The Past Fueling the Future

Amy needed a "rolling" theme for her photo
project, I obliged
When you are training, some weeks you might see big gains developing physically - you might notice those in workouts or races. Well my body is definitely seeing big gains in that sense, but these past two weeks I'd have to say a switch came on for me mentally. It's interesting, when you want to see a change in your conditioning, well - you just train. Mental gains have to come naturally though. You can't force yourself to realize something. The belief has to come from within. I've been self coached ever since I started getting back into shape - something I am not used to. Growing up I had some of the best running coaches you could ask for. I had a legendary coach (in San Diego) in high school who was old school and taught me how to be mentally tough. My freshman year in college I had a coach that taught me the importance of strength training - something that was pretty non-existent for distance runners back then. Then between my sophomore and senior years I was coached by Irv Ray (author of Run w/the Best and current UCR coach) and Steve Scott (former American record holder of the mile and current CSUSM coach). These guys taught me how to WORK. HARD. Then when I went to Ohio post collegiate to be coached by Bob Schul (5000 meter Olympic Gold Medalist) on an Olympic Development team I basically then learned what it takes to preform at an elite level. It was insane amount of work load and dedication. That's when the light switch happened for me. Unfortunately I didn't take care of myself with the recovery piece and I spiraled into injury.

Might need to bring those aero bars
back a little...
That same switch is starting to occur with me again...7 years later. I would say it's more of a dimmer though...ha. Let's just say it's getting brighter and I'm starting to discover on my own what it takes to preform at a high level again...but this time in triathlon. I'm starting to get those same feelings that I had when I trained in Ohio. I'd wake up in that 10 bedroom athlete house ALWAYS sore and tired, but I'd get out the door and get my work in. It's weird, I had forgotten about a lot of the physical sensations I would get while training. It's seems as if all of my senses are bringing me back to memories that I had forgotten. The heat is bringing back the memories from high school of countless hours running in hot weather. The hills I'm running are re-activating pain threshold levels I remember experiencing in college. The taste of copper is all too familiar after hitting MV02 max intervals. The smell of the synthetic rubber reminds me of putting in miles and miles of intervals on the track in Ohio. Even the taste of the water bottle reminds me of playing soccer for 10 years. The sound of the bike coasting brings me back to when I was a kid riding my bike everywhere. I think it's important to get in touch and realize your senses when working out...especially on hard days. We are all very lucky to be able to work out, don't take it for granted and if you don't exercise - I suggest you start, you are missing out!

As for my work load this past week, here is what I did w/1 day off:

Swim: 1hr 45 mins (4,500 yards)...I know, weak!
Bike: 6hr 56 mins (123 miles)
Run: 3hr 25 mins (26.5 miles)

Total: 12hr 6 mins
There really is no excuse for the lack of time in the pool. I realize it is my limiter of the 3 sports and I plan on changing that. I signed up for Ironman California 70.3 last week and I plan on being in striking distance of the guys in my age group. That means I need to put in some serious time into the pool if I want to be serious about this. It's funny, when I started training for triathlon - I never intended to get serious about training again. I just wanted to do something active, something different and fun. But I have found out that I'm way too competitive to not take it seriously. And there's something different this time around that I didn't have before. I feel that I am WAY more mentally strong. I guess some of that comes with age, but I feel that my mental game is so much stronger than it was 7 years ago. I'm excited to see what I can do for the rest of the season, but most of all what I can do in long-course triathlon next season!
Me and the Slice had a 4.5 hour date
I guess the highlight of the week was my 80 mile ride which is my longest to date and it had 6k of climbing in it. The night before I noticed my shifting was a little messed up, so luckily Saturday morning before I headed out for the ride Rick from The Bike Shop did a little tweaking and fixed the problem. Thanks Rick! I road the first 15 miles with a former pro cyclist, Derin Stockton and a former Category 2 guy Scott McNulty so it was cool to hook up with those guys and possibly set up some more rides in the future with some strong riders. I actually received a compliment from Derin about my pedal stroke - which besides running have never received before - so I guess the 1-legged drills last winter have paid dividends! The rest of the ride was all done solo. I was very strong throughout the ride and nailed my nutrition which included 3 22 oz bottles of Gatorade, 1 water, 2 Hammer Gels, 1 sleeve of shot bloks, 1 Powerbar, 1 Tiger milk and a coke. I've always heard in Ironman of people taking down cokes for the simple sugars. I didn't really notice a difference, although maybe that IS the difference...I never bonked. After making the 2 mile climb up Cole Grade road, I got out of the saddle and sprinted with a ton of power at the top which made me very happy. All in all a good week of training.
Stats from the ride
Next up is AFC 1/2 marathon which is a little less than 2 weeks away!


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