November 29, 2008

Time off & a new season

Well, it's now post race. In other words it's rest & recovery time. This is always the hardest time of the year for me. By far the hardest. Last November rather than R&R I rode my bike from Santa Fe NM to Hobbs NM. A 3 day 330 mile ride. I really hate not being able to go out for a good workout. I have become a workout junky. I feel like I'm going through hard core drug withdrawals. The only reason I didn't go out for a ride today was because my wife threatened to call my coach & rat me out.

It's only been 5 days since Ironman Arizona. 5 days of total rest & I'm dying! Today was the last day of my vacation & my wife told me she's looking foreword to me going back to work because all the pacing I'm doing is making her nervous. I think part of the reason behind my difficulty to R&R this time is that all 5.5 years of triathlon training I've put in has been for the goal of becoming an Ironman. Each year one thing or another happened to prevent me from becoming an Ironman. Now this year I have a new and exciting goal.

As I've said before, ultra endurance isn't what my body is built for. Even though all I've trained for my entire triathlon career is ultra endurance triathlons, I don't finish well comparatively to the others in my division. I train long, yet I finish the highest in my division the shorter the race. So now after all these years, instead of training to overcome my weaknesses I'm going to train to build my strengths!!! & hot dog am I excited!!! My first A race this year is going to be an Olympic distance duathlon in Feb in Phoenix Arizona. It's a qualifier for the duathlon world championships. I really think I have the potential to be scary fast now that I'm going to be concentrating on short, fast, intense, & in my opinion FUN races! Man, I don't think I can express how pumped up I am. Obviously my training will be designed to be speed specific. That alone will increase my short course ability. On top of that I've set 3 other goals to help me accomplish the goal for break neck speeds.

1) get to 195 pounds. I started my diet yesterday. I learned a lot about dieting last year & plan on using that info to help me this year.

2) take my HR every morning without fail. There were a couple times I went pretty deep into over training last year. Those bouts of over training really set my training back. That could of been avoided if I'd of simply been better about taking my resting HR.

I have a tendency to gain a lot of weight during my taper. Part of it is the decreased training. But the majority of my weight gain came from me stressing about my upcoming event. I was slow in recognizing that. But now that I figured that out I think I'll be able to minimize it more this next year. Plus the stress of another possible Iron failure won't be hanging over my head all year. So goal #3) Not get above 215 pounds during my next taper. The lightest I've ever been for an A race was 236. & that was this weekend at IMAZ. If I could keep below 215, I would be very fast indeed. Ah, the excitement builds!!!! Now if my 2 weeks of time off could just end so I could start training for this beautiful new season! I've already signed up for my first race of the 2009 season. It's the Polar Bear Triathlon December 13th. I won't be at my best because I'll still be healing from my Iron, & I will have just started training again. I've taken a look at my competition I'll be up against next year for the SW series. I'll need each & every point I can get. The 30-34 AG has some bloody fast racers, the only reason I won it last year was because no one finished a full 8 races. This year I plan on winning regardless of how many races my competition finish! Wish me luck!

November 28, 2008

Ironman arizona post race report

Front row: Brandy, me, my wife, my daughter, my triathlon Coach Pete who flew all the way from Co. to watch my first Iron. In the back there is one of the greatest people I've ever met: Couch Potatoe to Ironman.

My new Ironman tatoo

Nov 23rd 2008 I attempted Ironman Arizona in Tempe AZ. Ironman is not an easy
race to complete even in the most gifted & talented of triathletes. I do not have the genes for ultra endurance events. I trained for 5.5 years. & on November 23rd I finally accomplished one of my biggest all time goals. I am now an Ironman!

The 2.4 mile swim was in the Tempe town lake. The water was a little chilly @ 58 degrees. The lake was smooth with no waves or turbulence. I couldn't feel much of a current. I did well on the swim leg. I was expecting to finish between 1hr 30 min to 1 hr 40 minutes. I did it in 1hr 27 minutes. What I was surprised about was how good I felt getting out of the water. Virtually no fatigue at all. Shortly after I started my bike leg I saw my wife, Brandy, & my 2 children holding
signs they'd made, waving, & screaming my name. Most of the triathletes who saw thier family waved & continued peddling on their way. I couldn't help it. I got off my bike & gave hugs & kisses to all those who had come all that way to show their support & love for me in this big day. My daughter was holding a sign that said "#447 we love you stinky!" Stinky is the nick name my daughter & I have been calling eachother since she was an infant.

As I was peddling away & waving my 3 year old daughter yelled "Daddy you are my hero!" I must confess, when she said that I lost it. I cried for the first ten minutes of my 112 mile bike ride. The first of the 3 laps I was having a hard time controlling my heart rate. After that things went perfectly. I ended the bike in 6hrs 58 minutes. I was guestimating a bike time of 7-75 hrs. A little faster than planned again.

On the 26.2 mile run I started off feeling great! I was averaging 9.5 minute miles which is the pace I had found I could keep for that distance. At mile 4 I tried to eat a gel, but when I tried to swallow it I had issues doing just that. For the next mile or so I was fighting off the urge to puke. Apparently I should not have tried to force that last one down because from that point on I had
excruciating abdominal pain & cramping. I was reduced to a very slow jog or fast walk the remaining 21 miles & unable to keep any Gatorade gels or bars down. The marathon took me 5hrs 56 minutes. Couch potatoe to Ironman was there at the finish to scream & yell with me like a couple crazy guys. Perfect ending to a great race! By the way, next year it's your turn Couch potatoe to Ironman. You can bet I'll be there to sopport you just like you did for me this year.

I finished in a total time of 14 hrs & 39 minutes which was one hr earlier than what I guessed I'd accomplish, & half an hour better than what I had hoped for. All in all I'm very excited about the day. Finally after all this time, I am an Ironman. After the race I asked my wife why she tolerated & supported me training so much & spending so much money on training & equipment. She said "because your dreams are my dreams". That was the 2nd time that day I cried. I have the best wife any man could ever dream of.

November 17, 2008

6 days until Ironman Arizona & cold weather training

Well, 6 days until Ironman Arizona. By Sunday night I will be an Ironman. I feel strong & confident. My training regiment has been spectacular. I'm weighing at 220 right now. Not as low as I'd like, but more than low enough to race well. My family & I will be leaving for Tempe AZ on Thursday morning. Friday I'll get my race packet. Saturday is equipment drop off & the mandatory pre-race meeting. Sunday morning is the day I've been training for 5.5 years. God willing I will conquer this distance.

Race stats 7am Az time Sunday morning. If you'd like to track my progress get onto & type in my name, Cody Hanson. That sight will keep you updated on where I am on the course. It will give you my splits, time, average pace, etc.

Last week a small cold front had come through northern New Mexico. I'm weighing 35 pounds less than what I was last winter. Weighing less sure makes a person cold easier! It was about 51 degrees out. Last year I'd of been fine going on a bike ride in my usual attire of sweat pants & cotton T-shirt- yes I train in sweat pants & cotton T-shirts. Sweat pants only cost $7 at Wal-Mart & I get a cotton T-shirt @ every race I do (I usually average 12-16 races a year, that's a lot of free shirts). Cycling pants are around $60. Cycling shirts are $50. I'm much to cheap to train in a $150 outfit when for $7 I can ride/run in sweats & a free shirt. Every year I train all year long. Even on the coldest of days I still swim, bike, & run. Running in the cold is no problem. I just wear multiple layers & as I run & warm up I take layers off. I took a 45 minute run last winter in -9 degree with the wind chill. Not comfortable, but doable non-the-less.

Now, cycling in extreme weather is a little more difficult. As long as there is no snow or ice on the road I'll still go out & complete my scheduled rides. Up until this year I'd wear a Baklava, 1 or 2 pairs of gloves, multiple pairs of sweat pants and sweat shirts, & a conglomeration of stuff on my feet. For my feet I'd start off putting on a pair of cycling socks, then I'd put a plastic Wal-Mart bag over the socks, then I'd put on a pair of white cotton socks, then my cycling shoes, then if needed another Wal-Mart bag on top of the shoes, & lastly I'd put on a pair of cycling booties. This worked great in temps as low as 30 degrees. But anything colder than that & my feet would still get cold. Very cold. If my ride was long, by the time I got back my feet would often times be so cold they were completely & totally numb. When I got back from my bike ride & started my run I'd frequently stumble. It's not easy running when you can't feel your feet. I even fell a few times. Funny looking back, but sure wasn't funny at the time.

This year I've decided to spoil myself. I bought myself a pair of Lake CXZ302 Winter Road Shoe's, $250. Expensive, but these bad boys are good in temps as low as 10 degrees! I'm also going to buy a pair a clod weather gloves. I'm still unsure what pair to buy. I'd hate to spend the $ on a pair of cold weather cycling gloves only to find out the pair I bought doesn't work well. I was thinking of buying a pair of GORE-Tex BIKE WEAR Cross Gloves. Any suggestions on gloves that work well in freezing weather please share the info.

On a side note here, I took my 2 children in to get their hair cut on Monday at Jungle Cuts in Albuquerque. As my daughter was getting her hair cut I asked her jokingly if she wanted a hair cut like mine? She responded in her sweet little 3 year old voice "no Daddy, you have no hair on your head. It's all on your back." The 2 girls who worked in the shop laughed so hard they were crying. I was SO embarrassed. It's true, kids say the darndest things;)

November 12, 2008

Diet motivation & work update

At church on Sunday a great sermon was preached by an elder while our Pastor is hunting with his eldest children. It was an outstanding sermon. I really love my church.

That Sunday was what I call "a bad day". I was out of control with my eating. I had a McDonald's breakfast, nothing good ever comes from the golden arches. During the sermon I was thinking about what I was going to eat before I went to sleep (I work nights, sleep at day). My food fantasies was interrupted by a fellow church member coming up to me & sharing with me that she hadn't had any candy in over a week! This same fellow Christian told me a couple weeks ago that she had found my blog & had felt my pain about dieting. She said she too has been struggling with her weight & that she found occasional motivation & support from reading my blog. I was speechless and touched. For someone to tell me my blog was helping them in their life even a little bit felt great. When I blog I do it as a way to express myself, as a stress relief, & sometimes even to brag a little;) To find out that my blog helped another was wonderful. To wonderful to put into words.

But back to how this time she helped me. As I'd said, I was having a bad diet day. My bad diet days are not what a person without an eating disorder could really understand. Overeating only partially explains what is happening to someone with my problem. The eating is only part of the problem. It's an addiction. Even when I'm full & couldn't eat another bite I'm only thinking of what other kind of a fix I could get, where, & how quickly. What would hit the spot, or fulfill my craving. No matter what I put in my mouth I don't feel the satisfaction most people get. Obsessed is the only word I can think of that can explain the deep rooted desire. I get truly obsessed about what I will eat, what would taste great right now, how much I'll have of each food, in what combinations, and so forth. Once I get into my overeating mode it's very very hard to get out of it. It would be humiliating to have someone see what I an doing so when I become enthralled in my food lusts I isolate myself from everyone. I'll sneak food into the bathroom or somewhere I can eat without being embarrassed or, even worse interrupted or made to slow down. I'll tell my wife or whomever I'm around I'm going to do some chores & I'll hit multiple places to eat. I'll get my favorite foods from each place I stop or drive through. I tried to explain this to my best buddy one time & he told me next time that I want to do that just stop! If I could stop during one of my episodes, I would because I really despise myself when I'm stuck in a binge. There's rarely anything that can stop or slow down one of my episodes. But that morning my fellow church member did just that. I'd be lying to say I stopped it all together. But she inadvertently was able to get me to minimize it quite a bit. Still had a lot of calories. But it was a FRACTION of what I would of done if it wasn't for her sharing with me her accomplishment & the high five she gave me. God helped me through her that day.

I put in for Sergeant at work like I had said I was going to. I don't really want the promotion because I love the position I'm in right now, & to be honest I'm secretly hoping I won't get it. I'm hoping there will be more highly qualified people putting in for it. The list of people putting in for the position is good for 12 months. So any Sergeant spots that open up here at the State Penitentiary for 1 year will be filled with the highest scoring person left on the list. The last 2 times this position was opened the list was completely exhausted. The most recent time, if I would have put in for Sergeant I would of been #2 in seniority. The good news is this time there are 5 people with more seniority than me! The bad news is there are already 8 Sergeant positions available. Immediately after the first round of Sergeant promotions the Penitentiary will be promoting any Sergeants who qualify for the Lieutenant spot, which opens up even more Sergeant positions. There are also quite a few Sergeants & Lieutenants who will be retiring in the next 12 months, which you guessed it, opens up even more spots!I know it sounds ridiculous that I'm putting in for a promotion & hoping I wont get it. It boils down to there being a lot more reasons to get the higher rank than to stay where I am. There's only one reason to stay where I am right now. 2 if you include complacency. The other is simply that I like my current post & position. The reasons to take the promotion is longer. I'll just list the major ones to make it easier reading.
1) If I make Sergeant I'll be back in the cell blocks & will have more opportunities to share Gods word with some people in much need of it.
2) I'll have to work less overtime to make the same amount of pay, so I'll have more time at home with my children
3) I only have 8 years left at the State Penitentiary before I can retire. But I'll have a higher pay grade in retirement for the rest of my life if I take the promotion.

Well, the written & oral board will be conducted in January or February. I'll let you know how it goes. Wish me luck, or bad luck. I'd be happy to have either one;)

One thing I have learned from today's post, even after 13 years I still can't spell Penitentiary. Thank goodness for spell check;)

November 11, 2008

Tapering for IMAZ & a little advise

First thing, thank you to any veteran out there. My family & I are very grateful for the service you provided or are providing America. Boots Wiggins, a blog I follow regularly just got deployed to Bahrain with the Navy. He had to leave his wife & 2 small children here in the states. Since it's Veteran's day today, & if you have the time, hop on his blog & thank him for his service. I know it would mean the world to him. Again, thank you Veterans.

12 days until my Ironman. Ironman Arizona. I feel fast, by far the fastest I've ever felt tapering for an Iron, this being my 3rd time. My endurance is great. I have a new fast bike, a Cannondale Carbon Slice. I have a super fast set of HED 3 tubular wheels. This month I slowed WAY down on working overtime at work so I'll be rested going into race day. I'm 42 pounds lighter than last years DNF at the Silverman. All things seem to be pointing to a successful race, & I'm excited. Very excited.

The only thing I'm not so excited about right now is this dang taper. I don't do well with tapers. Before a big race an endurance athlete should never cut calories. Add that with the decreased training & that is rough on my waist line. But then I add the fact that I'm dealing with an eating disorder, then a taper turns into a nightmare. When I get overly emotional about things I turn to food for comfort. I'm REALLY excited about the race, & a little apprehensive, as any triathlete would be about an upcoming Ironman. I'm a little stressed about possibly making Sergeant at work. I'm also an all or nothing kind of a guy. I'm either hard core about my diet, or I'm off the wagon & eating out of control. Not usually any in between there. I'm amazed I'm only weighing 215 because I've been eating like a pregnant rhino (I assume they eat a lot when with child-er- rhino baby- whatever). But I'm also very optimistic. November 24th, the day after my Iron I'm going to be able to start dieting again. After eating so much for the last month I'm ready for some disciplined eating. & hey, I'm only at 215. Even now that I'm a little out of control with the eating I'm still lighter than any other year of adulthood;)

In July this year I got down to the lowest I'd ever weighed as an adult. 188 pounds. I promptly shot back up to 215 in about a month. This year I have to choose whether to race as a Clydesdale (200 pound or above) or as an age grouper (my age group this next year, if I am able to stay under 200 pounds will be 30-34). This year I raced the whole year as an AG 30-34 (won that age group in the South West too!), but was actually only under 200 pounds for about 1 month. I have no idea if I could stay below 200 pounds for the entire 2009 year, but I have to decide which division to race in by December 13th. Dec 13th is the Polar Bear Triathlon, which is the first race I'll be competing in for the 2009 season. To make a long story short, the reason I have to decide right away which division to race in is because I compete in the South West Challenge Series. Its a Multisport series that has 24 plus races in which a triathlete gets points for every race he/she completes in a year. The better a person does in a race the more points a person gets. If I do part of my races as an AG, & part as a Clydesdale then there's no way at all I could be competitive in either division. If I decide to race as a Clyde then realize part way into the season that I could get below 200, but don't so I can keep my Clydesdale status I'd be limiting my speed potential. Simply put, in biking & running, light is fast. If I race as an AG 30-34, but am unable to get below 200 pounds than I'd be racing in a highly competitive division at a severe disadvantage. Any advise or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.