Monday, January 31, 2011

Blood in the really

I must remind you that I'm running the Boston Marathon this year on a charity number so I need to raise money in order to participate. If you are so inclined/motivated please click the donate button at the top right of my blog to donate to my cause and thank you in advance. Now onto the blogging goodness.

Look, I don't like to swim. Well actually that's not true. I'm happy to get in the pool and thrash about like an idiot as we all are apt to do on a hot summer day but I dread heading to the pool to swim laps. Laps being that joy of water time required to become a more efficient swimmer and therefore a better triathlete.

I have discovered that of all the sports and sporting endeavors one can participate in, swimming is the one you CAN'T muscle or fight your way through. It actually requires you to calm down. Have you met me? Calm down? What the hell is that?! I'm the same guy that was upset that I couldn't name my blog "Fueled by Anger"! But, I drag myself to the pool 2 or 3 times a week to swim. I'll be honest, I don't do "flip turns", I'm not fancy, I just try my best to get though the required distance of the day without looking like a complete retard.

Well today I guess my body was finally starting to feel like I do about swimming because while struggling through a "pulling" 100 my nose exploded. Not that I noticed of course. I was too busy focusing on trying to extend through the stroke and bilateral breathe and "relax" and all that other crap. While swimming I did feel something across my face. I wiped it away and kept going until I hit the end. Upon standing, winded and angry, looking back down the length I just swam I noticed a red trail. A red trail sitting on top of the water leading right to me. Unfortunately the other people in the pool noticed it at the same time, followed it to me and noticed that my face, unbeknown to me, looked like a crime scene and pointed in horror. Really, my WHOLE face was covered in blood as were my hands from wiping away what I thought was water. Great times. I grabbed my nose and left a wounded animal blood trail all the way to the showers where I spent the next 10 or 15 minutes trying to get rid of the "evidence". Then, once cleaned up I had to unceremoniously clean up my mess from the showers to the pool. All the while being looked at like a leper because you know there's no telling what's in my blood. NOW I totally understood what Charlie Brown meant when he uttered "ugh" in the Peanuts cartoon. After all the cleaning, I grabbed up my gear and left with my tail between my legs.

You normally beat me Mr. Pool but today you bested me beyond belief...ugh.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Defeat oftens begins with de feet...

Yes, I've decided to take on the extra challenge of trying to come up with a witty title for my posts. Hopefully it'll be one of many reason you keep coming back to check out my blog.

And...I would be remiss if I didn't remind you that I'm running the Boston Marathon this year on a charity number so I need to raise money in order to participate. If you are so inclined/motivated please click the donate button at the top right of my blog to donate to my cause and thank you in advance.

Now onto the blogging goodness...

When it comes to foot care and chafe relief, I've tried everything I can get my hands on. Having served as an Airborne Ranger Infantryman through my Army career, I lived on my feet. We routinely did 12, 20 and 30 mile road marches in addition to long morning runs for physical fitness. Keeping my feet in shape and preventing abrasion/chafing practically became a second job. Now that I run,ride and swim so much the quest has continued...until I was turned onto Everstride and their high performance skin care products for athletes.

Their Pro Foot Therapy is not greasy to the touch, gets absorbed by the skin fast and most importantly helps PREVENT blisters and chafing AND repairs and restores damaged skin. You read that correctly, prevents and repairs. I put a thin coat on my feet before a long run and another after the post run shower. I can tell you that my feet have never felt better and I've NEVER been blister or callus
free...until now! Because of all the time I spend in the pool (you know that chlorine leaches the moisture out of your skin) and the extreme cold training my skin has to endure during New England winters, I thought I'd try the cream as body moisturizer too. I was blown away that it was just as effective!

They also make an Anti-Chafing Sport stick too (yes, you now have competition Body Glide!).  Just rub it on any of the places you'd want relief; back of heels, thighs, arms (bra areas for you ladies) and you're friction free. And like their Foot Therapy its greaseless and I've had no issue with it easily washing out of clothes or gear.

They also have an nail anti-fungal solution that I'm trying out but thats for a later post...

So...because I love their product so much, the folks over at Everstride were nice enough to give me a coupon code that I could share with my readers/followers. Just head over to their website, buy any of their awesome products and use the code Ranger20 at checkout. That code will not only give you 20% off your ENTIRE order but they will ALSO donate a portion of the sales to the charity I'm supporting with my running of the 2010 Boston Marathon!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Six pack abs for show, power for dough.

Okay I will freely admit to not only being a Type A plus-plus personality, probably with a touch of ADD and OCD, I'm a little narcissistic to boot. I mean come on, we're all athletic. We monitor what we eat, run/bike/swim/lift our asses off (figuratively and literally!) and all you have to do is pick up any magazine that supports our of choice and right there on the cover or within the pages of said magazine is some well built, little-to no body fat man or women showing off the body we all want.

And of course...we're gonna compare ourselves to them. Fine, if you won't admit it I will. I compare myself to them. I don't understand why monitoring what goes into my body, trying to optimize performance while reducing fat (and I'll admit, restricting calories) AND training this much does not result in some Greek God inspired, could be chiseled in marble set of abs for me like Ms. Dara Torres here. (Who, by the way I have met and is one of the coolest, most approachable famous people I've ever known and one of my heroes. If there's anyone you should aspire to be when you grow up its her but that's for another time...)

I mean really, is it so wrong that I WANT those abs?! Add in that I'm 38 and was afraid of my advanced age and never having had a 6 pack surely doomed me to be soft around the middle forever and you see my neurosis. I resigned myself to making the golf analogy of "drive for show and put for dough". If hitting the long ball on the golf course wows everybody but mastering the short game makes you a "true" golfer then certainly I could transpose this to meaning that you may look great when you take off that shirt but being able to generate high power numbers makes you the "true" athlete. Right? Right? I will say right now that I know there are plenty of people who have the shredded body and STILL generate power/speed/win events (like Dara). This was just what I would tell myself to make it all better as I cried quietly and desperately want a slice of bread.

So...I took my quest to Twitter (it is really the greatest thing ever) and posed my question out loud. Nicole, a USAT certified coach, from NEO Endurance Sports & Fitness decided to take my query. She was nice enough to do some research, and post her take on the matter over on her blog, which you can check it here. I can't thank her enough for taking the time to post an answer and hopefully you'll learn a little something like I did. I'd love to chat more but I have to replace all my breads and pasta with veggies and beans and then spend the next few hours doing some cardio.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Now to get this thing started...I'm running the Boston Marathon and could use your help.

Okay, I've had a number of people ask me why don't I, of all people, not have a blog. The truthful answer is that I have run a number of blogs/websites in the past and know how labor intensive they can be. Also, to be honest, I was concerned that if I started posting my workouts I would be ridiculed by everyone for not training correctly or enough or too much. hell with that I say, my training life is an open book for all to poke fun and comment upon.

I am hoping that this blog will be a place where I can talk about my training, training in general, products and my successes and or failures in an effort to share what I'm doing and to keep me motivated throughout the 2011 season. Throw in my candor, twisted sense of humor and the fact that I seem to only have 2 speeds, 0 or 100mph and I think this blog will be entertaining at the very least.

Speaking of staying motivated...I'm planning on keeping the year jam packed with events. I'm up to about 20 races ranging from: 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, marathons, duathlons to sprint/Olympic distance triathlons. And how will I kick off my season? Why with the 115th Boston Marathon of course!

The Boston marathon has always been on my "bucket list" of races and I was lucky enough to get a number  through the Hopkinton Athletic Association. The HAA is a non-profit, 501(c) (3) organization whose mission is to promote the health and fitness through innovative, multi-generational programs.  A few examples of the programs the HAA has granted funds to are: the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the East Coast Jumbos (a hockey program for youths with special needs), The Angel Fund (for ALS research), the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and the "Marathon Fitness Challenge," (an innovative fitness program for 2nd and 3rd grade students). 

So...that means I need to raise $2,750 for the HAA in order to participate in this year's marathon. I've never raised money nor solicited for a charity but I'm asking now. Any amount is greatly appreciated and will get me that much closer to reaching my goal. In order to make donating as easy as possible, I've included a PayPal "donate" button on the top right hand side of my blog. Thanks for taking the time to read the first of what will be MANY entries in my new blog. Now I need to get back to training :)