Thursday, August 31, 2017

Exercise vs. Training

With World Championship 70.3 approaching quickly, I think I should dissect a crucial element in my preparation for the event.

I stopped "training" in mid-May. Although I ended receiving daily schedules back in November of last year after Maui, I got into pretty solid shape during the winter and early spring by hanging onto the coattails of those much better than me. By doing Christine's workouts with her and riding the various group rides occasionally along with some long stuff with some V10 powered pros I found myself to be ready for Santa Rosa. I was even pretty ready for Deuceman, as I continued to ride the wave of that fitness.

Once that was over, I got back into a groove of exercising. It's actually incredibly refreshing to work out 10-15 hours a week but completely on my own terms. You should try it sometime!

That being said, "exercising" does NOT make you ready to tackle the best age groupers in the world for 4-5 hours. I have solid run fitness due to my ongoing run streak (10+ weeks), laughable swim fitness, and a 2.5hr power on the bike that's probably dropped 20%. So, instead of trying to go sub 4:20 (or maybe sub 4:30 looking at this course), sub 4:50 is going to be a pretty solid achievement.

Which is all kind of amusing to me, in some ways, looking back on what I used to want out of triathlon. Race finishes and crushing workouts helped me define myself and my self worth. Was that healthy in the long term? Absolutely not. It "worked" for 3 or 4 years. Then my motivation and fitness fell off a cliff. But that's ok, because I know I am a good athlete who has worked hard for a while and has decided that I want different things out of my swimming, biking, and running.

So when Christine beats me next Sunday or when you pass me on the bike looking aero but moving slow don't say I didn't warn you! You get what you prepare for.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Cross training

I alluded to this in my last post, but I figured I'd go a bit more in depth as I search for things to write about and keep this antiquated domain active.

I played a lot of sports growing up: soccer, track and field, flag football, tennis, baseball, golf, and probably some others I am forgetting. In fact, in 8th grade I won the "Chiggy Rhodes Athletic Award'' at Trinity Episcopal back in N'ahwlins. What did that award represent? Well, it means I was the best all around athlete in my graduating class (of < 30 kids). So yea, it was a major award.

I stuck with soccer the most consistently, I'd say. I wasn't all that great but I enjoyed playing and I tried out for my high school soccer team but was relegated to JV squad. I didn't like how seriously the coach made us take it and only played for one season (maybe it was even less than one season). I picked up golf and rode that wave up until senior year of HS.

But then in college I decided to major in Intramural Sports (not really, but kinda really). Our freshman dorm hall was a great group and a solid core of us played together throughout the 4 years of school. Soccer was definitely my favorite and I was "better" than I was when I played up through high school (puberty can do wonders for physicality) as I got a LOT faster. Indoor soccer, outdoor soccer, you name it we played it. One year our team (DP) won the overall intramural championship; I couldn't tell you what that means but it was somehow points based.

Anyway, that all ended in 2007. Fast forward to 2017 and I haven't played soccer seriously (i.e. continuous games and not just kicking around) in 10 years. I am very fit, aerobically, but not laterally. I am good at steady state efforts, not sprinting and stopping. But I decide to play for a couple of hours anyway.

Let this moment be a reminder to everyone that there are consequences to all of your decisions...

Holy cow. I am sore in ways I had forgotten were possible to be sore. Hip flexors, quads, adductors, psoas, upper glute, side glute, calves, achilles, IT band, etc. It's my own fault but DAMN it's a reminder that I am not as young as I used to be! I feel as though I NEVER used to face consequences to decisions like this back in my early 20s. I could do whatever I wanted to do and emerge none the worse for wear in the days following.

Don't get old!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Back in the CLT (for a bit anyway)

If 2017 could be said to be about one thing and one thing only, I would say that it's been about not blogging. But I feel compelled to write one now that we have been back in Charlotte for a little over a week (albeit temporarily). Here are some things that have stood out to me since returning:

1) So. Many. People.
2) Everyone must basically be rich now as the real estate market is ridiculous
3) The real estate market is ridiculous
4) The city can't handle the load
5) Heat vs. humidity

Let's settle this once and for all. An argument with myself to end all arguments with anyone else.

Pros of "dry" heat (Southern AZ)
  • sweat evaporates
  • I can wear clothes and not be any hotter than without clothes
  • misters work
Cons of "dry" heat
  • Can't / Shouldn't work out in the outdoors past about 11am. If you must, be extremely hydrated and have sunscreen on you in liberal amounts/coatings
  • It's really f***ing hot
  • See above
Pros of "humid" heat (Southeast)
  • It's not really that "hot" (as compared to aforementioned ''dry'' heat)
  • You can workout all day, but it will probably suck
  • Great excuse to go shirtless all the time
Cons of "humid" heat
  • You are wet, all the time. Like, soaked. Shorts become ... something other than shorts. Kinda spandex-y but without the sexiness.
  • It's difficult to breathe outdoors because you don't have gills
  • Not possible to see out of your windows in the morning because they have so much condensation from the AC vs. humidity battle. Never know what's out there.
In other news, I have been exercising regularly. "Training" is not really the word I'd use to be perfectly honest, but I am [relatively] fit and am enjoying myself. World Champs will not be an epic throwdown of raw speed, but I am sure I'll handle myself decently. I'm actually at a streak of a hair over 10 weeks straight of running every day. During that time I've averaged roughly 40mi/week, which isn't too bad. I played soccer for the first time in about a decade last Wednesday, which came really close to putting the streak (my stated minimum is 20 minutes a day to count) at an end the next day! Funny how specific your "fitness" becomes after years of doing the same thing! 

I may be able to run circles around most of the players but when it comes to lateral movements and bursts of speed (and kicking, which is a fairly violent motion for your quad, hammies, and hip flexors, and adductors, and glutes, and...and and) I am certainly NOT fit.

I may very well get beaten by Christine come race day, but if that happens I will merely mark it as the beginning of a new streak where she beats me regularly (in racing).