December 24, 2008
December 19, 2008
1. Prepare the Night Before. This means get all your gear together. If you let this go to the morning, which I often do, it cuts into training time. I often break this rule because I'm too tired when I think of doing it the night before. Then I have to scramble in the morning.
2. Factor in Prep Time. If it takes 1 snooze (9 minutes) to get out of bed, 10 minutes to dress and 10 minutes to eat then get up 29 minutes before you need to start the workout. Factor in time for travelling to the workout, for cooling down and for stretching . Of course, I hit the snooze button 3 times, dress & eat in 10 minutes and then cut the workout short by 8 minutes.
3. Stay Disciplined. If I don't follow Rules 1 & 2 then I am not being disciplined. Guess what? I am not as disciplined as I should be. I can get up in the morning but it's never as early as it should be. That's true at least for Monday through Friday. The weekends are no problem. Usually, no problem, that is.
4. Just Do It. Even if you can't get out of bed on time, get out anyway even if you have to short the workout. I find it more mentally rewarding if I run for 35 minutes instead of the 45 minutes planned then if I blow it off entirely. Plus, if I do pass on doing it in the morning, I absolutely have to do it later in the day and then it hangs over my head. And that's worse.
5. Have a Plan. For long distance training, you have to have a plan. You have to know what you are doing the next day, every day and every week. My first two years training for Ironman, I used the Iron Fit plans, which worked great.
December 11, 2008
Rain. Cold. Darkness. And more Rain.
The alarm went off at 5:30. I needed to catch the bus at 7:10. I had a 45 minute run on the schedule. If I jumped out of bed immediately, I would probably have enough time to run, eat something, shower, dress and make the bus by 7:10. That is if I slept in my running clothes.
Well, that didn't happen. Wishful thinking. I did eventually get out of bed at 5:40 and hit the street at 5:50. But I had to shorten my run by 20 minutes.
It was nasty out there. But in the end, the good news was that it wasn't hanging over my head. And tomorrow is another day and another workout.
December 06, 2008
Today's workout was extra special. The temp read 24 degrees F. I didn't quite get the wind chill but I would say it was about 7 to 8 degrees colder. But nonetheless, we chose the outside instead of the Trainer. I had 5 layers on up top and 2 layers plus my bike shorts on the bottom. Double socks with hot packs in the shoes. Double layered gloves including my ski gloves. And full mask for the face. It did warm up 4o minutes into the ride but when the puddles out on the road are frozen, maybe the inside would have been a wiser choice. After 1 1/2 hours at a low spin cadence and 24 miles of accomplishment we were done. The transition to the 20 minute run wasn't bad except for my frozen toes. Can anyone say, California?
December 05, 2008
I am as guilty as the the other person in these conversations. I seem to initiate half of them in that direction. But yet I am turned off sometimes by the selfishness that sometimes comes from being a triathlete. I am talking about the many "me first" middle of the packers that exist out there. Hey, I know sometimes we need to be selfish because of the amount of workouts required for long distance training. Personally, I try to get it all done in the early morning hours before the family wakes and before I need to go to work. I'm really talking about the people who seem to spend endless hours away from the family at training camps, races and whatever else they can get involved in. They need to buy the latest and greatest equipment. (On that one, I'm jealous!!) Not to mention the costs.
I don't know. Maybe I'm way off base. Or maybe I'm just bored and have nothing else to write about.
December 01, 2008
November 30, 2008
November 29, 2008
The starting line seems so far away during these early days. The knees are sore. The right foot-ankle is hurting again. So much, that I've had to cut short 1 run and cancel another. It's been cold and it's dark in the mornings. Already, those voices are creeping in asking why I signed up again. The voices urge me on to look up the cancellation dates for the race and the hotel.
But, so far, I have stared them down. I hit 2 of 3 Strength workouts, 1 of 2 runs, 2 of 2 swims, and 2 of 2 bikes this week. Since this is the first time I have started this early so I feel like I am already ahead of the game.
It is important to get these workouts in so you don't feel inclined to blow them off later. Quit now and what will stop you from quiting later? When it's April and you have a 4 to 5 hour ride followed by a 30 minute run ahead of you, you will think about these early days and how you rose from your bed in 30 degree weather to hit the road for a run or the chilly pool for a swim.
And you will be much better off. I guarantee it.
November 17, 2008
October 29, 2008
October 09, 2008
October 01, 2008
September 21, 2008
September 17, 2008
September 13, 2008
September 12, 2008
There was a building
It was my building
and it was a football field from the south tower
There was a desk
my desk where I sat on a beautiful sunny morning
There was the sound
nothing more than a sonic boom
There were the debris
falling from the sky
sheets of metal and images
too hard to describe
There was a second sound
this one louder and
There was this moment whatever it was
it was real and it was just beginning
There were these stairs
where we were asked to climb down
There was the confusion all around
the images that won't go away
There is this day
a day to remember all those I passed
the day before and the morning of
There is this day
that no one can forget
but all wish we could
There is this day and
I wish there never was.
August 31, 2008
August 16, 2008
Let's add more races, stop the Saturday sign up, cut the entry fee, get rid of Active.com, make it 3 or 4 night minimums at the hotels and make everyone witness the stinky, smelly and wet Men's transition tent at IM LP. Kidding on that last one!
July 28, 2008
What I learned from Francisco is that I need to go through my transition in mind prior to the race and envision what I am going to do. I need to only do what I need to do. Keep it simple. I also need to improve on some of my functions. For instance, one example of this is that I tend to put my race top on in T1. Since my body is wet, it tends to get stuck on my shoulders. The answer to this is to either put it on under the wetsuit or use one that has a full zipper down the front. That way I can just stick my arms in with less friction. It can also be helpful to write down what you are going to do in T1 and then follow through on race day. Don't drift from your designated plan.
If you use visualization before entering T1, I think it can really save you minutes on your overall race time. I am going to practice this in my next race. Whenever that is.
July 24, 2008
July 03, 2008
June 25, 2008
May 12, 2008
May 08, 2008
The hardest part to training is sticking to a schedule. At least for me it is. I can easily lose my focus and discipline. When you commute to work, discipline and organization are absolutely key. There are times when I meant to put my swimming gear in the car in order to hit the Y on the way home but forget. Meeting the guys after work for a ride is great but takes a lot of planning. All the gear should be loaded into the car the night before but do I do that? Of course not. So, I've resorted to what my friends call "being a Ninja." Special Secret Training that when race day comes should propel me to a great finish and have a special advantage over them. It's kind of a cool image but unfortunately, for me, it's not true. Being a Ninja is really about making compromises. My wife lets me ride because I'll be home at 10 instead of 10:30. Or it means I can get a 90 minute ride in instead of one for 60 minutes after work because I'm leaving from my house and not meeting the guys 30 minutes from my home.
But you know the thought of dressing in all black and running after the sun goes down is one I can live with. It's appealing. It makes me mysterious and I like that notion. Of course when race day comes, the truth comes out. I finish where I always finish and I didn't need any secretive training to do it. But for now, its cool to live my training life as a Ninja.
May 06, 2008
April 07, 2008
I visited my Dad this past Saturday and it's getting harder to do so. I drive the 60 miles from my home in Northern New Jersey to Long Island where he is. Even though it's a tough route across the Cross-Bronx Expressway, the Cross-Island and out the LIE. That's not the hard part. The traffic is nasty, at times, but I'd drive 100 miles if I had to. It's not that at all. It's just plain hard to see someone once so strong ride out their life like this. I may not have agreed with all that he has done but he has given me alot. Some of his lessons I have kept but others that I disagreed with, I have thrown out. But in the end, he is my Dad and this has been hard.
He's on the 2nd half of the marathon now and it's tough going. He's stopping at every aid station trying to catch a second breath. He's digging deep.
April 06, 2008
March 19, 2008
What I am saying is that without an ironman to train for, the drive to train is less. I am sure that many may agree but for me it seems to be true. Here it is March and I am still talking about this struggle to train on a consistent basis. I want to do well at Eagleman believe me. I know through experience that if you go into Eagleman not properly trained, the elements can make it a long and horrible day for you. But here I am, at home wondering when I'll feel like going to the Y to swim. Or hit the basement and my trainer.
This is how I feel today.
February 28, 2008
February 13, 2008
February 05, 2008
February 03, 2008
But first a few words on what I've been doing...
On most Saturday mornings, I have been lieing in bed dreaming of making the 7;30 Masters swim class at my Y. When that comes and goes and I'm still in bed, I take my training journal out and look at what I was doing a year ago. Since I was training for Lake Placid the last two years, that becomes depressing real quick. So, I look back to 2005 when only a half-Ironman was on the plate. The training was less, believe it or not, and I know over these next few months, I'll put in more ride time, pool time and hit the run just the same in order to be ready. Eagleman is again in June this year and I know I still have time but I need to start now.
I do have excuses. (Don't we all!!) Want to hear them?
New this year for me:
1. A new job which has me commuting into NYC 2-3 days per week and working late (until 7 or 8 PM at night) The last two years, I worked from my basement, which was great for training.
2. I drive my daughter to school. She's a Senior and just cannot be seen on the bus. How can I deny her this? If she had her own car, I could do early morning workouts, but she doesn't. Valid excuse, right?
Ok, so these excuses are just that: Excuses. It's Super Bowl Sunday and I need to do two things: Run and hit the bike trainer before I sit a chair all night. So, I will, I'll get out there. I promise. I'll let you know how I made out tomorrow which gives me a reason to write again. And hopefully no excuses.
In the meantime, how about a prediction?
Run: 30 minutes
Bike trainer: 45 minutes
Whew! I'm tired already.