Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I'm Addicted to Drugs

Aren't we all addicted to drugs in some way? Obviously, the drugs that some people are addicted to are different to others. In this case, that drug that I am addicted to is endorphins. While endorphins are not something one "takes" per say, it is something that is a reaction from doing something. Most of us are familiar with the feeling of a runner's high, which in essence is the effect of an increase in endorphin production. The high is the increased production that results from strenuous exercise. That's about the extent of the scientific knowledge being presented in this post.

When I go through an extended period of time without exercising, my mood drops and I tend to feel a bit depressed. This feeling is compounded when faced with situations where planned workouts are canceled due to unforeseen circumstances. While not something I can plan all the time, it is an emotional low when I come to realization that I won't get to experience my "high" for the day. This had happened to me several days in a row, making me feel more depressed and in endorphin withdrawl.

Fast forward to yesterday, when I went to the pool for a great swim. Then this morning, when I went for a nice bike ride. My mood changed completely and my outlook on the day was only positive. I think I need to remind myself during hard times (both in training and in life) that continuing to work out will give me that high I need to maintain a stable life. Endorphins are the drug that keeps my mind at ease and my body in check. I have adapted to the triathlon lifestyle over these past three years and depriving myself of those feelings is doing myself a disservice.

Let this be a lesson to myself and anyone else who deals with emotional ups and downs each day, that the benefit of doing that workout that you really don't want to do will ultimately result in a positive attitude. So get off your butt and just do it!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Reaching Double Digits

The countdown to the last race of the season is just under two weeks. It is an important race for many reasons.

1) It is my last chance to improve on what has already been a successful season, which has included several new PRs. Hopefully the trend will continue, since I am more prepared for this race than any other, having ridden and run the course several times.

2) Following this race, I'll be in double digit land for triathlons. This race will be my 10th! I'm excited to turn from a "pre-teen" triathlete, to an "almost teenager" (I count anything that is pronounced with a teen, starting at thirteen, as officially a teenager). Its a transition phase that I'll have to wait till next season to officially become a triathlon teenager. But hey, its something to look forward to...other than doing a Half Ironman of course ;)

So as the days count down with what's left of my season, its time to start enjoying all the hard work and progress of the season. Yesterday morning was probably one of my most challenging bike workouts to date. My normal tough hill workout consists of 2, 7 mile loops, which includes about 1200 feet of climbing. Not bad if you ask me. A lot of bang for the buck kinda course. Technical riding the whole way. There are short steep, long steep, and long gradual climbs. And of course some big downhills too. Anywho, yesterday I did 4 loops, which is more than I've ever done. Thats about 2500 feet of climbing in about 30 miles miles. And to tack on some more struggle, I added a 3 mile run off the bike, to complete the difficult workout. My legs felt like jello after all the climbing, but I was able to hold a steady 8:00/mile pace, which was great considering the heat and humidity.

And the day was topped off with being able to follow the many tri-bloggers out there competing in IMKY. Congratulations to all! It sounded like a tough race, but everyone prevailed with great times, making it look all too easy.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Time to catch up has been busy. That's all I can say. Each day has been blending together lately. Its one thing after another. Between training, work, wedding planning and finding time to breathe, I really haven't had much time to do anything else. With the "end of the season" nearing, I am looking forward to having more time. At this point, I'm still trying to push myself to keep up with the good work ethic and hit the pool, road, trails, what have you. But once I hit Sept 10 (the day after my last race of the season), there will be a lot less pressure to keep up the volume and intensity. I'm hoping I will be able to take a step back and spend some time doing all those things I keep pushing away, like all the little house chores and other things that I need to do.
So what has my past week been like? Well, its been a great week!

I did a double loop of the bike course for Annapolis, which was my 2nd and 3rd time riding the course. I really feel like I've got my riding dialed in for the race. I know where to shift, what gears to be in when, and when to hammer home. I can't wait for the race. This is the most prepared I've been for any race, and I am looking forward to nothing but success. And of course success is defined at beating my friend, who will be racing against me.

On Sunday, Rebecca and her sister competed in the Luray Triathlon. Let me take you back to a week ago today, when Rebecca became ill. We got Theraflu, pills, and liquid medicine but nothing seemed to work. Rather than calling it quits, Rebecca figured it would be a game time decision, as to whether or not she decided to even attempt the race. Fast forward to Saturday morning, less than 24 hours before the race. She was still feeling ill, with a terrible headache. Then, a trip to the magic drug store and a few hours later, she was revived. Well, maybe 75%. The rest of the day was a mental struggle to determine if it is worth risking further sickness to do the race. Well sure enough, race day morning came around, and Little Miss Superhero decided to rock the course. Not only did she finish the race, but it was by far her best race ever. She looked strong coming out of the swim, surpassed expectations on the bike, and rocked out in her favorite part (sarcasm) the run. You can see some more details here.

But don't forget, there were TWO people competing. Rebecca's younger sister joined the triathlon party by completing her first triathlon, on what anyone who did the race can attest to, was a very challenging course. Oh yea, AND she got a bonus by sticking around for the awards ceremony only to find out that she placed 3rd in the 16-19 AG. Congrats!

So let's keep track of that: 2 people have served as my triathlon pupils and successfully rocked their first triathlons this year alone!

So that, my friends, is a great week!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

When the heat turns cold

I wonder in amazement each time summer rolls around, when the temperatures float into the upper 90s, workouts tend to shift toward the earlier side to avoid excessive heat, and my body reacts by getting a COLD! I mean, remember when catching a cold came from going outside with wet hair when it was cold outside (or so says your parents)? Obviously, that theory has been proved otherwise. But why or why do people get colds in the heat of the summer? It just shouldn't happen. Its a COLD! And I for one, am in favor of banning summertime colds outright. They just shouldn't happen. Of course, since she is sick, I am now sick. And that's the other thing. They need to make it so that colds are not transferred to significant others. Why wasn't I a doctor, so I could just create a cure and not have to worry about it again. Come on doctors, help me out here!

So now I'm feeling tired, dehydrated, sick, and have no motivation to work out. Sounds like a rest week is in order until I can shake this thing. Too bad this the first day of feeling it, because its likely to get worse before it gets better.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Finding my swim mojo

Despite the absence of any consistent form of swimming recently, I had told myself to stay persistent and keep hitting the pool. Things will eventually work themselves out and there will be peace throughout the world. Ok maybe not the world, but in my world that consists of the swimming pool. You see, I've been going to an outdoor pool all summer that is a 50m pool without lap lane lines, so swim training there has been challenging to say the least. You never appreciate how much those lane lines calm the water until you swim in a pool that has none. Some days its not that bad. But others, you have to convince me that I'm not swimming in the ocean, minus the salt water ;) Clearly, one can look at it from the perspective that it is great training for race situations, when I'll be in a river, lake, bay, ocean, etc. Be that as it may, it can still be frustrating to get a "good" workout at this pool, since I was used to swimming in a 25 yard indoor pool with lap lane lines.

Today, my friends, a breakthrough! Although I knew I could do it, I have not swam a complete mile without stopping in this pool. Call it boredom, laziness or whatever. I just never did it. Today, I swam my mile and was ready to do another mile. Only problem was that I had to leave, because she had to be somewhere. Its ok though, there will be plenty of training days left to swim much more, while I'm training for this (btw - less than 200 slots left for those contemplating), so I'm not worried.

It just makes me feel good to get my swim mojo back, because its been a while since I've seen him. Welcome back buddy!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

I Been Tagged!

Winz got me since he had nobody here goes nothing:

Jobs I've Held:
Pre College
Maintenance grounds keeper (trash picker upper for the layman)
Camp Counselor
After school day care supervisor
Wireless cell phone salesman
Flyer handout person
Telecom Consultant
I know there's more...

Movies I can Watch Over and Over:
Gladiator, Lord of the Rings, Jaws, Caddyshack, Friday, Dumb and Dumber, any James Bond movies

My Guilty Pleasures:
Reality TV shows, Five Guys (Mmmm)

Places I have Lived (in order):
Washington DC
Rockville, MD
Syracuse, NY
Boston, MA
Arlington, VA

Shows I enjoy:
The Office
Hell's Kitchen
Real World

Places I have been:
Canada: Montreal, Toronto
Mexico: Cancun, Cozumel, Mexico City, Acapulco
Europe: Azores Islands (Portugal)

Websites I visit daily:

Body parts injured (chronological order):
Strained Achilles tendon
Bruised patella tendon
Broken ring finger
Broken (in 2 spots) and dislocated wrist
Torn hamstring
Partially torn rotator cuff
Broken nose

Awards Won:
Various soccer, baseball, basketball awards growing up in rec and club leagues
Various regional/state indoor and outdoor track and field awards
3rd place in AG 2006 Celiac International Run/Walk 5k
2nd place in AG 2006 Cure Autism Now Triathlon/Duathlon
1st place in AG (8th overall) 2007 Celiac International Run/Walk 5k

Speedy Gonzales
The Bullet

5 Bloggers:
I'm gonna take a page from Rebecca, since pretty much everyone I know has already done one of these...i tag anyone who hasn't done this yet...consider yourself TAGGED!

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Ugh its hot!

The forecast for today is 98. That's hot. Add to that the 80% humidity and you've got the recipe for one of the worst days of the year. The heat index today is expected to reach 115 by the afternoon. And I've got a headache. Probably from sweating too much. Where is the motivation (or the opportunity) to get a workout in? The heat index was above 90 by the time I woke up! If this headache goes away, maybe I'll get a swim in. Maybe a little hot weather humor will cool things off:
Nope, its still hot...

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Spreading Triathlon Through Kids

This is a great little piece from the Washington Post today about exposing kids to the sport of triathlon through a triathlon camp this summer.

Click here to read

And so it begins...

With the amazing growth of triathlon in the past few years, big races seem to fill up faster and faster. Last night, I set the alarm for midnight and registered for next year's "A" race along with a couple hundred other anxious triathletes (so far). As I have stated several times, my plans for next season are to give the 1/2 IM distance a try. I watched Eagleman 70.3 in amazement this year as a spectator and will now be toeing the line come June 8, 2008.

So now that I'm registered, let the training and the smackage begin!


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