Rest Day!

Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. It’s been 2 full weeks since my last update. I’ve been pretty busy with work and training. Today was finally a rest day. I’ve had a couple others but those were spent all day in the car driving back and forth between New York and Ohio for the Blue Jackets season opener.

Coach Alan has been working me pretty hard, and I’m seeing progress. I have gained a mile per hour in my 30 minute average on the bike, and I’m closing in on the same for running. My swimming I’ve dropped over a minute on my 1000 yard pace. I’ve also gotten a good amount of time on the mountain bike. We’ve just started focusing on big ring work on the trainer, and fartlek runs. Oh, the fartlek. A name that makes me giggle, but a workout that makes me suffer. 40 minute fartlek effort, on the hills, in 10 degree weather.

Things are getting heated up for Eleonore Rocks, the uni’s are getting ordered, and the fundraising is getting straightened out. I’ll have more details on this later.

Lastly, three weeks until tomorrow until I head to Vegas for a week. It’s going to be a great trip. I’m going to work hard to lose 10 more pounds before that trip. My weight has been coming down, and even with though it has yo-yoed a bit due to travel, I’ve lost 6 inches off my body to go with the weight lost. I really want and hope to be successful this year in getting leaner and healthier.

Giving Back and Pushing forward

Well, it’s done. 9 new triathletes and one brought back to the fold after a year away. I’m pretty excited to hear how all these folks do at their various races, and I’ll make sure to check back in with them as time goes on.

Chuck – giant eagle
rachel – giant eagle womens only
Tim D. – Casesar Creek
Terry – Linwood park
Morgan – Buckeye Challenge
Lori – Maumee bay
Mirriam – Giant Eagle Womens Only
Brian – Buckeye Challenge
Jason – Portage Lakes
Alex – Vermillion
For me, it was a rough week with food, but I was really happy with my training; I was over a minute faster from my last 1000 yard swim, and I has a couple of really strong bikes. I still have a lot to do to be ready for April, but there’s so much positive right now, I’m excited for the increase in difficulty of my workouts, and I’m committed to a strong week in regards to my diet.
I was also officially notified I’ll be a part of Eleonore Rocks 2013, so that was nice to see. I didn’t make the Elite team, but from a performance perspective it’s hard not to understand why. I’m great at social media, a strong teammate, and willing to pitch in on whatevers needed, but my on course results need a lot of work. This will be a good year to see those performances really improve.
Also, the blog might be going down for a few days around renewal time this week, but not for long.

A great week!

First, I still have 3 (and maybe 4) free HFP race entries for new triathletes. If you are waiting to get in, STOP WAITING, and reply to this post.

Next, let me tell you about the next group of people taking on their first triathlons:

- Rachel, a long time friend and personal trainer is taking her first go at a triathlon at Giant Eagle. She’ll be racing the women’s only race with my wife.

- Lori, whose sister is a triathlete I’ve met in the past, and she’s using her first triathlon to get back to running after breaking her ankle a block from the finish line of a 5k

Now, I believe I mentioned I’d put on a few pounds over Christmas vacation. Those pounds are now gone. Thanks to running several days last week, a new saddle and adjusted position on the bike, and a bit of pushing past the pain, I’m not just losing weight, but the stamina is coming around and the speed is ever so slowly increasing.

I’m getting on the bike tonight, after a run this afternoon, and even with having to miss a couple swims this week due to very limited pool hours (smack in the middle of the workday), I’ve had a terrific week training and I’m really pumped to keep going.

Speaking of going, my annual Vegas gambling trip is coming up, and I’m headed to Columbus for the Blue Jackets home opener in just over a week. Gonna be a fun month!

Oh, and Lance is going to confess to doping on Oprah next week. I’ve stayed away from this topic for a while, in part because I have plenty going on in my own life, but also because I think doping is a bigger topic than just Lance, and I was a bit tired of being labeled a “hater” because the current focus is on Lance and the USPS situation. Expect a couple posts from me about this in the next week.

 

Progress report and first 2 free race entry winners

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The power is out and the internet with it, so pardon any typos as I blog for the first time ever from my phone.

Regular blogging has finally commenced for the 2013 season and I wasn’t about to let a lack of power get in the way, the same way I’m not letting the weather stop me from training. I’ve been on the mountain bike in the cold and snow several times in the past week +, with rides from 15 minutes to 1 hour, along with time on the treadmill and on the trainer.

The trainer sessions haven’t been without issue as my saddle is nearing the end of it’s usable life, and I’ve got an inexpensive but highly credited saddle on its way as my temporary solution to more comfort on the bike. Some of it is me, a combination of my weight and lack of time in the saddle while the rest of it is an ergonomic saddle that was never really a perfect fit that has seen a ton of wear in 18 months under me. Motivation from friends both near and far has helped, and I got off the saddle after 40 minutes last night with the feeling that my legs had plenty more to give if I could stand to be on the bike even another minute longer. I take small brakes but it doesn’t help all that much.

From a weight perspective, I had lost 13 pounds before going home for Christmas break, and I gained a good majority of that back through way too much food and fun. Thankfully it’s been coming off quick since I got home, and I’m down 6 pounds since my return. I only need to lose 4 more to get back to where I was. Based on how fast it’s been coming off, that ought to happen by Sunday at the latest. Coach Alan has been pushing me with some fitness tests and I finally got a tape measure to track more than just weight.

I’m still in the process of finalizing my schedule, if I can ever get Rachelle to sit and talk to me about what she wants to do. One thing is for sure, I’m racing Giant Eagle Triathlon Olympic distance in July. It was one of my free entries from HFP. Rach is doing the Women’s only race on Saturday and the Sprint distance on Sunday, again thanks to HFP. I’m hanging onto 1 more entry for myself, as HFP has been hinting at a cycling only event to be announced later this month.

And I’ve started my giveaway of HFP race entries:

- The first went to Chuck Husemann, a long time very good friend of mine who has done charity bike rides but never a triathlon. He’ll be doing the sprint distance race at Giant Eagle, and gets to hang out with Rachelle at the finish line while I work my way through the Olympic course.

- The second went to Master Sergeant Timothy Davis, who I’ve never met before but is looking to do his first triathlon at Caesar’s Creek in July. He seemed pretty stoked about it, and frankly I thought it was pretty cool to be able to give something to someone who serves our country.

Quite a few folks have expressed interest, but only a few have followed the official entry format, which is to comment on this post. I’m giving out entries as I go along, but the final entries won’t be given out until 1/14/13.

Looking back at 2012, Giving back in 2013 (Free races!)

2012 was certainly a challenging year; Another mid-year move, another aborted go at Rev 3 Cedar Point, and I actually gained weight instead of losing it over the course of the year. While I look out over a winter wonderland of snow that brings a vastly different off-season training experience than what we experienced last year in North Carolina, I find myself thinking about all the positives that last year brought.

From finishing the Belews Lake tri a week after an exercise-induced asthma diagnosis, fighting through hot conditions at Giant Eagle to make my sub-4 hour goal, and not giving up at Rev 3 Half Full on a brutally cold, wet, and hilly bike course; the season was undoubtedly a success. That finish at Half Full put me on a podium at a big race, and it serves as a great reminder that no matter how challenging things are, or how much it hurts, just don’t stop.

We’re really blessed to have careers that keep us employed in unsettled economic times., nd there are so many worse things than a blown race or a few pounds gained or the insecurity caused by a sudden move. The tragedies surrounding Hurricane Sandy and the shooting at Sandy Hook, both happening just a few hours from our new place in New York really put a lot in perspective for me. I’d already decided that I was going to do more to give back in 2013, though I wasn’t sure quite how yet when I got an email from Shannon Kurek, owner of HFP Racing.

HFP is the company that put on my first 3 triathlons back in 2009, and they were the race org for Giant Eagle triathlon last season. To make up for a minor timing issue, Shannon offered me a year of free racing for any HFP events. I thought that was an extremely generous gesture; too generous in fact, so I told him that while I would be happy to make use of a few entries I simply couldn’t in good conscience take that much free racing from him. He responded with a proposal; He would make a code worth X number of entries that I could register for as many of those entries as I liked and use the rest to give to folks new to the sport.

This seemed like the ideal opportunity to give back, so I jumped on it. I had hope to time this post with the launch of HFP’s new web site and the opening of registration for their 2013 calendar, but HFP’s relaunch has been delayed a few days due to a sick web developer. So while we wait for that to happen I’ll get things started on giving away the free entries away.

Here’s how it’s going to work:

- Comment on this post with your first and last name, what triathlon experience you have, and which HFP race you expect to register for if you’re selected

- You cannot comment for anyone else, they must enter their own comment

- Provide a valid email address that I can contact you at with the registration code

- I’m looking primarily for folks who are just getting into the sport and have never competed or done just a try-a-tri type race

- I want to have decisions by 1/14/13 at the latest so I’m looking for folks willing to commit now so they have plenty of time to train properly