(Edited by Brad Minus) The Decision My 3 years of running experience started with multiple injuries including a couple of ankle fractures. However, I still managed to complete a marathon, a 50K and...
I have come to the realization that even I, as the epitome of the positive mental attitude, still hear those negative voices in my head. For all the conversations I have with clients, friends and other athletes about going out and just having fun, I still have grand notions of finishing races with a PR(personal record) and while working out this week those goals seem daunting.
I had three Lactic Threshold tests I had to complete this week; one each for swimming, biking and running. While just doing these tests I felt like I was really out of shape, and truth be told, I did take an off season for the last couple of months, at least by triathlete standards. I did complete at least 5 hour long workouts a week with a half-marathon and a 10k thrown in there, and, oh yeah Ragnar, but I wasn’t in “training” mode per say. This week I started back “in training” and my goals seem so far off and this is only my third day.
Monday, I completed my Bike and Run LT tests which consisted both of a 10 minute warm up, followed by 40 minutes of the event at a pace that burned my legs and put me into a feeling of oxygen deprivation but not so much that I couldn’t complete the full 40 minute main set which was then followed by a 10 minute cool down. My running LT is 173 and my biking LT is 165. I looked into my future workouts they are noted with requirements that include the LT. For instance: Bike 12×1 minute climbs at LT+10, meaning I should be climbing and my heart rate should be 175. Sounds like fun doesn’t it? I know my body will acclimate, hopefully I won’t make a mess before it does.
Tuesday, I completed my first bike workout and strength workout. The bike was 8-12×1 minute climbs in the saddle at a RPM of 50-60. Now my normal riding RPM is 85-95, so you can imagine the resistance that had to be on the bike. I ended up doing it on the spin bikes at LA Fitness, because, well, there are no hills in my general vicinity which is Tampa, Florida. Nothing but flatland here. I have to travel 45 miles north to San Antonio to get any resemblance of some hills, and during the week, that just is not happening. Why? I have a responsibility to this activity called “work”. I wish I could sit here, blog and comment all day, but unfortunately I cannot. I blog in between meetings, lunch and then edit when I can. This workout while being fun, was what I would call, THE QUAD KILLER. It was brutal.
Unfortunately, I was late getting to the gym so I was not able to get my strength workout in, so I showered, drove to work and then returned that evening. Luckily, I always have an extra set of workout clothes in the car. (I think I got that from Ben Mena. He is notorious for spontaneously telling his girlfriend to just drop him off 10-15 miles from home and after changing into a spare set of shorts and shoes he runs home.)
I haven’t worked out with weights in a while, and I know from my studies of the anatomical makeup of muscles and the neurological systems of the body that there is a “breaking in” period no matter how much experience you have lifting. In order to activate the pleasure center of my brain instead of the pain center, I had to drop the weight down and do the exercises concentrating on good form. It was a circuit of 5 supersets and it was not easy, no sir, not easy at all. Deadlifts, pull-ups, squat to overhead thrusts, medicine ball wood choppers, side planks, cable twists and more. I felt beat to death afterwards. Of course, I understand my body enough that I had to stretch very well afterwards or my back would be yelling at me later.
I also learned why I really enjoy working out in the morning. It was extremely busy at the new South Tampa LAF last night. I barely got a parking space, and I ended up having to do most of the movements in a tiny little space, while other members were just waiting to pounce. It was at that point I read myself the riot act and vowed that no matter how much I had to do during the week, I would just wake up early to finish all of my workouts in the mornings.
That vow started this morning as I was up at 4:30 and ready to leave at 5 even though my first workout was track at UT which didn’t start until 6. That workout was brutal as well; 800-400×3-1mile-400×3, at least this week I didn’t falter until the last 400 and only by a couple of seconds. As soon as I finished and cooled down I headed to LAF to do my swim T-test. Basically this is 1000 meters swam as if I was in a race and then the average time of a 100 meters is considered my T-Pace for workouts. Future workouts for example included “4×100 at T-pace – 10 seconds”. I have been working really hard on my body position in the water, but I am still really slow. (Notice I am not mentioning what my T-Pace actually is.) With a pull buoy or fins, I can go forever at 1:50 min per 100m, but without I am…well…a little slower.
After going through all of this, I guess I feel like I should. There is a long journey ahead. I might as well enjoy it.
My intention for re-starting this blog was to write more often, but the more I want to write, the more I find I have less to write about. I have been reading a lot of blogs lately. I enjoy reading them when I have the time, the only problem I am having is I am having way too many “A-HA” moments. I read a great post and think to myself, “I should have written about that”, or “that was a great idea”, or the famous “I was going to write about that too.” The issue I am having is being original and unique. What does this mean exactly (as you may be scratching your head going, ok Goof, get on with it already)? It means I have two choices. As I peruse the new group I have been welcomed into, The Tampa Bay Bloggers, I notice two distinct kinds of blogs, the knowledge based, and the journal. While both can provide very interesting information, I find that the latter can become a little monotonous. Now for me, it doesn’t matter because I know, or am getting to know, most of the journal type bloggers and I enjoy reading those, but if I wasn’t associated with them, would I really want to read them? I am not quite sure.
My struggle is that I want my posts to be creatively amusing while being interesting in a way where one of three things comes out of each post for each reader. 1) You laugh (or at least smile), 2) learn something, or at least remember that you learned it, or 3) you are emotional moved to some sort of action. I don’t care if you end up being incredibly angry or even angry at me, if you are moved in some way I think I may have accomplished my goal. Now is this too much to ask?
|Susan & friend at WHM 2012|
Regressing back to the title of this blog “Catching back up with the Goof”, let me give you the latest chronological items.
I was ecstatic to see my friends run the Women’s Half Marathon the weekend before Thanksgiving. I had the opportunity to go out and cheer once again for a certain group of running and tri peeps and then being surprised to find even more women I knew that were running. Kudos go out to Kat from Sneakers n’ Fingerpaints, Beka from Rebecca Roams, Anderson, Sarah, Jessica from Jet City Espresso, Elisa, Caitlin from Live, Sweat, Sleep, Repeat, Susan, and all the others out there I am probably missing. It was a race that was a pleasure to watch and not just because there were a lot of fit and hot looking women in spandex(get your mind out of the gutter), but because the energy was higher than really a ton of races I have been a part of. Maybe there is something to this “Girl Power” thing. Can we harness it as a natural resource? Can we use it in our cars? (Hey – get your mind out of the gutter I said.)
|At least my sister, Millie was happy
to see me. I think.
Thanksgiving was very uneventful. Thursday I worked out and hung out by myself for a while and then had dinner at Amy & Erik Eck’s home (my friend and coach). I had the honor of hanging with a lot of great people to include the little new Godsend, Bennett Erik Eck whom is now just a couple of weeks old. He is getting to be pretty adorable, if I do say so myself, and I am not being biased because I happened to (almost) be there at his birth. That may be a whole other post I may need to write. (Note to self – see paragraph 1.) There was plenty of delicious Paleo based food and a few dishes that were not so much, but everything was amazing. After a long walk to help the digestion process I headed home and to bed due to my departure from Tampa Bay International Airport on the 6am flight to Chicago and my family’s belated Thanksgiving. Needless to say Friday, family came over, there was conversation, there was food, there was more conversation, everyone went home, and I went to sleep. The End.
Sunday, I was privileged to hang out at Moretti’s Pizza & Italian Restaurant with a very good friend from my high school years whom my influence had/has steadily increased his appetite for triathlon(patting myself on the back). We have been continuing to keep in touch through email, phone and text, sharing information on races, plans and techniques. He started swimming last year at this time right after the Chicago Marathon and last March/April timeframe competed in his first indoor sprint triathlon, followed by a couple more and finishing with his first Olympic in September. Needless to say I was pretty proud of Big Guy last year. Yes, his nick name was, and still is “Big Guy”. Mine was “Bagelman”…go figure. (Pause for laughter) Anyway, it was great to hang out eat a little pizza, watch the Bears kick some royal Viking butt and talk triathlon.
That left getting up at 3:30am on Monday for a 6am flight home to be able to put in a full days work. I really didn’t think we had to leave as early as we did, but I was totally 100% wrong. I made to the gate with barely 5 minutes to grab some McDonald’s coffee and ascend the jetway before taking off. Security on Monday was brutal, but the flight was uneventful. Thank you Southwest Airlines.
That is all I have for today. I do have ideas vetted out for future posts and maybe some new developments in my coaching career that are starting to take shape. All that and more to come.
The mailbox provided a gift when I got home today. It will seem pretty cheesy to most people, and by most people I mean almost everyone. Vistaprint offered me a free sample prototype while I was trying to negotiate customized t-shirts for the A-Train. Of course I didn’t need to give them our final design, since I didn’t have one yet, so I gave them something quick, but I thought it was kinda cool. Ready for a laugh? Here ya go.
Every runner/triathlete has there own, personal routines when it comes to pre- and post workout regimens. I think I may have found mine, which I am sure a lot of people will find peculiar, but my discovery has been recent. In my journey to find the perfect post workout recovery regimen I had the opportunity to try the new Starbucks Refreshers.
The summer here in Florida has been typical. Hot and humid, with isolated thunderstorms and the occasional outer band of hurricanes, so scheduled rides and runs usually end in the stifling heat with no regard to how early they start. The completion of a 60 miles ride usually will the leave me feeling exhausted and dehydrated. After the initial recovery of water and recovery drinks and the reduction of my heart rate, I find myself still in the need of a thirst quencher and at that point I have had my fill of gels, recovery drinks and water. I have been searching for something different, which leads us to my review of the new product line of Starbucks Refreshers.
After a brick workout on the Suncoast trail one morning, (a brick is a workout that includes at least two events of the triathlon. In this case a 42 mile bike and a 5 mile run) I had thought I was ready for some coffee. While standing in line I noticed a single sign for refreshers with a tray of samples below it. Of course I had to try it. I grabbed the Very Berry Hibiscus first. Even in this small cup it looked like it would be refreshing. The deep red color caught my eye and the fruity smell made my mouth water. As the icy cold liquid hit my tongue it immediately dropped the temperature of my mouth and sent a fruity flavor to my taste buds. I immediately honed in on the cherry flavor noticing it was not terribly sweet, but was not tart either and while the density was very light, there was a certain thickness to it. Hitting the back of my throat I noticed a secret almost non-existent after taste that more reminded me of Splenda or Stevia. At this point I was thinking to myself that this was more because of the my state of dehydration. It was only fair that I also sample the Cool Lime flavor as well. It felt a lot lighter, with the density of flavors much less noticeable than the Very Berry Hibiscus. At first it did seem to calm my taste buds with a nice citrus flavor, but as it rolled down the back of my mouth and down my esophagus, it left that same thick after taste I dreaded.
Being that I understand that working out as hard as we do tends to alter the chemistry of our taste buds and yearning for different flavors, I did give the refreshers a second try. Prior to another ride a week later I walked into a Starbucks to grab my pre-ride latte, another batch of refreshers were on a tray at the pick-up counter. In my normal state of being, prior to a workout, my taste buds had the same chemistry as I do at rest so this would be the perfect time to try again to make sure my initial opinion would be correct. I was not feeling dehydrated, my pulse was at resting pace, the lasting toothpaste film that normally occurs after brushing had disappeared, so there was nothing that would hinder the full attention of my senses. To make a long story short, nothing changed. That aftertaste I can only attribute to the green coffee ingredient Starbucks had introduced via this new product line, was thick, long lasting and made me very uneasy. I couldn’t wait to have my first taste of the thick explosive flavor of the espresso and milk that made up my latte, in order to give me some relief from this film that encased all the areas of my mouth. The barista at the time, asked me my opinion of the new product and I was honest about them. She then told me by adding some lemonade to either of the flavors seemed to reduce the after taste. Of course in my head my question was as it was obvious I was not the only person who felt this way, why didn’t Starbucks include lemonade as an ingredient in the first place?
I am just one person and this is my opinion. To me, Splenda, and Stevia (and these refreshers) leave an aftertaste that is chemical in nature but these products have now been around for a while so people do enjoy them.
That is my story and I am sticking to it, however, my friend Beth who writes the Discom-BOB-ulated Running blog turned me onto a guilty pleasure that has now been included after those very hot workouts. This explosion of flavor has been around for decades and has enticed children of all ages including those children of adult ages. It cools the core on contact and fills the glycogen stores on contact. It is the perfect completion to a long, hot, difficult ride or run. Let me re-introduce everyone who reads this to……
(Personally, I only really enjoy the Coke Slurpee but I am sure depending on whatever flavor one may call “refreshing”, will do.)