Florida Challenge Triathlon Countdown Clock

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It's Official!

It's official!

I'm sick of the pool! Yep. I'm officially sick of it!  There's a tremendous difference between WANTING to do something and HAVING to do something. Right now, I don't have much choice BUT to swim, thanks to my crusty back! Lol

What I like about triathlon is the variety. I get bored quick. As much as I like riding my bike, I wouldn't want to do it everyday. Same goes for running and even lifting weights. With this sport, I can do something different everyday and never get bored. 

But now, all I can really do (training wise)  is swim swim swim, and I'm tired of it. I don't want to hear the word "pool" or any word that sounds like it: drool, stool, cool, duel, tool, old fool, etc etc etc! Lol

And no matter how much I shower, I smell like chlorine! It's like ingrained in my DNA now or something. Chlorine and cologne is NOT a good mix! WTF! 

So here I am. Sick of the pool, but I will keep swimming cuz that's the 1 thing I can do right now to keep ny conditioning up to par.

I think another part of my problem is I really don't like this gym. I don't even consider it a gym. It's more of a social club. Nothing wrong with that, but it's not for me. Here's a pic of me after my swim tonight, getting ready to stretch to loosen up my back:

In life, sometimes you have to do things you really don't want to do, (like go to work everyday) and this is no different. I really don't want to swim (or work) anymore, but I will because it's great exercise for my back, and it's still helping me get ready for this race.

(And I will keep working until I win powerball! Lol)

A positive out of all this is my swimming's getting better. My stroke feels really good and I feel a tad faster. And most importantly, my back feels better every day. I have more stiffness than pain now, buy even that's improving. Last week the only way I could touch my toes was with somebody elses fingers, but now, I can touch my toes no problem. I'm at about 90% flexibility.

At this point, the swim will be my best performance of the 3 come race day. But that's not saying too much, seeing how my nickname is  The Black Turtle!  

But it's ok, cuz I'm going with the flow. Getting upset or stressing won't do me any good. If anything that may cause a lapse in concentration and cause another injury.

So I will keep swimming and stay focused on my goal, which #1 is to rehab my back, and a  distant 2nd is to get ready for my race. Even though I think I'll be at the start line, if I'm not up to it, I'll sit this race out. I refuse to do any permanent damage to myself. Besides, there's another half ironman in October that I have my eye on anyway, so it's all good.

So for the time being, this gym aka      SEAWORLD will be my 2nd home until I can ride outside and/or run;

Tomorrow I will come home and ride my indoor trainer. Saturday I will walk outside and maybe do a light jog for a couple minutes to see how I feel. If I feel any pain I'll just walk. Nothing wrong with walking.

I've never been in this situation before and the unknown of it all is quite interesting.  I have no idea what will happen come 5-16, but I know if I do make the starting line, I'm determined to have fun. I'm sure I'll be closer to last place than 1st place, but I don't even care. Crossing this finishing line will be reward enough!

Thanks for reading! Till next time, peace! 

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Doctor's Orders!

Doctor's Orders!

Yesterday I went to the doctor to get my back checked out. I was really anxious to see what he had to say. 

He checked my spine, had me do some stretches, checked my reflexes, did some other exercise and asked questions about what happened and when.

I told him I did it lifting weights. He reminded me I'm not 22 anymore.

Thanks Doc! Lol 

But he finished his old jokes he still thought I'd be fine to race on race day! What a relief!!!!!!!  

He then suggested 2 options to alleviate my pain: the 1st was an anti-inflamatory medicine that I'd take daily.

The 2nd was a cortisone shot. He said they shoot you in the butt and is an effective way to alleviate the pain.

The last time I got a shot in the ass I was 7 years old! I had to do my best Cedric the Entertainer imitation:

" I'm a grown ass man, Dawg. I'm not gonna call another man 'Delicious,' and I'm not gettin a shot in my ass!"

I didn't really say that, but I was thinking it. Lol I just told him I'd rather take the meds. Lol 

He gave me a prescription for Naproxen Sodium,  an anti-inflamatory drug:

I really don't like taking meds, but I will when I need to, and seeing how my race is 3 weeks away I don't have much of a choice. I prefer to eat healthy foods that fight inflamation like   tomatoes. Not only that, I don't want to get addicted to pain meds. I'm not trying to end up like Pookie from New Jack City! Lol

He said I'm cleared to do some light bike riding and swim. He suggested I wait until next week to walk on the treadmil and to stay away from the weights until I'm 100%.

I don't even want to THINK about weights right now anyway!

Before I talked to the doc, I had planned on walking and staying away from the bike this weekend. He thinks the pounding on the treadmill could aggravate my back, so with that said I decided to use my new toy for the first time today:

My indoor trainer!  I talked about buying 1 a couple weeks ago and here it is. 

The back wheel is lifted and rides on the roller for resistance.  My plan today was to ride at a very low intensity, stopping to stretch every 10-15 minutes or so.

Usually when I ride the indoor trainer, I'm riding at a high intensity, around 90-100 rpm's. Today, I rode at 45-50. Barely broke a sweat. I was just trying to get a feel for the new trainer and my back. This was NOT a workout. It was more a rehab session.

When riding a bike for 3-4 hours, sometimes my back would get stiff and I'd have discomfort because of the riding position, but nothing to the point of severe pain or injury. With that said, I could feel the difference today.  

 I was stiff (as expected) and had some discomfort but no major pain. Pain yes, but not major pain like I had last weekend.  But at the same time, I know that I have to (gradually and gently) work thru it to get better. 

So every so often I got off the bike and did my yoga stretches. I'm convinced that everybody should do some type of yoga because it works wonders!

I alternated a slow ride and yoga for an hour today and felt pretty good when I was done. I'm glad I have the indoor trainer because I'm not ready to ride outside. Maybe in a week, but even that's iffy. I'm not going to push myself to the point if making my back worse by trying to do too much to soon. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Let's just hope they aren't emergency room lights! Lol

Anyway, the trainer is GREAT. It's very sturdy and it felt like I was riding on the road. I switched my gears and the resistance was perfect. Can't wait to really use it fully!

The doc also told me to come back on Monday for x-rays if I'm not better by then.  But I really don't think I'll have to see him on Monday cuz I feel pretty good as I type this.  The swimming and yoga have been a huge help. 

At this point, all bets are off for the race. I do think I'll be at the starting line, but I'll be a participant, not a competitor. There's a big difference between the 2. We're talking about an hour's difference in my finishing time (at least) from before my injury. So now, instead of SAYING my 3 favorite words "on your left!" I'll most likely be HEARING it more than originally planned! Lol 

But that's ok, cuz I'll be happy just to cross the line, and I'm still going to pose like I won that mofo too! damn that! Lol

Next week will consist of more swimming, light rides on the indoor trainer, and maybe walking on the treadmill later in the week. Time will tell!

Thanks for reading! Till next time, peace! 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pain, Pain Go Away!

Pain pain go away!

I haven't posted as of late because my training  program got derailed in a MAJOR way.

Last Thursday I went to the gym to lift weights. USUALLY I lift a slightly lower weight during the season because I don't want to get injured. The key word in the previous sentence is "usually."

For some strange reason I decided to go all out like I was in the NFL draft or somthing and go heavy (for me) on the dumbell bench presses.

I get ready to do my first set and pick up the 90 pound  dumbells. The instant I pick up the weights my back goes out on me!


I knew soon as I picked up the weight I was in trouble. Big trouble! But my pride wouldn't let me show it, so like an idiot I still did my 2 sets of 10, shoulder exercises AND cable extensions for my back! 

I know that was a mistake, but I couldn't just leave...lol

Needless to say, the next day I could barely get out of bed my back hurt so bad. I didn't write a blog because I didn't want to put that negative energy out there. Besides, who wants  to read a 300 cuss word blog and me feeling sorry for myself? I sure as hell don't...lol

So from Friday to Sunday I was on bedrest with a heating pad, legs propped up and plenty ibuprofen. I did a lot of reading and learned that back pain takes about 4 weeks to heal. How comvenient: my race was literally 4 weeks away!  Talk about panic!!!! There's no way I could lay around for 4 weeks, then go do a half ironman. No way! Maybe go take pictures, but not race.  

At this point I thought my race was cancelled, cuz I was in pain!

By Tuesday I started to feel a little better and started to be optimistic.

With more reading I also learned that the best way to overcome back pain is by being active, especially walking, yoga, and swimming. Right up my alley! Lol 

So Tuesday I did a light walk on the treadmill, getting off every couple minutes to stretch and do some yoga exercises. The total workout was 50 minutes. Afterwards I felt really good. My back was more stiff than sore.

Wednesday (yesterday) I went swimming. I know swimming is good for your joints, but I was really nervous, cuz I still have pain. Not as bad, but bad enough. 

I got in the pool and felt GREAT! I had no pain. For 60 glorious minutes I forgot all about my back. What was even better is my conditioning was still on point. I was starting to feel confident that I'd be able to race on 5-16-10.

Tonight I hit the pool again for an hour. I did my normal swim and again felt strong. I'm still focusing on my form and I feel good about my swim.

I'm still taking ibuprofen and using my heating pad. I'm doing a lot of walking at work and stretching whenever I can.

I also wanted to know if there were any foods that would help inflamation and discovered that spinach, brocolli, strawberries, and pineapple are good for inflamation. I didn't know that so I made sure to eat even more of it this week and ongoing. 

I'm going to the doctor tomorrow to have him look at it. I feel much better, but my race is 3 weeks away and I'm determined to race, ONLY if the doctor says I won't do any permanent damage to myself.

I'm not going to run w/o the doc's consent. Until then I'll just walk. I'll ask him if riding a stationary bike is ok also.

Deep down I think I'll be ok, but I'm not going to take any chances.  I've had more injuries in the last 6 weeks than in the last 2 years! This is ri-damn-diculous!

When watching people cross the finish line at triathlons, I'd see many people act like they WON the damn thing: arms up, cheesin, the look of serious accomplishment.

I can appreciate it more now because there's no telling what obstacles they had to overcome to start the race, let alone finish. But thsts^ how life is: it's about overcoming obstacles and moving on! 

Well, trust and believe I'm gonna cross that line like I won too! Lol  I would work on my "victory pose," but I'll wait till my back feels better! Lol 

Thanks for reading! Till next time, peace! 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Unconscious Incompetents

Unconscious Incompetents

There are 2 types of people in the world: 

Conscious Incompetents

 UNconscious Incompetents

The Conscious Incompetent knows they don't know, so they stay open minded and are always striving to learn new things.

The Unconscious Incompetent doesn't know they don't know. They think they know everything already, so they just go thru life missing out on opportunities to better themselves.

I know for a fact there's a lot I don't know: I could learn more about nutrition, different training methods, etc.  Hell, there's a lot about LIFE I don't know. As a result, I'm always on the hunt for some new ideas or training methods that will help me improve as a triathlete and as a person in general. 

One of my fav shows is 
Insider Training on Fit Tv. This show interviews athletes in various sports and shows them train.

One episode (that came on about 2 years ago) changed my way of thinking featured Pro football players John Lynch and Juniour Seau. These guys are future Hall of Famers who are the ultimate professionals.

Junior played an amazing 19 years in the NFL. 19 years!!! 

So when they showed his training methods I took note.

In addition to the basics (lifting weights, running, football drills, etc.) he did something I never would've expected: yoga!

Both football players SWORE by it. They talked about how it helped them work all their muscles, create muscle balance, and prevent injury. They were shown doing various yoga, Pilate, and other  exercises with  people of all ages in a class  and were really into it. 

Now if THEY can do yoga, then dammit I can too! Lol

Before I saw this show, I thought yoga was for women exclusively. But that's what being an Unconscious Imcompetent will do for you. I  had to change my thought process and give it a try. 

Let me say that yoga is no joke! I've been doing it a couple years now and I still do basic exercises. Some of the moves are quite advanced, but I do feel a difference since I started doing them. My flexibility has increased, and even though my right side is still my dominant side, I so feel my left getting stronger and more balanced.

Tonight after work I did some yoga, and here are some of my yoga moves:

It ain't pretty, and I won't be leading any yoga classes any time soon, but I'm doing it! Lol

The yoga has been great for my back, shoulders, thighs, hamstrings, etc. All the muscles I use swimming, biking, and running have benefitted. Yes, I have my nagging injuries, but I think without the yoga I'd have even more.

My form is far from perfect (obviously! Lol) but I feel great after a 30 minute session. It's very relaxing mentally and physically.

Since I know there's a lot I don't know, I'm always on the lookout for ideas that'll help me take it to the next level. 

Yoga has become a very important part of my training regimine. I think everyone should at least give it a try. I can't imagine not doing it.

Tomorrow I'm going to the pool. My shoulder feels fine and  I'm ready! Saturday I'm doing a "brick," 1 of the hardest workouts I can do, but I'll be ready!

Thanks for reading! Namaste!  

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Negative is Positive

Negative is Positive

Today I decided to ride my bike again at Flatwoods. I probably should've gone to ride the bridges today, but to be honest, I didn't want to deal with a lot of people and cars seeing how it's Spring Break season. So I decided to repeat last weeks training ride of 49 miles with some minute changes.

Last week, I tried to be The King of Flatwoods and pass everybody. Just go all out like I was riding in the Olympics or something. Lol

This week, I wanted to ride as if I was in an actual triathlon, which meant I'd have to get off the bike and run soon as I finished. 

I didn't run today, but I wanted to ride as if I did. What that meant was to hold back a little bit. Don't use all my energy on the bike. Ride at a good pace, but have enough fuel in the tank to run  also.

Riding like this is hard for me because of my competitive nature. That means if someone passes me, I can't try keep up with them if they are riding above my race pace.

So, I have to let that 60 year old man who just passed me on mile 40 of the bike vanish in the distance. Even though I probably could catch his old a**, I have to let him go! (yes, that really has happened MANY times in races and in training. Lol) 

My only consolation is I can do the same thing to some 20 year olds that gets done to me by the 60 year olds... Lol

I also wanted to work on a "Negative Split" today. That meant ride the last 24.5 miles of the ride faster than the 1st 24.5. Hence the term Negative Split.

I have never been good at doing this on the bike because I always start out too fast. Most of the time, I'm lagging behind after a swim, so I try make up for lost time on the bike. I eventually over do it and suffer on the run. If I would stick with the original plan, I might have better race times, but again, it's really hard to sit back and watch a 60 year old pass you on the bike! Lol

So I gave it a shot today. Lol 

Last weeks epic ride is a distant memory, because no more than 5 minutes into the ride, this guy passed me faster than I have ever been passed in my LIFE! I have never seen anyone ride as fast as this guy in person. He was on a very expensive bike (about $3 grand,) down on his aerobars, had on a $300 bike helmet and a wearing a 1 piece skin suit. He was doing a pure time trial as if he were in the Tour De France.

10 minutes later, 2 people riding together passed me. I coulda kept up with them, but didn't even try. I kept at my own pace.

I must say, I was still going pretty fast. I knew I wasn't going as fast as last week, but I wasn't out there on a leisurly ride either. I still passed some folks. Not as many as last week, but still was having a good ride.

There was a slight headwind, so I stayed down on the aerobars and kept my cadence high. Riding into the wind can be tough, but the key is to be as small and aerodynmic as possible. 

The fastest cars (Corvettes, Porsche, Lamborghini, etc.)  are sleek and low to the ground. They don't have any rough edges or anything that would create drag or wind resistance.  It's the same when riding a bike: head down, leaning forward, back parallel to the ground. This way you are riding thru the wind, not into the wind.

I stayed down in the aero position for the majority if the first 3 laps and finished in 67 minutes. Last week I completed the 21 miles in 65 minutes. Not bad! That's only seconds less per mile. 

After these 3 laps I stopped my stopwatch and took a quick 5 minute break to change out my water bottles and get more Clif Bars. I start my ride again and on the 4th lap that same guy who passed me earlier passed me AGAIN! He was still going as fast, in the same aero position. If I hadn't stopped he still woulda passed me. He was having an incredible ride!

The next 3 laps were uneventful. I wanted to ride a little faster than the 1st 3 laps, but it felt like I was going the same pace as before. Turns out I was going just a  tad slower: I completed the next 21 miles in 69 minutes, 2 minutes slower than the 1st 3 laps. Again that ain't bad. All the while, I kept asking myself could I run if I had to, and if I didn't think I could, I'd slow it down a bit.

I decided to shut it down and rode the last lap at a leisurly pace to stretch my back and rest my legs. I do that in an actual race also so I can get loose and mentally prepared to run.  

Counting the last lap, I rode all 49 miles in 2 hours 40 minutes. I'm happy with this ride today.  I rode at a pace I was comfortable with, and even though I was tired, I know I could've run when I got off the bike. 

But what I really wanted to do after my ride was relax! Lol By the time I was done, the park was almost deserted:

Not only was it empty, it was VERY quiet. All you could hear was the wind rustling thru the trees, birds and crickets.

After putting my bike on the roof rack I took a 20 minute walk and found a chill spot to eat my apple and do my stretches.

Sometimes, a person just needs to get away, and this was the perfect place to do it. It felt like I was the only person in the park and I was fine with that. Lol 

For the next 30 minutes I totally relaxed. No cell phone, no thoughts about work, or anything about the outside world, just relaxing and thinking about absolutely nothing! Lol 

I left Flatwoods today feeling calm, cool, and collected. In addition to the physical training, places like this help me mentally as well by remembering that there's more to life than bills, issues at work, and sweating issues that you can't control!

Tonight the wife and I went out for pizza at one of my fav places here in Tampa: Old Chicago. It's Chicago style deep dish pizza.

They even have a mural on the wall of the Chicago skyline:

All in all, I had a good day. A great training ride and I cleared my mind of all the useless clutter from the week. My knee feels fine and so does my shoulder.  I think resting these extra days has helped me. 

Next week I'll relax till Wednesday and do a light swim. Thursday I'll run outside and Saturday I'll ride again. All in all I think my training is coming along. Just gotta put the finishing touches on it now because the race is coming up fast!

Thanks for reading! Till next time, peace! 


Thursday, April 8, 2010

My Mind Says "GO!", But My Body Says "Wait A Minute!!"

My Mind Says "GO!" But My Body Says "Wait a Minute!" 

Tonight I went to my main gym and ran on the treadmill. To be honest, I prefer to run outside. I just don't get that "runner's high."  I have no problem using the treadmill, but it just doesn't give me the same feeling as when I run outside. It's kinda like drinking kool aide with no sugar, eating popcorn with no salt or butter, or eating a plain cheese pizza: it'll do in a pinch, but you won't be 100% satisfied! 

Even though I don't care for the treadmill, I'll run on that mofo with no hesitation. The treadmill is much easier on my knees than running outside. Not only that,  it's getting hot down here in Florida, and the sun is blinding.  With all the cycling I do outside and the long runs I take on weekends, my name will be Jeffrey BLACK by the end of the summer cuz I'll be dark as hell... Lol

Before I hit the treadmill tonight, I weighed myself:

To be honest, I thought I wouldve lost more weight by now, but it's not like I was cutting calories. I cut back in junk food and sweets, but I'm probably eating more since I'm working out more. Just more food that's good for me.  I need to eat to have fuel for my training, so it might be hard to lose. 

So the best way for me to guage how I'm doing is by looking at my bodyfat percentage. My gym has a cool machine that checks your bodyfat, weight, blood pressure, body mass index, and heart rate:

Here's my bodyfat percentage:

This is an old address from 6 years ago. No surprise visitors please! Lol

My bodyfat levels have been pretty comsistent. I'd like to be at 10%, but I'd have to some extreme dieting to get down to that level.

I like to eat too much so that ain't gonna happen!  Lol

This is a cool little machine that my gym has. In less than 5 minutes I can get a quick mini-checkup.

I've been using this machine regularly for almost a year now to check things out. The older I get, the more I pay attention to my health. With this machine, if I see any drastic changes I can nip it in the bud before it gets outta hand. I'm not sure if this is 100% accurate, but it gives me a general idea as to how I'm doing. Here's my blood pressure reading:


In addition to READING these numbers, I have to LISTEN to my body. My problem is sometimes I don't want to hear what it has to say! It's not telling me what I want to hear!

Last night's run is a perfect example of this.  When I run on the treadmill,  I try to simulate a run in a triathlon. Try imagine how your legs feel trying to run after riding a bike for 1to 4 hours. It's tough. You have to get your muscles (and your mind) prepared for it. 

Triathlons can be painful if you're really trying to push the pace. It's very easy to ease off the intensity and go slow, but I don't want to. I want to get conditioned to be competitive, and that means being able to keep going at a fast pace even if I'm tired or fatigued.

This is my mentality while running on the treadmill. I'm not jogging, I'm RUNNING. Even though I want to stop, I push to keep working hard.

I started off by walking at a leisurly pace for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, I gradually increase my pace, and by 20 minutes I'm at my top running pace of 7.5. My goal is to run at this pace for 30 minutes straight.

There's a fine line between pushing yourself and going into the red zone, and at 40 minutes I was there!  I wanted to get off the treadmill. I'm at my limits. But my MIND says "shut up and run! You wouldn't stop if this was a race would you??". So I keep running.

At 45 minutes I'm drenched in sweat. I'm haulin ass! Arms pumpin, breathin hard, and holdin on for dear life! My body tells me to drop it down to 7.0, so I do.

At 48 minutes I start to get scared. I'm like "please don't let me fall & bust my a** on this treadmill in front of all these people!! I'd never set foot in this gym again!" lol

Then my mind says "you can't last TWO MINUTES?? What kind of man are you that can't last 2 minutes??" lol

All types of things can go thru your mind when you're at a crossroads. lol

And when you have the clock right on front of you, 2 minutes can seem like 10, but I made it. Barely! Lol 

I walked the last 10 minutes to recover, followed up with 10 minutes of stretching. 

I weighed myself after the run and lost almost a pound of water weight:

I was pretty beat. I was glad to be gettin the he'll up outta there last night!

The problem with high intensity workouts is the higher potential for injury.  My left knee hurts today. I over-did it last night. It's like drinking too much: you don't feel it till the next day! Lol

It's not that bad though. I'm not walking with a limp, and you can't tell it hurts by looking at me. If someone said they'd give me a year's supply of Double Whopper's with cheese if I ran 10 miles right now I could, but I'd be all jacked up tomorrow! Lol   

If that isn't enough, my right shoulder hasn't fully recovered from a couple weeks ago. It's not bad, but I have to remember I'm not 20 anymore. I can still do the things I did when I was 20, just not as often! I have to give myself more time to rest and recover between workouts. 

Even now, my mind is saying "I shoulda sucked it up and went to the gym," but my body told me to go home and take a nap. So I did. Lol

Saturday I'll ride my bike. That's the only thing I can do right now pain free. Next week I'll probably take it easy, but it'll be hard to do. The race is right around the corner. But at the same time, I don't want to be sore and hurt at the starting line.

So my dilema is to rest, even though I need/want to train. Truth be told, I just enjoy the training. But I can't hurt myself to the point where I can't even start the race though. 

I have no choice but to rest my knee and shoulder, no matter how bad I want to run and swim. So no running, swimming, OR lifting next week. 

Looks like my body has won this battle, but my mind will be back with a vengeance I'm sure. Lol

Thanks for reading! Till next time, peace!      

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Those 3 Magic Words

Those 3 Magic Words

Had a change in training plans today. I wanted to run, but discovered my indoor trainer is broken. A very important piece on it is stripped, and since the machine is damn near as old as I am, the part's discontinued and I can't replace it!!

I went to Lowe's, Home Depot, and Ace Hardware looking for the piece, but they all said the same thing: "No can do!"

Needless to say, I'm pretty bummed about it. I've had that trainer for almost 15 years. Someone gave it to me when I was just getting started in triathlon. But it's time for us to part ways.

So in the span of 24 hours, it has gone from "my best training equipment" to "that useless hunk of junk in the 2nd bedroom!" lol

Sad but true!

So today I decided to ride my bike at Flatwoods. I won't be able to ride again until I buy a new indoor trainer, but I can run anytime. Not only do I have 2 gym memberships, but we have a treadmill in the house too. So I will still get quality runs in next week.

Today's ride was quite interesting.  My plan was to ride as aggressively as I could, for 49 miles. That means I was gonna go all out and not hold back.

That meant I'd get to say my favorite 3 words:


I'm a competitive person when it's to my convenience. Lol  In the pool, I'm quite slow. I get passed by everybody, so I keep a low profile. Can't be competitive and talk trash  when your nickname is The Black Turtle! Lol  I'm a so-so runner, and can pass my share of folks, but I LOVE passing people on the bike. 

When you ride the bike, the faster cyclists get the right of way. All you have to do is say those 3 magic words, and people will move over with no hesitation.  It's like the autobahn in Germany: the faster cars cruise the left lane. Period. Not like here where a person will hog the left lane doing 55 when the speed limit is 65...

Back to today's ride, I was on a mission! I was just gonna go as hard as I could, for as long as I could, and for a while I was! Lol. 

My goal today was to pass as many cyclists as I could. Not talking about the people on mountain bikes or people just out for a leisurly ride. I'm talking about the ones on road bikes who are out there training!

There's an artform to passing these folks. One way is to pass them convincingly: down in your aerobars in the speed position, so fast they won't even THINK about keeping up.

Then you can pass them as if you're not really trying to go fast. Youre sitting up, looking  relaxed and taking it ez. You're simply going faster than them w/o really trying. Lol

I'm sure this sounds pretty bad, but  just keeping it real. I like to pass people, whether in a race or in training. My bad!

So I'm cruising today! Feeling strong! Flatwoods is a 7 mile loop, and I rode the 1st 21 miles (3 laps) in 65 minutes. I passed several serious cyclists, and nobody passed me once.

So I'm rolling along, saying the magic words, feeling like The King of Flatwoods,  when I hear the 3 words I DON'T want to hear:

On YOUR left!

Damn!  They caught me! Lol

I barely had time to look up when this dude FLEW past me like I was standing still. If I was doing 20mph, he had to be doing a good 25. All I could do was bid him farewell! Lol

I was still going at a good pace, still passing folks, when another guy passed me, then a couple minutes later a lady passed me. Nothing I could do once again. Not enough premium fuel in the tank! Lol

But that's  the beauty of this sport: 1 minute you think you're Lance Armstrong, the next you get passed like you're Neil Armstrong. Lol

There's nothing like a good ass kicking to help keep things on perspective! Lol

It's days like this that keep me humble and hungry at the same time. I'm getting better, but I still have work to do. There are still plenty riders out there who can really fly, and they motivate me to keep pushing myself. If they can do it, so can I!

All in all, I was having a good ride. I was feeling strong, and was on lap 5. On the 27th mile I say another 3 magic words that no cyclist wants to say:
Damn! A FLAT!!!!

Yep, I got a flat on mile 37. That really sucked cuz I was having a great ride. Instead of getting off my bike and walking, I rode the remaining 5 miles at a slow pace while standing up. 

I ended up riding 6 laps (42 miles) in about 2 hours and 25 minutes. I stopped riding and relaxed for a minute and watched some of the other cyclists ride by. What I like about this place is it's for all to enjoy. You see all shapes, sizes and (sonetimes) all colors out here:

I was happy with my ride, and not really upset about not getting in the last 7 miles. Those things happen. No need to get upset about it. Then I figured this would be a good time to get another type of workout in: changing my tire out on the road.

I always carry tools with me, along with an extra inner tube in the pouch behind my seat:

No one wants to change a tire after riding a bike for 2 hours, but if this were to happen in a race, at least I know I'd have no problem doing it.

It took me about 20 minutes, but I got it changed. It was a dirty job, but somebody's gotta do it! Lol

After getting my bike fixed I decided to call it a day and hit the bike shop and buy some new tubes on the way home.

I like to keep a good supply of spare tubes, because you never know when you'll get a flat.

While I was there, I checked out some of the new bikes and the indoor trainers:

I saw several indoor trainers I liked and I'll get one next weekend.

Today didn't go the way I planned, but I'm not mad about it. That's how life is.  You may have things planned out perfectly, but something happens and your best laid plans are shot to he!!. As a result, you have to go with the flow and make adjustments. What's getting angry or upset gonna do to change the situation? Nothing. It's part of life. 

So even with the flat and having to buy a new indoor trainer, I'm still in a good mood. I  had a good ride, I was able to change my flat on the road, and I saw an indoor trainer I  liked. Life is good! Lol

And seeing how it's my cheat day on my diet I was able to get my chocolate fix tonight at dinner:

They gave us 2 spoons, but I ate 95% of it! Lol

Next week I'm back at the pool and I'll run on the treadmill again. Saturday I'll ride again and buy my new indoor trainer also. 

My training has been altered slightly the last couple weeks, but it's all good. I'm still going to cross that finish line!!

Thanks for reading! Till next time, peace!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

3 Out of 4

3 Out of 4

Even though I haven't been swimming this week, I've been quite busy:
Monday: I took the night off
Tuesday: 60 min on the treadmill 
Wednesday: 60 min  on the indoor trainer 
Thursday: weights

My shoulder feels fine. Taking the week off from the pool was good for me. I think I could've swam this week, but I'll wait till next week. No need to rush back when I have other sports to occupy my time...

My workout on the treadmill was identical to my treadmill workout a couple weeks ago, except I ran at 7.5 instead of 7.0. I was able to run at that pace for 40 minutes. It wasn't easy, but I did it. And the best part? No knee pain!!!

My workout on the indoor trainer was quite intense. I did an interval. Since the bike course is hilly, I have to really make sure I get some quality bike rides in. I can't ride hills as often as I'd like, so intervals are the next best thing.

Intervals are training sessions with short bursts of high intensity speedwork. This type of training is really good for burning fat, but that's not my goal. My goal is to build my power and endurance on the bike.

Here's a pic of me riding my indoor trainer on Wednesday:

The pic is blurry cuz I was trying to ride like someone was chasing me!  lol

My interval training routine is as follows:

15 minute warmup ez pace
10 minutes at 85-90 rpm's
At 25 minutes I start the interval:

Go up 1 gear and ride all out for 15 seconds
Go down 1 gear and ride ez for 45 seconds 

After the 45 seconds, I Go up 1 gear and ride all out for 30 seconds
Down a gear and ride ez for 30 seconds

After the 30 seconds I Go up a gear and ride all out for 45 seconds
Down a gear for 15 at ez pace

After the 15 seconds I ride as hard as I can for 15 seconds.

Ride ez for 5 minutes and do it again.

After the 2nd interval I ride for about 25 more minutes at 85-95 rpm's.  

By the end of the workout i'm DEAD. This type of workout is intense and high energy. It's a great training tool because you don't have to worry about anything that could disrupt your ride. No cars, rollerbladers, wind, etc. It's going all out, hard as you can for as long as you can with no distractions.

I feel pretty good about my cycling. I think my endurance is good and I'll be able to finish the bike in 1 piece. That's cool, but I'm still going to push it and try to get better. I really want to take it to the next level, and the only way is to push it as hard as I can.

I'm still a tad concerned about my bike and run though. This weekend I'll go for a 10 mile run. Next week I'll be back at the pool working on my stroke and my conditioning. Time is really flying, but instead of stressing about it, I'm gonna enjoy the journey!

Thanks for reading! Till next time, peace!