Sunday, August 29, 2010

Some things learned

  • Sami, Emily, and Amanda (otherwise known as Friendly Fire) did very well at the Runner's Edge Tobay Triathlon coming in 3rd place in their division.
  • All the parents were very proud. Realize these were teenagers that got up at 5am to race on the second to last weekend of the summer before school starts. Yes, 5AM. Yes, to race. Did I say we were proud of them? 3rd place was a bonus.
  • Unfortunately the parents (including yours truly) of these athletic young ladies didn't realize that this third place finish was for a division that awarded hardware (all female). We have to get their hardware during this week. Thing #1 learned this week.
  • Of course when I don't do the race, the swim seemed shorter than advertised. Next year, if I race this event, the 1km swim, I'm sure, will rival an Oly swim or perhaps a half iron. It has in the past.
  • I tried to cheer on the girls the best I could but that meant running a lot from point to point on the course. I counted this as a workout but realized that I would do more training following with a "plan." Thing #2 learned this week.
  • Today I crafted a training plan with the goal of potentially racing in a Columbus Day weekend sprint triathlon.
  • I'm not actually going to register for this race since I've already donated too much money this year for races I didn't race. If it doesn't sell out and I'm ready, I'll go for it. If not, I've saved some money. Either way I think I'll be better off following the plan. Thing #3 learned this week.
  • Kudo's to everyone who raced this weekend!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Perhaps and perhaps not.

Week 2 (aka 10 weeks to go) resulted in an additional weight loss of 1.8 pounds. This is a total loss of 7.6 pounds over 2 weeks. The good news is that it is still a good start. The bad news is that I was hoping to maintain a two pound per week loss after the first week. Was this expectation realistic?

Perhaps and perhaps not.

On the "perhaps" side of this equation is that missing from my agenda are real workouts. I've been walking a lot but haven't done a focused workout since my accident. It is time to mix some sweat into the equation and make this back into more a triathlon blog rather than a pity party blog. I've jumpstarted the weight loss and now it is time to jump start the training by crafting a workout plan and following it. I'm going to keep the running off the calendar (the walking will cover that aspect for a while) but shoot to mix in 3 swims and 3 bikes per week. I've put my tri bike on the trainer, I've bought season 3 and season 4 of "Northern Exposure" on DVD to watch on the trainer. Losing 1.8 isn't bad without the work outs.

On the "perhaps not" side of the equation is that I've taken some liberties with following the diet. I need to reduce the liberties since I feel that if I go off the "program" for even a single meal, it takes my body about two days to make up for it. Sad, yes but something that I need to be aware of.

In related news, I was supposed to race this weekend, the Runner's Edge TOBAY sprint triathlon. Part of me was thinking I should just do the 1000m swim as a workout and hand in my chip. Another part of me thought about mixing in the bike and/or run but then I realized the only thing I would accomplish by this was hurting myself due to the lack of training so I've decided to not race at all. My daughter is racing as part of a relay so I'll be there to cheer her on and maybe help out with the race logistics a bit.

Will I be itching to race watching everyone else? Perhaps and perhaps not. We'll see.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Quote of the week.

"I'm tired of hearing about money, money, money, money, money. I just want to play the game, drink Pepsi, wear Reebok." - Shaquille O'Neal

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Nutrisystem Experiment

For those who don't know my history, I used to be very heavy. Some might (and did) say Orca heavy. Too big to go on some scales heavy (you get the picture). I was able to get down to just "heavy'" with a mix of diet, biking, Weight Watchers, biking, exercise, focus, biking, running, exercise, swimming, and more exercise with some diet thrown in. Many people still ask if I got the surgery. I didn't, but that doesn't mean I didn't consider it.

My weight has fluctuated in a small range until my recent accident and I saw it inching up. That, coupled with a self imposed challenge regarding my weight as one prerequisite to signing up for an Ironman by the first week in November, made me want to find something to jump start my body right sizing. I first considered Jenny Craig but I couldn't seem to get their attention the times I went to their store front. I then decided to give Nutrisystem a try instead since it was similar in approach and I've heard people had success there.

I ordered a standard men's plan but was frustrated when the stuff got delivered. Paperwork was missing. There was no packing slip to see what was included and what wasn't. There was no overview of the plan. I got on the phone and the "counselor" was OK to deal with but I had issues with the ordering/delivery people. I finally confirmed that I got most of what I needed to start and last Saturday, my Nutrisystem experiment began.

I didn't expect to food to be good since I viewed this as a couple of months of medicine. There is a lot of food you need to add to the mix mostly concentrating on veggies, salad, and dairy (none major components of my traditional diet). The highlight of this experiment so far has been the ipad/iphone app that helps tell you what you are supposed to eat daily. It also helps track your consumption.

Whenever I start a diet, I am not a nice person to be around. Luckily, my older daughter went away to cross country camp and my wife used this week as a special get away with my younger daughter to Hershey, PA. They even got a chocolate manicure at the Hershey Spa. Imagine that.

So the first week results (six days only since I started on Saturday but I like to weigh in on Friday morning) are in. I followed the plan fairly close I think but not perfectly. My weight even so has changed by 5.8 lbs this week. This is a little better than my expectations (I was expecting 5 lbs down for week one and for about 2 lbs thereafter). I'm still heavier than before my accident in July though.

So, overall a decent start but continued focus needed to follow the right path. Eleven weeks to go.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Quote of the week.

"Sooner or later you're going to realize just as I did that there's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path" - Morpheus (from the Matrix)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The return of concierge service

My goal this weekend was to get back on the bike for a no pressure, easy outdoor ride to test out the progress of my left hand. I wanted to do a short, mellow ride outside to see if I could handle the bike. My first thought was to join the LITC group that was riding 90 minutes, running 30, riding 90, and running 30 with the goal of just doing the first 90 minute ride but then I thought better of it.

My second thought was to just ride around the neighborhood but that seemed really boring. It was a beautiful day and I wanted to do something outside. The choice I settled on was asking my wife and younger daughter Courtney if they wanted to go for a "family" ride along the bike trail from Cedar Creek Park to Jones beach. This 4.5 mile paved path is a gathering spot for casual bikers, runners, rollerbladers, and walkers. Amanda is away so it wasn't a true family ride but it looked like it could be a good compromise. You can't hammer on this route, there are no cars, it is short enough so I should be able to tough it out if things went bad or even turn around if necessary. In short, good for all.

When I posed this offer to my wife she asked, "Do we get concierge service? Will you load the bikes on the car and pump up the tires?" I dutifully said, "Yes, Ma'am," and started loading up the minivan for a biking adventure. Bike rack on, bikes on, pump in the car, helmets in the car, and I looked up and saw my wife and daughter ready to go with water bottles for all.

We had fun. Courtney set the pace so we kept it under control. :) I found unexpected bumps hurt. I also found that even though I put the cycling gloves in the car, they never made it on my hands. The eureka moment when I realized that I forgot them was at the far end of the trail. Oh well, next time.

I came home and showered. When I came out of the shower my wife said that she took the bikes off the rack, put them in the garage, took the helmets and stuff out of the car but she needed my help to remove the rack from the hitch. I wasn't expecting concierge service for myself but wasn't complaining.

Concierge service is good. What else in life should have concierge service?

Friday, August 13, 2010

The road to recovery.

  • I've been walking a ton. It is 2.5 miles from my office in Tribeca to Penn Station (where I need to go to get the LIRR home). I've done that walk at least one way most days, some days both ways.

  • I went swimming for the first time since my accident the other night. My hand hurt but it was tolerable. Since it is my "off season" now it is drill after drill for a while. Drill of the week: Catch up.

  • I asked the Syracuse 70.3 folks via email what they could do for me since I wouldn't be able to race due to injury. I figured since I was telling them so far in advance they could either fill my entry with someone else who wanted to race or cut down on some of the swag they needed. I wasn't looking for money back but it would be nice if the offered me early entry for next year. They said per policy they could do nothing. I'll have someone pick up my swag for me.

  • I cancelled my reservation at the hotel for Syracuse.

  • I gained about 10 pounds in my month of relative inactivity.

  • I hope to get on the bike outside again tomorrow. I've only done stationary biking since the face plant.

  • I ordered a month of Nutrisystems food to jump start the weight loss. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Quote of the week.

"Do one thing every day that scares you" - Eleanor Roosevelt

Friday, August 6, 2010

Everyone has a limit to their incompetence if they try long enough.

My family has been vacationing at the same resort in the Catskills since I was 12 years old. The tradition has continued as we've grown up and we now have multiple generations of our family along with multiple generations of people that have become friends with us from spending the same week, year after year, together. This resort isn't fancy. If the menu would change there would be a revolt. Each meal is served family style and there is one choice per meal. Cell phone coverage is spotty at best. There is little wrong with that.

One of the things that sometimes excites the crowd are the various contests that are held during the week. These contests are variations on some sport from years ago like shuffleboard, bocce, tennis, basketball, and most of all, the fishing contest. I've never won these one of these highly competitive battles but we prepared for the fishing contest by purchasing special worms that are "not for human consumption." (see picture above of the certified worm contained). The rules are simple: longest fish out the big lake (roughly 200 yard by 50 yards) between 930 and 11am on Friday. I got this guy and was leading the way for a while but would it stand up?

This large mouth bass was measured at 18" without standing on him to smush him a little longer. After 37 years of trying to bring home the hardware, I finally got one of these puppies to be the centerpiece of my place of honor:

PS: I wasn't able to find worms that were fit for human consumption but then again I didn't try too long.

PPS: Note no brace on my wrist nor bandages on my hand. Progress is good.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Quote of the week.

"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is." - Yogi Berra