Friday, January 30, 2009
We started the clinic by doing some breathing drills in the water and also learning how to gain time by the push off in the pool. I have struggled with the breathing for a long time and I learned some great tips. We then were videotaped for analysis of our swim technique. If you have never seen yourself swim, I would advise not to, unless you look like Michael Phelps. We then went into the classroom for some instruction and DVD training. We watched parts of her DVD and went through some sheets of instruction and tips. Then on to the personal video tapes. I watched my self swimming and it kind of reminded me of Gumby trying to swim. I pull my arms too far back and lift my head up too far. I do that because of the feeling that unless I breathe soon, I will die. It was kind of painful to watch, but none the less, good entertainment.
We went back into the pool for some more training drills. One thing that she does is have you try a new drill and go back to your old way and see if you can feel the difference. I could feel a big difference in my technique and hers. Mine required a lot more effort and hers was a lot less strength and more technique. I still struggled through this and thought I would never catch on. I finally started to get some of the drills down, but it was time for more videotaping. Twice in one day of humility of watching yourself flounder around in a pool.
We went one last time into the conference room and watched ourselves and got critiqued as to any improvement we had made and what else we could work on. I could not tell much difference in how I swam. It still looked bad to me. My hope is that after time it will sink in and I can improve. It sure does look good on her.
Overall the clinic was very good and well run. She was very positive and encouraged everybody with simple tips and instruction. It was worth the money and after more practice I would do it again. Hopefully at that time I can I say I swam like a fish.
Monday, January 26, 2009
I got to St. John's at about 9 :30 and was able to watch fellow Tulsa Running Club board member, Norm Gonzales, swim his heat. Norm was to start and 9:30 and they did not start until 9:45. My heat was also delayed and did not start until 10:50. During this time I watched some heats, encouraged Norm and Dr. Peace in their heats and got in the groove.
St. John's is a very nice health club and you have to get a key to get a locker. I am used to YMCA procedures to where you find any available locker. The locker rooms had very nice carpet and amenities and was a nice change from the YMCA. During this time I went the normal procedures of getting my race number marked on my arm and leg and changing into my gear. We were able to put some things under a chair in the bike room as sort of a transition area after the swim. Got that taken care of and was on my way to the pool. They really went out of their way to make participants feel special. They had microphoned announcers in the pool area. They announced who was in what lane, introduced your lap counter, and went through the instructions. Everything was chipped, so were to swim our heat and then we cross a chip mat on our way upstairs. Yes, that is right. We had to exit the pool the and then run upstairs to the bike room. This ought to be fun.
In my swim heat and in my lane was a gentleman that was 67 years old. That is incredible enough by itself, but this was his first race back after having lost one lung to cancer. That's right, he was competing with one lung. What a stud! Also, in my heat was fellow Tulsa Running Club board member, Wes Hollander. Wes is a really good runner and is branching out into Tri's. I was not for sure about his swim or bike capabilities, but I knew I could out run him.
At 9:50 on the dot, the announcer counted down and said, GO! and we were off. The lanes at St. John's are kind of narrow, so I got kicked a couple of times, but nothing major. I swam pretty good considering that I normally panic and run out of breath. I was pretty consistent and had a good swim. Out of seven swimmers, I was fifth and Wes was first out of the pool. My split was 10:31 for 500 yards and was two minutes behind Wes. I ran up to the bike room and the first transition. I tried to put my shoes on, but the right insole kept bunching up and I had to take it off a couple of times. I put my shirt on and got my arm stuck in the sleeve. Not a good transition time.
Next was the bike. I started out by cranking the tension all the way up to the maximum of 20, but I was not able to hold that for long. I backed it down to about 14.7, but was faltering at that. I dropped it one last time to 13 and felt like I could maintain that. From that point, I just put my head down and pedaled. I was kind of discouraged at this point as I felt like I should have had maintained more tension, but couldn't. The bike counters came over after a few minutes and told me that I was doing a great job. This was news to me. I looked over at the guy next to me and noticed that I was catching him. I was fifth on the bike and I felt like I was making up some ground. As time went on they kept coming back to me and telling that I was doing great. At this point they introduced my run lap counter to me. She was going to keep track of my running laps so I would not have to.
I kept my head down and kept pedaling and the bike counters were saying that it was going to be either me or Wes off the bike first. What? I had made up over 2 minutes on the bike. Wes got off the bike and took off on the run. He ended up getting a little over one lap head start on me. I finished my bike in 24:05, average of 24.9 mph. I headed out on the track.
I caught Wes within a couple of laps and pulled ahead of him. I was running pretty good, but was not pushing it to the extreme. I was pushing myself, but not as hard as I could. I was just unsure as to how fast to go after biking so hard. Don't get me wrong, I was moving good.
As the others started piling off the bikes, I was lapping them consistently. I knew I was doing good, but I was unsure how good. I never saw Wes again for a long time and thought maybe he had dropped out. As I was getting close to finishing, I saw Wes again. I overtook him with 3 laps to go. I had pulled into the lead for my heat. I started making some ground on him, but with only 3 laps to go, it was not a lot. As I turned into the last corner to the finish, I heard someone say, "You can catch him." I looked over my shoulder and Wes was coming. I sprinted towards the finish, but we had to make a sharp left hand turn off the track to cross the mats and I took it too sharp and almost fell over. I recovered and I crossed the line barely ahead of Wes.
My total time was 56:33 for an overall finish of 8th and second in my "strange" age group of 35-44. Not too bad for only my second triathlon and first indoor one. The overall non-elite winning time was 54:06. If I only knew how to swim, I could have won the event overall. My bike split was the second fastest of all competitors, including the elite. That's right, I beat everyone except the winner of the elite heats, Chuck Sloan, on the bike. My run was 20:32 for the third best run. I could have ran faster, but it still was not a bad run. If I would have had a watch, I may have tried to crank it up a notch. Still, it was a good day.
Some lessons learned:
Get some pull laces for my shoes.
Get a race belt.
Learn How to Swim!!
With some of these improvements, I think I can compete a lot better.
Tonight is my swim clinic with Karlyn Pipes-Nielsen from aquaticedge.org at St. John's. This should be good and I will write a report on how it goes. Sorry about the long report, but it was three sports in one, not just running.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Lance Armstrong is back and on the island of Australia as he prepares for the Tour Down Under. Check out the video. Go Lance!
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Monday: Woke up early and got an hour run in before getting the kids off to school. Ran about 6.5 miles and I was not able to workout in the evening due to a Tulsa Running Club board meeting. I hurried and got home and went straight to bed as I had to be in at work at 5 AM the next morning.
Tuesday: Got up at 4 AM, at work by 5 AM. Left work at a little after 1 PM and went to the YMCA and swam for an hour. My swim is really struggling and I am really having my concerns about the St. John's Indoor Tri on 1/24. Went to Walmart got some goodies for the road and went home to pack and wait for the kiddies to get home. Managed to get out the door by 5 PM and hit the road back to Illinois. Got to my father-in-laws in Macomb, IL at 1:15 AM. In bed by 1:30 AM.
Wednesday: Got up at 6:30 AM and out the door to the hospital by 8:00 AM. When we got to the hospital Mom was not in surgery yet and we got a chance to talk to her before going in. She was a little nervous and I think that having us there, helped her. She was in surgery by 9:30 AM and out by 11:30 AM. The doctor came out and talked to us and they were able to remove the mass in her colon by cutting part of it away along with her appendicts. The mass was non-cancerous. That was a blessing! The surgery was treated as a appendectomy and she was put into Intensive Care for a day.
We went out to get something to eat and drove around my home town of Carthage, IL. It was a dreary, snowy day and was very typical of January. It is always strange going home. We have come so far since leaving the area, that it very depressing going back. No jobs, high unemployment, alcoholism, and extreme poverty are the flavor of the day. It is a very depressed area.
We went back to the hospital and saw Mom in recovery and she was doing well. We talked briefly and then let her get her rest. We headed back to the father-in-laws to get a run in. I was hoping to get a trail run in at Spring Lake, but it was not going to be in the cards.
We instead ran in the country outside my father-in-laws house. It had been a cold, blustery day with snow, so I knew it would be a cold run. I dressed warm and headed east for at least three miles and then turn around. During this portion, I was starting to warm up and thought I was severely overdressed. As I was almost to my turn around, the wind picked up and the snow came. When I turned around, it was a strong westerly wind with pelting snow. This is was not turning out to be fun. I ran for awhile and then I saw Julie driving down the road in the Jeep. She had went for a run and had come out to check on me to see if I wanted a ride back. Anyone that knows me, knows that I do not quit easy. I kind of looked at her and said, "What?", and she just shook her head and drove off. By the time I finished the run, I was covered in snow and ice and was cold. It was real nice to be finished. I managed to get in a hour run for a little over 6 miles. If you look real close at the picture, I have an icicle hanging from goatee. This is what you look like after a run in January in Illinois.
Thursday: I got up early and went to the Macomb, IL YMCA. I found out that they would honor my Tulsa YMCA membership and took advantage of it. I swam for an hour in their really nice pool. They had six lap lanes and a 9 foot deep end. I followed this up by lifting weights for an hour. I really like all the bike racks out front.
We then headed back to Carthage to see Mom and spent the afternoon with her. On the way back, we stopped at a convenience store and I saw a girl working there who I had went to school with. It was nice to see some familiar faces and see how far we have come. I used to party with her and you could see how it had affected her looks. Life is a little tougher back home.
We also stopped by my Alma matter, Western Illinois University. We went to the Union and drove around. It was very quiet as the students were not in session. This is the Alumni House.
The student Union.
Friday: We ate breakfast and headed back home. We stopped at the outlet stores in Osage Beach, MO on the way back and it was a big waste of time. We had always wanted to stop, but never did. We will not stop again. We got back home about 6 PM. It was nice to be back home as it was 2o degrees when we left Illinois and 70 in Tulsa. A big zero for the exercise today.
Saturday: Got up and rode the exercise back hard for 2 hours in the morning. This was a hard interval workout and I was really sweating. I followed this up by an hour swim at the YMCA in the afternoon. Chilled the rest of the night.
Sunday: Church in the morning at GUTS and then went for a 20 mile run on Riverside. Why a 20 miler? I guess, because I could. I parked at the 69th Street parking lot and started at mile 6. I ran the entire Creek Turnpike trail to mile 16 on the Liberty trail and turned back. The weather was great, but I did not take in enough calories and was struggling towards the end. I took it slow and did 20 miles right at 3 hours. This was enough for one day and I rested the rest of the day by watching Pre and Meet the Robinsons.
Not a great week, but here are the weekly totals:
Run: 5 hours, 32 miles
Bike: 2 hours on trainer
Swim: 3 hours
Lifted weights for one hour.
Friday, January 9, 2009
This is where Julie and I first met at the Campus Students for Christ house at Western Illinois University. She lived upstairs and I lived downstairs.
The courthouse across the street from the apartment.
Look real close in this picture and you can see the deer. This is just down the road from my father-in-laws. They are everywhere in Illinois.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Once I told my youngest son about this, he was so emotionally distraught, he also shaved his head.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
On Saturday, we got up late and went to Turkey Mountain in West Tulsa and I ran about 9 miles on the trail, while the rest of the family hiked and ran a little over 4 miles. After that, my daughter Shannon and my youngest son Wyatt, unloaded their bikes off the Jeep and went on their first ever mountain bike ride. There is a little 3/4 of a mile loop that I thought would be perfect for them. They rode and I ran. It was some of the best entertainment I have had in a long time. Between my daughter shrieking like she was on a roller coaster and my son laughing and complaining about the bumps on his egg rolls, it was truly entertaining. Wyatt crashed once and just laughed through the whole thing. They both said that they wanted to do it again. I am not for sure what was going on at Turkey, but I have never seen the parking lot so full for other than a race. Either there was a lot of New Years Resolutions going on or it was just too nice to stay in.
We spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning up the yard and working on the house. Temperatures climbed to about 75 degrees and it was a great day. After exhausting ourselves with housework. I was able to get on the bike trainer and spin easy for an hour.
Today was a change in the weather. 75 yesterday, 27 this morning. Nothing like about a 50 degree swing. We went this morning to the one and only GUTS church where Pastor Bill preached about having Peace in this new year. The church has also started a fast this month based upon Jentzen Franklin's book on fasting. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I am sure it is good. We went to the YMCA this afternoon and I swam for an hour and a half working on my freestyle stroke. It went a lot easier, but it is going to take some time. I need to get it better as I signed up for the St. John Indoor Tri on 1/24. This has a 500 yard swim and I do not want to be last or at least be able to finish it it. My one and only sprint triathlon last fall was not pretty and I though I was going to drown in open water. I ended up doing the breaststroke the entire time. My arms were never so tired. I truly felt like Columbus when he was finally able to stand on dry ground. Except, I still had to bike and run.
We went back to church tonight and on the way out after picking the kids from kids church, I saw some money on the ground. I looked at it and thought maybe it was a dollar and picked it up. I looked at it some more in my haste to get to the car and saw some more zeros. The kids were bugging about it by this time and I just put into my coat pocket thinking it was a Benjamin. I started to think to myself that it is probably one of those fake money deals that people leave laying around and are just witnessing tracts, so I didn't think much about it. I got to the car and got it out and sure enough it was a Benjamin. My wife then told me that she was praying for us to have the money to go back to Illinois this week as my mom is having part of her colon removed on Wed. I know, TMI, TMI. My Mom has really wanted us there for the surgery and God has provided it for us. God is so good! We came home and I did a powerful one hour workout on the trainer and was sweating buckets. Tomorrow is Monday and it is back to work. I have been on vacation for a week and it always tough to go back. Oh well, at least I have a job!
Thursday, January 1, 2009
After making some pit stops on the way home, Borders for the new Jentzen Franklin book on fasting and Akins for some supplements, it was time to get back. I spent an hour on the bike trainer and enjoyed the gorgeous sunset. Not too bad a day to start out the new year.
As far for this last picture, it is my good friend Trail Zombie at the Polar Bear plunge. When he comes out to an event, he spares no expense. I felt like I was hugging a wookie. It was good to