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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

4 steps forward 1 step back

Because that 5th step forward might just break me. It’s a recovery week. I’m finding the necessary energy to put a few thoughts together and write them down. Actually, it’s more like I’m finding the time to write down something, but I not sure what yet. Okay, that’s rambling. Maybe I’ll just interview myself:

Me: So how are you feeling physically these days?

Myself: Pretty good. I have a few aches and pains but nothing too concerning. I’m a little worn down from training but some active recovery will have me feeling all fresh again soon. I have a massage scheduled after this interview which I’m looking forward to.

Me: How’s training for the ironman coming along?

Myself: Very good. I just finished up a four week training block that was big on bike and run volume (for me). The weeks were 14 hrs, 13.5 hrs and two 15.5 hour weeks. During that block I completed an 18 mile run (my longest to date) in good form and two 100 mile rides with loads of climbing in under 5 hrs. There were also several long bricks and one session which contained a 75 / 9 mile double brick. My swimming is coming along quite well also. I feel like I may be at a peak for the season with my swim. I had a very good session on Monday where I saw a few weeks worth of concerted work on a certain element of my stroke come to fruition.

Me: What’s next for you in terms of races?

Myself: I have a sprint distance race this weekend in Greenville, SC which is the complete antithesis of all my training lately. I’m not sure I even remember how to go as fast as is necessary to do well at that distance. I’m treating it as a “training day” and going out there to have fun and reconnect with friends. My wife was asked to say the prayer for the race which is a great honor in my opinion. The founder and head of the FCA Endurance ministry (of which I am a part), Chris Anderson, is coming down to meet with us and see the race. He was recently interviewed on Endurance Planet which is a good listen if you haven’t heard it already.

There’s another race in 3 weeks in Hartsville that I may or may not do, and then there’s the half ironman in late September, Hickory Knob in mid October and then the ironman on November 1. That’s a lot of racing. I seriously doubt I’ll race this many next year. I’ll focus on either the SC Series, qualifying for Kona, or qualifying for 70.3 championships in Clearwater. This year has been a little crazy with trying to win my division in the SC Series and preparing for my first ironman.

Me: How do you feel about your results so far this season?

Myself: I pleased with the way things have turned out so far this year. The season got off to a bit of a rough start at Langley where I only placed fourth in my division / 19th overall. For some reason there was a lot of strong talent from outside the area (and country) that showed up. I think it was a bit of a shock and wakeup call to all the series regulars.

Since then I’ve raced four other times and been on the podium each time. I can’t complain about that. I hope I’ve done enough work in the first half of the season to secure the first place spot in my division through the remaining races. As I stated earlier, I’m not in top short course form at the moment. The last speed work I did was at my last race which was a Sprint distance race a month ago.

Me: How’s the family?

Myself: Great. The kids keep us busy of course. Caleb is getting ready to start back school next week. He’ll be a first grader and is looking forward to reconnecting with his friends. Abby is getting ready to turn 4 years old next month. With her birthday being in late September, she’ll be home with mommy for the next two years. She’s a big time Momma’s girl so I'm sure she won’t mind. Don’t get me wrong, she loves her daddy, but she’s like a mini-Jennifer. Many times she’ll actually echo what Jennifer says as Jennifer is talking to other people. Not the whole sentence, just the main point. It’s funny. Hannah is the baby who doesn’t want to be “the baby” anymore. This creates a bit of a challenge because she’s not yet totally potty trained (I’d say 20%) but insists on wearing big girl underpants just like her sister. She thinks she should be doing everything that her sister gets to do and gets very upset when she can’t. It’s kind of funny because occasionally she gets so mad at you that she’ll stick out her tongue and call you a “baby-head”. In her mind there’s nothing worse than being a baby.

Me: How’s work going?

Myself: Work is work. In some ways I very much dislike “corporate America”. I get tired of soft guys talking “office politics” (talking about other people) in hushed tones throughout cube-dom. On the other hand, I’m also thankful for my job and for the fact that my wife doesn’t have to work. I don’t know how families with two working parents do it. I have a lot of respect for them. Jennifer does work a week every six months for her friend at a semi-annual consignment sale. That one week is enough for both of us to appreciate how blessed we truly are. Actually, Jennifer is now gainfully employed as a fitness instructor at her gym for two boot-camp sessions per week. She was attending the classes and was later asked and accepted the position of instructor. It works great because she can get her workout in and make a little extra cash. Her gym provides childcare so the girls go with her.

Me: Now let me get slow-twitchy on you. Describe a typical hard training week.

Myself: I’m just learning what a true “hard” week is for me so they are not too typical. Here’s my basic week which I adjust up or down in terms of duration per session to reach my desired volume: 5 to 6 bike sessions with one being a brick and/or long ride, 4 swim sessions and 4 run sessions with one being a brick or transition run. I typically have 2 sessions per day, sometimes 3, and occasionally only 1. I have a rest day every week.

Me: How do you spend your off season?

Myself: Freezing my butt off in my garage at 5:00 am riding the trainer. Fun huh?

Me: So how are things going for you in terms of sponsorship?

Myself: Great. I’m still with Harrell’s Bicycle World and glean as much information from Paul as I can. I have to say that he (Paul Harrell) is an awesome bike fitter. I’m so comfortable and fast on my Scott Plasma tri bike and Scott CR1 road bike. I'm looking for additional athletes to bring to the team. I’d love to see us compete with the quite large Cycle Center and TYB teams in the coming seasons. I’m also still very much involved with team FCA-E as I mentioned earlier.

Me: What about music? What do you listen to most often?

Myself: I have a variety of songs on my iPod. A mix of early 80s punk, late 80s and 90s grungy stuff, some progressive Christian punkish bands, some rap, reggae (especially Dub). I also listen to a lot of podcasts related to the sport.

Me: What’s the last book you read?

Myself: Last night I read some book about a bunny who found and egg and tried to open it, and then fell asleep at which time the egg hatched. The Chick woke up the bunny and they became friends. Great book, I highly recommend it for your two year old.

Me: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Myself: Enjoying my family and racing triathlons. Same as today, only I’ll be faster at 38 than I am at 33.

Me: Is there anything else we should know about you?

Myself: Sure. I’m not a native South Carolinian. I was born in Savannah, GA and spent my childhood there or on Hilton Head Island. This is as far as I have ever lived from the coast. Salt water runs through my veins.


Kevin said...

Great post. Good to heear things are going well for you. I am really looking forward to the SC 1/2.

Mendy said...

I 2nd that. Great post! Like the interview a lot. You're doing so well this season, no worries about G'ville. We'll see you this weekend!

Tri*22 said...

Great interview! Sounds like you are having an awesome year. Good luck and hope you have lots of fun this weekend with the sprint :)

Eric said...

Nice interview there Nick! I feel as if I've known you for years now.