Monday, June 30, 2008

Finally home...

I'm home and letting the body recover from last week (a bunch of school-stuff and a few tough workouts).  

If I were a Euro-Pro, I'd say that I'm not having good "sensations" in the legs yet.  Basically, I'm just feeling ragged-out tired.  Of course, it could be that it's been 100 degrees that past 2 days and I'm just being affected by the heat.

I'll hop in the wetsuit today and see how the shoulder responds to the extra resistance.  Hopefully, I'm healing and I'll be ready for Sunday's race.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Do it right vs. Just do it

I should have clarified in my last post...

The root cause of my injury isn't that I've been swimming with paddles.  It isn't that I've been doing pull-ups.  In reality, the training PLAN is outstanding.  However, a great plan POORLY EXECUTED is not much good at all.  

I'm into responsibility and this one's completely on me (had I paid attention to my coach--the person I pay to provide good advice--I'd have no problems right now).  My shoulders hurt for 2 reasons:

1)  I was too lazy to purchase the correct size paddles that my coach recommended (he told me to buy small...I had medium lying around and chose to use them)
2)  I chose to "compete" when doing group workouts with some Army friends...Rather than focusing on doing pull-ups and laces-to-bar with proper technique, I let me ego into the equation.  I chose to "kip" and "snap" into the exercises placing undue strain on the shoulders for no other reason than a vain effort to impress some buddies (by doing a few more repeats incorrectly)...Pretty impressive eh?

With that said, I took the time today to properly execute a bike/run brick and it went really well.  Rather than letting my ego insist upon a 3.5 hour bike where I don't execute the run properly, I limited myself to 2:45 and NAILED the 30 x 30 seconds (with 30 seconds easy recovery) run workout following the ride.

I've said before that it's EASY to go through the motions.  If I'm really committed to personal improvement, it's critical that I DO IT RIGHT instead of just doing it.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Nothing frustrates an athlete quite like an injury.  Recently, I've made significant efforts to improve in the pool and to strengthen my upper body.  I've added paddles to my swimming, lifted weights, and begun doing pull-ups...

Apparently my rotator cuff has decided that it is unhappy with my training plan...My friend (who happens to be a Doctor) gave me the bad news today...No more lifting or pull-ups for at least 4 weeks.  I also need to "take it easy" if I attempt to swim.

With Lake Stevens 70.3 in 3 weeks, this is NOT what I wanted to hear.

I will give myself a few hours to vent/stress.  Then, it's onto focusing on the elements of my training that I can control.  In the Navy, we say "there are smart Divers and there are strong Divers...You can choose which you want to be."  It's not just about HTFU...It's about identifying a problem, adapting to the situation, and continuing to progress.  

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Just not feeling quite right...

I'm just posting this in a convenient spot so I can get some feedback on my position...Nothing has really felt "smoothe" on this bike recently (not sure why since it felt fine at IMAZ in April).  There seems to be a "hitch" in my pedal stroke, a little extra discomfort in the shoulders, and a distinct lack of power.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Saturday ramblings...

Looking for an uplifting movie?  Check out "The World's Fastest Indian" with Anthony Hopkins.  Simply put, it's hope-filled and will leave you feeling optimistic.

Speaking of optimistic, I decided to check out River Road on Saturday...


Only if I want to complete a swim workout...It was only getting DEEPER!

The Missouri River has crested its banks and flooded out many of the local fields (and access roads).  An inconvenience for me, but a real tragedy for those whose livelihood depends upon agriculture.  Fortunately, it only took a little re-routing and I was back to this:

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Rainy Thursday...

Completed my workouts in the rain...Now, I'm just continuing my ego-centric habit of posting a picture of myself (this one's from Ironman Arizona in April 2008).

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Getting better in the water...

30 x 100 on leaving on 1:45 (10 seconds rest)...

That's a personal best effort. Is it fast? Nope. Is it an improvement for me? Yep.

It's all about consistency...Grinding away EVERY day. No excuses. No whining. No B.S. Just make the effort and smile when you improve. Today, I'm smiling a little. Hopefully, in 12 months, I'll complete this same workout on the 1:30 and smile a lot...That's only 1.3 seconds per month...

Time to go run.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Hup, Hup!!!

My new Team kit arrived yesterday so I went looking for muddy gravel roads to test it out.

The Chamois in the shorts looked pretty thin and I was worried...However, it was actually really comfortable after 3.5 hours on gravel roads and dirt.

The Vermarc jersey wicked really well in 90% humidity

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Pleasant surprise from Fuel Belt...

Have you ever noticed that some organizations are filled with nice/kind people?  It's as if making GREAT PRODUCTS isn't enough...Instead, these companies insist on DELIGHTING customers. Fuel Belt fits into this category...Great products, great employees, and great athletes!

I came home from class today to find the UPS man at my door delivering this wonderful package (the dogs will LOVE the collars/leashes and I will love running Gatorade Endurance through its paces in the lead-up to Lake Stevens 70.3):

P.S.  Disregard the counter-insurgency lessons learned manual in the background:-)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Why I love the Navy...

I'm frequently asked why the Navy Reserve would send an Officer to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.  The truth is that I'm just REALLY lucky.  Some of you may find the following entry feels like platitudes.  However, it's true and I write it to remind myself why the sacrifices of service are far outweighed by the rewards.

People join the military for many reasons.  Patriotism, service to others, desire to visit foreign lands, good pay and benefits are just a few of the reasons.  Of course, I share similar reasons.  However, for me, it's been about adventure, education, and increased opportunities.

First, the Navy has provided wonderful adventures.  I've been fortunate enough to visit the Canary Islands (Christmas 1996), Italy (New Years 1996), Djibouti, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Guam, Korea, Japan, and France.  I've navigated a 53' Morgan Out-Island Ketch up and down the Atlantic Coast for a summer (can you say fresh fish BBQ?).  Earned qualification as a Navy Diver...Learned to work with ordnance...Stood between the #1 and #2 catapult aboard an Aircraft Carrier while two jets powered up and launched...Received "honorary Naval Aviator" status having completed a carrier catapult "shot" and an arrested landing...Conned a ship through the Suez Canal and driven small boats at high speed.  And...The adventures will continue.   

Second,  I love education and the Navy has provided it to me in spades.  It would have been difficult for me to attend Notre Dame without a Navy ROTC scholarship.  However, the gift of education didn't stop there.  When I left Active Duty, the Mendoza College of Business (Notre Dame MBA) program nominated me for the William G. McGowan Fellowship because of the leadership experience I'd gained while in the Navy.  Today, I'm earning my second Masters Degree while attending the Army Command and General Staff College.  In short, I value education and the Navy has either directly or indirectly paid for my B.A., MBA, and MMAS.

Finally, no other organization for whom I've worked has provided me nearly the opportunities to grow.  Simply put, I can think of no greater reward than the opportunity to lead America's young men and women.  The fact that the Navy allows (even encourages) me to have such an honor will leave me forever indebted.  

So there you have it...I've received more than I could ever give back...So, the next time you see me and want to say "thanks for your service," let me thank YOU first.  Without the Public's support of our military, I could never have enjoyed such a wonderful experience.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Another week in the books...

It's a good sign when I'm frustrated to miss workouts...Friday, the pool was closed for "Tornado Watch" and today nobody showed up to open the pool?  WTF?  

Regardless, I had a decent week.  My ride/run combo yesterday went well (3 hours on gravel roads with a hard 30 minute run-off) and today's 90 minute hill interval run was tough, but solid.

Getting selected to Team USA for the ITU World Long Course Championships has definitely been a nice motivator.  I haven't figured out how to pay for the trip, but I'm still excited to represent the U.S.