Unplugged

Already been snowed on once during a run this year. Behold Lone Peak at Big Sky Resort.

Already been snowed on once during a run this year. Behold Lone Peak at Big Sky Resort.

If you may have noticed, there hasn’t been much of my usual data on the blog lately. There is good reason for this, and it does not have anything to do with me becoming a recluse in a cabin among the backwoods of Montana. Ok, I do sort of live in the woods of Montana and I am sort of recluse, but I can’t grow a beard like Ted Kaczynski.

Whether by fate or just sheer bad luck, essentially all my training gizmos have become “unavailable” since Boise. First, I have lost my Garmin 910xt (I know this is a terribly ironic thing to lose). So boom, there went all my data for a while. It was kind of fun in a way, not having the constant gaze of the pace glaring at you from your wrist. Instead, it was back to my beloved Timex. That wonderful Timex that I bought for 40 bucks at the Coeur d’ Alene Ironman expo in 2009. That watch that takes a licking and keeps on ticking…..until 2 weeks ago. Yep, it finally died during Guardians of the Galaxy. So, then I was left to caveman mode, running when the sun was in the low sky to higher in the sky. Fortunately, the sun didn’t blow up. Well it I guess it did sort of.

Flare of September 10, 2014.

Flare of September 10, 2014.

Then I remembered I had that little Strava app in my phone, so I fired it up. I’m not sure how accurate it is, but it’s better than nothing. I’m hoping certainly that it’s off as my last run through Philly was dreadfully slow and painful. I chalk it up to heat, stoplights, and laziness.

Capture

In any case, the lack of any gadgets and the return to basics is coming at a good time. I have never been busier in my life than in the past few months, and I am literally to a point where I am just lucky to exercise, let alone stick to a regimen. I’m still trying to stay at it as well as I can. Today, I was still on east coast time and I was up at 6:00 to get a one hour trainer ride in. Made it to the pool at lunch to boot.

One thing that I have to mention that is rocking my world is my new running partner; she’s always on my ass.

Nathan Hydration Peak

Nathan Hydration Peak

This is my new Nathan Peak. I have a ton of these hydration belts laying around the house, but for some reason not one was big enough to hold my dang iphone 5s. So I splurged once again and picked this up from Amazon for about 25 bucks. Lets just cut to the chase, it holds a lot of liquid and my freaking phone.

More details. It fits great and doesn’t ride up my abdomen like a Marilyn Monroe’s dress over a ventilation grate. It also comes with velcro enclosures to take care of any loose, dangling loops on the front. It’s super plush in the back and so far it hasn’t given me any abrasions after four 14+ mile runs. Finally it comes in a variety of color to suit your fancy. If you need a new hydration belt for a good long run, I highly recommend it. And no, I didn’t paid for this!

Ok, time for sleep. Training isn’t the only thing that I am lacking these days….

Just had to give a shout out to this. I had a chance to visit Monk's Cafe in Philly finally. Pliny the Elder on tap and mussels!

Just had to give a shout out to this. I had a chance to visit Monk’s Cafe in Philly finally. Pliny the Elder on tap and mussels!

I’m Back

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Thought I was done did you? Nope, I just finally took a long break from anything training. I’ve soiled my triathlon oats with many a fatty food and malted beverage over the past two months. There have been gluttonous nights with 10 hours of sleep. Books were read that did not involve running. I carb loaded just because. But that hiatus is done. It’s time to re-baptize this body with sweat. I’m back. Today, I started riding again officially. I fired up the good old Trainer Road Sweet Spot plan, my usual go to plan for the fall. It looked a little something like this.

TR1

It didn’t feel too bad, especially compared to the pain that was the acting in Spiderman 2 (I watched it while riding, but I digress.) I’ve kept up running and swimming as best as I can. In fact, running is going strong. I ramped things up a bit and I’m putting out a weekly long run of 13-16 mi just for the heck of it. Swimming has been an utter catastrophe lately, most completely summarized by this pic of my pool:

Wow, that swim today left me really sore....

Wow, that swim today left me really sore…(spring cleaning time for the pool)

Now, I can’t say that I have been a total slouch. I did show up for the local Mike Spence Triathlon this year. Despite all the travel, I still managed to PR my run. It was a beautiful sunny day, and best yet, the family got to cheer me on.

One of my favorite pics of me and my oldest son.

One of my favorite pics of me and my oldest son.

There is probably one question on everyone’s mind at this point: What is Ironvan back for? To be completely honest with you, I don’t have a clue. Since I finished Boise, life has certainly been turned upside down like a triathlete drafting a leaking oil truck in the rain. This past July, somehow I convinced myself that it would be okay to go back to residency and school again. So, I am now back in the land of classes, lectures, tests, and overall incredible suffering. I still have my job in Montana; I commute to UPenn for residency. On top of that, I am travelling at least one week out of the month. That plus my steadily growing kids, with their steadily growing number of swimming lessons, skiing lessons, and fighting with other lessons has left my plate this year looking like its 2.99 night at Golden Corral.

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So, there are no big surprises here. No Ironmans on the calendar on a whim. No epic adventures to some crazy expensive triathlon in a salt mine under an active volcano….at the bottom of the ocean somewhere. I’m back to training now because training is fun. Training gives me a daily game to play that doesn’t involve sitting on my couch. And like a bowl of Metamucil topped with prunes, training gives a structure and consistency to my day that makes all the work, school and family hurdles more manageable. So I guess when I think about it, I train to live.

A pic that summarizes the last two months of my life.

A pic that summarizes the last two months of my life.

So who knows what 2015 holds in store. Certainly, there will be some triathlons throw in. Maybe some long run events. I’d like to get my feet wet on the trails some….hopefully while not being eaten by a grizzly bear. The only thing I know about my future racing is that there is no start or finish line. Just miles of road, plenty of socks, great company, yummy food and drink, and superb health. And for now, that’s everything I could hope for.

PS: I’m not quitting. :)

Onward I go.

Onward I go.

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