As promised, I haven't vanished into another seemingly endless "sabattical" from posting. Actually, quite the contrary. I've been actively training and working on getting back into shape.
I've been posting my Training Peaks logs for daily workouts on my Facebook account. That provides some amount of accountability and tracking.
In the past 28 days I've logged 4 hours 40 minutes in the pool, completing nearly 11K yards. Pokey, but progress. That's in addition to the 9 hours spent covering 56 miles running. Since that was over the holidays, during which I managed to actually lose another quarter pound, I'm happy with it.
All totaled, I'm down about 15 pounds since I got back at it, and have another 7-10 pounds to go. That will get me into the proper weight range for the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon and whatever I decide to pursue for the summer.
If you DO follow me on Facebook, you might find the post on my main page regarding my New Years' resolution. For each like on that post, I will be completing one mile of swimming, 47 miles of biking, and 11 miles of running. Basically, for every 24 likes, I will complete training equal to 10 Ironman races. So far, I have nine likes. That's 9 miles swimming, 423 miles on the bike, and 100 miles running. Let me know if you think that isn't enough.
Finally, the new Saucony Omni running shoes have been almost perfect. They have addressed both the tarsal tunnel (numbness) and stress issues. There were some minor knee issues, but some gait correction and strength exercises have helped with that.
So things are moving along nicely. All I need to do, now, is get the trainer set back up in the basement, and I'll be back to training in all three disciplines.
What's that they say about the road to hell?
Last week was a pretty tough week, but I did manage to get some solid training completed, and I feel pretty good about the numbers. Since posting my "accountability" picture a week ago, here is how things shake out:
1500 yd swim and 5K run on Wednesday
One yard mowed on Thursday (I called it 30 minutes walking)
80 mile bike on Saturday
Another yard mowed on Sunday (You're welcome, Dad)
10 mile run, this morning
Not perfect, but that discussion leaves out the time spent cleaning out my basement which suffered some water damage on Wednesday, courtesy of some odd circumstances involving two inches of rain in an hour, overflowing gutters, and water running down a wall.
Tuesday and Thursday will be swims, with another run and bike on Wednesday. Saturday will be the last big workout prior to attempting my self-supported Ironman on September 5th. I'll try to tackle a 5000 yard swim followed by about 110 miles on the bike and a short run-off.
Somewhere along the line I have to use some new tools at my disposal to create a new header for the site and use some real tools to finish stripping and refinishing a bookcase. Just for giggles, I'll use my spare time to learn a new song on the guitar. After all, if you're going to do it, why not overdo it.
It's a good thing this is a blog and not a business letter. Because I'm about to break a key rule and cover several topics in one post. If you get lost, don't worry. I promise to try and be less erratic on the next post. Of course, note the political way in which I put that. "Try and be less erratic."
Okay, first to the promised photo and training details. The photo at the left is about as embarrassing a picture as I'm willing to post. This is where I'm at, now. I've gained about 20 pounds, thrown the 34" pants into the closet, and hope I don't have to break the 38" pants back out. In a word, I failed to get the calorie intake under control when I had to back off on training. So, it's time to ramp the training up while getting the diet back where it should be.
The good news is that my fitness remains high. Since taking a month off after laying my bike down, I've managed an 82-mile bike and a 2.5 mile swim. Neither was as easy as perhaps I'd like them to be, but both were completed with relatively few issues. (Getting lost doesn't count, as it was on the bike. If I get lost in the pool, I'll let you know.)
Training time should be easier to come by in the coming weeks. The youth in the Brigade Triathlon Club completed their first race on Sunday, August 8th. All three were first time triathletes, and all provided one or more surprises during the day. We were concerned they might never get into the water as there was thunder and lightning as close as 35 minutes before the start, but a short delay under clearing skies allowed them to race.
With the race completed, the time dedicated to coaching will now go to training.
Finally, I once again witnessed the strong sense of community that thrives in triathletes. I only wish those who look on endurance athletes as a disruption to their schedule could have been at the park.
Shortly after all three of the kids showed up, I heard an announcement that the race staff needed a helmet for a racer who had forgotten his. With three kids racing, I had every possible piece of gear with me, including two helmets that weren't needed. I ran over to the announcer and handed the guy my helmet, only asking that he drop it off at the finish when he was done. I didn't worry about his name or bib number. To be honest, I didn't even think about it.
After the race, I was heading to my car when I remembered the helmet. I stopped by the announcer at the finish line, and there it was. I picked it up and a handmade envelope fell out of it. Inside was $5 and a note thanking me for the use of the helmet. It was signed, "The happy triathlete." He asked that I grab myself a drink by way of thanks.
It was fitting, as I was getting hungry by that time. I picked up some pretzels and a Gatorade and had a bit left over. It worked out pretty well.
Driving home, I thought about it. Imagine a community where someone can reasonably expect that a request for gear will be answered. Imagine a community where people hearing such a request will actively try to help. And imagine a community where people are so truly grateful for that help that they go out of their way to express their thanks.
That's the way I see the triathlon community. Countless times I've witness people assist others in ways big and small. It's great to watch. And it's great to be part of it.
Last year, I was awful quiet because I wasn't training and I didn't have anything major in the works. This year, I've been buried and awfully busy with training and all things triathlon.
The most obvious outward sign of the increased training is that I find myself absolutely wore out a great deal of the time, in a good way. I spent so long working on the house and doing other things that late nights became all too common. Now, I'm getting back to where I'd really like to be asleep by about 8:30 or 9:00. When I find myself in bed earlier than all the old geezers I know, I'll know I'm completely back on track.
I've been VERY busy with the Boys' and Girls' Brigade. There will be a bit of a break as the winter program ends and we shift to the summer schedule. The great news is that our Youth Tri Club is on track to crush all previous years. With four being the most participants we've had in the past, we currently have 43 7-12th graders who have expressed an interest in training for and completing a triathlon this year, two in the olympic distance event. And at least one who indicated he can't swim.
If half of them show up, I'll be in trouble in a good way. Luckily, a half-dozen adult leaders and coaches have offered their help. I'll need it.
In addition, I have a new "kit" from the Fox Cities Triathlon Club. Chad has participated in triathlon in the past, and has his sight set on completing the half-iron distance race in June. As always, it's exciting to share my experiences and help another person reach their training goal. And with him racing the half, there's a much greater chance I'll see him somewhere on the race course. Probably when he blows by me.
So, I continue to focus on my training, and continue to neglect my blog. I guess that's better than keeping the blog updated daily while letting my training tank.
I'm still around, and I'm still going.
BTW, the mIronman self-supported race is still in the works. We've identified the swim course, and continue to discuss the bike and run routes. Tri Fox support has been incredible, and it looks like we'll have a handful of competitors.
No, this post isn't about some training run that just meandered around the city. It's a post that is going to wander through a lot of different topics. Remember in school how they teach that a story or message should have single topic? Yeah, me neither.
This weekend's training took an interesting turn. I was at a youth retreat where we did a lot of winter activities. Some of the training that breaks my "nothing dangerous during marathon training" rule included nightime snow football. Despite that fact it was co-ed, the youth wanted it to be tackle, so there were some good knocks handed out.
We also played broom-ball for about 90 minutes. For those in warmer climes, broom-ball is basically hockey without pads. Or rules. I spent much of the game trying to avoid the kids that were trying to check me every possible way, including gang tackles.
I also spent 90 minutes doing actual training. One of the youth wanted to ski from camp to a local pizza spot then back. Her reason? Just to say she'd done it. So, for the first time in about 25 years, I strapped on cross country skis. We covered about 4.5 miles and it was a pretty good workout.
In other news, because I don't have enough blogs running around, I've started blogging for the Green Bay Marathon. You car read the introductory post here. I guess that means I should officially sign up for the race. When I do, it looks like I'll be running it without one co-worker or another for the first time in three years.
Of course, to be fair, last year the co-worker who did the marathon was completely on his own as I was doing the double-marathon thing.
Let's see, youth retreat activities, cross country skiing, GB Marathon blogging. That's only three topics.
So, let's add in that I'm waiting for my training to be busted up, yet again, by the arrival of the plague. Both kids and now my wife have been knocked down by some horrible illness in the past 10 days. My daughter says I'm the winner because I'm the only one that didn't get sick.
She's too young to add the proper word to the end of that sentence.
No, I didn't die. And I haven't given up on triathlon, blogging, training, or anything else. What I DID do is completely gut and rebuild a bathroom. And to think I thought my co-workers were crazy when they said it would take six to eight weeks. Eight weeks later, I'm nearly done.
Eight weeks spent living in the bathroom made training tough. In fact, it made training, blogging, updating Facebook or Twitter, and just about everything else tough. Well, everything but learning how to solder copper pipes, install tubs, and work with textured paint. THOSE I have down pat.
Unfortunately, the work took a toll on my schedule. Both the Fox Cities Double Marathon and the Fall 50 fell. I'm now planning on rebuilding and ramping my mileage back up. My early goals are to get back to 20 mile weekend runs by January, then drop the mileage down and start training for the Green Bay Marathon in May. There will be no 50-miler, next year. The base goal will be a sub 3:40 marathon. The perfect day goal will be sub 3:30. The "not gonna happen, Superman goal" is to qualify for Boston.
I'll also be getting back into the pool and throwing the bike on the trainer in the basement. And updating my blog for those who have asked to be linked. And catching up with people who have been far busier than I.
In other news, an old friend (from way back in the Running Pol days) is going to tackle another race. I'll dig up her new site and add that link. She's in a far different place than she was five years ago. Aren't we all?
Well, it's here. The High Cliff half-Ironman is tomorrow. It should be interesting.
Monster Girl wandered into our bedroom around 5:15 this morning and woke me up. With one little push she managed to give my day a pretty rough start.
And just because a picture of Monster Girl must be balanced with a picture of B-Boy, another from the Oshkosh Area Kids' Triathlon. It's fitting as my son woke me up, today, as well. He was just less thorough. I never saw the alarm clock as he was roaming about.
It is amazing how quickly things can fill a schedule. At work, I found myself struggling just to get through all of the "must do" projects that came out of the budgeting process. It can be disheartening to look at a day's work, see how much was accomplished, only to realize that none of it was normal workload.
Well, I'm outta here for the Labor Day weekend! In more ways than one.
Just who is this Iron Pol?
A former out of shape sailor, who became a marathoner, then a triathlete, Ironman, and ultramarathoner. Now, life has pushed me into short track speed skating. More important than the titles is the lifestyle, and sharing it with others.