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July 29, 2006

Today

Today I took care of myself. I was headed out for a training ride, but my knee hurt. This morning when I woke up I had this pain which wasn't there the night before. But I thought it might work it's way out when I started riding my bike. It persisted. I looked at my watch and saw that I still had time to make it to Jim's shop for his Saturday morning ride. All in all I rode about 35 miles today, but most of it was a leisurely pace and it felt good. I also met some new people and had fun hanging out with them for the morning.
Then I stopped by Harriet Island and chatted with the Pedicab drivers. they were just getting started and I helped them fix a problem with a front derailer not working on one cab. After chatting for a while, I rode up the Ohio hill (very slowly) and then on to home. It was about 11:30am by then and I ate a late breakfast, showered and promptly took a nap. Ohhh and it was a goooood nap. When I woke up it was time for lunch already, haha, so I ate again. Then I did some work around the house, took another nap and it was time for dinner. After dinner I did a little work on the computer and watched an Alfred Hitchcock movie called Marnie, starring Sean Connery. I couldn't believe it. I guess I had not seen any of his early work. I think this movie was made in 1964. It was interesting.
Now here I am, well rested, well fed and ready for bed again. Tomorrow morning is lake swimming. All in all, I'd call this a day of rest and recuperation. I needed that.

Posted by carl1236 at 10:10 PM

July 28, 2006

I'm Bike Free!

Until the morning when I do something crazy like two-mile time-trial repeats, four times. But it was interesting and eye opening to ditch my bike for two days. Yesterday I walked from Har-Mar Mall to University Avenue and actually saw a lot of people out walking.
I discovered what a super highway Snelling Avenue is. It was ugly. And it's a very unfriendly pedestrian atmosphere. I had no problems walking the walk though since I've been working out. It actually felt kind of good and gave me a chance to think. Today I rode the bus. That was nice also. I got to hear a young girl with one the foulest mouths I've heard. Kind of like the stereotype of an old sailor. Except she must have been about 15. When she got off the bus the whole bus was quiet again as if everyone went back to sleep. It was a little tense in there before that as she kept trying to provoke another young lady on the bus in front of a boy. As soon as the girl got off the bus I saw her light up a cigarette. Then the other girl in the back of the bus started talking about her. She said, "I don't really like her." And the boy agreed.
So, tomorrow it's back on the bike. I'm going to miss the bus with that kind of excitement going on. Today I ran seven miles. It was fun but it almost wiped me out. Now I'd better get some sleep so I can ride in the early morning.

Posted by carl1236 at 10:15 PM

July 25, 2006

We fly when we are having fun!

Here I am talking about TIME again. haha. I looked at my blog tonight and realized it's been about a week since I posted something and from a lifetime of training I said, "Time flies when you're having fun!" But then I instinctively knew that it wasn't time flying at all. Time as we measure it never speeds up or slows down. Time is consistent and steady. We fly through time like space; sometimes faster, sometimes slower. Then we say time is fast or slow, but it is really our own speed we are measuring, not Time's. So, my discovery is that I've been very busily training, working, bikeshop, training, sleeping, eating and doing it all over again day after day with no blogging mixed in. I tended to leave it until the end of the day and I've been too tired at night to sit in front of the computer. My priority right now is training for triathlons, so other things have a lower priority. I'm not complaining though, because I'm getting in great shape and on Sunday morning I actually swam a whole mile with the front crawl. cool. When I started swimming I could only swim one length of the pool without being exhausted. So I'm improving. Tonight I did a brick workout with a 13 mile bike followed by a 3 mile run followed by a 13 mile bike. Now I know I'm doing better than when I started. And I am not dead from my experience. I am more alive and excited about life. It's fun and feels good to get the blood going. I guess we really fly through life when we are having fun. So right now I'm slowing down and reflecting things and enjoying listening to the rain come down. Fast and then slow, then fast, then slow. Now a hard rain and strong wind.

Posted by carl1236 at 10:45 PM

July 18, 2006

Proper Nutrition

I am training harder now than I was last year. And I'm still struggling with understanding proper sports nutrition. I guess I have not put enough effort into understanding and learning about what my body really needs. It's easier to get by with eating junk when our bodies are inactive but when we raise the performance expectations, then the body screams for something. Food, rest, minerals, vitamins, fluids, etc. are all depleted much faster so it becomes more critical to pay attention.
I'm learning now. It was good that our instructor spent a little time on Monday night going over eating before a race. That was very informative and useful. But to learn this it almost feels like I need to take a chemistry class.

Posted by carl1236 at 10:44 PM

July 17, 2006

Priorities

If a person wants to make a change in life the usual place to start is with the choices we make. It seems like a logical place to start because we hear over and over that we are supposed to make better and better choices. I've even said it myself, I've written about. Yes, better and better choices are a good idea, but often it's hard to make any other choice than the one we have to make at the time. Why is it so hard to change our choices? I think it's because we have not addressed the motivation behind the choices we make. Every choice has a motive, whether we see it or not. The motive is something that moves us to make the choice.
If I choose one thing over another, I could say that one of those things was a higher priority than the other one. Choosing one over the other was motivated by my priorities. One thing seemed more important to me for whatever reason. It seems more logical to me that if we want to change ourselves, we should focus on our priorities instead of our choices. If our priorities change, then our choices will follow. Right now training is a high priority for me. So it's easier to be motivated to train. I want to do it. I choose training over watching TV or many other activities, even most of my artwork is put on hold because I feel it's important to get the proper training in if I want to compete in these sporting events. The idea here is that I'm not struggling with choices between doing this or that, I'm having a higher priority in life and the choices seem obvious, almost like not choosing at all. Resistance is futile, but change the need/purpose/motive/priority behind the choices and there is no resistence fighting back.
Of course then there are also no excuses because we are setting our priorities, saying 'This is important to me."

Posted by carl1236 at 10:23 PM

July 16, 2006

Rest

Energy levels increase with a day of rest. Legs get restless. Spirit gets restless. It is a sign of getting stronger with each breaking down. There are many successes in life that follow exhaustion and break-down of strength. Sometimes we just need a break, to let our muscles rebuild and our spirits regain the vision. Maybe a new vision, a stronger vision.

Posted by carl1236 at 9:48 PM

July 15, 2006

A day in the hot sun is tiring

But I didn't have to race today like about 2300 triathletes in the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon. I had it easy by going to watch instead of compete. I thought it went well and I learned a few things about Triathlons that make me feel better about trying it. I'm officially signed up for two this summer and one in September. So I'll get my chance. I hope it's not as hot as today though.

Posted by carl1236 at 10:13 PM

July 14, 2006

Going to watch a Triathlon for the first time

Tomorrow morning I'm going out to watch the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon at Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis. This will be the first time I've seen one live and think it will be great to see one before I try one. Since this one has so many participants it's bound to be an interesting sight.
I'm going to be there at 7:30am So I can see the elite athletes taking off. Another cool thing is that my bike will be in the race since a local athlete is using it. I'll be riding my old Schwinn Suburban to the race. haha. I'm not going to wear spandex, but shorts are in order for the heat tomorrow. I don't how the athletes are going to manage. Hopefully it won't be too hot in the morning for them. I'm excited to see it. Now I have to get to bed so I can get up that early and bike out there by 7:30, haha.

Posted by carl1236 at 9:43 PM

July 13, 2006

How does the language we use effect how we feel?

Tonight I went to the Y to run indoors on the track where fourteen laps is equal to one mile. I ran 100 laps. 100 laps indoors on a tiny track is a very interesting experience. For the first two miles I was feeling every ache and pain possible I think. But then I loosened up and it felt good. somewhere at about 45 minutes of running I started zoning out and had to refocus to keep count and to keep the pace up. Then I picked up the pace for the last ten minutes to make sure I ran my desired distance in the allotted time. I did. I know I ran over seven miles tonight.
As I was walking around the track after my run, I was thinking about how this experience felt. It was good, but my immediate reaction was, "Man that sucked!" But that's not how I really felt. I know it hard, even really hard, but it didn't suck. It felt good. So why was I tempted to say it sucked. It's a psychological thing. I didn't like that line of thought, So I changed what I was saying. Instead I said, "That was an interesting experience! But good." I wanted to quit many times while running tonight but I didn't let myself. So that's one reason it was good, and didn't suck.
Another great thing about this run was that I got to feel what seven miles on an indoor track felt like. It also helped me to bring my focus back.
While I was running it seemed like it was going on and on forever. Four other runners came and went while I was still running. But I did it. So what would have happened if I walked around saying how much it sucked. Would it effect my attitude or motivation? I'm thinking yes, it would change how I feel. suckiness is relative. So a good attitude is part of a good experience.

Posted by carl1236 at 10:25 PM

July 11, 2006

Runnin down the road thinking about motivation

Today is a running day in my training schedule. I decided to run later at night when it's cooler, so I was out running after dark. As I was running along I was thinking about what is motivating me to do this. I think I isolated one motivation for keeping going once started. I appear to have a fear of giving up too easily. Is fear a healthy motivator? In the case of survival fear is a good motivator, because it drives us to take action to survive and in many cases it works. We live through the life-threatening situation.
Yes, I have an overall goal and to reach it I know I have to do a minimum of training, and I adjust that constantly as I go along. So I break that down to how much I have to do and what kind of training I have to do each week in order to reach that goal. But that's an overall motivation to get started on it each day. It's easy to quit though and not train enough. But I keep coming back to the thought that I'll get to the time limit of my goal and realize I was too soft on myself and I didn't give it all I have, and realize that it wasn't enough to reach my goal. As I was running, I thought about turning around. It was a good thing I set a target location to turn around. So I stuck to my plan and forced myself to reach that location. I turned around and there was no choice but to run back home. It took me exactly 59 minutes to do this run tonight. I'm glad I didn't quit. I feel good, physically and mentally.

Posted by carl1236 at 11:22 PM

July 10, 2006

Tri and Tri again

That's what training seems like. I have a training schedule to follow, but underlying the training schedule is the motivation of 'try and try again.' ie. don't give up and you'll make it. Tonight someone in my class told me that he noticed improvement in my swimming since the last time we swam together about a month ago. Yeah. cool. I have been practicing and I think I'm slowly improving. I'm not going to give up because the real reward comes from the experience of breaking through these walls. Or the experience of giving 150% while trying. Now after my second open-water lake swim, my confidence is getting greater and that will propel me to try harder and practice more. I'm going to lake-swim a LOT more in the next month. Next swim: Wednesday night with the MN Triathlon Club. Tomorrow is a running day. I'm going to try to beat my previous time for the 5.64 mile lunch run.

Posted by carl1236 at 9:51 PM

July 9, 2006

Changing the Name of my Blog

Today I decided to change the name of my blog. I think it still means the same thing, but reflects how I feel about life. Live. Alive. Live Alive. Be alive while living. I like it better than the previous blog name.

Posted by carl1236 at 10:38 PM

Swimming long and walking to run

On Thursday I joined the MN Triathlon Club and this morning I went swimming in a lake for the first time with some of the other members. This was awesome, because I swam about 3/4 of a mile! Even if I did rest, do the backstroke, sidestroke and breast stroke, I did the whole distance. This gives me confidence that I can swim a half-mile. Especially If I keep practicing open water swims.

Then tonight I knew I wanted to get a run in. I had some bike errands to run though, so I rode about 15 miles at a slow pace with quite a few hills to go up, but it was light riding overall. One of my errands was to go out and measure the mileage I've been running at lunchtime with my bike's odometer. It was 5.64 miles.

Then when I got home from my bike errands I took a break, changed into my running clothes and watched a little bit of the Tour de France and then went out for my run. I wasn't very motivated to do it but I decided I would go out anyway. To motivate myself I walked for a good one to two miles first, slowly picking up the pace. during that time I got rid of my mental block to running. My legs had some painful points here and there for the first mile of running, but then my muscles relaxed and I settled into a nice comfortable running rhythm. My breathing wasn't too hard so It all felt pretty good. Then I quit running about a half-mile from my house and walked it off. I'm calling it a good training day. Motivation came on slowly tonight, but it came by doing. This morning on my swim, I was motivated to make it by having no ground to touch under my feet and no pool walls to rest on. I had to swim or sink. But I never felt like I was going to sink. So that encourages me. I'm doing lake swimming again tomorrow night at my class and again with the MN Tri Club on Wednesday night. That's how it's going.
The more I do this, the more I wonder what motivation really is. I think Motivation is more than just a desire to do something. I think motivation is also action on a desire regardless of whether we feel like it or not.

Posted by carl1236 at 10:14 PM

July 6, 2006

On the edge of our limits

I am experiencing my physical limits. I am getting stronger and am finding I can go beyond my previous physical limits, but this training is like living on those limits every week. I experienced a couple of 3-day periods of low motivation, but other than that it's mostly physical exhaustion. Don't worry I'm building in rest days too, but between those rest days it's serious training. It is very interesting living an athletes life while still working and trying to do other things. It takes a lot of focus and making it a high priority to train.
The day before yesterday I rode my bike for 28 miles at an average speed of 18.1mph. Yesterday I ran 6.5 miles and swam for a half hour. Today I cycled 10 miles, mostly uphill and swam for 45 minutes. Tomorrow is a running day, Saturday a long bike ride, sunday rest day, Monday a hard 30 mile bike and lake swimming. Tuesday a 6.5 mile run again, a bike ride and maybe another lake swim. Ah the best laid plans... The main thing is I don't want too much time to go between runs or between cycle riding. Alternating days seems to work really well. And swimming seems to help with both. So I'm starting to like this triathlon training and feeling in a lot better shape. I like this better than just training for cycling. It breaks it up a bit. But I'm still tired, haha.

Posted by carl1236 at 8:25 PM