August 29, 2009

Ready to race!

I'm all healed up from my stomach flue & back on track with my training. I'm on the maintenance diet so I will be approximately 202 pounds on race day. Being on the maintenance diet for 3 weeks before the race will ensure I'll be fully prepared physically for my race, the Redman half Iron Sept 19th. I'm feeling great, training well, all things seem to be lined up for a great performance.

There are 58 Clydesdale's 39 and under signed up for the Redman, but only 8 of us had race times fast enough last year to be in contention for the Halfmax National Championships, I'm one of the 8!!!

I figure since I'm going to maintain my weight at 202 until after my race now would be a good time to take my measurements. I can't remember the last time I measured myself.
Chest 43 inches
Stomach 39.75 inches
Butt 44.5 inches
quad 26.5 inches

August 26, 2009

that's a first!

I woke today wanting to eat, needing to binge. That same old story for me. Its never easy getting so close to a goal (185-195 pounds) & seeing it, in one single day start to slip away so quickly. That is exactly what has always happened to me once I get near or at my goal race weight. There is a clear difference in the way a craving feels & an upcoming food binge feels. Once I feel a binge coming on I've never once been able to avoid it. Worst of all is that it takes weeks or months to get pointed back in the right direction.

When I woke up today I needed to EAT, & it wasn't just a food craving, it was a binge. I adjusted my DietPower from having me lose 2 pounds a week, to a maintenance diet. That gave me 1000 calories a day more to eat, plus whatever I may earn in working out. I ate a good breakfast with lots of water, some coffee, & a bit more fat than I usually would have. Through trial & error I have learned moderate amounts of fat help satisfy cravings & bad food tendencies. Having coffee helps too, not sure why, but it most definitely does. & obviously water helps because the body can confuse dehydration & hunger (great advise Misty, thanks). After the first meal my cravings subsided, not much but at least I didn't feel like eating EVERYTHING!

I did the same thing for lunch. I ate what I was craving, which was 2 egg sandwiches with mayonnaise on whole wheat bread. I also had a bunch of water & a diet Mountain Dew. Not the best meal for an endurance athlete, but my goal today was to right the ship, not eat the perfectly designed athletic recovery meal here. Now, did you notice I was able to stop at 2 sandwiches? The list of foods I ate doesn't go on for half a page here!!!!Shortly after lunch I felt almost no cravings at all. By golly I did it!!!!!! I'm still on track to getting to 195. Perhaps even 185!!!!! This is the first time I was able to stop the evil downward spiral! HURAY!!!!!!!! Good for me, bad for competing Clydesdales everywhere:)

reevaluating my goals & the beginning of a family tradition

This Sunday I got the worst stomach flue I've ever had. I'll save you the gruesome details but along with the usual problems it also came with horrid cold shivers, the sweats, and aches all over. Although I'm well enough now to go to work, my stomach still gets upset if I eat anything other than bland foods. Most people would lose weight under those circumstances. Not me. I have to avoid foods like saltine crackers, Nila Wafers, & Graham Crackers because those are my comfort/binge foods. Even when I'm struggling to keep food down due to sickness I can still eat enough of them to gain weight, & today marks the third day of me being unable to eat anything but my kryptonite foods. Before I got sick I was 205, now I'm afraid to get on the scale for fear of what I'll see.

The good news is I feel motivated to start eating healthy again as soon as my stomach can tolerate it- tomorrow, hopefully. The desire to eat well comes as a relief to me. This is only the third time I've been at or below 205 since starting to compete in triathlons.When I'm at or below 205 pounds I'm very fast. Last September weighing 204 I qualified for the Half Max National Championships, something I had never even dreamed I could accomplish.

It's always some minor bump in the road such as this weekend that knocks me off the diet wagon. I've been on a roll continuously dropping weight the last few months. This will be my first true test of whether I can right the ship. I'm hoping & praying to God I can. The Red Man Half Iron is in 3 weeks & next year I'm planning on having "my year to remember", the kind of year I could sit around & tell my Grand kids about. That happening hinges upon whether I can stop the momentum of eating my comfort foods, it depends on whether the stress of being unable to be in complete control of my diet has started the landslide I've been all to often unable to control, it depends on whether I can stay on the diet wagon PLUS lose another 1o pounds after that.

The usual weight my body tends to want to maintain even with the high amounts of miles I log each week swimming, biking, & running is 227. My (new) goal is to race at no more than 195 all of 2010, but he truth be known I'd rather be at 185.

During this struggle I have had of loving ultra endurance triathlons, having a slow metabolism, & a tendency to eat for emotional support I've noticed a pattern. The lower I get my body weight, the more of a struggle it is to maintain that weight. If you frequent my blog you may have noticed my goals have changed. I had hoped of racing all of 2010 at 185 pounds, and dreamed of 175. Not anymore. I'm unsure, shaken to the bone. I keep thinking to myself,"how can this be happening AGAIN?". When in fact I don't yet know if it has.

I've dropped to my dream weight two other times. Each time I reached my goal weight I self destructed. I'm praying to God the combination of having lost weight much more slowly this time, having more knowledge of the nutritional needs of endurance athletics, & having a goal that isn't as strict will keep me on the right track this time. Or, perhaps I'm just fooling myself.

All of next years dreams, aspirations, & desires are dependant upon what I'm able to accomplish tomorrow with my eating. This time I have prepared myself with a contingency plan. This time when I start to feel myself crave foods &/or eating, I wouldn't just keep plugging along trying to ignore it like I had in the past, hoping the desire would go away on it's own. It never does. I always knew it wouldn't. "Failure to plan is planning to fail". This time I have planned that if at any time I feel like I am going to fall off the wagon, I'd go to a maintenance diet. Trying to maintain my weight rather than lose 2 pounds a week gives me an extra 1000 calories a day to eat & enjoy. That new plan, hopefully, starts tomorrow. So I guess you can tune in here to get the uncensored version of my eminent success or failure.

This year I planted a garden. Sunflowers, tomatoes, cantaloupe, green chili, jalapenos, yellow peppers, zucchini, grapes, & rhubarb. Fast forward to when the plants start to sprout, the zucchini looks nothing like a zucchini should. Once it's fruit stated to grow I though it was a watermelon. It wasn't until later I realized it's a pumpkin plant.

My wife & I are expecting baby #3 (if it's up to me it wont be our last) in October, so growing pumpkins this year seems appropriate. I have come to the conclusion that growing pumpkins every year would make a great family tradition to start on the year our October baby is due!

LOL. This is the life & times of a Christian triathlete, a father, & a husband of the woman I've always dreamed of. Who could have known all that would of resulted in so much time spent training, dieting, & chasing so many children:)

August 23, 2009

I-25 Paseo Del Norte interchange study

As some of you may know from my blog I am constantly complaining about having to cross I-25 on a bicycle. There are no roads with bike lanes crossing I-25 anywhere in the northern Corridor so cyclists are forced to ride in traffic causing poor cyclist/vehiclist relations to say the least. Albuquerque is currently in the planning stages of an I-25 Paseo Del Norte interchange study. Please contact these people and ask them to build bike lanes or a bridge specifically for pedestrians/cyclists. Please email this to everyone you can & ask them to do the same.
Here is their contact info
www.north i-25/contact.html

August 16, 2009

My best workout of 2009!!!

Today I ran 13.1 miles with one of my best buddies who's blogger name is JusMe. This was the single best workout I've had all year, as a matter of a fact it was the best workout I've had since last summer!!!!

JusMe rode on his bike next to me carrying all my water bottles & gels as I ran. Every so often I'd put my hand out & say "bottle", or "gel", he'd hand it to me, I'd take a swig or pop a gel, hand the bottle or empty gel pack back to him & continued running, never breaking stride.

I ran great today! The first 5 miles was zone 2. Miles 6-8 was zone 3. Miles 9-10 high zone 4. Last 3 miles C/D in zone 2. I finished the 13.1 mile run in 2 hrs 15 minutes. Considering only 5 miles of the 13 was higher than an Airborne shuffle, I believe that if I ran all out today I could have absolutely shattered my half marathon PR. I ran today having pushed myself hard the last few weeks. No rest or recovery at all. I was slightly fatigued, but still ran like a carnivorous gazelle!!! I'd say today bodes well for my upcoming Half Iron in Sept!

I'm excited about the Redman Half next month. I'm planning on breaking my 70.3 PR & qualifying for the 2010 Halfmax national Championships. Keeping in line with Courtney B. & Marks M.'s Facebook posts, "Do or do not, there is no try".

August 13, 2009

On a roll or Righted the ship

My training has been great for the last 2 months. I've been consistent with all 3 triathlon disciplines, core work, strength training, diet, & for the first time in years I'm even getting the sleep needed for proper recovery. My cycling which has been consistently strong all year has gotten just a tad bit stronger, my swimming is at an all time best, & my running has finally started to improve again.

All things seem to be lining up for a great race in Oklahoma city on Sept 19th. That's going to be one of the most important races I've competed in. It's the Halfmax National Championships. It's a race that an athlete has to qualify for. I qualified last year in Boulder Colorado at the 5430 long course triathlon with a personal best Half Iron time of 5hrs 36 minutes. I'll be weighing on race day about the same as I did at last years 5430, approximately 200-204 pounds.

Last year @ the 5430 my swimming was poor, my biking was good, & my running was exceptional. Like I said earlier my swimming & biking is better this year comparatively, but my running isn't up to where it was. I'm hoping the improvement in the first 2 disciplines will even out the lack of running speed & endurance.

I have 2 goals for the Redman Halfmax Championships. The first is to finish under 5hrs 45 minutes. The next goal, which will be much harder to accomplish, but is doable if I stick to the race plan set up by my coach Pete Alfino, is to set a new Half Iron PR of under 5 hrs 36 minutes & 27 seconds. Whish me luck!

As most people know in ultra endurance athletics body weight is VERY IMPORTANT for success. Paying meticulous attention to calories in/calories out is vital! Since early June when I signed up for dietpower I've been kicking tail! I've lost 21 pounds & I believe maintaining a consistent racing weight around weight of 185 for all of next season is attainable for the first time in my triathlon career.

Simply put everyone who is watching their diet has a bad day on occasion. If a person cuts out all the fun foods it's inevitable they're destined to fail eventually. One piece of pizza or any kind of junk food while trying to cut weight is just fine & is actually a good thing to break up the monotony a bit. But because I'm an all or nothing, OCD kind of guy when I have a bad day & temporarily fall off the wagon it can take awhile to regain control & focus. A long while indeed.

This morning I had a bad time with the diet. I got home after a long shift & was very tired. Fatigue is a trigger for over eating for me. Because I work at nights I was missing my babies & wife, which is another trigger for my emotional eating. To top it off I had a bit of an argument with a family member the night before, & BAM! A diet implosion this morning when I got off from work. I ended up going to sleep having downed 1900 calories while watching a Net Flix movie. Ugh.

Once I woke up I decided it was a new day & opportunity. So I decided to jump back on the proverbial wagon. I ate 3/4 cup cottage cheese & 3/4 cup grapes with coffee, & set off to burn off those extra calories. I went on a 1hr 35 minute bike ride consisting of a warm up, 3X12 minutes at high zone 4 with 5 minutes active recovery, then hopped off the bike & went on a 2 mile run. From my workout I ended up burning 1900 calories & earned enough extra calories that I was able to negate my early morning feast & was even able add a small taste snack to the usual meal I take to work! Current weight 206.2. Ah, the wonderful life of a Multisport athlete! How very sweet it is!

August 07, 2009

How to cross I-25 on a bicycle

On a post earlier this month I was complaining how hard it is to ride a bicycle from the Journal Rail Runner stop over I-25. A fellow triathlete & Clydesdale was kind enough to answer my question. I'm excited about trying it, but am starting to ramp down my training for the Redman triathlon in September. So unfortunately I won't be able to do the ride from the Journal Rail Runner to my house until after Sept 19th. Here's his response, & thanks again Kurt!

The easier way would be going east on the bike trail to the North diversion trail, go south and it goes under I-25. Then from there, there are many bike paths to get up to the canyon.

Weekly weight

This week I spent completing my annual training for work. Annual training is always a bit rough for me because I work nights & sleep days. Annual training is 7:00am-5:30pm which leaves my sleep schedule in chaos. By the time I get out of class I'm exhausted & pinched for time to get in my daily workouts. Stress & fatigue usually sends me straight to the refrigerator looking to stuff my face. But amazingly I held to the diet all week. I missed one strength & one swim. Bit all else went well! Current weight is 207.6.

There's 35 days left until my A race, the Halfmax National Championships in Oklahoma city. At this point I'm feeling dang good on my bike & swims. & I'm feeling like I'm doing the best running I've done all year. Feels like I'll be having a great race. Even better than I originally was hoping for.

This Sunday will be my sons 2nd B-day party. We'll be having it at a park in Albuquerque & inviting all of his little friends. It's things like this which makes life so grand.

August 06, 2009

The Chili Harvest triathlon race report

The Chili Harvest triathlon was, as usual AWESOME! This is always a well put on race. & I feel this year they surpassed their usual greatness. The only down side to this race is how rough the road is. This road is so rough that my bike computer popped completely off myo bike. But I'm not even complaining about that, if every race I do is flat, has no turns, & has great roads I'd get bored with triathlon really quickly. I just consider this the Paris- Rubeigh Grand Tour of triathlons. On a side note this race gave out CO-2 applicators & shirts made of special water wicking material. Not to mention great finishing prizes.

This race was really important for my South West Challenge Series standings I'm well ahead of the next placed Clydesdale, but this is my last South West Series race for the year because I have a child on the way.

During the swim I felt really good & felt like I was having a great swim. 3/4's of the way through the swim a lady in her fifties passed me doing the back stroke. Yes, I'm serious. I wasn't sure if she was a bad Mamma Jamma or if I was swimming much slower than I felt. I ended up finishing the 400 meter swim in 7 minutes 16 seconds.

I had an average T-1 of 1 min 34 seconds.

There were a lot of turns, bumps, & climbs on the bike so I didn't feel like I was going all that fast. I just never felt like I could build up that much momentum. But my finishing time was a surprising 36 minutes 16 seconds, which averaged my bike time to 20.9 MPH. Pretty good for a Clydesdale I think.

My T-2 time would have been great, but I dropped my race belt & had to turn around to pick it up & had to try put it on a second time losing precious seconds. I ended up having a 53 second T-2.

My run was decent. Comparatively to previous years I was slow. But this year I've been struggling with my running. I finished the 5K run in 24 minutes 15 seconds which averaged to 7 minutes 45 seconds per mile.

My finishing time was 1 hr 10 min. I finished 1st place Clydesdale 40 & under, & 46th out of 350 overall. Most importantly my triathlon club The New Mexico Outlaws won the state club championships for a fourth straight year. We are the only team to have won more than 3 years in a row!

The awards ceremony was held promptly. The placing & times of all placing athletes were announced. & there were GREAT prizes for anyone finishing 1st place in their division. They gave out a half gallon jug & a gift certificate to get filled at a local micro-brewery.

August 05, 2009

Cycling over I-25 in Albuqurque

I'm very blessed living here in Northern New Mexico. The Albuquerque & Santa Fe area is very conducive to running & cycling. There are great running & cycling trails in & around Albuquerque. Santa Fe has great areas to bike outside the city limits, yet God help you if you try to bike inside them.

Now that the New Mexico Rail Runner is open, my favorite weekend activity is to take my bike on the Rail Runner from the Santa Fe 599 stop to the Albuquerque Journal stop West of I-25 on Paseo Del Norte. I then ride my bike from the Journal stop to Paseo Del Norte, then Tramway to Route 66, then north on Highway 14. It's approximately a 70 mile ride from the Rail Runner to my house. The Rail Runner is a dream come true for cyclists & triathletes-well, a dream come true mostly. Has anyone else realized it's a nightmare to get from one side of I-25 to the other on a bicycle?

The overpass of Paseo Del Norte has no bike path & it's a nightmare to ride on that street in traffic. On Paseo Del Norte there's not even a side walk going East bound. Not that a side walk would help, it's illegal for cyclists to ride on sidewalks. Now, I'm not complaining about that particular law I agree cyclists shouldn't ride on sidewalks. But where does that leave us who ride rather than drive to get from one side of I-25 to another? Alameda & San Antonio don't have bike paths to allow safe passage over or under I-25 either. Where does the transportation department expect us on 2 wheels to cross without causing cycling deaths & vehicular road rage? Is there a great crossing I don't know of? If not is there a movement to get something done? If there's not yet a group pushing for a crossing, & anyone else agrees that there needs to be one please tell me. Feel free to email me if your not comfortable posting comments on my blog.