"At the peak of tremendous and victorious effort, while the blood is pounding in your head, all suddenly comes quiet within you. Everything seems clearer and whiter than ever before, as if great spotlights had been turned on. At that moment, you have the conviction that you contain all the power in the world, that you are capable of everything, that you have wings. There is no more precise moment in life than this, the WHITE MOMENT, and you will work hard for years, just to taste it again."
I had an amazing 3 days of training the end of this last week. On Thur I did a 7.7 mile run with 6X4 minutes in Z-3 W/ 2 min R/I.
On Friday I did a 6 hr bike (87 miles) followed by a 4 mile run. Felt GREAT the entire days training. Never felt tired. On the run after the 87 mile bike my legs felt light & fast.
On Sat morning I finished my 3 day stint of training with a 2hr 10 min run. Legs were a little fatigued, but much less than I would of thought they would. That was my last big push for Ironman. From here on out I'm doing a gradual taper.
The praying I've been doing has helped my training & mind set immensely! I feel great both physically & mentally. I feel strong, fast, & confident. Last year I trained just as hard for my Iron as this year. But I did not ask God for help. I went into that race overweight, & feeling bad all the way around. This year I decided to request Gods help. That has made all the difference in the world. Its my nature to try & take on triathlon on my own. Wanting to be the Captain of my ownship. But God wants to be a part of my life, even in my selfish endeavors. He has helped me along when I asked for help this year in training for Ironman Arizona. The times I struggled with my training & diet this year was when I stopped asking Him for help. No coincidence there.
I really believe I will succeed this year in my Ironman goal. I'm so excited. Looks like November 23rd, after 5.5 years of training, dreaming, & not giving up even after an amazing string of injuries, sickness, weight gain, DNF's, bad luck, & other colossal Iron failures that would of made others quit, I will finally be an Ironman. Here's to not giving up, continually striving for a a goal that at times seemed impossible, & strength in God!
Yesterday was the last day of a recovery week, or rest & test week as we triathletes call it. I feel great for the first time since early Sept. I was thinking about what could have caused such a drastic downward spiral the past couple months. I had been training & responding better from last November until this August than I have in 5.5 years of training & racing in triathlon. I've come up with 2 reasons. During the recovery weeks I'd had in the last couple months I had been sick. So I think my body was trying to fight off a sickness, thus was unable to heal my body from the intense training. I believe I was in the trows of overtraining. This is the first week I've felt great in 2 months. I feel better both mentally & physically. A depression I'd been feeling since uly has finally started to lift. I am glad to say, I really do feel great.
I believe the other, & biggest reason for me feeling better is that I have recently been leaning on God very heavily. Everyday before work I have been reading 1-2 chapters from the bible. I'm currently in chapter 3 of Luke. I've been praying more than I had been in a very long time. & I believe that has led to the improvements in my well being. God rewards his followers faithfulness. I've been praying for God to help with my depression. & especially this week, He has helped me feel happy again.
One of the things I've been praying for in the overall scheme of life truly is unimportant. I've been praying for God to help me with my eating/weight issues. As most of the readers of my blog know, I have MAJOR food issues. Much like a drug addict will turn to their drug of choice when they are stressed, sad, or have any kind of emotional stress. I turn to food. Most people turn to food for comfort a little. But to the degree I do it, there's no doubt there's a serious addiction problem going on. Thank goodness my addiction is food, because if I turned to alcohol to the degree I turn to food there's no doubt I'd of died of alcohol poisoning long ago. This last couple of weeks I haven't binged once. That feels great to be able to write. I HAVEN'T BINGED ONCE IN OVER 2 WEEKS! First time since late June that I could say that. Since July I had gone from 188 pounds to 2 weeks ago being a thick & miserable 217. I'm not currently dieting at all. An athlete should never try & lose weight before a big "A" race (Ironman Arizona, the biggest race of my life is now only 1 month & 3 days away). But since I've started praying more I've dropped 8 pounds. I'm currently at 209. God knows me, & He chooses to help me in my fight with the bulge even though that particular concern really is frivolous in the grand scheme of things.
In church on Sunday my pastor told us he is starting a blog. His blog is now listed in My "blogs I follow" list. It is called A Glory Hunter. I found another blog yesterday while online that I am very excited about reading. It's written by Mark W Jr. He's a guy I've looked up to for many years. He's been very devoted in his walk with Christ for as long as I've known him. He's been an inspiration in my life since I found God back in 1999. What's so amazing about this guy is he's only 20, yet for 9 years he's been one of the best examples to me of what kind of a person I'd like to be. Faithful & strong in his walk with God. Always setting an example by his actions. Works tirelessly in helping others walk with the Lord. His blog is called One Thirst. Mark is in the army, & is currently deployed in a war zone right now. In the last 3 weeks his unit has had direct hits twice by mortar attacks. Many of the soldiers in his unit have died in thew last 3 weeks. Any out there who may read this, please please pray for him, the troops of his unit, & their families.
Thank you for tuning in. & SWtri gal, Iron Outlaw, the Clyeologist, & Boots Wiggins, I just wanted to thank you again for your support & words of encouragement the last month. They helped more than you could know. Peace!
I live & train in Santa Fe. It's 6800 ft above sea level so when I go out of state to race I am almost always racing at a much lower altitude. Since I live & train at such a high elevation I rarely get out of breath when I race. Limitless 0-2 in my arsenal baby!
There are paved country roads everywhere on the outskirts of the city. Some rolling hills, but mostly areas that require a lot of climbing. I have been planning on taking pictures of my training routes. My cousin and one of my best friends Greg came up from Hawaii to visit. While he was here we rode highway 14. Also known as Turquoise trail. He took some great pictures. I'll post them to show what gorgeous scenery I train in.
A little over half way up Heart Break Hill
North of Madrid Beginning of Heart break Hill
Greg outside of Madrid Tail end of Heart Break Hill South of Madrid NM Rock formations outside of Santa Fe
Near Madrid NM The rising sun near Lone Butte Cerrillos NM This is the Diner in Madrid NM that Wild Hogs was filmed in. They built the Diner specifically for the movie. They paid the town of Madrid to let Disney film there unrestricted until the completion of the movie.
My training hasn't gone well this last week. I got sick again. This time it was my yearly stomach virus. I was out for 3 days. No training for 3 days! Just me laid out on the couch. One thing I can guarantee you, I will not take for granted crossing the Iron finish line. Some people seem to be naturals. They are built for endurance athletics. I'm not one of those. I excel in sprint distance triathlons. Usually in a sprint triathlon I'm in the top 10 percent. But going long has been a serious struggle for me. I've been training for an Iron finish non-stop now for 5.5 years. So far it has alluded me. But I'm not willing to give up. I'll push through the pain, injuries, sickness, & monotonous 6 hr bike rides & 3.5 hr runs. Some day I will be an Ironman.
My coach Pete Alfino sent me an email last week. He has made reservations to be there in Tempe on November 23rd when I attempt Ironman Arizona. He said he wanted to be there when I complete my first Iron. I'm excited that he'll be there. But I'm also worried. Last year he was going to do the same thing for me at the SilvermanIronman, but his plans to be in Nevada on race day ended up falling through. I remember being silently grateful. Up until last year he had never had a athlete DNF (did not finish) an Iron. I was his first athlete to DNF. Some 1st time things are great to be there in person for. His first athlete DNF'ing after almost a decade of coaching isn't one of them. Now he'll be there for my 3rd attempt, my 2nd attempt with him coaching me.
For those who don't know there are cut off times during Ironman events. A person has to be done with the 2.4 mile swim in 2 hr 20 minutes. That shouldn't be a problem for me. I'm not a fast swimmer, but I believe I'll be out of the water in around 1 hr 40 minutes. 40 minutes to spare. The cut off time for the bike is 5:30 PM (race day start time is 7 AM). 8 hrs 10 minutes to go 112 miles on a bicycle. Last year I missed the bike cut of time by 45 minutes.
I'm not worried at all about the 26.2 mile run. The run cut off time is midnight. If I took the max amount of time to bike then I would have to be done with the run in 6.5 hrs. Running is my strongest event. So I'm not really worried about the run cut off time. I'm guessing even if my legs are toast after a 2.4 mile swim & a 112 mile bike it shouldn't take me more than 5 hrs to finish the 26.2 mile run. So, in my mind, as long as I finish the bike in time, I should be able to cross the finish line before the Ironman cut off time of midnight. 3rd times a charm? I sure hope so. I want to hear the announcer say "Cody from New Mexico, you are an Ironman!" I dream of hearing those words. I have dreamed of hearing those words for almost 6 years now. Is this the year? We'll see in 6 weeks.
Great news. I called Bike World in Alb & threw a fit that after 5.5 weeks I still don't have the front fork for my tri bike. Originally Bike World claimed it would take 2 weeks. They're claiming that Cannondale just hasn't sent the fork yet. I didn't believe them. I thought they just hadn't taken the time to put it on. Well Bike World decided to call up Cannondale & they gave Cannondale as bad of a butt chewing as I gave Bike world. So now Cannondale is sending me a front fork free of charge. They are not even charging delivery. That's saving me $240 plus delivery. Great news!!! Thanks Bike World!!!
On Wednesday my daughter who is 3 years old figured out how to peddle her tricycle. Now that she has learned how to peddle by herself she's peddling all over the place! Talking about making up for lost time! Seems she and I are both in a major bike build phase! It's things like this that makes life so enjoyable. Being a Dad is the best gift God has ever given me.
I haven't blogged for awhile. Usually when I don't write in my blog it's because things have fallen apart in one form or another. I'm usually an optimistic person. So when I'm doing well, or planning on doing well I'll blog to share the excitement. I wasn't doing well. But I'm back on track now.
In early Sept I wrecked my new Cannondale carbon slice triathlon bike. I still haven't gotten it back from the bike shop yet. How long does it take to order & put on a new fork? Somehow I doubt it takes an entire month. After the wreck I missed about a week of training while healing up the nicks & bruises. A couple days before I was ready to train again I got sick It was just a flue. But dang this was a kicker! On average I only get sick about once a year. It's usually a stomach virus, & it's usually during a big training block. Other than that one stomach virus a year I don't usually catch anything at all. As a matter of a fact I believe it's been almost 4 years since I got the flue. This one made up for it. I was down & out! It stuck around for a good 3 weeks. I missed another one & a half weeks training from sickness. Total time training lost was 2.5 weeks.
Late August I started to get depressed. That's very unusual for me. I don't get down in the dumps very often. I suppose because I'm always expecting things to get better, & since I'm always looking foreword to what tomorrow may bring, that by the time I realize I'm depressed I'm usually pretty deep into it. Last week I was having a hard time even getting out of bed. I'd missed more workouts this month than in any month in 5 years of me training for triathlon.
Some of the reasons for my emotional state was me missing my Dad who died in July.
Worry over my Mom, who isn't handling his death well. She tends to dive head first into projects, keeping herself busy enough that she won't have time to feel, much less heal. Which explained her heart attack in July.
My biggest reason for my emotional downer was that I've been missing my 2 children. I've been working 72-86 hrs a week since last Oct when my wife quite her job to be a stay at home Mom. I went from having 3 days at home with my babies while my wife was at work to only seeing them a couple hrs a day between shifts. That's been hard. Really hard. In the last year I've watched my daughter go from a complete Daddy's girl to wanting her Mom most of the time. That's understandable considering my wife is now there all of the time to give her the love & attention she needs. I'd do anything to go back to the way things were with my children. But to do that I'd have to break my wife's heart by having her go back to work again. One of the steps I've decided to do to help our financial situation is something I have been avoiding for 13 years of me working here at the new Mexico state Penitentiary. I'm going to put in for Sergeant. Call me content or complacent. Same thing I suppose. But I've always enjoyed my job so much that I didn't want to promote in fear that I'd end up hating my job like most every other person I've ever known. Given the choice between being content with my job or more time with my babies I'll choose more time with my children.
Now for the good news. My wife & I paid off our house last month so that means I can work a little less. Instead of working 70-80 hrs a week I'll only have to work 60 hrs a week to make our minimum bills. That's more time home with my kids, not as much as I'd like. But I'll take what I can get.
Since July I've gained 29 pounds. I went from a fast & slim 188 back up to a 217 pound Clydesdale. Jeez, it took a lot of effort to get from 257 last Nov to 188 this June. Half of that work on weight loss disappeared in 3 months time. Very disappointing. In June I had a 6 pack. No 6 pack now that's for sure.
My coach Pete Alfino wrote me an email a couple weeks ago. I wish I'd of kept it because it was very insightful. To sum it up he said I am way to hard on myself when things start to slip a little in training. I thought about what he said & I had a realization. During every build phase I've done just before my years "A" race I've gained between 30-50 pounds. Every time I start getting close to an A race I beat myself up if I miss a workout, or have a bad day training. When I get stressed I turn to food. When I turn to food I get pissed because I know I'm putting my A race in jeopardy by gaining weight. In turn the weight gain pisses me off and I turn to food to find temporary comfort. It had been a big snowball effect. That snow ball is the reason that after 5 years of training & 2 failed attempts I'm still not an Ironman.
I know, I know. I should of realized this pattern awhile ago. Not sure why I didn't see the pattern before. But regardless, I now know. I believe knowing what was happening & why will help me deal with this in the future. Perhaps I won't be able to completely stop the weight gain during every build phase. But I'd be willing to bet this knowledge will help slow the fat tide dramatically.
Since this realization my attitude has completely turned around. Since my attitude about working out has gotten better my workouts have gotten better again too. I've not gained weight this week for the first time since June.
So now I can start spending a little more time with my children & my triathlon training has gotten back on track. Things are better. Now if I could just get my triathlon bike back from Bike World in Albuquerque.
Thanks for being a part of my gripe fest. If you don't hear from me on my blog in the next couple weeks you'll know this turn for the good didn't continue. Hopefully I'll post again soon. Peace! I'm out.