Meet my new ride…

Help me name her!  This is before she got her new shoes, saddle, and so on.  What shall we call her?

Big thanks to Jason Holly @ Perfect Fit

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Let’s make 2015 EPIC!

Well, I was a bad blogger for 2014. This year, I will be better. Unless something gets in the way. Then I won’t. Oh, and I’ve got some training to do.

A LOT has happened since October.

1. I gained a lot of weight

2. I lost the weight, and more

3. I signed up for a couple of races. All in the first half of the year.

4. I have no idea what I’m doing in the second half of the year.

5. I started running again. For real.

6. Rev3 Triathlon Joined up with Challenge Family Triathlon and I was asked to join the Challenge Triathlon Team!  I will continue representing one of the best race brands out there.  This also allows me to continue to represent Powerbar and SBR Sports which makes me super happy!

7. The Pain Cave went under major renovations. Post on that soon.

So What AM I up to this year? Since 2014 was a slow racing year, I’ll just overcompensate in 2015!  I will have more details in the MyRaces section later.

3/28 – Circular Logic Marathon (RELAY!)

4/10 – Illinois State Masters Swim meet – I do this every year. 1 mile + 400 IM and whatever else the coach wants me to do

4/26 – Jhawk Early Bird RAPTOR division Triathlon. I’ll do sprint tri in the morning. Then another that same morning!

5/17 – Challenge/Rev3 Knoxville Age Group Championships (Aquabike Division) + an extra 13.1 run for fun after

6/7 – Escape from Alcatraz – REVENGE – This will be my 4th trip!

7/12 – Challenge Roth 140.6 – Wait, did that say 140.6? Whoops I did it again! This is the one of the largest, best run, and fastest 140.6 course on the planet. And I’m going!

<Tentative>

8/2 – Swim for Freedom – 8 mile swim relay

8/30 – Challenge Maine – Oly? Half? Volunteer? TBD

9/27 – J-hawk Latebird. Clydesdale? Raptor? Relay? TBD

11/15 – Challenge Florida – Oly? Half? Volunteer? TBD

So what are YOU doing this year?  If you haven’t decided, consider a Challenge Family event and message me if you want a discount code and to meet up. Even if I am not going, I’m happy to connect you with some folks who are! DO SOMETHING EPIC!

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#tbt Rev3 Age Group Championships in review…

If you follow us on social media, you might remember the fun we had with the ramp up to the 2013 Age Group Championships last year. Here’s a little #TBT (Throw back Thursday) for your amusement…

It started with a little announcement of the Self Proclaimed Biggest Aquabike Battle in the History of Mankind.

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from there, our spies were dispatched to view the training techniques used by the other… for “education” purposes… yeah that’s it!

Here is what Tim’s spies found…

 

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Here is what my spies found….

tim-busting-a-move

tim-dumpster

Uh oh…. better step it up!

 

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Time to step up the training!

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aquatim

 

Even some group sessions

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And sometimes, accidents happen… (just a flesh wound!!!!)

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But we learn from our training in the end..

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And then finally the new wires starting picking up the story..

 

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And then race day was upon us….

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Oh wait, that was in my dreams. Here it is! Tim took first place… this time!

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And of course, I had to interview him on my famous series… Between too Ferns (some other guy has a “Between Two Ferns” series… no idea who he is!)

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Keep it fun folks!

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Challenge Family

September 4, 2014 I got some big news. I mean REALLY big news. We found out that Rev3 will be merging with the Challenge Family to form a much bigger, much more awesome series of triathlons.

challenge

 

You can read the official press release here, however, I thought I would share the TOP THINGS I think are cool about this:

1. There are now 10 – 140.6 Races we can choose from.  Can anyone say Challenge ROTH? The FASTEST 140.6 course on the planet? Oh yeah… But it’s not all about distance. You will see Rev3 races will continue to offer Sprint, Olympic, Half and 140.6 distances and maybe some of the Challenge races to at some shorter races too. More choices!

2. They will still have an Age Group Team! Some of the amazing, diverse, and overall awesome folk you’ll ever meet in triathlon. Applications still being accepted until 11/15/14 – go here. NOTE: Read the requirements – although many are super fast that is NOT the main requirement. It’s far more about being an ambassador of the sport.

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3. Challenge Family is Family Oriented. Triathlon is a lifestyle and that lifestyle involves your family. Just like Rev3 expect multiple distances of races, kids activities, kids races, and more!

4. Challenge Travel and Challenge Tours. Many Challenge races are at “destination” locations (Germany, Philippines, Canada, etc) and they have you covered if you need help making travel arrangements.

5. They are about the Athlete. Whether it is tips from pros, coaching packages, women specific training groups/races, nutrition tips, discounts for training aides, and more. They’ve got you covered. Check it out here.

6. The Rev3 Crew. Rev3 has had one of the top race production crews in the US and that won’t change! I love these guys!

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There’s more in the works and they’ll be announced over the winter.  So are you ready to take the CHALLENGE? Perhaps a travel destination?  As the weather gets cold you bet I’ve got my eyes on a destination or two… hope to see you there!

 

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Taking a break

This is my 10th year in endurance athletics. It completely blows my mind when I sit back and think about where I started, what I’ve done, and what a crazy fun ride this been.

One of the things I’ve learned, though, is that there are invisible stressors that you cannot measure. Those stressors can turn into Overtraining if allowed to, even with the best made workout plan by the smartest coach ever.

Overtraining is the enemy of most Endurance Athletes and an unknown concept to normal people. Endurance Athletes tend to be driven people and so much so that they can work out TOO MUCH. On Purpose. REALLY! Crazy, I know.

To combat overtraining we use training plans, coaches, and log our workouts. Some even go so far as to log mood, energy, food, and sleep as these all play a role.  Work stress, family stress, community stress, and so on also play a role – albeit almost impossible to measure. Best you can do is recognize the SYMPTOMS and set the ego on the curb and listen to your body.

Every endurance athlete needs a down period each year. A period where the focus is to recharge, re-energize, and regain the love of the sport – not just follow “the plan”. Knowing WHEN to do this is tricky. Most of us in the northern states do it in the winter, when workouts can be a real challenge anyway. However, I’ve been learning over the years that JULY is just not a good month for me (4th year in a row!).  Many reasons play into that. Family obligations, work, etc play into this. Looking over my workouts, they have been perfect. My coach knows what I can handle, pushes me to the edge, and pulls me back when I go over that line. She also knows when to tell me when to pull the plug.

So July will be my ‘off’ month to recharge. Yes, that means not racing in July. Yes, that means no training in a STRUCTURED manner for a few weeks, I will go where the heart desires. If I want to swim, I’m going to swim. If I want to take out the mountain bike, I’ll do that. Go on a longer ride with friends? I’ll do that. Ice cream run with the kids, you bet.

When do you rest each year? Comment below!

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Getting Ready… Rev3 Knoxville here we come!

After months of preparation, finally Rev3 Knoxville Age Group Championships will be here.

My swim is “Meh”, I really haven’t been able to swim as much as I would like these last few months, zero open water swimming, and only one swim in my wetsuit. So the plan is to take it steady.

Since the run is coming around, I should be able to run the swim to bike portion, which will be nice. Haven’t done that in a while!

My cycling is as ready as it could be.  My FTP is up a good 10% since the start of winter, so all the winter work paid off. With such a yuckie winter, I bet most of the northerners are going to be well UNDER their fall FTP. It wears on you doing 2-3 rides per week inside on a trainer, especially the 2-4hour rides.  Yesterday’s outdoor 3.5 hour ride was a real confidence builder. I’ve spent SO much time doing hills, hills, and only hills that seeing average speeds of 22-24mph for extended periods was a real morale boost. When you’re doing hills it can be 10mph-15mph and it erodes the confidence…

Arrangements have been made to get Princess Tri-cycle down there, flights booked, hotel reserved… Taper time and let’s get this race underway!

I’m really excited to see my teammates and the Rev3 staff! Can. Not. Wait!

 

 

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I’m back! and just 1 inch away…

Wow, last post was 7 weeks ago? Ouch. Well, that sickness held me down for almost 3 weeks. After that is was ramping back up just to get back to where I was.

The bigger news, however, is that I’ve been running again. Sometimes 3x in a week. All of 2013 I struggled with running, relearning from scratch. Actually, 2012 was a lost cause too. So lets just say, it’s been a while since I have “really” run. But working with my run coach, we’ve been focusing on my “first worst” errors trying to isolate which of the (3) {worst} bad things I do are the catalyst for the rest. And I think we have a winner. It’s 1 inch. 1 stupid inch.

Due to “whatever” I don’t rotate my left upper body far enough (1in short to be exact) and that causes a chain reaction through the rest of my body.

Is this the answer? so far, it seems real positive.

Is this the only answer? Likely not.

But it is, by far, the best news I have gotten in my running in a LONG time.  So there’s hope for me to run “for realz” yet.

So how is your season going?  Post below!

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Not ready?

sickguy

I saw this picture and did snorted.  It’s true. Thanks ZAZZLE.COM for the funny shirt.

It’s funny because it’s true. 17 days ago I got the flu. 15 days ago I admitted it. And as much as I WANT to be done recovering from it I have to admit I’m not.

When normally I can knock out 4 hours of workouts in a single day without really a concern I gets kind of grouchy when I cannot climb the stairs without being out of breath. Really? Stupid microscopic scum have managed to take a fit guy down a few hundred notches to a barely-functional-guy. Is this what I used to be like when I was morbidly obese? Dang, I didn’t imagine it this bad but maybe….

Doesn’t the virus know I have no time for this?

I have family obligations.

I have work obligations.

I have a workout schedule to keep, because I have GOALS to accomplish.

Yeah well, Mr. Virus and Mother Nature, they just have NO RESPECT for my plans.

Knowing I was “not well”, Days 1-2 I skipped my workouts – in hope that I could sleep in and maybe fight this thing off. I upped my vitamins and started taking probiotics.

Days 3-4 I slept. Like basically the whole day. I slept 8-10hours (normally I get 7) and then took a morning nap… and an afternoon nap… and repeat. I even started drinking Kambucha – aka HOOCH – which is this stinky fizzy tea with all sorts of promises of healing elixir qualities. Oh yeah, and I didn’t even remember I had workouts, so I didn’t miss the fact I blew off some pretty awesome and fun looking workouts. Somewhere in there I installed the Pajama Pants and Sweatshirt {I HATE being hot, but I wasn’t} and started listening to Shania Twain – all sure fire signs that I’m on deaths door.

Days 5-6 I worked from home. I wasn’t well, maybe I was contagious, but I most certainly didn’t want to put on a tie.  Lots of Shania and Phil Collins. Say the Doctor Day 6 and he said “yup, you’re sick, it’s a virus and maybe you have a sinus infection now too.” Great. Well, good news is I got DRUGS.

Days 7-11 I slowly got better. An entire week of NO WORKOUTS. No sense wearing myself out.

Days 12-17 I have been slowly working into it. 30min on the bike easy, sweated like a pig. 20min walk on the treadmill. 8×75 swim. Stuff that I normally would consider a warmup was a full and complete workout. 1 hour on the bike yesterday was a serious chore… and I couldn’t get my heart rate up to even Zone2 (which is somewhat the “low end” of workouts). Today, 1:15 on the bike was a real chore.

So clearly… I’m Not Ready.  Going to back off tomorrow and then continue to ramp up. I’m praying for a miracle and sometime SOON I will be

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Until then….

dealwithit

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Endurance Athletes and Getting Sick…

What a sorry lot we are.

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As I’ve blogged about before in my post Sick?   I have placed all sorts of good reminders to myself, and others, on what to do when we are sick. What I didn’t address is how Endurance Athletes are really bad about ADMITTING they are sick even when the signs are right there in their face.

For me lately, I’ve been working crazy hours, involved with a ton of kid events, and trying to keep up with my training for Rev3 Knoxville.

So when I was tired and DYING for RED MEAT Wed I really didn’t give it a second thought. Working with my Eating Coach I just assumed it was one more rebellion by my body against what has been much cleaner eating.  I had a burger (which I have to tell you was HEAVENLY) and moved on. Tired before Masters but that’s pretty normal. Masters Swim that night was tough, like usual, and I got home late (9:45pm?) and slept HARD.

Thursday morning came too soon and by 9am I was STARVING again. Not just Hungry, but FREAKIN STARVIN. Tired too. So I put a bunch of healthy food down my gullet and moved on. But by noon? STARVING again and craving RED MEAT again. Ok, that is weird. I had a steak at lunch and a bunch of healthy food. But by 2pm I was SO TIRED. Barely functional. I assumed it was the fat from the steak or something and dismissed it. I wanted to get my run in and had kid stuff that evening. Man, I’m so annoyed, I will probably miss my workout… and did.  I barely made it until 10 before I passed out hard.

Friday morning I have the sniffles. Uh, oh. Where did THAT come from? I never saw it coming! Am I fighting off a bug? (you’re probably laughing right now, the clues were there since Wed) and MAN I was tired. Decided that I should probably skip today’s workout if I am fighting a bug, got the boy to school and off I went downtown for work. Once I got there, I realized I had (2) appointments in the suburbs, which I had just missed. CRAP!  Oh, and yeah I an freaking STARVING.  Third day in a row.  And my throat is a tiny bit sore. You see the pattern?

Sat AM I wake up and I feel like I have the Martian death plague. Snot everywhere and I cannot speak and my throat hurts. DANGIT !!! I’m dying! Ok, 10min later and I cough and blow and otherwise evacuate this snot invasion and I’m doing fine – but I can no longer avoid it… I’m sick.  Sick uniform in place: PJ Bottoms, Sweatshirt, and socks (That is like 500% more clothes than I would prefer to wear around the house… shorts and tshirt is ALL I would rather have). I’m officially grounded for the weekend. BOO!

So you see the pattern here…

1. I was exceptionally tired – but I run tired all the time lately so I couldn’t tell the difference between normal tired and abnormal tired.

2. I was craving RED MEAT. For me, this is also not unusual, but lately with all the clean eating for 5 weeks – this is greatly reduced. So this IS new with me eating this way.

3. I probably had some aches and pains. This one is also normal during a training cycle… so I doubt I’ll ever pick up on that!

So what are YOUR clues you are getting sick? We are each different but there are signals that, if you pay attention to them, you can use to tailor your training and allow you to boost your defenses – IF you pay attention to them.

In my case, I simply wasn’t acknowledging them.

No matter how critical my workouts were for this weekend, they are in the past now. I’m going to have to skip Sunday as well and re-evaluate for Monday.

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Rev3 Knoxville check in…

So my first “A” race of the year is May 18. This is the Rev3 Age Group Championships race in Knoxville. I’ll be competing in the Aquabike division (1 mile swim and 40 mile bike). As you can see, I’m not alone in this self proclaimed Epic contest of the ages…

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The other gent there in the silver (and NOT Legal) wetsuit there is Tim Glinski, new Rev3 Teammate of mine who also qualified for the Aquabike Age Group Championships.

Rumor has it Tim has been training hard… here’s a picture of his bike. Although I’m not sure where he is?

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Also, this is a picture of water he has been rumored to be practicing his open water swims… oh wait, I don’t see him there either….

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But here! Here we found him… well, I’m not sure what he is planning..

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Huh…. must be planning his next move.  But I’m not sure what he’s doing down below… Is he eating trash?

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In the mean time I’ve been working hard… bike is coming along well. I haven’t done an FTP test yet (it’s a measure of power for those interested) but I can tell from my workouts that I’m getting stronger and going longer every week. This week was over 5 hours on the bike and it felt great. The weekly Endurance Spins will now increase to 2.5 hours every Sunday with more focused and harder 2x during the week.

I’m actually swimming twice a week! It’s a Christmas miracle!   The Masters Swim Team State meet is in April, so I figured that would be a good time to be in shape.. I can take the speed from masters and extend it to a longer distance.

And I’m working with my eating coach, have lost 6lbs so far, but many more to go. But I have a plan and it is in motion!

So that’s where I am at… and Tim, well, Tim is definitely going to be able to out dance me come May…

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And Tim, welcome to Team Rev3 !

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