Thursday, November 10, 2016

Started with my new Coach!

As of 11/7, I am operating under orders from my new coach, Nick Logan. We met in person maybe 10 years ago at an Ironman after finding out about one another via the Slowtwitch forum (which I rarely view anymore). He was a serious weight lifter turned endurance athlete, and I was, well, a Crackhead. It was fun to meet!

Fast forward to 2014, and Nick was doing his first Ultraman, and he reached out to ME for any advice I might have. I'd trained for Ultraman while working full time (hint: REALLY FUCKING HARD!), and so I had one perspective on it, and I'd done it self-coached.

Move to 2014, where I once again thought I'd be able to do Ultraman Hawaii. That never panned out because work stress and other things conspired to knock that goal down. At the time, though, I did a concerted search for a coach and had considered Nick.

Having retired (permanently? who knows?) this year and feeling like I can give big goals another go, I decided Nick was the person I wanted to coach me. Why?

  • He knows how I typically like to train. I.e., A LOT.
  • He knows I've had some fairly good race results and that I consider myself fairly competitive.
  • He's done Ultraman and so in case I decide I want to go that route again, I consider him qualified to coach me.
  • He's morphed into quite a successful triathlete, and frankly, I wouldn't even consider being coached by someone who wasn't.
  • He's very down to earth--at least compared to me. 
We started the conversation after I announced I wanted to do BIG THINGS next year, and I decided that the formal time to start would be after I'd finished the 50k that I did on 10/29. The reason I picked that date was because I needed to see if I could even DO that race (I know, I know--self-confidence crisis!) and see where that left my fitness.

So we began talking in earnest last week while I was taking a huge rest week from the 50k. Whereas in my own training plan, I would continue a relative rest period this week, as it turns out, I'm not resting this week! But that's fine by me! Nick is testing me to see what I can do this week, and we're fine-tuning some aspects of how I need to operate in order for him to coach me as best as he can--things like equipment (gadgets, swim tools), workout terminology, and some other things like when can I ride Death Machine?

Meanwhile, on my own, I've started my quest to be able to do a handstand and 10 pullups. While it would be really cool if I accomplished this by the end of the year, in reality, I have no idea how long it will take. However, I have committed to almost daily work towards the goals. Right now this involves doing wall (or couch or shelves or whatever I'm around) planks, additional dumbbell rows (I already do those as part of my strength training so now I just get to do them every day!), Smith machine bodyweight rows (I'm doing these at my Y, but I'm going to see if I can rig up something at home or maybe it's time to get a squat rack) and dead hangs. I already know that I have great core strength because the wall planks are more arm/upper back things than core things for me.

Another thing I'm working on is correcting a problem I'm having with my right calf/behind the knee area possibly popliteus muscle. I really don't think I'm injured, because sometimes the pain/discomfort is completely gone. I think it may be related to correcting my right foot mechanics and also driving more. In that vein, I'm adding additional stretches and body work to my daily routine, I've ditched the office chair again for the stability ball, and I've reinstalled a cushion in my car seat because bucket seats mess up my soleus and back (as they do to most people--contact me if you want to know more about this), and I've been driving a lot this year and forgot how that messes me up. I have 100% confidence I'll lick this all soon enough. It hasn't stopped me from running or biking.

I am really happy to be working with a coach again! Seriously, without me working, I'm inclined to train myself into the ground, so I need help to not do that, but I also am pursuing serious competitive goals and I needed help with that. And even though I am quite self-motivated, I am already finding that just having someone else to be accountable to is raising my motivation level, and possibly my work output! I so want to do well! I'm fortunate in that I only live .8 miles from my pool, can strength train (which I'm still doing on my own--Nick isn't writing workouts for that!) and do treadmill running at home, so I have zero excuses for not being able to do workouts. I can plod through snow if I have to to get to the pool!

This is all so exciting for me and gives me a renewed sense of purpose. Now if I can just figure out how to make time to study for that damn personal trainer certification...seriously, though, my life is so much better doing the amount of training I like to do while not working. When I did it working, I had ZERO play in my schedule. Now I can visit with friends and family regularly, attend beer club meetings, take time to chat with others before/after workouts instead of rushing off to get back to work, cook nice stuff for myself all the time, spend more time supporting my friends' athletic efforts, and I think, just be a better person. Because when all is said and done, that's why I do all this stuff--it makes me a better person. Now, sure, I want to be better than certain other persons in my age group, but other than that, I just want to be a stand-up human being, good friend and someone people like to be around.

EIGHT WEEKS TO DOPEY CHALLENGE! SHIT! This weekend I'm doing a 25k race that has almost half the climbing of the 50k I did just 2 weeks ago! I have no idea how I will do, but at least I know I won't be running on rocks! I've got 2 black toenails and 2 more that are sketchy that will probably join in after the 25k. Oh well! It's past flip flop season!

In summary, it's always a good thing to change things up--your S/B/R training, your stretching, your strength training. I dare you to make big changes of your own!

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