Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Only Thing Missing...

... is a red barn.  There's just something about a wheat field.  At sunset. In the Fall... that's just... whew.

So I'm in my physical therapist's office... and she's completely working me over and sort of giggling as I'm wincing in severe pain... but its good pain... the kind of pain that is getting us somewhere.  Anyway, between nauseating waves... I glance over to my right... and there's a little sign on her closed door.  It reads, "Live life like you mean it."... and I thought to myself, "Man.  I freakin MEAN it.  I really do."  Sometimes things just really stink... most of the time its totally out of your control... but I'm IN... and I really, REALLY mean it.

Shoulder update!  Things are progressing really well.  My mobility is GREAT!  My strength at this point is severely lacking.  Don't ask me to pick up that peanut off the floor and raise it over my head... I might strain something.  I have atrophied to the point where its a challenge for me to do VERY lightly weighted shoulder work of any sort without fatiguing extremely quickly. BUT... I. Don't.  Stop.  SO!  Coach Liz and my PT are pow wowwing about the parameters of me heading back into the water the first week of February.  Liz keeps reassuring me that this will be MORE than enough time to get my swim where it needs to be for CdA.  FYI... and I'm not afraid to say it out loud... I'm doing that swim in an hour or less.  There.  Its out there.  No hiding.  

Running and biking are truckin along.  I had my longest run of the season the other day... a whole 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Long runs are relative right?  I mean really... its only "long" in the sense that it is the longest run I've completed this season.  I attempted to hook up with Drew to get it done... but alas... it wasn't meant to be.  Oddly enough... work actually got in the way... which is just WIERD!  Next time Iron Drew!  I actually got to head out on the Cascade Cutoff for my run. Kind of out in the middle of nowhere... quiet... cold... sunny... beautiful.  Just me, my feet, and my breath.  Freakin BEAUTIFUL!  I was reminded repeatedly to stay within the designated zones... annoying but necessary at this point in the season right?  There's a method to the madness and all I have to do is listen and obey.  Its not as hard as it sounds.

Hmmmmmm... what else?  Uh.  Geesh.  that's all's I gots.  Here are some pics from my run the other day.

Hope you're all happy, healthy, and whole.



Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bringin it back!

My body and mind are beginning to remember what its like to work... and they both LOVE it! Liz is extremely talented at making all of my workouts purposeful. Think about that word for a second... purposeful. Doing something with purpose. I mean really... I don't have a lot of time to waste. I need things to count, and Liz understands that and applies that not only to me... but to any athlete she works with. I'm pretty good at doing what I'm told, some of the time. I just like to understand the path that I'm on... tell me why I'm doing this... and if it makes sense... I'm IN! Just like Sally... I'm IN! Liz has plans for me... and those plans match my goals... its symbiotic... which is nice.

Training is going really well. The challenge for me is remembering where I am within the season. I keep reminding myself that this is the 3rd WEEK of my 6 month training cycle leading to CdA. THEREFORE... things are slower... I'm building strength... I'm becoming "durable"... which is the reason for all of the funky running drills and crazy core exercises like, "The Scorpion"... yeah, I'm not making it up... and yes... it stings!
This afternoon I was able to take advantage of some REALLY unusually sunny and warm January weather here in Eugene! I headed over to the world famous Hayward Field where I proceeded to go through about 35 minutes of running drills. You can't HELP but feel super cool and fast at Hayward field. Then again, it's hard to feel fast as an almost middle-aged, skinny white guy when you're surrounded be running gods and goddesses! Oh... don't you worry. I gave them the business. Yeah. I unleashed some serious intimidation skillz out there on the track... and I only got laughed at once. Good times good times.

Ok. SO! I "fired" my PT. Not really fired... but made a semi-aggressive move to someone else in the practice that is a triathlete AND just HAPPENS to be doing IM CdA this year as well. And wouldn't ya know... my shoulder? Well... let's just say that I'm VERY confident that I will be in the pool in very short order. One session with this woman and I've already noticed a significant improvement in my strength and range of motion! YES!!!

That's about it for the moment. OH! I was thinking the other day. I do that. I think. Yeah. So I was thinking the other day about steps... and how many we take in a day. I was running and I thought, "This is so simple." Forward motion. One foot at a time. Padpadpadpadpadpadpad. That sound. That's all there really is in that moment right? Just the sound of your feet... and your breath... and if you can just quiet the rest of the crap down... just for a minute... or 20... or an hour... isn't it just simple. Yeah... I know. Cool huh?

Whew... that was random.

Hope you're all happy, healthy, and whole... and not freezing your fanny's off out there! Enjoy your base training ok? Don't fear a goal. Don't fear verbalizing a goal. Don't fear TALKING about your goal. I want your goals too... just for you.

WOW... random AGAIN! I'm on FIRE tonight!


Sunday, January 4, 2009

It's Just Plain...


I don't have a very good memory.  Or at least I don't think I do... but then again... maybe I do and I just forgot.  Anywho, I had forgotten in the last couple of months how much I enjoy a good brick.  As always, Liz never disappoints with the workouts she sends me.  She has a way of structuring workouts... even workouts on the trainer... that keep you engaged and challenged... making the time fly by.  The challenge at the moment is that everything is "base" oriented.  All good stuff... and more than necessary but we all like to go fast right?! 

What I've noticed in the short time that I've been back on the training band-wagon is how strong I feel.  Then it occurred to me that all I've been doing is RESTING!  For the last two months I haven't done anything to stress my body... with the exception of massive amounts of food... mostly from the "sugar" food group.  Speaking of which, I have a friend that basically made it through the entire holiday season withOUT sugar.  Seriously.  Is that NUTS or WHAT???  She's a total bad-ass in my book! So anyway,  I feel really really strong right now.  Give me a week though... I'll be a wreck and you can all laugh at me.

SO... yesterday consisted of an hour and a half on the trainer followed by a 15 min run off the bike.  Nothing remotely taxing... but just getting my body back into training mode and used to the saddle a bit.  Today... a killer core and strength routine that MIGHT actually result in me getting a bootay.  Yeah... I'm serious.  

That's ANOTHER thing about Liz... she's pretty much figured me out... slow and steady build. Keep me healthy.  "Build a strong Rob".  I constantly remind myself to trust Liz... and trust the process.  She knows what she's doing and if I'm a good boy... and do as I'm told... and I'm honest with her about my aches and pains when they occur... she'll be able to get me where I want to be come June 21st.

Hope you're all happy, healthy, and whole.

OH!  A note on injury... not that I'm an expert... but listen to your body.  If something is screaming at you to stop... just stop.  Go see the local expert on whatever is bothering you... and be patient.  In the long run... getting on top of it will pay off.  Think long-term... not short. Thanks for listening.


Thursday, January 1, 2009


Yeah.  See that look on my face?  (The Gay European Tourist or "GET" coined by my brother Ted). You know why its there?  Because I am BESIDE myself with excitement!  I started my training cycle for IM CdA today!!!!!  Good LORD it felt good to be out there with some purpose behind it!  Don't get me wrong... working out for the benefits of one's health is great... but that alone simply does NOT squeeze my grapes.  (I just made that up).  If I was left to my own devices and was not working toward some sort of competitive goal... I am convinced that I would be the world's first morbidly obese skinny guy.  Seriously.

So it was with extreme excitement... much to the annoyance of my entire family who had stayed up FAR too late last night... that I headed out the door and into the drenching rain and blustering wind for an extremely easy, read "slow", 50 minute run on the flats of the Willamette Valley! Ohhhhhhh... it was HEAVEN!  I also got to try out my new Zoot Ultra Nanoshell Jacket.  Super nice... and, more importantly, stylish... which as we ALL know... is the priority.  The run itself couldn't have gone any better.  This was a totally form-focus run, quick feet, calm torso, hips under my feet, slight lean forward, all done at a slower pace simply to wake my body up and get used to a consistent routine.  Later in the evening I spun on the trainer for 30 min to flush the legs.  YUM!

It's GREAT to be back!  Come with me ok?  It'll be fun!  If I see you out there... don't be surprised if my eyes fill with tears of joy as I tackle you in a HUGE bear hug!  HM.