Posts Tagged ‘Endurance Nation’

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 

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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.

With all the things mentioned in recent blog posts, it continues on as much of a wild ride as predicted. With the new career focus of starting a tech company, the customary long hours and no or few days off are the norm. As one might expect, any firm schedule is a suggestion at best. Aside from my brain being over saturated, I still have the little task item of preparing for a long day in July. Whether I am ready or not, 140.6 miles  will be waiting, leave your excuses at the beach. Given all the circumstances, crossing the finish at Ironman Lake Placid will certainly be a significant life event. No doubt, it is a monumental experience for all those who take on the Ironman challenge.

One side benefit to be a singular team of me, myself, and I is that I can slip away to do that two hour workout when I have a break in the day, or do it on the fly. Working long hours, the mental break is most welcomed. The stress relief is a huge bonus.

Workouts are progressing slowly. I am beginning to complete about 70-80% of them as detailed in my EN Out Season plan. Weight is slowly dropping, and hope to be where I was last year (lightest weight) by late March. That all sounds good except I hope to lose much more before July. Balancing a diet, and increasing volume workouts in April is something I need to make happen.  I found a great deal on a like-new Quarq power meter for my tri bike a week ago.  Got it installed and working, no problems. Next I’ll need to time trial test and set a baseline while I learn this training with power business.

Recently got a bike fit with Jamie Campbell at Bike Loft  in North Syracuse. Using protocol from Specialized, it is a intensive in depth assessment of your joint alignments, range of motion, etc.,  before they even begin to look at bike sizing and fitting. My wife is a director of rehab at a skilled nursing facility, and I would draw similarity’s to what her physical therapists would look at  in the assessments of patients. Jamie was very thorough. When it was all said and done, I had a better position, and way more comfortable. My bike fit  that I had prior was not too far off, a few minor tweaks, a better fitting seat for my big butt, and I left as a happy camper. I have a few hours on the test seat, and will order that today. Highly recommended. We are fortunate to have a bunch of great bike shops in the CNY area. I enjoy heading back to the Bike loft, as my experience with them goes all the way back to when I was a young boy. This goes back to when Lance’s parents where running it. aside from that, it is a great shop,and I always get great service there.

As promised, I started swim lessons with coach Bill Houser at the  Cazenovia College pool. first night was pretty good. I liked working out as a group. It encourages one to keep at it rather than slack off. We ran warm up drills, and some baseline stuff. At the end we were all video taped to analyse what we are doing right/wrong or need to improve. My video should be a hoot. I’m bracing for the some good, some bad, and likely some very ugly. With the grace of God, and what help that coach can give me, I can reduce the last two items, and swim reasonably sorta slow as opposed to very slow. I am told that I can take a 2 hour swim, and bring it down to a 1:40-1:45 swim with fixing basic technique issues. That will certainly work for me.

My laundry list of things to get done or put in place are being checked off one by one. Despite the hectic times, there is progress, and very thankful for that.

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

Wow what a year! I am currently breaking tri-geek protocol with a glass of fine Riesling, as I reflect on 2012. There will be one or two more before the ball drops. 2012 was a huge year for so many reasons. I’ll start at least from the triathlete perspective.

2012 was my year of renaissance, my comeback to the sport.  I went all-in, with both feet. Joined the Endurance Nation team, and tried to string together as many “right” things to do that I am capable of. In my singular “world view”, I was shaking in my boots. I was going from zero to 70.3 after a 14 year hiatus from the sport. My “A” race was Ironman Syracuse 70.3, a half ironman event.  Goal accomplished, I overcame and adapted as the year unfolded. It was not a perfect race season, but a very good one. I worked through whatever happened, and I literally enjoyed all of it.

For my overly positive perspective, I can easily point to Endurance Nation, the EN team,and coaches Rich & Patrick for the majority of it.  Even though I am much older, certainly much slower, as compared to my glory days of my thirties, I felt more empowered, and in control of each and every event. Having the mental toolkit to deal with the actual race was a game changer for me.  The race season include several sprint tri’s, an olympic tri, Syracuse Ironman, 4 half marathons,and an assortment of 5k’s,and other mid distance running events. The one disappointment was NYC marathon which of course was canceled. Mother Nature can be a very cruel in her fury. Recovery for the people in those areas is still on going. Despite the destruction, the cancellation, The “Run Anyway” event that came together that Sunday, was inspiring, and a lifetime memory.

Race season slowed after the first week of November. I entered into a bike concentration plan that is now just ending. As you will understand further, the past month leading up to this was very stressful, and not as productive training wise as one might hope for. Despite the awe inspiring comeback year, My professional life took it in the shorts a week before Christmas. My company was sold and only half of the engineering team was offered a position in the new company. Myself and the one other remaining original founder of the company was not invited back, as well as other very talented engineers. Ying and Yang in full effect for me personally.

Not all is lost. I am starting a new technology company, and we’ll see if it sinks or swims. I am driving the bus for now. With that it leaves some uncertainly for Ironman Lake Placid, which is my “A” race for 2013. Obviously if I am not successful  I cannot afford the costs associated with the event. It is an unknown for now. In the mean time, I have a career plan, and an ironman plan in place to succeed at either or both (both is the correct answer). It is more important to succeed with the company in order to keep our land, our home, and to contribute to our bills. In that regard, triathlons take a back seat. It does mean that I will be at fewer races, which is ok as far as not distracting from the training plan for Lake Placid. I can live with that. As we are taught how to adapt to race an iron distance  endurance event, I must adapt to the abrupt change in my career as an engineer. My quest to cross the finish line as an ironman could realistically be postponed. Either way, I will continue to train,and make the best of it. After all triathlon is my play time, my stress relief.

There is a crossover from the tri world to the career world as well. The goal driven mentality, the perseverance, the stick with it till you make it mantra, all comes in handy on the real life side of things. I can assure you that I will apply all of those things within my power, and capabilities. My lively hood is at stake, and while I train for a full ironman, reality for making the distance, and making my company succeed, will never be more than a thought away.

I will be truthful, as much as I have had many great things in 2012, I am doubtful and worried about 2013. In both work and play, I am tackling two very large unknowns. In my plus column, I have the unwavering love of my wife and family, my health (a big thank you to my doctor, Dr. Lynn Cunningham), and I am blessed in so many ways. Team EN will have my back as they always do, and with any luck, 2013 will be a pivotal year, even more so than 2012.

With that I leave you in a hopeful but concerned state of mind. I wish you all a great 2013, and I hope to cross paths as our lives forge forward. Tomorrow you can find me at the Resolution Run in Syracuse, and you can be sure I have a few resolutions to carry with me throughout the year.

God bless, and may your travels this holiday season be a safe one.

Mike

Solid focus in training for the big dance! Halfway through the 4th week of bike focus. I can tell things are progressing as I am notably becoming tired of sitting on the trainer, and bored to death after about 20 minutes spinning. To help with this, my wonderful wife Lee tolerates the bike being in our great room off center to the big screen TV. That does help the hours pass. At some point I hope to remember that these two hour Saturday rides will be short work outs come this spring when 4-6 hours in the saddle will become the new norm. Even though I have gained some weight, my head is back into it, and focusing on diet, using the calorie counter, and renewing my effort to a slimmer 160lb me come July or high water. Running is feeling good, no aches or pains, and it is nice to switch up from the long run focus of marathon training. Of course we’ll revisit that again long before July.

Hunting season was very productive and expedient this season. Being tagged out until muzzleloader season has given me more free time to train at my preferred times as opposed to “fitting it in.” Along with that,  we have a freezer full of quality lean protein (wild turkey & venison) which is a preferred staple in our home.

In a few short weeks , training will switch to Out Season plan, and will focus more on speed, and high quality workouts. I will diverge a little from the plan to get swim lessons, and up my swimming game before I switch to the ironman plan in April. I like the approach as 30 some weeks of ironman focus only has got to be hard on the mental game.  I also hope to make the switch to training with power on the bike. It won’t change how hard I’ll need to train, but it will help with not overdoing it, and more precisely measure my progress. Power meters don’t care how much coffee or red bull you had, or if you are having an off day etc. In the end, watts are watts.

Really liking the Endurance Nation training methods, and the knowledge base that I can draw from. So far much of it is like my experience in training for Ironman Syracuse. That will be different soon enough once April arrives. Having the resources and confidence in coaches Rich & Patrick , and my EN teammates having my back, makes the unknowns of tackling 140.6 miles less intimidating.

Looking forward to the constant progress,and the upcoming phases in route to Lake Placid. Hope that your off season training has begun on a high note. I’ll report back in again  as the weeks roll by!

 

 

Still not totally “reconciled” a week after the ill fated canceled NYC marathon.

Still no resolution or word on what will be done for the 45000 runners who got little or nothing for their $250, not to mention those of us with non-refundable hotel/travel arrangements. Worse of all and more importantly, many of the storm’s victims are still without heat or power. Gas is a priceless commodity as well. That would be the negative side of the equation. Indeed, people are still suffering a huge loss in those areas. No win-win for anybody.

On the positive side, many runners donated, some traveled directly to the areas hit by the storm, and did good deeds, making a difference. The impromptu runs came together quickly thanks to the ever so connected world of social media. “Run Anyways” was an inspirational event, and I am glad to have witnessed it, and participate. More funds and donations were raised and collected there as well.

As I chose to run a solid half marathon effort, my recovery was quick, and I spent the transition week running with our weimaraners, and a few light bike trainer workouts. Even though training leading up to do the marathon certainly benefits my fitness that I can carry over, it was more run focused and endurance based.

Now that I have done a hard reset per EN protocol, I am all in with one singular focus, one goal: Cross the finish line at Ironman Lake Placid on July 28th, 2013.

37 weeks to go before the big dance.

This will be a very different season coming up. I love to do events/races. As a social athlete, I am in for the fun and excitement of the events. Over the next eight months, I will forgo many races that I might normally do. I have set my mind to follow the training plan, and not look to make exceptions to accommodate races that cause me to shift things around in the training plans, or require me to recover and not just train through them. This does not mean that I won’t do other events, but they will have to fit my training schedule, and not interfere with each week’s specific purpose. Each week from here on out, has a specific purpose, and necessary to achieve my goal.

As an Endurance Nation athlete, I have a season plan that takes me to the big day. Unlike what you may be thinking, it is not 37 weeks of ironman training. I chose to do Lake Placid, as it was designated as a EN team event, and part of the Master Season planned races. This means I will be working with the same goals as many of my fellow team mates, and draw upon the collective knowledge of the coaches and team members.

My 2013 season is broken down as follows:

  • 6 weeks of Bike Focused Plan- this includes running skills, heavy bike training no swimming. I picked this as I can make big bike fitness and time gains. Heading into winter, means cycle training indoors. Have to up my mental game.
  • 1 week reset, unstructured workouts as I feel
  • 14 weeks of Out Season Training. lot of work on getting faster, train to be faster. No swimming called for, but I will be looking for swim training/coaching on easy or rest days to improve my water skills. Weakest link, and I can drop a 2 hour ironman swim down to 1:40-1:45 maybe better than that. It will be a matter of when and where classes will be offered.
  • Mid April I will switch to 16 weeks of ironman training and begin adding endurance on top of the expected speed gains. I may attend EN training camp early June, as training on the actual course is priceless and critical to knowing where/when to execute race strategies.
  • Along with all this, I am focused on reaching reaching that 160lb weight goal, as I don’t want to haul around anymore of my fat butt than I have too.

Much of the focus will be similar to training for Ironman Syracuse 70.3. Of course it’s twice as long, and requires attention to all details. As before, Coach Rich & Patrick, my fellow EN teammates will have my back, and will guide me through the highs and lows, illnesses and or injuries should they occur. As much as I am in awe and intimidated at completing a 140.6 mile journey, I am excited for what I expect will be an epic day, and a experience that will be life changing.