Not a whole heck of a lot. Life it pretty basic right now. I’m always busy being daddy which is my number one job. My son Caleb has really matured this summer and I’m very proud of him. He’s gotten past the stage in a kid’s life where they are only capable of thinking about their own needs. Now he’s become a big help to his mommy and sisters. Don’t get me wrong, he still “practices” his karate on anyone and everyone around, including his two year old sister, but he is also making sacrifices of himself to help his sisters through trying situations.
Work is work. We’re finally ready to release our new smart-client enrollment platform to the field which is a huge milestone. We've been working into the night some lately and it was getting old in a big way. I was recently invited to sit in on a focus group to of users who were introduced to the new platform and then asked to perform various enrollments with little or no training, which was interesting. It’s great to see all your hard work received in a positive manner.
Training has been going well, although I get a little bit nervous at times about putting in all the Zone 2 work and not doing ANY speed. Well, I sneak a little on the bike here and there. I was able to do a little crit style racing around the 24 Hours of Booty loop on Saturday in Charlotte which felt great. I searched and searched for someone, anyone, who was riding strong enough on the bike to make me push myself into anaerobic bliss. I found a group of 3 riders that I rode with for one lap (3 miles) but then they all exploded when we reach the one and only climb and I never saw them again. So it didn’t take me long to get bored of the same scenery on the loop so I dropped off my bike, did an quick transition, and started running the loop backwards so I could see the scenery from a different angle.
Other than that it’s been all Zone 2 work, except for swimming of course. I’ve actually come to enjoy the long slow runs. I think it’s because I’m a very rhythmic person. In cycling, the rhythm of my cadence, the crank turning and the sound of the chain moving across the cassette is what I focus on when I get in a hard spot. If I zone into the rhythm of the movement and sound I find that I can forget my suffering and usually produce more power or at least hold on until it gets better. I also use this type of technique in open water swims and long straight swim sets in the pool that I do often. I just zone into the rhythm of my stroke and block out any pain, impatience, or whatever, and begin to exploit the rhythm of the stroke to move through the water more efficiently. The feeling that I’ve been having on these long runs is this same sensation. I wasn’t used to this in my run training for short course racing. It was pretty much hard running all the time. Before recently I would never allow myself to run slower than an 8:00 minute pace. My "easy" runs were always 7:30 - 7:45. I’ve actually had to swallow some pride to allow myself to run slower so that I can run longer. Now my easy runs are close to 9:00 minute miles and I’m okay with that. Did I just say that? Yes, and I actually allowed someone to pass me in the Riverfront trail a few weeks ago. Big milestone. Maybe, like Caleb, I’ve matured as a runner. Let's just hope this little experiment in going long makes me faster ;-)