Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Jay Lyons 5k, two races in three weeks...I'm on a roll!

The Jay Lyons 5k...the race that started me back into running some 8 years ago after I decided to quit being a fat guy. Well, why not make sure I do it as a hip surgery recovering/fluffy guy now too?! In honor of a fallen firefighter of a terrible warehouse fire 17 years ago, the day started out cold and rainy and miserable...and then right before the race started the rain went away and the sun came out. So weird and yet so cool.

I'm rusty at racing (um, ya think?!) so I figured the best thing to do would be to seed myself toward the back and then just take each mile as it came. The race normally has close to 1000 runners but since there was another 5k for a recently killed in the line of duty police officer, today's race only had about 500 people. No big, start at the back, use the crowd to keep me from trying to get out and run fast (this is my only my second race after getting cleared to run on the 2nd of April and while I want to run all out I don't have the fitness level for it) and see how it goes


Ya, that face kinda says it ALL!
I had forgotten the course had a short hill kicker at the start before flattening out and then turning down hill/flat. The thought was to try and dig in and then use the down hill/flat to settle into a decent pace...but it felt like the my first mile was slow as molasses. A quick glance down to the Polar v800 showed it did it in 7:59...ok, no more looking at my watch for the rest of the race! There's another hill at around the 1.3 mile mark that stretches slowly higher with a short false flat up to the 2.4 mile mark. This hill would normally be where I bear down and start chewing people and gaining places. Well this year that hill made me one of the folks getting past. Yes, I know it is ridiculous to think I'd have any run conditioning (or speed) when only having been back to running for 3 weeks...but man it is a whole new world to be struggling and struggling on a course I normally run around 20 minutes on. I will say that it's a different perspective to worry about seeing how I feel and finishing versus my usual of trying to get a podium. But, but, but...it's all about learning (or relearning) and building back my level of fitness and "race intelligence".

I made the right at the top of the hill, where it flattens out a bit and I thought my lungs would explode. I actually yelled at myself "what are you doing?!, to push this hard with NO mileage in your legs, or speed, is just stupid". That is a FAR cry from what I'm normally yelling at myself...I made the right for the sloping downhill for the finish and was happy to cross it. Second race in a row that I was so happy that I crossed the finish line I was just kind of out of it. Well, it's all about getting miles in my legs. And, and, and...I even treated myself to a beer after!


I know this going to be a long slog to get back to my level of racing and more importantly the level of fitness I want and expect from myself but I have to realize its going to take time. And, and, and. humble me and teach me a whole new level of patience. I'm not happy about it. I actually dread it. But I know in the long run, the fact that I'm pain free post surgery I can hopefully be even better than I was. We'll see.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

I'll show you sleep monster


For some reason over the last few weeks I've just been exhausted. I have absolutely no idea why either. I'm eating (and I'm making myself eat more since I have a tendency to not eat enough) and I'm sleeping at night, it's just so weird.

But, but, but...I came home from a long day of work and figured I'd take the bull by the horns. I forced myself to take an hour nap, made some dinner and then hit the gym for a run. Because you know, a workout makes everything better.

A bonus was finding yet another old fave tank top. I didn't even know I still had it after all these years (um, 22 to be exact! I dug a bag out of my storage unit that was filled with old tees and tanks from my Army days). I really have to start wearing a foot pod on my HRM when I run on the treadmill because I ran more than that. I was actually pretty happy that I was running about an 8:15 pace for the 40mins. I'm kind of blown away that, post surgery and this being the longest I've run now on like 9 months the hip feels great. I'm excited to keep logging miles. NOW I can go to sleep.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Oh ya, bricks


The day did not go to plan but at
least I got a solid workout in. I wanted to do a brick workout today  to see how the hip (and me) would hold up to some real exercise. So a solid 21 miles on the bike and then over to the treadmill for a 2mi run (I guess I need to wear a foot pod because that that distance is wrong from just the watch) while watching Ironman coverage.


But Dutch you say, it was a beautiful day in MA, why didn't you train outside? Ah, because in the gym I can "control" my environment and since I'm just getting into the build phase of training, inside workouts keep me from overdoing it or going all out and running the risk of hurting myself or suffering a setback. And let's be honest right now, my psyche is a little to fragile to deal with anything that would derail my training.

Friday, April 21, 2017

I got bigger

Because sometimes when you wear one of your old tanktops as a "motivation" shirt (I can't believe I found it after all this time!) under your workout tee...and you're fueled by Widstrong's Oro Extreme pre-workout (this stuff makes me want to lift Buicks)...you blast through a 90 minute heavy lift session and burn 900 calories. Sweet baby Jesus what a great workout!

Oh by the way, with all the time off from running/cycling/swimming...I think I've gotten a lil bigger. I know this extra weight is gonna kill me come tri season but it's kinda nice now. I mean my usual clothes don't fit but I can feel my size when I walk around now. Not to mention everyone I know has laid off the "you're too thin" comments and keep telling me I look "jacked". Now I just need to find a way to keep this muscle and just shred down...while getting my speed in the pool and on the road back. Well, at least I have a new goal.

Monday, April 17, 2017

It seems like forever ago...

"Marathon Monday"... a term every serious runner knows about. That's the day the crown jewel of marathons is run...Boston. Anyone who's a "marathoner" wants to run Boston. The oldest of the marathons and the only one you have to run a qualifying time for (and even then you might not get in since SO many people are trying to qualify).

I've always wanted to run Boston and after living here in Massachusetts and going to watching it run by my place of work every year, I finally decided to go for it back in 2011. The training and the race did not go to plan (go back through my blog for the race recap) and while I said that would be my 14th and last marathon (I've run 3 more since) and honestly that run distance has been what's kept me from doing a "full" Ironman race, there has always been a feeling of unfinished business. Not to mention I train on parts of the course every time I go for a run. I wish all my friends running the best of luck today and realize now that I have at least 2 more marathons left in me..one to qualify and then another at Boston...and then I quit...I swear... 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

On the run again...

Yes, I run/raced for the first time in a year on Sunday.

Yes I took yesterday as a recovery day.

Yes I've been walking around like a newborn calf on sore legs and yes today is the second longest distance I've run in a year...but, but, but, it was 85 and sunny in Massachusetts so I just HAD to go for a run!!! There is no doubt that my running cardio shape is gone, as is any type of running speed. I hope that they will both come back relatively quickly (fingers crossed but since its been over a year and I'm 20lbs...this is going to tax my patience) but it felt great to get out and RUN! Soreness in my quads and glutes from Sunday's effort but NO hip pain at all. NONE...AT...ALL! My surgeon is THE MAN!!! Ya, I am indeed happy boy

Thursday, April 6, 2017

No rest for the fluffy...

Well, I stumbled across this new preworkout by Widstrong called "Oro Extreme" and  it's..tha..heat!!! Trust me, take this and you'll be tearing down the walls to go train. 

I want to test the hip so I why not do a brick? Right? Right! A solid bike getting in 20 miles (I'm gonna have to work to get a faster turnover and get that speed back up) and then onto the treadmill for a 15min run. It almost felt like the good old days...almost. No, no speed there but I am starting from ground zero post surgery and it's great to just be running again! Of course I get cleared and it's been nothing but snow or rain here but I'm chomping at the bit for an outdoor run. I can't even begin to describe mentally how much better I feel now that I can run again...and with NO pain whatsoever. Yes!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Feeling better..who knew?


Working off those "vanilla nut taps" (if you know, you know), bwahahaha.

What a difference a couple weeks make. I couldn't have been more frustrated while in the "recovery mode" post surgery but after running again it's like my whole outlook has changed. Yes I woke up this morning very sore (sore, no pain) stumbling around like a newborn calf...but I feel great! Talk about happy to be sore. I kew I was going to have to deal with running muscle atrophy and my body didn't disappoint.

Had to get back in the gym, but I just focused on an upper body lift session to give my legs a break. Great lift and then run again tomorrow. Woohoo

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Work hard fuel

Nice to feel like I had a real workout in the gym. 45mins on the bike followed by another 45min cardio lift. Finished up with heavy sets of single arm dumbbell rows to build them archery pulling muscles!

Being motivated to push myself and have a tough workout wasn't hard because a friend of mine is part of a new company sent me a sample of their new pre-workout. Sweet baby Jesus this WIDSTRONG product is the heat! Literally. And talk about a lil dab'll to ya...1/2 a tbsp is the serving size. Great taste, not gritty, dissolves completely 8oz cold water.
Didn't make me shake or upset my stomach before, during or after workout. It got me fired up to workout and I sweated gallons. No shakes, no HR fluctuations, just solid fuel to power a workout. Ya, loving this stuff! Just what I need to get back at it

Sunday, March 19, 2017

I'm frustrated...

So here's a lil honesty...no bluster, no BS, just straight shooting. That look kinda says it all. After my last surgery (I say last not because it'll be my last, just that it's the latest of my 13 to date) I have been confused, disappointed and depressed. Doing serious damage and getting it repaired and recovering and getting back to "life" takes a toll and has taken one. Honestly, I'm tired of it and am willing and able to say out loud it just plain sucks. While I have no desire to sit around and blossom back up to 250lbs...I also have no desire to get back to my normal everyday training again or even try as I heal/recover from surgery. Now we're talking about quality of life as life goes on. I haven't trusted myself to do any "real" training for fear that it would either aggravate the damage I've already done or hinder the healing of my hip. But...the inactivity has left me wanting...and fat. While people may think I'm not "fat", for me and the weight I like/want to be at, I am. I normally race at 165-170 with my "off-season" weight being up around 10lbs more. I'm over 200 right now. While you may think I "look healthy", your opinion is just that...but bottom line, I'm heavier than I was, my clothes don't fit and I can feel the weight in my back, hips, knees and ankles...all of which have been repaired at least once throughout my life thus far. Why is that important? Because that impacts my "mental health" and that is just as if not more important than my physical health. But, 2 days back training have helped and with my date to be cleared to get back to running just a couple weeks away I'm hoping I can build on this and get the "bug" to get back after it again. Look, no matter what the photos or race results show...EVERYONE struggles at some point. Sometimes the struggles are greater than others. It sucks, plain and simple but I just have to keep that in mind and continue to fight on.

I wrote this partly as a reminder/motivation for myself and partly because I'm sick and tired of everyone gladhanding/glossing over the suckery of injury, training or life. People's who's response is: "you'll be back at it in no time", "it's a minor set back" or any over the other common bs answers are not the kind of people I want to be around. The "right" answer is "I can totally see how you feel that way or are struggling, what can be done to help". THOSE are the people that help you with life. Just spit balling here.

Ya, it's a long post but I'm frustrated...

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Because sometimes you just have to make yourself go

Because sometimes...when you drag your butt to the gym...and it's the last thing you wanna do...it's just what the doctor ordered.

I had no desire to go lift and haven't had the desire to a while. I was getting comfortable with just spending an hour or two on the bike and calling it a day but that was exactly the problem. "Comfort" is a terrible thing especially when recovery from surgery and wanting to get back at it when it comes to racing and racing Ironman events again.

Well, nothing to do but to do it! What started as a slogging through it workout...turned into an absolutely bag smasher of a workout. I just started to feel better with every exercise. No, I will not be able to touch my nose tomorrow...or maybe for a few days...but I feel a TON better. Now to remember this and keep at it...or not try to get all my fitness/strength back in one day. Haha

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sure the weather is find but...


I would've loved putting tires on the road for a pretty 50+ degree day in MA but a: I'm not putting my carbon fiber, Ferrari-like  road/tri bikes on these roads and 2: with my luck, I'd take a spill on the repaired hip and ruin everything. Maybe in hindsight I could've put my bike on the trainer on my balcony...but instead I went to the gym for a solid hour TT on the bike. A hammered workout got me 20 miles...and a sore hip. I just couldn't seem to find a smooth pedal stroke. I blame the bike! But at least I got in a great sweatfest workout. Maybe an Epsom salt soak later will help.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Sometimes the things you hate work the best...



There really aren't words to describe the love-hate relationship with these. Spent about 45 minutes doing over head/side/one arm ball throws at all those different weights...and that was after a hard 60 minute bike ride. I can say this, my core is ON FIRE. Yup, bags officially smashed.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Everything is closed because of the snowpocalypse? No problem!

Well, it seems that Mother Nature finally remembered that it's winter here in New England and we're under a blizzard warning right now! So, almost EVERYTHING is closed including gyms and of course the roads to get to them. This is exactly why I keep some training tools at the fingertips at home.

Never underestimate the effectiveness of a couple DVD workouts, a medicine ball and dumbbells and a great workout plan (I LOVE these superhero workouts, modified since I'm recovering from surgery) to completely smash your bags in the comfort of your own home. No excuses, get it done. Say safe in this weather, stay warm...and stay swole! LOL

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The only way to know if you're progressing is to push your limits...

While in "Phase 2" of rehab post-surgery I can't run but I CAN ride "to pain". Well, if that the case I need to find out where hat threshold is.

Using the team time trial coverage from the Tour de France a few years ago for motivation, I got on the bike tonight to see how hard I cold push. The goal was to hammer a rolling hills course for 90 minutes while keeping at or above 90rpms to really give me a mark on the wall to see where I'm at with leg fitness and cardiovascular fitness. 

There was no doubt I pushed hard because I was soaking wet, my quads/flutes/hams are already killing me and while I could only muster 26 miles total I had NO pain the in hip joint/socket. So...win! Now I need to eat and maybe take a quick nap.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

At it again...

Nice to be back on the bike...pushing harder than I did before my surgery. 

I always like to watch cycling to give me motivation so I found Mirinda "Rinny" Carfrae video from her kicking butt at an Ironman World Championships a few years ago. I decided to try a 65min time trial/sweatfest to get an idea of how the hip would hold up now that I'm in "Phase 2" of recovery. And the verdict? I'm good. I'm feel really good. Sure I'm sore...but it's my butt, lower back, abs and quads from the effort...not the repaired hip!

Ya, I'm seem to be getting better everyday. This feels promising.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

What better way to spend time in a snow storm...than in the pool?!


Oh the weather outside is indeed frightful, but the pool was so delightful.

Well, I don't know about delightful but it's a whole lot warmer! I have to admit I'm really starting to dig that "rehab" pool. A total of 1600m of just pulling plus another 600m of aqua jogging and 600m of side straddle walks. Now that's a workout. The one good thing about only being able to pull means I have no choice but to focus on form, hand entry and  breathing. Too often the "complete" mechanics of swimming gets lost while I'm trying to integrate strong kicking, log distance...and trying not to drown.  Maybe I can get the mechanics down pat by the time the doc clears me to be able to start kicking.
 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A month since my surgery? Already?!

Because when you realize it's been a month since your surgery...you just wanna crush it in the gym. 

An hour on the bike followed by an upper body lift session that already has me barely able to raise my arms. My hip is sore from the first day back at work (I stand most of the day) but no pain...first time that's been the case in a couple years. Finally starting to feel a bit like "me". I'm thinking I'm gonna love me some 2017. I can't wait to see what the doc thinks about my rehab and his thoughts on my recovery at my follow up appointment in a couple weeks!

Monday, January 2, 2017

I just realized it's been a month since my surgery!

It's hard to believe that it's already been a month since my surgery. I guess that's a great indicator that I'm doing well and recovering quickly.


Mon Dieu, je suis fatigue! Waiting to get into a lane because people were fiddlefarting in the water...means I had to get in a good swim on a compressed time schedule. 200m pull opener with alternating sets of 100m pull, 50m aquajog, 50m sidestraddle walk for 1200m total (the rehab meters don't count) with no rest between sets. Talk about bang for your buck. Wowza! I'm already sore but to be honest it's REALLY nice to be sore from workouts again. Although I can only "pull" it feels like I haven't missed a beat in the water. My form is still good and my fitness level is already coming back. I'll work in kicking when the doc clears me.  Oh ya 2017...I'm coming for you.