Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Plunging into it like a REAL Athlete...

Another 6:15 am wake up. Getting back to training does that, it resets your internal clock.

The only bummer is that the house is so peaceful at 6:15 am and then Alice's alarm goes off at 7:15 am and then she puts it on snooze and then it goes off again and my nice zen state of morning silence is broken and I actually become a little edgy.

This morning I woke up to rain and it was a little cooler than normal. I don't like training in the rain or cool temperatures so I waited it out before I went out to do speed work on my bike.

Yes you heard correct "speed work".

For those that don't know what it is it's interval training and it's the only way you get stronger and faster. The idea is you go as hard as you can for a period of time then you rest briefly and repeat. The last time I did speed work I can't remember. If I was to guess it would be 3 or 4 years ago. For the last few Ironman's I've just keep it aerobic and did no intensity workouts.

I forgot how hard mentally and physically speed work is and today's first session was just a baby workout. The main set was 15 intervals x 1 minute each of all out effort. Like I said, easy and it still was hard. I have another 7 weeks of this and I remember the ones that are 10 min intervals of all out and those will be upcoming.

The one gift I do have is I can block pain pretty good. I actually think I come by that naturally and I have the last name Payne. In those old days if you were a carpenter your last name would become carpenter. Just like last names Barber (Barber), Archer (archer), Bacchus (worked in a bake house), Bailey (bailiff), Brewster (female brewer), Butler (wine steward) Page (minor male servant), Sawyer (sawed wood), Shepherd (shepard), Turner (made small objects by turning them on a lathe), anyways you get the picture.

So with the last name Payne I've often wondered where it derived from. I have looked into it. Some of my research (surfing the net) shows that it comes from the word Paien and is someone that lives in the country or a person who's religious beliefs are somewhat suspect. It later also became known as "Heathen" and was given to children who's baptism was delayed or, to adults who's religious zeal was not what the standards of the day had indicated it should have been.

I do have to say that describes "me" spot on. I even delayed the Baptism of our children so they are technically heathens I guess.

Now I'm going to go where those recommend you shouldn't. I'm not going to talk politics, I'll talk briefly on religion. I grew up Catholic and went to Catholic schools my entire life except for one year when I got kicked out by the Jesuits and they wouldn't let me return until I picked up a credit and frankly they didn't want me back period. I showed them and got the credit and returned.

Seeing how it all worked from the inside was interesting. It's not all holy and pious. I spent a lot of time in detention and weekend detention and hung out with the priests. I learned they are human. Some smoked pot, one I knew had a girl friend, when I was younger another was identified as a pedophile. Now I'm not saying all priests are bad. Not at all. I'm just saying I realized early they are human with warts and pimples and don't have the "secret sauce".

What I do like about religion is it gives people hope when times are bad. Prayer helps people get through some difficult times, especially when they are not in control. Religion helps teach lessons of morality and sets a water mark of what is good behaviour. In general I think religion does way more good than harm. Mind you it's the zealots that scare me, those are the ones that start the wars.

I left organized religion long ago. I took a different path and started to figure it out on my own. I actually became a better person and less guilt. Being raised Catholic guilt and fear is a cornerstone.

My spiritual journey has and continues to be based on figuring it out for myself. Absorbing from all contacts I have, processing and evaluating. My morality is based on my feelings and you get a certain internal feeling when you do good and you get another when you do harm.

I believe there is a higher power. You can't deny that. I don't see the higher power as someone sitting in heaven on a thrown or one with a lot of young virgins, etc, etc. I see it as a collective energy. I believe we are all interconnected and although we look like separate people we are really a collective form of energy and this doesn't just apply to people it applies to everything in the universe. We are all just one big infinite ball of energy.

That's not to say life is meaningless. It's definitely not. It's to say that let's not overthink it or create dogma. Let's just be and try to live our lives at minimum doing no harm. Which is impossible. I try to live that way and I would say as humans we do the minimum amount of harm as possible.

I also think we need to grow. It's part of our existence. The answers are right in front of us. Everything in the world and universe is born, grows and dies. Nature to me is the greatest teacher all you need to do is observe nature as the same rules of the universe that apply to nature apply to us. Make no mistake we too are part of nature. We just have this feeling of self that distances us from thinking we are not and that we are special.

Now going back to religion. Like I said I think its a good thing. Not all people think like myself, in work and life I've always had the traits of a visionary and leader and constantly challenge the status quo. Others, thankfully are not, we can't have a world of one type of person, and they need guidance and dogma and without it would be lost and it does them a lot of good.

The issues I have with religion are the zealots and hypocrites. What the message of pretty much all religions teach is to be a better person, to rise above, to be god like, to be forgiving, to be kind, to be loving, to be giving and a whole multitude of virtues.

Yet instead the zealots try to ram it down your throat and convince you their way is the only way and it you are a disbeliever in their dogma you are misguided and will never have salvation.

The big ones to me are the hypocrites. These are the ones that go to regular services once a week or more and create a persona or outward appearance to others that they are holy people that have all the virtues of a good person and yet I've seen time and time again these people being the most critical and judgemental on others and behind closed doors and even open ones doing more harm than good and then they repeat the cycle by going back to weekly service or doing some sort of outward volunteer work that is not what they are all about on the inside.

For me and I know this is going to be controversial. I sent my kids to Catholic schools for one reason and one reason only. To get organized religion out of their system. I wanted them to see it from the inside. I wanted them to learn the lessons from the fables of what being a good moral person is and my hope would be they make up their own minds on religion, as I did and hopefully forge the path of self discovery and learning. By then seeing it from the inside the method to my madness was not having a knock on the door one day when they are older and telling me they are born again or have joined some religious group.

If you are reading this and see red or are judging me on any level you need to look into the mirror. I listen to you. I respect you for what you believe in and you should do the same and if you're not maybe you need to accept that your religious beliefs are working for you and you may want to re-evaluate.

There I'm off my soapbox. Back to my training. Actually if I was to say where my church is located it's in the water, on my bike and when I run. That's where I do most of my deep thinking and figure stuff out. I go to the church of "Ironman".

Now you can see how my thoughts drifted. It all started with me explaining how the last name Payne is suitable for me. What if it's not about being a paien?

So why would we have got the last name Payne? I think it could be for one of two reasons. The first is I like Payne. Which is true. I wouldn't do Ironman's if I didn't like pain and I wouldn't do some things in business if I didn't like pain.

The other option is I am a pain. A pain in the ass which I was told many times growing up all through school. At that time kids were much crueler and there was no anti-bulling and maybe I was a pain. I did like bugging people which does play back to my first theory that those with the last name Payne do enjoy pain.

Back to today's training.

As I was mentioning above I did my first speed work session in years. The one thing about doing speed work is it makes you feel like a real athlete.

The only time one used to do speed work is if they were in school and were on the track team or other sport team and you had a coach that was barking out to you to do a specific workout and I think they took great glee in seeing you hurt. It does work though. You get stronger and faster.

So doing it today I felt like a contender again. Even though I don't have the aerobic base I normally have before starting speed work I'm experimenting. My biggest fear is injury. I know I'm risking it and one way or another I'm going to learn from it. No doubt. Nothing ventured nothing gained.

I can feel my body changing already and it's getting stronger. In only 10 days of training I'm transforming. So happy about that. I"m still fat and slow but it's getting easier to haul my fat ass through the workouts.

I actually am looking at it positively and pretending I'm wearing one of those 20 lb weighted vests and that if I do all my training with it on and then take it off I'll actually be farther ahead than if I was training at my goal weight. Please don't burst my bubble on this it's getting me through the day.

There was a photo that was sent to me today from my buddy Allan Nolan. It's a photo of when I was at his house and lets say I plugged the toilet. It's definitely embarrassing when you have to come out and ask for a plunger. But what you going to do, leave it in there and hope they blame it on the kids?

This is a gross discussion I know, but this is an Ironman training blog and we talk about GI issues and all the stuff that goes along with it. So with that said I do know when I'm losing weight and getting back in shape when I become regular if you know what I mean and this morning I lost about 2 lbs and lets just say it was a plunger moment.

Bike Speed work - 1:04:57 / 30.13 km

P.S. If you are feeling all warm and fuzzy and want to help people and support a great cause I'm racing for "Doctors without Borders" at Ironman Boulder and have committed to raising $4000. I'm about $1300 shy. Any donations are welcome, big or small. Doesn't matter and all are greatly appreciated. Click the link below and it will take you to my fundraising page.

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