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.

I'm back!

Wow, what a break this was. My last post was IMCDA in July of last year - can't believe it took me that long to blog again. To be honest, I can't believe I AM blogging again here. I convinced myself that I was done with endurance sports and Love the Hurt. A lot has happened since my last post. I needed a break from it ALL. I got way to wrapped up into triathlon and both my mind and body needed this break. So what have I done this whole time?

1. Sold my Slice, bought an EVO
2. Sold our home in Temecula and live back in San Diego now.
3. Baby #3 is due in 2 weeks!
4. I drank a lot of delicious craft beer.
5. I gained 15 pounds (see #4).
6. I've swam maybe 10 times since IMCDA with half of those within the past few months.
7. My riding habits are sporadic, but when I do ride, I sure love that EVO.
8. My running has been a roller coaster. 1 month off, 1 month on, 2 months off, 1 week on...etc
9. I raced the Ragnar Relay in April.
10. I hired a running coach three weeks ago and am going "all in" to see what I can do in running.

So here I am, back blogging. I shut down "Kona Journey" and transferred all those blogs over here so I apologize for all the pictures missing from basically all of last year. I did go back and insert IMCDA pics though, that one was special to me. I've told a lot of my friends that I am a stronger person from that race. Even though it didn't pan out like I expected, I overcame so much during those 11 hours and now I take that race with me in everyday life. When I feel like something is hard, I fall back on that race. It made me a better man and I am thankful I went through that experience.

Now what? Time to run! Who says you still can't run fast in your 30's?? I love to compete and I happen to be good at running, so why waste that? The long-term goal is to break 2:30 in the marathon. It may come quick, it may take some time but I want to break it as badly as I wanted to break 4 minutes in the mile 12 years ago. It's going to be a gradual build - first thing is to get some speed back on the track. Mile, 5k, 10k most of the rest of this year with maybe a half marathon at the end of the year.

Not going to lie. Getting back into shape sucks. Carrying around this extra weight and trying to get my running legs underneath me without being sore ALL THE TIME is brutal. But I know it's part of the process. It's one of the reasons why I hired my coach. He's big on the mental approach which I love and believe in. I already know how to coach myself and what workouts to do to get me fast but it's so important to introduce new training methodologies and have a coach to hold yourself accountable - which is exactly what he is doing, good stuff.

Well, thanks for reading - I plan on posting each week like I always have. This blog has been so cool to be able to look back on. I got a message months ago that told me my blog helped someone quit drugs and get into triathlon. It absolutely blew my mind. Words are powerful. Be bold and share your story, you never know who it might impact or inspire.