January 21, 2010

Good vs. Evil

Yesterday morning looked bad. I couldn't get out of bed right at 6 AM so I was on the verge of losing my window of opportunity. My window was this: I needed to get on the trainer at 6:05 in order to get 30 minutes of riding in, be able to shower, dress & eat something and all before 7:15 so I could take my daughter to school and then drive myself to work. And, last but not least, keep my promise. My promise to finally get myself going in 2010.

Well, my daughter was putting up quite the resistance. She said she "didn't feel well" and I was pushing her a little hard. I was also pushing the clock. I looked at my watch and it read 6:25. I was ready to throw in the towel when my wife said she was letting her sleep for a little longer and would take her in after 1st period. Okay I thought. Do I go back to bed and sleep for 30 more minutes? Or do I push through this mental resistance that has been hanging over me like the smog in LA? I had good and evil on opposite shoulders and evil was about to win when I finally said "Enough!"

I changed into my bike shorts, a dri-fit shirt, grabbed some socks, my ipod, bike shoes and headed down to my dark, dank and chilly basement. What happened next was a transformation. A re-awakening if you will. OK, maybe it wasn't that poetic but I did get 25 minutes in and felt great afterwards. A small victory and a step forward. I will admit that I felt more vigorous throughout the day. Maybe not so much from the physical workout itself but from the mental aspects that I pushed through. Good beat evil and I'll live another day. But let's see what tomorrow brings.

January 19, 2010

2010 Plans

I ran yesterday. I didn't jog. And it felt great! 50 degrees here in New Jersey and it felt like a spring day. I even managed to vacuum out two of our cars and wash one of them in our driveway. I would have taken the bike out for a ride but the roads are still mucky with dirt, mud, salt, sand and other elements that want to destroy my two wheels. So, I did the next best thing: I set her up on the trainer in my basement in what is known as the "Art Room." And tomorrow I shall ride before work.

My new year's resolution was to create a 2010 plan that would encompass all my life goals including working out. I have a drop dead date of getting it done by January 31but it's nearly complete and I will finalize it well before that date for sure. But just in case, the clock is ticking and I have 11 days to finish the final copy.

But isn't it funny that I have to put a workout goal in my 2010 plan? I mean less than 6 months removed from crossing the line at Ironman Lake Placid and I need to write down my workout goals! Yep, that's right. Because it gets harder as you get more involved and go greater distances. The mind fights you all along the way and you need to give your best shot right back. Staying on track with a workout goal(s) requires work and that work requires planning.

January 18, 2010

My Jog

I run; I don't jog. I go running; I don't go jogging. Those of us who seem to take running seriously, always want to make that distinction. Jogging is something you do casually. "There's nothing to do so let's go out for a jog." But running defines you. You're going somewhere when you run. Whether it's long mileage or part of triathlon training, running has a purpose. When I go for a run, I typically fight through mental or physical pain. Physical usually being the soreness in my knee's. Mental usually being another obstacle on my way to race day. Do I have to run again today? "It's cold outside, it's raining and I've worked out 6 days this week already." That's what running conjures up in the mind. Jogging does not.

So, last Monday, I made my way down to the basement to my treadmill. I've been struggling with my workouts since last July and part of the problem is that I have no races scheduled for 2010 right now. No Ironman. I've raced 3 out of the last 4 years and the family and I need a break. No Half-Ironman. My 9 straight years of heading south in June to Eagleman will come to an end in 2010. Therefore, I have no goals.

My intention this early Monday morning, before work, was to get on the treadmill and get the legs amd knee's begging for more of this. Tease them a little. Get them used to the pain and get the mind used to doing something early. Endorphins can illicit addiction. My overall plan was to get moving 4 days a week at the minimum. And this morning I was shooting low. I was going for lowing hanging fruit. Get an entry in the workout journal as a cornerstone for the rest of the winter. Bring me into the Spring, when the days start to get longer and the temperature warmer, with the right mindset. That's why I kept the speed low, the incline at zero, the time short and went for a jog to get things going.

January 09, 2010

In a Rut

New year but no new motivation.

I am in a downward spiral from my Ironman finish in July of last year. A mere shadow of what I once was. I haven't gained much weight, maybe 10 pounds over race day, but that is typical for me. It's my mind and spirit that are operating like a sloth right now.

It hasn't been a total shut the door on working out mind you. There have been "weekly" runs, usually 3+ miles for 25 to 30 minutes. That's once a week. And back when the ground was still visible (no snow) and the temp was bearable (above 30 degrees F), we were mountain biking every Saturday. But we are in a cold spell here in North Jersey and there has been snow on the ground since before Christmas and 20 degree days with wind chills below that. So, what's the point?

Every night I go to bed with the intention of waking up and hitting the treadmill in my basement for 30 minutes in the morning before work. (30 minutes is all I can stand before I go insane running in place). But, alas, I am "too tired" and unmotivated to follow through. Then there is my room in the basement where I usually set up my bike on the trainer. Unfortunately, we have been accumulating "junk" and there is no room in there to set the trainer up. One day I will straighten it up and make room but that day has not arrived. So, I tumble further down into this abyss of inactivity.

Three of my training buddies have signed up for a half IM in Connecticut in June but I have not. I've been to the website and it looks like a great race but I'm still standing on the sidelines. Besides how will I train for the swim? We put the Y membership on hold last August to save money. And it's too cold to swim outside.

Even writing this blog has become a chore. Here I sit on Saturday morning, in the basement, with the treadmill staring me down. I have to avoid eye contact with it when I go back upstairs. But I'm writing. My first post since November. Maybe this is the break I need to break out of this rut. No promises. We will just have to see.