Monday, May 25, 2009

Life Advocate

I learned something about myself yesterday when I was out doing yardwork-I am an advocate of life. Not just experiencing it, but really being healthy and living with more "primitive" attitude than most.

I realized that material things really mean nothing. Not the car we drive, the clothes we wear, or even (and this will be a shock for triathletes everywhere) the bike we ride! I've come to the firm conclusion that material things will be the downfall of our species. We're so concerned with how much money we make and generally what we own, that we forget we're here to SURVIVE!

Survival is our first and foremost concern and most all of us forget about it. We forget about it when we eat badly. We forget about it when we drive our gas-guzzlers. We forget about it as we type on our computors. It's sad but true. The invention of pockets has changed our species forever.

One of my favorite pasttimes is running. Thinking about it, I've always loved to do it. Even as a child I can remember times when I would run in parks during family barbeques just for the fun of it. Visiting cousins in upstate New York, I'd convince them to go out on these day long hike/runs through the woods. I knew they hated it, but I loved every second of it!

A lot goes through my head when I run-past the blaring music in my ears from my ipod. I've realized that the reason I like it so much is that it's REAL. There's no machine, no engine, nothing between my feet and the earth (except maybe a thin EVA sole). This is what we we're meant to do. My ancestors did this. Their ancestors did this. If you believe it, Adam and Eve did it too! This is the ONE thing we share with EVERY single human the earth has ever seen. We've been blessed with immediate transportation straped to our legs. These beautiful feet to get us from one place to the next. Simply marvelous.

It saddens me though, that so few of us these days choose to use what God gave us. We have our big shiny cars, trains, and airplanes to get us from A to B. Most people these days are frieghtened to go 1 freakin' mile on foot! ONE MILE! That's a 20 minute walk if you're moving at a turtles pace! Then you hear of all the dangers of running-"You'll ruin your knees" or "I'm too heavy to run". Why do you think you'll hurt your knees and you're too heavy??? Because for your whole life you've been sitting and riding!

The bottom line is "F" technology. "F" all the things that we think we need. The truth is, we're born with only one possesion-our body! As ChuckieV says, it's the only thing that we'll truly have and own. Let's start using and caring for it. Think about that as you go through your day. I garauntee you'll see the world in a different light.

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Key Workout

So yesterday I complete a very key workout in my training for the Rev 3 tri. I was basically to do a race simulator, envolving a 56 mi, race-pace bike ride, followed by a 11 mi race-pace plus :30 run. To put it in words, I KILLED IT! and I had to stop a bunch for cars on the bike!

I decided to do the hilliest bike and run loops I could find. Generally, I wanted to tourture myself beyond belief, mentally preparing myself for the course up in Connecticut. I felt that if I can handle the torture I'm putting myself through on my own, I can handle ANYTHING in the race. What I've found through this is that I really have an iron will to demolish myself. There must be some subconcious thing about myself that I hate and this is how I choose to get it out! :)

I also suprised myself with my level of current fitness. I'm so far ahead of where I thought I would be it's scary. Running as well as I did off the bike yesterday made me feel like a Spartan. Especially as my nutrition on the bike was equivalent to an elephant dining on a mouse. In other words, I need to learn that nutrition is not an option, it's a MUST!

Overall I'm happy with the outcome of yesterday's performance. I'm going to do the same workout in a week, so we'll see how much better I do with nutrition then. I'm NOT going to measure this workout, however, I'm only going to do it by feel. I'll do the same course and the same run, but without a watch. Knowing my gentle and fragile psyche, I don't think it would give me a big boost to see declining numbers (if that's the case-and hopefully it WON'T be) the week before a big race.

With that I'll leave you with my checklist for the Rev 3 triathlon-personal checklist that is:

-Lot's of lube-my TAINT killed me yesterday as I forgot to 'lube up' before the ride. Usually I use Body Glide, but forgot yesterday. I will definately be using it liberally next week and for the race!

-Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition-need I say more?

-A good attitude-several times yesterday on the beginning of the bike I lost it mentally and got frustrated with the wind, hills, etc. I HAVE to keep that in check and just keep smiling!

-Testicular Fortitude-my highschool football/lacrosse coach used to use this phrase and it's stuck. You gotta have Balls! No doubt about it. "It's not about how hard you can hit, it's about how hard you can GET hit and keep getting up"-I love that quote.

So that's it. Training and getting ready for the test. I have to say, this is the FIRST time I've actually done my homework! Feels great! Too bad school wasn't that way!

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Rollin' Along

So the days here are rolling along quite nicely. I've been training a lot and working a lot, not to mention seeing Kristen and trying to get some sleep. Nothing much new, just plotting along until Rev3 in a couple weeks.

I got the oportunity to demo the new Argon18 e-114. All I can say is this is a DANGEROUS bike! Not in a bad way, but in a "Holy Sh*t!" way. What a faaaaast bike! The one I've been riding is a equipped with a Zipp 404 front wheel and an 808 rear. Very fast. I never realized what it was to slip throught the wind, but this bike does it! Not like my Trek TTX isn't the sexiest bike known to man (well to me at least), but this bike definately rocks! Maybe one day I can afford one!

Otherwise, Kristen graduated from grad-school yesterday, getting her Master's Degree in Physical Education. I'm so proud of her! She really looked great walkin' across the stage in her 'poo poo brown' graduation gown! Good look babe!

So that's about all for now. Long open water swim on tap for today and a super hard race simulator for tomorrow. 5 hour ride on Sunday and then it starts to get scaled down for the race June 7th. I'm nervous for the race, but in a good way. It will be great to see how I race now that I've officially been coached through this process. This race will be a good dress rehersal for the real fireworks later in New Hampshire in August.

Push 'till ya puke...Always!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Doubles Table Tennis!

Watching doubles table tennis on Universal sports right now and I have to say these girls are some freakin' athletes! Not only do they NOT take one another out, but they hit that damn ball as fast as I've ever seen anyone hit a freakin ping-pong ball! I'm sloppy enough playing table tennis by myself, but if I played with a partner on the SAME side of the table someone would be missing teeth!

Anyway, I got in a really great ride yesterday. As I'm gearing up for my first 'A' race of the year, my coach had me do a race simulator yesterday. It was to be a race-pace 60 mile ride followed by a race-pace plus :30, 7 mile run. Fun stuff! I did the bike in great time and added some killer climbs in the mix. Total climbing was around 3700 feet-tough to find on Long Island!!!!

The run was a game time decision. Since banging up my toe during last Sunday's race, I've only done one run for about an hour and 40 mins. That's it. During that run, the toe felt a little achy, but I managed. The next day, however, was a different story. Swollen and busted the f up, I could barely walk on it. So I gave it some rest and decided only to bike run :(.

After the ride I got together with a friend and went for a little open water swim. The water here in Long Island sound is about 52 degrees-not fun! It did feel great to get in though after the bike-my legs were shot!

So today is another open water swim. Wetsuit, neoprene cap, and goggles! The air is warm and the water is cool, but calm. Great conditions! I'll stay in as long as I can tolerate it, but I'm hoping to get in about 3000 yards. Wish me luck!

Gotta go, Beach Volleyball is on! BEST SPORT IN THE WORLD!

Push till ya puke...always!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Cocky Triathlete

I've come to a conclusion. I'm sick of people who have no idea as to what fitness means or how to truly achieve it, telling my WHY it is I do what I do, or WHY it is I look the way I do. I work in a gym, so day in and day out I'm faced with people asking me fitness questions, diet questions, and the like. Most often, when people come up to me, I give them straight answers, using the knowledge I've aquired over the years.

But now I'm sick of it. Today I was TOLD that the reason I'm so skinny is because I drink coffee! Can you believe it, COFFEE!!!??? Really??? Everyone is so obsessed with looking for the 'magic bullet', that they are not willing to account for the hard work and consistancy I've been putting in for YEARS!!! No one gets it. It's not because I drink coffee, or take a pill, or use a TV-bought exercise machine-My physique comes from hard work, eating right (most of the time), and consistancy...THAT'S IT!!! There's no magic potion, no bells and whistles, and CERTAINLY NO FREKIN' PILLS!!!

I've been thinking about this all for a while now, and it's really time to start a new movement in fitness. People need to truly know that there are no shortcuts. Anyone that has achieved a certain level of fitness (note-I did not say a certain LOOK), has put in consistant hard hours of labor to get what they have. Unfortunately, Americans are so obsessed with IMMEDIATE RESULTS that they don't stick with ANYTHING. we have instant gratification EVERYWHERE we look. Blackberry's, emails, television...EVERYTHING!!!

I just need to vent today. I'm tired of people thinking this way. WE NEED TO CHANGE! I used to think that many very fit people were just cocky a**holes... Well I guess I'm one of them now because I cannot deal with this anymore! I'm now on a mission to change everyone's perspective!

Let's do it!!!

Push 'till ya puke...Always!!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

The day after...

I woke up this morning feeling like I was a hundred years old. After my little transition mishap (see yesterday's post), I'm feeling the effects of the fall. Luckily, after taking the bike to the shop to get checked out, it seems no worse for wear. I, on the other hand, am feeling it. This is the first time I've put out such an intense effort and feel absolutely no effects from the race. However, my elbow, right thigh, knee and toe, are feeling the impact of the fall. Such is racing I guess...

So today has been all about taking it slow. Monday's are usually my rest day's anyway, but today I'm making an extra effort to stay off my feet. It's not working out! I've been super busy at work today, which means standing for hours at a time training clients. I love what I do so it's not excruciating, I just know that I'm not getting in as much true 'rest' as I need.

On another note, has anyone out there ever NOT been able to control your appetite on rest days? What I'm trying to get at is why I am STARVING on the days that I do no training, but on the days I do train, I'm never hungry. I could ride for five hours and not feel at all hungry when I'm done, yet when I sit on my butt all day, I can't get enough food in my mouth. I know I'm repairing in this down time, but I still just find it strange!

Anyway, I'm looking forward to getting back to training tomorrow and working harder. It's nice to have a win already under my belt this season, but in order to get the results I'm looking for this year, I have to get back to the grind. I LOVE THIS SPORT!

HTFU before you get KTFO!!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Carl Hart Mother's Day Duathlon Race Report

Great race!!!! That's really the first thing I can think of when I try to account for today. Great weather (a little windy, but hey, we all have to deal with it!), great people, lots of fun!

Today was a HUGE benchmark for me. As written in my post yesterday, I wanted to win this race-no if, ands, or buts. I would be happy with besting my previous time from last year, but in my heart, this race HAD to be mine. I've trained hard, rested hard, eaten right, and desperately wanted the win. Ok, so on to the report:

1st run (1.8 mi)-I wanted to go out at a moderate pace. Seeing a friend of mine (who happens to be a pretty hot shot cross country runner) got me nervous. This kid is fast. He's young, and has run forever! I on the other hand have been a lacrosse and football player type my whole life, at one point weighing in at 250 lbs. Needless to say I was worried. We took off pretty quick after the gun. I'm not sure of our exact pace, but I'm sure it was in the mid to lower 5's. Not bad for me, and at my present fitness, it was definately sustainable. So we get moving, and I'm in the top three-just where I had imagined myself. Suddenly, there's a surge from behind me, and one of the local tri-studs is making his way past me. Immediately I think, 'Not today, this is MY race!' So I caught and passed him and my cross country buddy, leading the race into the first transition.

Bike-Now here's were things geat tricky. I got into transition quickly, slipped off my running shoes, buckled my helmet, and I was off. Being that I haven't done a flying mount in a quite a while, I muffed it and fell hard on the road. Just as everyone who's ever loved their bike knows, YOU PROTECT THE BIKE FIRST! :) My sweet, new Trek TTX went down hard so did I. Without missing a step, I got up, dusted Susan (that's my bikes name) off, re-mounted, and we were off. Functionally there was nothing wrong with the bike, but I had unknowingly lost a perfectly good toenail in the fall-more on that later. By this time, XC buddy had pulled ahead of me on the bike. After regaining my composure, I reeled him in, and never looked back. I led the rest of the bike, fought off the 25-30mph wind gusts on the flat course, and finished the 10.5 mi. course in about 28:30.

2nd Run-I got into the second transition with a fairly comfortable lead (about 45 seconds). I had a flawless transition this time, got the sneaks on, and headed out for the final 1.8 mile run. I was feeling it by now and definately redlining, but the lead I had built on the bike helped as I was able to stay relatively comfortable on the run. As a testament to my fitness, I was actually able to build an even bigger lead on the run, and finish 1st overall.

My first 1st place finish!!! Very happy with the result and very happy with where I am right now. It's amazing what dedication and coaching has given me this year. Not only do I have confidence in what I'm doing, but I feel like I can seriously go to such a higher level! I would consider myself fit right now, but I by no means have peaked yet! This looks like it's going to be a very good season and I look forward to accomplishing a lot. From here on out, the races are within myself. I've learned that putting the time and miles in absolutely works. I just have to keep it up! Thanks for reading!

So for the toenail...I didn't realize it at the time, but during the second run, by foot had been bleeding like a faucet from my lost toenail. As I crossed the finish line, I looked down at my foot to see my beautiful Nike Lunar Racer soaked in blood! I can't wait to see the finish line pic. That's gonna look badass!

Push 'till ya puke...Always!!!!!

Oh, and by the way, my coach said to have a beer or a candy bar to celebrate the win! I think I'll have both! Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Welcome Race Fans!!!

So tomorrow is my second real race of the season. It started with the Suffolk County Half Marathon at the end of march, and now we've come to the first Multisport event of my year-The Carl Hart Mother's Day Duathlon. This is a fun little, local duathlon that I've done twice before. The distances are 1.8 mi run, 10.5 mi bike, 1.8 mi run. Flat and fast is the best way to describe this course.

In doing this race last year I placed third overall and am definately looking to improve on my time from last year. It's important for me to place well, but I'll be happy as long as I beat my time from last year. You never know who's gonna show up on race day, or how you're going to feel so it's only fair to myself to concentrate on my time. This race is really not a major priority for me, and is only a tune up and time to work on my transitions.

I say all this, but in my heart I'll be going for the win. After all, what the hell am I doing all this training for? Sure it helps my head, my body, and my business, but in the end, you TRAIN TO WIN THE RACE!

I'll have a full race report on this little gem of a race tomorrow.

Push 'till ya puke! Always!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Today is another rest day. After doing an easy hour run yesterday, followed by an afternoon spin for 45 mins, today is completely off-as well, so am I. For some reason I just find myself HATING people today. What's up with that right? I mean, I'm a very easy going person, happy most of the time, but today I'm totally miserable. I really don't get it.

It's not my clients or the people I work with that are bothering me today, just the general public. Maybe it's the rain that makes people this way, but everyone seems to just be pissed at life. It could also be the fact that I'm not allowed to train today. Not having my daily dose of endorphins really messes with me. I know I'm SUPPOSSED to rest and absorb all the work I've done, but I just feel useless if I'm sitting around.

It's funny to think about these trivial things when people around the world are dying from poverty and disease, but I just can't help myself today. Maybe an afternoon nap and some healthy eating will help me get out of this funk. That or a five hour bike ride! Oh, well...time to catch up on the odds and ends I guess...

Push 'till ya puke...Unless it's your day to rest, in which case be miserable and think about training...Always.
Disclaimer on the pic: I have no idea why I posted this pic, I just happen to like it quite a bit. Also, maybe it's to ease my mind after seeing ChuckieV's lovely blog post pic today! :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

30 min swim...

This recovery week is probably the first one that I've really really needed since I've started working with my coach. Every third week we take a step back and lighten the load to let my body adapt, and to be honest, before this week I thought I was wasting my time. Not that I was oppossing anything that he's had me do so far-it's made me into a much better triathlete-it's just that I never thought I NEEDED it. Well, that's far out the window now. My body had reached it's limit this past weekend and it's time to reel me back in.

This week is REDICULOUSLY simple. Very easy workouts, with very easy intensity, and the option to take any day off where I feel I need to. So yesterday was completely off, and today was a half hour swim...that's it. Nothing more, nothing less. One half hour of drills, drills, drills. Honestly, by the time I was done warming up, I felt like I was almost done.

Mentally this is a tough week for me. I LOVE training. In fact, I'd almost say I love it more than racing. There's just something about the alone time of it all that I find very pleasing. Usually it's just me and the road. Solitude at it's greatest! Racing is nice and it's definately fun to see the result of all that hard training, but it's really the training that not only draws me to the sport, but has been a great discovery for me in terms of my own personal development. I'm thankful that I've found this sport, and I love every second of it.

Off to bed for now, but I'm sure with all the down time I'll have this week from recovering, I'll be able to post quite a bit! Maybe I'll even try to figure out how to put up some video on this thing!

Push 'till ya puke...Always!
Oh, and I have no idea why the picture of Mini-Me...I've just been in an Austin Powers kind of mood lately!

Monday, May 4, 2009

"Cross-mojination" Yeah baby!!!

I got it back yesterday! And all it took was a ride in the pouring rain!

So after about a week or so of feeling like crap in my training, I took a little bit of extra rest and got back on the horse. Saturday was an easy 3 hour ride, and Sunday was killer! Thirth minute swim, 3hrs 30mins on the bike, and 45min hard run. Crushed it.

I was wet from the moment I got in the pool to the moment I finished the run, but it all came back together and I can't be happier. I never thought a miserably cold bike and run was what it would take, but I guess the elements provided me with the energy necessary to get it done.

Riding and running I felt like one of the Spartans from the movie '300'. I even yelled out, "This is Sparta!" while riding(I think I scared some squirrells). All in all a great day, and just what I needed to get my head back in the game.

Today (and the rest of this week for that matter) is all about resting. There will be plenty of self massage, foam rolling, and sauna in my life for the next 6 days. That's good too, because the weather is gonna stink here this week...rain, rain, rain!

Push 'till ya puke...Always!

"Cross-mojination" Yeah baby!!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

I did it...

Ok, so I'm officially an ass. I'm overtrained and I have no one to blame but myself. I've been walking that fine line the past few days, looking at all the symptoms-fatigue, depression, lack of motivation, etc.-and I've just waded through and ignored the right things to do. Namely, I should have rested, eaten properly, and rested again. But, of course, like every other type-A triathlete, I just couldn't get enough.

I got a sweet new Trek TTX the other day and I just couldn't resist the urge to ride more than I should have. I figured it would just be a nice cruise on a sunny day, but after hammering and really 'testing' the bike (like it needed it...), I found myself today sloshing through the pool, having an overall bad attitude, and too tired to walk out of the car and into the house. Needless to say, I passed out from 3 to 6pm this afternoon, and I'm still the walking dead.

Anyway, that's what's up. It's going to be raining here all weekend, so maybe that'll give me a good excuse to rest. God knows I really need it. It's amazing how the body works and what we do to achieve top fitness. Just as I was really starting to come into form, I go and push it just a little bit and BAM! here comes overtraining. I'm learning...

So it's early to bed tonight and REALLY PROMISING myself to take it easier this weekend and stick to the plan. The HR monitor will be my best friend and when in doubt, I'm taking it slow. No need to blow up yet, REV 3 is still a month away.

Push 'till ya puke...Always.