Different Approach

I'm 37 now and it's crazy to think that I've been competing (on and off) in endurance sports for almost 25 years! It's taken me this long to finally realize I've been doing it all wrong. Let me explain...

Bringing up the sun with Wattie Ink Punk! 
If you relate my "strategy" in training/racing to playing poker - you could say that I've always been a very aggressive player. I've always taken training and racing so seriously to the point where it hurts me. Over-training, over-racing, over-thinking, caring too much, obsessed, etc. I've never just gone with the flow, put in the work and let the racing take care of itself. I've always put so much mental and physical energy into it which (looking back on it) has really wreaked havoc on my overall performance. Ask those that have trained with me in the past - they would probably say my performances don't always match up with the numbers I put up in training. 

Well this time I'm approaching it all differently. I'm going to just put in the work and let my progression happen naturally instead of forcing it like I have in the past. I have such a peace while I'm out training now. I'm not obsessed with numbers, what race I'm going to do next, whether I'm doing too much or too little. It's actually making the sport fun again. 

My progression is going slower then I'd like which is expected. I've lost a whopping 1/2 pound  - most of that is because I lost like every muscle in my body - so I know I'm losing fat and gaining muscle so I'm cool with that. Right now I'm running 3-4 days/wk and riding 2-3 day/wk. I'm just going through the painful process of working out scar tissue from years of abuse and just dealing with feeling generally horrible in training which is also normal those first few months back. 

Waking up early to train definitely has its perks. The smell of summer mornings, hot air balloons rising up into the air and the sun rising up over the beautiful Temecula foothills. It starts the day with a smile and an appreciation that I am still sweating and breathing hard 25 years later.
My son and I watching motorcycles and monster trucks!

Crush & Brew...Yum

Grind

Temecula Winery Views :)
Well I'm about three weeks back into consistent training and I'm FINALLY starting to feel good, especially with running. Most of my weekdays consist of an early 5am wake up call so I can squeeze in a ride or run before my busy day starts.

5am is early no matter how you swing it but when you are motivated and excited about the sport again, it's a lot easier to get up. That's why I know this is for real this time. I get excited with every little improvement I'm seeing. Historically, I can usually get back into shape pretty quickly although I am now 37 years old and not in my early 30's the last time I did this (get fat/out of shape). Regardless, I'm only two years removed from being in the best triathlon shape of my life and I really can't wait to toe the line to race again. I'm targeting a little sprint race down in Mission Bay in October to make the comeback complete and then I will build into winter and go big with training to set myself up for a good 2017 season.

In the meantime, I'm really enjoying the summer with friends and family. All Star Game, Monster Trucks, Del Mar Fair, golf, BBQ's, Temecula wineries and of course great beer. Cheers!

The kids and I on MLB network with Harold!

Trying some new brews



Sweet boy Bo



Motivation arrives on its own terms

Wow, started this blog six years ago - so many good memories and I am SO glad I documented all of the good times both in life and sport. I am committing to blog again once/week to document my comeback to the sport - which I have found helps keep the motivation at a high level.

Most of you that follow the blog here (or when it was at Kona Journey) know that I've taken the past two years off of competing. I've had random "comebacks" or big blocks of training only to fall off for months at a time. The motivation would come and go just like the weeks would. I don't blame it on kids or jobs or anything but the desire just wasn't there. I poured my heart & soul into triathlon for a good four years and wouldn't take it back. Sure, it's only triathlon - why so intense? Well, I think it's very healthy for someone to have a passion for something other than work. It makes you feel alive, gives you other goals/accomplishments, camaraderie and the ability to compete  - which often times dies after we are all grown up.

Well, looking back on it all being two years wiser...ha - I may have been a little too invested in what I was doing and with such HIGH expectations. Ironman CDA broke my heart, like big time. You put so much time and energy into something and when you fail, it's very hard to deal with. My solution was to walk away because I had zero desire to get in the water, on my bike or lace up ever again. I was done putting so much time into something with little returns. I have always been extremely hard on myself which didn't help my cause, especially with that being my FIRST Ironman.

However, looking back on it all - the journey is what made it all so special and I really miss creating the memories that I now look back on with such a warm heart. Training and competing makes me happy. I'm a happier person when sport is in my life. So what to do? Duuuuh, get back to work!

For me, motivation had to arrive on its own terms. I tried to force the issue many times the past two years with no luck. Well it's back and this time going in - I'm a lot wiser in so many areas both in my mental and training approach. I've had some consistency which I haven't seen in quite some time and I'm already looking at some races that I can start focusing on.

I thought about reaching out to some coaches but I have decided to be self-coached for now. The biggest thing about coaching is everybody is so unique and it takes years for a coach to really understand what works for an athlete so that they perform at their best. I am very aware of what works for me. To start my main focus is to consistently ride and run (very little swimming), lose the 10 pounds I've gained these past two years and slowly work my way into a "serious" training regimen. Summed up:

1. Ride/run consistently
2. Clean up diet
3. Less beer in my life (this will cause outrage with friends)
4. Have fun

I'm really looking forward to coming back to a sport that won my heart (even more then running). As always, thanks for reading and excited to start my new journey.




Climbing back into shape



Getting back into shape has been fun and miserable. I still think I'm in this phenomenal shape and I end up getting back from a workout all shaky and wiped out. I'm just taking things slow (literally) until I get my legs and lungs back.


I have to admit though, I've been having fun with it again. For now I'm just riding and running for the next month and then I'll start getting into the water again. Juggling a new business, my career, two kids, a baby and a wife is no joke! I just prioritize each day and do my best to get things done. So lots of climbing, big gear work, trainer work, easy jogs with some pick ups for now. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

San Diego proved perfect weather over the holiday weekend that included a family hike, a ferry and lunch to Coronado and the family hosted at our place. Such a fun weekend, love this time of year.

Me and baby Bo


Thanksgiving!
Coronado is beautiful in every way, cheers!

Come Back

Wow, 52,000 hits to this blog since I started it up back almost exactly five years ago. A lot has happened in those five years!

  • Getting into triathlon and losing 40 pounds
  • Having 2 kids!
  • Getting on inaugural 2012 Wattie Ink Team
  • Qualifying for Ironman 70.3 World Championships
  • Writing my "Kona Journey" for LAVA magazine
  • Racing my first Ironman
  • Work promotion
  • Having baby #3
  • Taking a year off of triathlon
  • Starting Endurance Camps
  • Getting back into shape.


So this is the next chapter. After taking a year off of triathlon to focus on baby #3 and to recharge mentally and physically - it's time to get back into shape. I've decided to document my road back through the blog that started it all. I've learned it keeps me extremely motivated, allows me to get my thoughts down and almost act as a life journal and simply, I enjoy writing.

To start, I'm back racing for the best team in triathlon, Wattie Ink

Click on the picture and "like" the team page


Being associated with this team for the past five years has been such an amazing experience. I've made life long friends and have seen the brand grow in such a big way - so fun to be a part of.

Here's the 2015 roster line-up:


Lots of new faces but I have no doubt that team manager (and my former coach Flanny) put together the best team yet. It's been so cool to see him and Wattie shape this team into what it is today. 2016 is going to be a great year!

As far as training goes, it's all about baby steps right now. For the past year I've just been randomly training. Little bit of swimming and running but mostly biking just to stay in decent shape. I still gained 10 pounds from the inactivity and pretty much let go of all of the great fitness I had for the past five years. That's OK though - since it hasn't been THAT long, I know it will come back fast. It already has, I've already lost the 10 pounds I've gained and looking to build on some fitness for the rest of 2015 and then really start hitting the ground running in 2016. 

2016 will mostly be Sprint/Olympic distances with a slight chance of Ironman 70.3 Arizona at the end of the year to qualify for 2017 WC's. I have to admit, it's been REALLY nice to take this time off - I was really burned out. I feel like I've matured in a huge way with the time off and I just look at triathlon with such a different outlook now. With a new head on my shoulders, I'm excited to see what 2016 and beyond have in store for me. Thanks for following along, means a lot :)

Endurance Camps



I seem unable to get away from multi-sport! After trying to make a comeback from running, I found myself injured often and remembered why I got into multi-sport in the first place! So I'm back swimming, biking and running again and so far, doing it healthy. No plans of racing quite yet....However, I started a new business. Endurance Camps. I plan on changing the way camps are done throughout the US. Follow along at the blog over there!

Also, like us at:


If you're a coach and have experience running camps, we are looking for you (paid position)! Please submit your resume at endurancecamps@gmail.com

I will continue to update this site occasionally with training and MAYBE a little racing. 

Baby Steps

Throw back to the Dirt Dog Series
For the past five years, I've dedicated a big part of my life to triathlon. I never thought I would slip back into "out-of-shape James." Multi-sport just becomes who you are, your identity and your lifestyle. Looking back on it, I ask myself what made me completely stop and walk away? I think it was a multitude of things. Burnout, job promotion, accomplishing goals, boredom, time constraints - the list could keep going but I think those are the big ones. It all happened naturally too. After my Ironman, I felt like I did everything I wanted to do in the sport. Sure, I wanted to go to Kona, but after IMCDA I realized I didn't really...As soon as I finished, I felt complete, I felt closure and I all of the sudden didn't care about the result but how much stronger of a person it made me.

It wasn't by plan to stop completely though. I took a few weeks off, swam & ran a few times but it just didn't feel the same. Still tired I thought, wait a few weeks. Eventually I figured it out that I had no more interest in competing at triathlon at a high level (using that term loosely). Fast forward eight months and here we are! Time to see how fast I can get in running now. I'm definitely taking baby steps in getting back in shape. I've been greeted with a ton of scar tissue, calf aches/pains and soreness from years of running and then the past five years of triathlon abuse. I'm being patient though, trying to avoid injury and lose some weight so I can actually start running without an extra 10-15 pounds hitting the pavement. 

My coach has me doing a lot of sprints and fartleks to inject some speed back into my legs. Something I haven't seen since my collegiate / post collegiate days. I'm starting to find out that there is some life still in there. And as out of shape I am, I'm still seeing 4 mile tempo runs at 6:20 pace which is no where near I want to be, but right now - ahead of schedule. 

I imagine I'll be hitting the track this summer at USATF's all comer's track meets in San Diego. This should be a blast. Just a great chance to get on the track, have some fun and use them as little workouts for the big picture. Fall will be the Dirt Dog Series which is basically the local adult cross country season. I haven't raced these races since I first started getting back into shape, back in 2010, even blogged about them back then HERE. Fun to look back on those old blogs of getting back into shape. It's almost the same story right now as I read them. Calf issues, loosing weight, being upset with results...haha. Some things don't change! The cool thing about this go around is I'm so much more mature now and have such a better head on my shoulders. I was impatient and cared way to much about results and sponsors instead of just living in the moment and progressing mentally and physically as an athlete. 

I'm excited for things to come. Bo (baby #3) is due an day now. Track season begins next month. I live in the heart of San Diego. Life is good.