If You Can Look Up, You Can Get Up


Failure is best described in this manner:

Failure 1

I’ve gone back over the past several years of my blog entries, and I’ve seen just how many times I’v begun to challenge myself, and how many times I’ve failed to produce the results I was looking for.  Each time I’ve failed, I’ve learned something.  Each time I’ve failed, there’s been a take-away…a nugget of information that I hadn’t previously taken into consideration in the planning and / or execution of my efforts to achieve a given result.  Well this time, I failed to stay focused on my intermittent fasting plan simply because I began feeling sorry for myself.

Now don’t get me wrong – this past month has been an emotional roller coaster.  I’ve swung and missed entirely with people that are important to me, with work, and even with my kiddo.  I’m better than this, and I know it.  And I need to find myself yet again.  You think that, at the age of 48, I’d at least be on the path from where I am to where I want to be; however, my internal Google Maps has been getting ZERO bars and I feel lost. This has happened to me before – but this time it has cost me dearly.  Looking back, I now have learned that I should have been more firm with regard standing up for myself, because the result of allowing myself to be pushed around cost me in ways I cannot even describe here.  But I’ve learned two valuable lessons:

LESSON LEARNED:  Don’t be like me.  If you have a plan, act on it.  Words are hollow.  Don’t just allow the days to go by while you throw your life into “Survive and Advance” mode (meaning just Survive today, and Advance to tomorrow).  Procrastination is a killer of dreams, and it can rob you of happiness.

LESSON LEARNED:  When someone throws a massive monkey wrench into plans that are truly important to you without regard for how bad that monkey wrench will hurt you, don’t allow that tool to lodge itself into your agenda.  Fight like hell to yank that damn thing out before it causes some serious damage, and carry on with your plan.  Why?  Because it’s YOURS.  No one else’s.  If it’s important to you, you FIGHT FOR IT.  

Rather significant personal items screwed up my eating patterns.  I broke my daily fast and I couldn’t find my focus to get things back into a the rhythm that I needed.  So I failed in this dietary change as well (by far, the least of my issues).  I’ve taken several HUGE losses lately.  But its times like these that I think of one of my favorite motivational speakers – Les Brown:

Get Up 1 So my plan is simple: to first be the change that I want to see in myself, and then, in the words of Gandhi, be the change I want to see in the world.

Step One: stop feeling sorry for myself.  I’ve made mistakes.  I’ve lost, HUGE.  I fell into a deep depression and I felt like I was circling the drain, questioning the very value of my life to society.  But damn it, this was just Game 1 as far as my life and goals are concerned.  It’s a 7 game series and I’ve got my aces warming up in the bullpen.  Bounce back and win the damn series.

Step Two:  How do I rebound from a game 1 loss this rough?  I gotta be like Stella, and get my damn groove back.  Kick it off with the physical aspect.  Train harder.  Go to bed earlier.  Demand more of myself physically and, by default, my body will demand higher quality fuel to keep me going.  Demand more of myself physically, and the weight will begin to say adios. And, most importantly, demand more of myself physically and the endorphins will kick in and keep the fire lit everywhere else.  Demand more of myself physically, and I’ll begin to demand more of myself in other aspects of my life.  Motion creates emotion.

Step Three:  List out everything I need to address, and don’t just stare at it on paper….TAKE ACTION.  In my personal life, in my professional life, and as a father: STEP IT UP.  This means making some tough calls – but tough calls are part of the game.

Step Four: Stick to the calendar.  I need to take the time to plan out all of the goals I have for myself in every aspect of my life, develop a plan to achieve each one, and stick to the rather strict time budget that this will require.  Some of my goals are physical (races, weight, speed, yada yada yada), some are professional, some are very personal, and all require time and dedication to achieve.  So sacrifice the easy and work toward the great.

As a side note: if you are feeling depressed, don’t ignore it.  Address it.  Talk to someone.  Anyone.  But TALK.  Don’t hold it in.  Life is going to hurt.  Life is not going to go exactly the way you want, 100% of the time.  But it’s like that old saying says: life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.  I didn’t react well.  I didn’t fight for what I wanted.  I allowed my plans to be materially altered without doing everything I possibly could to not permit it.  I haven’t been the consistent positive influence my kiddo deserves.  I know how it feels to fail, and fail HARD.  I know how it feels to come up short with someone.  All of these things absolutely suck.  But just mistakes don’t need to be permanent.

I allowed myself to feel sorry for myself.  I didn’t talk out my issues – I didn’t address them the way I should have.  Depression makes you feel like you are worth more dead than alive.  I know this, because that’s how I felt.  Well that’s horseshit and each of you know it.  Each of us are fracking special.  Each of us are unique.  Each of us have a purpose in life and its our responsibility as individuals to work our asses off to find out what your purposes are and strive to attain them.   So you’ll screw up royally – that’s a given.  But – in sticking with the baseball metaphors – if you have an out left, you can still win the game.

Now batter the hell up.

Failure 2

 

 

Day 8: It’s Actually Getting Easi……Yeah, I Can’t Finish That Title Without Laughing


So after day 3, I began to get into a rhythm with regard to my eating schedule.  Eight days in, and I’m actually not on the brink of being tossed into a rubber room and given a big box of crayolas and construction paper to make pretty art with.  The morning caffeine craving is basically gone at this point, replaced by cold water.  By the way: this sucks, because coffee usually kick-started me and put me in a higher gear for work first thing in the morning.  Now, I feel more sluggish and tired in the mornings, and I catch myself yawning mid-day (maybe this could be caused by me getting a look at my reflection in the office window…the verdict is out).One thing I will say though: I’m not starving in the mornings now, even after a workout.  those hunger pangs have dissipated.

Last weekend I put in some trail running, a few hours on the bike, and some strength work, and I wasn’t as ravenous as I had expected to be afterward.  After these types of longer, weekend workouts, I know that I’m hungry….but I’m just too tired to eat. So I was able to stay within my fueling window during the weekend (all calories taken in on a weekday are from 10am-3pm), and minimize the calories to only the good ones (a la swordfish and vegetables…thank you Trader Joe’s).  My goal is to run on more than 50% of my current diet in protein and shorten up on carbohydrates.  I want to use the weekend as my days where I come of the fasting routine, but I’m afraid to alter the process as – knowing me and my lousy sense of self-discipline – I may not get back on the fasting train.

Eight days in and I haven’t raised the white flag yet.  This is sooooooooo unlike me!

I can see it now: those Pearly Gates of Heaven floating on a huge white cloud like in an old Bugs Bunny cartoon from the 1980’s.  There’s Saint Peter, with a glass of 30 year-old Macallan scotch in his hand, sitting on a really awesome couch that he scored on sale at Ethan Allen during their Fourth of July Sales Extravaganza.  He’s got cable, of course – so he’s got the Yanks on the boobtube, and is beginning to stress about their starting pitching.  Right next to him is my little Irish grandmother, sitting there with a white wine spritzer in one hand and a pair of huge binoculars in the other.  The two of them are yapping away, discussing the proper way to make Hungarian goulash, when she presses the binoculars up to her face to catch a glimpse of her dear ol’ grandson.  And what do her sparkling eyes observe?  Me saying “no” to linguine, and “yes” to corn, peas, carrots and string beans, partnered up with tilapia.  Seriously: tilapia.  A damn fish that her Irish eyes never came across in her 94 years in New York City.

No pasta.  Doubling up on the veggies.  No bread.  Where the hell are the potatoes?

SERIOUSLY.  NO BREAD.

A tear begins to form in her eye.

She slowly lowers the binoculars, turns to Saint Peter, and…….whacks him right in the back of the head.  Saint Peter spills his scotch, and asks “OH!!!!!  Mary!!!  What was dat for?” (bet you didn’t know that Saint Peter was really from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn – look it up, it’s true) Two which my grandmother simply responds “What the heck did you do to my grandson?  He’s eating like one of them nutjobs I see on YouTube.  Now get down there and fix that kid (I’m 48, but technically she’s 114 up there, so I’m a kid – see, like I told my buddy Al….everything’s relative).

Sorry Grandma – I’ll eat a decent meal soon. But the effort is paying off.  7 pounds said adios since I’ve begun this process.  Not bad – but the biggest losses come right at the beginning.  So I’m not dancing a jig yet.

 

Day 3:This Ain’t Getting Any Easier


So its day three of this endeavor, and I’m already noticing some changes. Here – let me list them for you:

  • I used to be impatient.  Now I scowl at red lights just for taking too long to change – because my crankiness will definitely make it turn green quicker.
  • I walked by a place here in SoCal that stated “Authentic New York Pizza”, and I got so cranky that I kicked the sidewalk – because that will definitely make all the difference in the crust and the sauce.  (You see, pizza is always better in New York City because of the local water, the Jersey tomatoes and the fresh pulled mozzarella made from cows that have the same kind of attitude as Joe Pesci did in Goodfellas.)
  • I usually wear a rather clear sign on my face that says “Hello – I’m Joe, and I’m a nice freakin’ guy”.  Now the sign says “I’m Joe, now go scratch.

I have read about this type of intermittent fasting, and I know that the beginning is not supposed to be easy, because I’m making my body do the same things it usually does daily with less fuel.  Now the cool thing is that, because the body needs to do work with less fuel, the fuel I give my engine needs to be that 93 Extra Special octane gas that only the fancy-schmansy people pump into their 2019 Masaratis.  So I hit the office cafeteria twice a day during my 5 hour fueling window to chow down on diced grilled chicken that really doesn’t really have much flavor to it so that that stomach shuts up.  The protein helps me feel full for a bit – which is good.  And my evening bike and strength workouts haven’t suffered much, performance-wise.

I will say one positive thing about this experience: I’m actually more focused on both work and stuff at home than before.  Before, I could eat whenever I felt like it. Little things here and there.  Yum – something to nosh on in between meals.  Now, with this window of time to eat, I need to focus on other things when that urge to buy a package of Oreos comes calling (ah oh dear Lord, he comes calling…..often).

Oh wait – here’s another cool thing about this process: I can look forward to the weekend knowing that I can relax – but just be self-aware at it pertains to NOT LOSING any gains I made during the week.

Now….all I need to do is stay cool and not flippeth the helleth out on some random stanger that doesn’t like the color of my sweater (It’s a lovely shade of green – it brings out my damn eyes….).

 

No Coffee and I Didn’t Croke? I’m Stunned


I woke up this morning at 4am, hungry as all hell. I got a light workout in, as I needed to get to work extra-early. By 9am, I realized two things:

1) The hunger pains aren’t as bad as I expected – but my stomach does make a rather embarrassing noise when it’s empty (if I were underwater, and my stomach made the noises its been giving off today, I’m sure a family of humpback whales would try to communicate with it), and

2) I’ve now gone over 40 hours without caffeine of any kind, and my world has not erupted into bedlam. I have no idea why, but I haven’t suffered from a caffeine headache yet, and I’m not exactly craving that venti Starbucks with half & half. While casting my liquid security blanket aside, I won’t swear off caffeine all together. I bought this funky-looking teapot, and I’m going to give tea a shot. I can drink tea without milk or sugar, so it doesn’t really have any calories, it has some flavor, and there’s something in tea that helps digestion and other stuff. How bad can it be? I mean, James Bond drank tea, right? (oh wait – that was a martini – shaken not stirred…..crap, I’m screwed).

The other killer for me right now is that I’m cutting out wine during the week. I thought this would have been a bigger deal than it appears to be thus far – but since I’m not eating after 3pm, when I get home, I’m not cooking….so I’m not popping a cork either. that doesn’t mean I’m writing of vino all together. HECK NO. Just during the week, while I’m developing this new routine, wine is a no-no for me.

I’ve also noticed that I’ve stepped up the level of cranky. I’m guessing that adjusting my eating habits and running on less fuel for the next few days will be a bit tough – I’m hoping I get used to it. Yesterday wasn’t a rough day for workouts, since I knew that most of my energy would be dialed in to sticking to the diet and being disciplined. Today was another story, though. I got an hour in on the bike, some weights, and a solid 45 minute run in this evening. So tomorrow morning will be the real test – I’m hoping to sleep well and wake up with enough energy to get a workout in before work. We shall see.

I am glad that I’m focusing on diet first, and I’m not letting the other stuff distract me yet. It’s only been 2 days…..19 more in a row and I’ve got myself a habit.

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TODAY’S REPORT CARD

Sleep: B+ (Got 7 hours in. Not bad on an empty stomach)

DIET: B+ (Day Two on this plan, and I stuck to it again. I’m shocked)

Swim: N/A (Not on the schedule today)

Bike: B+ (An hour on it, with a 19mph average. I need 20mph for an A. I’m a tough grader)

Run: B (45 minutes, outside. Relaxing but SLOW. That’s why I am working on the diet first – I’ll move faster without this baby grand on my back)

Strength: B (Worked out even though I ached a bit from yesterday)

Hungry, Cranky, and Trying Something New…


So today I began something new: intermittent fasting.

It’s a rather radical decision to make, but I realized that the old saying is true: Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes. Before today, the only times I’ve done what’s now referred to as Intermittent Fasting was when I either a) didn’t have enough cash to buy breakfast and lunch, b) I lost my damn wallet on the #6 train, or c) I didn’t have enough time to breathe, let alone eat a meal during my work day. Let’s face it: I didn’t call it by some fancy name like Intermittent Fasting….I referred to it as I’m Cranky As Hell Because I Didn’t Eat.

I’ve done a lot of reading about this type of fasting, and I chose to go this route so that I can drop excess pounds quicker. This will allow me to train at a higher quality level than I’ve been hitting recently. This won’t be a lifestyle change for me – I like food WAAAAAY to much for that – but in order for me to finally go from where I am to where I want to be, something drastic needed to happen.

The way I see it, I’ll go the next 6 weeks trying this discipline of eating: there will be a window of time each day for caloric intake (I’m budgeting a 5 hour period between 10am and 3pm each work day). During this time period, I will eat a decent breakfast (around 10sm), and a decent lunch (as close to 3pm as a work schedule will allow). After 3pm, I can take in as much water, tea, or coffee (black, no sugar) that I feel like. When I wake up in the morning, it’s calorie-free fluids until the clock strikes 10am again.

Now my number one concern was my energy level and how the lack of calories will effect my training. Some experts say that proper calorie intake during your feeding window should permit a solid workout. However, my goal is to drop weight at a rather quick rate, so some hunger pangs and a grumbling stomach are part of the deal. As an Ironman Certified Coach, I would not recommend this type of diet to someone training for a triathlon, because the athlete needs fuel to get him/her through longer workouts at a high level of quality. But that’s just it for me: I feel like I’m not getting quality workouts in BECAUSE I’m carrying too much of myself around 24/7. I’m feeling sluggish. Unfocused. And my training plan has been a bit aggressive. Soooooo…..I burn 800 calories in an hour and then I take in 1400 empty calories as a “reward for a job well done”. NOT THE WAY TO DO THINGS. AT. ALL.

Instead of trying to get lighter, faster, and stronger all at once, I decided to prepare for what’s in store for me in phases…..

Phase One – Drop the Excess Me: Drop the piano that I’m constantly carrying on my back. This means six weeks of The Biggest Loser-type of training. Let’s get rid of the piano. In this phase, I’m expecting some headaches, hunger pangs, and some development of lean muscle (because I’m not ditching my workouts – I’m just altering them to sculpt a newer version of myself).

Phase Two – Crank Up the Mileage: As I begin to notice Phase One showing results, I will gradually up my endurance sessions (those high mileage run and bike sessions) while taking in slightly more calories and timing my meals to ensure healthy recovery post-workout. If Phase One has done it’s job, Phase Two should result in me having an easier time cranking up my running pace and hanging longer at 20+mph on the bike.

Phase Three – Play Mad Scientist: Once I have the body composition that is more conducive to being able to run 30-35 miles a day for 2 weeks (where I’ll need to be in 14 months), I’ll need to add some serious strength work to my routine, because long endurance events break down muscle, big time. So you gotta build yourself up to break yourself down.

So Phase One is geared toward making the load I’ll need to carry lighter, Phase Two will be focused on putting the tiger in the cat and using  my lighter weight to go longer and faster, and Phase Three will be adding muscle so that I can endure next August and defend against injuries. I’ve tried doing everything at once. Now I’m changing things up – I focus now on one issue at a time.  When you try to accomplish everything at once, you wind up accomplishing nothing well.

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TODAY’S REPORT CARD

Sleep:  A (Got 8 hours in.  A good way to start the week.)

DIET: B+ (Day One on this plan, and I stuck to it. I did have a couple of Twix bars though!)

Swim:  N/A (Not on the schedule today)

Bike:  B (I didn’t get a bike in in the morning – I was too chicken to start my day in severe calorie debt, so I waited ’til the evening to get an hour in)

Run:  C  (Dreadmill. That sucked.)

Strength:  B+ (I had a great evening upper body workout,  Felt like Hans and Franz from SNL)

hans-franz

If You’re An Airline…Don’t Send Me a Survey


I haven’t updated the blog for my training in a bit, because it’s been a Shakespearean few weeks and I’m Falstaff.  Nevertheless, let’s have a laugh…shall we?

You ever experience something so annoying that you just feel the need to write notes about it on your Iphone, just in case you ever consider buying, going, or doing something that just absolutely sucked?  This is a habit of mine.  I use the Notes app on my IPrecious (yes, that’s a Lord of the Rings reference, fellow nerds.  Tolkien 2020.  Wait – he’s dead?  So what – Tolkien 2020, it’s still a better choice…)

(Now I’m thinking – JRR Tolkien / Douglas Adams 2020 – now THAT’S a ticket to throw support behind.  The Oval Office would be empty – but hey, not the worst idea in the world.  And press conferences would be awesome – just have Ian McKellen read a chapter from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to the press corps, and I bet they all leave smiling and in a good mood….)

Sorry – where was I?  Oh yeah – something annoying happened……several months ago.  And I just found my notes on it.  And I’m definitely sharing this with all 12 of my readers, because I laughed as I read it aloud.  In the men’s room.  (Yeah – note to self: don’t read aloud in a mens room – it’s just not cricket.)

I had to travel for work a few months ago, so I shopped for the best price on a coach round trip flight from California to Houston.  I guess I flew a certain airline that’s been lambasted by the news over the past few months for varying degrees of – well, there’s no better way to put it – stupidity.  They’ve done stuff that you just read about and say “God, they are reeeeeeally stupid.  Anyway, I purchased the most cost-effective flight since I was flying for work, and within 24 hours, I must have gotten an email from the airline saying basically “hey, I know you just spent $500 on a round-trip ticket to Houston.  Well guess what?  Since you selected the least expensive priced ticket that we offered you, the following things won’t be available to you…” (the only thing they refrained from doing was flipping me the bird and yelling Bye, Felicia.).  I must have been pissed off, because at the bottom of this electronic Go Screw Yourself email was a damn survey.  They had the wontons to ask me “So……now that you red my Go Screw Yourself email, could you rate your level of happiness with our company?”

SUUUUUUURE.  Hold my cabernet, because it’s on like Donkey Kong….

They asked a few simple yes and no questions, and then they me – yes ME – room to write free form my thoughts.  Oh. Bad move.  Oh so bad.

The following was my response to this Orwellian nightmare of an airline – let’s just hope they didn’t take my recommendations seriously…..

My Written Survey Response to an Airline That Shant Be Named….

“Hmmmm…..so you really want my honest opinion about your services?  OK – strap in.

(Oh, I must have been slghtly buzzed on airport wine while writing this)

Oh it’s easy to book a flight on sites like Expedia. but to get an email like a day or two after I book is like the airline spitting in my face. I just spent $500 on a ticket. That’s not cheap. And to get a message saying “by the way, here’s everything you don’t get with your fare because you happen to select one of nine different versions of coach that are now available” is unprofessional and sleazy.  It actually exudes an odor.  Seriously – I held my phone up to the email you just sent, and it gave off the aroma of unwashed gym socks left outside in the rain.  

(…left out in the rain?  Wow that’s descriptive….)

So since you numbnuts are searching for additional ways to maximize profitability whilst utilizing your clientele like lab rats, I hereby offer additional ways to cash in on the unnerving pain you bring us each time we march into one of your winged cylinders:  

(Oh dear God I used bullet points in Iphone Notes – I didn’t even know I knew how to do that.  I must have been pissed….)

  • Charge more for window seats because they have a view.  A view of what?  Well once you are in the air, really nothing.  But so what?  It is a window seat, after all.
  • Charge more for aisle seats by calling them “Convenience Seats”, since you don’t need to climb over some dude that’s snoring into his plastic cup of ginger ale to use the bathroom.  
  • Charge more for middle seats by calling them “Friendhip Seats”, since they force you to rub elbows with two strangers.  We all don’t communicate like we used to, and Friendship Seats are just what the world needs to elevate our expressive skills.  Toss away that Kindle, and yap away with a crying 3 year-old about world events.  You have an issue with the ongoing strife in Lichtenstein?  Well a one-on-one conversation with a captive stranger is just what the doctor ordered.  
  • Only serve alcohol to rows 21 and over.  That way you can charge more for the rest of the plane too.  Like Bob Uecker once said “you turn this thing around and I’d be in the front row.”
  • Hey here’s one more, you penny pinching asshats: start fining people. What do I mean? Great question. If someone is flying coach and it’s obvious that deodorant wasn’t used within the past 24 hours, that’s a $50 fine. Did you bring food that will stink up the entire plane? That’ll be $150 please. And if they can’t pay? Then bartering is allowed. Snatch the customer’s Beats right off their head and sell them in that stupid SkyMall magazine.  Grab that HP computer and throw that sucker on Ebay.

(Fines?  OK – I must have running out of funny by then.  But that Friendship Seats thing got my laughing in a mens room stall.  Again – don’t do that.  Not cool.)

Seriously? you really need to get your damn act together. You make flying feel like the #6 train downtown to City Hall.  Morons. Absolute morons. And it’s not the hard-working pilots, attendants and support personnel. It’s the executive management shitbricks that come up with this stupid ass ideas to squeeze a nickel until the buffalo shits in order to juice the stock price by $.50 and score themselves nice bonuses. Douches.

(Boom – this must have been the point where they delayed the connecting flight due to weather. It was really nice out….so let’s hang here a bit until the wind picks up and and our clients get toss around like Jiffy Pop on the stove)

Think. If you need to charge more, FINE. Do it. charge a little bit more, and make the damn experience so nice for everyone that your customers WILL pay a little more just to fly with you. Make the additional cost worth it. If you do, You won’t care as much whether your flight shows up as the cheapest from DC to Seattle on Expedia. Why? Because you have a loyal fucking fan base that prefers to fly with YOU. It is possible. Some brands do generate loyalty. Look it up if you don’t believe me – google is your friend.

What else can you do to help the situation? Glad you asked.

(Oh no – I’m going into Internal Auditor mode…)

⁃ Don’t treat your coach clients like meaningless sheep. You know you do it, and it feels crappy. Don’t ask me for examples of how you do it, because this will turn in to War and Peace (see, War and Peace is a really famous book, and it’s really thick – get it)

(OOOOOHHHHH – as my daughter says, I’m throwing shade here…..Oh yeah, I’m down with the lingo)

⁃ if you have a plane that seats 120 passengers, do not sell 145 seats on it. See, that’s basically selling something to someone that you don’t own. That’s called fraud. However, because some accountant came up with an average cancellation rate, it’s somehow legal for airlines to do this. Now if I sell a brand new Maserati on line, take the payment and say “oh i just sold my last one – sorry there are no more left – but thanks for the cash”, I would be…….arrested? Yeah, that’s it.

Put in a bullet train from NYC to CA and from CA or Orlando and I’ll never fly again.”

(insert mic drop right……about…..HERE.)

February 23rd – 26th 2019


It’s less than a week away.  4 hours on the bike to raise money for cancer research.  2019 Cycle for Survival in the Equinox in Huntington Beach, CA.   I’m gunning for 80 miles during my ride, which means averaging 20mph for 240 minutes.  OOOOHHHH that’s gonna suck.  But hey – it’s for a good cause and, if I can do this, I’ll have complete faith in my ability to get to T2 in Ironman Santa Rosa in May well before the cutoff time.  So this ride will be a real test in every way, shape and form.  In order to prep for this one, I basically rode the bike all weekend. ALL…..WEEKEND.  I’m not sore – and I’m shocked about that fact.

So I’ve begun to develop a training plan for myself that seems to work.  It’s rather demanding of my time, but that’s fine by me.  Certain goals require you to change up how you do things – to re-define your routine.  Like the old saying goes:

NOTHING CHANGES IF NOTHING CHANGES.

So I’ve continued to tweak my routine little by little, moving things around and adding things here and there.  Lately, I’ve enjoyed playing Dr. Frankenstein.  So I’ll share my basic game plan for a normal week here, as I’ve designed it to basically be the physical equivalent of cramming for a difficult exam…….

  • The alarm goes off at 4am daily.  This has been a routine for me for a while now, so the fact that I’m actually getting up that this hour no longer makes me want to toss my Iphone out a window.
  • Each morning, I’ll bike for an hour and then run for an hour.  This accomplishes several things: it allows me to jack up my metabolism first thing in the morning, and burn a decent amount of calories before breakfast. This is important because I need to lose a significant amount of weight in order to achieve the ultimate goals of competing in Kona and covering those 500 miles again in 2020.  So each morning, the goal is to be left with a tiny bit less of me than when I woke up.  Also, going from the bike and immediately transitioning to the run allows me to practice my T2 routine.  Lastly, I’ve found it difficult to get my legs to “fire” for running after stressing them and building up lactic acid on the bike.  This is good practice for race day.
  • I’ve been bringing my own, home made breakfast and lunch to work.  I’ve been using Myfitnesspal to estimate calorie intake and track hydration throughout the day.  Using a free app like this also makes me a bit more self-conscious about what I eat during each day – if I need to log it in, and it’s crappy for me, it helps me say NO to Oreos, etc.
  • I’m lucky enough to have a pool in my apartment complex.  It’s an outdoor one, and it’s not really heated – so in the evenings I’ve tried to swim because, as Goggins says, “each day you need to do something that absolutely sucks”.  So I’ll log some yards in the pool.  Then I’ll dry off and hit the small gym that we have in the complex.  I’ll do a simple routine (  shared here: My Basic Strength Workout  ) that works on building up a bit of muscle.  Endurance races break down muscle…so you first should build up some muscle in preparation.
  • Dinner has always been my weakest point.  I’ve burned the calories, and I’ve done the exercises…and then here comes that heavy need for calories that taste AWESOME (i.e., everything that would negate any gains made on the day). This is where I need the most practice: saying NO to the stuff that I crave.  I’ve been working on this one.  For a long time.  And I still trip up A LOT.
  • Before I crash for the night, I now do some stretching or some yoga.  Yes, you read that right: I…….do……a little yoga.  Right now the only way I can touch my toes is if someone would cut them off my feet and hand them to me.  Buuuuut, I’ll get flexible if I stick with it.
  • last but not least, I close the door to my room, do a few minutes of meditation (yup, I’m doing that shit too – it’s got to be the California vibe that snuck into my bloodstream.  Then I check my blood pressure, review my schedule for tomorrow, and hit the sack my 9:30pm.

I know…not very exciting.  But I need this crash course to give me the best chance of covering 140.6 miles in less than 17 hours.  5 weeks until Ironman 70.3 Oceanside, and 10 weeks until Ironman Santa Rosa.  GAME ON.

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March 3rd…..4 hours on the bike with a goal of 80 miles or more in order to raise money to fight cancer.  Please check out my Cycle for Survival donation page (I’ve attached the link below), and consider a donation to this important cause.  Thanks!

…and if you’re interested in checking out my race schedule, I’ve shared that link below as well!

My cycle for Survival Donation Page!

2019 and 2020 Race Schedule