The peas knees!

The best laid plans can and often do go astray, but that doesn’t mean goals need to be thrown out the window.

I’ve been dealing with a few aches and pains. Plantar Fascia issues that have kept my running mileage terribly low (almost non-existent) since Copper Canyon, and recently a knee strain that has kept me off the bike for the better part of a week. It hurts pretty bad to walk down stairs, but walking flat ground or up stairs is almost pain free (just a little uncomfortable).

With Ironman under 8 weeks out, this is not the time to be backing off training, but a broken body doesn’t race well either. As a compromise, I’ve been swimming up a storm and even hit the elliptical machine (I avoid normally avoid “fitness equipment” like the plague) since it is one thing I can do pretty much pain-free.

I think the trick to achieving any kind of goal is being willing to adapt along the way to what life throws at you. That’s the spirit of what I’m doing right now. Keeping my overall fitness up any way I can, and getting my body back down to a healthier racing weight (about 8 pounds under where I am right now).

Ironman CDA Training Camp

Just returned home from a 4 day Ironman CDA training camp with VO2 Multisport. As much as I like doing my training solo, it is really nice to get in with a group now and then.

I trained far harder and longer and “smarter” than I would have on my own. By smarter I mean that I was really adhering to a better routine of nutrition both during and before/after exercise. This is needed with long training days back to back.

I also paid better attention to pacing – more specifically – while biking, making sure to go easy on long hills and push the downhills instead of just coasting. This is a good strategy to conserve energy while maintaining overall speed during a long race.

I think groups can provide positive peer pressure in this way. I also learned a ton of tips and tricks from talking with the other 8 campers, some of whom have done many Ironman’s and some of whom are shooting for their first with Ironman CDA on June 26th, 2011. This will be my 3rd Ironman.

Looking forward to the race just a few months from now.

Get Back in the Groove

I have a tendency to go to extremes. I set clear and sometimes audacious goals, achieve them (at at least give it a good attempt) and then frequently fall off the bandwagon a bit as I succumb to what I call the “post-goal blues.” When I raced triathlons, I found this “disease” to be common amongst my racer friends.

We’d train hard all year for a big race, and then the day after – feel relieved that the event was over. No more worries about squeezing a workout in, dealing with soreness or dreading another track workout. A week later, we’d be enjoying our time off from training. A month later, we’d be scratching our heads while looking at our ever-growing bellies and wondering what the next big goal is gonna be – but feeling too unmotivated to actually come up with one. I experienced the “blues”big-time after my last Ironman – totally stopping any sort of training routine for over a year.

Time away from a purpose-driven and goal-driven life can be a good thing. It is like going on vacation and getting away from all the demands you might have at work or home. However, at some point, you need to get back in the groove and reconnect with those things that really motivate you long-term, even if those things might require a bit of work on your part (like getting in the gym, learning to speak that language, hitting the trails or writing that book you’ve been putting off, whatever it is!).

All athletes have an off-season, even folks like Lance Armstrong – 7-Time Tour de France champ – takes at least a month off at the end of each season, chowing down on burritos and drinking beer. Even in my place of work, our executives tend to check-out during the month of August, enjoying the summer time and relaxing while they can. The key, though, is not to let yourself take too much time off and fall off track.

I’ve written a lot about goal setting and vision boarding. One of the great things about vision boards is that they give you a visual reminder of what is important to you. They become super important at times when you feel yourself getting off track and taking things too easy. We all know the difference between taking a little break and just being lazy.

If you haven’t checked in on your new years resolutions (or as I like to call them, new years “intentions”) or looked at your goals sheet or vision board in a while. Now is the time. Take it out, dust it off and remind yourself what is important, and think about what you can do right now to make progress against those things that at one point were so incredibly important to you, and assuredly are now too.

(a 1-room cabin in the high in the Rocky Mountains, where I spent 5 days fasting and meditating in utter silence).

Better yet, if you have a chance to get away for a few days and check-in on your goals and new years intentions, that can be incredibly powerful. Find a cabin or a bed & breakfast that is away from the hustle of your current life, and just take time to reflect on what you achieved this year so far, and what you are looking forward to achieving during the rest of the year. Recommit to achieve those things that are most important to you. Get yourself back on track.