Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Megabus Offers Free WiFi

That's pretty damn cool. I'm posting this from the bus right now.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Day Running

I wish I had a camera for this one. We were getting a literal blizzard Christmas day. The roads were a complete mess with the snow falling faster than it could be cleared by the large county plows circling the major roadways. In their efforts the plows managed to keep the roadways clear but the shoulders suffered the consequences. They were covered by a tall mound of dense snow so any road around was down to strictly two lanes. The snow itself was the moist heavy snow you get when the air temp is just above freezing. Needless to say, the conditions were dangerous. What's a guy to do on a day like this?

Go running of course.

I ran my typical 6 mile mid-week route; however, today it was anything but typical. When I stepped outside it was immediately clear I was going to have an adventure whether I wanted one or not. The snowflakes were huge and heavy. In fact, they actually kind of hurt when they hit my face. They especially hurt when they crashed into my eyeballs. Try as I might there was no avoiding this. All I could do was laugh it off as my body got attacked by these relentless white monsters.

After pulling out of the driveway it was clear that each step was going to be a challenge. In my continued attempt at forefoot running I made it clear to myself that I would in no way let my heel land. This meant the surface area with which my foot impacted the ground would be reduced and in fact I'd be almost sliding the front of my foot to with each step. It seemed injury was inevitable but I didn't care. I was using proper form by running tall and landing appropriately. If I got injured then I'd face that devil when he presented himself.

Because of the lack of shoulder on the roads I was constantly running right in the middle of traffic. Sadly it wasn't as much of a challenge as I thought. No one swerved or lost control of their car and no plows came in my direction when I was running so I didn't get a chance to practice jumping out of the way. The adventurous side of me isn't getting much to do. Maybe next time.

By the time I got back home I was not only injury free but completely soaked by this dense snowfall. This reaffirms my notion that forefoot running is the way to go. Barefoot running is probably the ultimate way to go but this time of year doesn't really condone that kind of thing.

Until the next adventure.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Born to Run

borntorunSM.jpgIf you're an endurance athlete of any kind you owe it to yourself to read this book. The pace of my 2010 training has just changed as well as my racing food.

An Uphill Battle

Yesterday I decided to get back on the exercise wagon and see what a few months of mainly idle time has done to me. By idle, I mean with respect to cardio. I've been strength training and doing yoga as a way to try to at least get some form of exercise.

The verdict?

2010 is going to be a serious uphill battle.

For my workout yesterday I did 30 minutes of core, swam for 45 minutes (2100 yards total) and joined an hour long spin class. Yoga was on the itinerary too but I was to full of endorphins after all that to sit in yoga.

While I did make it through the workouts I had nowhere near the power nor the endurance I had at the end of the 2009 season. I've lost a lot; however, this gives me a great opportunity to see the bright side of things: There's a lot I get to work on to get back.

Part of my goal with taking the time off was to have exactly this happen. I've been in pretty decent shape for quite a while and forgot what it was like to be out of shape. I was losing sight of why I was doing all this exercising to begin with. It just became a normal part of my life. The endorphin rush wasn't exciting any more. The workouts started to become major stress factors. It was all becoming too much. That's when I decided to step away for a bit, let my muscles atrophy and my conditioning deteriorate to whatever point a few months would take them. And so now, today, a day after the workout I'm waking up to something that made me laugh for a few minutes this morning. Something I haven't had happen in a very long time.

My shoulders are really sore from the swimming. HAHAHA. Parts of me ache that haven't ached in a very long time.

So, to that end: Mission accomplished. Real training begins January 4 (or 5 because I'll be on a bus on the 4th). The uphill battle is just over the horizon now.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Team Hammer

Photo on 2009-12-17 at 17.41 #3.jpg

As part of my most recent Hammer Nutrition auto shipment (which made me part of Team Hammer BTW), they sent me this nifty green tee-shirt at no additional charge. I asked the sales rep if instead of the shirt they'd send me a free 54cm 2010 Cervelo P3 Carbon with deep dish tubular Zipp Wheels. As fate would have it they don't give out free bikes. Oh well, it was worth the try anyway.

Since I'm here writing and you're seeing a very up-to-date picture of me (assuming you're reading this on or around December 17, 2009) you may have noticed I've gained some weight in a bad sort of way. It's nothing to be alarmed about. I'm perfectly healthy as far as I know. I've been trying to add some fat to my bones by indulging heavily in the holiday festivities. The whole point is I want to be at about as rock bottom as I can get before beginning my training officially for Ironman Wisconsin. The idea is over the past few years I've been in generally good enough shape to run a marathon on almost any given day of the year.

In an effort to make the 2010 journey toward Ironman even more meaningful I wanted to put myself in a position to have to work hard to get to the goal. This is part of my attempt to do just that. The other part is the mental aspect. Training takes a severe mental and emotional toll. By taking time off it essentially recharges the battery. Something I've been needing for a long time.

In just about a half month me and the rest of the Iron10 team will be starting out from scratch and building ourselves up to Ironman. It's going to be a long and trying road but it'll be an exciting adventure. I'll be sharing the highs and lows with you here as I'm sure there will be plenty of both if history is any sort of teacher.