Login


Archive for March, 2009

Back in N. America

Friday, March 27th, 2009

Last week I made the long journey back to cool California (not Cool, California, where Chuckie grew up). It’s warm here in Lompoc but nowhere near Philippine warm. It all started with an arduous journey to the Manila airport, five or six hours of road winding I could never recreate. I’m still amazed at the traffic you’re forced to maneuver through and around. Luckily, I had a great taxi driver and only had to close my eyes and hold my stomach when the big accelerations and decelerations hit within the city limits.

The main flight home from Hong Kong was awesome! I had a great book to read and literally ate until I couldn’t eat anymore. I haven’t travelled much overseas (once prior) and the food you get on such long flights (and in the my well-packed carry-on) is unbelievable: chicken, snacks, fruit, and biscuits…you name it! Maybe it’s just a Cathay Pacific thing, but I’ll be sure to fly with them again. Plus, they “only” charged $100 for the bike. Sad that in this day and age that’s considered a good deal.

Now that I’m back home, the first amenity I realized I missed was the ability to go to the grocery store and buy the food I love. I’ve bought my share of groceries for the month (mind you, with Chuckie around, they’ll last less than a week, I’m sure)! I’m still eating coconut oil-soaked banana chips. I bought these daily in the PI, and they’re now my favorite treat (a staple food, really!).

It took me a few days to get organized and back into the swing of things, as far as training goes. I stayed at my friend Jesse’s place in the Santa Ynez Valley for a few days and the time change was harder to get over than when I had arrived in the PI. I met some old friends who were attending the Solvang Triathlon Camp that Chuckie hosts, and I joined them on their last ride in the valley this past Saturday. Thanks Cindy for a great coffee-stop and chat! You lifted my spirits like you wouldn’t believe.

I need that because I’m having a bit of an issue with my lower leg, so running has been null and void. The bike and the pool are my new best friends, as is the Elliptical machine. I’ll develop my puny little arms for swimming too Doc! I refuse to let this injury beat me down any longer. It’s all up from here!

Cheers for now.

Work to be done.

Friday, March 13th, 2009

I’m amazed how much time has disappeared since I’ve been here in the Philippine Islands. It seems like a week ago that I was packing my bags and getting ready to head over here. In truth it’s been more than a month since I arrived! Thinking how fast the time has gone makes me realize two things:

1) The work I’ve done
2) The work I haven’t done!

With regards to the work I’ve done, the team has done three main training blocks. My eyes have been opened to the art of patience, consistency, and what it means to be a BAMF (something I continue to work on and continue to need working on!).

And as far as the work that I haven’t done: it takes weeks upon weeks, months upon months, and years upon years of solid training to build yourself into the machine you’re capable of becoming. I’ve only just started!

Two Ironman races have passed this year so far and I’ve seen the athletes on the team who’ve competed in them come back to camp and get on with their training, without missing a beat. A race is just that…one race. They come back, jump in the pool and continue building…building their blocks, week after week. It’s not the results that matter but their own personal excellence.

Life in Subic is going well. You can’t complain when all you have to worry about is tucking yourself in to go to bed at night! Well that’s not entirely true but going to a remote place to train, with a team, has been one of the best experiences I’ve had for training…and in life. The ability to focus on becoming your best and preparing yourself for the next workout is unlike any other. Most days we are told the time to train and where to meet. Other days, we get to decide when we do it. It holds you responsible for both meeting the team on time and getting the work done on your own.

I’ve had some bike workouts where I literally thought that I wasn’t going to make it to the next water stop. I try to carry as much water and sports drinks as possible so I don’t have to stop often. Even with four full bottles, it’s inevitable that you have to stop somewhere to get some fluids. The heat here is unreal but it’s just another training element.

The team is now getting their new gear: Cervelo bikes, Oval handlebars and Blue Seventy wetsuits. Time is closing in on us here at camp; there’s only 6 weeks left! That leaves me thinking mostly about the work I haven’t done!

The day in the life of a Team TBB’er…

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

picture-040

Ever since I started working with Team TBB and Doc I’ve had a ton of athletes asking me what the training is like, and what a “normal” training day looks like. So here it is… (The pic is NOT a normal training day!)

A day in the life of a Team TBB’er…

1. Eat
2. Train
3. Eat and drink a lot.
4. Drink more.
5. Train
6. Eat
7. Eat and drink a lot.
8. Train
9. Eat and drink a lot.
10. Sleep (or attempt to anyway!)

That’s it in a nutshell, with all the nuts and bolts. We train at the track, on the roads, and in the pool, but the truth is we never know what we are doing until we see Doc next. I joked to Chuckie that he and Doc would get along great for this reason; their plan is really only known to each of them! But I like it this way because it keeps you on your toes. Just when I’m thinking a rest day is coming up, Doc gives me a session where I thought my legs were literally going to fall off.

So I’m realizing what “beat up” feels like and last week I was in a funk of having very sore quads, little niggles and playing head games with myself. I had my legs basically turn to two bricks in a few recent workouts. I’ve never felt them like that before, and never had the feeling that they would stop working in the midst of a run. The first time it happened was when Tereza and I were duking it out during a quick burst down a hill. Both my legs shut-down and my quads felt as though they turned to solid rock. I kid not; I almost went head first in the pavement! I finished though, wobbly and worn, using what some on the team called the “Ironman shuffle”. Tereza said that’s exactly what Ironman running is like! Yikes!

That same night, a workout that should have been an easy 8-minute/mile jog turned into a 35-minute gramma walk, with legs that could only waddle. My roommates were amazed when they saw me in my running clothes after 2-hours of lying lifelessly on the couch. I couldn’t move, and thought to myself, “there is no way I’m going to be able to continue doing this.” I finally mustered the strength to hobble to the shower and into bed.

Lo and behold though, the next day came and my legs managed to find themselves again, though tattered and torn. I couldn’t complain though. I did not die! My legs were functioning and I could walk semi-normal looking. I had thought I was going to be bedridden for days!

And then Doc gave it to us again on the track that day. My quads held up but a nagging pain in my right calf felt like it was going to give out. I did just a 1/3 of the workout and felt beaten. I thought if I went any further I’d be crawling home this time. I was told to run in lane 6, a lane you don’t want to find yourself in when no one else is there. My head was slung low. I felt like I didn’t belong on the squad and the pity party began. Doc pulled me aside and gave me a donut. A donut? WTF? I then got the lecture that finally made me realize my stupidity and the lack of confidence, and that I should run in lane 6 and listen to my body.

My lesson for that last week: Be patient. I’m learning the art of patience ever so slowly. All this training, ability to work with your body and what your capable of on any given day comes down to having the patience and strong mind to continue trudging forward. Doc woke me up from my own pity party with a wallop to the head and a donut. I don’t really like donuts but the wallop to the head was very helpful!

And my lesson so far this week: Don’t think. When I ride my bike and the workout calls for some hard pedaling I just go for it. I’m not afraid to push myself. I’m confident in my skills and if I blow up I know I’ll have another day to try again. In running though, I tend to worry and over-think what I’m doing rather than to just run. I feel a lot more aches and pains when I run and always seem to worry that they’ll turn into a full-blown injury. And in swimming I think more than I swim! Injury isn’t the worry but I think about how my hand enters the water, how I catch it then pull, push, and prod – which gets me nowhere fast! I need to swim and run more like the way I ride, without much thought. When your focus is not to have focus you actually get the work done….and FAST!