Monday, February 23, 2009

Coaches Rock!

So a while ago (November I believe), I hired a coach to help me along in my triathlon journey. I've always been a pretty high level athlete, so since becoming envolved with triathlon, I've been licking my chops to get better. Being that it's an entirely different sport than any other that I've ever participated in, I definately saw the need to get a coach. Long story short, I have made gains that I never thought I would see so quickly.

When I got into running, biking, and swimming, it was through sheer force and determination that I found the success I did. I was able to place in my age group at every event I attended(with the exception of one-I blame a major hangover), and I saw gains coming on quickly. The more I raced the more I wanted to do better, so when I finally placed third at a duathlon last spring, I knew that if I seeked the guidence of a knowledgeable coach I could do very well.

So the hunt was on and after looking at many different candidates, I decided for a the best coach I could get. Since that decision, I haven't looked back. He sent me my workout schedule and I was off.

I have to say that I really couldn't be happier. I'm just as fit now as I've ever been, and I still have months to go before my first race! Not to mention, the fitness has come on much easier this time! In the past, when I was training blindly, I would just do whatever I felt like on a given day, and try to hammer as hard as possible with the belief that I would get better that way. There were no easy days and the only days truly off were the ones where I was literally to sick to train. Not smart.

Now though, as evidenced in my long run this morning, things are moving easily and effectively. I'm still building my base, but man do I feel great. For example, this morning I ran 10 miles at a very easy pace and felt like I could easily do another 10 as soon as I was done. It sounds silly, but that's never happened to me! No matter what the distance, I've never actually felt anything but totally worn out after a run. I had one speed, and it was pushing to the verge of vomitting. With guidence though, that's changed and I'm so thankful for it.

Thanks coach!

Push 'till ya puke....Always. (but listen to your coach if he says not to!)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Takin' a day...

I'm so glad that there is a saying that training plans are written in pencil and not pen. My life is hectic (probably because subconciously I make it that way) and weekends are usually the worst of it.

When I started taking my training super serious this year, I decided that no matter what, I was not going to let it effect the rest of my life. Long story short, I don't want to become some super ocd triathlete with no life and no concept of what's real. I already do that to a certain extent, but in order to keep the few people around me sane, I sometime's choose to miss a day of training here or there in order to have fun and live life.

So today is one of those days. After having a very good training week in which I began my run focus, I decided to take today off, and do the long run designated for today tomorrow. In other words, I'm switching my rest day (Monday) for today and running long tomorrow. I had to convince myself it was the right thing to do, and now that I have I'm happy. I think sometimes we get in our own way in pursuit of our goals.

In all truth, my foot has been a problem for me, my shoulder is banged up, and averaging about 5 hours a night of sleep hasn't been cutting it. Today is a needed rest day and I'm positive I will only gain from taking it.

So anyway, that's today. Otherwise, it's on for the Oscar's tonight! I'm rooting for Micky Rourke to pull through. Somthing about that guy really gives me a lot of respect for him. Either he's the biggest idiot in the world for shunning Hollywoood and millions of dollars for years, or he's got balls the size of canteloupes! I really admire him for sticking to his guns and giving the finger to what people thing he 'ought' to do. Follow your heart and pursue your dreams. Life should be on your terms. We only get one shot so we better make it a good one.

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Tough day at the office

...and by office I mean the pool.

So I'm done with my swim focus and it's on to the run focus. I really enjoyed the swimming and am sorry to see the focus go, but I've gotta stick to the schedule...I mean that's what I'm paying my coach for right?

This week has been tough as I've run more than I have in quite a while. We're not measuring miles yet, just time. And by the end of this week I will have logged about 5-51/2 hours of running. I'm guessing it's about 40 miles of running, give or take. I know it's slow as tar, but that's where my coach wants me right now so I'm not arguing. So, that amount of running along with the swimming and biking I've done this week has been a big week for me. Not my biggest ever, but certainly a biger week than I've done in a while.

And I'm pooped. My swim today was suppossed to be abou 5000 yards, but turned into more like 2500 as I just couldn't stand to flounder in the water anymore. Everything was tired, my shoulder hurt, and I had noooo motivation...none. I guess this happens and it's important for me to realize that in the big scheme of things it's just a measly 2500 yards I missed out on. I have a habit of being extremely hard on myself and I won't let that happen now. I have to remember that I'm in this sport first and foremost to be healthy and happy.

So now I'm home from work and going to take a nap before a meeting in a little bit. I'm gonna turn on the Tour of California and let the great cycling fill my brain as I drift of into la-la land.

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

War has been declared

I'm declaring war on everything in my life. Triathlon, business, and especially debt. I'm currently reading "The Art of War" and it's got me to thinking a lot about how I approach things. I'd like to say I'm a 'go-getter', but to be honest it's only when there's something that I really want. I'm not the type to easily take on things that don't interest me, or are things that I don't really want to do. Well, right now, in order to hold myself truly accountable, I'm going to declare war on everything. There will be no more easy, only doing what needs to get done when it needs to get done. I will be successful and there will be no excuses. Likewise, I will take no prisoners in my endevor. Winning is the only option here and I have no doubt that I will be successful in this campaign.

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wonderful Weekend

Now I know what my clients are talking about when they see me on Monday and tell me about their 'Wonderful Weekend'. Things couldn't have gone better this Valentine's day!

So it started Friday night, with dinner made by yours truly and a movie. Great dinner-Chicken Stirfry with yams and no rice-and great movie-"He's just not that into you". I know it's a chick-flick, but man, there's some real stuff in there! I learned things about myself that I didn't even know I knew before I knew I knew them....I've just gone crosseyed.

On to the good stuff...
Saturday morning we set off to Eastern Long Island, Montauk to be exact. I had booked us a room and dinner for Saturday night at a really nice spa/resort. Being that it's winter here, and most things on the eastern end are closed or dirt cheap, I was able to set us up nice in a place I'd have to spend much more for if it were summer. So anyway, we got in, had a wonderfully romantic dinner, and managed to get in some good trouble, which I WON'T elaborate on...gotta keep the juicy stuff to ourselves! :-) of the best parts of the weekend, other than the fact that I spent it with a wonderful girl I'm madly in love with, was that I actually got to train a little on Sunday! Kristen went off to get a pedicure and I headed down to the sweet little saltwater pool they had. This was only the second time I've swam in one, but honestly, all pools should be salt water. Not only did I not have that nasty chlorine stink when I got out, but I felt so much more relaxed than normal. Granted, I only got in about 2k yards before she was done, but man was it great!

So that's about it, great weekend and awesome time away to spend with someone I've found such true love with!

Today it was back to the grind of training as my run focus got underway. I have to say, swimming so much and getting so much better at it has really not made me miss running all that much. Only an hour run today, but it felt much longer than that. I guess it's gonna take a couple weeks to get my body back into the swing of things, but I'm missing the pool already! Also, my foot has been giving me some issues, so I'm going to experiment with some more substantial footwear tomorrow. I've been going 'barefoot' on the trails and treadmills with my Vibrams all winter, so I guess it was bound to catch up to me at some point or another.

Alright, bed time.

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ready for Valentine's day!

Ah, Valentine's day! Wonderful holiday right? I think a lot of times (as a guy) I really don't look forward to this "holiday". I don't know if it's because I've never really spent it with someone I've been super crazy about, or if it was just the sheer fact that I was usually spending money I didn't have. But, this time is different.

Kristen and I have been together for a year, and technically this is our second Valentine's day, but it really feels like the least I think so. Last year we were still in the 'getting to know you' process of things. It was exciting of course (and still is), but I don't think we really had a ton of background on one another. In other words, I think the holiday then was more about the lust of the relationship-which isn't a bad thing, it's just usually where things are at that point.

This weekend, though, definately has a different feel about it. I've been planning it for some time, and I really think it should be a lot of fun. It's going to be a suprise so I'll have to post the details later. I'm positive that no matter what it will be a very fun and very romantic weekend.

The only problem, however, which really isn't a problem at all, is that I'll have to take off from training while we're away. Of course I'd rather spend plenty of alone time with a beautiful woman than scortch my crotch for five hours on the bike, but I'll definately miss a good two days. I know it sounds like I'm just another OCD triathlete, but I'm just not into messing with consistency. I've had a tough couple of weeks with injury and sickness, so my consistency has been somewhat effected. I'll have to be a little mentally tough though and suck it up, knowing that two days in the big picture is really nothing! Not to mention that this is really suppossed to be a recovery week before a nice run focus that starts next week. So, let me stop complaining and Man the Fu*k up!

Gotta get some shut eye, so that's all for now. I slept like dog crap last night and it showed in the water an on my bike today. Insomnia is a bitch! Anyway...

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Monday, February 9, 2009

It's funny...

It's funny how things work out.

So yesterday I went to a swim clinic up in Connecticut. I have to say that this is my first swim clinic. I've never been a swimmer (the only professional instruction I've ever recieved was from the folks at Waterbabies about 20 years ago), but since hiring a coach and being forced into the water, I've come to find that it's now my favorite of the three disciplines of triathlon. I know this will sound obvious, but it's the fluidity of swimming that I love. I get a 'high' from running just like everyone else, and cycling is great for really working my mind and body, but I've never gotten such pure joy out of excercising as much as I do when I'm in the water.

This isn't all to say that the first couple of weeks being in the water were all fun and games, but when I found my stroke and have since refined it, I find that I'm gliding through the water with an uncanny ease. I've gone from being the guy thrashing in the lane, using 30 strokes to get to 25 yards, to the guy who now gets there in 15. The other day I swam 3000 yards-as a warm up! Then drills, then some more long stuff, and still felt great after getting out of the water.

My point is that even though you may dispise something, get to know it a little, make friends with it, and you may be suprised by what you find. For me it's been the water. I've gone from hating every second of pool time to wanting never to leave! I'm amazed and super happy with this revelation!

People often say that there are certian life lessons that you aquire as you move through life. I've had many, and some have been important, but this is one of the few that I really cherish. I know that I can use and apply it to so many areas of my life. Kinda pisses me off to think that I spent all that money on college when one of the most important things I've ever learned was taught to me in the water for a gym fee of 50 bucks a month. Such is life.

Push 'till ya puke...Always. (Just not in the pool)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Silly Injury F's up my training...Sort of.

So as I've posted a couple of days ago, I've gotten back into playing my first love, ice hockey. It's been a blast to get back out there (although I'm no where near as good as I used to be-just gotta knock off the rust I guess), and I'm enjoying the little bit of extra cross training. I don't know if it's been explored, but ice skating must be one of the best alternatives to running there is. My hips and glutes have never been stronger than when I was skating everyday. Not to mention all the upper leg development that happens with skating. All that and no impact! Good stuff.

Anyway, I've been playing quite a bit and the other day I pulled the hell out of my left much for it being the "perfect" cross-training activity for runners:). The injury happened actually from my first step out on the ice Tuesday. I felt a pull, but decided to gut it out for the next two hours and probably wound up doing more harm than good. It hurt so bad, infact, that for the rest of the day and into today I've done nothing but limp around. Running and biking at this point are not even close to an option.

Not all is lost, though. Luckily, I'm still able to swim, just without to strong of a kick. So....being that this is coming into the last couple weeks of my winter swim focus, I guess if I had to have an injury, this would be the one to get. I'm sure it will heal rather quickly, and I can get a couple of real focused extra swim days out of it. I'm not saying I'm happy to be injured, as I've taken about all the pity I can get at the gym, but on the bright side, all is not lost.

On another note, I've been very stressed lately about money. I've never been one to be obsessive over anything but excercise, but there are times lately where I've stared at the ceiling in bed and lost sleep over dollars. Now it's not like I or my business is struggling-I've actually never done better-it's just that I'm waiting for the bottom to fall out. I guess when I was a poor college kid and barely had 20 bucks to my name, money didn't stress me because there was nothing there to stress over. That or I was just too drunk all the time to notice...:).

I guess it's just all part of growing up. Which reminds me...I turn 28 tomorrow!!! Wow how time flies! I really feel like the time between 18 and now has been merely the blink of an eye! Unbelieveable. I'm told the next twenty years will go equally as fast. On that note, why do the years go by so fast, but when you're on a treadmill or trainer, it seems like 1 hour is an eternity? Why can't weekeneds be like treadmill and trainer time? That would be awesome! Happy hour would feel like all day! Love it!

So that's about it for now. I've had an early finish to my day today so I'm gonna go sit by the fire (or Yankee Candle-but who's counting) and read a book with Lucki Doggy.

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Got a good 'ole ass-whupin' today

Wow, what a day. I managed to work for twelve hours on 4 hours sleep and have absolutely zero enegy left to train! Good work! (heavy sarcasm). So like I said, I got a lot done work-wise today, but what amounted to a poopy flavored lollipop (name that movie) as far as training was concerned. As I got in the whater today sometime after 1:30pm, all I could think about was how much I really didn't want to be there. I managed to get in somewhere around 3k worth of sloppy swimming in before calling it a day and heading back to work. Then, after work, I had planned on getting in a nice little two hour session on the rollers...well, suprise suprise, not able to do it. I basically came home, crawled in bed with my dog Lucki, and passes the F out. Nothin' left.

I don't look at today as a total loss though. I'm looking at it as more of a learning experience. I've been able to string together a consistancy with training that has surpassed anything I've ever done since I've started triathlon. For that I'm very happy. I have to remind myself that my health must come first. It doesn't help to train and race if my immune system in severely compromised. So I'm happy for today and the lesson it's taught me. I guess that's why they say training plans are written in pencil and not in stone. Next time I'll plan better.

Now on to a rant.....

So I work in the fitness industry-as you can see in my profile-and there are a TON of things that bother me about it. When I first began as a Personal trainer, it was really out of a desire to make some money doing something I love-training to be a body builder. I have always been an athlete, from the time I was playing peewee hockey all the way through playing an NCAA div. I sport. Let's just say I've been around the block. After college I persued many different sports, including, as previously mentioned, body building, mixed martial arts, and now endurance events. I like to think I'm well rounded. So.....what bugs me the most about the fitness industry is this constant desire for instant gratification. I understand the everyone wants that perfect body, and wants to look a certain way, but it's amazing to me how little long term health means to some people. When I work with someone, I try to impress apon them the long term benefits of a good diet and exercise program and what it will do for them now and 20 years from now. Luckily though, I've been blessed to have just about all my clients come to me already knowing this and just needing someone to show them on their way.

My biggest point of frustration, though, through all of this, is that the biggest culprits of this 'instant gratification' sensation (wow, I sound like Al Sharpton with the rhyming :) ) are the "fitness professionals" themselves. I put them in quotes because I generally have no respect for these people. These are the ones that have chosen to make a few bucks off of what should be a very noble industry. Instead of helping people who really genuinely want to and need to be helped, they take their limited knowledge and speak it as gospel. They tell people all about the latest fad diet, and send them on their way. Now, I'm sure that whatever fad diet they are speaking of is generally healthier that whatever these people are eating previously, but is it really a healthy diet? Or is it just a means to achieve that quick gratification their looking for?

Don't get me wrong, we all want to see results, but is they way to results starving our body of a food group that it actually needs? Shouldn't we be educating these people who have come to us? I mean really educating them?

As fitness professionals we need to accept the fact that just because we took a course or courses in exercise and got that little silly paper that says we're certified (or certifiable for some of us), we are not the end all be all of the fitness world. Whatever background we come from is NOT all there is. Physical fitness is such a vast and changing entity that we could all spend a lifetime learning, and still not know everything. We need to allow ourselves to open up and accept that there is more than one way to get from point A to point B.

I firmly believe that education is the simple biggest factor missing in personal training and fitness today. It is our duty as coaches, traininers, and nutritionalists, to not only show our clients the way, but to allow them to learn it for themselves while they're involved. They need to be aware that there are many options, and the road to looking good and feeling great will be a tough one, but it's doable. More importantly they will learn something about themselves while they are at it.

So that's just my two cents. I'm not going to look over what I just wrote or edit it in any way before I post it, so I'm sure at times it may be a bit rambling and vague. Sorry for that. I just needed to get it off my chest. I see it everyday and it has become quite a thorn in my side. So if you've made it to this point, thanks for reading.

Push 'till ya puke...Always.