Archive for the ‘Training’ Category

After what has been an extended stay from active training, participating as an athlete in local events, I have arrived at mission critical once again. In focusing on making my tech business thrive, keeping my head above water, I simply ignored or put back of the shelf something that I enjoy, and is actually good for my physical self, as well as my mental clarity. I leave that to you to argue that one…

The past few years after having finished Ironman Syracuse 70.3, and the team event the following year (knee problem forced me out 5 miles in on the bike) have been less than ideal from a perspective of triathlons and each of the three sports. 2015, and the first half of this year have proved to be more than difficult in both circumstances, and more importantly my responses, my reaction to these circumstances. Difficult clients were above and beyond in some ways, causing me more time if front of three 24″ monitors. 70-80 hour weeks take their toll over time. Family issues have been challenging, however, no family is immune to those rising to the occasion. This spring our mother loss her five year battle with Alzheimer’s. All contributing circumstances, explanations, however not deserving of being excuses. There are too many examples of folks like you and I that accomplish great things while overcoming far greater odds or circumstances, and it lays clear that our (mine) reaction is what should be dealt with, put back into proper perspective.  Going with or relegating myself to excuses is an admission of no solution, missing that kick in the ass to turn it around.

In my vast wisdom, I made the executive decision to sign up for the inaugural Lake Placid Ironman 70.3 next September. A goal, a stake in the ground has been placed. No it is not the full ironman as of yet. Not the big dance. We’ll hit this milestone first once again and see where it goes.

Fifty one weeks to drop what is much too excessive weight from my frame, and get back to making my tired old self move forward by means of self propulsion. Excuses will not cut it here. I do the work, I’ll finish. No time goal, but there are goals to be met knowing what speeds I can realistically achieve, and manage my body responses to stress.

I’ll be exchanging boat loads of sitting behind the desk of stress for the more healthy kind. I’ll be better off for doing it, and if all goes as planned, see you at the shoreline of Mirror Lake next September.

© 2016 Mike Joyner- Joyner Outdoor Media 

Probably the easiest review to ever do on a big race. If this is not one of the nicest weekends of the entire summer, then we are in for an unbelievably great summer. This is Syracuse, and for us to have typical sunny California weather for an entire weekend, well it is a big treat. Very little wind, abundant sunshine, starting off cool in the morning, reaching mid seventies in the afternoon. Kenny and his army of staff and volunteersput on a great race. To have over two thousand triathletes, their families in one place with participants from all over the world including royal princes, to make it all go well and actually look like it was easy to pull it off has my appreciation. Kudos to all that made it happen.

In my previous blog I predicted a few things, one of which is that I would be inspired. I was, I am.

My race was cut short. Normally I would say, yeah that sucks, not happy, what ever. I have one regret of not being able to enjoy the scenery that I knew awaited me on many points on the bike course. I made it as far a a few hundred yards up on Sweet Road. My right knee popped going up the first big hill out of Jamesville. I walked it up, got back on, spun as much as I could. When it came time to apply the needed power to the crank arms to climb , the same knee barked. Part of me said tough it out, deal with it later. A more sensible side of me, which seldom wins an internal argument like this decided  that pushing up Sweet Road would likely cause more damage, like a tear or something worse. I dislike not finishing pretty much anything I start out to do. I dislike surgery and or missing out on entire seasons much worse. I walked the bike back nearly all the way to race site.

It is unplanned events like this that you find out about other aspects of the race. My fellow racing participants (it was a lot of them, I couldn’t begin to tell you ho many) would ask if I was OK, if I need help, neighbors watching the race would inquire and offer to help, the bike support crews, law enforcement, etc. All very friendly and offered a helping hand. I was told That I could get a ride back if I needed it. Once they were done giving bike support on the corner of Sweet road, they would come get me or I could wait. Cool!  It felt good to walk it off, and the pain subsided as long as I didn’t try to push hard on a crank, or run. I would walk most for the way back, and got on the bike and coasted the downhills. This suited me fine as I didn’t want to bother anyone, or distract from those that needed help and be sent on their merry way to finish the course. If I needed a ride that would happen just for the asking.  Once I got back in, and sent our team runner off  (as a team we were now DNF, but at least Todd could get in a solid race run in unofficially), I headed up to the medical tent. Once there,I got prompt professional care, squared away with an assessment, ice pack,and eventually sent me off in a knee wrap. It was swollen some, but no trip to the hospital.  I was able to walk reasonably well, and we’ll see what tomorrow brings.  I don’t recommend that you ever need  to visit the medical tent, but if you ever did, they have my vote. We parted with thanks, but hope I don’t see you again today 🙂 The way I was treated by all those around me was inspiring, and says a lot about the community spirit of the race.

A visit with the good doctor will be on the schedule this week. It is my hope that being actually smart about it, may stave off  further problems.

Something that I thought was just great, was when the last athletes came in off the bike and headed out on the run course. They were cheered by, and very loudly I might add, by the pro’s, the elite athletes among us, as well as the crowd that had gathered waiting to get it in to retrieve their bikes.  I was glad to be there  to witness that, and to help cheer the remaining participants on.

Very happy for my teammate Mary Ryan for a good swim, and running teammate Todd Robertson who put in a solid run on a tough run course. Couldn’t ask for a nicer teammates to share the day with.  A big thank you to  my sister Kim,and my wife Lee  for volunteering, helping with wet suit stripping duties. Very glad for the family support and helping out with the race.

Again my hat is off to Kenny and his team for giving us a great race today, and for all of you that added to my experience of enjoying an absolutely beautiful day in upstate New York.

 

To those that have followed my wandering writings in the past, I do apologize. My blogging on the sport we are all fond of has been non existent for a while now. Not that I have had a change of heart, or no longer promote all the good tangible things that come from a multi-sport lifestyle. In fact, it hasn’t changed at all. My schedule is not much of one as I still am working on building a tech company, and to gain stability financially. The idea of keeping what Lee and I have worked so hard for is the first priority until we can no longer do so, and have to rethink our dreams for the future. With  all that my training time has been minimal,and will rely on experience and pure grit for the bike leg tomorrow. a few extra long bikes would had made me feel more ready, but that always seems to be the case. I am on a great team with super nice friends which make it an absolute pleasure to participate with.  Mary Ryan will start us out on the swim, and Todd Robertson will cleanup on the run. I’ll be handling the cycling chores. No doubt my bike , a 2011 Specialized Comp, is fast enough. It is a smooth ride, and never a complaint since I bought it. The engine (myself) of course is always suspect.  I know the course well, the hills are no taller, less or more steep than they have been in the past. It is a pretty course to ride. I will enjoy it, as it is slated to be a very nice day to race, surrounded by thousands of like minded people pursing a great sport. It is and will be  inspiring, and I will soak it up as much as I can. No major time goals or other nasty teams to beat 🙂 Seriously, no big rivalries, maybe a little trash talk here and there. The goal will be to finish and finish well, and look good doing it. This year for me is more of a social event with a significant work component. None of my comments are meant to be detracting from those with other race goals as it is certainly a big part of the triathlon lifestyle. Whether it will be for a podium spot, a personal best, other time/speed goal, or first time at that distance. Some of my triathlon friends will use tomorrow as a big training day for a full ironman later this summer. Bigger achievements await them, and you have my admiration. I wish all my fellow athletes a great race tomorrow, a safe one in fact, and that it be memorable one as well.

Up early today, unfortunately not to race, rather have to go into work for most of the day. I am grateful to be swamped with work, servicing a contract/design project for my main customer, however I do cherish my play time, and time at home. Gorgeous day, and I would rather be on a relay team or volunteering. Syracuse 70.3  is an epic event.

As I finish writing this, everyone should be out on the bike course, the swim leg of the race in the done category. Participating last year, I can freshly recall the 4:30 AM arrival, body marking, checking the bike, and all the little nuances of race prep on event morning. The adrenaline, and excitement is something I remember most. The bike course is scenic, and one of my favorites. There is something very different climbing Sweet Road with a sea of triathletes on race day verses the training rides be it solo or the CNY tri club. Something about working it together in mass ( without drafting of course) just makes it perceptibly just a little bit easier. The run will be a hot one today, but again, It is a tough but pretty run.

So from the confines of my office in spirit and in heart I am with you. I wish you all an epic day,  awesome experiences, and that you reach your goals or take away something very positive and tangible! I’ll be watching the posts, and online comments and pics. Hope to see you at other events later this summer.

Mike

Sorry if the title might mislead some, this is not some epic deal of overcoming all odds, or a terrible situation or malady. It is the title that stuck in my head while running today.

Despite the “Oh you did an Ironman, yawn” attitude you see over in some elitist triathlon forums, I view the big dance as a monumental thing.  Take one look at me and you’ll not mistake my physique to be that of a distance runner or 5-8% body fat endurance athlete with all the speed, and grace of form that one imagines. Nope not this guy. Even in my glory days of thirty something and a slender 152 lbs, I was not a gifted athlete, terribly fast or all that dialed in on technique or form.  I sure was faster than I am today and would take it back in a heartbeat. No pro career in the works for me ever. I did however love the sport, and especially how empowered I felt, and how positive is was for my outlook, and perspective. It made me feel very alive as it does now. Being determined and having stubborn will as my allies I press on.

I sure picked a hell of a year to tackle the ironman distance. Of course when I signed up, my career was not in turmoil at that time. The training is most certainly a great stress relief. It is also a source of stress in that I barely make my workouts on a good week, and missing more than a few probably doesn’t help in my quest. My good doctor will read this, and will be sure to set me straight. No qualms there as she practices what she preaches  and I get away with nothing. No excuses 🙂  Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful for so many things, general good health, my wife, my family, and my friends. I live a good life, and know that I am fortunate.  In that respect, shut up and get on with it.

My daily schedule is chaotic for now, lots of hours, with each week begin different as I try to build a tech company. eating is erratic, and my weight is stagnant, and needs to drop and soon. My constant worrying is self imposed. and I am sure it is affecting a number of things. Being this is the first weekend in three months that I did not work, is maybe a sign of balance on the horizon.  I am surrounded by great support of my wife, and close friends. I really do need to listen to them more and take it more to heart.

Lately my workouts have been drudgery, taxing, as I feel overtired, and always thinking about work instead of pounding out a good workout. Some days my supposed positive outlook and iron will falls short for the build up  for Lake Placid. There is no excuse or circumstance that means anything when that start cannon goes off on July 28th.  There is some headway on the swimming side of things, so I’ll take that as progress.

I toed the start line at Syracuse Half Marathon this morning. It would run through my old stomping grounds where I used to live in Eastwood many years ago. I was looking forward to running a city course which I like very much. Coming off Lake effect 13.1 a month prior, I felt reasonably ready to cover it as an easy pace training run. Up to start time  everything felt normal and familiar and I was ready to go. The plan was simple, go easy the first mile, no faster than 10:30 as there was a good uphill stretch on James Street, and to ease up going up Court Street roughly halfway to 2/3rd of the race. Pace would be 11ish with a 20-30 sec walk break every mile after mile 3 to ease my hips and back the heart rate down.

First mile out I stayed with the plan, but felt like I was overtired and working too hard given the pace and the flat first mile. I eased up James Street the way I wanted to, and was ok with it. Settled in for the next two miles, and felt a little better. Mile 4, I felt that didn’t have it in me to finish, and that I was having a problem. A big problem. If this was all I had to see something through, what would I do at mile 16 with another 10 miles to go at Lake Placid. This was my little battle today. I thought it was odd, as I enjoyed running my old routes, the race itself, the volunteers were fantastic, all good stuff. I made it my pact that If  I could not mentally tough out a half marathon on an odd day, then what was I thinking about pulling it together for 140.6 miles.

I used my little mental tool kit and bag of tools to work out my little funk. Dropped to 11:30’s,  eased up my stride and did my best to put my head back into the miles ahead. A little stubborn will goes a long way sometimes. I am sure neither of my coaches would have thought that the race was at all critical, likely telling me to just go out next week, and put the miles in, move on. Personally I needed this little win over myself to put this funk behind me. Eventually I felt better, and the remainder of the miles seem to go by quicker. Once I hit mile 12, it was a done deal. All said and done, I felt so much better for crossing the finish line. Kudos to Ken for putting on he race, the volunteers, the police and all that made it happen. Great inaugural race!

Light at the end of the tunnel. I like those days! Third week in swim class with coach Bill Houser. I signed up for a eight week swim course with start and finish video of one’s self  in the pool. Very easy going coach, and to me very young although anyone under forty is a “young’n.”  Good news, I like my coach,and so far so good, and it’s going to work out well.

I like to swim, not particularly afraid of the water, however not very fast in the water. Syracuse Ironman 70.3 I was nearly an hour in the water. The thought of going two hours + at Ironman Lake Placid is not a comforting thought. Cutoff for the swim is 2:20. Hence swim lessons. I have been told by many that correcting swim form flaws and working with a coach I should be able to pull off a 1:40-1:45 swim. Slow, but with a much better buffer against the clock.

First swim practice we were all video taped swimming a few laps and at different angles. I won’t list all what I saw, but I would best describe it as a floating rock, or  a tow barge, slowly moving though the water. Yeah I was so impressed! Not. Those great swim videos were the swimmer glides though the water as some epic part of an nature study or flow and fluid dynamics seminar, are not what I look like at all. Not even close. Coach Bill asked that everyone self critique- given a list of very common flaws of that simmers have. He would then comment. Good news, he and I agreed on my substantial list of things to correct.

Last night we worked on glide, and a bunch of the drills we previously worked on came together. My 25-28 strokes per pool length dropped to 20-21. Please don’t video tape me yet, the list of things to correct is still long. I knew that I made a drastic change, and I could feel it in the water.  More like a fish, less like a rock.  I now see a path to get there, and swim a reasonable time, with less effort.

I do appreciate those little personal victories.

Middle of January, we’re in the thick of it, and on many fronts. Currently in Endurance Nation’s Out Season plan. The idea is to work on speed and needed skills. Of course in my case speed is oh so relevant and a large matter of perspective. Given that qualifier, I have faith and past experience that supports the belief that I will be ever so slightly faster on wheels, land and sea at the end of the Out Season (end of March). It is my hope that I will see substantial gains as compared to the here and now as I type this. After that, welcome to volume and endurance on top of some speed work, just not so much.

It has been overwhelming when combined with starting a new technology company. Long hours, up to my eyeballs trying understand more of the business side of things. As chief  everything officer, all things including the buck stops at my feet. Good news, office is up and running , and working on first contract. Getting it up and running and making money quickly sure helps.  I have yet to nail down a solid schedule with everything in flux. Having some flexible time does allow me to get  workouts in, but I need to get that down to a consistent schedule. Training for an ironman and starting a company, probably not the best idea, but it does help relieve the stress. No trouble sleeping this past week.

With multitasking in overdrive to the point of mental abuse, I did accomplish a few things for my ironman quest. Swimming lessons start in two weeks. That will take up Tuesday night time slot. Renewed YMCA membership  to get other swim days in, plus tread mill for those over the top nasty winter days (winter running is my favorite). Three blocks from my office,and very handy for a early or midday workout. Hopefully I will be bike training with a power meter in a few weeks. Looking forward to better more consistent and objectively measurable workouts on the bike. The watts don’t care about other factors or how you feel. More watts, harder, faster. I am signed up for race rehearsal camp in June in Lake Placid. It will be great to get a real feel for the venue. Should be a big confidence builder. Anything I learn there will give  me a few weeks to either enhance or correct before the big day. Looking forward to meeting my teammates that weekend. Even with all this going on, I am still working on getting the payload down. Getting faster by dropping weight is a plus. Still have to get a bike fit done before those long 3/4/5/6 hour rides.

As I mentioned in earlier blogs, I will forgo some of the usual races to stick to the training plan, not to mention keep a reign on discretionary spending. Broke my heart to not sign up for boilermaker (favorite race) That day will be a two hour bike and 20 min run, with a four hour bike the day before.  I am signed up for Lake effect 13.1, and the new Syracuse 13.1. Looking forward to doing those as I can fit them into my current out season plan. Of course it calls for doing 1/2 mile repeats  at tempo pace with 2 minute recovery pace between each one. Smile and run anyway  🙂

Mike