Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Yep, it happen, AGAIN

Well just as I was getting to the tail end of my ankle injury I begin riding my bike and was even able to swim a couple hundred meters with minimal pain.  I was feeling good and ready to get back on the road to a triathlon.  
Just two days after getting back on the trainer at home, my family took me on an AWESOME Father's Day retreat.  It was amazing in so many ways.  We decided to leave an hour to two early since I was flying  out the next morning for work and I needed to pack and do some yard work.  Long story short, almost done with clearing some brush and overhang from some trees, only had one tree left and as I was walking the chainsaw back up the hill it slipped out of my hand and onto my leg.  Luckliy it was off, but it required a few stitches and sliced the leg up pretty good.  

My wife and daughters were awesome in helping me to mitigate the damage and stop the blood.  We went to Urgent Care first, they refused to touch me, then we went to ER, they were dumbfounded that I walked in and even said they could tell military training kicked in.  They actually called my moves RAMBO-esque, but hey whose bragging!  Anyways a few stiches later, I'm all fixed up and docs say I can resume activity within the next 10 days.  Heres to hoping I don't screw that up too!

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Military duty and getting hurt

So the last seven weeks of life have been a bit of a struggle in terms of triathlon training.  First, I spent the last six weeks on military duty and while I thought I would be able to keep up the T training, I was wrong!  On top of the already demanding schedule, we had our daily workouts of Crossfit and yoga, what a workout, but not conducive to training for distant events.  I did however take a weekend and go buy a new Quintana Roo bike, but I havent had the chance to really get it out on the road yet.

My last day of training I was excited to get back home and begin training only to sprain my ankle the last night of duty, UH!!!!  I have been out of commission for almost two weeks now with a class 4 sprain.  Hurts worse than when I broke it a few years back. After two weeks, it's till pretty swollen.

I was supposed to participate in a Triathlon last weekend but the injury forced me out.  I wanted to keep that drive alive so my six year old daughter and I decided to go and volunteer at the race which meant us getting up at 4am to help out.  She was a real trooper and was great with all the athletes.  I am hoping one more week of icing and I can get back out there.  The next scheduled race is the end of June.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

My 1st Triathlon

My first triathlon was this weekend and what an experience!  Talk about the gitters before the race, felt like I was in the bathroom for three hours before hand.  I was worried the morning of the race, frankly the entire time training that I would have a problem with my bike the day of the race.  Admittedly, I don't know much about the fixing of bikes or the maintenance, I've been trusting my bike guy in town to fix me up and give me tune up where/when needed.

Well, as luck would have it, we were lining up to begin and getting final instructions and they say  by the way, racer 86 (ME) you bike tire just exploded.  Ever possible four letter word raced through my head at that moment.  As I walked to my bike right before we began I was determined that I would ride a damn flat,I was going to finish my first triathlon come hell or high water (did I mention it was pouring rain).  As I arrived at my bike I was pleased to see that a mobile bike repair team was already fixing my tire, the front tire, which had been giving me trouble inflating that morning, had literally had a hole blow in the tire, not the tube.  They fixed me up with a Michelin tire, yea like the one on your car, said go worry about your race and we can settle up later!  How AWESOME!

Okay, so the first oh crap moment was out of the way before the race started and now to the pool where 160 participants were lining up for the indoor pool swim.  They had originally asked up to submit our 100 swim split times, which I did, I put mine in a few seconds faster than what I had been practicing at as I figured adrenaline would kick in on race day.  They announced that we would line up by on registration number, not swim split times.  I'm not super fast in the pool. But I am extremely comfortable in the water and as I watched number 40-80 go I thought oh crap, some of these folks are gonna hold me up.  Sure enough that happened.  There were two swimmers in each lane making it extremely difficult to pass, the lady in front of me couldn't make it 25 yards without stopping to stand up and rest, and I couldn't pass.  

My initial thought here was dang it lady, I've been training for this and so should have you, now you can even make it one lengthen without burning out.  CRAP!  Turns out I passed four people in the short 250 yard swim but I burned a lot of energy as I had to pass each of them by swimming underneath them, around wasn't an option, although the thought of swimming over them crossed my mind :-)!  I finished the swim in a little over 5 minutes, my training time was around 4:20 so passing and waiting to pass took quite a bit of time.  So I get out of the pool and head to the transition area and as instep out of the pool a guy is starting his run.  Wait what, I thought bike was next.

Sure enough, the bike was next the guy actually won the race in like 30 minutes, a semi pro triathlete with sponsors and all.  So I hop on my newly fixed Schwinn bike, BTW the tire cost just about as much as my entire bike cost, and hit the road after a lengthy transition (gotta work on those).  The bike was quick for me, 25 minute 7 miler, faster than any of my training splits and I averaged about 16 mph on a ladies Schwinn bike.  I can't wait to get a Quintana Roo!  Next came the crappiest part for me, the run.

I had been practicing the run for a while and initially, when I got off he bike and started jogging, my legs were like what the heck are you doing!  I could feel the lactic acid building up and about .3 miles in I had to stop and get some fluids in me.  As I mentioned I a previous post, I despise running and have a ton of room for improvement here,  in high school when I ran cross country to stay in shape for other sports, I ran a sub 8 minute mile.  Not fast, but I would love to get back there.  

So I finished the run, I finished my first triathlon!  55 minutes and change.  My goal next year for this event is 45 minutes, I think I can do it improving on the run and getting a good bike.  My goal was finishing and I did that, but the bug bit me hard and at the end of the race I was a little upset about not placing any higher in my age group.  My wife keeps reminding me this is my first and to race against myself and times,not others it's not like I'm a pro triathlete or anything!

For the race I had two goals and then a pie in the sky goal.  Goal #1, finish my first triathlon, check that one off the list.  Goal #2, come in under an hour, check that too!  Pie in the sky goal, come in under 50 minutes, close but no cigar.  I will get it next time on this super sprint distance.  

Monday, March 24, 2014

Beating Diabetes through Triathlon

t has long been a goal of mine to complete a triathlon.  In fact, over five years ago I bought a cheap starter bike to begin and with a little excitement around the house (birth of two girls), ,I litany deployments, and job changes it became nearly impossible for me to begin training.  All told, after purchasing the bike over 6 years ago, I had logged a whopping total of 12 miles on the bike, zero laps in the pool, but had run a few 5ks to keep up with my wife (although I must admit, I complained, I despise running). 

As some of you may know, I am diabetic and have been for over 10 years.  The lineage runs deep in my family and I was tested every six months from the time I was 13.  Over the last few years I have let it slip a bit, well more than a bit, and it has started to get the best of me, more mentally than anything.  My sugars and A1C levels were out of whack and like a roller coaster.  I knew that I needed to begin a concerted effort exercise effort to have control of my diabetes and beat this crappy(insert another word) disease.  

(Sound the trumpets) Entering the ring to beat this dreaded disease was the goal I had years ago a Triathlon.  I found a training plan in "Triathlete" magazine that I decided to buy one day on my IPad through the Newstand app.  It seemed easy to use and was rather straight forward, which I knew I needed to not be overwhelmed.  In fact, I highly recommend you get a copy if you are interested in beginning a triathlons journey.  The plan was put out by 's Lance Watson and can be found in the FEB 2014 issue of Triathlete.   

Fast forward now 9 weeks to today, a mere 5 days away from my first race and things have been going well.  In fact, my blood sugar levels have evened out tremendously, I feel heather and now make time for exercise instead of it being an afterthought.  I find out next week how much my A1C levels have dropped and I will be sure to let you folks know.  As far as the training was concerned, I found it to be manageable.  Don't get me wrong, in the beginning it kicked my butt, however towards the end of the plan, I found myself wanting to do more (but resisted the urge, per the advice of numerous Twitter feeds and article post).  

 Over the last 8, almost 9 weeks now, I have logged over 200 miles on the bike, run over 50, and swam I don't even know how many laps!  This first Triathlon will be much less than that, a sprint distance, but I am ready!  The only piece that I am nervous about is the combining of all three events, the plan at most had me do two at once.  However, I am trusting Mr. Watson's expertise that I won't fall over dead doing this!  

When I started this journey my goal was to finish a triathlon but the more I get engrossed with this multi sport event, the more I want to place in my age group.  I know it's likely unrealistic given it's my first race, but I think my swim times and bike times (on a woman's road bike nonetheless) could keep me towards the front of the pack.  My struggle will be the run.  And if I get slow on the bike or passed then it's obviously the equipment :-) and I might be able to convince my wife to let me get the Quintana Roo bike I've been wanting.

Sorry to ramble on here, I am excited about this adventure and looking forward to posting my results and future success on the blog.  Thanks for reading this far and if you'll allow me, I'd like to thank a few folks/companies.  BTW, I am not sponsored but would be willing to if any companies are interested :-). First, to my beautiful wife who has always pushed me beyond believe, sometimes not with words but with your scowls.  To my girls, for cheering for me after each training day and asking me how I did!  
To my in-laws for keeping our girls while I go try this dream.  

Thanks to the City of Morganton, NC for an incredible greenway and aquatic center in which to train, by the far the best greenway I have ever been on.  

Thanks to TYR for making goggles that don't leak for folks with a little extra meat around their skulls.   

Thanks to AquaSphere for some amazing paddles that bunt the crap out of my arms when I am in the pool, feel the burn baby!

Thanks to Schwinn bikes (Schwinn Varsity)for producing an affordable bike that while small on me, will get me through my first race and has gotten me through training with no problems. 

A special and heartfelt thanks to All3Sports, specifically Mike, for taking care of me when I came to visit on a drive through Atlanta.  I was nervous about going in to a store like this, but Mike was great at helping me understand what I truly needed for my first attempt and for not trying to upsale me on things.  In reality, he and a few other staff members encouraged me not to purchase a few items.  Because of their honestly, all of my triathlon purchases will be made through their store, regardless of price.  Thanks guys!

A final thanks to diabetes.  You made me do this and now be prepared because as each new day passes, I am kicking your ass a little bit more!  You will NOT beat me!!!!!!!