Monday, February 27, 2012

Oops I did it again

I have a confession to make. After a late night home improvement pow-wow with my buddies Adam and Matt, I broke a 90-day streak of no fast food and succumbed to the deliciousness that is Taco Bell.  In my defense, it was a perfect storm, including a day of working out, manual labor, no food in the house, TB being on my way home and a sleeping wife. In an ideal situation, however, I might not have hidden the wrappers and then downplayed my gastrointestinal distress the following day. I'm a grown man, who was I hiding it from? (Betsy saw the charge on the debit card anyway #foiled).

Aside from this single setback, I have experienced mixed results in this monumental pursuit which has included countless other issues that were slightly less my fault. 

The first to report is a big achievement. Over the past few years, I had been systematically cutting the legs and then retiring all of my underwear as my thighs grew unmanageable by common textiles, and had substituted them with knit boxers. As I resisted laundry last week, I found that my old underoos, albeit slitted, are once again comfortable to wear. This may be attributed to my new, 166 lb mass, which is nearing the 20 lb loss mark.
With my weight-loss progressing on track, it was about time that I hone all of this man into something that can actually go fast. With Triathlon as my goal, I bid farewell to all of my tri buddies as they departed for Tucson to train and saddled up to my trainer for some late-night training binges.  The best part about rising the trainer while it snows outside is that Betsy usually sleeps in a bed next to me for encouragement.
Biking consistency has been a challenge with adverse outdoor riding. After a few weeks of falling short, I can report that I am now on top of my bike training goal of 7-9 hours a week and my booty have been sufficiently hardened to the cause. With a subtle base, I am ready to work on my 20K TT fitness which includes a lot of time at half-ironman pace and sets of 3 minute intervals somewhere called zone 4. I have rarely been to Zone 4 before, so I just define it as "painful and uncontrollably sweaty."

My favorite bike workout is actually led by crappy internet provider BridgeMaxx and Netflix. I just   ride towards sweatytown whenever the movie is interrupted to reload. I've passed out once during this specific interval session. 

Running, on the other foot, has progressed a little too well for this guy. Unfortunately, most 170 lb runners find the muscular fitness that they are seeking before their joints, bones and connective tissues are ready for the challenge. With the IT pain and PMTSS(shin splints), enter another of my custom solutions.
My homemade foam roller has served me well and I have been able to maintain some consistency in weekly mileage, though have not yet mastered the restraint needed to keep myself under control for the long runs.

My swimming has gone as well as my twice-a-week plan allows, with some quick timed efforts showing above average fitness for me at this time of year. (Fat does help you float and reduce resistance).  I have been off for a week now due to the shingles virus which is only slightly related to my first time home buyer attempts. My understanding is that this single-sided (left) disease is caused by my compromised immune system and is expressed by rash and nerve pain. It feels something like someone taking a blowtorch to my side and I'm hoping that this expensive herpes antiviral makes it go away fast. 



Tuesday, February 7, 2012

One of these things is not like the others

And a big welcome back to myself, about whom I will now talk briefly, before I get to the more intriguing people with whom I associate.

First, things are really going well for me. MyFitnessPal has been dropped by the wayside due to the smashing success of my workout routine. When you have days like this:

 -diet sorta becomes a moot point. From my start at 182 lbs I have fallen impressively, dropping 3.5 inches from my waist, which means that the tight, sexy pants have returned. This marks a bonus with the lady as well, who I never see because I'm working out all of the time (thusly, a net loss).

Check out this picture taken while I was naked.

The iphone must weigh like 2 lbs, so I'm saying that I lost 13 lbs. As of late, I've been running about Missoula minus one custom bowling ball which I purchased for $1.00.

Honestly, last week marked the first time in about a decade that I craved a workout in every moment of down time. My work schedule and workout binges have occurred perfectly in rhythm so as to create a Bobo Anderson-esque period of hammering and recovery of four days on/three days off, which seems against the recommendation of nearly all worthwhile coaches.

That last reference lends nearly perfect transition to the actual point of this blog post, which is to highlight the shimmering quality of athletes living in Missoula, also lending context to my mission.  Bobo Anderson was a former pro who moved to Msla from the "bayou" in 2002 and lived here for a few seasons of his fictional pro career.

FACT: Missoula, per capita, produces more pro triathletes than any other city in the world with which I am familiar. I believe that Boulder, Colo.has similar mecca status, but when factoring a 300,000 population value vs. the 107,000 here, Missoula wins hands down.  An important note is that Missoula, by comparison, actually produces its own pro triathletes, while the competition merely attracts one of those hornet traps.

Following will be a highlight of several, yet not all, Missoula-bred pro triathletes and how I know them intimately enough to name-drop whenever I feel insecure. 

So the first one is a biggie. Not the biggest, granted, but a wad-o-props to the ol' Miss-oo-la. That would be the dude on the far right of this picture taken following UM's second national title in 2006. He's just Ben Hoffman, who is regarded as one of the top US male pros at the Ironman and 70.3 distance at present.
Ben was only one of many stars to come out of the UM program betwixt 2001 and 2007.  My count is eight athletes earning pro cards from that era. 

This next dude, Adams "Cupcake" Jensen, is the current hot item on the local scene. His victory last year at Grizzly far eclipsed multiple top-10 Ironman finishes in the last five years.

Here is a photo of me pretending to shave my legs in Adam's new bathroom, which I helped him to build for dozens of minutes this winter.   

So this here is the big kahuna. She's my personal friend, also the fastest American lady of all time at the Ironman distance, gracing the podium last season at IM 70.3 Worlds with a killer bike split that was likely a result of the ride pictured at left.

In this photo, I'm just drafting her with my huge self and probably bleeding out of my eyes. Lets just call her MooSox and say that she's truly "Montana Made."

The love kitty above is another great friend and one of my bestest sources of competition. With 70.3 swim victories under her belt from 2011, Jen Luebke is most inspirational in her transformation from a crybaby to a legit female Pro.

Who dat? I'm not sure that I know him, but he looks fast. Matty Ice, as I remember, has brought some serious talent to the scene since I fed his bonkified booty a banana to get him through his first ride with the team circa 2004. I remember describing it as a "man fruit" to sweeten the deal. 

Huckleberry Halpin, pictured below, has been a testament to the principle of persistence and has been doing work around the 'zoo since 2003. His 6th place at Ironman Wisconsin this year marked one of my finest days of cheering.

Pictured below (I think) is my H.M. and a photo of what may come to be Missoula's next Pro athlete. Photographed in-action at my bachelor party is my decade-long best friend Elliot J Bassett. This dude would have been there long ago if not for getting so swole around 2007. With the right amount of confidence in 2012, this founder of Mountain Endurance Coaching should pull down a pro card to match all of his cherry-picked race wins.

So all these bitches have and will continue to tenderize this grade-D meat into the glory of hippodom in my 30th year. If this decade is anything like the last, Missoula will be the right place to be for the up-and-coming.

Special shout-outs go to Matt Seeley, Todd Struckman, Michael Gordon and Brandon Fuller, who are all too old to know about the internets.