Patagonia Training & 5 weeks in

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Five weeks ago, Fiona and I arrived back in Sahuarita, Arizona from a 3 week holiday binge fest eating and drinking anything we wanted. I hit the scales at 197 pounds and felt terribly unfit, unhealthy, and just yuck. My stomach was fat, unpleasing, and I was ready to start a new season.

We immediately got back to training running 1 hour and cycling 2 hours the day after on Sunday. I built a 6 month training plan based around our 3 – 70.3 Events and Half Marathon. The phases were built around the races spread out through the first half of 2018. I start building a base, incorporating quality work, and then getting race specific. Strength 3x/week but am only managing one easy one on Mondays, Swim up to 5x/week, Run up to 7x/week, and Bike up to 6x/week. I have woken up at 5AM multiple times only to go back to bed; I just don’t have the discipline for this yet. So I get home at 4:30 and do a double workout eating dinner around 7-8 and getting 8hours of sleep per night.

Nutrition wise the goal is to really cut back and be vegan again but we haven’t had the discipline. For home we do not buy: meat, fish, eggs, breast-milk, butter, cheese.  But we’re not perfect. Today I had 2 hot dogs at a free RV event. So we’ve cut back and are eating quite well but we’re not 100% there yet. This methodology is a bit more tolerable and adaptable rather than giving ourselves finite rules.

Combined with the healthier eating I weighed in after this mornings swim at 184lbs, down 13 pounds in 5 weeks (lots of water weight). I’m also feeling stronger and better but my stomach still feels fat and heavy. I still have a ways to go.

So I built my 6 month schedule and haven’t transferred anything to my 10years of data excel file. I’ve only been using my TrainingPeaks account and tracking that everyday. I’ve been getting more motivation from this by seeing my fitness increase and my bike/run peaks increasing.

This morning we did a 3.5KM swim (300m w/u, 3x1KM of 1K fins, 1K pull, 1K pull/paddles, 200m kick). We went into Tucson to the RV place, Costco, hit up the RV, and then came down to Patagonia with Mom who is in from Stawell, Victoria, Australia. Upon arrival we did a 1hour 6.2mile trial run past cattle and through the bush and through rivers. The trail system was awful which is why we were so slow but I had fun running through the river. So far I’m at 11hr22min for the week. I should hit close to 16 hours by tomorrow PM. My Fitness level is increasing and is nearly back to the IMAZ level after our holiday. Over the last 7 days I have 15hours of training in. I’m averaging about 30miles of running per week over the last 6 weeks. Overall, I’ve been getting back into good habits of consistent training and incorporating some quality work. My endurance is building although only probably at about 30% and my legs are tired, sore, and feel a bit weak; but, I have had some good moments.

Yesterday I had a great ride. 1hr45min starting after work around 4pm. I headed north towards the Tucson Airport hitting a 20min piece at 296 watts. 4min later I went into another 20min piece at 298 watts. After 7 min recover I  had a 4min STRAVA effort at 320watts getting the KOM. 5min recovery and then a 14:10min piece at 302 watts and another KOM smashing my PR by 2:47min. I’m 1min15sec up on the next place person of 72 athletes. And I held 28.2MPH; it was fun. I ran a slow 4miles off the bike.

Next week is our first race of the season; the Saints and Sinners Half Marathon at Lake Meade outside of Las Vegas. It’s a unique course with some trails running through tunnels that were used for building the Hoover Dam. I’m not sure what to expect and will not really be cutting back my mileage. I will move my quality bike rides from Wed/Fri to Tue/Thur so that we can drive the 6 hours to Vegas on Friday. We’ll use the Normatec’s that night which should go a long way.

I’ve been a big source of inspiration for many family and friends. Most recently is my mom who is calling me Coach. At 60 years of age she’s finding her way into this lifestyle of endurance/multi-sport and it will be interesting to see where it leads her. While lots of the technical side I write about will only resonate with a few; it’s what I like. After all, I am an analyst for a living. But my life is friggen awesome. As a husband/wife duo, we train, eat well, and travel the world in search of adventure. The sun is brighter over here and not just because it was 80F when half the country was buried in snow and the freeze. It’s brighter because we are following our passions. When Jesus asked his disciples to follow him, he didn’t specify what would be required. Similarly, you do not need to know the specifics. All you need to do is decide on the path and then Swim, Bike, and Run. That’s all you need to do. Being physical and living a healthy lifestyle is not rocket-science. It is commonsense. Simply decide. And just do it damn it!

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