Category "Balance"

Category "Life"

Category "Triathlons"

Category "Writing"

September 24, 2007

A trilogy of obsession

I will be doing the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) beginning in November. 50,000 words in 30 days. Enough said. I'll blog about it here when I'm going through it, beginning November 1.

I have begun to use a cool new cataloging system online to catalog all of my books in my library. Let's see, if I catalog a book a day...over a thousand books I'm sure...I might get it done before my children have to get rid of it all when I pass away. I have a whole room full of floor-to-ceiling shelves stuffed with books, containing all kinds of things that I'm interested in. I'll share the link to my Library Catalog here as soon as I can.

I ran seven miles on Sunday. I don't feel like it's enough. Enough said on that.

Posted by carl1236 at 11:27 PM | Balance | Life | Triathlons | Writing

Category "Triathlons"

August 19, 2007

The Day After a Triathlon

My physical and mental condition is different after a triathlon than before. There are phases that I go through in the preparation for the event and the recovery.
The night before I have trouble sleeping. The morning of the race I am usually tired. It's the same reason I don't usually exercise in the morning. I'm tired in the mornings. I've never really made the transition to being a morning person, though I'm getting closer now. I do get up earlier and go to bed earlier. But I'm still tired so the morning of the event I'm tired. But I'm also excited about doing the event. By the time I warm up I'm ready to rock.
During the event I'm highly focused and motivated to push myself beyond all reason. Yesterday's race was like that. I was flying on the bike like there was no tomorrow, and I passed a lot of people. Two people I passed had passed me earlier and I caught up with them miles later when they lost steam. I was breathing hard the whole way. I would not relent or give in. It felt good. When I was done I felt like I accomplished something great. I don't even know what my time was, but I did it and I pushed myself at my absolute maximum effort.
That same day after the race, I was in a state of delerium. So exhausted, but still wired. So mellow and tranquil in a state of bliss. The afterglow lasts all day, and nothing else gets done.
The day after is kind of the same way, but I start to move and get a few things done. But I'm definately not motivated to do much. I went to the coffee shop this morning just to read the paper and sip on coffee. Then I went to the bike shop and moved some stuff around. Then I rode home in the rain, changed into dry clothes and promptly took a nap.
Now here it is 9:00 at night and I'm thinking how much I did not get done this weekend. So I threw a load of clothes in the wash, wrote this and now I'm going to bed to read for an hour. Tomorrow is work. I'll be ready then to actually work. This is the first triathlon I've done on Saturday. Most of them have been on Sunday. I think I like the extra day to recover. After all, when I put my body through that kind of shock, It has to have time to rest. And it will do so whether I'm at work or not. So today was a good day.

Posted by carl1236 at 8:49 PM | Triathlons

Category "Triathlons"

August 18, 2007

Young Life Triathlon in Detroit Lakes

I had a great time at the Young Life Triathlon in Detroit Lakes. We did an Olympic Length Relay with my sister-in-Law swimming, me biking and Matt the U of M LaCrosse Superstar running. It was Awesome. The weather was cold and wet but I think that helped keep us cool. Well, I don't think the swim part was fun, since the water was extemely choppy and cold. But all-in-all we extended and challenged ourselves. It was good. my bike ride felt good. I know that I had given it my all when I could hardly walk after getting off the bike!
Next Triathlon, Square Lake, September 9th.

Posted by carl1236 at 9:04 PM | Triathlons

Category "Triathlons"

December 3, 2006

Armed with information I set up a plan

After about 7 or 8 weeks of taking it easy I'm ready to start preparing for the 2007 triathlon season. Earlier I posted my goals for the next three years, but had not started any serious training to achieve those goals. On Saturday I went to a Triathlon 'periodization' training plan workshop at the uptown YWCA. It was very helpful. So then after the training I dug out my training plan from last year, found more information on the internet and am set to make up a plan. Sunday is my day to start. Once I get my whole workout plan established, I'll post it online.
I will start by running tomorrow and biking on Monday. Armed with information I'll plan my whole year out and get going. I'm looking forward to it. I've been stuck in a looooong transition.

Posted by carl1236 at 1:43 AM | Triathlons

Category "Triathlons"

November 19, 2006

Thanksgiving Day Run

After not having run in 5 weeks, I plan on doing an 8k running race in Hastings, MN on Thanksgiving Day morning. The Gobble Gait 8k/2k. I plan on using this as my inaugural get back into running motivator. I haven't been totally lazy, since I've been biking about 80 miles per week for the past five weeks, but I know it's not the same as running. I'm also signed up for a December 2nd Triathlon training plan workshop at the Uptown YWCA. I'm looking forward to developing a good training plan for the winter and preparing for my spring/summer goals.

Haha, so this Thursday I'll be burning off my turkey before the meal is even served!

Posted by carl1236 at 11:00 PM | Triathlons

Category "Triathlons"

October 9, 2006

A new plan - Semper Gumby

Ok, I didn't plan on this originally, but someone sent out an email looking for a replacement runner for the Edmund Fitzgerald 100k relay in Duluth this weekend. I wasn't planning on doing this race until this time next year, but I was excited to do it because it will give me an opportunity to test it out so to speak without having to organize a team myself. Who knows, if it goes well maybe I can join this team next year also. We'll see. So I'm off to Duluth this weekend. Semper Gumby - always flexible.

Posted by carl1236 at 10:39 PM | Triathlons

Category "Marathons"

Category "Triathlons"

Category "motivation"

October 8, 2006

My Next Running Race

As part of my training plan, I am running one race per month over the winter to help motivate me and give me something to work toward. My next race is the Run for the Apples 5 mile run in White Bear Lake on October 21st. Hmmm. Two weeks to prepare. Good! And then about 5 weeks later on Thanksgiving morning I'm running an 8k run (Gobble Gait 8k) haha. I should be ready to eat some turkey after that!

As I wrote before, I made my overall goal, now I've broken it down to specifics, week by week.

Posted by carl1236 at 9:46 PM | Marathons | Triathlons | motivation

Category "Marathons"

Category "Triathlons"

Category "motivation"

October 7, 2006

Three Year Training Plan

Over the past week I've constructed a three year training plan. (I also have non-athletic goals planned) A plan is good. That way I'll have something to work toward. In my early ideas about what I would be willing to do to experience an athlete's lifestyle, I never considered running a marathon. But NOW after having run consistantly for six months, I'm feeling like it would be possible for me to try something like that. That's where the three year plan comes in. I plan on being in good enough shape to do an ironman triathlon AND a marathon in 2009.

Here's the training plan (Do I even know what obstacles I have to reach these goals!?!) It will be challenging:

WINTER 2006-2007
5 or 10k running races - 1 per month starting in November
Running three times per week, including race day.
Swimming at YMCA twice per week, work on swimming technique. Take 6 Total Immersion lessons over winter.
Biking - commute to and from work 3-5 days per week, 13 miles each way.

3 Relay Triathlons including Fat Tire Triathlon
3 Solo Sprint Triathlons
The Edmund Fitzgerald 100k relay AND one half marathon

2007-2008 WINTER
Swimming at YMCA
One 10k running race per month
One longer run per week
Biking - commute to work

3 Relay Triathlons
1 Olympic Triathlon
1 half ironman triathlon
Twin Cities Marathon

2008-2009 WINTER
Longer run training

1 Ironman Triathlon
Twin Cities Marathon

Posted by carl1236 at 9:16 PM | Marathons | Triathlons | motivation

Category "Balance"

Category "Cycle Racing"

Category "Triathlons"

Category "motivation"

Exercise as part of life

Over the past few weeks I've been struggling with having enough motivation to exercise. Part of the problem was that I was sick with a sinus infection and as the antibiotics started working I started to feel more ambitious and energetic. But also part of me was wandering around aimlessly without a goal to work toward. Since May I've been training really hard for my triathlons in August and September. I accomplished my goal and then was left with no planned events or goals to work toward. So my training kind of took a break. I was just barely maintaining my fitness level with a minimum of workouts per week.
And last year I had the same issue when the bike racing season ended in early Fall. But I'm happy that I started running again and now have swimming to work on. All of this has led me to get a Y membership and use the gym. If it weren't for the Y I probably would have let my exercise drop until I was ready to start working on a goal again. I've been using the equipment at the Y and spinning classes as low-impact, fun activities to exercise and enjoy doing it. It's easier to be motivated if there is little resistance to get going. And last weekend I ran three miles around Lake Phalen. It was absolutely beautiful outside and had company riding along side me on a bike. That was fun.
One of my main goals with starting triathlons was to develop a fit lifestyle. That means that I should not need specific race goals in order to exercise. I should be exercising to stay fit and healthy continuously. But looking ahead I feel better I also have in mind for next season... 3 sprint relays and 3 Half Ironmans plus a 10-miler running race in the Fall. I know how challenging it will be so I'd better get working on it.

Posted by carl1236 at 11:44 AM | Balance | Cycle Racing | Triathlons | motivation

Category "Attitude"

Category "Life"

Category "Love Yourself"

Category "Triathlons"

September 19, 2006

Asthma and Allergies, Oh my!

Today I went to the doctor, twice, in order to get to the bottom of all of my recent health problems. I found out I am allergic to Ragweed and dust mites and that I have asthma. That explains a lot. Now I understand what I've been feeling. And like a stereotypical guy, I didn't bother going to a doctor until my friends and family got tough on me. So today I took some time to look into it by seeking professional help. And I'm glad I did. Now I have an inhaler I'm going to test and some nasal stuff for the allergies. And I have to vaccuum with a dust mask on.
My day was good overall. After my morning doctor's appointment, I got to go to the coffee shop and play a game of chess with a regular who I've only heard about. It was fun playing again! Then I picked up my prescriptions, ate some lunch and went to my next appointment. Then I ate dinner and went to a job interview. That felt really good. It's my third interview and it lasted two hours! The funny part is, I have a fourth interview with the same company! haha. Now I'm getting excited! And I feel like I really want to work there. It will be good for me I think. (for myself and others) For a while I thought I would do more good by staying, but now feel I'll do more good by leaving. make sense?

Posted by carl1236 at 8:52 PM | Attitude | Life | Love Yourself | Triathlons

Category "Triathlons"

September 10, 2006

Square Lake Triathlon

Yesterday I did my first solo Triathlon. I did two others in the past month as part of a relay team, but this time I did all three parts of the race; swim, bike and run. I'm happy that I did it. It was challenging but I knew I'd finish it because I have been training for this race. I came in 77th out of 339 people. I was pretty happy with my times also because I haven't really been training that long, only a few months really. I know that if I continue my fitness plan, I'll push my limits even more next season.
1/2 mile Swim: 21:08
18 mile Bike: 50:08
5 mile Run: 36:50

for biking I calculated my average time to be 21.54 miles per hour and for the run I did 7:22 miles. Now I don't have any goals set, except a general idea that I want to work on my swimming this winter and stay in shape so I can be ready for the Spring triathlons. I'd like to do more events next year and go faster. That doesn't constitute a real plan but I know I have to keep trainign to get there. Honestly, I'd really love to run sub-seven minute miles for a seven-mile run during a triathlon. I know I can do it, but I first need better conditioning. I'm already running a lot better than when I started in the Spring. Actually I'm doing a lot better than I did last year in the few running races I did. It must be the cross-training and the more consistent training plan this year. A 5-K doesn't even seem like a problem for me anymore. And I don't feel bad after yesterday's Triathlon, so I know the training is working.

Now where do I go from here? This is new territory for my athletic training. I have no specific targets set.

Posted by carl1236 at 3:55 PM | Triathlons

Category "Triathlons"

Category "motivation"

September 7, 2006

And the loss of motivation probably is going to help me

In some strange way, I think my loss of training motivation this week will help me in my triathlon on Saturday. Or is that simply justification for not going out to run. I did a good, hard workout on Saturday, then ran for a few miles at a slow pace on Wednesday at lunchtime and here it is Thursday. I'm not going to run tomorrow, because that would not be smart. But I think I will run for a mile or so to warm up before the swim start. I'll run, set up my transition area again for running, put on my wet suit and then go to the start. Or maybe just warm up in the lake. That's a better idea. But anyway, I've trained hard all summer and now I have no motivation. I'll be motivated to do my best during the race I think. And I know I'll be fully recovered from any previous exercise. So why did I lose motivation after my big race on the 26th? It was fun but I was incredibly exhausted afterwards. Not sore, but exhausted. I think that threw me off balance and I've been having a hard time getting going on exercise since then. Maybe I need to focus more on my recovery nutrition and exercises. Maybe shorter, smaller easier workouts or something would help. I'll try that next week. So, my big race is Saturday morning at the Square Lake Triathlon: 1/2 mile swim, 18 mile bike, 5 mile run. Be there, be square. hehe.

Posted by carl1236 at 8:46 PM | Triathlons | motivation

Category "Triathlons"

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 | Triathlons

Category "Attitude"

Category "Triathlons"

Category "motivation"

July 17, 2006


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 | Attitude | Triathlons | motivation

Category "Attitude"

Category "Triathlons"

July 16, 2006


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 | Attitude | Triathlons

Category "Life"

Category "Triathlons"

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 | Life | Triathlons

Category "Triathlons"

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 | Triathlons

Category "Attitude"

Category "Triathlons"

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 | Attitude | Triathlons

Category "Triathlons"

Category "motivation"

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 | Triathlons | motivation

Category "Triathlons"

Category "motivation"

July 9, 2006

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 | Triathlons | motivation

Category "Triathlons"

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 | Triathlons

Category "Triathlons"

June 23, 2006

Running, Biking, Swimming...

Today I just want to express my thankfulness to my friend Dan who helped me get into bicycling in the first place a few years ago. He encouraged me, rode with me, helped me pick out a bike, buy shoes and tires and all kinds of other things. Tonight on my training ride, I rode home with Dan and hung out for a while at his house talking with him, his wife and one of his sons. It was great and an unexpected stop. My original plan was to turn right around and head home. But this was worth it.
then I rode home, partially in the dark. Total ride: 38 miles. With so much training I haven't had time for much else, and this was a welcome social visit. Very nice family and I'm happy I know them.
So tomorrow is a running day, Sunday a day of rest and Monday is hill-training on the bicycle. yay. ;-)

Posted by carl1236 at 10:27 PM | Triathlons

Category "Triathlons"

June 20, 2006

Two Mile Run in 14:04

Tonight I had my final swimming lesson, but on my schedule today I had to run also. So before my lesson I had time to run two miles at about 75-80 percent of full-out effort. I ran it in 14 minutes and 4 seconds! This is very cool, because I know I could have run another mile at that pace. And last year my goal was to break through the 7-minute-mile barrier into the sixes. But it didn't happen last year. This year I will do it. About 24 years ago I did my best ever two-mile run at 10:24, which I have never been able to beat since. Given my current training schedule I will be running 6.5-minute miles in races by the time winter hits.
So after my two-mile run tonight I showered and got into the pool for a warmup and then had my lesson. It was good. I learned a few things like how to do a side crawl and and elementary backstroke. Plus we rehashed all the other swimming techniques. All of this just gives me more confidence that I will not drown out there in the middle of the lake. I can switch off between the front crawl and these other techniques and make it the whole half mile. Obviously the goal is to be able to do the front crawl the whole way because it's way faster. So I'll keep practicing.
Breathing is still my problem though, so I have to figure out how to get enough air on each breath.
I am discovering that I really like swimming, running and biking. It's fun to switch it up a bit and not do the same thing all the time.

Posted by carl1236 at 10:41 PM | Triathlons

Category "Attitude"

Category "Triathlons"

Category "motivation"

June 19, 2006


So tonight, just six or seven weeks into my triathlon training course, I became a little discouraged about my swimming. I lost my spirit or morale because I could not swim a continous 200 meters, which was part of our exercise tonight. The most I had done up until this point was about 25 meters, or one length of the pool. But tonight I accomplished four lengths of the pool without stopping to rest. I am a little sore right now, but I did it. That is a small progress, so it encouraged me. I think that sometimes when we lose spirit, it's like losing hope. It's like giving up because the obstacle seems too great. But tonight I learned to push just a little more each time I tried. First it was three lengths of the pool, a ten second rest, followed by the fourth length. On my next attempt I did three full lengths, then only a five-second rest. Then I did all four lengths of the pool. No I did not make it to a half-mile swim yet, and I didn't even swim 200 meters continuously, but I did improve. I think when we are discouraged, it is the perfect time to push a little harder, to remember that by going just a bit more beyond our known limits, we get stronger and better. It's a hard way when things seem overwhelming, but I'll take any encouragement. It's better than giving up, or losing the heart to go on. Now I can't stop practicing, but have to try harder to make noticible improvements.
And I'm off to bed so I have the energy to run and swim tomorrow. hehe. It's a tough schedule where discouragement has no teeth. Our failures fade to the back as we work on the task at hand and try to push a little more than we thought we had.

Posted by carl1236 at 10:07 PM | Attitude | Triathlons | motivation

Category "Triathlons"

Category "motivation"

June 17, 2006

I ran for an hour

As part of my training schedule I was supposed to run for 30 minutes today. But instead, once I was out there running I felt pretty good so I decided that today would be the day I would try to run for a full hour. And I did it! I ran 6.8 miles in exactly one hour. I'm tired now, but it felt really good while running. Now I'm off to bed so I can bike tomorrow. hehe. training is going ok so far. It was difficult to motivate myself to get started, but then the goal of beating my old limit of 48 minutes of running. I thought I could do it.

Posted by carl1236 at 11:12 PM | Triathlons | motivation

Category "Triathlons"

June 15, 2006

Training ride with a buddy

Today on my training schedule was 45 minutes of biking with 3 hill repeats. Instead I went to my swimming lesson, then did thirty miles of biking with a LOT of hills. I drank two complete bottles of liquid by the time I got back home. It was pretty warm and the headwind was fierce at times. But it worked out good and I feel like I got a good workout.

Posted by carl1236 at 12:36 PM | Triathlons

Category "Cycle Racing"

Category "Triathlons"

June 14, 2006

Great River Energy Bike Festival Teardown

I didn't do the Time Trial tonight because I decided to save my money. I'm too focused on preparing for one event, August 20th. Last year I tried bike racing, this year it's a triathlon. So I didn't join in the festivities and won't be able to compare my time, but I did help tear down the fences and tents and other things set up along Shepard Road for the race. That was a good workout.
Today I ran in the morning before work, then swam at lunch. Tomorrow I'm supposed to bike for 45 minutes. So I'd better get to bed so I can function tomorrow. Tomorrow night I have my second swimming lesson.

Posted by carl1236 at 11:35 PM | Cycle Racing | Triathlons

Category "Triathlons"

June 13, 2006

Swimming 101

Tonight I had my first of three lessons in swimming. Debbie was a great teacher and helped me tremendously with my technique. I was mostly doing it right, but as I already guessed my breathing was all messed up. That meant I was going without enough oxygen and my heart rate was elevated after one length of the pool. After learning how to breath I practiced it and it felt much better! Then she corrected my hand entry into the water. After practicing that I was much smoother. And finally tonight I learned how to flutter kick. I was not doing that, I was doing more of a scissors kick for power, but i was inconsistant. So I learned how to practice my flutter kick. I was really happy and tomorrow morning I'm practicing my flutter kick and then breathing. I have a long way to go to be able to swim 1/2 mile in a race. But with better technique and daily practice, I now think I can make it. So I'm encouraged. Mainly because I was already improving after one lesson. It's a good sign.
Last night I did my first "Brick" training. We talked about transitions and then practiced them. First we transitioned from running out of the water to putting on our biking stuff and riding six miles, then we transitioned from biking to running 3 miles. I did ok, but it was painful. My legs did not want to work. It was wierd. my knees kept knocking together when running. I don't know, maybe I was placing my feet too close together when running. I could have been something about the way I pedal, carried over to running. Strange. But after about a quarter mile it got better.
Mostly on the run I had a hard time breathing and my muscles seemed spent already.
Then I biked home again from Turtle Lake to St. Paul. I really "Bonked" on the hill about a mile from home so took it really slow the rest of the way. Today I felt better and the swim was a good balance.
Tomorrow? Running again.

Posted by carl1236 at 11:07 PM | Triathlons

Category "Triathlons"

Category "motivation"

June 10, 2006

What 52 minutes of running feels like

Tonight I really did not want to run. I spent all day at the bike shop scrapping bikes and helping people and repairing bikes and cleaning/organizing. So when I got home I was tired and did not feel like it. But I had set a goal on Friday for my weekend and there was not any room for rest in it. I am participating in a team fitness program at work though and we have a goal to reach a combined total points to circle Lake Superior. Each type of exercise is worth a different number of points. Anyway, I told my team members that I would do the most I've done in the 8-week program if they increased theirs a little each day. This is the last week and my goal was pretty high.
Friday I swam for 30 minutes, but that wasn't even half of what I needed. But I was tired and had other priorities so I was short on points for that day. With two days left of the program, I knew I had to make it up today and tomorrow or I would let down my teammates. This was my motivation. I did not want to go to work on Monday and tell them I didn't feel like doing it. I was motivated by a fear of not letting someone else down. We want to go all the way around Lake Superior and I think we will make it. Tomorrow I will swim and bike. The other motivator for me today was a fear of not being ready for my Triathlon on August 20th. I know that it takes a long time to build up endurance and stamina, and this is my base training now. I know I can't get into shape over night so I did not want to let my training slip too much now, when I'm just completing my fourth week of the triathlon training program.
So tonight I ran for 52 minutes. My goal was fifty minutes. I decided I'd run to a park I had never been to, just to see what it was like, then turn around and come back. I decided that regardless of where I was that if I went back the same route I came I could turn around when I reached 25 minutes. I started. The first quarter mile was agonizing. My muscles were stiff, I had wierd aches and pains in different parts of my body; knee, ankle, stomach, toes, fingers, etc. Eventually I warmed up and started breathing steadily. I did good though. I felt good! I kept running. I decided it was not healthy to keep thinking about how far I was running or had to go yet. I just concentrated on enjoying the run and feeling my blood pump through my body and air go in and out. After running all the way back home, I realized that I had met my goal for this run by running for 52 minutes. It wasn't until I cooled down that I realized that I could have run for another eight minutes and I would have run for an hour! Holy cow! An hour of running without stopping! Less than a mile more and I would have done it! I even did two sprints during my run! that was hard though. My body did not like that.
When I was about a mile from home I was feeling a cold-sweat as I was being cooled off by the wind. Oh, funny thing happened on the way back home. Twice I was verbally communicated with by people in cars. Very strange. I was on the sidewalk running. The first one was a car of four young girls that were driving the same direction as me. They honked at me and yelled something out of the window. Then they all started laughing. hmmm. Then a couple of guys in a mini-pickup truck were driving toward me and they yelled out the window, "Hey man, you're running a long way!" I waved at them. They must have seen me going and couldn't believe I was still running when they saw me again. I'm only speculating.
when it comes to motivation, I know that I will feel good about it when I'm doing it and when I've done it. But man is it hard sometimes to stick with a training plan! I probably needed a slow rest day on Friday so I'll take it. Now I have an ab workout in the living room to do tonight. Then I'm off to bed. Tomorrow is another day for good training, and fixing my bike. I got tri-bars by the way. So I'll put those on when I change out my handlebars. Then I'll be ready for monday nights "Brick" training; biking and running in one workout.

Posted by carl1236 at 8:30 PM | Triathlons | motivation

Category "Triathlons"

June 7, 2006

Week 4 of Triathlon training

I'm in the fourth week of my triathlon training program. Last week on Thursday I became a little discouraged in the pool because I realized how much I needed to improve just to be able to swim the 1/2 mile in the Triathlon. That's when I decided I needed help and called for a swimming instructor. Today I paid for the lessons, and next week on Tuesday I'll get my first lesson. I'm excited because I think it will help me correct some swimming technique problems, like how to breathe. And it will help me train right before bad habits get too engrained in me. This was supposed to be my easy week, but I really just took 4 days off over the weekend with hardly no exercise at all. I could not bring myself to run last night, but tonight I ran about 5 miles and it felt good.
This week I also started swimming every day. I have to be able to swim 22 laps in the pool I think, so I have a long way to go. But I feel more confident today than I did yesterday. And more motivated. I have this feeling that I will arrive on August 20th faster than the increase in my fitness level. But who knows. I'm already feeling better about hard exercise. I'll see in a few more weeks. I have to remind myself that I just started a few weeks ago.
So it goes.

Posted by carl1236 at 10:13 PM | Triathlons

Category "Attitude"

Category "Triathlons"

Category "motivation"

June 1, 2006

My Goal of the Summer

Today I decided on my goal for my first Triathlon. Before I just had the vague idea that I wanted to try a Tri. And I wanted to do it after my Triathlon training course was over at the beginning of August. I reasoned that would give me enough time to train and get in good enough shape that I wouldn't drop out of the event. I can be realistic too. A person doesn't just wake up one day and say, "I'm going to do a triathlon," and then throws on her running shoes, grabs a bike and goes for it. Well, someone might, but I don't think I would actually go through with it unless I was prepared for it. And with this class I am learning how to prepare for it and working with a training plan to get me there. The plan however doesn't tell me how to improve my swimming so I can actually swim a half-mile. That I will have to figure out.
My first Triathlon will be the St. Paul Triathlon on Lake Phalen, August 20, 2006, 7:30am.
Swim: 1/2 mile
Bike: 20k
Run: 5k

I was told today that swimming 1/2 mile is like swimming 20 laps in the pool. non-stop. ah. sure. After swimming today I was a little discouraged because I could only swim one-and-one-half lengths of the pool without stopping! I have to tell you that this really is going WAY beyond my known limitations. A big question in my mind is, "Can I turn 1-1/2 lengths in the pool into 1/2 mile before August 20th?" Is this mission impossible?
Maybe I need to find a swimming coach. Or a therapist. But now I have a tangible goal, something to reach for. Now I can find what it will take to get there.

Posted by carl1236 at 11:23 PM | Attitude | Triathlons | motivation

Category "Triathlons"

May 29, 2006

My body

This morning I ran for 45 minutes again. It was hot outside but I brought some water with me. I saw another runner out who was also carrying water. The run was interesting. Here's what I felt:
At first my body didn't want to get going. it was stiff and lethargic. I decided it was better to walk a few blocks at a brisk pace to get my blood flowing and to loosen up my muscles before pounding them. That seemed to help but when I started to run my first few steps felt like I was running on stilts. I glanced at my watch to make note of the time. (yes I finally got a watch after years of not wearing one. But it's a useful tool for training.) I continued running the same course I ran on Saturday. That was fun because everything seemed so familiar. Even the big hill on Wentworth felt excruciatingly familiar! When I was about a half-mile into the run I started to feel loose and warmed up. Breathing this hot air made my throat dry and sore so I was happy I had a water bottle with me. My lungs also seemed to be having a hard time this morning so I tried to regulate my breathing and take some deep, steady breaths to stretch and get more oxygen into my lower lungs. That seemed to help. At the beginning of the run my lower back muscles were sore but I completely forgot about that when my right knee started hurting. I thought, "Now what!"
Going up the hill on Wentworth I know I was at maximum exertion. My breathing was heavy, all of my muscles were burning and engaged in the climb. That increased my overall body temperature dramatically and I was especially happy I had water with me then. I rewarded myself with a few quick sips from my bottle. It took a while after that hill to get my breathing back to a normal, steady pace.
I had just turned the corner and was on the home stretch when I noticed my fingers were going numb while carrying the water bottle. I had to switch hands often then because both hands would do it. After wiggling them for a few seconds the feeling came back though. When I finally stopped running, it felt like my legs wanted to keep running. The muscles were tight and walking then felt unatural, just like when I started but in reverse. I walked it off and when I reached my driveway my breathing was normal and my entire body was covered in sweat.
I stretched a little and drank a full glass of energy drink. The shower felt great, I ate a huge breakfast and now I'm ready for a nap. At this time, all of my muscles feel depleted and tired. My upper arms and shoulders are a little sore. The pain I had during my run on Monday is completely gone and I didn't feel even a hint of it.
Tuesday I swim, Wednesday bike, Thursday swim, Friday rest, Saturday bike, Sunday run. This is my third week of training and I'm supposed to increase my workout intensity and do an extra long workout in the area of my weekness. Next week is recovery week and I get two days of rest and easy workouts. So far so good. Two weeks of training are behind me and it feels good. I feel better overall but I think I'll feel even better after my muscles are used to training this much.

Posted by carl1236 at 8:21 AM | Triathlons

Category "Triathlons"

May 28, 2006

A run, a haircut and a bike ride

The haircut really has nothing to do with triathlons, except that with 1/4 inch hair it's easier to keep cool when running, biking and swimming. So I cut my hair again yesterday after my run. I ran for 45 minutes exactly. It was a little rough. With this whole training program I can see how out of shape I have really become over the winter. This morning, at 7am I went for a thirty-mile bike ride. Then I was wiped out for the day! I got some stuff done though. I went to the bike shop at 10:30, sold some bikes and helped clean up a little, then at about 2:30pm I rode home with Terry, one of the super volunteers at the shop. We stopped for a cool drink and chatted at a local coffee shop. That was fun. I got home about 4, ate lunch, took a GOOD nap and then started my day over. We broke down and put in our two window air conditioners tonight so we could sleep. It already feels better in here. Tomorrow is a running day again. I'm planning on getting up really early to do this before it's too hot. Hopefully I can be all done by 7am. Training is hard but good. I'm really loving this kind of workout. I think it will just get better the better shape I get into. And switching between running, swimming and biking is really cool because it's something new and different.
It's 9:47pm and I'm off to collapse into bed. More training tomorrow along with a good bike cleaning and re-lubing. Have to do that stuff too in order to keep training.

Posted by carl1236 at 9:36 PM | Triathlons

Category "Triathlons"

May 24, 2006

The racehorse is out of the barn

Today I got out my road racing bike for the first time this season. It felt like I was riding a race horse! Fast(er), Light(er) and better gears made it a lot of fun to ride. This morning I rode for 45 minutes and after work I added another seven miles at a good pace. I managed to get up to 38 miles per hour coming back into Downtown St. Paul after riding up out of it with a friend. I had a nice long straightaway coming down a hill and there was no traffic at 11:45pm so I took my lane and pedalled hard. Then again going down the Wabasha bridge I managed to reach 34 miles per hour. That was totally fun! Tomorrow is swimming day for my triathlon training. I think I'll be ready for Friday rest day long before Friday arrives, haha. Well, I guess tomorrow is already Thursday so it won't be so bad doing the swimming tomorrow. It's low impact and is more of an upper-body workout. So now that my race horse is out of the barn, where will it take me? I'm beginning to get serious about training now. And beginning to like racing again. My bike almost felt enthusiastic when i brought it out today.

Posted by carl1236 at 11:57 PM | Triathlons

Category "CHANGE"

Category "Triathlons"

Category "motivation"

May 23, 2006

I am determined

Last night I was running and hurt my leg, but today I went swimming and it feels much better. This is one of the reasons I wanted to get into a training routine that included swimming, running and biking. I think it's good for the body to have a more well-rounded fitness plan that helps a lot of different muscles. It's more balanced I think than just doing one event. Plus swimming is a low-impact, or no-impact activity, causing no shin splints and other shock-related injuries.
Today I really enjoyed swimming in the pool, but I must admit, I'm exhausted again. Yesterday I biked about 23 miles, ran for about 30-40 minutes or so and today I swam for 30 minutes. My swimming technique is getting better I think, so I'll have to keep practicing it. I'm excited at the prospect of being a better swimmer too.
Tomorrow is biking day...but tomorrow I have no time available. Well, I'm going back to the idea that I should be a morning person. Tomorrow I have to be if I want to get a workout in. How do I get a 45 minute bike ride in when I don't get up until about 7:30am? hmmm. Go to bed early, like now, haha, and get up early. Tomorrow night I won't get back home until around 10pm so it has to be the morning. So this might be a motivation to change me into a morning person. At least for a day. haha. Then Thursday I'll sleep in again because I'll be exhausted. haha.
There was a good article in the paper this week about someone who had trouble keeping a workout schedule because of other duties in life. It is difficult. It takes a lot of dedication and setting it as a higher priority than things like watching American Idol everytime it's on. Not picking on that show in particular but I just read about how some people are addicted to that show so I threw it in here.
I am going to stick with this training program and see what kind of shape I'm in by August, then try a Triathlon. Then my goal is to keep up the training routine through the winter. Let's see how it goes...

Posted by carl1236 at 8:48 PM | CHANGE | Triathlons | motivation

Category "Bicycle Restoration"

Category "Triathlons"

May 22, 2006

British Three-Speed Tour Completed...

You can go to this link: and look down on the left side of the screen for the 2006 photos. It was fun! This truly is a pleasant bike tour with great company and great scenery, riding the entire loop around Lake Pepin. Of course it takes two whole days and lots of food and beer and pastries and coffee and ice cream! But we 'suffered' through it. Somehow we ended up back on the road coming home and we completed another successful tour on English 3-speed bikes. All 47 of us! It was great fun. And I won a bike in a drawing so now I have another project to fix up. I'll have to ride that one next year. I've done it two years in a row now, and each time it gets better. These people are wonderful, good people. I was happy to get to know some of them. Believe me, we rode at such a pace that we could easily chat the day away, even miss a turn or two. haha.
So, after riding about 80 some miles in two days, tonight was running night at my triathlon training course. It's quite a contrast to my weekend! Competitive sports and 3-speeds? haha. But tonight I rode from St. Paul to Roseville for the start of the class and then practiced running with the group, learning about pace and sprinting or speed practice and then walking back to the start. Tonight was fun too. There is a place and a time for leisure and for hard workouts. I discovered I have no need to mix the two. It's fun to slow down in life and it's fun to go fast and work hard. After class I rode home and nursed my leg a little, since it started hurting during the sprinting. Tomorrow I'm doing swimming so it should be fine with a day of leg rest. Triathlon training is hard!

Posted by carl1236 at 9:50 PM | Bicycle Restoration | Triathlons

Category "Triathlons"

Category "motivation"

May 18, 2006

Rest day has arrived...finally!

Today for training I ran. It was another thirty-minute run but with four 30-second all-out sprints in the middle. by the time I got home tonight every ounce of my body felt tired. Tomorrow is a rest day thankfully. My muscles need it. My energy levels are low, but...BUT...haha, it feels great! I now feel like I am going to make it! This training schedule will get harder over the next two weeks but I feel like I can do it. I'm now exercising about an hour every day, six days per week. I'm not even motivated by the thought of competing in a traithlon. I'm motivated by just trying to do the training. And learning to swim better. among other things.

Posted by carl1236 at 11:11 PM | Triathlons | motivation

Category "Triathlons"

May 17, 2006

Triathlon Training Day 3

Don't worry, I'll get bored with logging my training progress, but right now it's all new and exciting. Today as part of my training program I practiced swimming for 30 minutes. It was difficult! I realized how hard it is to retrain myself in better swimming technique. I will keep practicing my technique until it comes more naturally before I try to increase speed. Anyway, about the gear. I bought a new pair of swim goggles with foam around the eyes because my previous ones were just too hard and hurt. But I was really happy with these. Now If I could just stop inhaling water I'd be good to go!
Tomorrow is a running day, then Friday I have a rest day. Saturday and Sunday I'll be riding 50 miles each day so I'll use those as my cycling days. Monday starts the new schedule then with running. If this sounds like a lot, it probably is. At least for me it is. Hopefully my body will adjust.

Posted by carl1236 at 11:48 PM | Triathlons

Category "Triathlons"

May 16, 2006

Triathlon training schedule - Base 1

Last night we got our workout schedule, base 1, for the month of May and part of June. At this stage we are supposed to be building a base. Yeah, right. Basically I haven't been working out in months and I jump into a 6 days per week training schedule. Here's an idea of what the schedule is like. It's two runs, two swims, two bike rides and a day of rest. The swim last night was 45 minutes and the run today was 30 minutes. The bike ride is 30 miles. After the swim last night and the run today I'm wiped out! I will be feeling it tomorrow I think. It takes a lot of dedication and hard work to train for a sport and compete. So can I do it? Maybe. I had to join the Y for pool access close to work. Today I ran and showered there right after work. So, I'm trying to give myself the opportunity to succeed at this. One of my goals is to "Try" a Triathlon in August after this class is over. I will succeed at that no matter what kind of shape I'm in, but with this schedule, I think I'll be ready.
But for now, I'm dragging my sorry, tired body to bed. ;-)

Posted by carl1236 at 10:02 PM | Triathlons

Category "Triathlons"

May 15, 2006

Second night of Triathlon Training School

Tonight was our second class for the Triathlon training I'm taking. Last Monday night we met in the pool at St. Katherines. Then I had a week of no workouts. Tonight we again met in the pool for 45 minutes of practice. Then we talked about gear and he handed us a recommended workout schedule. I guess my activities will fill up again. According to the schedule, tomorrow is a running day so I plan on running during lunch. Let the training begin! (and the adventure)

I already learned something valuable. I have been swimming with horrible technique all my life. This is way more efficient! Now I have to practice hard to relearn how to swim.

Posted by carl1236 at 9:37 PM | Triathlons

Category "Triathlons"

Category "motivation"

April 10, 2006

I paid my fee so I have to do it

I officially paid my fee for the Triathlon training course yesterday, so I'm now committed to doing it. I feel good about starting something new and getting back into a hard workout routine. Paying the fee is a motivation since I don't have much money to work with. I think it will be a great experience though.

Posted by carl1236 at 10:50 PM | Triathlons | motivation

Category "Triathlons"

March 14, 2006

The beginnings of a Triathlete

This is the beginning of my Traithlon category and the beginning of my training. Well, I've been training for part of it all year long, but today I signed up for a Triathlon Training Program and will do my first Triathlon in July. I'm excited to have a new goal, with diverse training and to meet so many new people. More as I catalog my training for this purpose. Bike Racing as a whole is on hold while I try this new sport.

Posted by carl1236 at 11:57 PM | Triathlons