Sunday, December 13, 2009

Week 1 Review

Taking Stock of 2009

2009 wasn’t my most athletic year. I was far from my formal capabilities of 2006-2007. This was an important, informative, and extremely beneficial circumstance in my understanding and respect for humility. I learned it’s OK to be middle of the pack. Hell, it was OK in the back of the back. The point is you are in the race. The pack is irrelevant. I realized in 2009 something that was missing in 2006: multi-sport and ultra-distance is fun. It’s supposed to be anyway. If it’s not, what the hell are you doing? Just stop.

I barely raced in 2009. I ran my first sub 39:00 10k in the spring. I did it on very little training. Getting under 6.16 10k pace is quite pedestrian amongst competitive runners, even triathletes who run hard, but for a one speed guy like me, I’ll take it. Couldn’t have done it without my great run coach, Heather.

In the summer I got suckered into an Olympic Tri by the aforementioned coach. I barely trained. Finishing in the front portion of the pack I came to the conclusion that I’d have to make a comeback in 2010. I started to realize that my body was growing more accustomed to endurance as I aged.

I confirmed this by doing my first 50k ultra distance trail run in the fall. Again on little training As I ran the 31 miles of hell terrain getting lost in the woods between the aid stations situated 8 miles apart I remembered how much fun insane events like this were. The moral: If I actually trained I might do pretty well. Also, I really just love this stuff.

Other than that I lived a live quite contrary to fitness. I was overweight and not consistent in any workout routine.

2010 Preparations

Race Weight
I spent the fall working on dieting and nutrition for the upcoming year. If I was sitting on my ass I figured I could at least study nutrition and apply it. I took a course on being a fitness trainer and learned all sorts of informative stuff.

I took advantage of a high stress and tumultuous time in my life to let myself forget to eat. When I hit 142 pounds I got super dizzy when I went for a run. Lesson learned: Race weight is indeed around 150. No exceptions! I’m just too much of an stocky, broad shouldered Croatian to get much lighter. I’m built all wrong. I smell protein and it goes to my arms while all my competitors have the biceps of a 13yr old girls. Sounds like I’d have an advantage, but remember, I’m slogging those arms up mountains while running and biking the 138 miles after an Ironman swim.

But my body type is slowly changing already. A low caloric intake allows me to beta-oxidize (eat) muscle as a fuel source. My body is slowly learning to take it from my arms, and as training picks up, put it in my legs.

It’s December. I still have plenty of time before Eagleman in June. I need to be patient. I don't want to burn out in March. Thus I’m focused this week, and even next, not so much on training, but on organizing to train effectively. I’m making a smooth move to my new training facility, aka home. I’m looking forward to the stability and support of living with my family. I never would have made world championships in 2006 without them. No discussion. Also, the great roads and mountains available for training around Stanhope will make for superb training. Driving around there the other day I got all nostalgic for the long hours in the scenic terrain.

When I say I had a 20 hour or 25 hour training week, most individuals don’t realize that that time is the total time of cardiovascular/strength training. It does NOT include a)driving to the pool, b)cleaning/maintaining my bikes c)doing all the laundry of training clothes d)eating for recovery e)the process of cleaning up and showering 2-3 times a day (after each workout) etc. The 20-25 hrs quickly turns into a full 40 hr work week. Thus it’s important to have all my gear easily available and a plan of action for eliminating time spent before and after my swim, bike, run, or weight training of the day.

I’m moving home with little or no possessions. Thank you Craigslist. I don’t want the distractions. I have my gear and a guitar and bass. I plan on training and teaching some lessons. Period. Makes organization easier.

This will require some mental adjustments and I’m taking time to make sure this is what I really want to do. Friday nights are looking to be a little less fun. Saturday too. I’ll probably be passed out on my futon. As things heat up training wise I better want to be doing this.

And I’m concluding that, yes I do. It’s important for me to have a year in my life when I’m focused on this aspect of my character.

It helps that I’ve been working one day a week at The Running Co. in Morristown. I love it. Come in and see me on Sundays. There I’m always around top athletes who inspire me to be my best. I’ll be working today after I finally stop procrastinating with this blog and run a few miles…

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