Ok team,

Another triathlon in the books, the 2014 YMCA Spirit, Mind, Body triathlon.  To be honest, I didn’t really know what to expect.  I had ridden part of the course and previewed the run portion once (on my bike).  I chose to compete in the Olympic distance.  Sprint distance (1/2 mile swim, 15 mile bike, 5K run), a duathlon, and a team competition were also options.  My first triathlon was last month, and I gutted out an entire 70.3 (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run) to initiate myself into the sport so I assumed (we all know what happens when you assume) the Olympic distance would be merely challenging but not crushing.  I was almost right.  It was challenging in every sense of the word. 

My personal challenge is the swim and for this distance is technically only .2 miles (though some claimed to measure it at 1.1 miles) shorter than my previous tri.  This first discipline really pushes my endurance to the edge. The bike route was a great out and back with some challenging (ahem!) hills after the 7.5 mile mark (thank you Anna Demerly for yelling at me on the category 10 hill coming back, to “not stop pedaling”…believe me, my mind said pedal, my legs were saying @#$$%!!!  But I did improve my bike time and came in under the goal I set.  Route support was great and I really appreciated the volunteers that the encouraged me personally as I rode by. (Maybe I looked like I needed it more!).  The run was a 5K out and back that the Olympic competitors ran twice…again…some nice “little” hills to traverse but not frightening.  The coolest part of this run were the kids on the backside of the route handing out water and cheering.  I am calling out the runner in front of me that refused the high fives from the two little kids at mile marker 1…you are way to serious to not high five the kids…dude! I don’t know your name but if anyone knows who the skinny runner in dark shorts is…smack him! 

This was a great race to have in my training towards 2015.  Great distance, showed me where I have improved and where I still need to work.  Transitions (time between swim/bike and bike/run) improved by over 50%, that was the biggest improvement.  The encouraging spot was that I finished the run only 3 minutes off the goal I had set which means I was running the 10K slightly slower than my normal 10K pace.  I know where I could have pushed myself harder and probably shaved 2-3 minutes. 

This was another race first so I am neither happy or sad with my times…it was about setting benchmarks for 2015 and exposing my weaknesses for improvement.  Somebody asked me after the race what was the hardest part, I said, “the swim/bike/run part!  Its hard to explain.  I don’t look at it as three disciplines but one multi-faceted discipline.  They all have to work together to finish.

The YMCA put on great event.  Definitely on the list for 2015.  MY one slight disappointment is that as I was finishing my bike portion, I so many sprint racers leaving.  Our tri community is not a large one and we don’t stop and make sure we are supporting each other through the finish (back of the packers need love to!).  Its a big deal to get out and compete.  I am going to give a small shout out to the Southern Indiana Triathlon Team…I know there are other equally as awesome groups but it means a tremendous amount to me to have people that I only know as members of the team, see me and cheer me on or encourage me. 

And in particular, Anna Demerly, Scott Culiver, Steve Roelle…(there are more, I am just drawing a blank), not once have you three ever failed to encourage me or ask me how I did.  Thank you.

This was a great race.

Jeffrey “Previously Fat Guy”

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Ok…training this week was subpar.  Two reasons caused this, work schedule and easing off for the YMCA Mind, Body, and Spirit Triathlon tomorrow.  I fully understand the need to physically tapper and prepare for the race but I struggle mentally in not being active and in my normal training routine.  Anyone else struggle with this?

I got three days of running in.  Short runs in my new Cloudrunner ON shoes.  Really liking these shoes.  https://www.on-running.com/en-us.  I have moved back up a bit from my zero drop shoes as my calves for various reason (I don’t fault the shoes) just haven’t adjusted to longer runs.  To have calves this size fail me is perplexing to say the least but understanding the physiology of how training , nutrition, and the mechanics of endurance running all fit together helps me get a better idea.  So if you are curious about these shoes check out the link they explain it better than I do.  I will be writing a longer review of them after a few more miles.

Race weight looks like it will be about 204-205.  Not great but holding, 188-187 is the target.  I have some work to do and after this race am focusing on specific performance improvement and muscle strength for cycling.  Funny thing, this morning I read an article on beginner triathletes who were primarily runner prior to tri’s and it talked about struggling on the bike and gave some great pointers on cycling improvement that wont sacrifice the run training.  Actually, the thought is cycling will help maintain and improve the run with less running…go figure.  I know, hard core runners will have to adjust but only during tri season.

Looking forward to the Olympic distance tomorrow.  It will be my second tri, the first 70.3, so this should be in my wheel house if I get through the swim!!  My training partner Dan will smoke me in the water and on the bike so my only hope to finish in sight of him is on the run…this means you calves!

Nutrition has been spotty.  Not unhealthy but I did not dial it in as tight as I wanted.  Tonight I am not going to veer from my normal routine and tomorrow the only change I am making is hydrating more on the bike.  I will have 48 ounces with me so I think that should suffice for 25 miles.  I am out of my Nutrilite energy chews that did me well last race.  Tony Bacon if you have any sitting around I will pay top dollar for the citrus flavor! 

Mentally I am feeling focused.  I had many changes this past month and things are settling down.  This is the last tri of the year for me…road races and a ultra-trail run left…I look forward to the 2015 tri season.  If you can come out to the race and cheer us on please do.  If not…any well wishes here or on Facebook are most appreciated!

Jeffrey “Previously Fat Guy”

 

Sunshine Delight

Posted: August 13, 2014 in health/nutrition

Sunshine Delight!

I have talked recently about juicing and some of the benefits I believe we can get from it. Well this morning my wife knocked it out of the park with an awesome juice we are calling Sunshine Delight. We love putting together different combinations of veggies and fruit to get our juice on. Sometimes they are great, sometimes not so much. Today was a great day! So here it is

1/2 pineapple

1 cucumber

2 oranges

1 apple

1 lemon

1 yellow pepper

This yielded about 32 ounces of juice awesomeness! If you are new to juicing or a veteran juicer this is one you need to add to your recipe book. I promise you will not be disappointed.

Arguably, one of the toughest aspects of getting healthy is staying motivated to see the tiny results we hope to see over long periods of time.  We quickly forget it took months, even years, to get to our current unhealthy states yet we want instant results…

Any expert will tell you consistency is the key.  Its been stated that it takes 30 days to form a habit…so goes it with working out.  We have to develop habits over time that will yield the results we seek.  That all begins with our minds.  We have to accept the fact we want to change for the good and begin making plans to achieve what we want. Then put it all into action and stick with it.  Easy peasy right?  Not so much.

I venture to say all of us at one time or another have committed in our minds to a work out plan, diet, or “New Year’s Resolution”.  The caveat came when we failed to execute those thoughts.  I struggled for many years to get a plan together that “worked” for me.  I had many reason why I couldn’t work out, eat right, whatever.  The problem was never my plans, those usually were pretty solid.  It was me, my attitude and my actions that kept me from succeeding.  I failed each time before I even began.

Nutrition is the biggest key for  me and I believe for many.  If I asked you, “Would you knowingly put diesel fuel in your gasoline engine?”  You will tell me no.  Why?  Because it will wreck your car and be costly to repair.   So I asked myself, “Should I knowingly put junk fuel into my body?”  You get the picture.  Bad fuel will result in bad results, poor health physically, and mentally.  Without proper nutrition you cant concentrate and focus.  The beauty of this is it is simple to eat healthy.  You have to change you habits (see comment above) but by eliminating the junk, chips, soda, cookies, large portions (yes…large portions!  Overeating even healthy food does you no good.  Your body can only process so much at one time. Give your body what it needs and no more and it will respond back in kind.)  Healthy eating will give you an energy that will help to keep you motivated to continue building these habits.  Nutrition was the biggest hurdle for me.  When I am eating right, I always feel ready for a workout.

Keep it simple.  We have all heard that.  If you are new to working out don’t sign up for the Kona Ironman next month!  Take it in steps.  Find something that is convenient and works into your schedule. (You will be surprised at how much time you find to work out) minutes to an hour a day amounts to 4% of your day.  If you cant give 4%…well.

Try and find a partner or a group to work out with.  Accountability goes a long way to helping you stay motivated and on track.  I run or bike almost every day with my buddy Dan.  We have both had days we did not want to work out.  But both of us know how important it is to the other one and barring a few days with injury or illness we both make strong efforts to be there to help the other stay accountable. 

Set goals.  I cant emphasize this enough.  Without goals you can easily become overwhelmed with everything.  Write them down, check them off, treat yourself when you accomplish them.  One of my biggest helps is that after a race of any kind, I allow myself to eat…no limits.  I take that one afternoon to treat myself to my comfort foods and then I go back to my clean eating.  Am I perfect?  No, I do sneak treats no and then.  But I have built up strong healthy habits that allow me the occasional cheat without getting me off track.

So there you have it…keep it simple, have some accountability, set your goals.  There is a bunch of hard work in-between all of that but that really is the foundation to making progress. 

Jeffrey “PreviouslyFatGuy”

 

Juicing…as in making fresh fruit, veggie juice concoctions to start your day out with a great boost of healthiness.

Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a doctor, though I know some.  I am sharing what works for me and what I have learned about nutrition and training along my journey.  Take what you like and ignore the rest. 

I like juicing.  My wife and I have been juicing daily in the mornings for some time and both agree that it does make you feel energized and full in the mornings.  It has been a great addition to our diets and my training routine.  So let me point out a few things:

1. You can “juice” just about anything….fruit, veggies. Some require a little prep but most can be dropped right into the juicer without much effort. Some things need peeled because their rinds can have a bitter taste or are just not really edible (pineapples for example). I am not going to discuss types of juicers here.  There are many and I found budget and style really are the deciding factors, though some are notably better than others.

2. A mixture of fruits and veggies makes the best flavor combo in my opinion.  More fruit = sweeter.

3. Juicing is not making a smoothie…smoothies are awesome and I love them and my post workout routine includes a smoothie…but making a smoothie is blending not juicing.  That is a whole different post.

4. Juicing is not necessarily a meal replacement, though it can be, but I am not suggesting that here.  Some people do “juicing” challenges and they do replace a meal to help kick start weight loss or “detox” their systems. I use it to supplement.  I wont say I don’t go out the door some mornings and all I have had is my juice but that’s not the idea.

Juicing is a great way to get a ton of vitamins and minerals you may not normally get throughout your normal day of eating.  It also allows you to consume some fruits and veggies you have traditionally avoided! 

Here is a great website that can give you some good ideas about how to start juicing and a ton of recipes to try.  I am a fan of green juices and love to add a bit of ginger to them.  My wife has different tastes.  There are juices for everyone.  Regardless of your end goals, I think adding regular juicing to your daily routine will benefit you in many ways.  Give it a try!

http://juicerecipes.com/recipes

Jeffrey “Previously Fat Guy”

Coming next: Training update on my Road to Ironman 2015

 

So today I engaged in some interval cycling.  My riding buddy Mike has been doing them for some time and arguably he is a better cyclist than me.  So, doing the math I figured it was time to bite the bullet and get down to the business of being a better, more efficient cyclist. (That translates into not being dropped on the hills anymore!)

The ride was short, less than an hour form the time I left my house and got back.  19 miles total…13 of it under interval workout.  We utilized a 30/30 principle meaning, 30 seconds of all out intensity and then a recovery of 30 seconds which amounted to continued pedaling but only at about 50% intensity.  Other than a brief “super high intensity” moment when the black Chow chased us, we maintained a great rhythm. (we opted for the category 5 hill on the way back rather than “dog alley”).

The blessing: I really felt like I got a great workout, utilized some muscles that probably needed some work and maximized my time on the bike.  It is easy to cycle with little or no intensity.  It was good to get out of the normal routine of just putting fast miles.  And I think it also set a benchmark for my own endurance and where I need to be to keep up with the group and tackle the hills efficiently.

The curse: This something that has to be done consistently.  Like anything else.  It also made a statement for me that if I want to be better, more efficient, and more competitive I have to utilize interval training.  It is hard work and my legs and lungs said a few not so nice things to me afterwards!

I addition there are some definite benefits of intervals training:

1.You get faster (running, cycling)

2. Builds cardiovascular strength

3. Burns calories

4. Allows you to train harder with reducing the risk of injury or burn-out that many endurance athletes face from time to time.

There are many variations of intervals, so play with the concept if you don’t already incorporate it and see what kind of results you can get.  I think you will be surprised.

Jeffrey “Previously Fat Guy”

P.S. Coming soon – some great juicing ideas!  Stay tuned!

OK got a great run in this morning. 5K only (and I say “only” because my training runs are normally longer than that unless I am pressed for time). This was great inaugural race for the local high school band fundraising. Over 300 people registered. A fast hilly little course with a mixture of track and road surfaces.

Humidity caught up at about 2.5 miles but despite all of that I busted out another PR. 24:11. I tried to keep up with the few sprinters that started but they quickly dropped me. So I settled in and ran a fast pace for me. I knew it was fast because my breathing was pretty labored but my legs felt good.

I say all of this because two years ago I couldn’t run at all. To the mailbox was about my distance. My first 5K race I did in about 36 minutes September of 2012. This year I have managed to drop over two minutes of my 5K time since 01/01/14.

Why am I sharing? One, because when we hit goals we need to share. Maybe not all of the details but let others know so they can help encourage and keep you accountable. Two, because I didn’t try to get faster this year (yes I wanted to) but my focus was my overall fitness level. That’s what I believe got me to this point. I focused on whole body wellness, solid training (and cross training) and the results came on their own. I never train that fast and to feel my body respond to what I asked of it was a great feeling.

Set your goals big, focus on the “ZERO” and your results will come. Be awesome today!

Previously Fat Guy

Stardate 812015:

Well work messed up my riding plans for this morning. I will have to make up for it later with a few sets of burpees and core work. If you don’t know what a burpee is just google how to do a burpee.

Great body weight exercise and a fantastic addition to any workout. I like to throw them into my runs periodically. Every few miles drop and bust out 10-20 burpees and keep going.
Anyway, no ride this morning, core work tonight. The key is that I keep progressing towards the goals I set for 2015. A good friend of mine Jim Bush asked the other day, “How do you want to enter your 50’s?” He said what we do today effects that goal. I applied that to my immediate training. How do I want to enter my 2015 race goals? What I do today effects that. What you do today effects how you perform, feel, or execute your own personal goals. I look at that goal or goals as the “ZERO” and everything we do is a countdown to that “ZERO”. So how do we get “Closer to Zero”?
Progression and commitment, regardless of how small gets you closer. So for example…for me today, missing my ride changes how I approach everything else I do today fitnesswise (not really a word but you get it). I readjust my workout objective and I make sure I focus on my nutrition, which should always be a focus. But for me, I can put on lbs by thinking about food so it is important I focus and not stray from that. Others can be a little more relaxed in that area so know your body and eat accordingly.
My most immediate goal is an Olympic distance triathlon in two weeks (my immediate “ZERO”), so my efforts to achieve that work well into my larger goals for 2015. I believe it is important to have intermediate goals to look forward to. I know for me, without goals training can become a chore.
So as you train or begin to workout or simply just start to make new and healthy lifestyle choices, determine your “ZERO” (and you will have many) and make sure whatever you are doing is getting you closer to it. Be awesome and train well.

Jeffrey “Previously Fat Guy”

Team,

Ok.  Here I sit. The eve of another big commitment.  We accomplished the 70.3 triathlon, not without a fair share of suffering but we finished it.  I roll out my next plan.  Ironman 2015 (undecided on venue yet) most likely will be Louisville, Racine, or Muncie.  Yes it will be another 70.3…initially.  If I feel good about my training and where I stand that may change and we go for the full 140.6.  Yikes.

So what do I need to do?  Well 8/1/14 I plan to really tailor my training and nutrition to meet each specific goal to accomplish this.  My nutrition has to be dialed in (I have calf cramp issues that I believe are hydration and nutrition related), and I need to achieve a better functional race weight.  My swim discipline has to improve…2.4 miles in the water seems like, well, 2.4 miles! My cycling has to improve.  I am not yet a very efficient cyclist and only time on the bike will help this.  Intervals here I come (thank you Mike Smith).  And though I consider myself a runner first, running after the other two disciplines is a whole other animal. 

So here is where I am at going into Day 1:

Weight: 206 Goal is to be at or under 185 to start 2015 race season.

Swim: 1.2 @ 43 minutes.  Goal is to be at or under 35

Bike: 56 miles @ 3:15+.  Goal is 2:45 or better

Run: 13.1 @ 2:59 (triathlon) 2:04 (regular half mary).  Goal is 2:30 Tri, 1:45 (Half)

I will post my journey here and welcome feedback, training tips and plain old accountability.

2015 is going to be huge and I plan on taking my body to another level…help me get there!

I wanted to highlight what I think is a big deal in our country today. The obesity rate is on the rise and getting worse in most demographics. I don’t want to write a huge article here but I think the chart and stats are good indicators that we need to help change the way we all eat and move. It will take all of us encouraging and motivating each other to beat this monster. More than 1/3 of U.S. adults are obese! What!!??

Obesity is common, serious and costly
•More than one-third of U.S. adults (34.9%) are obese. [Read abstract Journal of American Medicine]
•Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.
•The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.

2010 State Obesity Rates
State % State % State % State %
Alabama 32.2 Illinois 28.2 Montana 23.0 Rhode Island 25.5
Alaska 24.5 Indiana 29.6 Nebraska 26.9 South Carolina 31.5
Arizona 24.3 Iowa 28.4 Nevada 22.4 South Dakota 27.3
Arkansas 30.1 Kansas 29.4 New Hampshire 25.0 Tennessee 30.8
California 24.0 Kentucky 31.3 New Jersey 23.8 Texas 31.0
Colorado 21.0 Louisiana 31.0 New Mexico 25.1 Utah 22.5
Connecticut 22.5 Maine 26.8 New York 23.9 Vermont 23.2
Delaware 28.0 Maryland 27.1 North Carolina 27.8 Virginia 26.0
District of Columbia 22.2 Massachusetts 23.0 North Dakota 27.2
Florida 26.6 Michigan 30.9 Ohio 29.2 West Virginia 32.5
Georgia 29.6 Minnesota 24.8 Oklahoma 30.4 Wisconsin 26.3
Hawaii 22.7 Mississippi 34.0 Oregon 26.8 Wyoming 25.1
Idaho 26.5 Missouri 30.5 Pennsylvania 28.6

If we don’t get a handle on this epidemic these number will rise. These stats are from 2010 and when I get my hands on more current stats I will share them. These are our friends, neighbors and family suffering. Would you let your loved ones drink poison knowingly? Why do we let them eat themselves into this kind of sickness? Think about it.