Friday, October 29, 2010

Leaner & Stronger, With 3 Weeks To Go Until Ironman Arizona

On the road again... Today, I'm on my way back to Florida from New Jersey after giving a talk to the Young President’s Organization. My training has been going well for the past few weeks - when I'm able to train. My travel schedule is really making it difficult. I’ve missed quite a few workouts in the past two weeks, but when I do work out I feel good. This weekend, I plan on having a long run, a long swim and a long bike to give me a better idea as to where I am in training. My swimming is my weakest area, and the first part of the event. The weather, lately, has prevented me from swimming in the ocean, so I’d like to try more open water swimming to see what it feels like.

Physically, I’m getting strong and dropping weight. I’ve lost over 20 lbs – I haven’t worn 34 jeans in quite a while! My weight is just under 200 lbs, and my fat is about 22% whereas before it was in the high 20s. I’m looking to peak in my training this week, then I’ll taper and take it easy in a rest phase for the last 10 days before the triathlon.

My nutrition is great; I’ve liberalized my diet to include healthy carbs like whole wheat pasta and bread, couscous, brown rice, and sweet potatoes when I need them, because I need the fuel for my recovery. I try to find healthy alternatives rather than skip meals when traveling, and I need more calories than what salad offers. So sometimes I grab a turkey panini or sandwich. I try to eat every 2 or 3 hours, which isn't always possible with job challenges like patients and conference calls.

The lifestyle you lead can really make it tough to stick to training, but the goal is to do the best you can. My girlfriend, France, is really supportive on tough mornings. She says, “Get out of bed, you have a job to do!” In the 80s, there were days I didn’t feel like training and I had no one there to support me. Franz has been there to support me nutritionally, and every other way, when I want to give in to the demons. It’s been fun to have someone make a joke of it while still being supportive.

I’m a little more empathetic to people who can't complete the Ironman, but do the best they can. It’s a lifestyle, not an event. I’ll go to Arizona with an open mind and do the best I can... It’s just the beginning of my journey back to Hawaii. I’ve had dreams about Ironman, Hawaii. I watched the event a few days ago on TV and remembered every turn and every hill. When I watched it, I had tremendous recall for what happened every step of the way, and what my thoughts were.

I’m definitely feeling like a triathlete again.

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