90 SPM running cadence, and I’m only at 75. I am vastly learning that even though I could go do a 13.1 in back to back weekends I don’t know how to run efficiently. So it really looks like I’ll be focusing more on drills rather than distance for a lot of my running workouts. Through my coaching program I got a workout that has been proving next to impossible which is to run 8 minutes and walk 1 minute. Sounds easy enough right? Well the kicker is that I have to keep a 85+ cadence while keeping my HR around 96-123 BPM and a pace of 12:40. As I increase my cadence to 85+ my pace goes down to a little 9 minutes and my HR shoots up to 150+. See the trickery going on here? So what’s the answer, how am I going to achieve what I think is the unthinkable? I know it’s not impossible cause I see others do it all the time, so I will have to learn how to run again through various drills and videos on form and technique.
It was over a year ago that I could not run past 3 minutes without having to stop and walk for a couple minutes, I was averaging a 15 minute pace. Then as I continued to run I achieved my fasted average pace in the Utah Valley 13.1 of 11 minute miles and being able to run the entire distance without stopping to walk and catch my breath. Everyone encounters challenges that they feel are insurmountable but it is the determination that brings that task down to something achievable.
Short blog post, but the moral of the story is. Don’t let something that seems so unachievable feel impossible. It might seem impossible now but take the time to learn and build your foundation so that the impossible is now probable.
June has been a huge month of personal achievement for me. I first broke my 13.1 personal record with a 2:38 minute run and I was able to run the entire thing. Then 6 days later I broke my old record with a 2:27 minute run in Utah Valley. Then to close out the month I took 3rd in the Clydesdale Division in the San Diego International Triathlon, that I didn’t even train for at all. SO it really is possible to achieve something “iF” you make it your priority you really need to believe in yourself. Because you really can do it! Now for my race report.
So as I said I didn’t train for this race. It was more of a break in for my new wetsuit and my tri-bike that I got. I really wanted to see how each felt and how my transitions would be. I am actually a bit disgusted with my transition times they could have been better, but that’s coming later. I know you’re not supposed to break in new gear on race days but I did it anyways.
The X-terra Vortex 4 full suit I got a while ago is just awesome. Coming from not using one I was really amazed at how I was able to move easily through the water with very minimum effort. The buoyancy alone with the coating on the outside really makes it fly through the water. The choice to join the Tri Club of San Diego was worth it for the member discount alone just for that suit. I’m very happy with it and can’t wait to use it more.
I bought a Quintana Roo Lucero Tri-Bike to replace my craigslist road bike. Now I will say after spending the entire bike ride in the aero position I was finally starting to get comfortable with it but I really felt like I need more gears for downhill. I think my GPS clocked me at almost 40 MPH as my fastest. Climbing, the bike did most of the work as my quads screamed at me for not training ANY uphill but that’s not the bikes fault it’s my fault for not training legs and hills.
My transitions where really time consuming after looking at the rest of the field and I thought what could possibly make them go faster. Well in T1 I had a hard time getting the wetsuit off and my transition was in the dirt so I had rocks everywhere on my feet and then I realized I was going out the wrong way and I forgot my sun glasses. T2 I had to rinse off the dirt again and get on my socks and running shoes because if I run barefoot in these shoes they cut into the backs of my ankles. I also forgot to put on my race bib heading out of T2 so I had a lot of mental mistakes. I was actually a mental midget in the transition zones. I really need to practice more and get tri shoes that don’t cut into my ankles.
The swim was a bit chaotic at first with all the people and I really climbed on some people as I have such a long stroke but and I accidently swam over a poor woman in a silver cap in 1 stroke. I am really sorry by the way I didn’t even see you. By the time I got out of the water I wasn’t really dizzy like at Tri Rock and ITU but I also kicked harder towards the end and stayed low which really helped. The bike went a little slow at the start as I missed a shoe and hit a cone… YIKES!!! I started out strong trying to get my HR and breathing back on track but my Timex kept saying 160BMP for most of every time I looked so it couldn’t have been right. Finally got into my groove of breathing and feeling comfortable when the hill up to Cabrillo Monument which basically fried my quads for most of the ride but I still came out with a 41 minute ride the 2nd place guy had a 41 minute ride as well but the 1st place guy had a 35 minute ride. So he really killed the climbs which I lacked. Coming into T2 I dismounted the bike in true Tri form with my body standing on the left with my right leg ready to dismount. I think I got off too early but the guy said good job. Going into the run my legs burned and my socks and shoes were socked. That first mile off the bike is always hard for me as the muscle use changes from quads to hamstrings but once I got warmed up I started to pick up the pace. But at about 500-700 feet I went to take some Gatorade and my stomach wanted no part of it, so I had to ditch it. I kept a steady pace at least it felt like that but I’ll take a 38 minute 6K. That’s 3.7 miles for those of you who didn’t know. I didn’t really push it during my run either like I could have. Looking back I wish I should have but I didn’t want to push it too hard since it was only a C type race. I actually spent more time looking around at things cause running in wet socks and shoes SUCKS!
I signed up for my first ever Half Ironman also known as a 70.3 this month. I have been wanting to and the best way was to sign up when registration opened. I’ve found that when you don’t register for something it really doesn’t become a priority and then you back out of it. I remember growing up I saw Kona televised 1 time and thought man those guys are absolutely nuts and to a degree I’m sure they are. In the back of my head though I wondered what it would be like to finish. So why a Half Ironman (70.3), am I crazy?
I did my first triathlon back in September 2010 as a sprint triathlon. The first ever Tri-Rock San Diego. The excitement, the nervousness of not knowing if I could finish it since I couldn’t run 3 miles back then. I had a LOT of fun and enjoyed it and said I wanted to do one every year there on out. I didn’t think of doing anything but a sprint distance, it was short and fast. I had to skip the 2011 Tri-Rock because the Minnesota Vikings played the Chargers in San Diego and I chose football. I kind of regret it a little bit now but I ‘m not dwelling on it. I made the choice to watch my favorite team get spanked by the Chargers. The Tri-Rock 2012 came around and I thought it would be fun to do a relay. I did the swim, Josh did the bike, and Jojo did the run. I knew I could do the bike and the swim but I still dreaded that run. I was 310lbs and running just was not fun (it still isn’t). So I swam the 500 (No wetsuit) in around 10 minutes and I felt really good like I could have gone more. It set the seed of a possible Olympic distance triathlon in the future, I didn’t know when.
ITU – International Triathlon Union happened in April. That race changed me, and I didn’t plan on even signing up. My friend Diane sent me a message about the race in mid March cause of a buddy signup package she wanted. Once I found out that we didn’t have to do the same distance I was in. She was doing the Olympic distance with her husband Dave who signed up before she did (Diane is an animal she puts me to shame when it comes to races). So I decided to do the sprint distance. 750M swim, 12.5 mile bike, and what seemed like a 4-5 mile run instead of the a 5K. It was late April, I didn’t have a wetsuit, my bike was not tuned up, and I wasn’t sure I could run the whole thing. I prepped everything the night before but forgot my 1 thing that no athlete should ever forget… the timing chip. So come race time I just had my arm watch going. I completed it in 1:32 minutes. I did have to walk some of the run because I wasn’t really confident in my running as I am now. I felt really confident on the bike as I was passing people the entire way. But overall for no training I felt that I could really do an Olympic distance with the right training. That is when I finally felt confident that if I trained for an Olympic distance and got the right gear i.e. Tri-bike, actual wetsuit, and such I can do it. So I changed my Tri-Rock distance from the Sprint to the Olympic distance. I am actually more nervous for that race than I was for the Rock N Roll 13.1 and the Utah Valley 13.1. I’m hoping to place in the Top 5 at the Tri-Rock.
So now comes the 70.3, I set my goal high and still attainable. My swimming has improved and my running has improved by beating my PR’s on back to back 13.1’s in June. I just need to keep it up, and shed some more chub! The bike though is going to be the roughest for me now so I really need to focus on that a bit more. 56 miles is a long way and there is killer hill starting at mile 31 and going through mile 36 that lots of athletes have had to walk up. Maybe this might be a stepping stone to attempting a full Ironman 140.6 before I turn 40. Only time will tell.
I’m asked the question all the time what do I do for training? Well quite frankly I do a lot cause I’ve got a lot of goals on my plate. I’m training for weight loss, triathlons, half marathons, and a good physique. But it wasn’t always that way, it started with losing weight as my main goal. So what did I do to lose weight? How do you stay focused and not get bored? There are always questions regarding what I have been up to regarding training.
So, when I started out years ago with my sole goal being weight loss I knew cardio was going to be the focus. Being an athlete back in high school I had vague background with working out and what types of cardio so I stuck to what I knew. Treadmill, stair mill, and your basic weight training exercises. I woke up in the morning and went to the gym and hit the stair mill for 20 minutes then did a full body workout consisting of squats, bench press, arm curls, triceps press downs, and wide grip pull downs. I didn’t really know much but that wasn’t my goal to know much or be a meat head. I was already the fat guy in the gym and it was really hard to stay focused when I tend to worry about other people in the gym talking about the fat guy on the stair mill on level 3 leaving a sweat pond at the base. I’ve learned that you cannot go to the gym with that mentality cause you only defeat the purpose of going there. The gym is your time, you’re the one sweating and trying to get your body into a healthy working order and no one should ever poke fun of you for doing that. I will cheer on and support anyone that goes into the gym and actually works out towards a goal over someone who goes to the gym to suck up space on a piece of equipment talking on a cell phone or flexing in the mirror admiring the fact that they just bench pressed 330lbs and moved the bar 3 inches before moving it back on the rack.
As I shed weight my goals for training also shifted to less weight loss and more weight lifting to fill out my physique a bit more and I do much more running and swimming for my half marathons and triathlons. I’ve had to do more homework on increasing my knowledge on what to do for what muscle groups, what distances of swimming and running, how to breath properly, the list goes on and I’m still learning! But during this shift so many people have asked me about how can they better their workout or can I help them out with losing weight, or can I make a workout program for them cause I inspired them to lose weight. Which then sparked a change in myself, and working towards becoming a Certified Personal Trainer. I found out that I truly enjoy helping people better themselves.
Now my mentality in the gym when I’m training stays focused on the prize and that’s a better body. Do my workouts get boring at times, sure. Am I a victim of over training at times, you bet! But you have to step back and look at the big picture. All those years of neglect and this is what I have to do to get myself on track again. This is what I have to do and it’s hard work but you know what happens when you do hard work? You’re proud of your accomplishment you’re proud of the finished product. That’s why we workout hard in the gym, we are proud!