Thursday, August 23, 2012

Find your Support Beams

Almost time to hit the road in my trek for Louisville this weekend. I can't believe the day has arrived. In less than 3 days, I will step up to the starting line of my very first full Ironman event. The road to getting here as been a bumpy one, but with a cortisone shot in the foot, a bike crash one week out, and almost a complete mental break down in front of my esteemed coach, I think I'm about now ready to take on the challenge.

My coach gave me some good (and NEEDED) advice this week. Advice that in fact I've heard myself telling others. Coach said "as humans we expect the worst, we plan for the worst case scenarios even prepare ourselves for it in fact." He told me what I needed to do is just calm down "I'm allowed to freak out, we all need someone to talk too." This felt along the lines of what I tell my athletes or the folks I work with at Hilton Head Health. "Control what you can control." Why is it so hard to convince yourself of something you regularly tell people around you? Why is it so easy to get wrapped up in your own head? As much as we want to be super hero's we do have to remember that we're all human and emotions are a part of that.

Emotions are interesting. Its the side of the brain that we don't have complete control over and we try to control it. I don't except excuses for myself so this is a tough side for me to grasp. The fact of the matter is what will be will be. I can only employ the two scenarios I am faced with on Sunday. #1 Where is my body on this day? and #2  Where is my head at? If my head is the strongest of the two I will be successful.

What I do have to remember on Sunday is that I have such an amazingly supportive community of people around me.  I am truly overwhelmed with My Hilton Head Health family; streamers and signs in my office, high fives, hugs, cards, emails and good lucks. Then I leave work on Tuesday, head to teach my CrossFit Hilton Head Endurance team and they surprised me with the coolest gift ever, an Ironman mask with all their signatures (I'm packing it with me). Its things like this that mean more than anything. Thoughtful. Meaningful. Genuine.

If I was to pin down the number one asset in my life it would have to be the people that I am blessed to work, teach, train and more importantly LIVE with. When you find people that support you just as much as you support them. You know you're doing the right things in life.

This one girl (someone I have witnessed get stronger and stronger each day) said it best in card written to me this week:

"In Medieval England, a new form of architecture was developed to build larger and stronger cathedrals than had previously existed. These cathedrals were supported by nothing but self-resistance, relying only on the strength of its own stones. To do this, a system of support beams were put in place until every stone was in order, then removed, allowing the structure to stand on its own."

We all need support beams. Its incredible how many support beams I have and I am simply stoked to be a support beam for people around me. I will be able to stand on my own, finding strength on Sunday because of each and every one of you...

Big thank you in advance to all the H3 Alum who are coming on Sunday. It means the world to me...

By the way, I've done the training another way...

Remember that different isn't wrong CFE folks. Two ways to cook a Turkey. Trust your training and remember that you belong out there. Great advice from my Triathlon guru @ On On Tri.

Training Overview in Preparation for Louisville: 
CrossFit WODs 3-4 per week
CFE Swim 2-3x per week
CFE Bike 2-3x per week
CFE Run 1-2x per week 
10 Total "B" Race  - Sprints(7) Olympic(1) 5miler(1) Cremator
Longest Swim  - 2400meter (45minutes)
Longest Bike - 80miles (4.5hours) nutrition test
Longest Runs - 10K Repeats (19miles@Cremator)

Functional fitness has been established with more skill work, hard intervals and in less time.

Track all the action on Sunday at

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Fourteen Days: Regrouping

Is it fair enough to say that we all go through regrouping phases? I've found that in both life and training there's inevitable regrouping phases. My definition of regrouping is when you happen to take step back (not always your choice). You check yourself and ask, is this really the direction I should be headed? Will this workout really get me more prepared for that A Race? I find it as a positive experience to regroup, but I also find it diffcult to regroup soon enough. What I know is that our vision can be clouded. A lot of time by passion alone and the deep feelings we place on achieving certain goals.

I am now fourteen days to the T from Ironman Louisville. I can't believe the day has almost arrived. Its absolutely rowdy how quickly time passes. Another positive about life. It goes quick so theres always good stuff around the corner. Another regrouping time right?

Interestingly enough I completely regrouped this weekend. I decided to not even show up to the Charleston Sprint Championship. Why? My foot has been acting up, AGAIN! Couldn't be better timing heading into my first Ironman event. The fact here is that I am forced to regroup. An obstacle that if my vision wasn't clouded earlier in training I could have caught. In racing and life you have roll with what comes your way, but you also have to learn from your mistakes. I feel like at times I am victim of my own passion. I know that whatever I set my mind to I put 100% effort into it until I achieve my ultimate desire.

I'm all for getting your head set on something and going after it, but sometimes you work too hard for your own good.You push through pain and the endless comitments without slowing down. Your take away this evening is to plan your regrouping phases. I think I am finally learning that controlling regrouping phases is my next big goal. If I can get more in-tune with my needs and stay away from that next sexy race every once in a while I will find this control. Life's moments and phases aren't always planned, but how good does it feel when you make a decision that's just for you? A decision that only impacts your life? Being selfless is a certainly a pro personality attribute, but if you can't assert those critical moments in training or in life things could become uncontrollable. With that said, do yourself a favor and recognize your time to regroup. Its a good thing.

Time to regroup your training when: 

1) Benchmark workouts are getting slower. If you're recovering right and eating clean enough your times should always be staying the same or getting better. Yeah every once in awhile you may have an "off" workout, but this is sure sign of over-training.
2) After those A Events. I'm the absolute worst at this one. Some LSD marathon books will say you need to take one day off for every mile you ran in the marathon. I'm starting to believe this may have some truth. I am finding that I race BIG and then get excited to race again without giving my body the proper rest and recovery. Give yourself credit for the events you race. Don't underestimate or neglect the fact that you ran a half marathon. CFE athletes makes sure to perform the official Strength and Conditioning recovery WOD until your feeling better. Avoid the sexy metacons and next weekend 5Ks, you just did a marathon!
3) If there's no longer any fun. Apply this one to your life too folks. How about your job? Everything in life should involve some sort of fun or there's something missing. This requires a positive mindset, but what I am saying is if you walk into CFHH and there is no sort of fun still in it for you, it's time to get out. Quite simple people.
4) You've done the same event for the last two years. I am a big believer in trying that next thing. Don't get tied down with the things you're good at. Branch out to new workouts and new experiences in your life. Feel free to be a badass runner, but don't always live there. That's just too comfortable. Uncomfortable and unfamiliar situations are exciting.
5) Find yourself not getting stronger or times improving. Should your focus be more on strength? Should you be getting on the bike more? Is your nutrition on point? Look over the training journals and make sure you're seeing progress. When you get stuck somewhere don't simply ignore it. Same goes for life. When you continue to do a job wrong or the way you communicate with your wife never improves do you just keep going? Hope not. 

Lots to think about when it comes to training, but greater than that can you think of any pivotal moments in your life when you could have regrouped? Or maybe should have?

Saturday Skill Work 

First video of a new series I'll be posting as our team: Less Miles, More CrossFit trains for the Savannah Rock N Roll Half and Full Marathon November 3, 2012!

Watch as athlete Chris learns proper posture and fall technique with the hip from behind hold drill.

You'll see he was broken to start, but then got himself in proper position before the release.