Back in the Saddle Again – QC Tri Race Recap

It has been two years since I have raced a triathlon and worked to get back into shape. I have a long way to go to where I want to be, but the QC Tri was a great checkpoint to gauge where I am at fitness wise.

Two years ago I made my sprint triathlon debut at the QC Tri. I had one triathlon under my belt at that time in 2012. As I have shared many times on this blog after a bit of a health scare last year I fell off the training system and for 1.5 years did close to nothing in terms of taking care of my health and body. I was in a rut.

A few months ago I started back into training. It has been a long process and a hard balance. It is hard because I know where I once was and often think where I could be. It is hard because knocking the rust of the body and preparing for it to perform at high levels takes a great deal of commitment(something that still needs a lot of work). It is hard because I have a wife and three kids and have to be careful not to neglect them in all the pursuits that I have.

Summertime is great to shift gears. I can somewhat put the education pursuits aside, clear my mind and focus on other things like triathlons. I find it very important to step back from education and let the brain just forget it all and see the world in a new lens for a few weeks. I still have to be pursuing something because that is just who I am so training for races allows me to keep that boundary pushing aspect in check.

Heading back to the reflection of the race I will admit that this was probably the most nervous I have been. I slept terrible the night before only getting about 2.5 hours of sleep. I was hit with a major head cold that is still hitting me hard as I type this. I could not breathe, could not fall asleep, so I was getting mad and next you know it was time to get up and prepare.

I packed everything that I thought I needed. It was weird trying to remember routine. I ate my same old chocolate chip waffles, had my coffee, and double checked all supplies. I made my way towards West Lake around 4:30 to make sure I could park within the park.

DCIM100GOPRO

I found my spot and worked to get everything set up and ready to go. I really wanted to swim because I had not done any open water swimming since my Pigman 70.3 in August of 2012. They were a bit behind schedule with the swim so I headed out for a run, made a few pit stops while scoping the scene and just tried to relax my mind and body.

What I love about races is the community. It was so great to see so many people who I have not seen in a long time. This helped to put my mind at ease.

After a mile run, stretching, and final nourishment, I attempted to put my wetsuit on. Let me just say this was a bit snug being that I am 25+ lbs overweight. I did add a few snags to the suit, but was able to get it on and swim a bit before the race. It felt good to be in the open water again.

Finally race time

Swim – 600 yards

In 2012 I swam this race in 9:29. My goal this year was to be under 10:30. I have been doing a few swims a week. Nothing too major, but pushing hard on intervals so I figured at this distance I would be okay if I could stay relaxed. I ended up swimming 9:54 so just 25 second slower than when I was cut, in prime shape, and killing the training.

I was very happy with this time. I was surprised to be honest. I though this would be weak for me. I had to stop two times for people swimming the completely wrong way. I forgot about how hard it is to swim straight and navigate the people. I got stuck on the turnaround as people were everywhere and I spent at least 30 seconds doing more of a wade stroke to find a place to swim again.

I felt good coming out of the water. Typically I cramp when I get out of the water. This did not help. Thanks Phil for the picture.

10479149_868548836492611_5612182348244559180_n(1)Reading my reflection from 2012 I remembered not to take my goggles off until my arms were out of my wetsuit.

T1

Things went smooth. Suit came off and I was off. As I ran to the mount my bike I was feeling really good.

Bike

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Right away I slipped on my pedals and crammed my goodies on the mainframe of my bike. I was in shock and just sat there. I was feeling so stupid. I finally got clipped in and headed out. I wanted to get relaxed and in good flow so I could take my nutrients. Being a short race it is probably not needed as much, but I need to practice nutrition because for the 70.3 I need to consume more after hitting walls back in 2012.

I felt great on the bike. I was cruising and riding out was great! I was cruising at a wonderful pace and much faster than I thought. I was not sure I could average 20+ mph being that only have a few rides under my belt. This has been the one aspect I have not trained very much and am mad at myself because this is also my strength of the three disciplines.

In 2012 I completed the course in 38:12 for a 23.6 pace. This time I was 41:58 for 21.4 pace. Not too bad, but it makes me mad because if I could pull this off with my little bike training where could I have been?

Riding back sucked. The wind was tough and a couple hills killed my legs. I had to just drive and learn to fight through. I passed a ton of people and was only passed once on the bike.

 

T2

Was smooth and easy. I actually had the exact same time as 2012. Slipped my Newton shoes on and headed out with jelly legs.

Run

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I was a bit nervous for this because my right hamstring was tight on the bike and was tightening up during the run. I was not sure how to push for the run. I have learned the hard way not to push too hard early on because when you bonk that is it and you don’t recover.

I tried to keep it easy, but the beginning course is grass, rocks, trails and little hills so it is not easy for me. I ran 7:36 the first mile and felt good so I decided to pick up the pace a bit more. The second mile I was 7:06 or right around there and still was feeling good. I decided to kick it into high gear. I thought I was flying, but really I wasn’t and ran a 7:16 or something like that. I finished in 23:09 for a 7:29 pace. I finished and was mad because I was not that tired afterwards which told me I should have pushed harder on the run. In 2012 I ran 20:34 for a 6:37 pace.

Overall

I finished in 1:18:32. Not too bad. I was about 7 minutes slower than two years ago so I have some work to do. This week I need to add some endurance runs and rides along with sprint workouts. It is a checkpoint. I knew I would not be amazing. I was satisfied with the results. Looking at the pictures I have some serious weight to drop to get to race weight and optimal conditions for future races. It is good to look at the good and the bad. The good is that I loved it. It felt so good to challenge my mind and body and to see where I was fitness wise two months ago and where I am right now. I have to remember that two years ago I was training all the time and Amanda is great at reminding me that I was doing nothing but training. I need to work to find balances. It has been helpful getting up at 4 am so I can get 2-3 hours of training in before any wakes up now that my kids are a bit older and sleep in a bit longer.

Today(one day after) my body is very sore. I was not sore at all yesterday, but today my body is sore. I am also battling a serious cold that is not helping the recovery. I have not felt this bad in a long time. Hopefully I can kick both elements of sickness and fatigue to get out for some serious training Monday – Thursday before I leave for Dave Matthews concerts this weekend. I have to get four days of quality training in.

It feels good to be back! Now off to the next checkpoint. Another tri race? Bix7? Time to make a decision.

Thank you to everyone who was there cheering and supporting. What a great group of people. LiveUncommon was everywhere and it is so good to see so many out doing great things. Thanks to Phil for taking pictures. All the support does not go unnoticed.

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1 Down, 65 More – Drawing inspiration from my son #coffeechugPLN

First day and first time in pads for Aiden.My son has helped me to jump start my brain and habits as he is doing something that I constantly preach – pushing comfort zones. He is trying out tackle football. He is young, but this is something that he wanted to pursue.

Last night was his first night with pads. I was nervous for him, but excited. After a rough start to practice the team started to adjust. Practicing in full gear is a game changer. He came to me during water break and told me the coaches were pushing him too hard. I told him that they were not because he was still accomplishing everything.

I was so proud of him last night. He is a nervous and anxious ridden kid who does not always believe in himself. When practice ended he had a smile that could not be taken away. He knew he just grew as a person and did something he did not think he could do. As a parent I so proud of him for sticking in there and doing a great job.

I wanted him to know that he is a source of motivation. As you may have noticed on this blog I have not posted much about training and exercise like I have done in the past. The reason being is that I have not exercised in a long time. I had some health issues this summer, but after several brain tests and scans they were not able to find anything and have released me to slowly begin to get back into exercise. Additionally, I was burned out and lost my motivation. This might be the first time I have admitted that despite my wife telling me this for quite some time. (Yes, she is right again!)

I told Aiden that watching him challenge himself ignited a desire to do the same for myself. I told him that I need to exercise and take care of my health as well. Today I started back.

The last time I had done any form of exercise was June 18th when I ran 4 miles. I honestly have not done anything at all since then mostly because my body was shutting down and preventing me from walking my daughter around the block.

I also knew it was time when I had to order larger pants for this school year and can barely fit into them now with a few pairs way too snug for public. This left me angry and defeated. It is hard to adjust when I know that I was pushing 150 miles of training a week and feeling great. It is a hard mental block to overcome.

Last night I realized I was neglecting my health by not exercising and eating poorly. What good am I as a father and leader when I don’t take care of myself. I was/am pouring myself so heavily into school, sharing my message of passion, and trying to be a good husband and father, that I used these as an excuse.

That is not acceptable.

After stepping on the scale and seeing a number I have never seen before left me scared. I had gained over 30 lbs from my racing weight.

It is time.

Life is about trying to keep things in perspective. You cannot balance it all because balance is a lie and cannot happen, but you must be able to get to the middle sometimes and realize you cannot live in the extremes all the time.

I also read that creating a habit takes the average person 66 days.

It has been 62 days since my last day of exercise. I would say the lifestyle of eating garbage and living in that endless cycle of unhealthiness was almost habit.

I end it today.

Motivated by my son I woke up this morning and ran. Or should I say shuffled my feet slowly for 3 miles. It was painfully slow taking me 33:30.

I cannot dwell in the past. I have to look forward. We have ups and downs. It has been an up in the sense that my son feels that he has inspired me and I love that. My children always inspire me, but I don’t know that they always feel that. Today he did. He reminded me to drink water at school as he brought water to stay hydrated. It has been good.

My goal is make this habit. One day down and 65 days to go.

Who knows what crazy goal I will tackle once I get back to where I need to be. Right now it is putting one foot in front of the other.

Thanks son!

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AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge: Step 0 – Establishing 4 Goals the Zig Ziglar Way

Before I even go into the 24 Day AdvoCare Cleanse and Weight Loss Challenge I always feel that it is important to have goals in life. To be fit and healthy is a goal. An important goal. But it is not everything. We must be able to see the big picture and see how all the pieces fit. Often times I find myself on such a one track mode of thought that I forget all these other life factors. Then I get too deep and then things never pan out quite the way I want……..

Which feeds into why so many people start off the new year with great intentions to only fail a 4-8 weeks into the year.

So, starting on January 7th a large group of us are taking on the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge to get our health and fitness back on track. You can join the group and join us if you wish by going here

But before we begin our 24 days in about 5 days I think it is important to get organized and prioritize our lives.

So, one of the gurus of goals and setting up goals is Zig Ziglar. If you have not heard of this man(God bless his soul as he passed away not too long ago), then you need to Google him and get caught up.

I have a workbook based on one of his systems to getting organized and setting proper goals. He has a plan that creates four goals. It starts wide open and through a simple, but yet effective process really forces you to pause and reflect on what you REALLY hope to achieve with your life and goals.

Here are the first few steps in establishing goals. There are so many methods out there, but this is one that has helped me the last year and I will be using it again. I know that at first it sounds quite cheesy, but take it serious and go through these steps. Over the next few days I will continue to update with what to do next.

For me personally, I know I want to be in triathlon peak performance. I don’t have a goal of losing weight, but I know that it is part of the process for me. I know that for me I personally don’t do well with setting a goal of say losing 10lbs. Once I do that, then what? Can you keep losing forever? No, so this process helps me create a goal in such a manner that will allow me to achieve maximum fitness with a side affect of me losing weight. It works great.

Ok, onto the first few steps. Here we go…..

Step 1: Create a dream list of anything you would like to do, be, or have. Anything. This should probably be more than 50 items pretty easily. Give yourself a day or two to come up with ideas. Hold nothing back. Keep this list personal and show nobody as it is your dream list.


Step 2: After your list is generated go through and scratch off all things illegal, violates the laws of physics, or was there merely to get you moving. VERY IMPORTANT: do not cross of items that are difficult. If you don’t have difficult items on the list, then perhaps you are selling yourself short.

Step 3: Copy items that remain onto a new page. Next to each one write down what’s in it for you and the people you care about. What happens to you and your team(friends, family, this group, etc.) if you reach this goal? If you can’t come up with a list you care about, then cross it off. A goal you don’t care about is not a goal. The goal here is to figure out what is realistic and unrealistic, what is not worth your time, and what you are truly willing to work for.

That is a good start. Tomorrow I will post the next step. 

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Game Changer: GETTING IT DONE! Team and AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge

Alright, it is time for me to talk about the amazing team taking shape over in the Facebook world. It is a team I created based off my triathlon training motto this year called GETTING IT DONE!

This team is compromised of everyday individuals who are on the path to creating healthy positive habits in their daily lives. Many of us have tried several diets, training plans, exercise routines, etc. Like all of us we have hit the highs and lows.

I know that for me personally the most important factor to my first year in triathlon training was developing a network of people who could help me along my journey. I had experts in the tri sport to give guidance on strategy. I had a group who helped me get out of bed every weekend at 4:30 am to go run when it was cold and I just wanted to sleep. I had friends who I could talk about training. I had a group during the week who ran together to discuss life, sports, and whatever else was on our mind.

The point being is that I had people to help me when I did not know how to help myself.

This year I have personal goals of fitness and triathlon racing. You have goals about your races, life, exercise  What I want to do with this team is get everyone together who needs a team to help them along. No matter what your current fitness level, eating habits, and personal goals are we can help each other. It does not matter if you are training for a marathon or a Zombie run or simply just getting out to walk. As a team we will be here for each and everyone one of us. We all have a goal to get better.

GETTING IT DONE! will be a team where we can network. We can reach our for help when our eating goes astray. We can share recipes or tricks that work. We can hold each other accountable. We can offer motivation. We can do this together as one unit to help us reach our individual goals.

So, GETTING IT DONE! is forming as we speak. There are many people interested. Many are exploring and checking things out. It is time to take the plunge and commit.

To start things off we are going to start with the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge. This is a super easy, but highly effective system to cleanse the system and begin to form healthy habits. We will start this on January 7th. Many have used this system and the results don’t lie.

After the challenge will then move on to create our next goal(s) for the next month. We will take it step by step and in the end we will reach our goals.

So, I encourage you to check out the Facebook team page. Check out the links on my blog(many resources coming very shortly). I encourage you to make a statement in 2013 and get ready to create some healthy habits. When ready sign up on  the form and get your AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge bundle and be ready to join us on our path of AWESOMENESS!

Here is a link to the FB Team page: http://www.facebook.com/groups/304516902982290/


Here is info to sign up for the 24 Day Challenge

We are less than one month away from getting ready to change our lives for the better. The official start date is going to be January 7th. This is a Monday and will give us time to get ready mentally for kicking some serious butt. 

Here is the form. This makes it official and will let me know who is serious. I will be placing orders for AdvoCare by December 21st if you need to order.

In the meantime I have lots of things in the works. As always, let me know what you need. I am ready to get back to racing weight and working with others to reach their goals. 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dFFKcG4xb1FEQnQ5T2RYTGFPUGtSN1E6MQ#gid=0

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GETTING IT DONE Fitness Team: AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge – JOIN ME!

On Facebook yesterday I posted the following:

I am ready to start my AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge come January 1st. I am looking to form a team where we can work together and help out each other lose some weight while working on our fitness and feeling AWESOME using the AdvoCare product. Using AdvoCare everyday for my Ironman training and love it. 

Think about joining me and and helping create a group to help each other out. Let me know if interested. I can get you the product and we can work out on a cool team name and make this happen!

I am making it official right here, right now. I am in training for my first Ironman as we speak. I am also eating not as healthy as I should be and know I need to get my body feeling even better by eating more quality food. At the same time I could afford to knock off a few pounds that I know will come with just getting rid of the cookies and junk food.

In my experience in training for road races and triathlon I have found that working with a community of people is the key to success and long term achievements and gains. I have learned that having others follow your path, waiting for you to show up to run and workout, sending text messages for accountability, etc. help me stay the course throughout the year when I have days when I don’t want to train or do what is necessary to take my health to the next level.

With that being said, I know my eating is my worst enemy. I am focused and determined to get my eating back to a healthy state in much the same manner as I approached my training. I am starting my goal of eating healthy and losing a few pounds with the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge. I want others to join in. I want to create a community when we can help each other. I want a community where we can help during the 24 day challenge and afterwards. It is so important to have other like minded individuals working towards a goal of better health and living. I want you join me!

If you have never used AdvoCare products, then you need to give it a try. I fought for over year refusing to fall prey to another product line. However, about three months ago I decided to give it at try. I have never regretted that decision and was actually frustrated I waited so long. I want to help you get your health back on track. This is a great start. There are so many other products, but this challenge is the way to cleanse your system and get you on track.

Here is a link to everything you get in the 24 Day Challenge
http://www.advocare.com/products/trim/99038.aspx

I will be sharing several documents and guidelines to my blog soon under the AdvoCare tab over the next few days to give you all necessary information. Until then, here is quick breakdown.

1. Purchase the Product Bundle – I can order for you. You can order for yourself if you already have an account. Or you can order from someone else that you already know. I really don’t care. I just want a community team effort to make this happen.

2. Starting on January 1st we begin the 10 Day Cleanse – it is a mild cleanse and not brutal. You can adapt this cleanse to meet your needs and goals to make it work for you.

3. Days 11- 24 – We then work on getting good product and healthy good and supplements to your body and eliminate the poor habits of putting poor food choices in your system.

4. After day 24 we can then create a new goal to help us reach the next step in our lives!

So, hopefully you are excited about getting your life back on track. Some of you are in good shape now and just need to get rid of some holiday weight. Some need a good kickstart to just moving in the direction of health. It does not matter who you are and what your current state of fitness is. It matters that you want to you to make a healthy change in your life. Anyone from Ironman athletes to my parents can have a game changing moment by taking part.

1. Go To Advocare – https://www.advocare.com/products/default.aspx
2. Check out the products and research behind it all.
3. Contact me at aarmau@gmail.com and let me know what you want. I will order it for you! I will have everything you order before X-Mas so you have things ready to go. OR you can become your own distributor and start your account(I can help you with this). My ID is 12092730.

I will be updating my blog with recipes, nutrition guidelines, and other information that you need.

I will be working on a network for the anyone who joins my team to get back to being healthy and in shape so we can help share our stories and keep each other motivated during the 24 days.

Are you ready to step up and take the challenge with me? You will be glad you did!

I look forward to seeing who will join me in this challenge. The time is NOW! Let me know so I can get you the products you need before January 1st!

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Getting It Done! – Video Log of Ironman Journey

I had this great idea today.

My idea was to create my own video diary of my new goal to complete an Ironman in June 2013.

This video diary just kept making sense for several reasons

1. I like to make these videos as I have several really stupid ones already on the Internet and it is time to make something useful.

2. People don’t always like to read so short 3 minute videos might help them.

3. It will help me stay accountable(the most important).

4. I will have something to go back and follow to see where I am and where I end up.

So, here is my first episode. It is basically an intro. I start pre season training Monday, October 1st. I have plans. I have goals. I have an agenda. I might have been a slob for 6 weeks, but I am have been resting my mind while getting prepared. I know the time is now. I believe I am ready. I also know it will not be easy to break some of these terrible habits I formed.

So, check out the video, give it some props, and don’t forget you can always let me know what topics or questions you would like answered. I may not have the right answer, but by now you know I will have something to say.

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