Saturday, July 20, 2013

Getting back on track...

Training wise I was doing so well, up until Barbados, West Virginia and a pelvis injury. It gave me a free pass to relax for a couple weeks, eat, drink and be merry and be merry. Way to many beers. When you have an Ironman personality there is no middle switch. The turn off is when you've totally exhausted yourself

All in all, the past two weeks have caused me to be tired and in need of sleep catch up, not to mention gaining about 3 lbs that have to come down. If I can get down 8 more pounds by IMMT it'll be a decent race weight.

Now it's back to hard core training, it started yesterday, with only 28 days to IMMT. It's also going to be a very busy and challenging three weeks at work preparing for our sales rally and focusing on a couple of major initiatives and still train.

I've definitely found that the past 8 weeks of training has been awesome for my mental state and my waistline, I dropped 12 lbs, well, now it's only 9 lbs. I needed it. It's amazing how much more clearer you think when you have the time to think. I can't tell you how many times I figured out solutions to problems or enhanced my creativity by training. Heck, on a 6 hour bike ride or 3 hour run what else is there to do. Maybe it's also the oxygen to the head that helps.

In a very strange way, the less time I spend behind the desk and the more time thinking during training, the more strategic I'm focused at work.

It is tough though balancing work and training though. If I just had to focus on strategy and training it would be easy. But work isn't all strategy, a big part is execution. The execution is in the now and requires immediate attention. Especially when you are in start up mode.

I've been thinking about figuring out a solution for this problem of combining work and Ironman training. So far my only solution is to do most all of my training before the work day begins. Then I can just motor through work without having to break until the day is done or it makes sense to lock up the laptop.

I've also realized that I need to change my training schedule. I follow a training plan that develops world class results. It's 11 sessions per week, 7 days per week and around 20 hours per week.

I'm getting old body-wise, I've come to that realization and I'm good with that. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm still young of mind, maybe too young still, but I'm starting to feel my body breakdown and not recover quickly. This is a whole new experience for me. It's a time I need to learn to pull back and insert more recovery days and less mileage.

I remember reading about guys that you can do an Ironman on 6 - 10 hours of training. I'm not sure about that. Maybe 10 - 12 hours. I think it's time to get a new program set up with my coach, for Cozumel and go down to 7 sessions per week.

With less hours, more recovery, early morning workouts and a healthy diet and less partying, I'd probably be better off. My motto has always been "Live Yourself to Death", I even had a shirt made. I think if I keep this up with too hard core of training, partying and going to the extreme in all parts of my life it will turn out to be a "Live Yourself to an Early Death".

I say that but saying is a lot easier than doing. I doubt I can stop living life to the extreme, it just not me, never has been, I've tried to change, now I don't bother. You can't change a tigers stripes. I've just learnt to accept it and not try to be something your not.

I will say I've been pretty good over the last 2 months, other than the last 2 weeks where I ate and drank to much.

The key to get off the hamster wheel for me is to train. It helps balance my extreme personality. It displaces some of the energy and I'm a happier person. No matter how your day goes, if you train you've done some winning. It's a confidence builder.

The first day back training is the toughest. Then it gets easier. Motivation starts the process, habit keeps it going. Once you get into habit it's pretty easy unless you become burnt out and need recovery. If that happens diet and regular sleep still keeps you in the habit mode.

On a family level I just booked a trip to Cuba at the end of August. At this stage of my life memories are all that count and time keeps moving forward. Some of the best times have been when we go on vacation together. Even though Reid doesn't want to go, I know his personality, it's like Carl on the TV Show an "Idiot Abroad" who hates travel and they follow him around travelling. Alice and Alyssa say Reid and Carl would make a great team, it would be much more funny.

My take on it is that although he may not like it, he will appreciate it later. We went to Europe last year and he complained all day, on the hour, every hour about wanting to go home. He doesn't like elevators, so he walked all the stairs with his bags. He doesn't like sit down restaurants, he'd prefer a buffet and he's not into sight seeing. All he's into is complaining. Then 6 months later he's saying it wasn't to bad, he enjoyed it. That's what I mean, the memories will change. He just needs a kick start.

Alyssa on the other hand likes travel. Only issue with Alyssa is she's a super fussy eater and I mean super fussy. We go to restaurants and before we go in, she checks the menu and more often than not she rejects it and we are off to another. Mostly all she wants is Italian food, which means just pasta.

Between Reid's not wanting to travel and Alyssa's food fussiness it makes travel a little more challenging. But in the end I think it will make great memories. Something to laugh back about.

Although I said we wouldn't do a third world vacation, I'm doing it again. Cuba has been the best 3rd world vacation compared to Mexico and Dominican Republic. The people are nicer and don't gawk at the girls or hit on them when the men's backs are turned making them feel uncomfortable. They are respectable and the beaches are awesome white powdery sand. It's only going to be 5 days and there will be pasta for Alyssa and buffets and no elevators for Reid.

Training wise today was my best day on the bike in a long time. It was 33 C and windy out and although I had to kick my butt to get outside it was my fastest long ride. Like old times. I averaged 31kph for 120 km. I had power again. Just shows what recovery can do. Tomorrow will be my pelvis test.

I got an email from John Barclay and he says it's hip problems that prevented him from doing Ironmans. He has hip issues and says the symptoms I describe are exactly the same as his. I think the only difference between him and I is I'll run through the pain. I have that ability, it's part of my extreme personality.

Also we had a wicked storm last night it took down the tree in our front yard, some people are still without power since Friday and on the ride there was a lot of blown down trees, especially on #1 side road.

Lastly, I almost got clipped by a car yesterday. It happened so fast their was no time to get scared. There was two cars coming by in each direction and the guy in my lane decided that he wasn't going to wait until the other car drove by and then pull out to give me room. He zoomed by giving me 6, maybe 8 inches. After he drove by I just shook my head. He say that and put his hand out the window and started pointing like I was too far out and should have been closer to the edge of the road.

I replied with the middle finger and then put my hand out to show we have 3 feet. With that said I was probably only out 2 feet.

It's times like this that you start to fantasize that you catch him and haul him out of the car and beat on him. I used to get so angry when people would drive by and honk at me for now reason other than I'm a cyclist. Now I don't.

I thought to myself, what's in this guys brain. If he hit me, he could kill me. That would change his life forever. And why do it? All he had to do was be a decent driver. With that said, he was a Canadian redneck, driving a beat up car that looked like it was from the 80's and the paint sun-bleached.

Long Bike - 3:53:44 / 120 km / 31 kph avg

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