A blog for (semi) athletic middle-aged men (and women) holding on to (the last vestiges of) their youth
by training for and competing in running, cycling, swimming and triathlon events!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pulling the Trigger

Decisions, decisions...next Saturday night the route for Ride the Rockies 2011 will be announced. Its a big deal in Colorado and with cyclists around the country who look forward to the annual week-long tour of the Colorado Rockies. I did RTR five years in a row from 2005-2009. Then last year I missed the deadline to enter the lottery by minutes...or seconds (I was signed in and entering my info as the deadline passed).

The 2011 Ride the Rockies is June 11-17. That same weekend, on Saturday, June 11, is an event I've wanted to do for the past two years, the Boise Ironman 70.3 triathlon. The Idaho Beef Council is one of the event sponsors and I have the opportunity to compete in the event as a member of Team BEEF Idaho.

Decisions, decisions...sometimes its better to just make them. Last year I waffled on RTR and missed the deadline. Even if you make the deadline you aren't ensured a spot. RTR is a lottery. You don't even find out if you're in until March. Boise Ironman 70.3 will fill up at some point. Its just a matter of when.

So today I decided to pull the trigger and register for Ironman Boise. Its done. I'm in! This will be my third Ironman 70.3 distance triathlon. My goal is to break six hours. My personal record at this distance is 6:06:18 set last August at Boulder 70.3 (at left).

Boise is an unusual 70.3 event, with a 2:00 p.m. start time. I'm usually finishing around 2:00. But apparently they have a great party at the finish line in Downtown Boise (I should finish around 8:00). Sounds good in theory but I just a blog by Mediocre Athlete that said the weather on the night of the 2009 race was "apocalyptically bad." He didn't like the 2:00 p.m. start and I'm not sure I wll, either. I typically train in the morning.

This will also be the earliest in the "season" that I have taken on such a big goal. Vineman 70.3 in 2007 was in July. Boulder 70.3 in 2010 was in August. Boise is in June. Can I get ready in time?

Regardless, I pulled the trigger and paid the entry fee, so don't have much choice. Time to get serious about training!

Ride on!


Saturday, January 15, 2011

What Motivates You?

How's that New Year's resolution holding up? If human nature holds true to form, two weeks into the New Year many people are already starting to lose their resolve to lose weight and get in shape. According to the commercials running over and over on ESPNU today, all you need is a shot of 5-Hour Energy or an iRenew energy bracelet (order today for only $19.99 and get a BONUS bracelet for FREE!) in order to "live life to its fullest." I'm not buyin' it.

The year I turned 30 I lost 70 pounds. My motivation was the birth of my second daughter. I wanted to be around to see both of them grow up. I've kept the weight off for more than fifteen years now and at age 46 am in much better shape than I was at 30. I am living life to the fullest!

What is the secret to long term success? It's certainly not some caffeine-laced energy drink or magic bracelet. The secret to my long term success has been setting goals, big goals, scary goals. Goals like riding my bike to the top of the highest paved road in North America (Mt. Evans Highway), tackling my first triathlon (and nearly drowning), and then completing my first Ironman 70.3 triathlon. Big, scary goals are what motivate me to get up in the morning and swim, bike or run.

That's me on the left at 270 lbs. in December 1985 and on the right at the summit of Mt. Evans (14,240 ft.) in August 2009. 

My big, scary goals for 2011 include two new challenges: a two-man 24-hour mountain bike race with my riding buddy Troy and running my first full marathon (feet willing). I also want to finish my third Ironman 70.3 triathlon (1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1 run) in under six hours (my PR is 6:06:18).

That should be plenty of motivation to keep me moving! But none of these goals become real until I actually sign up for the races. There's no better motivation than registering and paying the entry fee!

I'd be remiss if I failed to mention that in order to move you have to fuel your body. My fuel of choice is nutrient rich BEEF, which provides protein to build muscle, B vitamins for energy, iron to carry oxygen to your vital organs and muscles and other nutrients essential for an active lifestyle.

What motivates you? What goals have you set for 2011? Please post a comment and share your tips for staying motivated and actually keeping your resolution to BEEFit in 2011.

Ride on!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Resolve to BEEFit in 2011

According to a poll by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, a majority of Americans (56%) will not make New Year's resolutions this year. I'm one of those people. I'm just not big on once-a-year promises that will likely be broken before the end of January. But of those who do make resolutions, I think the goals are good ones: to quit smoking (17%), lose weight (16%), spend less and save more (13%), be a better person (10%) and exercise more (8%).

Losing weight and exercising more are perennial favorites. Last year, weight loss topped the list of resolutions with 19% and exercising more was third at 10%. As I was playing Wii Fit with my wife and daughters over the holidays I had an idea. Instead of making a resolution to lose weight and exercise more, how about resolving to BEEFit?

Here's the BEEFit plan: Eat at least 3 oz. of BEEF and get at least 30 minutes of heart-pumping exercise daily.

One 3 oz. serving of beef provides about 50% of the protein you need every day, plus essential nutrients your body needs to be physically active like zinc (33%), iron (12%), and vitamins B12 (37%) and B6 (20%). Pair beef with fresh vegetables (I love to grill asparagus and red/yellow peppers alongside a steak) and you have a nutrient-rich meal to fuel your body for your next workout.

Habits, good and bad, are forming. Try it for a week...then another...and then another. Research shows it can take between 18 and 254 days for a behavior to become "automatic" -- an average of 66 days. But some habits are easier to form than others. Eating beef every day, for example, should be pretty easy. Exercising 30 mins every day may take a little longer :)

But try it, you'll like it. And before you know it you'll find yourself craving good food and a good workout. And share your goals and success stories with me here.

Next week: Setting goals...my tips for finding motivation to get up and move!

Ride on!