Category Archives: VII- The Triathlon Chronicles

The Abrupt End To The Triathlon Chronicles

I am again delinquent and my triathlon training updates. This time though, for very good reason.

Unfortunately, this will be the last of my triathlon chronicle postings. Just shy of two weeks ago, on Mother’s Day actually, I started out with what I thought was indigestion or stomach pains and end up in the hospital having my gallbladder removed by means of emergency surgery.

Long story short, I will be fine but am saddled with dr.’s orders of absolutely no activity for at least 4 to 6 weeks. I can’t even pick up anything heavier than a gallon of milk (which includes both of my children by the way… Let me tell you how much THAT sucks) and in addition to the suck fest that that is, the timing is also absolutely horrendous. I am sentenced to the couch right when I’m supposed to be in the final stages of training for my first triathlon, and carrying over into the maintenance/based building phases of training for my second. So with the words “wow, that’s a lot of gallstones” I saw two races get scratched from my calendar, just like that. It’s okay, I’m kind of at a crossroads right now anyway and reevaluating my schedule as a whole. So in a way, this is well-timed, but the abrupt nature and “totally out of my control” way that things went down kind of make it a tough pill to swallow.

20140523-160551-57951739.jpg

So as I said in the beginning of this posting, unfortunately this is the end of the triathlon chronicles… At least for now.

I continue to be an avid supporter of Delmo Sports, and when I do mount my triumphant return / entry into the world of triathlon there is no question in my mind it will be at one of their events.

On a related note: I am really bummed that I’m not going to get the chance to jump off the ferry.

So as always, thanks for reading and you’ll be hearing again from you soon.

The good news is that with all this forced time on my ass I will finally have a chance to kick out a few product reviews I’ve been meaning to finish off. You can be on the lookout for them in the next few days.

Until the next time, take it easy.
Andy

The Triathlon Chronicles: Update #3.5 (delayed update post)

I know it’s time for my regularly scheduled triathlon training update. But I’m placing that on hold to allow for my Broad Street prep posting instead.

…but since it’s on the schedule I wanted to at least put something up here so I was not just neglecting it completely.

Quick and dirty update: Tri training is going good. No major ups or downs just chugging along. Truth be told, I have been foregoing several of the triathlon specific workouts in favor of getting myself ready to cover the 10 miles of Broad Street confidently. Replacing the bricks and a few swims with some recovery runs and additional pavement miles. I’ll be back to the full on triathlon chronicles/ training mode in a week or two, but this is about that time of year where I become 100% Broad Street focused… And I love it. So keep your eyes peeled for my Broad Street prep posting coming up very shortly. (hopefully later tonight)

Take it easy

Andy

The Triathlon Chronicles: Update #3- Keep on Truckin’

Triathlon Update #3:

 Back on track and rolling.

 Tick Tock: this countdown seems to be flying by and the “safety net” of the far off date is disappearing a lot faster than I anticipated. (It feels like it anyway…)

So the ever-present clock is still just ticking away and my first Tri ever getting closer and closer. The Escape The Cape Triathlon Sprint Tri (.4mi swim, 10mi Bike, and 3.1mi run) in Cape May, NJ is now only 65 days away.

 So here we go, update #3:

 Swim: Hell Yes. The progress just keeps on coming. (which really just means that I am no longer an offensively horrible swimmer, now I’ve graduated up to the status of your regular, run of the mill bad swimmer) But I hit a milestone for myself this week. I was able to get in the pool and swim 13 laps. The significance of the 13 is that is equivalent of the race distance. Granted, I had to stop and catch my breath quite a bit, but I hit the distance. I know it looked absolutely ridiculous for a guy who just clearly struggled through 13 laps to give a fist pump and a “yes!” at the end; but hell, it was a big deal to me. I now have 2 full months to build upon this result. And considering the current rate of improvement, (even when I factor in the concept that as I get into better “swimming shape” the improvement will slow down a bit due to diminishing returns) I am still currently holding onto the belief that as long as I put in the work, I’ll be able to pull this off. And dare I say it, I might actually come to enjoy swimming a little bit- even if it’s for nothing more than a great cross training option.

 Brick: So now that the insane cold winter has moved out, and I have an actual real life bike to use, I can start doing my bricks outside to get a “really real” feel for what a brick should feel like (as opposed to the 1-2 punch of the stationary bike and treadmill in my gym), and a taste of what I can expect during Escape The Cape. The Jell-O legs are still there, and I imagine that they will actually get worse when you factor in the outside cycling & running. But better to experience and adapt to it now so when it comes to be “go time” I am ready to get it on. A short portion (about a half mile) of the run during the actual race is on the beach, so I will have to get myself accustomed to running on different surfaces as well. I’m going to be incorporating some trail running into the mix to help with this (while admittedly not sand, I have to imagine that a mixed surface of dirt, loose rocks, etc. is better than just straight pavement to get me used to this) until I can get myself on the sand to practice. Unfortunately, there are not a ton of beaches right around the corner from me to practice on exclusively (the Philly suburbs, while close to the Jersey Shore are not close enough to just “pop over” for a quick run)

 Bike: So the 2 (count em’, two!) bikes are back from the shop and ready to rock and roll. Tonight marks my inaugural ride outdoors on an actual (non-stationary) bike. Not only that, but it also will mark my first tandem bike ride ever. I will be heading out tonight with my daughter Tessa in tow. (Thanks to my brand new Weehoo Bike Trailer: Review / Website) I got it all assembled yesterday and pulled her up and down the block real fast to make sure it was good to go for today, and she LOVED IT. …which made me love it. I can’t wait to get out there and really take her for a ride longer than 45 seconds. This is going to be awesome and I’m ready to get a feel for what to expect on the bike in terms of performance, what it feesl like to go fast and have the wind in your face, and all the other ancillary experiences that I will need to get accustomed to related to cycling. (riding with sunglasses and a helmet, traffic, turning, handling, etc. You know, all the stuff you never even have to think about while “spinning” in the gym). I’m also hoping that combo of the heft of the mountain bike that I will be using to ride with Tess along with the weight of the trailer and her in the seat will also add up to increased speed & handling when I go out solo on my road bike (which is the one I will be using for the race, obviously)

 Run: This is and always be the core of my workouts. If all the varied triathlon training has taught me anything thus far, it’s that I am a runner at heart and that will always be the center of what/ who I am (at least fitness-wise) The past 2 weeks have been pretty great, run wise. Even though I made a conscious decision to deviate from the training plan a little. I have gone for 2 5K weekly runs and raced a 5K (along with my running partner rock, which was absolutely awesome) I had grand plans of wrapping up my 5K race with Rock and then heading to the park across the street to get in an additional 4 miles to round out the 7 on the schedule, but it turned out to be such a nice day that as soon as I started I doubled back and decided to bag it, haul ass home and enjoy what turned out to be the first nice warm-ish day in months walking around the neighborhood with the kids. It was awesome. I kept active all week and don’t feel like I missed anything in terms of distance improvement. I’ve rattled off some decent, strong and consistent mid-distance runs and I’m looking forward to this weekend’s long run to get myself back on schedule. I’m almost afraid to say it out loud, but things seem to be going pretty good right now, run-wise.

 So that concludes the section of the post that gives the workout updates. As for the random thoughts section of the update, I have a few things that have been playing on my mind about this process/ my experiences so far.

 Things are starting to get very real now. I’m looking at just over 2 months till race day and I know I’ve mentioned this before, but damn do I have a whole new respect for triathletes.

 Just the sheer volume of training involved in doing this (and doing it right) is a major investment: Financially of course, (3 sports = triple the “stuff”) but also both physically and in terms of time. I am finally getting to the point where I can see the finish line, and to me that also means looking ahead to how these experiences translate into the future now that I have a clear picture of what all goes into this during the day-to-day training. More to come on what the future holds for me… once I figure that out for myself, of course.

 One other thing I wanted to mention though is that while Cross Training is something I have shamefully neglected in the past, the added swimming and cycling are having a pretty awesome effect on me now. As always, I’m not sure if it’s purely physical or if there is a mental component to it as well (and also not sure if whether that distinction even matters), but I have never felt as strong or confident in my runs as I have lately. They are still challenging, and my speed is not where I ideally want to end up, but I am feeling great and running strong. I’m now and officially converted believer in the cross training and will be preaching from now on: I am of the mindset that the addition of the swimming and cycling is clearly going to be making me a better runner.

 Okay, that’s all I’ve got for today.

 As always, thanks so much for reading and I hope that you can gain some sort of insight as to what this experience is really beginning to look like for me.

  As always, Till next time:

 Take it Easy

 Andy