The Journey

The journey is more important than the destination.

Several years ago a friend of mine asked me if I would do the Fairlee Triathlon in Vermont. After training for three months, feeling like I was going to drown in the swim, feeling nauseus on the run, I crossed the finished line and was hooked.This led to my triathlon journey.

Please consider supporting my latest effort to raise money for Bretton Woods Adaptive through the Janus Charity Challenge at Ironman Lake Placid this July. Check out the Links I Like section of the blog or explore the BWA Fundraiser links.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Back with an old friend

I had a workout on the schedule that specified using my tri bike this week. Up to this point I had my road bike hooked up to the trainer. My road bike is a decent one, it is a Trek 2000 that I've had for about four or five years. I've had it fitted by Fitwerx in VT and other than the drivetrain (currently Shimano 105) needing to be replaced (there is about 3,000 miles on it) it is still a good solid bike. It has some sentimental value as it is the bike I used for my first tri, my first century and my first half ironman.

However, two years ago I was fortunate enough to get a custom built Serotta CXII (roman numerals for 112, the bike mileage in an ironman), a bike with tri-specfic geometry. I got this bike the year I did Ironman Lake Placid. So, I spent many, many hours on this bike prepping for that race. Last year I didn't do a lot of winter work on the trainer so as soon as it was nice enough I was out on my Serotta and didn't ride the Trek much. This year my winter training was much more regular and I used my Trek just to keep the mileage off the Serotta since I was just building my aerobic base up.

So, when I got back on the Serotta after several months of using my Trek it made me realize how much I love the Serotta and what a difference a custom bike makes.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Long session with GSTC

Today was a long training session with the club at the Gunstock Inn. Coincidentally I got a bunch of free ski tickets for Gunstock from a promotion the dealership I just bought a car from and my wife & son were able to ski while I was training.

We started the training session with a 2500 yard swim. It was great to get some stroke feedback from my coach while I was there. She could see some progress from the last time I was at one of the coached trainings. I finally have stopped crossing the mid-point of my body. Next on the fix list is to work on my rotation and hand exit.

After swimming we did a core workout in the weight room. I haven't been as consistent on my core workouts as I'd like so it felt good to get that in.

Next on the agenda was a 1 hour run with the club plus an additional 30 minutes on my own. I finished my core workout early with a couple of others so we left for a run early. One of the guys I ran with is new to the club this year and has lost 75 pounds over the past 2 years! He's doing his first triathlon this year. I love stories like that. They help to put struggles that I may perceive as too hard into perspective. Losing another 10-15 pounds before the first tri of the year now doesn't seem like that big a deal.

So, after I ran for a 1/2 hour with the first group, the rest of the club was ready to go. This was a great run also. I was able to run with my coach for the entire run. She's a great coach and a great person so we had some good conversation while we ran. Once we got back I still had another 15 minutes to get in so I went out solo for the rest.

I came over to Gunstock to get the family and they were just eating lunch when I got there. They weren't done skiing yet so here I am in the lodge writing in my blog in between my son calling me on the new two way radios he got for his birthday yesterday. Thankfully there is wireless which helps pass the time a little quicker.

Random thought - when is the last time you heard Billy Squire's Stroke Me, it just played in the Gunstock lodge?!

As a result of the birthday party yesterday and visiting friends I didn't get my 1 hour 45 minute ride in, so tomorrow it will be an early morning to fit the ride and a leg workout in.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Teaching discipline

When I'm running, more so than when biking and swimming, is when I have my deepest philosophical thoughts. I normally like to exercise in the morning. It is a normally a huge challenge for me to get motivated enough to get out the door after work when I'd rather just hang out with the family and relax after what are typically long and exhausting days.

This week was a little different in that my wife and son are on their spring break and went to visit my sister-in-law for the week. This left my afternoons more open and gave me the opportunity to get outside and get some training in after work a couple of times this week. Even though there was no family to come home to in the afternoon, it was a very busy week at work and the last thing I felt like doing this week was going out for a run. I'm glad that I did.

I ended up thinking about discipline during my run. Not my discipline but how do I make sure I'm teaching teaching discipline to my son? This led me to a deeper question which is how do you teach discipline to anyone? Up to this point I think the only way that I have tried to teach discipline to my son is by example. I don't know if it is possible to tell how well it is working. It seems like such a relative behavior. One person's perception of discipline may be over the top while another may view that same person's discipline as poor. I sometimes view my own discipline this way. Most people think I'm disciplined whereas I feel I have a long way to go before I feel that I'm truly disciplined.

I suppose the more I learn about discipline within myself, the better I'll be able to pass that onto my son.

Been a while

I wish I had the time to post here every time I had something to write about. This past week was particularly busy.

Since my last post I've had some tough but fulfilling workouts. The most memorable was last Saturday which consisted of all three sports. My son and I went to the UNH pool where I did a swim workout while he played around. That was fun but the memorable part was to come. I still had a 1 hour 15 minute run followed by 30 minute ride on the trainer. We had a lot of errands to do during the day after swimming so I wasn't able to start running until about 5:30. That long a run isn't normally that big a deal but it had been raining all day and by the time I left the temperature was 34 degrees and still pouring rain.

I've always like running in the rain but after being out all day, swimming earlier in the day and the cold weather it was one of the most difficult runs to finish that I've ever had. By the time I got back, I was soaked, cold and emotionally drained. There were actually a couple of times when I considered stopping at a house and calling my wife to come pick me up.

It was one of those character building runs that I thought that I would never finish, but that I did finish AND went and got on the trainer afterwards also.

I figure that getting through a few of these sessions will help give me the reference points I need to get through the tough points in a race.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Let Levi Ride

I'll update the training for the week this weekend. After a full week of work and training, I'm tired but feeling good.

But in the meantime I wanted to get out a site I came across about the Tour de France this summer.

Take a read at Let Levi Ride.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Started the plan

Up until today I was spreading my workouts as evenly as possible between swim, bike and run trying to do enough to maintain some level of fitness gained from when I did the Manchester Marathon.

However, I started with Suzan's (my coach) training plan today. It felt good to have some structure around my workouts, both from the larger perspective of figuring out how to fit 10 - 12 hours of training in per week to the individual workout structures. Today started with a 30 minute run that included 3 sets of drills and strides. Doing skip drills and heel kicks in the dark on a country road at five in the morning gave me the feeling that I've moved from "working 0ut" to "training".

Tonight is Master's and during the day I need to re-join my gym because my strength training starts tomorrow. I'm feeling good about my nutrition, the scale this morning said 202 lbs and 16% body fat. The weight is more than I want to be at now (I'd like to be down to 195 by the time Mooseman arrives) but my nutrition routine is feeling solid.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

BA Blast

Today is the BA Blast at Bretton Woods. No swim, bike or run today but a full day of skiing will provide a good workout.

I took Friday off after doing Masters on Thursday night and staying up to watch Lost (a weakness of mine). No formal workout yesterday but plenty of time wrestling & playing in the snow with my son.

BA blast report to come later.