Monday, July 21, 2008

Clearwater Bound!!!

Paul Cantin – VMS Client #1 scores…



If I were betting and not knowing the athlete, I would have said there is no way that you could race 2 Half IM’s in 7 days and have them both be GREAT performances. Maybe if they were both flat or “easy” courses but to back up Rhode Island 70.3 with a Vineman 70.3 in 7 days is a strong week!!!

Good news is…I know the athlete and I don’t bet against him!!!

Paul swam a PR 37:51, Biked a 2:50 (?) and ran a BLAZING 1:32 for a 5:07.

The best part – VMS rules are in effect – we own the chute!!!

Paul was chasing a guy who was in his AG and went by him in sight of the finish and the guy could not answer…Paul beat him by 9.7 seconds to take the last Clearwater slot – KIA KAHA!!!


Scoreboard – OC – scoreboard VMS – HTFU award winner!!!

The results from the local Jax Tri Series are not posted yet but props to JC, Vann and Lyndon for dominating the dojo…great job guys.

Coming up next week – xTerra Hanna Park…I smell patchouli or is that new bike :)


“Well Peter, it looks like you have missing a lot of work lately?”

“Actually, Bob, I wouldn’t say I have been….missing it.”

Last week was a recovery week and man did I need it.

I am finally getting caught up on things I need to do and things that I want to do (this blog) and even mixed in a trip last week to the best city on the west coast of the US…err…almost US.

Vancouver is INCREDIBLE!!!

The entire scene is just amazing – mountains, water, running trails that are within 1K of downtown where you would assume you are 100K from civilization…great food and it is light for like 18 hours.


I ran and then walked along the path at Stanley Park and can up to English Bay and there was a crowd of maybe 1000 people all sitting on the beach at 9:00pm.


I assumed it was concert or something – nope – just a nice night with good weather and everyone was outside. OH – and for the tri – geeks…they have a 137M pool…yes…next time I am hitting that. 12 laps gets you a mile.


So – why was looking forward to this week so much…I needed it…physically…mentally.

The older I get and the more distance and intensity I try to endure, the more my body tries to remind me that I am not 12 anymore.

Half floating in a 1’ deep tide pool at the end of my street last Sunday, I made an awesome sand castle with Coen we called Butt Island (picture a big pile of sand – really big and a giant butt print at the top). I am not sure if it was the run (18.5 miles) or a cumulative effect of a BIG week but I was really happy to enjoy the semi weightless play ground. We really did a floating attack on Butt Island and Isla Bone as we “swam” around in the tide pools…he loved it – I just glad it I was not weight bearing – I could have stayed there all day.

I spent the day recovering (yes I was actually wearing my Recover Gear shorts under by surf shorts) and playing…allowing my legs to heal. I was also getting myself back to sense of balance that IM training can really effect.

Over the last few years I have realized that my body needs a break to allow itself to heal but more than anything – my mind wants a break to tell me that I am done – at least for now.

Teloanticipation is a term I read that I think explains a lot of what I am talking about.

(This is not my concept – this is a just my 2 cents, 3 lira, 1 Euro on what I think of it)

The concept is simple…when we begin an activity we have a built in pacing system that allows us to meter our effort so that we will finish and stay alive.

No, really, in breathing.

This system is constantly assessing the speed, temperature, nutrition, electrolytes, hydration, distance traveled, distance remaining and metering out the pacing as only it can forcing the body to stay within itself.

One of best examples for me is the one used in Mark Fitzgerald’s book – Brain Training for Runners. The 4 minute mile was thought to be a physical impossibility and then it was cracked. Shortly after…a number of runners cracked it…what was different…they now knew it was possible so their brain allowed them to do it.

A classic story from my Army days was a training run for the US Army Rangers. They would do a 6 mile run at a fast pace every morning all week. The run would start and stop at the barracks. The students were only allowed to drop out of maybe 1 run or they were kicked out.

At the end of the week, the instructors would start the run as usual and when they went by the barracks, they would say…”one more loop” and keep the formation running. The attrition was supposed to be incredible…people would drop like flies...they would only run the formation for maybe ½ mile past the barracks but those who dropped would – they were dropped.


Just for the record – I was NOT a Ranger – I was a pilot and we had a similar “hazing” practice but it had to do with Tequilla shots and lap dances…but I always wished I was a Ranger :)

Other examples have been played out in images around the globe as the most famous of finish line scenes…

It always amazes me to see someone cross the line with great speed and then completely collapse…the equation was solved…perfectly.

A few months ago, Curtis and the shaved leg tough guys went up to Georgia looking for a sole to steal…he was in a bind…cause he was way behind…and was looking to make a deal…

Wait…that’s not it…

They were up in Georgia for Speed Week and that is one of the toughest bike races in the States. The guys they were racing are good – not like – I have a day job and I am a good cyclist…but instead…this is what they do for a living…this is how I pay my bills good…


Anyway – the Lindner guys raced hard and by the end of the week – they were finishing with the field and even higher. The pace didn’t slow over the week…the competition didn’t get any weaker…the guys just developed a new threshold for pain tolerance which allowed them to push through and stay on the group.

To quote Curtis – “I thought I knew how it felt to suffer and hurt – I got a WHOLE new level”

Sure, cycling is about power and weight and equipment…(Buy a Trek or Cervelo – this subliminal message brought to you by the fine folks at American Bicycle Company – 904-246-4433) but more often it is about the guy who is willing to turn himself inside out that wins the race.

Listen to Phil Liggett – “He's wearing the mask of pain”

It is about suffering.


Someone once said that, in cycling, ever ounce of your body is crying out for you to stop.

Every nerve and muscle is begging you to quit.

It is the mind of a champion that silences those calls and presses on to victory.


Is it mind over matter?

Maybe…does any of this matter...maybe...maybe not...

A recent theory in racing and training is that there is a “central” authority which controls all of the performance of the body – the brain. It’s goal is to keep the body alive. Therefore, it produces or triggers physiological adaptations to limit our performance and keep us alive.

On the other hand, that same “central” authority has the ability to enhance our performance. There was a great story a few weeks ago about a guy who bench pressed a slab off of his body that weighed 1 ton. It is theorized that in a single instant, the brain, sensing that it was about to die, fired all of his muscles at once at full force enabling him to live. The result – he bench pressed close to a ton and lived.

No Hercules – I will not spot you try to bench the slab…


Back to reality -

Our Central authority guides us in a micro sense and also on a macro sense...

Ironman training for most of us is a 3 or 4 month adaption that over the course of the training increases the bodies physical capacity to tolerate training and builds the mental capacity to press through.

Macro phase (ok - mini-macro), during this training we focus on the 3 week or 2 week building blocks knowing that at the end of that is a week that we can rest.

In a micro sense with individual workouts we learn by overreaching a little in pace or power or duration and showing the “boss” we are still breathing that it is possible.

I have always said I love to train with people that are faster than me – as the harder they press, the more we find the edge. (Yes Tony – I know – you told me this a year ago – I is slow :)

The results of all this…

We recalibrate the thresholds, our expectations, our tolerance for pain.

We achieve higher, better, faster results and with mental recovery…the balance to do it again.

I like this theory…it may be debunked like Steak and raw eggs of the 60’s…but for me…right now…it makes sense.

So – a recovery week behind me, 3 hard weeks to go…I can again look at the 21 hours ahead of me this week and think…”did you take my stapler?” :)


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