Weekly Update: The Story So Far

  • I finally purchased a bike.  2 weeks and $2,000+ later, I purchased a Scott CR-1 Team from Get A Grip Cycles.  I took the bike out for a few rides and had to get used to the clip pedals.  It takes pride to fall flat on my ass on Chicago Avenue in the middle of a busy street.   While it scared me initially and I stayed off the streets for awhile, I’ve learned to not fall, even though my courage to ride Chicago’s city streets on a bike isn’t up there yet.  Maybe I’ll get a steel frame bike for that.
  • I ran 57:08 at the Shamrock Shuffle 8k.  It was an unusually warm day compared to normal Chicago weather around March.  I had met up with my Chiropractor and received KTape on my left knee.  Also Pre-Race I got super stretched out by David Hardin and ran the race with no problems.  For a cold start and no training runs since last years Marathon, I felt fantastic and started looking forward to this years training season.
  • I nailed down the majority of my race schedule, which eliminated a few races and added others.  I have a full training plan up till my Rev3Tri Half-Ironman in September.  This is all thanks to Kimberly Shah at njoy Racing, whom I look forward to getting to know better as time goes on
  • I ran for redemption at the Race for Wrigley 5k.  Pulled out my best official 5k time to date at 31:26.   Even better? I capped my Heart Rate to 180 bpm and was able to sprint towards the finish.  Although my official time was about an hour because I started late, my runkeeper that day had me at about 41 minutes, which sounds about right.  I think I would have beat 27 minutes if I didn’t have to walk part of the race.   The race also seemed less staffed and very minimal camaraderie, but I digress.
  • Pulled an unofficial 35:10 the next week at the Sherryl Gaptka 5k in Lisle.  This was a new race and I wasn’t going for time, but I was able to yet again sprint at the end.  I had adjusted my run walk strategy to correspond with my heart rate.
  • My Triathlon Training Started (with nJoy) about three weeks ago, and while I’m trying to learn the ropes, I signed up with Chicago Endurance Sports half-ironman training.  This was so I have access to a coached swim, and I have options for workouts in case meetups with nJoy don’t work all that well.  That and Chicago Triathlon Club also has outings (I think mostly biking) as well.   The Triathlon Training has me working out 6 days a week.  Which is tougher than I thought.
  • Strength Training with David Hardin is the best decision I had ever made.  Not only does my body look fantastic after years of feeling ashamed, but it has improved all three sports as well.  I’m closer to the endurance-building phase with David, as the workouts are closer to not leaving me begging for mercy.  I puked for the first and hopefully only time in the Gym.  I’ve heard of this happening before, but experiencing it is quite different.
  • My first bike ride was fantastic. It was at Train Chicago Studios, found out that my Time Trial output is at 112 watts.  I was able to bike the entire time, only spinning for about a minute during the entire exercise, which shocked me.  I was also at 160 bpm as well after a stern warning from my coach.
  • My first swim however, was not so well.  I think that I have lost all memory of how to swim, because I distinctly remember being a fish, and finding excuses to be in the pool during the summers of my youth.  Heck, I remember diving to the bottom of the deep end of the pool to pick up weights, no problem.  However, all that has gone away and I can’t even move forward with a freestyle stroke.  So, this is the challenge before any of the other triathlons post Bigfoot.  At the Bigfoot Triathlon I can walk along the bottom so it’s not so bad, but I know that 70.3 will probably be in deeper water.

Getting Back to Work

So, this actually worked out better than I expected.

I finally got a chance to sit down with David Hardin, of www.dhfit.com.   Until my race report gets posted about the Chicago Marathon, you’ll have to do with this short story.

I met Dave as part of Imerman Active last year, and at the time, we only discussed business, and not what he actually did.  And in usual fashion, I did not follow up with him.

However, sometime after the Chicago Half Marathon, and the Newton 20-Miler, I had messed up my hamstring behind my left knee.   I had to walk the last 4 to 5 miles or so with only an icepack and some pain killers.   From all accounts, both online and through a last minute physical therapist that I had seen, I had just a minor sprain, and was given a book and some exercises to do.

However, on the day before the Marathon, at the expo, I was still feeling some residual pain from that area, and was kind of bummed that I would be running pretty much injured.  I was also severely tight in my hip flexors, which I didn’t even know that I was tight in.  However, I got a very quick stretch from Dave, on the expo floor no less, and I felt FANTASTIC afterwards.  He also made some observations and last minute tips which also helped, and I felt fantastic during the first half of my Marathon.

So, I kept him in the back of my mind, and finally got a chance to meet with him for an assessment.  During of which, I tested for a few things

  • Flexibility – Turns out that I’m fine in this regard.   My legs went 90 degrees, I can touch my hands behind my back, and I can reach my toes sitting down, no problem.   Mind you, I’ve experienced other people that can reach farther than I can, so I always thought I was a newbie in that regard.
  • Balance – Same, which is again surprising.  I thought I would be off-balance due to the curvature in my spine that’s going to take forever in a day to fix.  I’ve also had orthotics in my shoes for the past year or so, might be a testament to that effect.
  • Push-up Test – Only got to 16 before I had to give in.   I think I did 10 for a test last year, and CrossFit KILLED me on workouts that had that part in.  Dave wants me to get to 100 pushups (what??)
  • Squat Test – I don’t know how many squats I did, but from what I retained from explanations, I just have to work on my form, which shouldn’t be much of an issue.  I got a bit of correction in my Crossfit training.  Dave wants me to get to 200 squats (what?? I could only get to so many without weight!)

So afterwards, I did some additional ‘warm-up’ exercises, one of which exposed my main issue, which seems to be hips and glutes.  This makes sense, considering that I sit at my computer most of the day.  Most of the other topics we discussed were music to my ears, because I had read about them in The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferris, and wanted to implement.

On top of this, I found out that he’s a sprint coach, and more than likely will be taking over for speed training with my other coach, Kimberly Shah, who I’m consulting for Distance.  I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

In the meantime, gotta whip myself into shape, somewhat fast.  I’ve got less than two months for the ING Miami Marathon, and somehow I got to get a 20 mile run in before the event starts.  Although, I’m thinking of just switching to the Half Marathon, and just focusing on PR’ing that race.