Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wind and Hills - Stanley Draper Ride

Wind and hills pretty much sums up the group ride today out at Lake Stanley Draper. The weather has definitely turned warm here in Oklahoma and it is a welcome change. I absolutely hate the wind, but I can deal with it when the temps are in the high 70s and low 80s. When I say wind, I am talking about 20+mph sustained and gusts of 30-40mph. That's pretty much what you get in Oklahoma during the spring. It can only make us stronger, right?!? We ended up logging 20.55 miles after work so I count that as a pretty successful workout.

Another successful bike ride today after a day off yesterday. I did go to the gym and get in some strength training so that was a nice addition to the schedule this week. I really neglect the strength training aspect of my schedule when it gets busy. I know it's not what I should be doing, but that's the part I like the least of my training schedule. I have been much better about stretching and doing body-weight strength exercises at home lately.

Group swim tomorrow and I am actually really looking forward to another swim. It is the spot where I am seeing the biggest gains and where I need the most work. It's funny how I went from absolutely dreading the pool to actually kinda liking it now. Kinda. Let's not get too carried away. Hope everyone is having a great start to the week. Only 2 more days of work this week. Thank you holidays!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

New Bike Record and Brooks Love

Hello friends! Great weekend here in OKC if you forget the weather on Saturday. I was supposed to do the March in Okarche duathlon, but the knee was a no-go. Turns out the weather was brutal so maybe it was God smiling down on me and sparing me the misery of a run/bike/run in miserable conditions. Everything happens for a reason, right?

Saturday was a very, very lazy day for me. I managed to get coffee, watch a lot of basketball, and do laundry. That was pretty much my day. I did throw in some stretching and some strengthening exercises at home, but let's not get carried away here. I was a lazy bum. I think it did the body, mind, and soul good though. I needed a day off after a very packed last 2 weeks.

Today was our Team-in-Training triathlon group ride. We met at 3 PM at Schlegel's and our group was pretty small compared to most of our other rides. We only had 6 in our group for this ride which allowed us to push the pace a bit harder and have a little more one-on-one time with the coaches. I took the opportunity to get in a little tutorial on how I should approach hills, what cadence I should be using, and how/when to shift gears. It was great to get some instruction because I am very green on the bike. I haven only ridden a handful of times and hearing someone tell me how to approach hills, how to come out of hills, what cadence I should be shooting for, and when/how I should push my limits was definitely good to hear.

For our ride today, we went east from downtown OKC and caught the Katy Trail that runs parallel to I-35 until you reach the OKC Zoo area. At that point, we hopped onto the service road of I-35 and continued north until we hit Hefner Road. At that point we said our goodbyes to Steve as he continued his commute home and the rest of us turned around for trip back to home base. The route we took today allowed us to experience some hills and was a nice change from the OK River trails I have been using the past few weeks. The downside was that the Katy Trail was littered with tree limbs and broken glass so you definitely had to pay attention so you didn't puncture a tire. Today was also a new personal record on the bike for me. My Garmin clocked us in at 23.12 miles. It definitely made me feel a little more comfortable about the Redbud 33 miler that I signed up for in 2 weeks. Sure hope the weather holds out for that one. I am not betting on it though.

This weekend also allowed me to FINALLY use one of the perks of the Brooks ID program. I haven't really had a chance to participate in any local races yet due to the nagging injuries, but I did get a chance to log in to the Brooks Pro site and buy some gear! I am a Brooks freak so the fact that I can go in and buy my favorite running gear at a steep discount is always a plus in my book. I loaded up on some running tees, shorts, socks, and a new pair of core shorts because I am a firm believer in wearing something tight under my shorts when I run. Hopefully I can go back in and buy a new pair of kicks and some other stuff over the next few months, but for now, plan on seeing me in all of my new Brooks love on a trail near you soon.

I also took the opportunity to stock up on KT Tape and Clif shots for the next few months since I know I will be needing my fair share as the training hours get longer and the weather turns warmer. I actually just applied some KT Tape to my knee and we will see how it goes the next few days. A quick first glance is that it seems to be working like a charm. I think I will give the old knee a few more days of rest and then try to run again later in the week. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I really want to get back out there and run. I mean, swimming and biking have been going well, but let's face it. I love running. I really need to run soon.

Have a great Sunday night folks. Hope everyone has a great start to the work week. Talk to you again soon!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Birthday Week

Wow, what a week?!? Sorry it's been so long since I have posted, but I honestly haven't gotten home before 10 PM any night this week, except for tonight. Tonight I am spending a quiet night alone at the house. Just what the doctor ordered! The rest of the week has been packed with NCAA women's tournament games, dinners with clients, birthday parties, and group swim. I think I am finally going to settle back into a routine so hopefully I can get back to blogging more regularly over the next few weeks.

First of all, I want to say thank you to everyone who attended my birthday party/fundraiser last night at Midtown Deli. It was a great crowd and we raised nearly $500 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society! Midtown Deli agreed to host my benefit night and donate 20% of all sales to my Team-in-Training campaign. I also set up donation boxes where people could drop in money and a few of my friends brought private donations as well. It was just a great event and I had a ton of fun celebrating my birthday and raising money with good friends. I do wish some of my family could have attended, but I do know it's tough to make it to OKC on a Thursday night. Maybe next time I can schedule something closer to home or on a weekend.

Sad news concerning my race calendar. I was supposed to do my first race of the season tomorrow at the March in Okarche. Due to complications with my knee, I have decided to postpone my spring debut to the Redbud in April. I still haven't been able to shake this pesky knee problem, but I am still biking and swimming religiously. The knee is better, just not race ready yet. Maybe in 2 more weeks we will be good to go. Due to the knee, my running has been non-existent for nearly 3 weeks now. It's a little concerning, but I know I am getting plenty of cross-training in on the bike and in the pool. I hope when all heals up, I can get back out on the road fairly easily. I am somewhat concerned the lack of running is going to force me to really look closely at doing the OKC Memorial Half Marathon. As of now, it is still on the calendar, but I haven't ran over 8 miles yet this year and don't want to go in limping. Only time will tell I guess.

For my birthday I also bought myself a very great present! I have been a huge Dixie Chicks fan for years and years. When I saw that they were going to be on tour this summer, I immediately started looking for ways to get somewhere to see them. It just turns out that they are going to be in Chicago on Sat, June 19th so I found me a partner in crime and bought tickets to see the Chicks with the Eagles and Keith Urban at Soldier Field! To top it all off, we are going to make this an ultimate country music road trip by catching Sugarland in concert in Kansas City on the 18th and then drive the rest of the way to Chicago on the 19th. I also will get to see a friend from college who now lives in Chicago now. It's going to be a great All-American road trip! Can't wait! The only thing that would make it better is if Miranda Lambert was playing somewhere on our way home on the 20th :-)

Well, I am absolutely beat so I am signing off and going to bed. It has been a great week and I really am thankful for all of my friends and family who have been nothing but supportive of me as I continue to push myself to new limits. I know it's not easy dealing with my schedule and I will always be appreciative of everyone's role in my journey to being a better friend, marathoner, triathlete, and son. Thank you to Holly and Katie, Laurie and Amy, Jerry and Deana, Aunt Kay, and everyone who attended my party last night. Together we have officially crossed the $2500 mark in fundraising this week! I will send off the funds Monday so you can see an updated fundraising total soon. Have a great night everyone. This guy is going to bed. Zzzzzz......

Saturday, March 20, 2010

NCAA, Snow, and Birthday Week

Sorry gang! It's been a few days since I have been in the blogosphere. The week has been really busy, but that's natural for this time of year. One more week of go, go, go, and then I think I can settle back into a routine. I know my running shoes feel neglected!

The great thing about the busy schedule is that I have been able to rest the knee and I think we may be past this knee bug. As of now, it feels pretty strong and hopefully with a couple more days of rest I can be back at 100%. Only 5 more weeks until the OKC Memorial Half Marathon so I really need to get back out there and keep adding some mileage.

Training has been kind of hit and miss this week unfortunately. I did get in 2 swims (Mon and Fri) and 1 bike (Tues) so far this week. I will try to get in another workout this weekend, but with the way the weather is going, not really sure that is going to happen. Currently it is snowing pretty heavy and we are supposed to get 5-10 inches of snow with blizzard conditions. It sounds like this weekend might be one spent inside. It is times like these that I wish I had a trainer for my bike. I could at least knock out a bike workout.

Big thanks to Kay Pickering (Elmore City, OK) and everyone who entered my NCAA March Madness pool this week. Also, just a reminder to the OKC folks who read this blog. I am having a birthday party/happy hour/fundraising event at Midtown Deli on Thursday, March 25th, from 4:45 PM to ????. Come out and have a few drinks, eat some food, and watch NCAA basketball. Twenty percent of all proceeds go directly to my Team-in-Training fundraising campaign. Come join in the fun! After all, it is my birthday!

Have a great Saturday. I hope everyone gets in some good training!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday Swim

Due to the schedule of the week ahead, I moved my Wednesday swim to today so I could get at least 2 days in the pool. I can really use the work in the pool, so I figured missing a swim wasn't the best idea.

The swim was decent, but not great. I definitely can see progress, but the distance and intensity of our swims keep increasing so it's really been challenging keeping up. The pool at CHK was really busy today and I felt really sorry for the girl who was in the lane with me. I am not a graceful swimmer. I kick too much, flail my arms too much, and just create a lot of unnecessary waves. She was much smaller than me and was pretty fluid with her movements. I am sure I was a nightmare of a lane mate, but she was nice and encouraging when I stopped to chat with her at the end of my workout. I joked with her towards the end that my whole purpose was to create an open water swim environment for her. I did a great job of chopping up the water and creating some havoc. Here is a breakdown of the swim workout today:

200 meter warm-up
4 x 50 meter drills (zipper, fist, 2 x 50 one-arm drill)
4 x 100 main sets (15 sec rest between sets)
8 x 25 sprints (20 sec rest between sprints)
200 meter warm-down
48 lengths folks! 48! Now I just need to work on becoming more efficient. Time in the pool will hopefully help in that aspect.

Today was also another day of spreading the word and trying to kickstart the fundraising again. I decided to do an NCAA men's basketball tournament pool so I sent that information out to my colleagues and friends. I also confirmed the details of my birthday party/fundraising event which will be next Thursday, March 25th, at Midtown Deli if you are in the area and want to join in on the fun. Also, if you would like more details, just shoot me an e-mail or leave a comment and I can get you the info on the NCAA pool or my birthday shindig.

I hope everyone had a great start to the week. Thursday marks the start of the NCAA regional here in OKC and we also bought tickets to go watch the OU women play in the 1st and 2nd round of the women's NCAA tournament on Sun/Tues. It's going to be a great weekend of hoops!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Daylight Savings Time

It feels like a completely different season already. Daylight savings time is officially the beginning of spring in my book. I am looking outside at 8 PM and there is still a touch of daylight left. We are now getting into so prime training weeks before it starts getting hot.

Today was group ride day with the Team-in-Training crew. We met at Schlegel's in downtown OKC and made our way towards the Oklahoma River trails and did an out-and-back of 15 miles before we called it a day. The knee held up well and I am hoping that the couple of days off from running will pay off in the long-run. I have been icing and stretching all weekend in hopes that I can get back out and running this coming week. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

I also would like to send out a big thank you to Holly Krivokapich (OKC, OK) and Kenneth & Juanita Sloan (Davis, OK) for their donations the past few days. I also will be adding 3 new names to my race-day honoree list : Tamara Metcalfe, Terry Church, and the last one came as a shock in the letter I got from my Granny (Juanita Sloan), Kenneth Sloan. My Granny informed me in the letter she sent with her donation that my Grandad, Kenneth Sloan, has just been diagnosed with lymphoma. I don't know a lot of details yet, but he is supposed to meet with an oncologist this week to discuss treatment. From what I know, the initial assessment was that it should be easily treatable. I am hoping all of this holds true when he meets with the oncologist, but please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. I will update with details as I find out more.

Another big week ahead as spring kicks into full gear. March Madness has officially began as we enter in one of the best weeks of the entire sports calendar. I have tickets to the OKC NCAA Men's 1st and 2nd rounds this week and am really looking forward to catching some live college basketball. My Cowboys also made the Dance and will be playing Friday in Milwaukee. It makes the tournament so much better when your own school is still in the mix. Hopefully we can pull off a few wins and make things interesting! I also will be participating in my first St. Patty's Day Pub Run on Wednesday night in Downtown OKC if the knee cooperates. Otherwise, I will just be participating in a St. Patty's Day celebration in Downtown OKC. Either way, it should be a good time.

Have a great start to the week! Here's to hoping everyone has a safe, successful, and productive week of training.

P.S. I got my first Road ID in the mail yesterday and I love it! I got the ID Elite, with an orange band of course.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Rest and Relaxation

After a week full of fun, it is now time for a weekend of rest and relaxation. I have no big plans and hope that it stays that way so I can catch up around the house and rest up the knee. Hopefully with a few more days off, the knee will be back to normal and I can get out and run again. I have missed my last 3 scheduled runs due to the pesky knee. So far it feels like it is getting better, but until I actually get out there and test it out, you just never know. The motto of this year is to stay healthy so I am taking it easy for a few days to see if we can keep this from being a lingering problem.

I also put in another swim last night after work. It went ok, but not great. I am still dusting off the cobwebs from a pretty busy week so I was pretty happy with my performance. Here is my breakdown of yesterday's workout:

200 meter warm-up
4 x 50 meter drills (fist, one arm, catch-up, zipper)
5 x 100 meter main sets (15 second rest between each)
200 meter warm-down (w/ fins - did drills with fins on)

Nothing on the agenda for today. It was supposed to be my run of 6-8 miles, but since the knee isn't quite up to par I am taking the day off to rest, ice, compress, and elevate. As I speak I have a nice big ice wrap on and just turned on the Big 12 women's basketball tournament. I am hoping for a Cowgirl victory today against the Sooners! Also, I can't wait for Selection Sunday tomorrow to see who we get to watch at the OKC regional. I love this time of year!

For those of you in OKC, I am having a happy hour/fundraiser/birthday party at Midtown Deli on Thursday, March 25th. Midtown Deli has agreed to donate 20% of sales to my fundraising efforts. Please come out and have some food, drinks, and hang out. It should be a great time!

You can also still donate at my website. Donations have slowed down a bit and we have a lot of work left to do. Let's kick cancer to the curb and find a cure!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Return to Normal

After a great few days away from OKC, it is back to the daily routine today. The last few days was a ton of fun. Sunday I flew out to Salt Lake City for a little fun on the slopes. I had actually never been to Utah so that was pretty great all by itself. The accommodations, weather, ski resort, and meeting new people all added up to be a pretty awesome experience.

On Monday, we hit the slopes pretty early and I got my ski legs back under me fairly quickly. This was only my 4th time to go skiing so I was still not 100% comfortable when we started, but as we progressed through the day I gained more confidence and even attempted a black for the first time ever. Granted I didn't actually "ski" all the way down, it was a fairly successful run and I managed to keep up with the better skiers in our group without making them wait on me too much.

Tuesday was another ski day and we actually took it pretty easy, minus my attempt at a black run with moguls. I can't say it was fun, but I can say it was a good learning experience. One of the guys in our group gave me some pointers before I started so I tried my best to listen and apply them. I didn't make it down without falling several times, but I can chalk it up to learning and getting more comfortable. All in all, it was a great two days on the mountain and I can't wait to get another ski trip in the books next season.

I spent most of the day yesterday in the airport and really didn't get a ton of sleep on Tuesday night, so Wednesday night group swim was pretty miserable. My body was definitely teaching me a lesson. I managed to struggle through the workout though and log my time in the pool. Tomorrow is another swim day so hopefully it goes a little smoother than last night. I am definitely looking forward to the weekend where I can catch up on rest.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Salt Lake City

I have a few seconds to spare so figured I would send out a quick update. I landed in Salt Lake City about an hour ago and now am just playing the waiting game for the rest of the crew to show up. The mountains looked awesome as we flew in today and I can't wait to get to Park City and check it out. I have never been to Utah so this will all be a new experience for me. I love the mountains and I love skiing so it should be a great trip.

The knee is still a bummer at the moment, but it's nothing too severe. It's definitely something I need to be careful with over the next week or so. I brought my Stick with me on the trip so I plan on getting in some stretching and rolling out my quads, hamstrings, calves, and IT band the best I can while I am away from my trusty foam roller. It's odd how things just pop up out of seemingly nowhere when you are training. I honestly hadn't felt any pain, discomfort, or tightness in my knee at all and then after my Thursday night run it just hit. Oh well, live and learn and try to get better. I am not too concerned it will be a chronic problem because as it stands now it is just an annoying pain.

Hope everyone had a nice Sunday run this morning. Until next time, happy training!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Checking Out

Hey gang. Quick update before I hit the road. I leave early in the AM for some winter fun in Utah. Training will be put on hold for a few days, but skiing should be a pretty decent substitute.

Today was supposed to be my long run day, but I did something to my knee Thursday evening and it still hurts. I think it might be a mild case of ITB syndrome/runner's knee. I haven't been the most disciplined stretcher lately so I am sure that is the cause. The foam roller and I are becoming real close friends again this weekend and hopefully a couple of days off will bring it all back to normal. Nothing major, just trying to be smart this year. No reason to go out and set myself back with a dumb injury. I am hoping the skiing won't aggravate it, but I guess we will see how that goes when I get out there.

Swimming on Friday was a chore, but I have become accustomed to my swimming workouts by myself to be harder than my group swims. I am really not sure the rhyme or reason, but it has been the case every week. I did get in my 900 meter workout and called it good though. Nothing else to report on at the moment. I hope everyone had a great Saturday. I read a lot of tweets about races and long runs so it's encouraging to see so many people out being active.

Have a great week everyone. I will check back in when I get back from skiing. Until then, happy training!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

TrainingPeaks Blog

Hey friends! Exciting news! A couple of weeks ago I received an e-mail from the Marketing Coordinator at Peaksware, the company who brought us TrainingPeaks. She said she stumbled onto my blog, realized I was a TrainingPeaks member, and wanted to know if I would write something to be featured on their blog. Well, a couple of weeks later, here is my article I wrote for them! It was posted on their blog yesterday and I was really excited to see it pop up on my RSS feed this morning. I hope you can go over there and check out their blog and add them to your list. I have really enjoyed the featured member's stories and the training tips throughout the week are always helpful.

After the excitement of seeing my face pop-up in my e-mail feed this morning, it was hard for me to sit still all day. The weather here in OKC was fantastic again today and I just wanted to go out and run. As soon as I could get free from work I headed to Midtown and lifted some weights for a bit and then headed out the door for a run downtown. I hadn't actually ran downtown by myself before and I actually really enjoyed it. For those of you familiar with OKC, I started at the Midtown Y/McNellie's and went south to Reno. At Reno I headed east towards Bass Pro and then turned north through Deep Deuce and back to my car at the Midtown Y. All in all it was a nice 4.68 mile run and the weather was perfect.

I also want to send out a big thank you to Paula Batchelor-Strohm (Broken Arrow, OK) for her donation today! Thanks Paula!

Please go check out the TrainingPeaks blog if you have a chance!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Workout x 2

Wow, what a beautiful day here in the big OKC! Mid-50s, sunshine, and no wind. It was absolutely perfect running weather. The only drawback was that today was group swim today at OCCC so I knew my time outside would be limited. So, as all avid runners would do, I snuck in a run after work before my scheduled swim. I bolted through the door after work, put on my gear, and headed out to hit the pavement. There were tons of people out in the neighborhood walking dogs, riding bikes, playing with the kids, and just enjoying the sunshine. It was so great to run in shorts and a t-shirt again. I could really get used to this kind of weather. Bad news bears though. The wind will start tomorrow. Ugh, wind. I hate wind. Absolutely hate it. Oh well, I can't complain with temps projected to be in the 60s for this weekend. Bring on spring!

After running 2.23 miles in the neighborhood, I jumped in the shower real quick, changed clothes, and headed out to the pool. In the process I also managed to toast a mini-bagel and slather on some devilishly delicious White Chocolate Peanut Butter. Let me tell you folks. That is some prime time stuff. If you have never tried it and you are addicted to peanut butter like me, you really need to grab you a jar. I didn't say it was healthy. I just said it was good. It's one of my new guilty pleasures. Some people have ice cream. I have peanut butter.

The swim tonight went surprisingly well. I shared a lane with my normal lane buddy, Mark, and we knocked out a nice 1000 meter workout. It was quick, fairly painless, and I left feeling like I am making progress. The calf cramps are still a little troubling, but hopefully with more time in the pool my ankles will loosen up a bit and relieve some of the pressure on my calf muscles. I have been trying to do ankle stretches at my desk at work so maybe that will swing the tide in my favor. Other than the cramps late in my cool-down it was a good night in the pool. Swimming success, kinda.

I really enjoy the group workouts with TNT. It's just a real solid group of people and I feel comfortable around them. I have only known them for a month now, but it's been a great month of working together towards a common goal. I really foresee myself making some really great friends out of this experience so that will just be icing on the cake.

I also want to send out a big thank you to Melvin and Norma Townsend (Amber, OK) for their recent donation to my TNT fundraising efforts. I plan on sending out another wave of e-mails and a training update letter over the next few weeks. Hopefully with another communication push I can get another wave of donations for the LLS. We are making great progress, but we still have a lot of work to do.

Tomorrow is a run day for me and I am really looking forward to getting outside again. The tentative plan is to go get in some weights at the YMCA and then run downtown for 4 or 5 miles depending on how I feel. Friday is another swim day and then Saturday is an 8 mile run and our nutrition clinic. Sunday I am off to Utah for some fun on the slopes. I am looking forward to a great end to the week. Hope everyone has had a great week of training!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Quick Update

Today is rest day on the good 'ol triathlon training schedule. I took the opportunity to write thank you cards to the rest of my contributors and updated my race-day honoree list on my TNT fundraising page. I now have 5 individuals who I will honor on race day in Austin, TX. I also want to announce that with this batch of donations I am sending off to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, we have have now raised $1500! Great job Team!

Tomorrow it's back to the training schedule. Although, we are at a step-back week so the workload will be a little less than last week. Given the achilles and the fact I leave for skiing on Sunday, it's probably not a bad thing. More updates to come soon! Hope everyone had a great start to their week. Good night!