Hammered – 3/27/17

[I’m not smiling only because there’s no logistical way to do audible selfie taking and smile in ¼ of a second. This photo will be updated shortly.]

During conversations with my parents about a fundraising project, they remarked that I was probably tapping the same pool for too many different projects. While I know that people in my standard pools have interest in supporting different projects, I still took that comment to heart.

As there are still things that I need to get in place for my 2017 season, I am in the fundraising mode. Based on their comment, I started thinking outside of the previous pools. One of these thoughts took me to reach out to companies whose products I was already using. The thinking here being that since I was already supporting them through my purchase/use, they might be likely to support me.

Last week, I received a very kind reply from Hammer Nutrition that went beyond my expectations. I’ve been keeping that generosity quiet until I had a proper picture in their gear to share. The box arrived earlier today, and I was able to get an initial selfie so I could share this.

I am extremely grateful to the entire Hammer Nutrition team for their support! What they’ve provided for me will be extremely beneficial throughout the season, especially as I make the crucial push to qualify for PT Nationals.

Again, THANK YOU Hammer Nutrition!!

National Beatings – Week 2 (3/20 – 3/27)

[Still not me in above photo, but pushing towards being in a similar one this summer.]

Week 1 of Nationals Beatings went much better than week 2 did. I think part of that was analogous to how my swim/bike/run workouts by myself usually go. Starting out too fast, burning too much from the fire and dropping back in the long run.

While week 2 was a frustration, not only will I rebound in week 3, but I was able to contain the frustration. I got in what I could, worked through trying to get normal life projects addresses and then moving forward. I’ve learned to this point that there’s no use in dwelling on the past when things fall apart. You just try to find things to work on correcting, refocus and then move forward again.

Even in the frustration, there were some really good things that came out of the week. One of these was starting to work with a new guide. I believe it’s going to be a great fit, and she’ll be guiding me for my final qualifying chance in May. The first session went well and we were able to work through several things in the pool. I am confident that we’ll be rocking it in May given all the time between now and then.

Another of these really good things will be covered in the next blog…

Back to National Beatings. It’s not going to be fun, but this is what it’ll take to get back on track. It’ll all be worth it in the end…

The Gatorade Cat – 3/24/17

In general, Dionne is a mischievous cat. The penguin has to stand guard so she doesn’t get into the cleaning supplies, and I have to be careful of walking away when any food’s out (as she’ll try to eat it). Between her and Miles, they’ll usually bat anything around my front room – wrappers, papers, plastic bags, etc.

On Friday morning Dionne was kind enough to wake me up before the sun was up by batting around a wrapper. I thought nothing of it and just rolled back over to try and go back to sleep. But after she’d been doing it for several minutes, I finally got up to find it and throw it out so I could get sleep.

While I expected to see just an empty wrapper, what I found was much more. At some point, she had maneuvered a full Gatorade protein bar out of the box, had knocked it onto the floor, had opened it and was gnawing on it.

Silly kitty. . . Just standard pre-dawn fun here…

National Beatings – Progress Report – 3/19/17

I love doing Experience Triathlon (ET) events. Coach Joe, the entire staff and all of the volunteers do such a great job with the events. I wish I’d been able to do the other two ET indoor triathlons, but the timing just didn’t work.

Going into this event, I had definite numbers that I wanted to hit on each of the disciplines. Not only would it be a good progress test to see where I was at, but also a chance to find/work out flaws. Even though I didn’t hit those numbers, it was still a good day and I found several things to work out prior to the outdoor season.

Specifically –
Swim: Managing torpedo kicks and breathing. One of the torpedo kicks was so strong that I ended up gliding under the lane lines. Not a huge issue since there was an open lane, but it would be in any of the outdoor races. While my breathing is getting better, I still need to work on it for mid to late race to make sure I can finish strong. During this swim, I couldn’t get enough of the CO2 out and was struggling in the last 6-7 lengths to get it done. I’ve already talked with my head coach on the breathing and am working out several things with that.

Bike: Being able to more easily clip in and making sure that I’m pushing harder in the first several minutes when my body is trying to recover from the swim. I thought I was going faster than I actually was during that first 8 min or so until Todd told me what I was at. Hopefully the tandem derailer will get put back on and I’ll get the loaner upright soon so I can get a lot more clip practice in.

Run: Making sure that a sports drink is in my water bottle instead of just plain water. I had Tailwind in there and it helped a lot. I am going to be trying a couple others during training, and go with whichever works best. Having that extra burst meant that I only had to walk once for about 30 seconds. That’s about in line with the Turkey Trot from last fall, which was my most consistent 5K.

It was back to training after this race as I continue to push towards the spring season.

And for any of you who have these as open dates, I would STRONGLY recommend signing up for the following:

ET Batavia – 6/11/17
ET Lake Zurich – 7/9/17
ET Naperville – 8/6/17

National Beatings – Week 1 (3/13 – 3/19)

[I do not know who this is – just best Nationals Finish line picture I could find]

As I look at Dionne sitting on the char and purring contently, I thought it was apt to provide an ASPCA type disclaimer. “No Triathletes were harmed during the creation of this blog”. (Although that doesn’t necessarily apply to the underlying events…)

When I saw that the Nationals Qualifying season had been compressed, I knew that there was going to be a lot of hard work ahead. And then I lost two weeks of training time due to some absurd work-related stuff. Definitely not the best time to have that happen.

But you can’t control everything that happens in life. All you can do is adapt, adjust and then get back on the horse. Good practice in normal; a bit harder when there are several ticking clocks. So I accepted that the next 75 days would be utter hell, with the payoff being a spot at the grownups table.

Things started in earnest on Monday with a mile in the pool followed by time on the bike. The swim was a bit of a challenge because I was having to share a lane. It’s hard for me to see the lane lines on the bottom of the pool in general, and an even bigger challenge to make sure that I stayed on my half of the lane. But it worked out – albeit that my hands hurt afterwards from so many lane line strikes.

Tuesday was the ‘off’ day of the week with just a short bike workout. Given what happened on Wednesday, that was probably a good plan.

Wednesday was an extremely hard pool workout. As I’ve said in the past, bilateral breathing is not my friend. But it helps on so many different levels, so that was a big chunk of the workout. I was so beat afterwards that I was having trouble holding thoughts as I was talking with my coach.

Yesterday was a walk to the gym, a hard bike workout and then time on the treadmill. The machines there are the newer models that use touchscreens for most everything. I had planned to run first and then bike, but couldn’t get the treadmill to work. I even tried the Pebble but couldn’t figure it out. I finally did after time on the bike though, and while I wanted to keep going tapped out early for safety reasons. When I couldn’t keep up with the treadmill at an easy jog since my legs were so tired, it seemed time to go.

Tonight will be a walk, long run and short swim. Tomorrow will most likely be run/strength and then Sunday is an indorr Triathlon plus another strength workout.

I realize that my body will not be happy with me at many times during the next 70+ days. But unless something is seriously wrong, it just needs to STFU and keep with the program. I do not intend to be sitting at the kids table.