December 31, 2013

sick and training

So far after 6 weeks of Olympic weightlifting I've built up to a 53k power snatch. A 53k snatch is much much weaker than I was hoping for, but I'm still much better at Olympic weightlifting after 6 weeks of training than I was after many many months of triathlon training, and I eventually became an excellent triathlete.    

My Olympic weightlifting coach Shane Miller of Miller weightlifting says my biggest attribute is my enthusiasm and effort. It was the same way with triathlon. I had the worst body type for triathlon, but my dedication and willingness to push myself harder and train more made me an excellent triathlete. I'm hoping my determination and willingness to work hard will make me as successful at Olympic weightlifting as I was at multisport. So far after 6 weeks of hard training I was feeling sluggish, fatigued, and ended up getting sick. Getting sick is a good sign in regards of my training. It means I was pushing myself to my bodies limit. I used to get sick every few months when I was training for triathlon and I was an endurance beast! I'm spending this week lifting light weights to recover, next week I'll come back stronger.

"Success is often nothing more than moving from one failure to the next with undiminished enthusiasm."
-Winston Churchill

I'm currently 260 pounds. 20 pounds lost so far in 6 weeks of Olympic weightlifting.

December 28, 2013

Stress and the holidays

I needed the workout the day after Christmas. I needed it for stress relief. This Christmas was horrible, I'm still stressed out and heart broken. I grew up in an abusive family. When I was a kid holidays and vacations were the times of my life that I'd suffer the most abuse and stress. Most people who grew up in an abusive family abuse their children, and their children abuse their children, and the cycle continues indefinitely. I'm one of the few who has been able to stop the abuse cycle. I'm a great parent.... most of the time. Still to this day I get stressed out when we have large family functions, ESPECIALLY when it is Thanksgiving or Christmas. But for some reason this Christmas this year was even worse than usual.

My wife, 3 children, and I decided to spend Christmas holiday with my in-laws. From the time we got to their house I was a nervous wreck. I couldn't relax, I couldn't sit still, I kept pacing, I didn't want to play with my kids, I didn't engage anyone in conversation, and when anyone tried to talk to me I did everything I could to end the conversation as quickly as possible. I didn't mean to be, but I was an ass and I'm sure I made everyone feel uncomfortable. I never yelled at my kids, said hurtful or abusive things to them.  But by the end of Christmas eve my 6 year old had a melt down. On Christmas day my 4 and 8 year were grumpy. I'm certain it was because they picked up on my anxiety.

Next week I have family coming to visit for 6 days. I don't want to act like I did at Christmas, but I'm afraid it'll happen again. I seem to be broken.

December 22, 2013

sleep for Olympic weightlifting recovery

I must really be into this whole Olympic weightlifting thing because I just took a nap for no other reason than to get more gains from my Olympic weightlifting training!

December 21, 2013

post tabata cycling exhaustion

Yesterday I did my first cardio routine that is fast twitch muscle tissue specific. This morning I was so tired! I had a hard time waking up, no amount of coffee seemed to help. Even when I started my workout I felt like I was moving in slow motion. I think my fatigue is because of the cycling tabata I did yesterday. That workout really tore me up! I'm really excited about having started fast twitch muscle tissue building type cardio. I think it's the last missing piece for me to become a great Olympic weightlifter.

December 20, 2013

cardio for CrossFit and Olympic weightlifting

When I first started doing CrossFit the athletes and coaches told me I shouldn't do any long and slow workouts, or "base training" as endurance athletes call it. At the time I vehemently disageed. I used to be a hard core triathlete and saw first hand how beneficial base training was to me for fat burning and endurance. It wasn't until I watched the CrossFit games that I realized the things CrossFitter's are training for uses almost exclusively fast twitch muscle fibers. If they did any long and slow training at all it would build slow twitch muscle fibers, which would minimize the amount of fast twitch muscle fibers they could build. It would also recruit some of their fast twitch muscles to act more like slow twitch muscles. Ultimately they were right, the long slow workouts that build endurance will hurt the performance of CrossFit'ers and also Olympic weightlifters. The entire 6 weeks I've been training for Olympic weightlifting I've had a very hard time giving up endurance workouts. I justified doing long slow workouts by telling myself, "I have to lose more fat to get out of the super heavy weight division and get to my goal of being able to lift in the 94k weight class (187-206 pounds)."

After yesterdays workout I realized that I'm weak. My lack of strength is partly because I've only been Olympic weightlifting for a month and a half and partly because I'm still doing the long slow workouts that an ultra endurance athlete would do. I have finally come to grips with the fact that to be good at Olympic weightlifting I MUST give up slow twitch muscle fiber building workouts. Today I did my first high intensity cardio bike ride. I had to bust out my old cycleOps indoor trainer to do it.

I was a little worried about using my bike on my indoor trainer at my current weight of 262 pounds. I was afraid I'd crush my carbon bike or the trainer, but amazingly both held up! I did a tabata on the bike which consisted of a short 5 minute warm up, then rode HARD for 20 seconds, then peddled softly for 10 seconds. I kept that up until I could no longer hold a 20 MPH pace on the hard sets. My legs gave out at the 15 minute 19 second mark of the workout. When I calculated my results on Dietpower I was pleasantly surprised by the results. I burned 300 calories in a little over 15 minutes.  I'd only burn a little over 400 calories in 30 minutes when I was doing long slow cycling. I think I could get used to this high intensity cardio training! More calories burned in less time plus I'll be building the type of muscle tissue that will make me a stronger Olympic weightlifter! Boom goes the dynamite!

December 19, 2013

Nike Romaleos 2

For the last 6 weeks I've been saving up for a pair of Olympic weightlifting shoes. I finally horded enough to buy them!  I bought a pair of Nike Romaleos 2. They were expensive but everyone at Miller weightlifting agreed that a good pair of Olympic weightlifting shoes will last years, so I figured I should buy a pair I'd enjoy. I'll post later what I think of them.
Until now my Olympic weightlifting coach Shane Miller has been letting me use his Olympic weightlifting shoes. How cool is that?

December 18, 2013

less overtime, more sleep and calorie inceases equals olympic weightlifting increases

Last week I hit my max lifts in a few exercises and have been obsessing on ways to start getting stronger. I've decreased the amount of overtime I've been working at the New Mexico state penitentiary from an average of 30 hours a week to around 3 hours a week so that I get more sleep. I've also slightly increased my daily calorie intake which will slow my weight loss but increase my strength gains. Those things have worked. Last week I could only get an 82k bench press 3 reps on my last set of the day, this week I was able to get a full 5 reps with 1 kilo more weight. I was also able to get faster on the cardio workout coach Miller has me do at the end of my strength training by a full 45 seconds. The only thing I didn't make significant increases on was the power snatch.

December 15, 2013

The 2014 South West challenge series rule changes

I was surfing the web and saw that there was only 1 Clydesdale who completed the 5 race minimum for the 2013 South West Challenge series, which is the oldest and largest multisport series in the world. That got me excited. The South West Challenge series old rules says all I'd need to do is complete 5 races in the series to be eligible to win. While I was browsing their web page I saw they have changed their rules and the minimum amount of races I'd have to compete in is now raised to 8. That would be fine except the SW challenge series kicked all the races in Northern and Central New Mexico out of their series. There's only 1 race in the entire series that is closer than a 5 hour drive from my house. I cant afford to drive 10 hours round trip 8 times in 2014! Uncool SW challenge series, very uncool.

December 13, 2013

hit my current max lifts

My Olympic weightlifting coach, Shane Miller, has had me gradually increasing the amounts of weights I'm lifting. Today I hit my max lifts of 5 sets of 5 reps on the power snatch, squat, and bench press. For the snatch it was 50k, for the squat it was 92k, and for bench it was 83k. I was disappointed at how weak I was. But when I thought about it I realized I've lost 18 pounds the last 5 weeks, and dieting causes a person to be weak, and that I'd spent the last 9 years doing nothing but training for ultra endurance athletics. In that time I did 66 triathlons, 20 duathlons, 2 Ironman triathlons, 7 70.3's, 8 olympic distance triathlons, 48 sprint distance tri's, 1 off road triathlon, 2 marathons , 2 half marathons, 2 10K's, 2 5k's, 3 cycling centuries, and 1 cycling road race. That type of training and racing builds slow twitch muscles almost exclusively and recruits fast twitch muscles to act like slow twitch muscles. So I need to realize I'm going to be a weakling until I can build some fast twitch muscle tissue, particularly type 11B, my body realizes that I'm no longer an endurance athlete, and I stop restricting calories.

December 10, 2013

eating after olympic weightlifting

I know how important it is to eat after a workout. I always did when I was a hard core triathlete. It made a huge difference in my training and recovery. I hadn't yet started the habit of eating after  strength training.  I knew I should have been eating after strength training for glycogen replenishment, the protein window, etc. Yesterday was the first time I ate immediately after Olympic weightlifting. I feel much better today than I have been used to feeling the day after strength training. Well, I'm a slow learner, but this lesson has been learned... again. Refuel immediately after working out. Duh!

December 09, 2013

The 2013 Nutcracker triathlon race report

After virtually no swimming. cycling, or running training for over 2 years I decided to sign up for the 2013 Nutcracker triathlon. This was my 86th multisport race and was the 4th time I've raced The Nutcracker triathlon. The Nutcracker triathlon used to be called the Jingle Bell triathlon, but due to a copy right problem with another race they changed the name.

The Nutcracker triathlon is RD’d by Mark Mico of  Every time I race a multisport event put on by Mark Mico I’m amazed. His events are always extremely well organized and stress free events. The race results were posted online by the evening of the race. He always hands out the nicest age group awards of any local sprint. This year each and every athlete who placed top 3 in their AG received a wood plaque that had “The Nutcracker triathlon 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place division” on it. The registration fees of his events are always much cheaper than any other sprint distance races.

It was a Run-Bike-Swim at the Rio Rancho Aquatic Center. The bike course was an out-and-back (moderately hilly) 20K. The run was a hilly loop 5K course. The swim was a serpentine 400 meter swim, up/down one lane at a time.

Because of my lack of endurance training and because of my current weight my run was horrible. I'm slow and to be honest I was humiliated by my physique and performance. I finished the 5k in 38:34.

The bike course was shortened this year to a 20k. I felt a little stronger cycling than I did running. I passed a bunch of people and only got passed once, but I was still sad. I was mourning for the athlete I used to be. For over 2 years I finished almost every triathlon I entered in the top 10 overall. I was mourning for the way I used to look. I used to have a 6 pack, now I weigh 265 pounds. It's been so long since I was in shape and looked good I forgot how great it felt until I saw the top triathletes speed by me on their bikes in their aero position. That used to be me...... But today the bike took me 61 minutes.

I've always been a natural swimmer. I had a great swim passing many more athletes and even swimming over a few.

I finished in 1 hour 50 minutes, took 72nd out of 100 athletes, and 1st place Clydesdale.

Even though I was sore it felt great to show up on Monday at Miller weightlifting. It felt good because I was taking another step to being the top notch athlete I used to be, but in a completely new sport of Olympic weightlifting. Even though my body was fatigued from the Nutcracker triathlon yesterday I threw up some of my biggest weight yet. I'll be a great athlete again. I'll look good again. It'll take awhile, and a lot of effort, but I will. And some day I plan on outlifting my current golden carrot Barry Schroeder of CrossFit Sandstorm in Bernalillo NM

December 05, 2013

week 4 of Olympic weightlifting 105k+ division

This week, my 4th week of Olympic weightlifting, my coach Shane Miller has me doing some new training exercises. He's added overhead squats, front squats, power cleans from the floor, and snatches from the floor to my training regimen. I've also come close to hitting my max weight on some of the exercises I've been doing like squats. On Wed I left the gym feeling wiped out. Today I woke up and my body is still very tired. My legs still feel weak and my shoulders are sore. It feels great.

After maintaining my weight for all of last week this week I dropped my calories about a thousand a day below my metabolic weight, which will allow me to lose approximately 2 pounds per week. My short term goal is to get to the lower end of the super heavy weight division. I'm currently 267 pounds, 35 pounds from my 1st goal.

December 02, 2013

week 4 of Olympic weightlifting and weight loss

Today I start my 4th week of Olympic weightlifting. The last 3 weeks I've mostly been training to learn correct form, yet my strength is still gaining quickly. The first 3 weeks my coach Shane Miller, had me doing power snatches and power cleans from the knee, dead lifts, presses, squats, etc. This week my coach is going to have me start doing power snatches and power cleans from the ground. I'm excited about progressing to this next phase of Olympic weightlifting.

So far my weight loss has been progressing quickly and effortlessly. During the 7 years of hard core dieting and triathlon training I learned my body responded much better to weight loss if I dieted for a few weeks, then spent a week maintaining my weight. In the first 2 weeks I'd been averaging 2,500 calories a day and I lost 12 pounds. For the 3rd week of Olympic weightlifting I raised my calories to 3,400 and maintained my weight of 268.8 for the entire week. This week I'll be returning to a calorie restricted, high protein and fat, moderate carbohydrate diet. I'm going to try and keep my weight loss at about 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 pounds a week. If I stay consistent with this schedule I should hit my goal of being in the masters 105k class by May, just in time for the New Mexico state games.

November 30, 2013

Olympic weightlifting updated goals

Since I'm so new to Olympic weightlifting I've been changing goals more often than my daughter changes outfits. I've realized my goal of getting to the 85k weight division is unattainable. When I got my body fat tested at the UNM exercise physiology center a few weeks ago I had 179.9 pounds of lean mass. As I'm continuing to weight lift I'll build more muscle, so attempting to get to 187 pounds would be ridiculous. I think for now I just want to get to the lower limit of the 105k+ and maintain there for a year or so. While maintaining my weight I'll be building more muscle and strength than I would if I was dieting and losing weight.

I'm currently 268 pounds. I now have 34 more pounds to lose. 34 more pounds to lose sounds a lot better to me than 81 does.

November 27, 2013

New Mexico Olympic weightlifter Barry Schroeder sets records and inspires

When I first started triathlon I was 292 pounds and couldn't swim, bike, or run worth a crap. Heck, I was so out of shape I could barely walk without breaking into a sweat and hyperventilating! Early on in my triathlon career I raced against a couple Clydesdales who were unbelievably fast. Arnold Ceniceros and Brian Pilgim. I was amazed and motivated by them and thier athletic dominance in the Clydesdale division. I used these 2 triathletes to motivate myself. By using these 2 amazing athletes as motivation to transform myself from the obese and sedentary person I had been to a triathlete who lost 117 pounds, qualified for 6 national triathlon championships, 1 national duathlon championship, and 1 world championship (the 70.3 world championships).

Now that I've given up triathlon and picked up Olympic weightlifting I've found another athlete who is equally unbelievable. Barry Schroeder. He's in my age group of 35-39, but he's probably even more impressive at Olympic weightlifting then Arnold and Brian were at triathlon. He has set 6 New Mexico state records in the 35-39 age group, 3 state records in the 85k (169-187 lbs) weight class and 3 in the 105k (206-231 lbs) weight class. Barry is a trainer at CrossFit Sandstorm in Albuquerque NM, and Barry's a beast! 

I've found that my body is not  particularly gifted for Olympic weightlifting, but I have the work ethic, determination, tenacity, and exellent coaching that very few do. And now I have found something- someone- that will fuel me. It's going to take a tremendous amount of time and hard work, but I'm going to out lift him someday. To compete with him will push every one of my physical limitations. I know I'll have to work twice as hard as him to get to where he's at. But once I get something in my mind I never let go.

                                   This is Barry Schroeder

21 Tips for Getting Through the Holidays Abstinently

21 Tips for Getting Through the Holidays Abstinently

(Excerpted & edited from 21 Tips For Getting Through The Holidays Abstinently, OA Workshop, Port Charles, NY, 10/29/97, Summary of Members Suggestions )

1. Focus on the true meaning of the holiday or event rather than the food orgy that sometimes accompanies it.
2. Don't set yourself up to feel bad because of unrealistic expectations of what the holiday will bring. Sometimes we're with family, sometimes with friends, sometimes we are alone. Face the reality of the situation beforehand. For example, if a family occasion almost always turns unpleasant, plan not to be part of the unpleasantness. If you're going to be alone, face that you may face sadness. Plan to deal with it, without excess food.
3. Build up your recovery bank account before and during the holidays by attending lots of meetings, working extra hard on your 12-Steps and using all the tools, especially service. Keep in constant contact with your sponsor. The disease doesn't take holidays, nor should our recovery.
4. Keep your OA phone numbers with you at all times. Use them.
5. Know the limits of your recovery. When in doubt, avoid persons, places and things that have in the past triggered overeating. The party is not worth it. Choose not to attend if you feel it may be a major problem. Remember that abstinence, one day at a time, has to be the highest priority in your life. Without it, all other things suffer.
6. From the food perspective, treat the holiday like any other day. Our disease never takes a holiday.
7. Plan something special for yourself when other people are eating sugary desserts that you choose not to include in your food plan. Special teas, hot water and lemon, fruit, or anything that's a little special for you.
8. Whether attending a holiday gathering or ordinary party, choose to focus on the people rather than the food. Pick out people and engage them in "real" conversation. If they don't want to play, go to the next one. People like to talk about themselves. Ask them about themselves, their life, their work -- and really listen.
9. Try to really connect with people at the holiday table. Make food a secondary thing.
10. At Halloween there is no law that says you have to give out candy. We're not doing these kids a favor by giving them junk food. Give nutritious things or money. Do not give out things you would not consume yourself. Then there's no problem with leftovers.
11. Set an extra place beside you (in your mind or for real) at the table for your Higher Power.
12. Remember step two. It says that with the help of a Higher Power we can be restored to sane eating behavior. Call on your Higher Power. HP can keep you sane, one day at a time, one meal at a time.
13. During the holidays get out of yourself by giving service, any service, whether it's to Program, to needy individuals, or to the community. Do something that may be a little hard for you, but that you know you will feel good about later. Give yourself something to respect yourself for.
14. Plan! Plan! Plan! Be proactive toward the holidays and the meals. Don't just lay back and hope for the best. Rehearse in your mind over and over exactly what you will do, particularly what, where and when you will eat. Pray just before sitting down to the meal.
15. Just before sitting down to eat, or just before being served, go to a private room somewhere in the house or restaurant, call your sponsor, and commit what you are about to eat, as well as what you will choose not to eat. It makes no difference whether you get your sponsor or an answering machine. It's your commitment.
16. If you're visiting others for a holiday dinner, it's up to you to know what is being served and whether it is something that you choose to eat. Call the host. Plan accordingly. People understand others' food limitations. Even people without our disease have foods they don't eat for one reason or another. Volunteer to bring something that's good for you. The host thinks you're gracious and you're taking of yourself!
17. Remember that you are responsible for what you eat. It's easy when sitting with family to slip into old childish roles where you feel you must eat whatever you're given. It's not true. We are adults and responsible for our own choices. It's up to us to take care of ourselves. It's up to us to set whatever parameters or boundaries we need to set with our families.
18. Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude. There is nothing as good for staying abstinent -- particularly during the Thanksgiving season -- than focusing on the many things we have, rather than what we don't have. Do gratitude lists frequently.

19. How about writing a little card/note to each person who will be at the Thanksgiving dinner table telling them why you're grateful to know them? Leave it at their dinner place. The focus will quickly get to the real meaning of Thanksgiving rather than on the food.
20. For many of us the most dangerous period for our abstinence is after we have successfully gone through a difficult occasion. The insanity of our disease subconsciously or consciously tells us to reward ourselves with food because we did so well yesterday. Or, we suffer some kind of letdown about the occasion. It didn't meet our expectations. Some of us feel an emptiness after holidays that in the past we have tried to fill with food. For these reasons, plan to go to meetings the next day after the holiday.
21. A holiday is not a crisis. Holidays come every year. They are simply calendar times set aside to honor certain things. We deal with the holidays just like we deal with the rest of the days in the year. You can do it. Relax and work your program the way you know how. One Day at a Time

November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving, overeating, and Olympic weightlifting

In the 2 years I've been out of triathlon I've gained 105 pounds. I'm currently in my 3rd week of Olympic weightlifting training, so far I've lost 12 pounds. I'm currently 266 pounds. My goal is to get to the 85k weight class by the time I'll be competing in the masters 40-44, which is 13 1/2 months from now. I'm finally on a roll with training and weight loss.

Who doesn't struggle with their eating during the holidays? I know I do. Overeating on Thanksgiving wouldn't be that big of a deal if I could stop after that one day. But the next day there's leftovers- can't let them go to waste! After a couple days of binge eating pumpkin pie, stuffing and cranberry sauce, etc I've gained back a month of weight loss! And even after the leftovers are gone I've so thoroughly enjoyed eating whatever I want and however much I want that I still can't get my eating back under control. Sometimes I can't stop eating tons of crap until well after the new year. This year I want to make sure I keep on track to make my goal of dropping 79 pounds and reaching the 85k class by Jan 1st 2015, so I'm not going to have Thanksgiving with my family this year. I'm volunteering for a 16 hour work shift at at the prison. I'm not sure if this is a great idea to keep my eating under control or a bad idea because I struggle with social situations and have a tendency to keep myself isolated. Either way I have to lose an average of 5.86 pounds a month for the next 13 1/2 months to reach my goal and this year I WON'T be binge eating during the holidays!

November 19, 2013

2nd week of Olympic weightlifting

I'm in my 2nd week of Olympic weightlifting. I'm really enjoying it. My coach, Shane Miller of Miller weightlifting is awesome. His athletes have over 450 national records.

I'm starting to build up a lot of excitement and starting to dream big. Partly for fun and partly for motivation I looked up the New Mexico Olympic weightlifting records for my age and weight divisions I eventually want to drop down to.

I was only scheduled for 3 workouts this week but I was so motivated I threw an extra one in one Sunday.

Age 35-39 105k+ (232 lbs+)
Snatch- Richard Kahl- 105k (231lbs)
CJ- Richard Kahl- 135k (297lbs)
Total- Richard Kahl- 240k- 529 lbs

Age 35-39 105k (206-231 lbs)
S- Barry Schroeder- 94k (207 lbs)
CJ- Barry Schroeder- 116k (255 lbs)
T- Barry Schroeder- 210k (462 lbs)

Age 35-39 94k (187-206 lbs)
S- Barry Schroeder- 93k (204lbs)
CJ- Barry Schroeder- 109k (240lbs)
T- Barry Schroeder- 202k (445 lbs)

Age 35-39 85k (169-187lbs)
S- Eric Johnson- 108k (238lbs)
CJ- Eric Johnson- 130k (286lbs)
T- Eric Johnson- 238k (524lbs)

November 14, 2013

Why Olympic weighlifting?

My wife and I became members of a CrossFit box earlier this year. She and I both loved it. It didn't take me very long to realize my favorite part of CrossFit was Olympic weightlifting. Shortly after that my employer cut my hours back big time. My wife and I couldn't afford to go to CF anymore. Miller Olympic weightlifting rents a space from the local CrossFit gym and is significantly cheaper, so thanks to a generous birthday gift from my natural father I was able to start at Miller's Olympic weightlifting. My wife loves CrossFit and will return to our local CF gym as soon as we're able to afford it again. If I had unlimited funds I'd do Olympic weightlifting 3 days a week and CF 2 or 3. But unless I hit the lottery, I think Olympic weightlifting is my niche. I'm not sure if I can explain what it is about Olympic weightlifting that I enjoy so much. It reminds me a lot of triathlon. It's an individual sport. My gains are based on what I do. Each workout I'm pitted against myself. How I perform during my first Olympic weightlifting competition is a direct result of how well I push myself during each workout, how clean my diet is, how much rest and recovery I get. I'm a driven person, once I set on a goal I don't let go. This will be fun. Strength training, a new and unexplored goal. One that I believe I will end up kicking butt at, just like I did at triathlon. Perhaps even more than I did at triathlon because I've always responded better to strength training than I ever did to endurance athletics. Now just need to get out of the super weight division (231+) and into the 85 kilogram division (187 pounds and below). I started at 280 pounds, I'm down to 273 pounds, 86 pounds to go!

November 13, 2013

day 2 of Olympic weightlifting

I think my body is built more for Olympic weightlifting than it was for triathlon, and I eventually got pretty fast at triathlon. I'm already starting to get pretty excited, to dream, to have visions of grandor. It's been a long time since I've been excited like this. Since I gave up triathlon 2 years (and 105 pounds gained) ago.. With enough hard work........ We'll see.......

November 11, 2013

my first day of Olympic weightlifting

Today was my first day of Olympic weightlifting at the Millers gym. After a thorough warm up I did a few sets of press, cleans, hang cleans, squats. He has me starting off very light. My max squat right now is around 127 kg (280 pounds), and my heaviest squat set today was only 55 kg (121 pounds). He said formerly trained athletes are the most at risk for injuries because our muscle pathways are accustomed to pushing much larger weights, but our muscles are not. That's the reason he wants me to start off with such light weights. I meet with him again on Wed. One of my co-workers is interested in going also. I'm hopping he shows so that I could have a buddy that could get into this sport with me.

I have an appointment tomorrow at the University of New Mexico's exercise physiology department to get my body fat tested. That will show me my starting point. I'll continue to get my body fat tested, and take pictures as I go along to see how I progress. I'll post my beginning weight, body fat percentages, and pictures tomorrow.

November 08, 2013

cyclling and Olympic weightlifting

I asked my Olympic weight lifting coach ,at least he will be my coach starting on Monday, if I could bike to burn some extra calories. His response was fascinating. He told me that since I am just starting out at Olympic weightlifting I could do any kind of exercise I wanted to help me loose weight. But once I get closer to my genetic max of lifting I'll need to stop doing any workouts that build slow twitch muscle tissue so that my body can build the most fast twitch muscles possible, particularly IIB, because they produce greater peak power and more force at higher velocities. Once to that point I'll still be able to bike, but will only be able to do short explosive interval training. (I highlighted the pertinent points in red below).

I wanted to find out more about the subject of the different types of muscle fibers and I found a great article on . I fact checked this by reading 3 or 4 articles on other web sites and they all seem to agree. This is the info I pulled off of the web page

The advantages of a certain fiber composition on performance in various sports is both obvious and well established -- For example, marathon runners have 75% slow twitch fibers while sprinters have 75% fast twitch fiber (both IIA &B combined).

The ratio of your fiber type is a result of:
(1) What you were born with
(2) Transformation of slow to fast or fast to slow through training influence.
Transformable Fibers

If you were to look at a muscle biopsy you’d see both red and white along with various shades of each. The white being pure fast twitch and the red being pure slow twitch. Think of eating chicken, the white meat (breast) is fast twitch. The dark meat (legs and thigh) is slow twitch. Chickens don't fly around very often yet when they do those muscles have to fire quicker, thus, their breast meat is fast twitch. Chickens walk around on their feet all day long thus their legs are slow twitch and better suited for endurance.

As mentioned before you can't take a completely red (pure endurance fiber) and turn it into a completely white (fast twitch) fiber but the intermediate fibers (IIA), which would be the various shades you see in a muscle biopsy are plastic and you can transform them into more of a red (slow twitch) version or more of a white (fast twitch) version. You can also take a pure white fiber and make it a little redder, or take a pure red fiber and make it a little whiter.
Canadian scientists, Drs. J. Simoneau and C. Bouchard, have estimated that 40% of the variance of fiber type is due to environmental influences (i.e. exercise) while 45% is associated with genetic factors. So that means you have about 40% control of your muscle fiber type, the other 45% you can do nothing about.

Real World Application

So how can you use this information and apply it in the real world? Well take someone who is say 50/50 fast vs slow-twitch. Over time and with proper training if he trains his nervous system to utilize 90% of all those available FT fibers and also increases the size of them he well then be able to outperform someone who has say an 80:20 fast to slow-twitch ratio.
In training you can accomplish this by focusing your training on strength, power, and speed dominant activities. By doing so you train your nervous system and all your muscle fibers to behave in more of a fast twitch manner. The reverse can also occur. For example, if one is blessed with a high % of FT fibers and starts marathon training the opposite will occur. I haven't talked much about endurance training but let me mention that it causes a rapid fast to slow transformation (IIb to IIa and IIa to I) without any increases in strength or power, and thus should be minimized by those wishing to maximize speed and power.

Now, for those who really want to zero in on ultra fast twitch muscle conversion there is plenty of ammo out there to use.
First a little background.

Proficiency vs Efficiency

There is a big difference between increased proficiency and increased efficiency. As mentioned in the previous article, a IIB to IIA conversion is more efficient when it comes to meeting metabolic demands. So if the body can get the job done with IIA then it will. Therefore, if you want your body to increase IIB content you need to make sure that the adaptive signals you're sending deem it necessary.

As an athlete you stress your fast twitch fibers a lot. Therefore, your body already perceives that it's a funny car and you're trying to run it on the highway. If your body needs more efficiency what do you think it's gonna do? It's gonna try to find away to make the funny car either run at a low RPM or quit burning up so much gas!! It's gonna make your engine more efficient if it can. How does it do that? One way it does that is by making your fast twitch IIB muscle fibers more endurance oriented.
So how do you get around this and what exactly does send a signal for an increase in IIB?? Well, as mentioned in the earlier article, detraining or "sitting on your butt" is one. With detraining the muscular expression reverts back to its default "fight or flight" readiness. Yet another is hyperthyroidism or overeating.

Complete detraining is not much of an option because you lose more neural efficiency and muscle cross sectional size then can be made up for by any enhanced muscular subtype. Partial detraining and tapering may be an option and I'll get into that one in just a minute. But what about training? Well, if one were to analyze the IIB fiber and MHC IIX expression he could easily come to the conclusion that this fiber type is made for dealing with simultaneous high forces and high speeds.
Some studies show IIa fibers to produce equal force at low velocities compared with IIb, so a rep done under typical strength training conditions (loads only as high as the concentric 1 RM and low velocities) can be adequately handled by IIa. Maybe if the velocity component was increased, and force was maintained or increased, and performed at a volume low enough not to signal the need for more efficiency, we'd see an increase in IIB.

From here one could logically conclude that a training program incorporating movements with a premium on creating a lot of force at high velocities would preferentially induce more expression of these fibers (IIB). Thus far, there are a few studies that have looked at this and found this hypothesis to be true. Training methods that duplicate a lot of the tasks seen in gymnasts do exactly this.

Exercises That Increase IIB Expression

These include:
plyometrics utilizing loads, plyometrics, "drop and catch movements", jump squats, olympic lifts, drop jumps, depth jumps, speed squats, speed benches, Reactive squats, as well as most ballistic type activities in which either high speeds, and or supramaximal forces are employed.

The force from a "drop and catch" type movement utilizing loads, or a plyometric type movement, exceeds that which is created with weight training. More importantly, the velocity component and the speed that force must be created is much greater. Put into practice one could start from the top and perform a quick "drop and explode" in a chinup, dip, squat, or olympic lifting movement. The force created at the reversal from eccentric to concentric is great and must be applied extremely quickly or progress will not occur.
Another option would be to simply perform the drop and attempt to stabilize the load towards the bottom as quickly as possible. Yet another option would be to simply de-emphasize the lowering phase of a movement by letting the load come down fairly quickly yet still under control. From here you'd then concentrate on an explosive positive phase. Fred Hatfield stated he used to train like this when he set his world record squat of 1014 lbs. and said it made him 15% stronger.
Short duration heavy isometrics (<10 seconds) in the weakest joint angle of a movement may also be useful to create strength gains without causing negative fast to slow conversions but the jury is still out here. The one thing that should be avoided at all costs is any eccentric movement incorporating loads below 100% of 1rm done at low speeds such as done under typical bodybuilding protocols and/or normal regular paced repetitions. This type of training induces the type of damage that signals the exact adaptations we're trying to avoid. With the aforementioned "high force" methods if the body wants to increase the true "proficiency" of the movement it has no choice but to create a more effective and faster muscle to do it with.

Stimulate Don't Annihilate
There is one caveat with this training and that is it must be prescribed in a dose so as to induce better proficiency without inducing efficiency. In other words, you don't want to be sending any signals to the body that would cause it to think it has to create adaptations just to better deal with the "volume" of training you're throwing at it. You also wouldn't want to send a signal that the body is under a lot of stress or food shortage, thus dieting is a no no. The message you're sending needs to be loud and clear but "stimulating" not "annihilating". Whether you're creating the proper adaptations should be manifested in your results.

To illustrate, if you do highly intense plyometrics everyday you'll soon get to the point where you can do them practically all day without getting tired as your legs will "adapt" to handle the volume. You'll probably see an immediate VJ increase as you become accustomed yet over time the magnitude of performance that you can demonstrate, or the maximum height you jump, will either stagnate or be negatively effected as the body adapts to the excessive volume. Therefore, performance should take precedence over junk volume.

To better describe this think of a movement like the jump rope. Say the goal is to perform 6 consecutive 3 minute rounds. Initially there is a learning period as one learns how to swing the rope and how to coordinate the feet and arms etc. After this, the main limiting factor is the ability of the feet and lower legs to tolerate the lactic acid induced from the repetitive jumps. In someone who jump ropes chronically, (eg. 30 minutes 4-5 days per week), all things such as bodyweight and strength being equal, you will tend to see a decrease in maximal vertical jump as this adaptation sets in. The opposite is also true. Lower the volume down to 1 day of jump rope per week and you'll see an improvement in VJ as muscular efficiency lowers.

A Sample Cycle

If one wanted to put together a short mini-cycle strictly to focus on this one could set up something like this.
fairly low volume - 2x per week per bodypart
progress at every session (If you're not improving then take an extra day of rest)
No lactic acid
No Cardio (dynamic warm-ups, easy gpp, walking, and very easy intervals are ok)
Eat at least enough to maintain bodyweight **(some fat loss will be ok but once you have to substantially restrict food intake as opposed to simply engaging in better eating habits you're gonna reach a point where you start to shoot yourself in the foot)
Get plenty of sleep
Rest Intervals should be fairly long (2-5 minutes)
All movements should be performed at relatively high velocities

My first 2 goals for Olympic weightlifting

Like I said in my previous post, I'm starting Olympic weightlifting on Monday.I'm currently weighing 280 pounds, so my first goal of Olympic weight lifting is to get down to 230 pounds so that I'll no longer have to compete in the super heavy weight division. I'd like to eventually get down to to 190 pounds so that I could compete in the 85k division (169-187 pounds). That means I have to lose 90 pounds. My body has always responded well to low carb diets, so that's what I'm doing. I'm in my 3rd day of low going low carb. So far so good.

Here are the men's weight classes of Olympic Weightlifting:
56 kg≤ 56.00kg 123.3 pounds
62 kg56.01kg – 62.00kg 123.22 pounds-136.4 pounds
69 kg62.01kg – 69.00kg 136.422 pounds-151.8 pounds
77 kg69.01kg – 77.00kg 151.822 pounds-169.4 pounds
85 kg77.01kg – 85.00kg 169.422 pounds-187 pounds
94 kg85.01kg – 94.00kg 187.002 pounds-206.8 pounds
105 kg94.01kg – 105.00kg 206.822 pounds-231 pounds
+105 kg≥ 105.01kg 231.002 pounds

November 07, 2013

starting Olympic weightlifting

After getting ran over while cycling a couple years ago I've decided cycling isn't worth the risk. It's amazing how a brain injury can change a persons views on what is important. So now I need to find a sport to replace triathlon. Since I can't afford CrossFit right now I've decided to attempt Olympic weightlifting. I'm starting Monday!

This weekend I'll be helping out with the 1st annual Buffalo Classic Olympic weightlifting competition, next year I'm going to compete in it! I'm very excited. This is the first step in a new goal. Hopefully I'll enjoy Olympic Weightlifting as much as I did triathlon.

56 kg≤ 56.00kg 123.3 pounds
62 kg56.01kg – 62.00kg 123.22 pounds-136.4 pounds
69 kg62.01kg – 69.00kg 136.422 pounds-151.8 pounds
77 kg69.01kg – 77.00kg 151.822 pounds-169.4 pounds
85 kg77.01kg – 85.00kg 169.422 pounds-187 pounds
94 kg85.01kg – 94.00kg 187.002 pounds-206.8 pounds
105 kg94.01kg – 105.00kg 206.822 pounds-231 pounds
+105 kg≥ 105.01kg 231.002 pounds

September 21, 2013

The 2013 Santa Fe triathlon race report

I decided to race the Santa Fe triathlon today. It was my 85th multisport race and this time it was crazy for me to attempt it. I haven't swam, bike, or ran in over 2 years. I'm also way to heavy to be running that far! Part of my motivation is that my 7 year old daughter started running in a running club at school. I'd like to run with her in the race she's training for, but in the shape I'm in now I doubt I'd be able to keep up with her. I'd end up missing the once in a lifetime opportunity of running across the finish line with her in her first race.

I knew I was going to suffer on the run. It was a 5k, and it hurt even worse than I thought it would. If it would of been any longer than a 5k I doubt I'd of been able to complete it. I finished the run in 32:21, averaging a 10:18 mile.

The bike was a lot less painful than I thought it would be. I also finished a lot faster than I thought I would. It was a 12 mile bike I finished in 51 minutes 30 seconds averaging 14 mph.

The swim was a 400 meter pool swim. I was the fastest Clydesdale in the swim today finishing in 8 minutes 57 seconds.

This was the 3rd time I've raced the Santa Fe triathlon, and this was by far and away the slowest I've ever finished. In 2009 I finished this race in 1:12:59 and in 2010 i finished it in a PR time of 1:08:48! Today I finished in 1 hour 38 minutes 20 seconds.

I'd highly suggest this race for anyone who is interested in triathlon. It a great race, well supported, well marked, moderately difficult course, music, massage therapists, an announcer saying your name as you cross the finish line. Excellent race experience every time!

September 20, 2013

The 2013 Santa Fe triathlon

I'm washing 2 years of dirt off of my road bike. I'll be competing in the Santa Fe triathlon tomorrow morning. It's only a sprint triathlon, but ANY triathlon will hurt since I haven't trained at all in two years. Tomorrow is a race to celebrate being impulsive and unprepared, but doing it anyways.

Tomorrow's triathlon will be my 85th multisport race. I'm still working to hit my goal of finishing 100 triathlons and duathlons someday. Back in my heyday I was averaging 16 multisport races, a half dozen running races, and a few centuries a year, so 15 shouldn't be that hard.

August 21, 2013

facebook and blogging

I used to have all my blog posts connected to my facebook account. It helped increase the amounts of hits my blog received. That used to be important because I used to be a sponsored athlete. My speed at triathlons and higher hit count on my blog made it easier to get sponsors. Now that I'm fat and slow so I'm not worried about sponsorship. What I'm most interested in now is for my blog to be a a place I can write about the training, diet, races, family, and God honestly without feeling the need to hold things back in my blog posts. I was especially sensitive to my high school friends seeing and reading how fat I am now. Now that my blog is no longer connected to my Facebook page I'll feel more comfortable writing honestly about the stuff in my life.

August 19, 2013

saffron extract

Todat I started taking saffron extract to help get rid of my hunger and lose weight. Yesterday I weighed in at 264, I'd like to get to 240 pounds by the Nutcracker triathlon held in early Dec 2013 in Rio Rancho New Mexico. 24 pounds in 15 weeks should be easy. But then again if food wasn't such a struggle for me I'd never have got up to 264 pounds.

August 18, 2013

Olympic weight lifting and CrossFit

My wife has been a full time student since 2007, and we have 3 kids. The 5 of us has been living off my income since then. I've been working a ton the last 6 years. Usually 70-90 hours a week. Recently overtime at the prison I work at has slowed down. It's been a blessing in disguise. Although its been difficult for the 5 of us to adjust our lifestyles enough to live off of my base pay, I'm glad this has happened because I'm burned out working so many hours. I want to be home more.

One of the things I've had to do to live on less money was cancel my CrossFit membership. That sucks because I've really fallen in love with CrossFit and the people I work out with.

I was training for my first olympic weight lifting at my CrossFit gym, so unfortunately I won't be competing in the September and November olympic weight lifting competition. Now that I've had to stop CrossFit and Olympic weight lifting I'm going to start training for triathlons again.

August 08, 2013

olympic weightlifting training

When I first started triathlon training back in 2003 I was the worst runner in the history of triathlon! I kept at until eventually I was a great runner.  This week is my first week of olympic weightlifting. So far I'm just as bad at olypic weight lifting as I used to be at running, perhaps worse. My first olympic weightlifting competition is on September 7th. It's not going to be pretty, but I'll have something to look back at to see how far I've come.

Today I did:
Mid hang snatch- 5X3 (

Halting snatch deadlift + finish (hip)- 5X3

back squat- 3X8

bench 3X5

While I was training at the corrections academy my wife sustained her first CrossFit injury. She dropped a 45 pound weight on her toe during warm up, and she still completed the WOD!

July 30, 2013

the void is filled

After almost 2 years of searching for something to fill the spot of triathlon I've finally found something I'm excited about. I'm going to try my hand at olympic weightlifting! My 1st event will be in Sept. The competition in September I'm doing just for fun. I wont be trying to throw around big weights or impress anyone. I'll just be trying to get some experience and have some fun. My 2nd olympic weightlifting competition will be held in early November. Not only will I be taking the 2nd event more seriously, I'm hoping to no longer be a super heavy weight. I need to weight 105 kilograms or less to no longer be a super heavy weight, which means I need to lose 32 pounds in just over 3 months. I started my diet yesterday.

Wish me luck!

July 05, 2013

gains and losses

Yesterday I went to the corrections academy gym with a buddy of mine. We maxed on our bench and squat. In the last 3 weeks I've added 20 pounds to my bench and 30 pounds to my squat! After the strength work we did a WOD. It was as many reps as possible in 16 min of:
1 min power cleans
1 min sit ups
1 min dips
1 min DB thrusters

I completed 178 reps. It was a good day.

July 04, 2013

vacation and never shaving again!

A few days ago my family and I got back from visiting my family in Lubbock Texas. We love it there. Once I retire from the state and my wife graduates from nursing school we are going to move there. We found our dream home in Lubbock at 6105 Knoxville Dr. Obviosly it will have sold by the time I retire (1 year 11 months from now), but we'll buy a house in the same neighborhood.  We had a great time. To good aparently. I came back weighing 261 pounds. My 20 year high school reunion in next summer. Time to get my fat butt on a diet. My goal is 200 lbs by my reunion.

I jioned the military at the age of 17, then became a manager at a pet shop, then started a career at the State Pennitentiary. I've had to stay clean shaven at each of those jobs. After years of having to stay clean shaven my dream has come true!!!! The NM State Pennitentiary has changed it's shaving policy!! We are allowed to grow beards and goatees now!!!! This is the results of me growing my beard for 3 days. I'm never shaving again!!!!

July 01, 2013

Buffalo Springs Lake triathlon 2013 new course recod and 2014 registration

I was here in Lubbock Texas the weekend of the BSLT 70.3 triathlon ( I didn't race). It was a perfect day for a triathlon. It was under 90 degrees, there was clouds in the sky blocking the sun, and there was no wind- the year I raced the BSLT it got close to 110 degrees! This was the 24th year of the BSLT and Gregg Bennett broke the course record with a screaming fast time of 3:48:58.

Next year will be the 25th year of the BSLT and they are having a special on the registration.

25th Anniversary Special: Enter for 2014 by July 3 for only $199!
We’re turning 25 in 2014! To kick off the anniversary celebrations, we are offering an exclusive 25th Anniversary Entry Special. Enter the password BSL25 to unlock the Early Bird Special category rate.
We know it’s a year out, but we also know it’s going to be one heck of a celebration! The 25thAnniversary experience will feature:
  • Unique Finisher Awards for every IRONMAN 70.3 finisher
  • The Golf Course Hill is back! The hill you love to hate is making a comeback.
  • 40 age group slots & 3 Hancycle slots to the 2014 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Mont -Tremblant , 3 Handcycle slots to IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN KONA, HI
  • 25th Anniversary Finisher Shirt
  • 25th Anniversary Participant Back PackCommit to 2014, and enter online for a great deal on an amazing IRONMAN 70.3 experience!

CrossFit box's in Lubbock Texas and a proper cool down

While visiting family here in Lubbock Texas I wanted to visit a CrossFit box. There were 7 to choose from:

Flatland CrossFit
CrossFit Throne
CrossFit Wild West
CrossFit Paladin
Capstone CrossFit
Compass CrossFit
Hubbcity CrossFit

I googled reviews for each CrossFit box. There was only 1 review for all 7 box’s, it was on Yelp. It was for CapStone CrossFit and it had an excellent review.

Next I called all 7 box’s and asked what the drop in policy and fees were.

-Hubbcity CF and Paladin CF didn't answer their phone, I left a couple messages with the questions I had but they never returned my calls.

-Flatland CF and CF Wild West was $15 for my wife, $15 for myself ($30 total) for the entire time I was visiting Lubbock, or the purchase of a shirt ($20).

-CF Throne was $20 per day per weekday visit, Saturdays workout was offered free. $80 for the 3 days for my wife and I.

-Capstone CF was $13 per day per person $78 for my wife and for all 3 days.

-And Compass CF said if I was a member of a box anywhere else in the world we could attend their box for free as long as I was visiting Lubbock.

We chose Compass CrossFit. My cousin Greg went with me the first day. Even though he wasn’t a member of a box anywhere else they still let him workout for free. The members were extremely friendly and welcoming, the workout was great, and the trainer (Tim) was friendly and informative. He took the time to explain the workout, the proper form of all the exercises before the workout began. He spent some extra time explaining things to my cousin since he was a CF virgin.

Compass CrossFit had a couple things I'd never seen before, their clock not only had a timer but also tracked the rounds completed. Post workout the gym members kept track of their workouts on wodify, I'd always tracked my workouts old school on a pad of paper. I like the idea of my WOD being recorded online where I can look at it anytime or compare previous workouts. I think once I get home I'm going to start an account with Wodify.

After the workout they had all of us do a cool down 400 meter jog. I've been wanting to start doing a cool down on my own post WOD. Instead of stopping completely from an intense aerobic or strength training session it is very important to slow down gradually for about 5 minutes or longer. Cooling down prevents venous pooling when coronary blood flow demand is very high. In other words the heart is a very a efficient pump, its great at pushing blood to the areas being worked out. But the heart can only push blood. Of course, if you've pumped blood up to the brain, gravity will bring it back to the heart. But what about the blood in your legs, how does it get back to the heart? Not so obvious, is it? It's almost a design flaw. There ought to be two extra sub-hearts, one in each foot, to return blood to the main heart. What happens instead is that the muscles act as mini hearts. Each time a muscle contracts it pushes blood out of it and into your veins. And here's why you need to "cooldown." If you've been out running or doing a WOD, a lot of blood has been directed down to your leg muscles to support your running. If you stop exercising and just stand there or decide to sit in a chair, the muscles stop contracting. The pooled blood just stagnates there and the blood volume available for the rest of your body reaches dangerously low levels. There are some people, myself included who believe that not cooling down sufficiently over time can damage the heart. So I need to start cooling down, I haven't been. And then in theory after my cool down I should stretch. I should, but I never stretch. Never will.

June 25, 2013

body weight matters in CrossFit

When I started training for triathlons I learned the best way to get fast is to lose weight. When I was overweight no matter how much and how hard I trained my fitness couldn't make up for the loss of speed because of the extra weight I carried. I've found out getting fat slows down a CrossFit athlete just as much. Not that long ago I'd gotten to the point that I was doing every WOD with the RX and finishing quickly. I was completing the WOD with a fast enough time that I was going to start adding more weight than the RX. But then I fell off the diet wagon and gained a crap load of weight. I'm was still working out consistently, but the weight gain has slowed me down much worse than I had imagined it could. I'm back to having to do each workout below the RX and finishing close to last every class. Dang it, body weight matters in CrossFit too.
"It is no disgrace to start all over. It is usually an opportunity. "George M. Adams

June 12, 2013

The 2013 Santa Fe triathlon

A few weeks after I came to grip with, and announced that I'm retiring from multisport the Santa Fe triathlon registration opened. The Santa Fe triathlon and the Atomic Man duathlon are two races I try to never miss. So even though I'm officially retired from triathlon I've registered and will be racing the Santa Fe triathlon on September 21st. Just call me Brett Favre....

June 11, 2013

not competing in the the Angel Fire ultra trail run and family stuff

I've been wanting to compete in the Angel Fire 50 kilometer trail run for a very long time. I signed up earlier this year expecting that the race would motivate me to start running again. It didn't. I doubt I've ran a total of 30 miles in the last 21 months and I'm tipping the scales at 250, so unfortunately I wont be running in the Angel Fire 50K. That's ok, the longer it takes me to earn an ultra endurance trail run belt buckle the more I'll appreciate it when I do.
On a more personal note, I hadn't heard from my natural father since I was 13. A while back I found him and we rekindled our relationship. For a little over a year everything was beyond perfect. He went camping with my family, called me multiple times a week, and visited every few months. He was the father I'd always wanted him to be. It was wonderful feeling accepted by a parent, that's not something I've had much of in my life. Then just as suddenly as the last time, he disappeared. He turned his back on me while I was going through a really hard time. The timing wasn't his fault, but it still made things much more difficult for me to deal with. In that same month I'd ended my relationship with my mother. She has borderline personality disorder. Severing ties with my Mom hurt deeply even though it was best for both of us. That same month I found out my step 1st (of 3) step Dad who raised me from the age of 2 to age 15 had died. He was an alcoholic and he and my Mom had a horribly abusive relationship, but he was a great father to me. For years I desperately wanted to find him and tell him how grateful I was for all he had done for me and taught me. To tell him at least one more time that I loved him. I never got that chance. I found out he died living alone and in poverty. The conditions he was living in the last years of his life horrified me, riddled me with guilt. Anyways, back to my natural father. I had called and sent letters with no response. After almost 6 months of not hearing from him, not knowing if he'd died or if I'd done something wrong he sent me a letter that said he couldn't be in contact with me because he was on vacation. A few months more of not hearing from him and I get another letter claiming he had high cholesterol and the only way for him to get the numbers down was if he cut me out of his life. I would have been OK if he decided not to be in my life and was honest about the reason, but him feeding me a line of bull shit made the whole situation hurt much more than it needed to. A few days ago, approximately a year and a half after he severed our relationship he sent me a fathers day card and in it he was honest about his reasoning. Reading that letter helped me heal a lot. He told me the truth, and that was what I needed to be able to find closure. I'm so grateful for his honesty. You might be asking what the heck that has to do with fitness and me getting back to an ideal body weight? I hold everything in, refusing to allow myself to feel. When the emotions become too overwhelming to hide from I numb the pain with food. I'm hoping now that I've found closure with my natural father I'll be able to start eating to live rather than living to eat.
Just in case your wondering, I don't regret having had the parents I did. The things I went through, the abuse and piss poor parenting I had was the catalyst that made me into the family man I am today. I'm a darn good Dad and a grateful husband. If it wasn't for what I had gone through as a kid I wouldn't fully appreciate the healthy relationship I have with my wife and the joy I find in my kids. It's as if I'm reliving the childhood through my family I wish I had experienced. Life is wonderful, I'm happier than I ever dreamed I could be.

June 10, 2013

post triathlon

To be able to stay active, eating healthy, and motivated I need to feel like I'm an athlete. Since I retired from multisport I feel like I've been a lazy fat bum. I didn't have an athletic goal to keep me dedicated. Since I wasn't motivated by any particular goal I have been eating like crap and not working out. I missed 3 weeks of CrossFit. I'm back up to 250 pounds. Damn it! This weekend my prayers were answered and I have found a goal that motivates me. My goal is to continue to build overall fitness and losing weight by doing CrossFit 5 days a week while working out on my own to get a 350 pound squat, a 275 pound bench press, and a body weight of 219 by my birthday on November 18th. My body builds strength fairly easily so I should be able to reach this goal somewhat easily, especially with the strength training plan BJ, the owner of Zia CrossFit, has designed for me. I'm excited to be back into athlete mode once again.

June 06, 2013

to race or not to race

I've spent a lot of time thinking weather or not I want to get back to hard core triathlon training. I assumed training for and racing at the duathlon national championships would give me the motivation I needed, it hasn't. I really have no desire what so ever to train for endurance athletics, I don't even enjoy racing anymore to be honest.  I might race an occasional local race for fun, but that's it. I'm retiring from competitive multisport. I'm going to focus on CrossFit for awhile. I really enjoy CrossFit. The workouts, environment, and people are awesome. The owners of Zia CrossFit have even taken the time to help me with my diet and a training plan to accomplish my goal of beating my natural fathers bench press PR. The only negative about CF I can think of is my fault. I need to fix my form on dead lifts. Every time I do them my lower back hurts for weeks. I did a max dead lift yesterday and I can barely stand up straight today.

May 30, 2013

2013 national duathlon championships

A few weeks ago I had decided to retire from multisport..... Today I received an email from USA triathlon stating that I had earned a spot to the 2013 National Duathlon Championships while racing at the Atomic Man duathlon earlier this year. This is the 7th time I've earned a spot to a national championships race, the first time I'd earned a spot in duathlon. Now I'm not sure if I should hang up the cycling shoes now or wait until after the 2013 National Duathlon Championships....... Not an easy decision.....

If I decide to race the duathlon national championships I need to get busy training and losing some serious weight. I'm currently weighing 240 pounds and haven't biked consistantly for over a year and a half.....

May 06, 2013

The 2013 Jay Benson triathlon canceled

I received an email from New Mexico online that the Jay Benson triathlon has been canceled. Las Alamos and the Jay Benson triathlon were tied as the oldest continually held triathlons in New Mexico. This year would have been the 41st year for each. That title will be held exclusively by the Las Alamos triathlon.

IMPORTANT!!!! The race director of the Jay Benson will not automatically refund your race entry. They will ONLY be issuing refunds if you show up IN PERSON to Sport Sytems on Montgomery in Albuquerque NM before May 31st!

This was the info I pulled off of the NM online website.

Jay Benson Triathlon Cancelled
Regrettably, due to the Boston Marathon incident and the resulting heightened security at Kirtland AFB, last minute security requirements for civilian entry to the Base have left us no alternative but to cancel the Jay Benson Triathlon.

First and foremost, we would like to thank Kirkland Air Force Base for its longstanding support of the Jay Benson Triathlon. This triathlon would never have been as successful as it has become without the support and help of the Base. We’d like to especially thank the team at the pool. They’ve been great to work with through the years.
We began the permitting process in early November 2012 and, initially, the requirements for participant’s and their friend’s and family’s access to the base remained the same as in years past. We collected names and the last four of the social security numbers and submitted the list in a timely manner as instructed. However, the requirements of the Base over the last two weeks changed several times. We were also told to collect dates of birth from everyone. Many people worked diligently through email and phone calls to obtain the additional information and we resubmitted the list by the required deadline.
The latest requirements were numerous. Unfortunately, there were two requirements that we couldn’t comply with. One was that we now needed full name with middle initial, date of birth, full social security number, drivers license number and state of issue. The Base was going to do full background checks on everyone. We simply could not obtain this information by the deadline imposed. Also, many people were uncomfortable giving us all their personal information. We are a retail store and we are not set up to securely obtain and protect everyone’s personal information.
The other requirement that we didn’t think we could comply with was that we needed to change entry gates and get everyone through the gate between 6 and 7:30AM. Based on previous years experience, we believe we could only get a little over half the cars into the event during the allotted time.
We understand that the Base just wants to secure the Base and keep everyone safe. We worked diligently and complied with all the new requirements over the last six months. Unfortunately, the recent requirements were impossible to achieve.
We are greatly saddened and disappointed in canceling this event. We did everything in our power to save this event and express our deepest apologies to the triathlon community and guests for this unfortunate outcome. Sport Systems wants to extend a special thank you to Angie and the Chasing 3 team for everything they’ve done to save this event. It was an unbelievable effort they’ve put in the last two weeks to save the event. Every effort will be made to continue the Jay Benson tradition at a different venue next year.
Many of you received a $10 gift card from us at the Kickoff Party at Sport Systems. Please keep that as a gift from us.
Beginning Monday, May 6, Sport Systems will be offering refunds in the following manners:
1. You can roll your entry fee into next year’s event (location yet to be determined).*
2. You can have your refund in the form of a store credit. Please consider this option to help offset the significant losses that have occurred.*
3. We can issue you a full refund in the method in which you paid.*
4. You can donate your registration fee to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. You can write it off as a donation on your taxes. Our hope is that the charity doesn’t suffer due to the Base security changes and your donation would be greatly appreciated. This option requires no action. We will assume by a non-response that your registration fees will be automatically considered a donation.
*FOR THE FIRST THREE REFUND OPTIONS, YOU MUST COME INTO SPORT SYSTEMS BEFORE MAY 31st, 2013. Full refund includes one-day USAT licenses, if applicable. Sorry, we are not able to refund annual USAT membership fees. If you paid through, you will still need to come into Sport Systems for the first three refund options. Refunds will not be offered through or your credit card company.
Please help spread the word by telling your fellow triathlete friends and family to confirm all have seen and opened this email.
Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience canceling the Jay Benson Triathlon has caused. We realize many of our triathletes have been training for this race for months and some are traveling from long distances.
Duane Kinsley
Sport Systems

May 02, 2013

midlife crisis, depression, and brain injuries

The last year and a half I've been burnt with triathlons. I'm no longer obsessed. No longer driven beyond all reason. Now that I look back at all the time spent cycling, running, swimming, racing, and the tens of thousands of dollars I spent on traveling, hotels, equipment, and race entries I realize triathlon was my midlife crisis. In some ways my family and I got off easy compared to other men. My family is still together, thriving actually. There's been no infidelities. Even at the peak of my obsession my wife and kids were still my #1 priority. But in other ways I feel like I'm in a worse place than the other men who had the same life altering temporary retardation. It appears to me like the men who go through a mid life crisis come out of it having learned a lot about themselves. I didn't seem to have gained the same emotional maturity. I feel lost. Depressed. When I look in the mirror I don't recognize myself. When I look in the mirror this is who I expect to see:

The muscular weight lifter,

or the skinny endurance athlete,

Below is who I actually see. This is what I look like now. Fat, bald, unhappy with myself. I mean seriously, how can my lovely wife enjoy being with someone who looks like this? I'm disgusting!

In the last couple weeks I've come to realize that my depressed state has nothing to do with me losing interest in triathlon. This depression has been here since I got ran over by a vehicle while cycling back in Sept 2011. I suffered a traumatic brain injury. Once or twice a month I still get depressed for a week or two. During that time the only thing I find that can make me feel half way normal is eating. I cant find the energy to workout or to be sociable. After a week or two I feel normal again but the depression always comes back. I still lose things and get lost. Conversation and connecting with people is hard for me now. It's like there's a flow that everyone can see and follows while communicating, I cant find it, much less follow it. I'm awkward to be around. I say things that don't fit what everyone else is talking about. Consequently I don't associate with others as much as I used to. When I do I've learned to try and keep my mouth shut to avoid the all too common awkward moments that seem to happen every time I open my mouth. Consequently I'm lonely. I'm still frequently depressed. I often times cant remember how to do things I used to be able to, such as my job; which is scary because I work in a prison and peoples lives are in my hands.

Things have improved since the accident. The first 9 months after the accident I didn't want to be around anyone EVER! Not even my wife and kids. Now I want to be around them, I'm just a social buffoon. I was easily angered, constantly depressed, all I could think about was suicide.Although I'm not that bad now I still don't feel like myself. Will I ever go back to the person I was before? I miss that person. So does my friends and family. I have an appointment with my primary doctor on May 8th. I've brought these problems up to him before and he's dismissed them saying, "it takes time for the brain to recover", or, "you might not ever get those things back." I've done some research and have found that there is help for people who suffer from brain injuries. I'm not leaving my doctors office until he refers me to a specialist who can help me, because I'm finally willing to admit that I need help.

April 28, 2013

The 2013 Atomic Man duathlon race report

I competed in the Atomic Man Duathlon this morning to make up for being a no show last week at the Spring Fling triathlon. This was my 84th multisport race, and my 20th duathlon.

The Atomic Man duathlon is my favorite race of all time! This was the 8th time I competed in this race, and this year it was a qualifier for the duathlon national championships. Last year there was a couple pro's and an Olympic duathlete who showed for this race. The RD's go all out to make sure everyone has a fantastic time. They had a ton of stuff in the race packet bags from performance t-shirts, chap stick, gels, bars, water bottles, coupons, honey, wet suit bags, & those re-usable shopping bags, and pro photographers throughout the course! They have the most comfortable timing chip straps I've ever seen at a race! They also had more swag than I've ever seen in a non-Iron distance race! Ruby helmets, Ruby sunglasses, gift certificates to tri sports, gift certificates to a local bike shop. they had free coffee (5 gallons worth), gluten free sandwiches, organic meat, organic veggies, organic bread, fruit, many other things.

The race is a run/ bike/ run format. The first run I completed having kept an 8:58 minutes per mile average. The bike is a very difficult and MOUNTAINOUS course, but I still kept a 15.5 mph average, which suprised me since I'm weighing in over 230 right now. The 2nd run I kept a 9:15 minute per mile average. I finished the race 1st place Clydesdale, 18th place overall.

April 26, 2013

RX all week, and updating my goals

This week was the 1st week in 14 weeks of training at a CrossFit gym that I've been able to do the RX on every workout. Yesterday I was even able to do all the toes to bars, I never had to scale down to knees to elbows, which up until yesterday I had to do after 5 reps of toes to bars. Next step is being able to do a hand stand push up......

Just to keep my goal list updated, I'll post my 3 biggest goals here.
1) I want to get to 198 pounds at %10 body fat.

2) When I was a kid my natural father's max bench press PR was 265. I remember being so impressed. I thought he was amazing! My new and exciting goal is to beat his bench press PR. When I'm ready to beat it I'm going to take my babies to the gym to watch me just like my Dad did with me.

3) be able to do a handstand push up.

P.S. Mona, thank you for the encouragement. I'm very grateful.

April 24, 2013

Jeremy, benchmark at RX

A few days ago I stopped dieting and started eating enough to maintain my weight. Apparently more calories was EXACTLY what my body was needing. Today before CrossFit started I did some push ups and pull ups. I do this daily since those are 2 of the  things I'm weakest at. I was able to crank out a lot more pull ups and push ups than I've ever been able to do, a lot more! Once class started we did the workout called "Jeremy" which is reps of 21-15- then 9 of overhead squats and burpees. Jeremy is a  a CrossFit benchmark workout, and up until today I had never been able to do the RX (recommended weight)of a benchmark workout. Today I did the RX for the 1st time! I was very stoked! I was really close to busting out in a happy white boy dance!

April 23, 2013

The extremist

I am by nature an extremist. OCD to the max. In many ways that benefits me, in many it doesn't. When it comes to dieting it doesn't. I end up pushing myself to hard to lose weight. From years of triathlon training and dieting I've figured out that my body responds best to losing no more than one and a half pounds a week. If I try to lose more than that I end up overly hungry and I fall off the wagon. I've also learned that Every 4-6 weeks I need to increase my calories to a maintenance level for a week or two. If I diet for longer than 4-6 weeks I end up getting overly hungry and/or burned out with dieting and I fall off the wagon. I've been dieting constantly since January, which was too long. Last week I fell off the wagon, and I've gained a few pounds back, I'm currently 235. Thankfully I realized what I was doing wrong. For the next 2 weeks I'll be eating more calories to let my body realize it's not starving, that there isn't a world wide food shortage, and that in a couple weeks it'll be OK to drop some more weight.