Thursday, July 22, 2010

The past week....

Well, finally made in back to S.D.! Feels good to be home but I am hardly settled b/c I will be hitting the road again next Wednesday.  I am headed back to Northern CA first for a bachelor party, then a few Skinfit events and some team meetings.  I will be up there for about 10 days in total.  Lots of work and some good training will be on the agenda but it is always hard to leave Jess.  She has been a good sport but it is hard to always be leaving.  Seems I am living out of a suitcase lately...even at home I don't really unpack b/c I know I just have to get on the road again soon.
Since getting back I have managed to get in some good training.  I have really been enjoying the workouts and I feel motivation coming back.  I even have a bit of a desire to race and go hard, which is a welcome feeling.  It really is all about finding that "happy place" with training.  I have been able to get out there with Lesley, which is really nice.  She is a great motivator and we always have fun training together.  You always needs someone on the same page to help with the daily grind and to put things into perspective.  We share very similar views on training/racing so I think we are able to help eachother excel and really find the joys in the whole process.
My focus is on strength right now.  A couple bike sessions per week doing low cadence work, longer intervals in the pool, and hilly runs.  Strength is a weakness of mine and I am determined to work on it.  I love strength work on the works, plain and simple.  I can literally feel a difference the next day after I do these types of workouts.  My weakness in the water is my lack of swimming hard, longer intervals.  I can swim fast for short distances but I need to swim a fast 1500 so my focus is on swimming distance sets hard.  Honestly, I have never really done this (b/c I hate it) so I am curious to see how I improve with this change.  My leg feels good (cross your fingers) and my running is progressing.  I am just running, nothing hard or structured.  I am building slowly and will be up to 3 hrs total (per week) next week.  Doesn't sound like much but being able to do this and stay healthy is VERY motivating for me.  I have gone virtually the entire race season without running and I know if I can stay healthy and get in the key workouts I can post a decent run split.  Knowing I couldn't prepare for the run was really hard for me and actually sapped a lot of energy...I mean, if I can't run I am missing out on 1/3 of the sport of triathlon...kind of a big deal =)
I have quite a bit of travel coming up as I already mentioned.  The good thing is that my travel takes me to some AWESOME training grounds.  Between Monterey and the Santa Cruz mountains I will get in some great work.  Then at the end of August I will be in Chicago for a week to do some Skinfit networking and I will be able to log plenty of hours with Adam Zucco...a great training partner.
Overall, I feel good and I am excited to see my motivation returning.  Taking a step back for me was a great thing and has brought back some fire.  I can't say with certainty that I will race nationals and worlds but it is looking like I will.  If I keep on the path I am on I think I will be fit physically and mentally.
Got a good weekend on tap...long ride and swim on saturday with James and Beth and it's Jessica's Bday on Sunday so we will have a fun filled day.
Have a good weekend everyone. Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Just roll with it....

Since Richmond I have honestly lacked a lot of motivation to train and up until this week I really haven't done much of anything except for some fun casual rides and runs.  It has just been a roller-coaster ride all year with injuries and I have been frustrated that I can't get in consistent training and I have yet to see any fitness close to what I had before my big crash a couple years ago.  In a way, I am just tired of trying to force everything so I took a step back to figure out what I want and to get back to enjoying the sport of triathlon.
I needed the break both physically and mentally but more mentally.  I would be lying if I said I didn't question what I was doing trying to race, if I even have "it" anymore, and if I even have the motivation to chase my personal dreams and aspirations in the sport of triathlon. Let's face it, it is a lot of work (and money) to train and race triathlon and I think the weight of this coupled with my injuries and inability to log consistent training put a lot of stress into my daily life.  When I step back from it all, I just think what's it all worth?
I have obviously done a lot of thinking and I realize the sacrifices I make are worth it in the long run b/c I want to look back at my racing life and be proud that I gave it my best shot.  Whatever results come it is second to knowing that I honestly gave it a shot and tried my best.  I can tell you with certainty that I will not be racing after next season (aside from the occassional fun, local event just to stay fit and active).  Actually, the jury is still out that I will race next year but my gut tells me I will give it a go for one more year.  Then, I am shifting gears to focus more on work and my family life with Jess.  I love triathlon but you can only pour your heart and soul into something for so long before you reach a point of saturation...I am not far off from this point.  Don't get me wrong, I think I still have some good racing left in me but I know it won't go past another full season. To race well you need that fire and killer attitude but we only have so much of this in us during our lifetime....once this is gone I don't really see the point in racing, it becomes about participation rather then winning. For some people this is enough but, for me, it's not and it will be time to pull the plug when the "fire" is out.
Last week I was in Tahoe with good friends and it was really great to be outside riding bikes, running, laughing, and truly enjoying living an active lifestyle.  No thoughts of training and racing, just good fun with great friends.  It gave me some perspective. 
This week my buddy Tom joined me in Monterey and we got in some "real" training.  I wanted to see how I felt with a bit more structure and some longer hours.  I honestly felt good and I enjoyed the training.  I feel motivation coming back and I think my head is in the right place having taken some of the seriousness and rigidity out of it. So, I am going to build back up. My running is going to progress very slowly in an effort to not get hurt and I will start up with lots of strength work on the bike and long swim sets. In the coming weeks I will see if I want to give Xterra World's a go and, if I feel fit as Nationals approaches, I will toe the line in Utah. Nothing is certain but, in my mind, this is the plan. Most importantly, I am getting back to doing the sport because I love it. Fitness will come but I need it to be shared with happiness and passion.

Here are some pics from Tahoe...
--My buddy Matt swore I could ride through the creek...not so much

--Great to see some snow way up top above the lake

--Trying to jump over the log was a bad idea =)

The lack of blogging has been the result of a lot of thinking. I will be more regular about my posts from here on out. Thanks for reading and have a good weekend!
---Make the right choices.....