Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I Still Believe

"Victory Belongs To Those Who Believe... And Believe In It The Longest...We're Going To Believe."

The line is from the movie Pearl Harbor and it was Alec Baldwin playing Colonel James Doolittle.  Whether Colonel Doolittle actually spoke those words or it was a product of the Hollywood screenplay, I don't know.  But its become a mantra I've adopted.

First and foremost to become an Ironman, you have to "believe".  Before you ever run a mile, or swim a lap you have to believe you can swim bike and run 140.6 miles.  

They say, your mind will give out before your body, so you have to believe the pain in your leg, your hip, or ankle is going to go away. You have to believe that you will make it across that finish line.  

Belief is so very powerful, it makes us who we are.  It defines us to other people an can propel us to do things others only dream of.  There is a difference between hope and belief.  Never once during my training for Ironman did I ever say I "hope" I can finish.  You can't hope, you have to believe.

Life works much the same way.  People who hope for things rarely achieve them.  But if you believe, I mean really believe, anything becomes possible.  Not only is it possible but it will happen!  If you hope for something, the ultimate result is nothing more than a dream.  But if you believe, it becomes a goal, and it will happen.

The difference is the plan.  Yes, the dreaded training plan.  Weather you use Training Peaks, Garmin or an excel spreadsheet or a series of cocktail napkins, your plan needs to be in front of you.  You need to look at it every day.  Some might consider this obsessive, but Ironman is seemingly impossible, and is only going to happen if you have that plan in place and in front of you every day.

Visualize the finish line.  Visualize the moment that medal is placed around your neck.  Picture your friends and loved ones wrapping their arms around you.  Believe in yourself.  You can do it!  

You can do anything if you truly believe.  How bad do you want it?  What are you hoping for, what are you dreaming about?  Want to make that dream a reality, believe in it!  Can you see it?  Close your eyes and visualize.    Yes you can!  Let's make it happen!  I still believe in you!  Do you?

Monday, March 3, 2014

I Like PIZZA... SO!

When we talk about training, we always get to the subject of food.  What should we eat, before or after a long bike ride.  What should we eat, when we first wake up, or before the gym or after the gym or when we think we might go to the gym.  Yes, food is an integral part of training.

There is always great debates that go on about food especially within the athletic community.  Should I eat, organic, low-fat, low-sugar, no sugar, multi-grain, no-grain, low-carb, low-taste, non-gmo, non-steroidal, well you get the idea.  For most of us, we know what to do, and have all the resources at our fingertips.

We don't need a website or podcast or other would be Guru to tell us that going to Five-Guys or Taco Bell is bad for us! Trust me, we know.  My body knows.  When I strive to eat clean, and then stray and eat something high in fat and or sugar, my body will let me know, that wasn't a wise choice.


I have found that people who have changed their eating habits and now adhere to one of the many dietary philosophies, often become evangelists in their attempts to convert the masses.  My good friend Beth, The Discom-BOB-ulated Runner,  recently posted in jest one of Taco Bell's newest culinary disaster menu items to which  several of us commented and said we wanted one.  None of us actually went there looking to purchase this breakfast monstrosity.  However, according to one group, you would have thought fire and brimstone would rain down on her for her dietary heresy!  LIGHTEN UP people.

If you have ever been to one of my Spin classes, I often comment on how long it will take you to burn off something you ate that day or in the not to distant future, like right after class.  I make it perfectly clear to my class that my ultimate weakness is pizza!  You know what they say about pizza, even when its bad, its not so bad, just like _____ well let's not go there.  I have joked with my classes that I had pizza for lunch, or was ordering one on my way home and everyone was going to have to pedal harder to make up for it.

People do ask me for advice.  People do come to me to help train them, to push them.  They ask me to help them change.  Why do they ask me?  Maybe because I've been there.  I was over 270 pounds at one point in my life.  Yes I decided to make changes in what I ate, but most importantly it was my way of thinking that changed.  I know, I am still over-weight by most weight charts.  I did get to my fighting weight for Ironman Florida.  I have raced as a Clydesdale, but not any longer.  Finishing Ironman, was a signature moment on a very long journey to get healthy again.

I'm not an expert in nutrition.  I don't claim to be, but I know the basics and what works for me, and I know why I put on weight and I don't deceive myself by saying, I don't know what I did wrong.  I usually know exactly why the scale is tipping further than I'd like.

I love food, what can I say.  I really love pizza!


Friday, February 21, 2014

I'm back... did you miss me?

Yes I know, I have been remiss in my blogging duties.  Be honest, most of you did not miss me.  I have gone through my files, and found 4 or 5 half written unedited blog posts all since Ironman Florida.  Maybe I'll do some editing and post them.

But that is not why I'm writing.  I am just %!$$*& off at so many of the self-appointed-pseudo-experts out there that claim they "know what they are talking about"!

First, I had the privilege of talking to a well respected orthopedic surgeon in the area.  From all the degrees on the wall, and signed photos from well respected athletes over the last 30 years I would deem him an "EXPERT"  Anyone care to disagree?  He had one thing to say on the subject of injuries.  "The two things to have the biggest impact my business, (the amount of injuries he sees) are:  minimalist running shoes and/or barefoot running; and two: Cross-fit".  Those two phenomena have exploded over recent years with varying results, but noteworthy is the increase of injuries.

Now I am not going to pick on either, but in the near future, I will talk about both, and have some experts, local interviews for you at which point you can make up your own mind.  There are some really great cross fit gyms out there.  Do your research just like when you are buying a bike or pair of running shoes.

Now, on to the "Self-appointed-pseudo-experts".  Yes we all know one or two.  Having worked in gyms for years I have come across many of these.  I've seen the fads, the supplements, the powders, the gadgets and everything that comes with the above.  Hell, I've tried many of them, and the ones I haven't tried I've researched or seen the results on others in the gym, or out on the road.  What I DO know is this:  What works for me may not work for you?  Ask a pro-triathlete, and they will say the same thing.  Even the married couples who are pros have different race day routines, and race day nutrition plans.  So for anyone to say, "I know what I'm talking about" usually means they do not.

The word Coach by definition, comes from the Latin, French and Italian words that literally mean a wagon to carry people.  The use of the word as a verb, to coach referring to athletics wasn't used until 1861 and was slang for one who would literally help carry their student.  It doesn't mean, I have the whistle, you must listen to me.  Many NFL coaches have learned this lesson the hard way.

For anyone to coach, or help carry someone to their goals, the most important thing is for them to be POSITIVE!!!  There is no place for negativity when trying to help someone, besides who wants to hear it.

When it comes to the sport of TRIathlon, much of what we do is still trial and error.  Its more alchemy than exact science.  Dave Scott talked about the changes in nutrition ideas for an Ironman.  I think he "knows what he's talking about"

I'm switching gears with this blog, yes I will still talk about my feelings, and about my continuing Ironman journey but I will always strive to stay POSITIVE!!!