Friday Morning Swim

For one of the few times in past months, I did not attend my Friday morning spin class. I usually go to the class and get a great workout in. This morning I decided to hit the pool. I did a slight change to one of the Sunday morning workouts and finished the workout after swimming about 1600 meters. It wasn't as far as I would have liked but it was nice to get a morning swim in.

This was the first time I had been in the pool with the morning swimmers and it was a bit interesting. There was a group of three doing a workout together (like the Sunday Tri-Fusion swims) and were taking up about two lanes. The dedicated lap lane was filled so I tried to squeeze in between that lane and the group of three. They really didn't seem to mind but it was the next guy who really confused me. This guy took the place of the three other swimmers and decided to really push me toward the lane rope. I am new to the morning swims but it felt as if he thought he owned that lane at this time in the morning and wasn't really willing to share. Maybe if I can make it a bit more frequently they will share the pool with a bit more hospitality.

Today I had to start the food preparation for my dad's surprise birthday party we are throwing him on Saturday. One thing I can recommend is to NEVER go to Costco at noon on Friday. The place is packed. I had to take the afternoon off to go on the friggen shopping spree so why are all these people not at work.

I headed out to my parents place to spend some time with my sister, brother-in-law and my aunts family who came in from Seattle for the party. It is really great to see everyone and I am looking forward to an fun-filled weekend.


Skate Skiing

The morning began doing our weight workout at the gym. Our fearless leader was absent so Sheena, a fellow Tri-Fusionite and friend wrote up her own little workout. It was a great mix of core and legs and it felt pretty good to get through it. We had to start early (at 5:00 am) and of course I showed up a few minutes late, but only like five.

This evening marked my second attempt at skate skiing up on Mt. Spokane. I joined four great people, Jessi, Roger, Natalie and Greg (all part of Tri-Fusion) for a great workout under the stars. This time we did not have the great instruction of Robin but Jessi and Roger filled in nicely.
As I clipped into the skis I thought this was going to be easy, I have already spent a couple of hours learning last time and so this time it should be a breeze, right? Well, I started off pretty shaky but the snow was a bit softer and I seemed to get the hang of it a bit faster. Last time the hardest part was going up the hills. This time it was pretty easy but I REALLY need to work on the downhill part(see picture above). Every single time I get going with any speed I hit the snow, hard. When I snowboard I can usually count on one hand how many times I fall throughout the entire day. It takes both hands and my toes to count how many times I fall in the short 1.5 hour workout.

I just keep telling myself to get up and do it again. You can't let such a simple little hurdle in the race of life stop you from reaching your goals. Thanks again for all the fun and looking forward to the next time.


Family Comin' to Town

This morning I joined my spin class for a nice little ride. I am now reducing my anaerobic workouts in the class and trying to keep my heart rate down. To accomplish this in these classes can be difficult but I am slowly gaining an understanding of how my body works which is really helping.

Lately I have been attending our weekly HLR (Headlamp Runs) with my Tri-Fusion group members. Unfortunately I was unable to attend the group run because my sister and her husband were flying in and I had to pick them up. I hurried home from work so I could get my own HLR in. I ran a nice 4 mile loop and felt pretty good. I didn't have the energy I had for my Monday run but it was still nice to get out there.

My sister will be here for a week for my dad's birthday, so it will be great to spend some time with the family. I am pretty sure they all think I am crazy for doing these triathlons but it is always great to hear the support they give.


Personal Swim Workout

Today I woke up really sore for my run yesterday. I could only imagine how sore I would have been if I didn't take my Recover-Ease. According to the Thompson's they are the most important thing in their life other than their daughter, Emma. I usually make it to the morning weight workouts but decided with the extra effort I put in last night that I could sleep in. It was actually kind of relaxing during the morning and yet I was still at work by 7:05 am.

Since my shoulder has been feeling better lately, I decided to try and play catch-up with everyone who has been attending the Morning's with Martin on Sundays. I tried to complete one of the workouts they had done a few weeks ago after work. The swim started out pretty good but eventually I was feeling the fatigue. I am sure it was a combination of Sundays swim, Mondays run and the fact that I woke up on the hour EVERY hour from 11 pm on last night. I was able to finish just over half the workout and really noticed by technique and energy began to diminish. I finished a few more laps focusing on the technique and called it a day.

I have learned that one of the most important things you can do is listen to your body. I am not saying that you shouldn't push yourself at times but definitely listen to how your body feels. There will always be another day to push yourself to your limits. I feel I have really come a long way in the last few months and can’t wait to get out and race.


Under the Weather

Yesterday I was attacked a runny nose. This wasn't your typical slow jog of a runny nose it was like the run portion of an ironman. Normally you start with the congested feeling for a few days and then the runny nose symptoms begin. Well I my case that congestion phase was completely skipped and the facet was turned on.

I was able to survive my spin class without to many snotworks. I showed up about 5 minutes before class and had to ride one of the crappy old bikes. It took me like 10 minutes to get it set up and it was still not right. I am pretty sure I can blame the bike for the additional knee soreness I felt throughout the day. I would like to blame all the new people in the class but really it’s just my fault for not crawling out of bed. I have begun to realize I need to take it a bit easier in the classes and work more on technique vs. cardio improvement. I think I am going to start to reduce my number of classes each week and either ride more on the trainer or hopefully get outside and enjoy the northwest.

After going through at least one box of tissues I knew the only thing I could do to try and beat this cold was to workout. I decided I was going to go for a long run after work and stop when I felt like the nose issue was toast. I really haven’t been running to far lately, typically only 3-4 miles at a time. The goal was to run for 1.5 hr and see how I felt.

I left my house at a pretty good pace (for me) and didn't really have a particular route I was going. I just started running. The legs felt pretty good and because I am usually a mouth breather anyways the nose really didn't bother me. Well I only ran for 1:04 but was able to cover about 8 miles. The pace wasn't speedy fast at 8 min/mile but definitely something I feel I can hang my hat on at this point in the season. It was a great workout and was actually kind of nice to just get out and run all by myself.


Morning's with Martin Swim Workout

Today I joined the Tri-Fusion club for my first group swim workout. I have heard lots of great stories but had yet to experience the workout. I started off worrying about how I was going to get into Oz Fitness without having to pay the $15 day pass. Let's just say I worked my magic and the girls at the front desk couldn't resist. HeHe. After getting all dressed down for the swim it was actually kind of intimidating. It wasn't the people but rather the long workout. I really haven't been swimming in the last few months and the triathletes have been doing these workouts for the last few months.
I started out in the middle swim speed lane and still new to the swimming in a group technique, I kept catching up to the feet in front of me. So I thought I dabbled in the big boys (and two girls) lane for a couple laps and realized I better get back where I belong. I really didn't know what to expect from my shoulder and realized that it was going to hold up just fine. Once I understood the pace and type of swim strokes we were using it was great to get back in the pool. I believe the workout consisted of about 2,900 yards but I added a few extra for good measure.
After the workout I was able to spend a few minutes with Jessi Thompson working on my flip turns. I have never really tried them for the small fact that the whole pool seems to go up my nose. Fresh water in the nose is one thing, add a ton of chlorine and the pain doubles. I started out pretty ugly but finished with one good turn and thought that would be a great place to stop (everyone else was out of the pool and on the way to Starbucks, 'surprise') and build on it the next time I get in the pool.
As after almost every Tri-Fusion event we ended at Starbucks and it was once again a great opportunity to sit and listen to all these extremely experienced triathletes and try to pick up on some little tip that could help me during the following season. There are times when I think I might finally be getting the hang of this sport and then quickly realize that I really don't know anything. I see myself as a sponge during these brief chat sessions and try to absorb all and anything that can help me become a better triathlete and person. These are truly the right people to be around.


Gettin' Outside

Today was the first day I was able to ride outside this year. It was a beautiful day and I joined a great group of people. Fourteen people from my Tri-Fusion group set out to hit the road at 12:30. As I was getting ready to put on a pair of old socks over my shoes to help keep my feet warm, the awesome Scates' loaned me an extra pair of shoe covers. I think they added at least a half mile per hour during the ride, without them I might still be out there trying to catch up. Most importantly I looked the part of a cyclist, instead of a goofball wearing white cotton socks over his shoes. The sun was shining and everyone was in great spirits. I have spent all winter on my trainer and in the gym attending spin class. This was the first time I was able to see if all the hard work was going to pay off, at I think it has.

Our ride started out at Starbucks (you will see this is very common for Tri-Fusionites) in Wandermere. We rode over to Highway 2 and then out to Miller's One-Stop. It was about 20 miles out and took about an hour. For me and three others this was our turnaround point while the others went another 10-30 minutes. I could definitely tell the legs were getting tired on the way back.
We made it back to Starbucks while only losing one person (he just seemed to disappear), one flat tire and a small issue with a back wheel. I unfortunately didn't have any problems and really enjoyed getting outside and breathe the fresh air. We ended the ride sitting around Starbucks telling interesting stories about the day's ride and past experiences on riding in cold or crappy weather.


Ride of Truth

This morning was pretty slow. After the late night of skate skiing and talking with the Jessi and Roger Thompson, I didn't get to bed until 11:30 pm. When the alarm went off I just laid there until almost 5:30 am. Finally crawling out of bed expecting to be really sore, surprising the legs felt good. According to Jessi it was the Recover-Ease they gave me.

This morning there were only three of us total in the spin class, including the instructor. Since we were all regulars and all compete in triathlons we decided to ditch the typical spin class workout and try the "Ride of Truth". It was a nice change of pace because the workout was geared more towards cycling and endurance vs. weight lose and cardio. I was glad I made it to the class.

I met up with some friends for dinner and a few drinks downtown and it was great just sit around and talk. We went to PF Changs and I ordered one of my favorites Sichuan from the Sea. I asked if they could turn down the temperature of the spices so I could enjoy it. The mouth burn was just about perfect.


Skate Skiing

I started the day with an enjoyable workout this morning at the gym. We did our Thursday weight circuit. I am still trying to strengthen my rotator cuff and had to do a few stations on my own but overall it was a nice morning. The group is great. We have a great range of people from high school to their 40's and 50's. It is fun to see how everyone works off each other to get through a rather tough little workout. I know when I was in high school the last thing I thought about was going to the gym at 5:30 in the morning. I give them props.

So a few of my friends in my triathlon group: Natalie, Jessi, Roger, Ben and Virginia and I tried this sport called skate skiing. It is kind of like cross-country skiing (which I have never done) and rollerblading (which I have not done for 15 years). I have been snowboarding for the last few years so I feel pretty comfortable up on the mountain. Well, let me tell you something, having your feet strapped to an 8" snowboard is completely different than these tiny slivers of fiberglass they call skies. Robin and her husband John from Fitness Fanatics in Spokane offered to give a few of us lessons. They definitely had a tough job ahead of them.

They made us start out without using any poles (that’s me in the background). According the Robin, you do not get poles until you go up and down the path like 10 times, unless you are Natalie. After watching how effortlessly Robin skate skies, I was like no problem. Ohh boy was I wrong. I am in pretty good shape and after the first pass I needed to catch my breath. Eventually you start to get the hang of it; well at least you think so.

So we have made our passes back and forth on the trail and Robin says we can now have our poles. I was like "Sweet", now I am really going to get going, watch out Robin here we come. Well you know the test were you try and pat your head and rub your belly in a circle at the same time? I know you are going to try it right now. Well that is what is was like adding these friggin poles to this already very technical sport. The poles are flying all over as you try and catch your balance. My poles didn't get the memo to stay behind my skies. I can't tell you how many times I ran over the bottom of the poles with my ski and then of course fall down.

Now that we are all experts and getting ready to join the next Olympic trials we headed out around Mt. Spokane. The one thing I learned during a brief practice session is that downhill is easy(ier) and going uphill is NOT. There were a few downhills that I got going pretty fast, I was like Bode Miller you ain’t got nothing on me, until my skis would cross and I would hit the ground. The only thing to do was to get up and try again. I use that philosophy all the time. The only thing that is going to keep you down is yourself. The picture above is me flying by the camera, I am the white streak of light and the yellow dot was the moon.

If you ever have an opportunity to try skate skiing I would highly suggest it. In the Pacific Northwest we have amazing surroundings that allow you to try new sports all year long. It was great to spend time with such fun people and will definitely go again. From left to right: me, Natalie, Ben, Roger and John and Jessi is behind the camera.


Good and Bad

Today started out pretty good. Once again struggling to get up and trying to hurry to the gym for spin class. You just never know if you will get a good bike or one of the old ones. There are some days you show up 45 minutes early (yes that is at 5:15 am) and there may only be one or two good bikes left. Well today there were only one or two bikes actually taken at 5:45. I know as soon as I start to show up late and try to get an extra half hour of sleep I will be stuck without a bike. Well, I made it to class and had a great time, following it with a nice mile run afterwards to help train my legs for the transition from the bike to the run.

There are times it boggles my mind why some people don't show up on a constant basis. I completely understand how events come up in one's life that can not be avoided but what are your goals. I personally feel that everyone has potential and if you set a goal then you CAN reach it. After training for the last few years I have come to realize that the most important part of getting into shape is consistency. You do not necessarily have to workout as hard as you can but if you can constantly make the attempt to do a physical activity you are definitely going in the right direction.

I had a nice surprise visit from one of my clients who has not been in a good mood lately. I know it is not just my fault but when you get to sit there and stare him in the eyes as fire shoots out of his ears it just puts a damper on the day. Luckily, I was able to attend my triathlon club (Tri-Fision) monthly meeting and catch up with a few people I hadn't talk to in a while. This meeting was very informative regarding compression clothing and how to take care of your skin and hair after all those swim workouts in the pool. By the way, if you have never heard what chlorine can do to your body please do some research.

I am currently working on remembering my camera so I can add photos to the blog but just always seem to forget. Pretty soon they will start to appear.


Back in Action

Today was going to be a great day. Throughout the winter I have joined a group of friends every Tuesday and Thursday morning to do a weight circuit. The workout has a high intensity and works the legs and upper body. I showed up a few minutes late (just can’t always get out of bed) but was able to jump right in and have a great workout. I started my shoulder exercises and it was awesome to know I am on the road to recovery.

During the winter months my job usually consists of me sitting behind a desk at the computer. Today my coworker Kryssie and I went out to survey a new client’s house. It was nice to spend a few hours outside during the day. Though it was still pretty chilly, we really enjoyed soaking up a few rays.

On my way home I finally jumped back in the pool. I am not sure why I completely abandoned my pool workouts but was truly surprised how good the arm felt. I guess I could have probably started swimming earlier but now that I know the injury is relatively easy to heal, I am eager to get working on my stroke. I was surprised how good it felt to get back in the water even though there was an aerobic class filling almost the entire pool. I am looking into a swim coach to help prevent further injuries and eventually become a better swimmer.

Until next time!


The Not So Bad Good News

As I have for the last 4 months, I started my week at my spin class. As usual, I am half asleep when I enter through the gym doors. Struggling my way through the gym to the spin room I could feel the soreness in my legs. The weekend training was great but today I could feel the extra workout. I usually take Sunday off but decided to go for the recovery run. The class started out pretty slow but once you get the legs warmed up and the instructor yelling encouragement you get into a zone and it feels great.

As I mentioned in yesterday's post I scheduled my doctor appointment for my shoulder. In a triathlon there are 3 separate sports combined into one event. Well the most technical aspect of triathlons is the swimming portion. The time spent during each race in the water is relatively a small fraction of your total race time, yet as a triathlete you will spend the most time working on your swim stroke to become as efficient as possible. I have only been triathlon swimming for the last couple of years, and every time I get in the pool or listen to another triathlete I learn something new.

Well, I can truly say I need a lot of work on my swim stroke. Throughout my life in sports I have been relatively lucky to stay injure free. After talking with the doctor his simple analysis is that I have developed a case of swimmer's shoulder. The injury is relatively common for someone who does not fully understand the correct swim stroke, if there really is such a thing, since you are always working to improve your stroke. A not so long story short, I need to do rotator cuff strength exercises. These are relatively easy exercises and if the condition doesn't improve he said my next option would be complete arm replacement. To say the least I think I am going to give the exercises all I got.

Since I really hadn't experienced an injury like this I felt it was the best thing to take the break I did and now get going again. I am looking forward to getting to the gym and start building the muscles that help support my rotator cuff. I am also going to get back in the pool and continue working to strengthen the shoulder and working on my technique.


The Day Before

Does anyone know what it is like to get up at 10:30 a.m? Well for the first time in forever I was able to sleep in. It feels like you waste part of the day away but on this day it totally felt awesome. I really had nothing planned today so I was in no hurry to do anything.

After sitting around for a few hours and looking out at the great sunshine, I went for a recovery run. I wasn't sure how long I was going to go but felt pretty good and made it back to my house about 50 minutes later. It is amazing to see how much the snow has melted away over the last few days. Early last week it seemed like we would be buried until April and now the snow seems to melt away at inches a day.

A few weeks ago I injured my shoulder training in the weight room which has forced me to stop my swim workouts. I am normally a pretty quick healer so in my youthful wisdom decided I would just stop the shoulder workouts and be good as new in no time. Well as the weeks passed and not showing any real improvement, I finally called and scheduled a doctor appointment. I go at 4:00 p.m. tomorrow and hopefully the diagnosis is good. I NEVER go to the doctor and hopefully he has postive news because I really can't afford to miss much more time out of the pool before my race in June.


Great Weekend so Far!!

For the last month or so I have been joining my Tri-Fusion group for Saturday morning BAT's (Bikes and Trainers). There had been talk of trying to get outside and do a ride out on the roads. When I got home late last night there happen to be 1/2 inch of snow, I was pretty sure we would cancel the ride and get stuck indoors once again.

I decided to ride my trainer at my house and just happen to pick a great time. As I started pedaling, I turned on the TV and Ironman Kona was on. I can definitely tell you that watching the pros and age-groupers is very inspiring. All I could think was that some day I was going to be an Ironman. I rode for two hours finishing while watching Napoleon Dynamite. I totally forgot how funny that movie is. After the bike ride I went on a nice 30 minute run around my neighborhood. The weather was beautiful with a crisp breeze in the air. I had recently purchased a new pair of shoes and my lower legs could feel it. The run started out well with my calves beginning to get sore. I was able to run through it and I am pretty sure the next run will be better.

After taking a three hour nap (yes Friday night was a long night) I went over to my buddy Joe and his wife Erika's house to watch the Cougars play Oregon. The cougars hadn't won in Eugene since 1995. Well since Edgar (Joe and Erika's dog) was wearing his lucky Cougar bandana, the Cougs pulled it off and are now on a nice little 3 game win streak.

Later that evening I joined my cousins Brandi and Nicki with a bunch of their friends for a few beers and shuffleboard at the Season Ticket then headed to Jimmy Z's for some dancing. This weekend was a lot of fun.


My First Post

This is my first post on my first blog. I started reading a few of my friends and thought it would be fun in case I have any more of the nights where you miraculously forget what happened.

Well today was an early morning, getting to the gym around 5:30 a.m. for my spin class. I am currently training for my 3rd triathlon season. My big race is June 1st in Boise, it is a half-ironman. It was extremely difficult to get out of bed because of the late night before. I was invited by Sheena, a friend from my triathlon club and spin class to join some friends for dinner at one of our favorite local watering holes, Twigs. We had a great time but going to bed at 12 a.m. and then hearing the alarm go off at 4:30 a.m. is not what you want to wake up to.

The class went pretty well considering my legs are pretty sore from the workout on Thursday. We call is bonus Friday and the class is extened to an hour from the typical 45 minute class on Monday and Wednesday. But it always feels good to get my workouts done in the morning so I can relax the rest of the day.

Tonight should be a fun night. I am joining a few friends for a birthday party. We are meeting for dinner and then heading to the bar. Hopefully this night does not lead to one of thoses nights where parts are lost for ever.

This marks the end of my first entry with many more to come.