that could carry enough coffee & that would fit into my bike bottle holder. I used a coffee Thermos for a few years called a Bike Hothead Thermal Bottle IB-WB2 by Iberra. The company claimed this mug could carry 17 ounces of coffee, but it only carried about 8 ounces. It was poorly made. The plastic part that was designed to hold the coffee mug & bolt into the bike bottle holes broke the 1st week I used it. I tried to return the coffee mug & the company refused saying the problem wasn't their product, but improper use by me. Grrr. Thankfully I figured out if I took all the plastic parts off the Thermos it fit nicely into a regular bike bottle cage. I used it this way for awhile but recently it stopped pouring properly. Now the coffee explodes out of the top when I pour it & I end up wearing as much as I get in the cup. The only good thing I found about Ibera's Hothead Thermal bike bottle was it kept coffee hot for hours, but I always drink my coffee as soon as I get to work so that doesn't help me any.

I recently found another option I'm going to try. It's the Trek Soho Commuter Mug. It carries 20 ounces of coffee. All the reviews claim it's well made & durable. It fits into a bike bottle cage as long as the bike frame isn't small. The only complaint seems to be the coffee Thermos is top heavy. I'm going to order one. Once I get it I'll try it out & post my review here on my blog.

December 22, 2010

Enjoyment of the experience

The last two times I was training for an Iron I had become so focused on the ultimate goal of becoming an Ironman, training & dieting perfectly so that I could finish it in a fast time, that I never was able to enjoy the experience. This time it's different. Of course I'm disappointed I'm not hitting my weight goals I had set for myself earlier in the year, but this time I'm enjoying the training for Ironman. I'm having fun, & this time I'm not allowing the training to get in the way of my time with my family or God. What's the point of person accomplishments if it's getting in the way of the most important things in life? As long I put God & family as my number 1 priority I believe God will bless in the other less important aspects in life. And if for whatever reason He chooses to not allow me to be successful in my Iron distance endeavors, I will have kept my priorities straight, so I'll have no regrets.

December 18, 2010

ballet practice

videoI work the nights my daughter has ballet practice. Tonight I didn't go to work so I could watch her. She's 5 & is my pride & joy. I recorded this using my phone which is only able to record 20 seconds per video, it can't zoom, & the quality is poor, but you can still see how cute she is! On the other videos I recorded she was dancing in & out of clusters of girls so I wasn't able to get a very good video of her. This one was the best. She's so adorable!
I got the family van stuck in a snow drift on the side of road the other day. My daughter started panicking & said, "we're never going to get out!" I reassured her that we were going to get out & we'd be home in no time.
A bit later when we were still stuck she started crying & announced to everyone in the car, "We're never going to get out! I'll never be able to go to Disney World! And I'm never going to be able to do ballet again!" She started crying thinking of the things in her life she wanted to do & now wouldn't.
I wasn't able to help her through the situation like I should have. I tried to reassure her & tell her everything was fine, but I couldn't stop laughing. When she thought we were all goners her 1st thought was she'd never be able to go to Disney World. How sweet.

December 17, 2010

Hot triathlon training in Santa Fe New Mexico!!

I'm scheduled for my first 3 hour brick in the morning. It's supposed to be a 2.5 hour bike followed by a 35 minute run with some pick ups inserted. We got a large snow storm today & currently have a foot of snow on the ground so I can pretty much guarantee that won't be happening.





The beautiful thing about New Mexico is that the snow melts so quickly here. It's quite possible that the roads will be clear enough to ride on later in the day on Saturday, even with a foot of snow on the ground right now, & more expected for the next 8 hours. So I plan on switching my 2 weekend workouts, the brick scheduled for the morning with the following days long run.

If there's one thing I'd to say about Santa Fe, it's an endurance athletes dream come true. In the winter very few days of training will ever be interrupted by snow. When it does snow it melts very quickly. It never gets very hot during the summer months. It's 7'000 feet elevation (highest capital city in the world, the Japanese Olympic swim team trains here at the Geneva Chaves Community center part of every year because of the altitude) so someone who trains here can KILL a race at sea level! It has miles & miles of gorgeous paved country roads to explore on a bicycle. There are a ton of hilly & mountainous courses to choose from. It has a great city triathlon every year called, ironically enough, the Santa Fe triathlon. & being able to ride to Albuquerque via highway 14 is one of the prettiest rides I've ever done, I then take the Rail Runner back to Santa Fe. The Rail Runner is one of my favorite benefits. I could go on, there's a lot more. But I think you get the point.

My speed & endurance is continuing to improve. Particularly my running, which surprises me because I'm so over weight right now. All endurance athletes know light is fast! But apparently heavy can be somewhat fast too- thank goodness for that! I'm fairly certain I won't be making my goal of 200 pounds by the Memorial Hermann 70.3 in April. But that's ok, I can't hit my goal weight & speed at every race right?

December 11, 2010

El Nino Iron training baby!

This winter has been very warm so far. I'm told from a buddy it has to do with the El Ninó weather system. Today it was in the high 50's & I did a brick in a short sleeve tee-shirt in the middle of December!!! Apparently I picked the perfect winter to get back into Ironman training!! Hopefully this warmer than normal weather conditions will continue through the entire winter.

I'm in the middle of my 4th week back to triathlon training after 3 months completely off. I'm amazed how quickly my speed & endurance is returning! The human body is truly an amazing thing! I just wish my weight was responding as well. I'm up to 226 pounds now. Not a good thing for a 5'11" triathlete. I've finished multiple 70.3's in 6 hours at this weight, but at 200 pounds I average a 5 hour 30 minute 70.3. Truth be know I've never competed in an Ironman weighing less that 237. I'm not sure what it is about the longer distance triathlons that makes me hold on to my excess weight, but it does seem to work that way. The lowest I've been able to get my weight when training for Ironman is 237, the lowest for 70.3 is 204. When I train for sprint distance triathlons I'm easily able to keep my weight at an average of 192! Makes no sense to me because I train so much more & burn so many more calories training for ultra endurance tri's.

Week 2 of mission one-nine-zero (goal of 200 pounds by April 2011 for the Memorial Hermann 70.3, 190 pounds by November 2011 for IMAZ) is not going well. I've gained 5 pounds this week.

I'm 2 days into a semi-Paleo diet in which I only eat veggies, fruit, lean meats, & small amounts of nuts. No grains (because it's mostly processed), sugar, dairy, or beans. This diet also wants me to cut out coffee, but that aint happening!!! I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanks for tuning in.

December 06, 2010

Rion drinking from water fountain

videoToday at my daughters ballet practice my son Rion drank from a water fountain. He's at the stage that it's hilarious watch.

Cody's dramatic results from a car crash

videoMy son & I were playing cars today, & when the car hit my hand I held my hand up with my index finger pulled down to make it look like I had a finger missing. He tried to do the same thing as me. The results were hilarious!

December 04, 2010

Project one-nine-zero day 4

Now that I'm training for Iron distance triathlons again I am experiencing one of the benefits of ultra endurance training: the most amazing sleep anyone could imagine! I'd forgotten how easily I fell asleep while endurance training. I'd forgotten how deep I sleep, not waking at all during the night, & waking feeling absolutely rested & revitalized! I'm really enjoying myself. Iron distance triathlon training rocks! I'm glad I have a supportive wife who not only "allows" my long training days, but encourages it. I'm a lucky man.

Mission one-nine-zero day 4
weight: 221.4
goal weight: 190
weight loss needed: 31.4 in 17.5 weeks
Calories eaten today: 3,520
Calories burned today: 970
Net calories today: 2,550


I have to say I'm a bit upset with the Ironman corporation. They no longer have Clyd & Athena divisions at their 70.3 & Ironman races. The 2 70.3's & Ironmans I'm scheduled for next year may be my last WTC race for awhile. They're more expensive ($600 for an Ironman slot), they're harder to get into, & they have gotten way to uppity for my tastes.

The beginning of mission one-nine-zero: day 1-3

I'm really wanting to break my 70.3 PR or 5 hours 30 minutes in April at The Memorial Hermann 70.3. To break the 5.5 hour mark I need to train hard- never a problem with me- & get my weight down below 200- all too often this is a big problem for me! So I am now starting mission one-nine-zero! My goal is to be 190 pounds by April 10th 2011. 3.5 weeks ago I was 235 pounds, I am currently 222 pounds To get to 190 by April 10th I need to drop another 32 pounds in 18 weeks. That's an average of 1.77 pounds a week. Very attainable- in theory at least.....

I've realized through trial & error my body is NOT happy being at or below 190. Anytime I get at or below 190 I then end up packing on a whole bunch of weight. It's as if my body has a self defense mechanism that kicks in anytime I drop that low. So after the Memorial Hermann 70.3 I'll allow myself to get back up 200 pounds, & then I'll drop back down to 190 just before Ironman Arizona in Novermber.

From here on out I'll be posting my current weight, Pounds needed to lose & the # of weeks to do it in, calories burned, & calories eaten here on my blog:

Week 1 of 18
At the beggining of week 18 I need to lose 39.4 more pounds.

Day 1
Weight: 229.4
Weight lost: 0 pounds
weight loss to goal: 39.4
Calories eaten: 2,488
Calories burned: 1,148
Net calories: 1,340

Day 2
Weight: 224
Weight lost: 4.6 pounds
weight loss to goal: 34 pounds
Calories eaten: 2,869
Calories burned: 888
Net calories: 1981

Day 3: Dec 3rd
Weight 222
Weight lost 7.4 pounds
weight loss to goal: 32 pounds
Ate- 3,291
Burned- 1,711 (30.7 mile zone 2 bike followed by a 31 minute zone 2 run with six 20 minute sprints with 40 seconds rest intervals)
Net calories- 1,580

While reading the bible last week I found this:

"I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free."
Psalm 119:32 

I have found a lot of encouragement in it. My life is so much better & rewarding when I turn to Christ in all things. Anytime I start getting caught up in life & forget to turn to Him for strength & encouragement things get much more difficult. My finances tend to get out of control, I lose my patience much quicker, & I find myself struggling with my triathlon training & racing. I find peace & strength in Him, when I turn to Christ it makes my heart feel free & light.

December 01, 2010

Bunches of indoor miles!

Today I got 2 flats while riding my bike on rollers. It's hard to tell by the picture, but this is the hole I wore in my indoor bike tire. I wore out an indoor cycling tire! It takes A LOT of indoor miles to wear out an indoor bike tire!

The first year I bought my indoor trainer was 2007 & I was training for my first Ironman. Not only was I training an average of 19.5 hours a week, but I was also putting in 70-80 hours a week at work. I missed my wife so bad during my peak training that year. The first day I had my indoor trainer I rode on it for 3 hours while watching a movie, & my wife sat next to me & held my hand during the whole bike ride. She sat there next to me for 3 hours with sweat rolling down my arm onto hers. It was gross for her I'm sure, but all we cared about was we were there together. I have the perfect triathlon wife!!!

I'm back up to 229 pounds. Man am I upset. It took me forever to get down below 200, but less than a quarter of the time to get back up to almost 230. Uhg!

I'm back to logging all my food & exercise on www.dietpower.com I don't know what I'd do without that diet tool!

November 29, 2010

Be Iron Fit!

Like I said on my last post a triathlete buddy of mine who lives in Phoenix Arizona told me a book is sweeping through his tri club! Everyone is using the Iron training program from the book Be Iron fit by Don Fink. He said veterans who have qualified for Kona have been using it & breaking their PR's. He said the veterans are feeling that they are under training, but on race day they kill it!

I just looked through it. It has 3 levels of plans.

1) The just finish plan. This plan starts with 3 hours of training a week. 1 hour for each for each sport. This plan averages 7 hours per week & peaks at 10 hour in weeks 23-28!!!!
Week 28 looks like this
Mon- off
Tue- 45 min swim & 1 hr bike
Wed- 1 hr long brick
Thu- 1 hr bike
Fri- 45 min swim
Sat- 3 hr 30 min bike
Sun- 2 hr run
Very doable!!
2) the intermediate plan. An average of 10.5 hrs & maxes out at 15 hours in week 27.
3) the competitive plan which is the hardest plan for those who want to be competitive & not just complete an Iron averages 12 hours & maxes at 20 hours in week 27! I was training more hours on most weeks in sprint training than all but a half dozen of the weeks in this plan!
Mon- off
Tue- 1 hr swim
Wed- 1:30 brick
Thu- 1 hr swim & 1:30 bike
Fri- 1 hr swim & 1:30 run
Sat- 6 hour bike/ 1 hour run
Sun- 1:30 Zone 1 bike/ 3 hour run. Again, very doable!

Even for the competitive plan the longest workout during the week is 1.5 hrs. The weekend has one or 2 long bricks.

I can't wait to start!

November 27, 2010

My new Ironman book

A friend of mine told me about a book that is really popular with his triathlon club out of Phoenix AZ. It's called be Iron fit by Don Fink.

My buddy said a lot of Ironman veterans from his tri club have done the Ironman workout schedules from this book & they've PR'd while working out less than they normally do for a race of that distance. Sounds like the kind of plan I want to try for my 2011 Ironman!

The book arrived in the mail today! I think I'll try the competitive plan that has an average of 12 hours of training a week, & a maximum week of training of 20 hours.

November 26, 2010

The secret to Ironman training

Today I was struggling with the motivation to do my brick. A brick is a bike followed immediately with a run. Perhaps it's the freezing temperatures outside? Regardless, there's nothing this little beauty can't cure. An extra cup of coffee-or 4- can get my engine running!

This is my grandfathers coffee pot. He used it daily since the 50's. I've been using it heavily since I got it 5 years ago, especially now that I've fallen in love with endurance athletics.

November 25, 2010

Ironman just for the fun of it!

Just like most triathletes, the minute I finished my 1st triathlon in 2004 I began dreaming of completing an Iron. At the time a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike & 26.2 mile run seemed unattainable to me. In persuit of the big Iron dream I started biking & running longer & longer every weekend until I was riding my bike from Santa Fe to Albuquerque & then back on most weekends.

In 2005 I was scheduled to attempt my 1st Iron, but got in a bike wreck a few weeks before the race & was unable to race.

In 2006 I was training heavily for another Iron, but ended up qualifying for a slot to the 70.3 world championships & raced that instead.


In 2007 I was finally able to show up & attempt my 1st Iron distance triathlon. I didn't make the final bike cut off & got pulled from the course at mile 96 of the bike.

By 2008 I'd been training exclusively for Iron distance triathlons for 5 straight years! I was completely burned out with having to do 5-6 hour bike rides followed by a 45 minutes runs on my 1st day off of work, then upwards to 3 hour runs on the next. But because I still hadn't completed my dream of becoming an Ironman I signed up for Ironman Arizona 2008. To be honest the entire year of 2008 I was miserable having to do the training necessary to finish an Ironman, but my dream of crossing the finish line kept me focused & able to force myself to complete the long grueling training days. In 2008 I averaged 19.5 hours of training a week. As I look back it was amazing I was able to finish the 2008 Ironman Arizona at all. Since I was so burned out with training the long distances, I wanted to make ABSOLUTELY sure I finished the race by the cut off time, so I pushed myself WAY to hard, & didn't allow myself nearly enough rest & recovery. I ended up so overtrained & stressed out because of the miles & miles of training I was forcing myself to do without enjoyment I ended up looking to food for comfort. I ended up on race day weighing 237 pounds! Only through the grace of God was I able to finish in 14 hours.

Now after 2 years of not having trained for any races longer than a sprint I finally have gotten over my loathing of really long training days. Now, I actually miss the long days of cycling & running. There's nothing better for stress relief than a long peaceful bike or run! Just me & the road. It's an amazing feeling of freedom.

This time training for an Ironman in 2011 will be different than the last time. I'll actually be able to enjoy the training, I won't have the burn out I had before, & I also have learned from my mistakes of overtraining. This time I know I need to put more emphasis on sleep & recovery. Less is more. I'm really looking forward to this next year of training & am absolutely pumped about being able to race an Iron for no other reason than the enjoyment of it!

November 24, 2010

Putting up the Christmas tree

Today we put up the Christmas tree, the kids were to excited to wait until after Thanksgiving.

Cody is upset because Rion grabbed his shirt and almost pulled him over. I think Rion is going to be our tough brute who always gets into trouble. We were just recently able to get him to stop biting his big brother. He never tried to bite his sister, just his big brother.

November 22, 2010

IMAZ 2011!

My mother in law had to go to the emergency room today so I didn't think I'd be able to register for the 2011 Ironman Arizona. & from what I hear IMAZ sold out withing hours of opening for registration. Thankfully I had a buddy of mine register me. Thanks to my amazing friend Justin , I am now registered for the 2011 Ironman Arizona! I'm so excited!!!

Thanks Justin!!!

My tap dancing boy

videoMy 3 year old son was watching my daughters tap dance practice. Apparently the music was making him feel jiggy because next thing I knew he was busting a move! Once I got the cam corder out & started recording him he saw & got embarrassed. It was darn cute though.
Sometimes the videos I post from my phone don't play on the Facebook feed, so you may need to go to my blog to see it.

November 20, 2010

weight, triathlon, and things

Up until July of this year I had kept below 200 pounds for a year & a half by using Dietpower.com In early July I got down to 184 & had a screaming 6 pack!

In July I got burned out with cycling, running, & logging all my food, so I took some time off of training & logging. Bam! Back up to 220 in 5 months! I'm now motivated to train again, like I said in my last post, I'll be registering for Ironman Arizona on Monday, if I'm unable to get into that race I'll be doing the Redman Iron distance tri. My goal is to break my Ironman PR of 14 hrs. I finished in 14 hrs while weighing 235, so I should be able to get below 13 hrs if I can get back to my best racing weight of 195. So after a 5 month lay off, I'm back into working out!

I'm still burned out with logging my food. I just can't seem to make myself do it. So I'm going to try & eat a palm sized portion of protein, & a palm sized portion of carbs every 3 hrs. If I get hungry I'll allow myself raw veggies between meals. & for breakfast & post workout I'll eat the palm sized protein & a double portion of carbs. I can't remember where I saw this diet, the Dr OZ show or something along those lines. I'm 2 days into the new diet and enjoying it so far. The great things about this diet is there's no logging. I always have the palm of my hand with me so I never have to worry about not having the proper measuring cups or food scales with me! Almost feels like effortless dieting compared to logging! Things are looking up again!

My 2 big races of 2011 is the Memorial Hermman 70.3 in April. I'm hoping to break my 70.3 PR of 5 hrs 30 minutes, dare I dream of 5:20? & a late season Iron. Hopefully IMAZ, but if not than it'll be Redman. I'm hoping to go 13 hrs or below for the Iron. My Iron PR is 14 hrs.

November 18, 2010

Beautiful triathlon

Triathlon is amazing. The people is what made me fall in love with the sport originally. When I 1st started racing I'd finish a race in the bottom 10 percent without fail, & I found the last person finishing in a triathlon gets a MUCH bigger applause than the person finishing in 1st place. The support in triathlon is unbelievable.

When I 1st got into triathlon I dreamed-no I obsessed about finishing an Ironman. In 2008 I finished Ironman Arizona in 14 hrs. After IMAZ I was burned out cycling & running such long distances, so I switched to sprint distance triathlons. For the sprint tri's I didn't have to train as much, & the races were fast & intense!!! Now, I'm getting the Ironman itch again, so I'm going to start pushing out some more 6 hr bike rides & 3 hr long runs. As I've continued to compete & train in triathlon I realized triathlon is the prefect sport to be in. There's every distance of triathlons, & difficulty of courses out there imaginable. & I've never found an unfriendly person in this sport. I love it!

On Monday at noon registration opens for IMAZ (Ironman Arizona). I'm going to attempt to register. IMAZ is an immensely popular race & it usually sells out within 30 minutes of the registration start time, which amazes me because a slot to IMAZ is $575. If I'm unable to get into IMAZ, I'm going to register for The Redman Iron distance triathlon. The Redman race isn't nearly as popular so it doesn't sell out as quickly. The Redman's race directors are just as great, the race has a great course, a great RD, lots of support, & only costs $400. Either way, Later this year I will once again be an Ironman! Oh ya, sounds awesome just saying it!

In 2008 I set a PR of 14 hrs, my goal this year is to break 13 hrs! Wish me luck, I'm going to need it!

November 17, 2010

OCD driven!

There's a big difference between training & working out. I'd struggled with my weight something horrible until I found triathlon in 2005. That's when I started training, & that has made a huge difference in the way I view my health & my body.

Since August I've been struggling to find a goal that made me excited to train. It's no coincidence that since August I've gained a TON of weight. A lot more weight than I'll admit on my blog! The problem was I couldn't think of any goals that excited me enough to get me to train in a rampant OCD driven kind of a way. The entire 2010 year I was obsessed with winning the 2010 South West Challenge Series & finishing multisport races in the top 10 overall, consequently I had a stellar year in 2010. My problem began after I'd won the 2010 SW Challenge Series & finished my 10th race in the top 10. I'd lost a goal that drove me. I tried looking for new goals to get my engine running, but nothing made me the least bit interested.

Yesterday I was scrolling through trifind.com & noticed the 2011 70.3 World Championships race was being held in Las Vegas Nevada. I'd heard that the 70.3 series has almost doubled & has increased in popularity ten fold, so I started scrolling through a list of 70.3 world championship qualifying races. One of the ones that peaked my interest was the Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas triathlon. Everything about this race seemed to be in my favor & screaming for me to race it!
- Because of my build & genetics I am a poor hill climber but can CRUSH a flat race: the Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas is one of the flattest half Irons in the world!
-It's an early season triathlon, & I seem to be a more competitive athlete in the early season than most of triathletes because of my willingness to train in any weather or temperatures. Last year I rode 3.5 hrs in 19 degree temperatures when a cold front blew through New Mexico.
- There are still slots available, so I can still buy an entry.
- It's a race held at sea level, & Santa Fe's elevation is 7000 feet. Very few athletes train at that elevation, so I'll have a huge advantage at sea level.
- I can dream of qualifying for the 70.3 World Championships for a 2nd time. There's something about a goal that appears way out of my reach that kicks in my absurd OCD goal driven engine, & I've found it: To race in The Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas & try to win a slot to The 70.3 World Championships in September 2011 in Las Vegas Nevada!

To be competitive I need to lose approximately 30-35 pounds to get to my best race weight of 195 pounds.

Watch out Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas, HERE I come!

November 13, 2010

My son getting down!

this is my favorite picture/video of all time. Cody & I were plying cars, his favorite game, and apparently he was having a great time because he suddenly started dancing uncontrollably! Hilarious!

video

November 12, 2010

Anotomical adaptation day 1

I had a couple tri buddies who I admire & trust contact me about my issues with triathlon burnout. They both gave the same advise, & they were correct! They told me to put away the stop watch, stop following a triathlon training plan & just go out and train for fun & by feel. I tried it for a couple weeks & they were dead on. I could go out and train daily without dread! But I have to say I still wasn't having a GREAT time like I had for previous 5.5 years. I was just doing it because I needed to do something to keep myself from getting fat. I realized I needed to do a different sport for awhile when a buddy offered me a free entry to a triathlon in December and I immediately felt dread!

Every time I think about getting into bodybuilding again I get motivated like I used to be about triathlon. So today I started body building again. I'm starting out with a short stint of anatomical adaptation, once I feel like my body is ready I'll start two 6 week phases of hypertrophy, which is the time when the serious muscle gain happens.

Today I also went to the UNM physiology lab & got my body fat tested. The results that I got were really bad! I am back up to 222.2 pounds at 19 percent body fat. Aahh! But I'm not that upset about the results because I know this is my starting point. I'll start dropping fat gradually from this point on. & I'll be packing on muscle quickly- I have a great metabolism for bulking up. My short term goal is 220 pounds at 10 percent body fat. I'll be continuing biking & running a few times a week for fun & to be able to finish any triathlons I may enter later on next year, but my main focus will be on muscle gain! I'll keep you informed on my progress. Thanks for tuning in!

November 09, 2010

2010 SWC Series results

The 2010 South West Challenge Seties results are now posted at http://www.southwestchallengeseries.com/


PLEASE check their points tabulations against your own records and notify them IMMEDIATELY of any discrepancies, questions, or errors. They are tracking thousands of athletes and mistakes are inevitable.
 
It is best to notify John LeRoy: jleroy@q.com
It would be advisable to also cc Mark Balsiger at: mbalsig1@elp.rr.com

They also have the 2011 South West Challenge Series schedule done & it will also be posted soon at http://www.southwestchallengeseries.com/
 

October 20, 2010

2010 sw grappling championships

Here's a couple pictures from the South West grappling championships where I took 4th in the masters no gi & 2nd place masters gi division.


burnout lingers

Last week I was doing well getting back into triathlon training after taking a little under 7 weeks completely off. I'm not saying my training was high quality mind you, just that I seemed to be back in the swing of training again.

Monday morning I was scheduled for a bike ride. Nothing really difficult, a 90 minute ride with ten 60 second sprints with two minutes of active recovery in between. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't force myself to get on my bike.... So apparently the burnout continues.

I have the desire to train hard, I just don't want to do any swimming or biking at all. Which brings up another issue that has been lingering in the back of my head for awhile. For the last 18 months I've been wanting to get back into weight lifting. I've done a little triathlon sports specific strength training to increase the speed & power of my legs this last season, but that's not the kind of lifting I have the itch to do.




Back in 2000 I got into weight lifting pretty seriously. I got really good results. Apparently I have the genetics to pack on a bunch of size & strength relatively easy. For some reason I miss the weight training.

I'm wanting to spend some time hitting the weights & bulking up. I'm not giving up triathlon completely. I'll still compete in at least four 2011 South West Challenge series races as a Clydesdale, 4 being the minimum # of races an athlete can compete in and still be eligible in the SW challenge series competition. I'll still be forcing myself to do enough biking & running to be able to get through a sprint triathlon- notice I said "get through", I did not say I plan on doing enough training to do well at it. I know I'll struggle finishing triathlons next year because I won't be doing enough triathlon specific training to excel, but the biggest reason I will probably struggle is because muscle burns A LOT of oxygen! & if I plan on bulking up for awhile, the extra muscle will make it REALLY DIFFICULT to race hard in all the 3 disciplines of a triathlon. Good thing for me there were only a few serious Clydesdales competing in the South West Challenge Series 39 & under division last year. Perhaps I can still hope for a top 3 next year in the Clydesdale 39 & under. We'll see.

Today I started the first day of a 6 week phase of Anatomical Adaptation. This phase is designed to prepare the ligaments & tendons for putting on a bunch of size & strength quickly. The anatomical adaptation phase is the equivalent of a base building phase in triathlon, & can be just as uneventful & boring. I'll finish that phase in late November & then I'll start the hypertrophy phase, which is where all the muscle gets packed on! Perfect timing to be bulked up by spring time!

October 17, 2010

Detrained through & through

I had a relatively easy week back to training after a little over 6 weeks off. By Thursday my legs were pretty tired even though the week's training wasn't very difficult. On Saturday I had an hour base run, & I was tired the tail end of it! After only an hour! An hour run was a short & easy day of training before I took my 6 weeks off. Looks like it's going to be awhile before I get my endurance & speed back.

October 14, 2010

The end of the 2010 triathlon season & a Clydesdale once again

I made it through my 1st bought of triathlon burn out. I became tired of triathlon training & racing in July. I ended up taking a full 6 weeks off to rest, recover, & get re-motivated.

This last Monday I started training again & did my 1st bike ride in 6 weeks. My speed was almost as good, & my endurance also felt great. Tuesday I ran & felt just as good as I had on Monday! I was amazed that I felt so strong after I had taken so much time off. On Wednesday I had a brick consisting of an hour long bike then a 40 min run. Half way through the bike I felt exhausted. So apparently I had lost fitness after all. It just took a couple days of consecutive training to feel it.

I have my motivation back & am training hard for the Polar Bear triathlon & the Jingle Bell triathlon which will be the first 2 races of the 2011 season. I plan on being 205 pounds by those two races which will be held on consecutive mornings of Dec 4th & Dec 5th, & 197 pounds by the WSMR duathlon which will be held on February 12th 2011.

Because of all the time off I took from both training & dieting I am technically a Clydesdale again, meaning I'm back above 200 pounds. I had stayed below 200 pounds for an entire year with my lowest weight being 184 pounds in early July. I'm working on getting below the 200 pound mark again. Although I love racing in the Clydesdale division, the 35-39 AG is filled with a bunch of super studs & having to compete against them kept me motivated all year long. I ended up winning the 2010 South West multisport Challenge Series 35-39 division! During the 2010 season I placed higher in multiple races than I ever dreamed I would. I placed top 10 overall 5 times, 4 of those were top 5, & one of those was 3rd overall! I also finished in 2nd place at the 2010 South West grappling championships masters Gi division & 4th place overall at the 2010 South West grappling Championships masters no-gi division in the month of October.

Although I'm to out of shape & weigh to much to do exceptionally well at the Silverman 70.3 I'm going to go & race it anyway. I wrote them & asked them to move my registration from 35-39 AG, to the Clydesdale 39 & under division. If I can take top 30% in the Clyde division I'll win a place at the 2011 ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships. If I win a spot to the long course championships, it will be held at the Pumpkinman triathlon in Henderson NV in October of 2011. If I place in the top 33% of the 2011 Pumpkinman triathlon I'll win a spot to the 2011 ITU Long course world championships held in November at Henderson NV at the Silverman 70.3 triathlon. That's would be my dream scenario. Out of almost 6 years of triathlon training & racing I've qualified 3 national championship triathlons & for 1 world championships race. Another of each would be oh so sweet!!

Peace!

October 09, 2010

Masters 185 & above division

They combined the begginner, intermediate, & advanced masters divisions & I podiumed, taking fourth place losing to a pro MMA fighter named John George.

Fight #1 finished

I took 2nd place in the masters gi division at the South West grappling championships! 3 more divisions to compete in!

October 08, 2010

Cutting weight for the graplling tournament

Since I'm going to compete in the grappling tournament tomorrow I decided I may as well partake in all of the festivities, leave nothing of this experience out. So I decided to cut weight to be able to register in the weight class below me. I'd never cut weight before, so this was a new experience. I started taking in less water & food last night at midnight. I put on a jacket and a couple layers of clothes a & ran stairs for around 20 minutes. This morning I was already really thirsty & hungry. By 11 am I had a headache & was beginning to feel a little foggy in the head. By 4 PM I had a stomach ache, headache, fatigue, my tongue swelled up a little, & I was confused. I got lost trying to find the Sprint store in Rio Rancho. I got lost again when I tried to drive to the Rio Rancho Defined fitness even though I've been there a thousand times. Surpassingly by then I was no longer hungry or thirsty. I sat in the sauna of the Defined Fitness for 10 minutes, then cooled off for 5 minutes or so. I did that for about 3 rotations. I ended up losing 12 pounds total.

After I was done with the sauna I tried to dive to the Rio Rancho high school to weigh in. The Rio Rancho high school is approximately a 2 mile drive from the gym and of course I got lost, twice.

So now I've weighed in, paid my fees & trying to rehydrate & refuel.

Anyone who knows me know I love punishment! I ended up registering for all of the 4 divisions I was eligible for.
- master gi
- masters no go
- adult gi
-adult no gi

I'll let my peeps know how I do tomorrow!!! Should be fun!!!

The South West grappling championships

In late August I became burned out with dieting & triathlon. I stopped training completely the 1st week of September, I also missed September's Patriot triathlon, which was going to be my last A race of the 2010 season.

I haven't worked out in almost 6 weeks. I've been concentrating on regaining my normal drive to train & my desire to compete. I feel better. I can't say I'm motivated to train again, but I know if I take any more time off then I'll have lost so much fitness & gained so much weight I'll spend the rest of this year & part of next trying to just get back to where I was.

I needed a motivator to get me back to training. I tried finding a big triathlon to attempt next year, that usually gets me excited. Didn't work. No race or training plan seemed to get me excited or motivated.

A couple weeks ago I found my motivation! I happened to find an advertisement in the paper for the SW grappling championships which will be held in Rio Ranch NM, just 45 minutes from my house! Before I fell in love with triathlon I trained in MMA for about a year & half. It's been almost 5 years since I've done any grappling, but regardless of how long it's been, I registered for all 4 of the events I'm eligible for:
-the masters no Gi
-Master Gi
-men's 195-215 pound Gi
-men's 195-215 pound no Gi.

It's a 2 loss elimination tournament, so even if I lose every match I'll be competing in 8 matches! If I get on a winning streak I'll be VERY VERY tired, but I'll be having fun & burning calories hand over fist!

In 2005 I went to the Arizona state grappling championships & took 2nd place in the absolute division. I'm not going into this tournament with any expectations of repeating that performance. Grappling is a skill just like any other, one that is lost when not used. So my only goal is to have fun.

Wish me luck, I'm going to need it!!! If I have cell phone reception where the tournaments are held I'll post on my blog how I did after every match.
Sent via Facebook Mobile

September 13, 2010

Primary race stopped by illness

Sunday was supposed to be my last A race of the season. I got sick with the stomach flue Friday night & still wasn't well enough to race by Sunday. The same thing happened in April for my last A race. Obviously the problem is my training &/or my taper. I need to figure out what I'm doing wrong.

Since I messed up this taper so badly I've decided I'm going to train for another A race Dec 7th.

My work started a weight loss competition. The people who has the best results in each of 3 divisions get 4 hrs leave on in on Nov 8th. & 8 hrs leave for each division on Nov 30th.
1) lose the most weight
2) lose the most body fat
3) people to gain the most lean mass

Unfortunately a few weeks ago I fell off the diet wagon. I gained much more weight than I'd like to admit. This work competition is perfect timing for me to got the motivation lose weight. I'd do anything to get time off from the prison!

September 06, 2010

My little monkey girl & my taper

When my daughter was 2 years old I told her the way she came into our life & how we became her parents. I told her that her Mom & I were walking out in the forest & found the prettiest baby monkey we'd ever seen. We picked that baby monkey up, took it home, shaved it, & named it Belle. I even have a picture of a new born orangutan & I tell her the picture was her before we shaved her. To my amusement she has always believed this story.

Tonight out of nowhere my daughter asked me if monkeys bite? I said yes. She asked me in horror if she did that to me when I tried to pick her up in the forest & take her home. Ha! Then she told me the reason she can swing across the monkey bars by herself & the other kids in her pre-k can't is because she was a monkey & they weren't. Like a good Dad..... I agreed.

My pulled quad is completely healed up, but unfortunately my training isn't going well at all. I've been feeling exhausted & slow in training & I can't seem to get my diet back under control. I've gained 7 pounds in a little over a month. My A race is this coming Sunday. I'm thinking I won't have a decent race. The problem is I'm struggling with self coaching. I seem to be getting fast during my training, but when it's time to taper everything ends up falling apart.

I've always been told tapering is more of an art than a science, & I'm a black & white kind of a person, which is why I can't seem to get this whole supercompensation thing down. I've been self coaching since last September & have ended up messing up everyone of my A races. I'm not sure if it's the taper or the peak phase of my routine I'm having difficulties with. But regardless of what the problem is there's definitely a problem. & this problem is messing with my most important races of the year, which is a really big problem.

I purchased a pair of ZOOT triathlon specific shoes to race in at the Patriot triathlon.



August 27, 2010

My injured quad update & some training & racing products

Since injuring my quad last Saturday I've taken it easy & am trying to ensure I'm all healed up by my next race on September 7th. I took Monday & Tuesday completely off, then the next 2 days I just rode my bike since cycling doesn't seem to affect my quad at all.

Today I'm scheduled to do a brick. I intend to bike as planned, then do 30 minutes of the elliptical to ensure I'm not losing any run fitness. I don't want to try & run for the 1st time on my quad after a bike ride, I'm afraid that would stress the quad & make me more likely to reinjure it or make it worse. On Saturday I'm going to try & run a little & see how the pulled quad is.

Yesterday I did a 2 hour bike ride with 1 hour 30 minutes in zone 3. I got a couple free packets of Hammer's HEED at a race not long ago & decided to use it during yesterday's ride. It had been about 3 years since I'd used a Hammer product. Just like last time when I used HEED I bonked HARD! Shortly after drinking the HEED I simply fell apart! This happens to me every time I use any Hammer hydration or nutrition products. I'm not saying Hammer products aren't good, because I think they are an amazing company, but for some reason my body just doesn't perform well at all when I use any of Hammer's nutrition or hydration. Particularly when I use their Perpetuem! From now on if I get any free Hammer nutrition I'm going to just give it away. There's no reason to ruin a workout just to save a little $!

If any of you out there are relatively new to endurance athletics I highly suggest you try using different brands of hydration & nutrition. Take detailed notes on how you feel during your workouts, how your speed & endurance holds up while using them, & how you recover while using that product. Make sure to use each product for a few weeks. Just a workout or two doesn't give you enough detail to compare products.

Not only have I taken a lot of time trying out different companies, but I've also done a lot of experimenting with gels versus bars versus Protein Bites. I find I feel just about the same during workouts when I use gels compared to bars, but I find I seem to heal a lot quicker when I use bars exclusively than I do when I use just gels. I seem to recover the best using Protein Bites. Cliff also has a protein bite type product out there that tastes like Whoppers & works great! Seriously delicious!

I've experimented with a lot of different hydration & nutritional products & out of all the brands I've tried the one that works best for my body is Powerbar. I seem to feel best & recover quickest on particularly hard or long workouts when I use their Powerbar Protein bites! Awesome product!

Speaking of experimenting with products geared for racing. I'm going to buy some Race Day Boost & try it out during the Patriot triathlon. Apparently I'm supposed to start taking Race Day Boost 3-4 days before my race & it helps an athlete go harder, fatigue less, etc. I've heard a lot about these little pills for a long time, so now I'm going to cave into the hype & try them. If I think they work for me I'll let you know, & if I think they don't work at all I'll post that too.

http://www.google.com/gwt/x?site=universal&oe=UTF-8&q=hammer+race+day+boost&hl=en&ei=O4N3TJjEOtudtweQvOzAAg&ved=0CAgQFjAA&source=m&rd=1&u=http://www.hammernutrition.com/products/race-day-boost.rdb.html

I won a free $25 gift card to the running hub here in Santa Fe at the AtomicMan duathlon in April. I've narrowed what I'm going to buy to 2 products:
Another pair of Brooks Adrenaline, which is my favorite shoe to train in. Or
A pair of Zoot Ultra Speed triathlon specific racing shoes!

Right now I'm leaning towards the Zoot Ultra Speed's since I'm training & racing for sprint distance triathlons. In sprint distance triathlons knocking off just a few seconds is HUGE because the races are so short. I can't count the number of times that I've finished 10 seconds in front of or behind someone in my age group at a sprint triathlon, where as in Olympic to Iron distances I've only finished within 30 seconds of someone in my age group once.

The Zoot Ultra Speed (in theory) will increase my speed in transition because they are built to get on & off so quickly, & to be raced in with no socks. They are also supposed to increase run speed because they are so incredibly light. If I end up buying the Zoot's I'll let you Peeps know what I think of them after I race in them for the 1st time.

http://www.google.com/gwt/x?wsc=yq&wsi=fcdd9353b8cf03e2&source=m&u=http%3A%2F%2Fzootsports.com/spring2010/product/m-ultra-speed%3Fcategory%3Dmens%253Atri-footwear&ei=LmZ3TPi2KZrawAWSoKiLDQ&ct=pg1&whp=30

August 26, 2010

Diet maintnance: failed!

I had FINALLY got down to 187 pounds last week & had decided to try & maintain that weight for my upcoming A race, the Patriot triathlon on September 12th. I've never been able to maintain my weight before. I'm always either losing, or gaining weight.

Earlier this week I pulled my quad. I became frustrated & stressed having an injury occur this close to an A race, which led to Sunday night's eating bad foods in bad quantities. The dreaded comfort eating! I continued to do so until Tuesday night. I know 3 days of eating unhealthy isn't going to make me gain an unmanageable amount of weight & ruin months of weight loss, but it was upsetting to me nonetheless. From my 3 days of eating crap I'm going to need to spend about a week eating slightly below my metabolic rate to get back down to 187 again. This got me to thinking, & obsessing as I have a tendency to do. Since I'm already going to be dieting for the next week, & I'll be in the weight loss mode, I might as well continue the weight loss & get down to my all time #1 goal weight of 179!!! After all that's only 8 pounds less than what I was Sunday morning right? Since 179 is my all time weight goal & I'm so close I may as well crack the whip & get there right? If I start losing the weight now I'll be to my dream weight by the Silverman 70.3 in November, & that race has a ridiculous amount of hills, & everyone knows the most important aspect of hill climbing is low body weight! If I start losing now that's just shy of 1 pound a week of weight loss to hit my goal! After I get to my goal weight I can spend the rest of my life maintaining, so why maintain now for just a little while when I can do it forever starting in November?

If you frequent my blog you'll know my biggest problem as an athlete is staying focused on a goal. I'm constantly coming up with reasons & justifications to change my goals. Here's just another example of this. But the decision has been made. My new & exciting goal is to get down to 179 pounds by the 1st week of November.

August 22, 2010

My first tri injury

On Friday while doing my last long hard run before my full blown taper I pulled my left quad. This surprised the heck out of me. Up to this point my body has been virtually bullet proof. After 6 years of hard training & racing I've only had one other injury, back in 2006. At that time I had just starting putting in some long runs of 15-18 miles & I wasn't tracking the miles on my shoes. An endurance athlete should always retire their shoes at the 500 mile mark. I didn't & put way to many miles on a pair, which caused an ITB injury.

Today I was able to bike comfortably, but unable to run without some pain. The pain wasn't intense but I could tell there would be problems if I pushed it.

To be honest with you, I simply don't have a metabolism made for endurance athletics. I'm naturally slow & fatigue quickly. My body was designed to be big, heavy, & strong. It was made to lift heavy objects, not for endurance or speed. Back in high school football I was one of the slowest runners on the offensive line. When in the military, & while on the prison CERT team I ALWAYS finished each run close to last. Without fail.

But once I did my 1st triathlon I knew I found my niche & passion. I also knew because of my lack of natural ability to be fast or have endurance I'd never be any good if I trained like everyone else. I had to learn the way my body worked & how to get the most from each & every training session. How to make my body recover faster, to learn about sports nutrition- figuring out the diet part of triathlon was a LONG HARD process filled with MUCH trial & error:'(. I've done my best to not just live an athletic lifestyle, but to become a student & practitioner of triathlon.

Injuries was never something I had to learn about, so right about now I'm feeling a little unsure of how to move on with my training. How long do I rest? Do I keep biking & swimming as planned or allow the quad complete recovery? When do I start running again? How quickly do I progress? I have a lot of unanswered questions with this pulled quad.

My next A race, the Patriot triathlon is in 3 weeks but isn't all that important of a race to me, so I'd rather be safe than sorry & make sure I'm able to race the Silverman half Iron in November.

Any suggestions & prayers would be greatly appreciated!

As always, thanks peeps. I'm always very grateful for your support & interest.

August 12, 2010

Taper time:-(

I love racing in sprint triathlons. I love training for them even more! I love the interval training, going hard, pushing myself to my limits! I love that I can race more frequently. I love that the shorter the race the more competitive I am.

A training program for half to full Irons last 6 months to a year. A great training program for a sprint only takes 3 months, so I can show up to more races in peak form. More great racing equals more fun! The only bad thing about sprints is I end up having to taper every 3 months!

I've started my taper for the Patriot triathlon. I'm always amazed how bad it sucks to get through a taper phase. Even though I've raised my calories to a weight maintenance level to ensure I'm fully fueled for the race, I'm ravenous all the time & having cravings for high calorie & odd foods. I've been cranky & hypersensitive. I'm having odd aches & pains pop up that weren't there before, my throat is sore. One minute all I want to do is go out and train hard & long, the next I'm laying in bed too tired to get up hours after my alarm has gone off. Tapering for a race sucks, it's a good thing having a break through race is so rewarding otherwise I'd be tempted to train hard all year.

August 10, 2010

My next A race

I'm getting pretty excited, my A race is coming up in a month. It's the Patriot triathlon in Rio Rancho on September 12th. I chose this race to be my late season A race because it is a hilly course & I'm REALLY HORRIBLE at hill climbing. I don't expect to have a high placing overall, perhaps not even in my AG because it is a hilly course, & like I've said, I struggle badly with anything larger than a speed bump. But I do think this race will be my best performance ever as far as hilly races go.

I think taking this time to become better at hills will make me a better triathlete next year, which is important because there are a few 30-34 AG's that are aging up to my division next season. One guy in particular I've been watching who will be aging up into my division is a fellow NM Outlaw named David Liotta. He & I first raced against each other at the Jingle Bell triathlon. He ran like a gazelle! I almost ruined my entire race trying to keep up with him on the run. I ended up able to pass him on the bike, & hold him off on the swim to finish slightly in front of him. Since the Jingle Bell we've showed up & raced at the same race 3-4 times & he's beaten me soundly at each one. He will be a huge challenge for me to compete with. I'm very excited to have someone of his ability & talent to race against. Him being in my division will be a huge motivator!

Now that I'm a month away from my A race I've switched to a maintenance diet. I had been attempting to lose half a pound to 1 pound a week. I'm now going to try & just maintain my weight so that I can show up fully recovered & fueled at the Patriot & throw a smack down for the 1st time on a hilly course!

Weight maintenance. That is the one area of endurance athletics I've failed at time after time after time! I've lost weight before & done great in a race or two because of it, but after the race I always ended up gaining the weight back. This January was the 3rd time I had dropped below 200 pounds, but this year is the 1st time I've ever been able to keep below 200 for longer than a month. Since January I've been gradually losing more weight, I'm now down to 187. Although this year I've been successful at staying below 200, I wasn't trying to maintain, I've been trying to lose more. I'm hoping the knowledge I've learned & applied to slowly drop the weight this year & not gain it back can now also be used to maintain. I'll keep my fingers crossed & I'll keep you informed. If there is any changes, or no changes at all I'll let you peeps know.

August 03, 2010

The proof is in the pudding

Today I did a time trial for training. I completed the time trial in 1 hour 4 minutes. My previous best time on the same course was 1 hour 16 minutes. That's a %17 increase in speed in 7 months. The difference between my biking & running speeds last year compared to this year is shocking! I've put on more speed in the last 7 months than I did the ENTIRE 5 years before that. What is so amazing to me is how little my training has changed in the last 6 years. Ok, the first 4 years I trained, I trained for long distance races, so the point could be made that the first 4 years of my training was long & slow training, & now that I'm training for the shorter distances I've gotten faster. But that doesn't explain why I got many many times faster in the last 8 months of sprint training than I did the 16 months of sprint training before that. I am going to tell you my secrets. There aren't many, & they aren't complicated.

January of this year I started a strength training routine. That has made HUGE differences in my speed. Before this year I thought as the traditional cyclist did: strength training is bad, it'll make me gain weight, make my legs feel sluggish & unable to move as fast, thus slowing me down. I was dead wrong!!! I do a relatively hard day of strength training for the legs & core one day a week, & 2 more moderate days of lifting on whatever muscle groups are my weak point.

The only other thing I'm doing this year that is different from other years is I am paying ABSOLUTE & STRICT ATTENTION to my post workout recovery aids. Those are:
-taking 32 grams of protein, 2 cups chocolate milk, vitamin E, vitamin C, multi-vitamin, & glutamine after every workout, before I go to bed, & 1st thing when I wake up (the chocolate milk is only eaten after workouts, not before bed or when I wake up).
-do my speed work on a treadmill. It forces the body to run at a faster speed than I could on track, and the body gets used to running fast, and then replicates it in races.
-ice bath after any speed day
-forcing myself to get more sleep. More sleep has helped both my speed & my metabolism. I've gotten faster, & even more importantly, I've lost a ton of fat from my body. 32 pounds of body fat to be exact.

That's it. That is every secret I have ever learned.

August 02, 2010

Chocolate milk, ice baths, and sleep, the best post workout combo!


This week I'm in annual training for work. My favorite day of annual training is Mondays because we shoot AR-15's & shotguns half the day, & go to the gym and have "mandatory workout time " at the end of the day. I always enjoy my mandatory workout day because I get to do the workout I would have done on my own at work while getting paid. By the time I get home from work my day of physical training is done & I can have the rest of the night with my family!

Today while at the gym I ran half mile sprints. 2 months ago I increased the distance of my sprints from quarter miles to half miles. The 1st month of half mile sprint training I did the way I have always done them: I went to the track, ran a half mile, then walked a quarter mile for recovery, repeat.

This month I decided to try something one of the fastest triathletes I've raced with, Davis Fairbanks, suggested. He told me to do my sprint training on the treadmill. The reasoning being when I'm used to running a half mile sprint at a 3:45 pace on a track I could get on a tread mill & force myself to run at a 3:30 min half mile. Apparently this new treadmill strategy works MIRACLES!!! At the end of June I was running on the track at a 3:45 half mile, and could push myself to a 3:30 half on the treadmill. Today I tried a 3:10 pace, & it was easy. On my next interval I tried a 3:05 pace, harder, but I wasn't hurting like I'm used to. I ran my last 3 half mile repeats at a 2:54 pace! That's a faster pace than I used to be able to run my quarter mile repeats! I was only scheduled for 5 half mile repeats. I was so excited I did 6. If I was smart & was thinking about the rest of my weeks training I would have stopped there, but I was PUMPED UP I decided to see what pace I could run quarter mile sprints at too. I ran 3 quarter mile sprints at a 1:22 pace!! That's a 5:28 one mile pace!!! The good news is I'm building a heck of a fast engine in this antique body. The bad news is I trashed my legs today & may have pushed myself so hard I may be so fatigued I may be unable to push myself as hard as I should on tomorrow's bike interval workout.

To ensure I recover enough to have a good workout tomorrow I'm doing a couple tried & true fast recovery techniques.

1) 24 ounces of the worlds most perfect post workout drink: chocolate milk! Seriously, it's been proven. I posted awhile back some of the articles I'd found on this subject.
http://cody-the-clydsdale.blogspot.com/2008/08/perfect-post-workout-recovery-drink.html

2) The other miracle recovery technique is to rotate soaking 10 minutes in an ice bath as cold as I can get it, then 10 minutes in a hot bath as hot as I can stand. I usually continue to rotate 10 minutes of each until the ice water is no longer uncomfortably cold & the hot water is no longer uncomfortable hot. Tonight I got in 4 ten minute soaks in each one.

I don't soak in ice/hot baths very often because it makes my wife mad. I completely understand why it makes her mad: 1st I take all the ice we have in the house and dump it in a tub filled with nothing but cold water on one side of the house. Then I use ALL of the hot water in the water heater to fill up the bath tub on the other side of the house. Then I end up running butt naked through the house soaking wet between the 2 tubs that are on opposite sides of the house for an hour and a half soaking the floor, carpets, and everything else in the process. I try not to do this to our house-er- to my wife rather very often. Here's an article on ice baths:
http://www.google.com/gwt/x?q=ice+bath+recovery&ei=KGZXTNDWEs3_tgfzmJGlAw&ved=0CAoQFjAB&hl=en&source=m&rd=1&u=http://runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID%3D8731

3) the third miracle recovery technique I'll be utilizing is making sure I get enough sleep tonight. Depending on how tired I am I'm going to try & get 7-9 hrs tonight.

Hopefully I'll recover well enough today that I can be equally successful at tomorrows bike interval workout.

July 29, 2010

THE GOOD, THE BAD, & THE UGLY of pepper spray.

We've been having problems with bears in NM recently, & I had a buddy ask about pepper spray. Although it wasn't triathlon related I felt it was good info & thought I'd share with my blooger peeps.

THE GOOD, THE BAD, & THE UGLY of pepper spray.

good news, the public can carry it legally.

Beware, cans have been known to heat up & explode if left in cars. Once that happens you will NEVER be able to to get into your car without being contaminated. No amount of vacuuming will ever make it go away. EVER!!! (I didn't do this particular one. All the other warnings contained in this report, both Cindy & I experienced first hand. I don't know why she's still with me!)

There are thousands of places you can buy mace over the net. Just google pepper spray. Most of the companies are owned by 2 or 3 larger companies & all the smaller companies owned by the big 3 share patents, so don't worry to much about which one to buy. Essentially you get what you pay for. The more expensive ones are worth it, the less expensive ones are dangerous &/or won't work as well as they claim. The smaller companies being owned by bigger companies is a lot like SRAM owning & sharing patents with Zipp. Same thing.

The types of pepper sprays are OC, CN, & CS. There are also combinations of them such as OC/CS, CN/CS, etc. Don't worry about that. What matters is the SHU, more on that later.

They have different delivery systems: sprays, foams, gels, & fog.

Fog is designed to distribute a large quantity of mace over a widespread area. Fog delivery products primarily affect the respiratory system. Fog can be deployed to a large area. You don't have to score a direct hit to target. The good thing is it can be used effectively when running, when scared & unable to think, much less aim! It can be used effectively against multiple targets, hit entire rooms or groups of people-er- I mean dogs. The bad about the fog is it hits EVERYTHING! If you use it inside a home or car everyone & everything will get hit, & it'll float around a long time. Anytime anything moves it'll lift off & float around some more contaminating everything & everyone!

sprays, gels, & stream are designed for target-specific long-range deployments, with a minimal likelihood of cross- contamination. Their primary physical effect is on vision. Unlike fog, if you miss the target, it won't work on them!

Foams are easier to decontaminate from.

Buy one that has a dye. That way it's easy to point out which person, dog, or bear tried to harass you. It's harder to hide in plain sight when your bright pink or purple.

They will try & make one product sound more potent than others by saying it has a higher % of OC. The % of it doesn't matter. You measure how potent it is by it's scovile rating. The scovil rating measures the heat units. You will see it advertised as SHU (scovile heat units). The higher the number, the more potent it is!! 5,000-50,000 is what was used for years & it is entirely effective! No one will continue to try & do anything but cry & cough if they are hit with 5,000-50,000. 500,000 burns really bad!! Really really bad! They are now making stuff available to the public measuring as high as 2 million SHU. The 2 million & I are good buddies.

If you can find a place that sells prison or law enforcement grade, you could find it as high as 5 million!

The 2 million stuff is so potent that if you get hit you should only wash your clothes at a public laundry facility, the clothes washed the next couple times in that washing machine will burn you. when you dry the clothes hit w/ the 2 million stuff in the drier, the pepper spray will become airborne & the entire room will be hit.

If you wash & dry the clothes you were wearing with other clothes, the other clothes will be contaminated & they will burn you when next worn. If you love your spouse, don't wash or dry the contaminated stuff with your spouses clothes, especially their under clothes (sorry Cindy).

If you get sprayed, even an indirect contamination, & then you kiss a loved one hours later, even after showering, the area you kissed on them will burn...badly.

If you get contaminated, wash your self from the top down. & wash hanging upside down, or the water contaminated by the spray will move downwards, & you WILL CRY & WHEEP HYSTERICALLY!

Try & buy the OC that DOES NOT use alcohol as a propellant. If something gets hit by alcohol propelled mace & then gets near a heat source they will turn into a human torch. Ya, not that funny.

You can build up somewhat of an immunity to OC if frequently exposed.

OC is made from an oriental pepper plant & is edible.

If you have any other questions feel free to ask. OC & I have had a very close love/hate relationship for many years.

You know how every person has a few bad habits that their spouse just can't break them of? Well, if you ever hear me call Cindy "hot lips", it's because anytime I get exposed to OC I go home & kiss Cindy 1st thing through the door. (cue evil laugh). No matter how many times I've done this, & no matter how much trouble I get into I can't stop!!! It's gotten to the point that Cindy won't kiss me until she asks how my day went first.

Enjoy, & remember it's better when shared;-)

Have u kissed your local correctional officer lately? haha!

July 26, 2010

Raising my saddle height & eating cactus

Last week I rode my bike wearing cycling shorts. Normally I ride using a pair of triathlon shorts. The difference is the cycling shorts have a pad built into them for comfort, the tri shorts don't. I rode much better that day wearing the cycling shorts. Later that week I rode each way to see if it was really the shorts that made the difference, or if I just felt better on the day I 1st wore the cycling shorts. & each time I rode in the cycling shorts I rode faster at the same hear rate.

I felt the only real difference could be that the pad was lifting me up a bit higher, & the added height made me ride with more power & efficiency. I adjusted my saddle height, & I rode my favorite course at the same HR I normally do at half a mph faster!!! Amazing that raising the saddle height just 1/8 of an inch can make such a big difference!

Tonight I steamed veggies for dinner. I threw in as many vegetables that I have never ate, or hadn't ate in a long time. I've heard the more varied a persons diet is the healthier they are & the less likely they are to have any vitamin deficiencies.
I added broccoli, yellow squash, 1 jalapeno, 2 garlic cloves, yams, a large turnip, celery, & a prickly pear leaf. Yup, a prickly pear cactus leaf. Turns out they are very nutritious. Here's what I pulled off the net about them:

Nopales is the Spanish name for Prickly Pear Cactus pads. Prickly Pear Cactus are members of the Opuntia genus, and produce both nopales, a vegetable, and tuna, a fruit.

Native Americans used Nopales to poultice bruises and dress wounds. They also boiled and crushed the pads, then added the sticky juice to mortar or whitewash to increase adhesiveness.

Nopales have been more popular as a food source in Mexico for hundreds of years. Recently, they have gained increasing popularity in the United States as well.

As a vegetable, Nopales can be used in salads, casseroles, soups, grilled and prepared in a variety of other ways. Nopales are somewhat tart and have a green bean- or asparagus -like flavor.

Nopales are often compared to Okra, because of the sticky substance they release when cooked. This should be rinsed off before serving or before further preparation as an ingredient.

Nopales can be purchased year-round in Mexican markets and some grocery stores in the U.S. They can also easily be harvested from your own Prickly Pear Cactus growing on your property.


Nutritional Facts
Serving Size 1 cup raw (142g)
Calories 60 Calories from Fat 10
Amount Per Serving % daily value
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 5mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars NA
Protein 1g
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 32%
Calcium 8%
Iron 2%
Here's a link that has the nutrients, how to prepare & cook it. Seems to be some really Delicious recipes.

http://www.desertusa.com/magdec97/eating/nopales.html

July 21, 2010

A dream ride!

Now that I'm getting lighter & am a better climber on the bike I'm finding all sorts of things I'd like to do. I doubt I'd have the money to take a trip to Colorado in August, but if my family & I could whip up the cash I'd sure love to do this event! Hmm, if we camped out this might be doable.

http://www.bluerivercentury.com/

July 20, 2010

unm test results

Today I got tested at the UNM physiology lab. I weighed 189.1 pounds. My body fat was 9.8%. Since Jan I lost 20 pounds of fat and gained 1.4 pounds of muscle.

On the bike I was able to push 429 watts giving me a power to weight ratio of 2.25 watts per pound of body weight. Last Jan I was tested at 410 watts at 208 pounds giving me a power to weight ratio of 1.98 watts per pound.

Apparently my training program is good & my body is responding great. I'm going to test again in a month to see how my body responds to my further weight loss while training hard! I'll post the results when I test!

July 19, 2010

half mile track intervals

Today was the 1st day of my current training plan that I increased my track intervals to half mile repeats. I LOVE half mile repeats. I find that since I'm doing less intervals than I was when sprinting 400 or 600's I'm able to stay more focused & push myself harder on each set. I really scraped the bottom today.

Usually when I increase my interval distances, my 1st workout performance of the new distance isn't great, I get fatigued quickly & struggle keeping the speed/intensity up the entire distance & for as many sprints as I'm needing to do. Today was the exception of the rule because I tore up the track today!!! I felt great & performed great!

Tomorrow I go to the UNM physiology lab to get my body fat & power to weight ratio tested. I'll let you know how the tests go.

I'd like to know what kind of voo-doo Sweat Caps put on thier products to make me lose so many of them! Where could all of them keep going? I love using them, & I must have dozens of those things lost all over my house.

July 18, 2010

Have we moved our rock?

For us to remove God in even one aspect of our life is removing God from His throne & putting ourselves on His throne. Those who live with out God's laws & influence in their lives are foolish.

Proverbs 2:28 says: to move an ancient boundary stone is to invite the curse of God.

This verse is talking about God's laws. Long ago peoples property was marked by boundary stones. The law was VERY clear to never move a boundary stone! When people were stealing land long ago they would move the stone by as little as half an inch a year. You may think, "half an inch a year, what's the point?".

Well, it may not mean much in the short term, but what would moving a boundary stone even a very small amount year after year mean for your children, or their children, or generations to come? Eventually it makes a huge impact in your life & the lives of others.

We have removed God's laws & influence from our society today little by little. We should not be willing to push away ANY of God's boundaries in our lives. Anything not built on the mighty rock of God will not stand! Have we moved our rock?

July 17, 2010

Racing like a rookie at the 2010 Santa Fe triathlon & it's race report

Today I had decent times, made a few rookie mistakes, & was blessed by God.


It was a run 1st, & my goal was to keep up with triathlete extrordinair Jamie Despenza... I failed. Dang he's fast! But the effort I put into trying to hang with him had me finish the 5K run in 22 minutes & change. Rookie mistake #1 of the day, I realized half way through the run I didn't have a good pre-race BM, yes, you read that right, & yes I'm putting this up on my blog. I post all my good & bad racing & training here. Perhaps someone else can learn from my mistakes, or have a good laugh.

I hopped on the bike feeling pretty good about my performance so far. I did a flying squirrel mount, clipped in, & tried peddling. My bike was was still in the biggest gear, I almost fell as I was trying to peddle & down shift! That was rookie mistake #2.

I had a good bike ride considering I'm a horrid hill climber & this course had a lot of long energy sapping hills. I finished the 20K bike in 40 minutes, knocking off 2 minutes from last years time. I did a pretty decent rolling dismount going into T-2. 3 steps into T-2 my rear tire popped. & that's where God was so gracious to me today, flatting just a few minutes earlier would have ruined my race! Thank you Lord!!!

Rookie mistake #3, I ran into the wrong bike rack lane. After I finally found where to rack my bike I ran to the pool through the longest transition area I've ever seen! It was as big as IMAZ's transition area!

Rookie mistake #4 was I tried diving into the pool with my goggles on. Apparently this is something a person needs to practice because my goggles were down around my lips when I resurfaced. After readjusting my goggles to protect my eyes rather than my tonsils I started swimming....hard! There was a triathlete 3 body lengths in front of me who was a better swimmer than I , & I've been getting pretty good at catching peoples slip stream & drafting off of them. I was able to catch him, it just about killed me, but I caught him. I was able to draft off him the entire swim, on the last 50 meters I tried passing him, once I got even with him I ran out of gas so I tried drifting into his lane & doing a little bump & grind. A little physical contact while swimming usually freaks people out enough that they slow down. Not this guy, without missing a stroke he thew a well placed elbow to my face. Wow, this guy was strong & poised. I was impressed. He not only pulled me along the entire 400 meters, but he also was a good full contact swimmer. We both hopped out of the pool & sprinted to the finish, he beat me by half a foot. While they were taking off our chips I saw on his leg that he was 61 years old. Wow again! I was schooled by a member of AARP!

A prayer said by a friend

Kris, a friend of mine sent a prayer to me last night via Face Book. He is only 16 years old, but his spiritual maturity is amazing. He was registered for the Santa Fe triathlon, and last night he found out at the last minute he wasn't going to be able to race. He was upset, but accepted it like a champ. I was touched. Here is what he wrote,
"God,
Do be with Mr Hanson. Help him with his bike, and allow this to be something you use with his heart. Draw Him to yourself through this. Let the Athlete part of this lifestyle not come before the training in ones spiritual heart, as I have been learning. God, please, He has done so much for me in helping me, and encouraging me. I wouldn't be an athlete without his help, through you. So, Lord? If you would will it, let his bike work just fine tomorrow. Let his strength be like that of Sampson. He didn't become a great athlete just working out, He was strong by your spirit. Give Mr Hanson that heart, too.
Thank you for not letting me do the race. Let Mr Hanson and I be able to do another one. Thank you!
In your name, Amen."

July 16, 2010

AN EXPLANATION OF POWER TO WEIGHT RATIO & IT'S APPLICATION TO TRIATHLON

It is safe to say that one of the biggest buzz words in triathlon today is POWER. One of the more common ways of utilizing an athletes power data is in determining their power to weight ratio (P/W) during efforts, particularly climbing.

I've been studying this theory a lot the last couple months because I've been dropping a lot of weight, while also trying to gain power. I thought I'd share what I've learned.

So, what is the Power-To-Weight Ratio (P/W)?

Power to weight ratio is a fraction based on 2 variables: POWER (measured in Watts) & Weight (measured in pounds). The reason in determining & tracking ones power to weight ratio is to maximize its value to a specific task i.e.. running & cycling; not quite as much in swimming because of the buoyancy of the water.

Theoretically, a triathlete with a higher power to weight ratio will ride faster & climb hills better compared to a person with a lower Power to weight ration. Similar advantages apply to running. Some research has found that a runner can gain %1 in running speed for every %1 reduction in body fat.

For most triathletes one of the most simple & cost effective ways to get faster is to explore ways to increase your power to weight ratio.

The power-to-weight ratio is the power a person generates, divided by their body weight. Here's why this is important: Success in the sport of triathlon relates to one's ability to generate the greatest force & aerobic power, in the most economical manner, to overcome the drag or resistance of water, wind, or terrain.

You improve you power to weight ratio by becoming lighter & maintaining or increasing muscular strength. Being "lean & mean" is all about your power to weight ratio.

Utilization of a riders power to weight ratio is most commonly found when assessing their climbing ability. Let us assume there are 2 triathletes cycling who are of equivalent abilities with identical bikes, & components. Both cyclists will be climbing the same hill side by side at exactly the same time, the same day, under exactly the same conditions.

Rider 1 weighs in at 200 pounds & has an average sustainable power on the climb of 450 watts. Rider 2 weighs 150 pounds & has an average sustainable power on the same climb of 380 watts. If you were to base your opinion of each cyclists climbing ability solely on their power, you would believe that rider 1 would be able to beat rider 2 to the top. Granted, rider 1's sustainable power is 70 watts GREATER than rider 2's. (%15); however, power is not the only variable that counts for dragging themselves up a climb. TOTAL weight (body, bike frame, components, wheels, etc) also plays a role.

When we account for each rider, their weight in addition to their climbing power, we find that the power to weight ratio of each is:
Rider 1=2.25 watts/LB
Rider 2=2.53 watts/lb.
So rider 2 will get to the top of the climb first, even though rider 1 can generate %15 more power.

It would be hard to get rider 1 to lose the 10+ pounds needed to increase his power to weight ratio to that of rider 2 without losing power, and losing power would completely negate the reason to lose the 10+ pounds! What I & many more experienced athletes than I have found is that starving ourselves to attain our ideal triathlon weight can be counter productive. Although we might lose weight, figuring out where the weight loss occurred is the real question. If I am losing LEAN MUSCLE MASS, I am lowering my power output by cannibalizing the muscle that is generating my POWER!

Truth be told, well trained athletes have far more control over gaining power than they do lowering their body weight. By focusing my energy through training to maximize POWER, which increases lean muscle mass & can decrease overall body weight, both power & weight are optimized.

IMPROVING MY POWER TO WEIGHT RATIO:

Here are a couple workouts that can be implemented into a triathletes training plan to help improve their power output, & with improved power comes improved speed & climbing.

1) Big gear training. These "on the bike" big gear intervals. Can be done on the road with a gradual climb or on the indoor trainer. You will push the big gears so that your average cadence is between 50-60 rpm, staying seated & concentrating on a smooth circular pedal stroke throughout the set. Intervals should last between 5-10 minutes, with recovery being half the interval time.

You can actually do big gear training for the run too. I learned this little trick from Barbara ("Barb") Metz Lindquist while at the USAT coaching seminar in 2006. Tie an old mountain bike tube around your hips/waist, tie a rope to the tube, and then tie the rope around an old car or truck tire. Then run & pull the tire while leaning forward at the ankles. The pressure of the tire pulling backwards on your hips will force you to pull your hips forward, which is proper run form, while also giving you the same benefits of big gear training for the run. A few hints for this run specific exercise,
A)keep your foot cadence high. Don't make your foot rpm's slower like you would if you were cycling.
B)DO NOT LEAN forward at the hips! That is poor running form! Practice leaning forward at the ankles & pulling your hips forward & lightly up as if you are stopping at the end of a pelvic thrust.
C)lower the duration of the intervals by half of what your doing for the bike.

2) Climbing. These are the crème-del-a-crem for triathletes looking to improve their P/W. These should be performed on long gradual climbs at cadence between 75-85 rpm. Stay seated. Recovery should last the time of the climb. Try & get your heart rate to 85-90% of your max effort, also called zone 5 if training by lactate threshold.

Again, you can do hill climbing for the run also, just make sure to lean forward at the ankles, & not the hips.

3) Weight lifting & core work. I'm going to go into more detail about weight lifting because weight lifting has received a bad rap by a lot of endurance triathletes, cyclists, & runners. Weight lifting increases muscle power in 2 ways: the more muscle you have the less effort it takes to produce a given power, & strength training trains your muscles to reproduce energy quickly so they don't tire as fast & can recover from short bouts of high intensity movements, like climbing or passing another triathlete. Energy production is achieved deep down in the muscle fibers, where the stores of glycogen, enzymes that increase the speed of muscular contraction, & stored creatine phosphocreatine are all increased because of strength training.
Increasing muscular strength increases muscular endurance. When you have more muscle to draw on it takes longer to wear out. I.E., if you find that you sometimes reach muscular fatigue before you reach cardiovascular fatigue, then you should increase your muscular strength so that you can have more in reserve. Endurance training decreases cardiovascular fatigue; strength training increases muscular endurance, which in turn decreases muscular fatigue.

From what I have researched, the optimal body fat % for triathletes is %4-10 for men, %10-15 for women. If your body is way out of these ranges you have the greatest opportunity for improvement.

If your going to try & drop body weight to increase you power to weight ratio:

-lose the weight slowly, eat small frequent meals, & avoid low protein, low fat, or low carb diets. Moderation is the key.

-Get your body composition checked every 4-8 weeks. If your losing lean mass you need to adjust your diet The most common way to get your body composition tested is the caliper measurement method. For this you must have the same person check you for consistent measurements. Accuracy (hence consistency) is based on the experience/skill of the tester, & measurements taken in the exact same location. A good tester will have the ability to compensate for various skin thickness & pliability. A good option for most triathletes is to find an experienced tester that uses calipers.

Water weighing measurement method, which is the dunk tank. This method tends to be the standard that all other measurement tools are compared to.

It's going to take time to make changes to your body composition; be patient. Some triathletes seek guidance from a sport dietitian for determining how much you should lose while maintaining energy levels to train well. A professional can provide some insight on how much weight you can realistically lose to assist you in reaching your goals.

Decreasing your body fat while maintaining lean mass, and the energy to carry out triathlon training, will take some planning. Most feel that decreasing your calories by 200-300 per day is a conservative, but smart, approach to fat reduction.

Remember that the quality of food matters. A serious triathlete will meet daily carbohydrate needs
with a variety of nutrient-rich foods. Avoid more processed foods. Protein should come from low saturated fat meats or plant sources such as soy beans or other legumes. Healthy fats from olive oil, flaxseed, nuts and avocados are a few good options. Avoid high sugar/calorie beverages (fruit juice blends, sodas, sports drinks) at and between meals. Go with low-calorie beverages to meet your hydration needs. Reserve the sports drinks and bars for use during training.

I have found I get MUCH BETTER results at building strength & losing fat when I take a protein supplement, multi vitamin, vitamin E, vitamin C, fish oil, & glutamine immediately before bed, as soon as I wake up, & immediately after workouts. Prevents your body from cannibalizing it's muscle stores.