Sunday, June 28, 2009

Break the Silence

It's been a while since since I made an entry - not because I don't like to, it's just been busy. I am proud to say that I still have not missed a workout - I've had to make some minor adjustments to the schedule, but have not missed any of the workouts.

Since my last post I've tapered for my first big event of the season and ran another race a week later. My first half ironman distance race went much better than expected. After doing the math, I figured there was an outside chance that I could finish in 6:00 and decided I would be happy with anything under 6:30. Well, here's the shocker - I finished with a time of 5:42:42. To say I'm pleased would be an understatement.

I believe that there are two very big reasons that I did as well as I did:

1. I listened to coach Max. He told me how to pace the race from start to finish - Go hard for the first two hundred yards of the swim and then settle into a pace. Get the heart rate down on the bike and then start the nutrition plan - keep the pace aerobic for the bike so I would have good legs on the run. Start the run easy and settle into an aerobic run for the first eight miles and then race the final five. I kept hearing Max's words in my head "you have the earn the right to race." Well, it worked. There's always something really memorable for a race. With this one, it was the finish - for two reasons - the run in off the main road was lined with flagged ropes - when you see that you are generally very close to the finish. I saw the flags and started running really hard (not that I had much left) - well, the run in must have been at least a quarter mile, but it felt like closer to 1/3 - I kept the pace though as I knew it could not last too much longer. The second reason that it was memorable is because this is the first race that my wife saw me finish.

2. The second reason that I did as well as I did is my father fell off a ladder earlier in the week and busted himself up pretty good. He broke six ribs (a couple in both front and back) and his thumb and spent two days in the hospital. I knew that no matter how much my self imposed pain was, it paled in comparison to what he is going through. Inpiration comes from some strange places.

I was very sore for two days after the race. Stairs were not easy. The only soreness I had were in my hamstring - maybe a little in my thighs, but that paled in comparison to how my hammies felt. It soon passed as I was feeling somewhat back to normal by Tuesday and pretty good by Wednesday. I ran a sprint today - a non-sanctioned race in Wilbraham MA. It was my first top 20 finish (I finished 20th) and I think I could have done better by at least two places as I missed a turn on the bike that wasted a minute or two.

I am very much looking forward to phase two of my schedule. It looks like the workouts get more intense - cool!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Things I have given up (and don't miss)

Since starting to work with Max, I decided that this was not only going to be a quest for better athletic performance, it was going to be a lifestyle change.

Here are some of things I don't do anymore:
1. Eat at fast food restraunts
2. Eat frozen or prepackaged dinners
3. Eat to excess
4. Miss workouts (only missed one and had to cut one short - not too bad)

Here are some of the things I do much less often:
1. Drink beer (probably only 18 beers in the course of two months, generally only one - the old me - well, we won't talk about that).
2. Eat at restraunts
3. Stay up late

Honestly, I don't recall ever feeling better (in my adult life) than I do now and I am only two months into this. I can't see going back to way things used to be.