Monday, June 30, 2014

Motion is lotion...

Got back on the carbon fibre horse today and broke the 4 day fast from Ironman Boulder training.

It was a hot one, 102 F / 39 C. My head was still not back into it. The day after beers I normally have big anxiety and training helps take it away. If not training it usually takes a couple days.

Mentally I struggled through the ride. I did lots of self talk. At a few points I even started talking to myself out loud. It was my self coach talking to me. I did a lot of talking to myself on a lot of levels. There is lots going on in my mind right now.

To add to it I got a little freaked out when this big dump truck came super close to me. It was on a road I rarely ride and had to because my on my normal route the road I go on is closed until August.

I can't believe how these big truck drivers often drive so close to cyclists. I have a florescent yellow cycling jersey and a flashing light on the back of my jersey. It basically says that I'm concerned about my safety. It's quite scary when they give you only about 2 feet as you see the wheels go by you and if you call you could fall into the tires and they create a wind that is unsettling.

Anything can happen and getting to the start line in one piece is important. A guy I just met through twitter who is also doing Ironman Boulder hit a dog on his bike this weekend and separated his shoulder and will not be at the start line. Scary Stuff.

When I got home I was mentally not feeling to good. I was tired. I decided to lie down, do some work and then fell asleep on my bed. I faded in and out and by 5 pm I was feeling mentally much better. Everything was starting to normalize and I could feel my motivation coming back.

Today was also an awesome eating healthy day. Last Wednesday I was at 200 lbs on the nose, today it was 205.8 lbs. Just shows you how things can go sideways quickly. Undeterred I made sure I watched my calories. There is a feeling in me deep down that I am now really focused and stick with my diet.

I also know that if I can give it hard like I did for the last 3 weeks and eat like a champion that I'll be ready for Ironman Boulder. I know that there is two things I need to do to succeed daily, eat healthy and to lose weight and to train. Even on a recovery day if I eat properly I'm moving myself forward.

It's kind of a strange sensation right now. I'm kind of in a holding pattern at work and there is not much for me to do until our official launch. It's my first chance to enjoy this next month. Kind of like a quasi vacation. I've never really taken a vacation more than a week or two and if I add up all the weeks of vacation I didn't take it would be at least a year.

I really should be enjoying this time off and treat it like a vacation. Build up my energy for August when things will be back into full swing and I'll be going super hard for the next 60 days with my new venture Salmon Social and determine if it's going to be the life or death of the next big social app.

This being the last day of the month I had some decent training hours for June at 57.57 hours and a total of 1024 km of swim, bike and run. Considering I was in scare bad shape I can recall in years when I started, I'm pleased. The month has moved by pretty quickly and my body is definitely tightening up and gaining muscle.

Another challenge I'm trying to take up is to minimize my use of online social media. I'm finding it an addictive time waster. Other than some posts for Salmon Social I'm going to try and take the month of July off from Facebook and Twitter.

Bike - 1:14:13 / 30.03 km

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Slight Bump and Bend in the Road...

I got off training track. Not by much but a little, about 4 days and it seems like a life time.

Our 26th anniversary was on Wednesday and that was my last training session. I did do three hours that day so it was great.

Then I got derailed for two reasons. First was I decided to take Thursday off as a recovery day and then I got into the Beer and watching world cup soccer. Thursday turned into Friday into Saturday and then Sunday without training.

Having a personality like mine is a strength as well as a weakness. When I decide to do something I do it with 100% commitment to success and beer is my nemesis. Once I started some recovery and drinking beers it threw me off track. For me I don't just have one or two, my personality won't allow it.

In the past I was so focused to succeed that having beers didn't stop me from training. I did some pretty intense workout with my head hurting a bit. Now I don't have that same motivation and with this being my last Ironman and the goal is to just finish my motivation is less.

Thank goodness I signed up to raise money for Doctors without Borders and that's the only thing keeping me motivated is that people have backed me and I can't let them down.

Beer is my friend and my foe. I don't know why but I just like the taste of beer. I've drank beer my whole life. I've stopped drinking beer for periods of time, once 7 years in my late teens and early 20's and many many times for months on end.

My issue is I binge drink. Once I get started I can't stop I like the feeling and it makes sense as I have an all or nothing personality. That's why I feel so natural doing Ironmans, it's an extreme lifestyle.

The only issue with have one to many with my personality is I do or stay stupid things sometimes. Other times is just one big laugh fest or some pretty good deep conversation.

Most of the time that I have regrets is doing something after I have more pints than I should. This past week I had some of those moments. Some laughs, some good conversation and some stupid stuff.

I did a lot of reflecting this past week and realized that most all the stupid stuff or things I regret doing have been when I've had a little too much than I should of and I didn't use good judgement.

This year I shut down the House of Payne Beer Run because I decided to stop drinking. Then I went back to it.

I think it's time to give it another shot and to stop drinking. I can't do moderation it's not me and in most cases it's a strength. So I have no choice but to quit outright.

My motivations are to do so is my health, not do stupid things and Salmon Social is going to be ready for prime time soon and I need to be 100% focused on driving it's success. The not doing stupid things is my biggest motivation. It just causes unneeded focus loss after the fact with rumination. Not to mention the loss of control as I want to eat junk food afterwards and so self sabotaging to my weight.

So tomorrow it's back to the training grind with a new found focus. It will be work, train, eat to lose weight and no beer.

Not to mention I need to limit my online social media stuff. That's a whole different story. It's so addictive.

Tomorrow's a new day.

P.S.Looking for all the support I could get as I fundraise for Doctors without Borders. Big our small donations welcome. Support a great cause.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


I gotta tell you fundraising is tough. On a level I didn't expect.

I signed up for Ironman Boulder and committed to raise $4000 for Doctors without Borders. It was the first time ever that I was fundraising for an event and it's a great cause.

I put together a list of a couple hundred people that I knew fairly well. Some were past friends, business acquaintances, employees, customers. Many of the people I supported or helped financially in many ways.

There was some that emailed me and said they would love to donate but for financial reasons couldn't and I really respected them for reaching out and explaining.

It was interesting to see who supported my effort.

The first donations I received came from the most unlikely of people I would have thought. They were people I knew the least of the list and some of the donations were extremely generous. That was really amazing. Most all of the donations came from the first few emails.

Then it dried up.

I kept sending more and I'd look at the list of 200 that I was sending to and would see names of people I've more than helped and nothing. Even close family members were on the list and didn't contribute.

That's when it started to bother me mentally and made me decide this will be my last effort at fundraising.

I guess I was living in a cocoon as I've always thought if some one I know asks for support or a favour I give it to them and assumed they would do the same for me. I can't count how many times I bought stuff from friends, neighbours, customers, employees, bosses and co-workers to support their cause.

This was the first time I've asked for money and made short list of 200 people that I was certain would support me. Most didn't.

It's very perplexing to me and I wondered why. I go through the list and look at the names and wonder why they aren't supporting me?

The feelings of doing something good for a cause go to the examining of the human nature of others and judging. It's not a very good feeling. It makes me feel like perhaps I was played a fool for what I did for them or they just aren't the type of person I thought they were or I thought they liked me and didn't.

It's at times humiliating, humbling and I find myself judging others and I don't like it. It's jading.

Moving forward I've decided to stop emailing and asking for donations. It's too painful to send an 8th or 9th email blast and maybe get only one or two donations and then look at the list and wonder why not everyone is contributing.

With all that said I'm still very grateful to all the people that did donate. Like I said too it was really heartwarming to get some very generous donations from the most unlikely of people.

I think for future I'm going to let others do the fundraising and I'll support them with donations. I have a whole new appreciation for the mental toll it takes to fund raise.

On the training front I took a break today to give my legs time to rest. Even though I did want to try out my new runners today. Over 3 days I did over 12 hours of training and didn't want to do a garbage speed work session around the track.

Although I've had my beer drinking somewhat under control last night I didn't. I had way to many.

Why do I torture myself? It just seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

P.S.Still looking for all the support I could get as I fundraise for Doctors without Borders. Big our small donations welcome. Support a great cause.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Happy 26th Anniversary...

Twenty six years ago to the day I did an Olympic Distance triathlon in the morning and got married in the afternoon.

Starting off as High School Sweethearts and dating for 6 years we decided to get married. Which means if we counted dating years we've been together 32 years. We've only been apart 16 years of the  48 years we've been on the planet.

People ask what is the key to a successful and long marriage. I can give many answers yet the only one that keeps coming back is "Alice".

There is pretty much no other women on the planet that I know of that could handle me in any way. I had one friend tell me that once men get married their wives neuter them. I've seen it many times myself. They go from being their own person to having to check with the wife on everything.

In my case I've retained my sense of selfishness. If I want to do something I do it. It's the decide first and explain later.

From day one Alice knew what she was getting into, we dated for 6 years and lived together for at least 2 years. She saw all my "warts and pimples" but metaphorically and literally.

To be married to me you need to be super secure. For business I've travelled most of my life and when doing Ironman's I train up to 22 hours per week. There is lots of alone time. When I'm there there is also lots of adventure, fun, madness and laughs. Sometimes tears if I have to much to drink and start feeling sorry for myself at 2 am in the Pig & Whistle.

Looking back I do have regrets. If I was to do it all over again I wouldn't have taken my career so seriously and I would have put family first. Instead work was number one priority and all decisions were made based on my chasing the American dream.

I think back and I can remember many work circumstances and yet I can't remember many family special moments. Like Alyssa and Reid taking their first steps. Either I was there and didn't remember or I wasn't there or didn't think it a big enough priority to remember or feel bad. I do know when I was there I was often thinking about work.

Don't get me wrong we've had lots of good family time and vacations, it wasn't totally one sided. Although mentally I was often somewhere else.

The reason we are still married 26 years is because of Alice. I probably would have left me looking back. I was so focused on career and now I look back and think how foolish I was. I remember working early mornings, late nights and weekends for years and years as the kids were born and younger. I miss a lot or if I didn't miss it, like a school play, it was an in and out and back to work.

If I could turn back the hands of time I would. I can't. So the only thing I can do is learn from my past and adjust for the future. It's really been within this last year that I've had these epiphanies.

Many people I know don't look in the rear view mirror and many will say there is no value in looking in the rear view mirror. I disagree. I think looking in the rear view mirror is important and living in the rear view mirror is detrimental.

I've often said that people who do Ironman's have issues. People laugh at it and yet it's 100% true. As an Ironman we have demons that drive us. I know it's true in my case. Same with career I was motivated to succeed. I worked full time summers since I was 13 years old, which is another regret I have in that I didn't get to enjoy my summers when I was young. It wasn't my parents choice it was mine.

Looking back my motivation is to prove people wrong and show people I was just as good as them if not better. My whole life I was told I wasn't good enough, or didn't apply myself in school, or I didn't finish what I started and the list goes on and on.

My first Ironman I did to prove to myself I could finish something. I used to join teams and clubs and drop out all the time. Ironman Canada in 1987 was the first time I started something and finished it other than high school football. From that point forward I never started and didn't finish anything ever again.

Career wise I was motivated to prove all the teachers and classmates that questioned my abilities. I wasn't the best student, other than one year that I tried in a public school and got an award for the highest marks in History and Physcology. For most of my school career my goal was 50%. My son follows the same principal. I hated school and totally understand my son's thinking it's the equivalent to prison. I thought the same thing.

For my entire school career every teacher gave my parents the same talk during parent teacher interviews. "Bryan has the ability if he would just apply himself".

I graduated, well kind of, from a Jesuit Boy's School and was as far as I can tell the only one out of the graduating class that did not go on to post secondary. I couldn't torture myself doing another 4 years of school. I say kind of graduated because I was one credit short and when my younger sister of 6 years was about to graduate I went to summer school in my 20's to get my high school diploma.

Being ridiculed and told I was stupid motivated me to drive hard and succeed in business and prove the others wrong. To me school was a fantasy world and business was the real world.

The other motivation for me was to not lie. As a kid we all lie. I'd tell lies to someone I didn't know that I was on the honour role, not true. There would be other little lies to build yourself up in the eyes of others.

I decided when I left school and got into business I wasn't going to lie ever again and accept who I was and be proud of it. That' trait has really helped me as a leader because people may not agree with me or my style but they know that I'm not a bullshitter.

So one would look back and think "well Bryan you made some really great choices and look where you are now?"

There is some truth to that, however, all my motivations have been geared towards "me" and I'd do the bare minimum to still be a decent husband and father.

As I look in my life's rear view mirror at the age of 48 I look back at the last 24 years after starting my first real business and think of how much I missed with family and how I thought my customers, employees and associates were more important.

Now I think with a 48 year old perspective and realize that if I'm lucky I might have another 24 years left. That would put me at 72 years old. I know how fast 24 years can go by and as you get older the years tend to fly by.

I ask myself what the next 24 years is going to look like? What do I want to make them look like? What should they look like?

The one think I'm truly thankful for and blessed with is that Alice is still by my side. It could be worse, I could be looking in the rear view mirror and having the big regret that I lost the love of my life and my kids by being so focused on myself and my interests.

Some of the things I've learned over the years that is helping me prepare for the future is that people don't think like me. When I was younger I figured it was obvious what was the right direction and the right thing to do and most people agreed. That's not the case. In fact if I was to guess I'd say 5 - 10% of the people out there think like me.

Another is other than family and those rare true friends no one cares about you. No matter how good you are to your customers or employees or associates they don't care about you. They might think they do but they don't. I've always cared about personal relationships, business or not and always felt if we were at war you could rely on me in that foxhole. I've come to learn most people don't share that philosophy and often look to others as a means to an end.

People lie and present themselves differently than who they are. I've often told the kids to look across the street to our neighbours and believe it or not one of them is probably beating his wife. Or you see a super tough buyer making your life miserable and when you met him with his wife she owns him. You never know what goes on behind closed doors. I see that with people all the time they present themselves one way and when push comes to shove they don't walk the talk.

The only group of people I've met in my life that I can count on are Ironman triathletes. There is something in them that makes them mentally tough and secure. You can't mail in the training or fake it. I can't even imagine an Ironman being a serial killer, they are not weak enough mentally. The one thing I love about the Ironman brother hood is they have integrity.

What I really respect about some of them is how they balance Ironman, Career and Family and so all well. Especially multiple Ironman finishers. That is no small task and very few can do it.

So I look back and it's our 26th wedding anniversary which is surreal. On one level it seems like yesterday and on another is seems like a lifetime ago. I'm definitely not the same person I was when I got married, I like to think I'm much wiser from my past experiences.

If I was to do it over again what would I do?

1. Only work a regular work day and odd weekend. Once you start putting in more than 8 hours a day and start working weekends you lose perspective.

2. Be there 100% in mind during anything family related. Like school plays, birthdays and vacations.

3. Don't think customers, employees and associates are your friends. Don't mistake church friendly for friendship. In most cases you are just a means to an end.

4. Don't live your life caring what people think. Don't ruminate on it. Don't make your choices based on being liked or how you want them to perceive you.

5. Understand it's okay to quit if you're not happy. Don't believe the key to success is perseverance. That's a slogan. Quiting and moving on if your not happy is fine. Go back to the rule "don't care what people think". Personally I think it takes more guts to quit than it does to stick it out.

In short, live is short. Enjoy. Be happy. Live with no regrets. Family is family and the only people that care about you.

I believe the only time regrets count is when you are on your death bed. That's the moment you can't reverse them. I have many regrets at this stage of my life. The difference is I have the ability to learn from them and correct them moving forward. If I can do that then in my books, "All's well that end's well".

For me the reason I'm not going to do anymore Ironman races after Ironman Boulder is because I'm coming to terms with my issues and resolving them. I'm not driven by the same motivations.

They are also HARD. Not only is the race hard the training is even harder. Forcing yourself out the door to do a 6 - 7 hour bike ride and a 2 - 3 hour run every weekend is no longer becoming fun to me. My past motivations and issues that have changed and what got me out the door in the past are no longer as strong or there at all.

I'm glad I'm committed to raise money for Doctors without Borders. Right now that is my motivation to get out the door and train. My other motivation is to make my last Ironman as painless as possible and if you show up not in shape or fat you are going to pay the price. My biggest dread is pulling off a 14 hour plus Ironman and having to walk the Run. I just want to finish the race as soon as possible so the pain stops as soon as possible. I've done 14 hours before when I was 23, it's brutal. I showed up virtually untrained.

In the past I've always felt awkward and obligated to give money to those I know that were raising money for charity. I don't any more. It's not like I'm Morman and set aside 10% of my income for charity. I, like most have no plan or I give when people come to the door. Now my plan is I give when my friends and family ask. It's my charity plan. Now the secret is out.

The one thing with Ironman's is it seems so romantic when you sign up for one. And you brag for a year you are going to do it and then when it comes it's so damn hard you wonder what you were thinking. The only thing I equate it to is a women having a baby and then joy of talking about it until they are down to the final weeks and then the pain in the delivery room. Then of course, like an Ironman, they soon forget how hard it was and do it all over again.

Today's training was kind of a homage to our wedding. The morning of our wedding I did an Olympic Triathlon so I did three training sessions today, weights, swim and bike and I didn't mail in any of them, except the swim. I hate swimming and my arms were sore from doing the weights right before.

I'm pushing crazy weight and the speed bike I did today was one of the best I've done in a long time. I was dripping sweat. I loved it. I took a picture after and it's one of my all time favourite pictures. The last one I loved was when I was going so hard to make it to Kona (which I did) that there was snot coming down my face like a bull.

The one good thing about doing speed work is the recovery and warm up and warm down is so enjoyable. You enjoy it more as you know what the pain of intervals is like. It was also beautiful going through my favourite road area in the escarpment on Britannia in between Cedar Springs and Guelph. It's like a canopy of trees and so peaceful.

To me today was a perfect day. Not only did I get in over 3 hours of training, Alice and I went for an early dinner. We ran some errands, picking up new runners for me. My old ones are just trashed. Never before have I worn off the rubber of the bottoms. I'm thinking I haven't changed shoes for 2 years or more. People saying you need to change your shoes every 400 miles are crazy. That's a ploy from the shoe companies and it's been proven that the more spongy the shoes the more likely hood of injury.

What injured me was the $190 price tag for the shoes. I normally buy them online for $85 and just didn't have the time to order and weight this time around. What a rip off for shoes in Canada versus online in the United States.

We also picked up a battery for my speedometer and a pole and stand I had welded for the parking meter I bought for the Pig & Whistle. Another man cave speciality. I have it along with drive in movie speakers. I'm building a heck of a museum down there. Only thing I realized I need is a rotary old school phone.

Diet wise I BLEW it today. I was doing so well on my 1000 calories or less diet for one day. Then we go for dinner. I do well with a salad. Then few beers. Then get back home and have some more beers and then lose control and eat popcorn, Doritos, Snickers bar, ribs and potato chips. I weighted in today at 200 lbs on the nose and tomorrow might have been the day to get into the 190's. Will have to wait. Although I am firming up for sure. Body is not looking as fat and blubbery.

Weights - 50 minutes
Swim - 50:49 / 2196 meters
Bike - 1:31:12 / 38.4 km

P.S.Looking for all the support I could get as I fundraise for Doctors without Borders. Big our small donations welcome. Support a great cause.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A run that scared me...

I was dreading today's long run. It would be my second leading up to Ironman Boulder.

Over the years I've done so many long runs I can't remember. I remember in 2010 I did close to 30 long runs between 2 to 3 hours.

Why I was dreading it so much was I'm about 14 lbs heavier than I normally am and it's not easy running at that weight and my fitness is not where I would want it to be.

I knew by doing today's run it would be a huge confidence builder and continue to build momentum. This would give me my 2nd long run with 6 weeks of training left which will definitely prepare me for Ironman Boulder.

It was a brutal run. It was 37 C / 98.2 F and I ran at mid day. To top it all off I didn't bring any water. More often than not I don't bring water on my long runs. I figure it's only a couple hours and not having water toughens you up. Today I wished I wore a water belt.

I ran a total 2:43. It was supposed to be a 2.5 hour run but the last half with all the walking in order to keep my heart rate low added an extra 15 minutes.

I walked in order to keep my heart rate under 138 bpm. As I ran and walked all I looked for was a house that had a garden hose I could see. Saw one at a vacant house. Tried it and it was turned off from the inside.

I was going to call a friend, "Alice" to pick me up. I chose not to. I needed this run from a mental as well as physical standpoint. I gutted it out.

First thing I did when I got home and stumbled in the house was weigh myself. I wanted to see how much water weight I lost, it was 9 lbs. I left at 204 lbs and came back at 195 lbs. My shoes were soaked from all the sweat dripping down into my shoes from my legs. It was that hot. I've only had that happen once or twice before.

Last night I was researching diets. I NEED to lose weight. On today's run I was more motivated than ever to drop the weight and I need to do it fast. I only have 6 weeks until race day. I'm dreading what it would feel like having to carry an extra 14 lbs during an Ironman. I dread it more than having to run in the heat of today.

My biggest fear is that this is my last Ironman and I struggle through it. The worst would be if I had to walk most of the run. I've been there in 1991 and it was something that I can't describe how mentally and physically painful it is.

I've decided I need to go on a rapid weight loss program and I don't care what people think. To me it's the lesser of the two evils. If I can drop the weight within 2 or maximum three weeks it still gives me three weeks to eat more calories and gain full strength before the race.

The only way I can lose weight from experience of dieting is to eat under 1000 calories per day. I was reading on the web some people that lose up to 15 lbs in one week are eating 850 calories on weekdays and 1200 on weekends. To lose 15 lbs in 1 weeks you essentially have to have a 5000 calorie deficit.

Now before everyone starts going all "I'm crazy" on my ass. Stop. The reality is I have the energy to sustain my training even by cutting my calories. It's call fat, it's stored energy. If there is any risk it's losing muscle during the process. That's were I have to eat lean meats and supplement with protein.

I'd rather go through the pain and suffering of having to not eat much for 2 weeks than having to training and race heavy. It's the lesser of the two evils.

When I got back from today's run I felt like a combination of a bonk and heat stroke. It wasn't heat stroke I just felt like crap and had a little bit of the shivers afterwards. I drank as much liquid as I could and that also makes you feel sick when you are pounding liquids into your body, water, diet coke, protein shake and beer.

Yes beer. It was the think that actually started to bring me back to normal. I had three over a 3 hour period. I then ate a very sparse dinner. In total I ate 1500 calories today and 500 of them was from beer.

I figure if I can just hunker down hard for 2 weeks and along with training I'll be down into the low 190's and then I can up the calories. It might not be wise by conventional wisdom but then again I'll be monitoring my body the entire time and make adjustments as required. It's not a blind process it comes along with evaluation.

If I can get through the evening wanting to snack time. That's when the hunger pains start from the beginning of the evening fast. I just have to keep thinking about how horrible it feels to training and race heavy.

Lastly today my Doctors without Borders team jersey arrived. It's now getting real. Added motivation that I have to stay the course with training and drop the weight. The reality is I'm shape to finish, albeit slow.

You have no idea how signing up to support and raise money for DWB has keep me on track.

Long Run - 2:43:40 / 25 km

P.S.Looking for all the support I could get as I fundraise for Doctors without Borders. Big our small donations welcome. Support a great cause.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Recovery is dangerous...

I spend Saturday night sleeping on the sofa after the biking pub crawl with Alice and I guess needing training recovery also contributed to her not being able to wake me.

I woke up Sunday morning and basically didn't move from the couch all day. On my fitbit I recorded 438 steps for the day. That's it. That .023 of a mile. Just shows me the fitbit is accurate. I was literally doing nothing but watching TV all day.

Here's the rub. I do nothing and I hurt my back from just lying down, too much I assume.

As much as a bad back feels physical it's created from mental. I usually get a bad back when I start feeling a little stressed or something I'm not happy about is going on in my life.

Most people think to rest and relax. That's not the right approach. The best is to try and move around and then to try and figure out what is causing it. Once you can identify the issue it's amazing how quickly the back will heal when you deal with it.

I thing what got me a little stressed was I was doing so well, eating 6.5 days perfectly and then I took 2 days and got off my diet and had snacks and beer. It was kind of a self sabotage move. I worked so hard, saw improvements and then reverse those gains. That's definitely stressful when you are racing against time to get ready for Ironman Boulder and you need to drop weight.

Sunday I started the day off strong thinking that this will be day 1 of a 5 day challenge and then broke down and had some Doritos, sunflower seeds and a snickers and Kit Kat bar. It's the evenings that are the killer for me.

The only upside to doing that is it definitely motivates you to make sure you do your long ride and brick run the next day. Which was today.

I woke up early this morning to do my long ride. I've never done a Monday long ride and brick. I wanted to get out onto the road by 7:30 am, got delayed a bit and was out by 8 am. I can't remember the last time I did a long ride that early. I should do more of them like that. It's nice to get started earlier as you then get finished earlier.

What's cool about living on the east coast and working mountain time is that my 8 am is 6 am in Boise and 5 am in San Francisco. I can get all my training done in the morning by noon EST and it's only 9 am PST. It's a great advantage for training.

It's so good that last November I did a training camp in Arizona and worked on East Coast time, which by the way is so much more productive of a time zone, and be done by 5 pm EST which is only 2 pm PST. Then I'd get out and train in the afternoon.

Taking Saturday and Sunday off to let my body and mind recover was the right decision. It didn't take long for me to get that answer today. Immediately I felt stronger physically and mentally. Within the first hour I knew I was in for the long haul and there was no way I was going to bail.

Two hours into the ride I was averaging 27.8 kph. Not bad considering Friday's garbage ride was 24.6 kph. Big improvement. Another thing to consider is my first 20 minutes of the ride I average about 22 kph due to the steep hill climbing and then I have to ride very fast to make it up and get to 27.8 kph within 2 hours. In fact my whole ride is hill climbing. They are not big hills but they are consistent up and down riding.

The one good think about riding is it doesn't hurt my back. It's easy to ride through it. The tough thing about today's ride was my body was stronger and I was going harder than normal and really giving my legs a workout. The last 3 hours of my ride is in a hilly area and it really gives your legs that burn. I like pain so I push through it and think to myself that it's rides like this that will have some benefit.

One of the biggest challenges of doing a long ride is to try and time your finish according to the schedule. It always causes a bit of anxiety. For example, with today's 6 hour ride it looked like I was going to finish at 5 hours and 55 minutes which meant I needed to ride around the neighbourhood to get more time. 6 hours sounds a heck of a lot better than 5 hours 55 minutes.

In fact I'd much prefer to come home late at even 6:15 and not have to ride around the neighbourhood. There is something about having to put in extra miles riding around your house that sucks. It's so easy to bail and say "well it's only 5 minutes, close enough".

 I was happy I averaged 27.1 kph vs my last long ride at 25.6 kph. Improvement is a good thing.

My legs were pumped and sore when I got home. They felt like they used to when I averaged 30 kph. I was dreading my brick run as I knew it was going to hurt and my back was thrown out. It would have been easy to bail on the brick run the one thing keeping me wanting to do it was I knew it would be epic in that I'd remember it as it was not going to be easy. It's these type of moments that help you in your Ironman preparation.

I was right on all fronts. My sore back made me run in an awkward position like I had a pole up my A$$ and my legs were sore. The sore feeling I actually don't mind to much. I can work through the pain. I had to stop a number of times to keep my heart rate down and about halfway through the run my back loosened up a bit. Needless to say it was a slow run.

At the two hour mark of the bike I could feel a bonk coming on. Then I remembered I had power bars with me and started to have one. Then started drinking my Gatorade. On one hand I was looking forward to a bonk on the other I didn't want to have 4 more hours of bonking.

 One of the reasons I didn't want to eat to much was because I'm trying to lose weight all the sugar in the drinks and food is not good for weight loss even though you are training. I decided the bonk would feel worse than keeping my fatness.

When I got home I did a full stretch routine. There is never a more important time to stretch than when putting in lots of Ironman training time and after a long anything or speed work anything. Two things have kept me relatively injury free over the past 7 years, stretching and weight training. Those are not to be under estimated in how they keep you healthy and injury free. Tomorrow I do weights and I know they will help my back immensely. Weight training is really a form of stretching.

The other day I got asked by Dave Parker a Ironman buddy if I'd like to coach him. My first thought was what do I know about coaching. I decided to help him and not take the money he offered. I'll just help him as a friend and provide him with the training sessions and basic info. I'm not going to be wiping his nose or giving him my number to call me day and night. This isn't AA.

As I thought about it I didn't give myself enough credit. I do know enough how to coach. I've been following a pretty structured plans for the past 7 years. Ones that have been developed by 6 time Ironman Champion Mark Allen. I don't just know them intellectually I know them spiritually.

It's one thing to read a training plan it's another to execute on them and live them. It's the living those work outs and knowing what they feel like at your core and how you have to deal with them mentally that gives insight. You also understand how to deal with them and there is so much stuff I realized I know that I didn't even realized I knew.

I think I'd be an awesome coach if people just did the workouts I gave them. Did them and only emailed me with questions. I wouldn't want to actually "TALK" to them very often. Maybe at the beginning to get started.

However if someone is looking for coaching and doesn't need their hand held and can work independently I'd suggest you sign up with Mark Allen Online. I love it. Great workout plans and he or Luis is only an email away and they get back to you promptly with all your questions. They also have a forum that athletes discuss and they answer. It's also really affordable I think it's $30 per week.  I can's say enough his coaching got me to Kona and Clearwater.

If I was a coach I'd probably not be your typical coach. I'd be like "you feeling burnt out? Go out and have some beers, get drunk, hit the reset button" My other key phase would probably be S.I.U Baby!!! Which beens Suck it Up Baby.  Or do you want me to call the Whammmmmmbulance.

To me the key to doing a good Ironman is to train at low heart rate which builds your base and helps reduce injury, follow a good plan that builds you up then gives you perfect recovery time before the race and take time to recover and enjoy yourself. Don't become one of those "slow twitch triathlon geeks" that over analyze and judge everything based on there eating, sleeping and drinking triathlon.

What I find most funny is that I have the anti-Ironman lifestyle yet I've made it to Kona, Clearwater, ITU world championships and the Mark Allen Elite team on it. Not that I could do it today with my pendulum swinging to far the other way.

A big recommendation I give is especially as you get older some supplements really work in aiding recovery and performance.

I spend some time today reviewing my 6 week Ironman Cozumel training program. I was not ready for it and did a 4 week training-work-cation camp in Arizona and somehow managed to pull off an 11:18 Ironman. I'm doing the same thing again. Only difference is I started Arizona at 200 lbs not 206 lbs and I lost 10 lbs over 4 weeks, ate perfect the entire time and no snacking or beer.

The pleasant surprise was I only did 3 long bike rides there and 4 long runs. I've already got 2 long rides done and 1 long run. I'm ahead on the bike and will probably be the same on the run. The running is what is scaring me the most right now. An extra 16 lbs makes a huge difference on the Run.

On a personal note I want to thank Rich Sohor and Douglas Cash who donated to my Doctors without Borders Campaign. Rich is a good friend and out of all the people who donated I know them all except for Douglas Cash. So cool that he's willing to support someone he doesn't know.

 I'm now only $183 away from hitting my $4000 commitment. Once I get that the only other commitment I have is to finish the Boulder Ironman. I can tell you straight up that knowing I have to do this race for Doctors without Borders and not wanting to let anyone down or think their donation did not go into my pain and suffering, it's been the motivation I need to keep it going.

Thanks again for all those who contributed.

My photo's today are of what I see during my training. I can't tell you how beautiful it is where I train. It's the reason I won't move and will commute and telecommute to Silicon Valley instead of moving there.

Long Bike - 6:03:12 / 104 km
Brick Run - 31:10 / 5 km

P.S.Looking for all the support I could get as I fundraise for Doctors without Borders. Big our small donations welcome. Support a great cause.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

First day of Summer...

Technically you could say I did some training today. Alice and I rode our bikes to downtown Burlington to check out the Burlington Beer Festival. It wasn't very big but it was still fun.

Before we did that we started the morning off with a healthy breakfast at a neighbourhood all day breakfast joint. I went healthy, only had half an omelet and some toast. I then asked Alice if she was up for riding our bikes to the beer festival.

We've never ridden our bikes downtown, it's about 10 km from our house. I figured it would be a good time hanging out together, something different to do on a Saturday, we could drink and pedal home, we could stop at different pubs, watch some World Cup Soccer, sit out on the patios and just enjoy the first day of Summer.

Which we did. It was a great day.

It started off not so fun as we rode downtown and there was nothing but traffic. Even though we rode on the sidewalks I've never been more scared about being hit by a car. It was insane and definitely not a relaxing ride.

Once we got downtown and had some lunch all was good. I even checked in on Salmon Social and seen some people had previously checked in. One looked like my buddy Rodney the other I didn't know.

For the festival they had a small part of a street closed. They called it a car show with about 7 old cars and one new Camero. Not much of a show, but the Camero that caught my eye. I'm thinking for the Boulder Ironman we planned on driving and then maybe going on a road trip to visit friends and family and I started thinking that I should rent one for the trip. That could be fun.

We pub hopped. All the while I was trying new beers. No more light beers. At the Queenshead I saw the guy who fixed our home entertainment unit last week and my neighbour from across the street saw us and said hi. It takes going to downtown Burlington to see our neighbour.

It was then winding our way home. Of course I stopped by the car dealership even though it was closed to look to see what Camero's they have. Then off to Canyon Creek for dinner. Another Salad. All I'm eating now is Salads. Oh, and a fudge brownie and ice cream desert. There was an awesome Muskoka beer glass they served my beer in, needless to say the glass still is in my possession and now family among my other pub borrowed beer glasses in the Pig & Whistle.

Our final stop was The Black Bull. Another outdoor patio, another beer. As we were leaving we met a guy who went to St John's Boy Boarding School in Selkirk Manitoba. He must have been a bad boy. It was a school for wayward boys. They lived there and they worked doing farm choirs and were known for selling honey and sausage door to door. Then they would go on these huge winter sledding trips. I always wanted to go to St John's. I thought it would be cool to do all that adventure stuff.

By the time we got home we had finished a 23 km bike ride and it was a great way to start summer. I'm committed to make this my best summer ever and this was a perfect beginning. Even though I already started. I thought summer started already I had no idea it started June 21st.

It was also the perfect way to recover. I got a little recovery exercise and it was a good mental break. I will say I'm beer-ed out. Starting tomorrow It's going to become a 5 day challenge. I figure if I could eat healthy, no snacking, no beer from Sunday - Thursday it will be a nice little compromise of doing what I need to do to lose weight and doing what I need to do to enjoy life.

When I look my current weight I realize that it is a game of a series of small decisions and it's taken me 48 years to start to learn that. The big thing is not over eating and eating the right foods. Today although I had beer my day consisted of half a vegetable omelet and toast for breakfast, Braised beef and Caesar salad for lunch and Caesar salad and one prime rib slider for dinner and half a dessert. The dessert I could have done without but it was small.

The killer is when you eat carelessly. When you order appetizers like nachos or fried and greasy stuff. French fries are another killer. If you stay away from those sorts of foods and make choices to eat food that is lean meats or salads and minimize the breads and exercise regularly it makes it much tougher to gain weight.

I should know I can go up and down more than anyone I know and I never go up from not eating fried foods, chips or candy bars. It's those foods that are guaranteed to help me gain weight.

Beer isn't even that bad except with you have too much of it and you lose your self control and start eating fried foods, chips and candy bars. Then beer becomes that enabler.

Tattoos. My big takeaway from today's patio sitting. Tattoos. It seems everyone now has tattoos and many of those people have full arm or full leg or full back or all of the above. Some of them looked pretty scary and then I'd look at their calf's or arms and they are in no shape whatsoever.

As I was sipping my beer at Joe Dogs and people watching I was wondering how tough some of these fully tattooed suckers really are? I was wondering if they have so many tattoos because they are insecure or want to make themselves look scary? Especially the ones that shave their heads and have tattoos running up their necks?

Twenty years ago if you saw someone with a Tattoo on their neck or face chances were the person was at minimum potentially dangerous. Now you can't tell. Twenty years ago it was tough to get a job if you had a tattoo. I remember a friend of mine wanting to get his, the size of a quarter removed from his forearm because it didn't fit into his career path. Instead he just always wore full sleeved shirts. Now a days it's not an issue everyone has tattoos.

Alice tells our kids to be different and don't get a tattoo.

We finally made it home. I was pretty darn beat. Lied down on the sofa and was out for the night Alice couldn't even get me to wake up to go to bed. Looks like I had a successful recovery day and it was very enjoyable and memorable.

Bike Ride - 2 hours / 23 km

Friday, June 20, 2014

Pulling a Recovery Audible...

Today my plan was to do a 6 hour long ride and brick run.

For the past week or so I've been super sore and walking down stairs or up stairs has been uncomfortable. It reminded me of the feeling I had in 2010 when I did 4 Ironmans. I was always sore and I always pushed through and trained.

It was a mistake as I look back. I was over trained and had I recovered more my performance would have been better. Mind you I did have the race of my life at Lake Placid and did qualify for Kona so I did do something right.

Perhaps I could have done better. At that time I was a machine and felt that missing a training session would hurt my performance. I was wrong. It took me a couple years to figure this out.

I got out the door at 10 am this morning with all the best of intentions to do the ride. I knew my body was tired not just from the soreness, I was retaining water as my muscles were recovering from yesterdays running speed work and crazy weight training session. More importantly my resting heart rate was at 65 bpm. Morning resting heart rate is very important to watch. Your heart rate speaks volumes especially when it should be around 45 bpm or less.

It didn't matter I still decided to get out the door to do the ride. Immediately I knew something was wrong. I couldn't get my heart rate over 100 bpm. Even climbing steep hills that would normally take me to 155 bpm I barely got 125 bpm.

The issue is I have no leg strength. My legs are trashed and if I can't push harder it's hard to get your heart rate up. For me there is no value to training if you can't get your heart rate up to 117 bpm. Otherwise those are just garbage miles and by garbage miles I mean the session has absolutely no value and only does damage.

I had a similar problem about 2 years ago. Instead of pushing through I took 2 or 3 days off of training and when I got back on the bike and on the run I was a new man. I was pushing 27 kph or less average before the rest and then low and behold after the break I was back pushing 30 kph and my heart rate was in the 117 - 138 bpm zone. It was the best thing I did and that was the moment I most realized that recovery is just as important as training. Heck it is part of training. Mark Allen and Luis Vargas used to say if you're not feeling it or feel run down don't train.

Aside from the physical sluggishness mentally I was getting fatigued too. To do a long bike ride you mentally have to be prepared to do it. If you have a positive outlook the ride is very enjoyable. This was also the first time I tried a Friday long ride. I didn't like it. There was an energy in the air that doesn't feel as good as a Saturday bike ride. Perhaps its the guilt of taking a day off work? Or just the relaxation of knowing its a Saturday.

About 1 hour into the ride as I was waffling back and forth whether to keep going or bail I decided I'd bail and the heart rate didn't get higher and there was no doubt it was garbage miles.

Then I thought about the training and for me having to do a long ride every weekend is a high end Ironman training program. It's not really necessary for me to do it as I want to finish and do it with a respectable time. If I did one every 10 days and do 4 before the race I should be fine. Mentally I'll enjoy the training more too.

I feel so fatigued that I dread having to walk up or down stairs or from the sofa 10 feet to the kitchen if I forgot something. That is a sign of needing recovery. It's definitely from going from 0 to 100 mph immediately and doing 42 hrs of training in 20 days and already 2 rounds of biking and running speed work.

After deciding to bail that last 45 minutes it took to get home was tough. To put it in perspective my ride today I averaged only 24 kph. That's insanely slow. 70 year old plus women that do the Ironman ride faster than that. I've done full Ironmans and averaged 33 kph over 112 miles and half Ironman's averaging near 40 kph over 90 miles.

This week I put myself on a 7 day challenge of eating healthy, no snacking and no beer. I lasted 6.5 days. When I got home from my ride I decided beer was on the schedule and I was going to sit and watch the World Cup and make myself some movie style popcorn in my old time popcorn making machine. Salt galore.

I've found that since I've started drinking real beer, not light beer like my old favourite Coors Light that I don't drink nearly as much beer. I tend to sip it and in fact have thrown half or less of my beer away because it gets to warm. So I through it out and then pour myself and nice cold draft beer.

I get a comfortable buzz on but nothing out of control. I never thought I was one of those people that could do that. I'm an all or nothing personality. I'm finding I can. There must be something in the fully leaded beer that satisfies me that I don't get in the light beer. I assume my body is trying to get it and that's why I'd drink so much of the light beer. That's my theory and I'm sticking with it. For now.

I'm totally getting into the World Cup. I only watch soccer but once every four years. Only during the world cup. I've pretty much watched near every game since it started. Loving the upsets.

Switching gears there is one thing I'm amazed by and that is the amount of miles Alice walks in a day. She got a fit bit this week and she's averaging like 14,000 steps or about 6 miles a day. She doesn't do long walks outside. Her mileage is all around the house or going to the store and running errands. No wonder she stays in good shape. If I didn't train she'd be smoking me on the walking mileage.

Tonight was post world cup another back yard fire. I think it's our third already this year. It's part of my "this is going to be my best summer ever" theme. There is nothing like smelling the smoke of fire.  It's not legal to do it but we have great neighbours that don't mind it. It's also illegal for me to shoot my pellet gun in the backyard but good neighbours make all possible. Today I even set up some targets I bought. They are medal and I love it when I hear the sound "ting".

Mod Bike - 1:49:29 / 45.12 km

P.S.Looking for all the support I could get as I fundraise for Doctors without Borders. Big our small donations welcome. Support a great cause.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Turning back the hands of time...

I returned home from Boise 20 days ago. In those 20 days I've done 18 days and over 43 hours of training.

I think back to that first week and I cringe. I can honesty say I've never felt so unfit in as long as I can remember. To add to it I came home 15 lbs heavier and my stomach was so big that my belt buckle was imprinted on it from sitting down.

It has been my experience that an object in motion stays in motion. The key is to just get started, to just do it. Even though I know that it was still tough to get started and I was scared to do my first long ride and run. Absolutely terrified. I didn't know how bad it would be.

It took about 10 days for my body to bounce back. Which is pretty remarkable. I was impressed. It's due to muscle memory. When you train over 66,000 km over a 6 year period your body is fairly conditioned under the surface and when you get back at it responds.

Even thought it was 10 days until it felt better it felt like 3 weeks.

There is an old saying that it takes 3 weeks to create a new habit. I believe it. I'm now at the 3 week point of training and I'm back on a roll. It feels natural once again. Momentum is now carrying me. It's like breaking into a new reality. I like it. It reminds me of Ironman training days of old.

Today I had two training sessions. The first was the power phase of weight training. It's that phase of the training where you lift weight to exhaustion. I haven't done one of these sessions for at least 2 or 3 years.

I gave it so hard that I left sore and an hour after I got home I started to feel light headed.

Tonight I did some track work, it was my second in the past 20 days. I showed up and the track was all fenced in. It was empty and cars with kids were driving around the parking lot and scratching their heads. I wasn't driving 3.5 miles to a school track to turnaround. I got out of the truck and they had a bobcat tractor blocking the entrance like that was going to stop me. I squeezed my way through and I had the track all to myself. Until the parents who had the kids in their car who had a soccer practice saw how I got in and next thing you know the track and inner field was filled with kids.

During tonight's speed work session I went as hard as I could. Which is another way of saying it wasn't too fast but my high heart rate and pumped legs didn't know it.

As I was running my laps around the track I was asking myself how old the other people on the track think I am? I'd like to think they think it's some young in shape guy. The reality is they see a middle aged guy trying to be an athlete doing slow looking speed work.

However in my mind I ask myself how old I feel and I don't feel any different inside than when I was 19 years old. I think back to those days and even though I did my first Ironman at 22 years old I'm in better shape today at 48 years old and my Ironman times show it.

My first Ironman at 22 years old I did in 12 hours 13 minutes. Since my comeback starting at 41 years old I've done 8 Ironmans and all have been faster then when I was 22 years old. So not only do I feel as young as 22 years old, I am, the stats prove it.

To me the world has changed big time. I remember my dad's 40th birthday party and back then I thought he was old along with everyone else's parents. Back then no one really exercised and those that did were on the fringe. Someone who did marathons back then was a freak.

Times have changed. I think everything has moved up 20 years. 40 is the new 20 and 60 is the new 40. Actually the old 40 was more like 60. When I turned 40 and I think back to my dad being 40 I think in my minds eye he was much older than 40, closer to 50 or 60.

I can't imagine what a 20 year old kid feels like when he's doing a triathlon race and a 40 something beats him. It happens all the time. I've done it many times. It's a different time. When I was 20 there wasn't a 40 year old I couldn't beat in a foot race that was longer than from the grocery store to the car. My dad could keep it close or even win that distance, if it was 100 yards or more forget it.

What if there was no mirrors? What if people didn't know what they look like?

If that was the case the only way you could judge your age is on how you feel. Think about it. The only comparison you could make is based on feeling and fitness.

As I pushed heavy weight this morning and as I ran speed work around the track tonight I felt that I was in a time warp. I felt ageless. That I hadn't aged. That physically I was as good if not in better shape than when I was 19 years old and the only difference was I have more life experience, wisdom and confidence than my young 19 year old self.

It's actually the best of both worlds. People often say I wish I knew then what I know now. I feel I do. If I don't judge myself chronological age and do it by feeling then my dream has come true, I don't need to wish, I know then what I know now.

I often wonder what people my age who are not in shape or overweight and haven't been in shape since they were kids now feel? I wonder what it feels like to not feel like you have the same body as when you were 20 years old?

Personally I think getting back into shape turns back the hands of time both physically and mentally and it's never to late to do so. The body remarkable in that it will adapt to the conditions you put on it. If you eat healthy and train you will turn back the hands of time.

I remember the first time going into a gym 7 years ago. I had difficulty doing 20 lbs for a lying bench chest pullover. I remember my left shoulder hurting and thinking how my body used to be strong and now at 41 years old I can't even do 20 lbs without pain. Fast forward to today. After 7 years of training my shoulder pain went away about a year after I started to train and today I was doing 60 lbs of lying chest pullover. I don't think I was doing that heavy of weight in my 20's.

Again it just shows you can turn back the hands of time and it's never to late. Physical aging can be reversed and when it is you also start to feel younger mentally.

Talking about creating a habit I'm on day 6 of my 7 day challenge to eat healthy, no snacking and no beer and I'm not track. As a matter of fact my buddy Doug Martin was in town to do a keynote at a sales conference and came by for lunch. I drank diet coke. I've known Dougie since I was 19 years old and he was probably 30 years old. I love Dougie and he's a story unto himself going from financial hardship only 2 years ago to possibly having the best years of his life and he's near 60. It just shows age no longer matters, even in business. In the old days you were washed up at 60 and put out to pasture.

Dougie is showing business is timeless. He's launched the Weekly Sales Beast and it's taken off. You can learn more about it by clicking here. I'm most proud that 2 or 3 years ago I was talking to Doug when he was down and out and I told him about blogging. He knew nothing. Then immersed himself in it and today he's making a fantastic living off it and the content he creates from it.

First thing he said when he saw me after all these years, "you're fat". That's as true friend. Pull no punches.

Weights - 50 min
Running Speed Work - 1:40:49 / 12.25 km

P.S.Looking for all the support I could get as I fundraise for Doctors without Borders. Big our small donations welcome. Support a great cause.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bike Speed Work and Food...

Wednesday and Thursdays are training days I look forward to and not look forward to.

I look forward to them because I only have one hour bike session on Wednesday and a one hour run session on Thursday. Why I don't look forward to them right now is they are speed work sessions. Speed work session make one hour feel like 90 minutes and they are hard.

My session today was a bike and I tried to get it done early. The forecast was rain and I don't want to do any rain training at this stage of my life.

Today was one of those days where nothing went right. I mean nothing. It was one of those days that you get ready and forget something. An example is getting fully dressed up to ride and then you remember you need your water bottle and you have to take your shoes off and go back to the kitchen to fill up a water bottle. Or you get out and close the garage door only to realize you forgot to put on your helmet and you have to go back and open the door.

I had all those things happen today and then some. My speedometer on my bike malfunctioned the other day so I had to reset it and it took about 4 times of trying until I got it done right. I then had to program my Garmin to keep track of my intervals and setting it up right was easier said that done. I thought I had it right until I started to use it on the road and realized I didn't and had to stop and re-program it once again.

The upside is once I started to get riding all that anger, angst and piss-off-ness goes away. I go to my happy place, my place of zen. Then it turns from that into the House of Pain after my 15 minute warm up.

This weeks session was much tougher than last weeks. Last weeks was the first speed work session of training and was a "break in" speed work session. This was a your going to hell speedwork session. It hurt.

I still can't believe how slow I'm riding. Simon gave me a tip to check the bearings on the crank. I'm going to check it out. I still think it's weight.

Good news on the weight front, I'm down to 202 lbs. A week ago I was 206.8 lbs. I'm making progress. It's not easy.

I don't know what it is but after biking speed work all I wanted to do today was eat. I resisted. I'm on day 5 of my 7 day challenge and have come to far. My stomach is rumbling and wanting food and I'm doing everything in my power not to oblige. I know that if I don't eat my body will take more of the energy it needs from my fat stores and I'll be down more weight.

I'm also feeling like an old person. I keep telling Alice our house is too big. We have three levels and it's 4500 sq ft of living space and every floor of our house and area gets used. It's not like some houses where some rooms are museum type rooms. Our house was designed to be lived in.

I got so used to the 1000 sq ft condo in Boise and if you forget something or need something it's only a few steps away. Now if I do the same it's up the stairs, down the stairs and I'm sore from training as it is and the walking just ads to it. I can hardly wait until we downsize. A 1500 sq ft house or condo would do me fine.

Since Alice got her fitbit I can't believe how much she walks. She's at least 6 miles a day. Unless I'm training I'm not even half that amount. She's aways said she can't sit still and now the numbers prove it.

I'm looking forward to a better sleep tonight. I only got about 6 hours last night after near 5 hours of training. My body feels it today. My nose is running and I have the sniffles. Welcome to the world of Ironman training.

On a positive note my body is changing. I'm getting tighter. I still have trouble looking at my extra layer of fat and I know if I just stay the course it will burn off. It's all about staying the course. It's so hard to stay the course with temptation but I keep thinking about achieving the success as Reid suggested.

What's keeping me motivated is knowing I'm only 2 lbs away from getting out of the 200's.

Bike Speed Work - 1:12:35 / 32 km

P.S.Looking for all the support I could get as I fundraise for Doctors without Borders. Big our small donations welcome. Support a great cause.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Real Ironman is in the Training...

Yesterday I pushed myself at the last minute to get in my training. Just doing that lifted my spirits immensely. It's amazing the positive feelings that training brings to you, perhaps it's brain chemistry shifts or it's just that sense of satisfaction and forward movement.

This morning I slept in a bit. That's unusual for me. There is many benefits working from home developing and launching an app, one is it's not a 9 am - 5 pm job. Work can be done day or night and that creates great flexibility which is helpful when training for an Ironman. Being able to sleep longer aids recovery big time.

That extra 2 hours of sleep this morning made a big difference. My body felt more recovered and mentally I was somewhat ready for today.

I say somewhat because I went back to an old training schedule that has me doing a moderate bike and moderate run on the same day. That's close to 5 hours of training on a weekday. I did this routine in 2009 when I made it to the world championships. Then I started splitting the days and doing a moderate run on one day and a moderate bike on a different day. I always felt I got more benefit doing them on the same day, it was just hard physically and finding the time.

This morning I got caught up in work, I was preparing and application to go on the TV show Shark Tank. Then I had a dentist appointment. It worked out okay as it was raining most of the morning and I'm not training in the rain anymore. Those days are over.

Finally it stopped and I got out the door around 2:30 pm. It was hot, humid and super windy out. It was so windy that branches were breaking off trees and the road was full of leaves. On branch almost landed on my head.

It was hot and humid, around 32 C. I like the head and I love humidity. It was still tough to ride in I went through 3 - 20 ounce bottles of Gatorade. It was a very slow ride into the wind. However my legs don't know the difference. If I didn't have a speedometer I wouldn't have guessed how slow I'm now riding. I ride by keeping track of cadence and heart rate. That's it. Fitness and speed will come over time. I keep my cadence at 90 revolutions per minute and my heart rate under 138 bpm.

I was trying to research how weight effects cycling speed. The only thing I found was that for every 5 lbs extra over a 5 km climb at 7% you will lose 30 seconds. Which means I'm about 2.5 minutes slower than I used to be. Another article said my ideal cycling weight would be 166 lbs. I haven't been 166 lbs since I was 19 years old and got into triathlons. To get to that weight I'd have to lose 40 lbs. If I were to get to 166 lbs I for sure be insanely fast on the bike. My legs are getting strong regardless and I can't imagine if I lost the weight and kept the leg muscle gained. Like I said it would be insanely fast.

When I returned from my ride I got home just in time. I was fading. All I could do was drink liquids. My body is craving liquids. I follow my standard routine of having recoverite and a protein drink or shake and beta Alanine after every session. It definitely aids the recovery. In just 2 weeks I've went from feeling like I was in the worst shape of my life and every session hurting to now feeling back to normal and not feeling leg pain or cramping.

I got home around 6 pm. I still had a 90 minute run I needed to get done before the end of the night. I was so tired I needed to lie down and I fell asleep. It wasn't a normal nap. It was one of those naps that you can't open your eyes if you wanted to naps. It was coma like.

Eventually I was able to open my eyes and the last thing I wanted to do was run. I had all kinds of reasons why I shouldn't in my mind. In the end I just figured it's best I run. I only have 6 weeks of training left for Ironman Boulder and its' moments like this that prepare you for doing Ironmans. Why pass up such and opportunity to push your body beyond where it and your mind wants to go. This is an example of why being an Ironman is when you push yourself out the door to train. To me the real Ironman event is the training. The race its self is just the victory lap.

A big concern I had about the run was my pelvis and the soreness I've been having. This run was going to be a test. I find if I do leg raises and crunches after training it helps repair it and it's better for the next run.

Tonight's run I adjusted my running style and spread my legs out a little and focused on putting the pressure on my front hips and not the pelvis. It worked. It was a much more enjoyable run with no pain or pelvis discomfort.

Most of the run was in the dark. It was still humid out. I enjoy mixing up my training times. Training in the dark every once and a while is like finding a new running route. It creates a different ambiance during the run. I find on night runs I really get into my own head. Tonight I was there. The more you can get into your own head the more time flies.

When I got home Alice said if felt to her that I was gone 2 or 2.5 hours. To me I was gone 90 minutes and it felt like an hour or less with me thinking through things. Running and cycling definitely makes me a better business person and leader. It is a great, non pressure way to just think through a situation and options. The less you focus on it when you run the easier the ideas and solutions just come to you. I don't concentrate on problems or formally set aside time, I just run and "boom" a vision will appear in my minds eye.

I got back home at 10:45 pm. Did my stretching. It feels great to not want to train, then do it and do it so late at night and get it done.

Today I completed Day 4 of my 7 Day challenge to eat healthy, no snacking and no beer. It was definitely easier than day 3. Day three was the hump day.

For shits and giggles I wanted to check my training diary to see how far I've trained since May 2007. It turns out it was 66,870.18 km or 41,459 miles. That's swimming, biking and running 1.5 times around the circumference of the earth to put it in perspective.

The unfair thing is that with all that training you would think it's impossible to gain weight or to get heavy. Unfortunately not. Only diet will keep you trim. I also figured out in those same 6 years I've probably had 1200 beers (conservatively) per year. That's 7400 beers over that time span. Non conservatively I think it's closer to 11,000. Could you imaging what I'd look like if I didn't train.

I did get some hope today that I might be start to lose weight. I came in at 203.8 lbs down from 206.4 lbs two days ago. My goal on this 7 day challenge is getting down 7 - 10 lbs.

Mod Bike - 3:12:50 / 76.42 km
Mod Run - 1:29:35 / 15.33 km

P.S.Looking for all the support I could get as I fundraise for Doctors without Borders. Big our small donations welcome. Support a great cause.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Who's Your Momma...

Trying to Smile as I'm grunting out on the calf press Selfie
Today was a turning point. It was my day 3 of my 7 day challenge to eat healthy, no snacking and no beer.

I woke up beat up and tired from this weeks training. I'm worried about my pelvis and I just wasn't in the mood to train. I procrastinated and did inside computer work all day long. Dragging it out.

Part of my day was spent dealing with an issue that was causing me some angst which made me a little out of sorts and irritable. I was not in the mood to train.

There was points I was justifying not training today in my mind as I'm getting older and I need recovery time. Which is true if I was running or cycling today. If that was the case I would need a break. It's not true when you have to do weights and a swim.

At around 4 pm the World Cup was on. I wasn't having the best day and I was thinking what would be awesome right now would be to sit down and watch the game with an ice cold draft beer. I could visualize it so clearly.

Then there was the self talk. Telling myself that if I have that one beer the prior two days have been a total waste. Reminding myself how hard it is to drag an extra 20 lbs around on the bike and run. Remembering Reid's words to focus on the goal and succeeding and then you don't need discipline.

The biggest motivator was that I didn't want to sabotage myself and have to start over. I finally came to the conclusion that I may not train today but I'm not going to eat unhealthy or drink beer. I figured that if I still eat healthy and drink no alcohol the day is still a win. If I don't train and then eat poorly or drink alcohol then the day has been a total failure.

To lose the amount of weight I need, er, want to lose it will take more days of eating healthy and avoiding beer than it will training consistently. I've said it over and over again and it's proven true, the only way to lose weight is through diet. Diet is 90% of losing weight, exercising is 10% and if anyone tells you differently they are lying. I know this to be factual.

There was an interview with Mathew McConaughey I saw recently. The interviewer was asking him about the incredible amount of weight he dropped for the movie Dallas Buyers Club. He played a man with aids. McConaughey told the interviewer that losing weight was all diet. He tried to exercise his weight away and couldn't. He had to adhere to a strict diet and it was hard.

Fact is it's even harder when you get older. Once you turn 40 years old losing weight becomes much tougher. If you've been doing Ironman's or endurance sports for a number of years it's even harder as your body is so efficient at converting food into fat to support your training. When you stop training the body doesn't realize it and keeps converting food into fat as it still thinks it needs to.

As I mentioned today I was oh so close to eating crap and having a beer. What helped me aside from not wanting to let outside forces have any power over me was that I spent some time sorting and deleting personal images. I deleted 2200 off my computer. Going through the images I saw many of me in my peak shape in 2009 and 2010.

It was kind of motivating to see that and imagine what it would feel like to be back at that weight and fitness again. I'm on track to do it and I know it I just need to stay the course. Easier said than done.

This morning I stood on the scale and started the day depressed when I saw 205.8 lbs. Which basically means I did 10 hours of training over two days and ate perfectly, had no beer and was now up 1.4 lbs. That's where you ask yourself if it's even worth the effort.

The answer is yes. I've been hear before. It's not fair. It takes about 3 weeks of constant training and eating properly until you start to lose pounds. At first you start gaining muscle, which weights more than fat and then as you continue to train hard and stress and tear down your muscles your body retains water to repair the damage. You don't see weight loss until a few weeks go by and your body adjusts and equalizes once again.

So here I am today not in be best frame of mind. I did have a win in I reached a point that even if I don't train I'm not sabotaging my diet regardless.

I was physically and mentally tired and at 7 pm decided to go upstairs to watch TV in the bedroom. My plan was to fall asleep and I mentioned to Alice if I did fall asleep to wake me by 10 pm for a business meeting. I actually went to the bedroom for two reasons. The first was to put a show on with therapeutic sound, like the guys voice from Frontline, in this case it was Real Sports on HBO and the second reason was to keep me away from the kitchen and temptations of the pantry.

It worked and then some.

An email came to me that removed my angst I had for most of the day and that along with the rest got my motivation back. I looked at the clock at 8 pm and saw that I had two hours until my meeting. I sprang up, got my gym and swim stuff and headed to LA Fitness.

Earlier in the day Reid went and came back feeling great. Then as I was leaving Alice told me Alyssa was there working out. In only one hour I went from bailing on training today to ready to attack and I did.

I blasted the weights. I took some C4 before and blasted the weights. Pushing more weight than I have in a long time. I didn't mail this workout in. I went hard. It was the most sweat I've ever generated in a weight training workout ever. I'd say 90% of my shirt was wet from sweat.

Then I hit the pool. Hitting the cool water of the pool after weight training is heaven. If I wasn't weight training before the cool water is a little uncomfortable until you get swimming and warm up a bit.

I've discovered why I dislike swimming so much. It's because it's all about sets and time. You are constantly looking at your watch and doing intervals. Tonight I decided not to focus on intervals. I just swam. Just like I bike and just like I run. I don't focus on time and just do. Doing so made for such a much more enjoyable swim. I enjoyed it.

My arms were sore from the weight training so it wasn't a fast swim. The women in the lane beside me was going much faster than me and then my competitive spirit bubbles up. I was doing my own thing and she was keeping up to my freestyle stroke with her breast stroke. I couldn't take it any longer and near the end I started picking up the pace and matching her stroke for stroke.

If your a triathlete you've been there. You're at the pool and the person the lane over becomes your competition and vice versa and with no words you just start competing. I've done it many times. At the end of tonight's swim I decided to turn on the burners and went from behind her to way in front of her over just 25 yards. I flew by so fast that it basically said to her that he was playing possum.

The upside to all that is she made me work harder and by her being beside me it made me have a much better workout.

Today is one of those major wins. I went from not wanting to train. To not wanting to eat health. To wanting to have a beer and then it all turned around. I ate perfectly healthy, I didn't have beer and I trained and both the sessions were awesome. Especially the weight training.

To me the day isn't over until midnight. I got it all done, just 2 hours under the wire.

Weights - 45 min
Swim - 49:03 / 2190 meters

Oh, almost forgot. Alice got a Fitbit. Mine broke so we got new ones. In her first day of just running errands she got 14,000 steps. I think I did 1400 steps today. She's super competitive with herself and she was checking it throughout the day. So her I am Mr. Ironman and she kicks my ass on Fitbit today.

Also below is Reid's school film project. He did it over 2 evenings. It was totally improvised, they had no script. He had no camera man and he had to do acting and then had to edit it. It's his first film project he's done in 5 years, since he was 12 or 13. He took it seriously and all things considered I think he did a great job.

I'm expecting a call from the school. They are not to have drugs, alcohol, guns, violence or swearing and his video has them all.