Thursday, June 29, 2017

My Big Break

The good thing about accidents: You don't plan on having them. When they happen, you either freak out and fight against the reality of the situation, or you look the sumbitch in the eye and say, "That sucked, but you are not going to stop me. Not now. Not ever."

While biking on the night of June 28th, 2017, my own accident unfolded suddenly and most unexpectedly. An unfamiliar course. A tight pack. Zipping hellafast down wet roads. Focusing on the tire in front of me and not the brightly labeled bump in the road. Traction disappeared. The bike is wobbling like an angry jackhammer. And there's a decision to make: bail, or slam into a railing. The idea of a "dead stop" with an unforgiving rail was the less appealing option.

So the plan was to go down on my right shoulder. Started to do that. Then hit another bump and my right hand shot out, reflexively. And things went the way things went from there.

Warning: If you are squeamish, please do not click through to the rest of the tale. There is no blood, but you might not like the x-rays of the result of the accident. Spoiler: It ends with plates and screws!

Sunday, May 07, 2017

The Ryanman 2017 - Week Three

Increased the volume even more this week: 4 runs, 3 days of  weights, 2 swims, and 2 bikes. Still dialing in the HR zone training but my stats are improving. Mid-Zone 3 ride on Saturday and held 18.4MPH pace without any significant effort at all. (Not many years ago 18MPH was gut busting.) Mid-Zone 3 run had me just above a 10:00/mile pace. Swim pace is coming down to about 1:50/100.

Resumed HRV monitoring this week. So far, it has been surprisingly good. Perhaps it is the zone training, by my HRV scores have been 6-8, despite the increased volume. Hoping to get on the final schedule this week (4 gym sessions, 3 bikes, 3 runs, and 2 swims) and see how that affects the scores. If such a schedule can be maintained, the improvements will be very noticable.

Resumed breath-training this week. Started wearing the dreaded Training Mask during my warm-ups at the gym. One day it was 200m x 6, wearing the mask. Then 50 single-unders x 6, wearing the mask. After each interval it was like drowning. But it is manageable. For now.

Overall, super happy with the progress, and we're still a couple of weeks out from actually starting the program! Just need to make sure to bring the sunscreen, next Saturday!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Ryanman 2017 - Week Two

Increasing my volume of training again this week: 3 runs, 2 swims, 1 bike, two gym sessions. Sleeping a bit better and dialing in the nutrition, too. Need to work on mobility, HRV, and breath work, soon. Yesterday's "long" ride was brutal due to humidity and wind but otherwise everything is off to a good start.  Bit short on details this week, but this is just a "building" phase, several weeks before the official program starts. More, next week.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The RyanMan 2017 - Week One

One of my long races this year will be the RyanMan 70.3 triathlon, Oct 8th, in Jackson, MS. Working on a new plan this time, including elements of strength & condition, an increased recovery focus, and even better nutrition.

Ryan was the son of a local triathlete. By the age of three he was on his second battle with cancer. Everyone came together and created this race to support Ryan. Unfortunately, he lost his battle. But the race and the memories continue.

As an interesting self experiment, here are some of my stats that will be tracked over the next 24 weeks:

  • Body Weight - 184lbs
  • Percent Body Fat - 12%
  • Percent Body Water - 64%
  • Percent Skeletal Muscle Mass - 74lbs
  • Bone Mass - 13lbs
  • Swim  Pace - 1:55/100 (no snorkel!)
  • Bike Pace - 18.8 MPH (in Zone 3)
  • Run Pace - 10:45/mile (in Zone 3)
Obviously the goal is to improve all of those. Specific goals would be:
  • Lower body fat a couple of percentage points to 9% ideally
  • Increase muscle mass by a few pounds to improve power production
  • Increase cardiovascular capacity so HR zones stay the same but pace improves
  • Have fun!
So there's RyanMan, a couple of Spartans, HeatWave, RideYellow, and Southern Magnolia. Should be a fun season. We'll see!

Monday, February 06, 2017

SPARTA!!! in 2017

My plans usually involve things that scare me. If only a little. And the training this year is scary. So much. So intense. Trying to raise the bar in 2017. Trying to get more serious. More dedicated. Immersed. Today's training included: back squats, stiff-legged deadlifts, V-Ups, and 200m sprints with THIS sixty pound bastard across my shoulders. And we're only getting started!

The plan is to do a Spartan Trifecta. Three races a Sprint (3-4 miles,)  a Super (6-7 miles,) and a Super (12+ miles.) All in this year. The road trip will go through Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. And Liam will be joining me for the first one, if not ALL, of them!

So Spartan, here we come. March 18th: the Scottish Thunder will be brought!

Sunday, February 05, 2017

The Road To Tradition 2017 - Bike Maintenance

Duncan from Tri Hard Sports came by the training camp today. Walked everyone through changing their first time. Went over lubing the chain. Talked about the importance of cleaning off all the gear after a long ride. Great to have Duncan's advice as he brings a wealth of experience, a focus on customer service, and an amazing talent for breaking complex problems into simple solutions for folks who have no idea where to start tackling things like blown tires and funky chains. If you're ever in need of bike support, Duncan's the right resource!

Meanwhile, one of my Clydesdales, Luke, and Onnie brought the thunder to Rock & Roll NOLA this morning. Couldn't join them due to obligations and complications (no surprise there) but they did great and made us all proud. Alvie. especially. He messaged me at one point and said: "WALL!" But having trained with him so many times my response was: 
Walk. Breathe. Shake it out.
Get on your long, fast walking pace. Seen you WALK almost 13min/mile.
Get on that pace and you got sub 3hrs. Keep moving. Keep breathing. You've got long legs. Use em.

Less than an hour later he wrote:
Under 3, my legs are rubber

BOOM! That happened. Take your dreams, work hard, make them a reality. Need proof? Check out Alvie. He earned his medal today! 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Rescued By RockTape

Mike Tyson infamously said, "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth," We were half a mile into an eight mile hike on the Black Creek Trail, when an unexpected punch arrived and did its best to disrupt my plans. The second major voyage of the Southern Trail Hiking Club. We met just outside of Wiggins, MS. Slightly overcast. Slightly cold. Everyone full of energy and smiles. No sign of any trouble looming on the horizon. But it was there, coyly hiding just out of sight. Waiting for an opportunity to pounce. And then... it happened.

First the left boot. Felt like it was dragging. Then flopping. And... yeah... the sole of the boot apparently dry-rotted after too many blazing summers in the garage... and on the trail, the more solid rubber began to detach from leather underside. That boot wasn't going to last very long. And... yeah... the LEFT boot was also dry rotted.... and while crossing HW49, an odd step felt completely uncushioned, because the entire left sole had detached and was sitting in the road, cold and lonely.

Fortunately, my newly provisioned medical pouch contained a secret ingredient. Lo and behold, the boots ended up being rescued by... RockTape! A couple of strips over the top. A strip over the toe. A strip over the heel. On BOTH boots. And they proceeded to hold for 7.5 miles. Almost 20,000 steps through mud, rocks, sand, and straw covered hills, that RockTape held those rotten soles in place and helped me get back to the car without going full blown Flintstone.

So, yes, the punch hurt. But it didn't ruin my plans. And we all had a great time together on the Black Creek Trail.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Frosted Fanny 2016

Slightly cold. Slightly overcast. 45 degrees and cloud. But my Clydesdales Crew rocked the Frost Fanny for 2016. Two mile run + 10 mile bike + 2 mile run. And they all finished strong. Very proud of each of them all the time and dedication they've put in this year. They stuck to their plans, paced well, and performed well. Afterward, they all recovered quickly and were smiling ear to ear.

A good way to start the year. The highlight of my month. And a lot more to come!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Bikes, instead of politics.

A funny reaction to the rapidly degrading atmosphere on Facebook today. One of my fitness friends decided to post a picture of bikes, instead of politics. Then tagged others of us, and suggested we do the same. Within hours, it was burning its way across all our feeds.

A welcomed change. Wouldn't it be great if we all posted something about ourselves, instead of about politics?

But... isn't that what Facebook is SUPPOSED to be about in the first place? Hrm....

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Like This.

Wake @ 0500.
Coach CrossFit @ 0600
Take Meg to school @ 0745
Work starts @ 0800
Work continues until 1930
Go home, eat, sit back down.
Work finally ends at @ 2200.

No training.
No playing. 
No time with the family.
Endless stress.
 ...days like this.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Started, Again

There are never enough hours in my day. Never. Pressures from the day job. Pressures from personal projects. And personal plans. Training several athletes. Training myself. Wife of 20yrs. Daughter of nearly 15yrs. And the son of approaching 18yrs needs to start looking at (gasp) colleges, soon. Non-stop adventures for Your Humble Narrator.

What gets cast aside? Reading. (My stack of books has to be two dozen deep.) Television. (Not a big loss, there.) Movies. Dates. Drinking (should feel like less of a loss but MAN those drinks were calming.) And catching up with friends & family. Not to mention the sacrifices for work and wounds from 2016. Those scars are still healing. Inside, and out.

Trying to get started, again: Train better. Compete more often. Coach better. Live, love, and father better. Make up for lost time, and missed opportunities.

So wish me luck. Whichever way it goes, you'll know first.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Gaps In The Deluge

The storms from last night continued through most of today. Sometimes the rain appeared to be going sideways as great gusts of wind caught it.

Escaped our confinement briefly to walk around the neighborhood with Cindy. (Was supposed to run. That didn't pan out!)

During another gap in the deluge, Glenda & Tolar stopped by mid-day. To wake The Edgy Teens and touch base. Happy New Years and tales about growing up in the balmy depths of South Mississippi.

And during a final lapse in the waves of rain, we went to see Star Wars: Nobody Bathes, Interesting flick. Bit predictable. Bit of a divergence from the norm. Better writing. Better acting. Stellar effects. Much enjoyment by everyone involved.

Afterwards, bit of the ol' Guitar Hero for my Edgy Teens. Apparently the position of the mouth is critical to their success. Meg did well. Liam played on a level so difficult that my brain couldn't process the action. And yet they both earned nearly perfect scores. Breath taking to watch these kids in action. "Blessed," is the phrase we use most often. And we continue to enjoy it while it lasts.