Friday, October 30, 2009

But for the Grace of God

When I got the news, I pushed the unimportant things aside. As much as I've enjoyed blogging, it's just seemed like such a distraction. As I was poking around on Facebook last night, a friend contemplated giving up blogging entirely. She felt like she just didn't have anything to say. I realized as I followed the conversation, that its not that we don't have anything to say. It's just, does anybody want to hear it? This made me realize (reaffirm) that ultimately, this is a tool for me, about me.

I've been going through the process. When you find a job that you love to do, with people you love to work with, it's hard to let go. Ultimately, though, money rules, and money has no emotion. No sensitivity.

Why is that the job you want the least is the one that pursues you the hardest? LOL... I interviewed at some big name companies. I have to sit there and answer questions for people that, while appropriate, really have no bearing on my ability to do the job. I often find myself wondering why I do not have this person's or that person's job. I am more skilled and knowledgeable then they are, yet I have to sit here, acting like I am enthusiastic and aggressive for every opportunity out there under the sun, no matter how mundane it really is.

More often than not, the company that pursues me hardest wins. I'm just easy like that. I like to be wanted, because I give so much in return. I fully realize that this might not be the best strategy, but its been working out OK so far.

I'm starting a ninety day contract on Monday, and I'm hoping this will hold me over, allow me to take a deep breath, and find a company that I really like and want to work for, for a long time.

My family is counting on me. Once more into the breach...

Wes

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Fool's Goal

The off season features the return of a commodity that many age group triathletes find themselves in short supply.

Time.

Along with greater amounts of time comes greater amounts of reflection.

You guys knew you were in trouble. Right? :-)

Basically, what it boils down to, is this. My failure to meet my sub-6 goal at Augusta stems from three sources. Two of which should be fairly obvious. The other one, not so obvious. Let's go through each one of them. I know. You can't wait.

Back before the High Falls Olympic, I was hitting the strength training pretty hard. I was only going once, maybe twice a week, but I was pushing some pretty heavy weights. I had discussed this with my coach. She had scheduled me for strength maintenance on my plan. In my foolishness, I hit the weights hard. I felt the burn in my muscles.

At High Falls Olympic, I caught myself. I told coach that I was not doing anymore strength training because it was causing my muscles to cramp. What led me to this decision? I was cramping in my thighs. I haven't cramped in my thighs since the West Point Olympic back in my first year of triathlon.

The second foolish decision was really two and three together. Coach sez to take two salt tabs per hour when its hot and you are racing and training, and we all the axiom, "Nothing new on race day!" Well, I never ever trained with salt tabs. I tried them last year, and I did not care for them. They upset my stomach a bit. I decided to go with PowerGel Electrolyte water for Ironman Florida last year, and it worked out OK. I finished. This year, at Augusta, I left my PowerGel packets at home. They are not easy to find. Dani was kind enough to give me some of her Propel packets, and I used that to fuel my water.

When I ride my bike, I alternate between Gatorade Tiger and enhanced water. I like the taste of Tiger. Not too sweet. Not too salty. I can drink it for an Iron distance event. Unfortunately, when I got to the Propel, I hated it. It tasted nasty, and I forced myself to drink the first bottle. The second bottle of Tiger didn't go down so well after that. Rather than drink my fourth bottle (the one with Propel), I opted to pick up a bottle of Gatorade at the bottle exchange and managed to sip that into transition.

If you read my race report, you know that less than a half mile in, I cramped up on the run, in my thighs. The rest is history.

So lessons learned... Moving on... and all that jazz. Liz tells me not to beat myself up. She knows. Of course, she knows. She sees it all the time in her athletes. We are all different, yet we do the same shiz. It's just, and here's the kicker, from my perspective, it takes a certain amount of effort, and commitment, to train an athlete and train for a half Ironman distance race. That deserves a healthy amount of respect. More, evidently, than I was willing to give.

That, in a nutshell, is why I am not doing Ironman next year. I am going to take next year and put into practice everything that I have been taught and do it over and over again until I get it right. For me, its no longer about going the distance. It's about, going the distance well, and who knows. Somewhere, along that line, off in the distance, there just might be a sub-6 half iron performance...

Friday, October 09, 2009

What Up Now?

It's almost been two weeks since the half Ironman. I am in a typical place. My heart doesn't want this year to be over. My body wants this year to be over. My mind is torn between two lovers.

I guess one of the good things about not having October and November races is that I don't have to struggle to find time and get games to referee. I pulled a full load last Sunday, one 90 minute line, then two 90 minute centers, all adults. It made for a long day. My legs held up surprisingly well, although they were pretty sore the next day.

Wednesday, I managed to ease back into running. Nothing structured, mind you. I thought thirty minutes at whatever pace I could take was a good idea. I managed almost two and a half miles, but I walked a lot of the hills and was happy with that. I told myself that time and HR really just have no meaning right now, and they won't for a while. Competitiveness, even with myself, is out!

My legs felt really good Thursday. I decided to sneak in another run during Matthew's soccer practice. Again, nothing spectacular, but I felt like adding an extra mile mile or so. I ran in my Zoots. They need more mileage. It probably wasn't a great idea, as they have very little padding.

On the triathlon front, I am reading my book on nutrition. I really want to focus on an endurance athlete's diet, geared to the 175lb person, and work hard on getting my weight down closer to where it should. Baby steps first!! First order of business is focusing on daily hydration. According to the manual, I need to drink 8 oz of water per hour all day long, more when I exercise. I've got a lot to learn.

After I finish reading my nutrition book, its back to strength training with Tri Power. The workouts and periodization outlined in this book should help me through the winter training months.

Dee Dee has chosen her first Ironman 70.3!! The winner? Ironman Branson 70.3! It looks like, come September of next year, Dee Dee and I will be making a little trip to Mizzou. Never been there, and I'm really looking forward to it.

As for myself, I'm looking at the Rev3 triathlon in Knoxville in May, Callaway Gardens in June, maybe Chattanooga again this year, and wrapping up the year at Ironman Miami 70.3, if I can get registered in time.

That's the tentative plan for next year. Nothing like a little excitement to keep on motivated!

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Wes

Monday, October 05, 2009

Afterthoughts of Augusta

Well... I've been kind of putting this one off. My race experience at Augusta was tinged with disappointment. I guess its only fair, since my two prior races went so splendidly. Still... I would have liked to end my year on a high note. Unlike two years ago, I have no plans to jump feet first into my redemption. My tri season is over, and we'll just leave it at that.

Over all, at the end of the day, Augusta was a most positive race experience. With the help of the current, I totally slaughtered the swim. It has left me wondering what kind of half IM swim time I could turn in without a current. I guess we'll have to wait until next year to find out.

I was very very pleased with my performance on the bike. I hit the first 10-15 miles hard, and it is here, I believe, that I dashed my hopes for a sub-6 performance. High zone 3 and zone 4 just took too much out of my legs, and I knew it. Yet, I chose to do it anyways. Yea, you can't say I didn't have it coming. I do remember feeling very pleased with myself as I walked bow legged across the timing mat and realizing I had broken three hours.

I'm not going to comment too much about the run, other to say that I am satisfied that I gave it my all. I very well could have ended up in the medical tent.

Which leaves us with...

I'm not ready to do another Ironman. I refuse to do another Ironman until I've mastered the half Iron distance. I feel like running is such a weakness. I feel like there are things that my coach has been trying to teach me that I just haven't grasped yet, no, refused to grasp. I will not devote the time and training to a full Ironman until I have beaten some sense into myself.

Planning is in full swing for next year. I am still looking at doing the First Light marathon in Mobile on January 10, 2010. My goal here would be keeping active through the winter and an even paced effort for 26.2 miles. I am also looking at doing 2, maybe 3 half Ironmans next year. Dee Dee wants to do a half Ironman next year too, so some of this depends on what she would like to do.

There you have it. In a nutshell... Augusta was another great learning experience for me. Learn me something and I am a better man. I just might be back next year. We shall see...

Wes

Friday, October 02, 2009

Wonderful!!


Every once in a while, I get the distinct pleasure of trying out products and posting a review on my blog. Some of the products I pay for, others are pro bono. Recently, I was contacted by the great people over at POM Wonderful. They sent me a shipment of the juice to try and hopefully write about.

I will be the first one to admit that I do not like dark colored juices, even though they are rumored to be better for you. I mainly stick to OJ, and that's about it. No way, I thought, am I going to drink this stuff. I'll give it to Dee Dee and ask her for an opinion.

Well, fast forward a little bit... I'm coming back in from a sweaty week day run, and I grab one of these little bottles from the refrigerator. I pop the top, take a couple of sips and think. This shiz is good. I ended up drinking the entire bottle. I liked the taste! I couldn't tell if the juice is naturally fizzy or if its carbonated. I don't like carbonation in anything except my beer and tonic water. I also decided it didn't matter.

Who woulda thunk they could get so much juice out of the seeds (?!) of a pomegranate? The health benefits are listed out on their web site, and they include: cardio vascular, prostrate, and erectile health . That last one is for us fellas. I don't know about you, but I need me a case of this stuff ;-)

Checking out the price of this stuff in the store... It's fairly expensive as far as juice goes, and at 160 calories per serving, it's kinda up there. I don't think the calories are that big a deal since its entirely 100% juice. Yes. I looked. I was thinking you could stretch the calories and expense by mixing it with something else... A smoothie maybe?!

Thanks for sending me the freebies, POM Wonderful! I still got 2-3 bottles left, but they won't last long. I spoke to Dee Dee about them as well. She already knew everything, and she lurves it too :-)

Wes

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Over the Top


I haven't been tagged in a long time, and my hiney has been puckering in anticipation!! Thanks Jess!!! :-)

Answer the following questions with only 1 word answers...

1. Where is your cell phone? desk
2.Your hair? short
3. Your mother? bestest
4. Your father? bestest
5. Your favorite food? everything
6. Your dream last night? blank
7. Your favorite drink? Beer!!
8. Your dream/goal? sub-6
9. What room are you in? office
10. Your hobby? triathlon
11. Your fear? surviving
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? racing
13. Where were you last night? home
14. Something you aren't? recovered
15. Muffins? Yes
16. Wish list item? 310XT
17. Where did you grow up? Mobile
18. Last thing you did? breathed
19. What are you wearing? Work-casual
20. Your TV? perfect
21. Your pets? dogs
22. Your friends? BESTEST!
23. Your life? good
24. Your mood? excellent
25. Missing someone? leeeetle
26. Vehicle? Scion
27. Something you're not wearing? underwear... jk! necklace
28. Your favorite store?tri-stores
29. Your favorite color? blue
30. When was the last time you laughed? now
31. Last time you cried? Sunday :-(
32. Your best friend? only one?!? uh-uh...
33. One place that I go over and over? bathroom
34. One person who emails me regularly?assignors
35. Favorite place to eat? home

If you want to consider yourself tagged, you are tagged! First six to accept in the comments are IT! :-)