Thursday, August 18, 2011

"Training Camp"

With my sites set on Las Vegas, my "Training Camp" kicked-off last weekend with a heavy load of biking with Beth Shutt, my mentor.  I owe a lot of my success in triathlon to Beth.  She has given me advice on every aspect of triathlon and has encouraged me to push myself year-after-year.  I remember, when I first started to ride with Beth, she used to have to wait for me to catch-up because she would get so far ahead.  Well, let's just say, I've come a long way since then.  Thanks Beth!

Last Saturday, I swam 4000 yds and biked 90 miles.  This was the longest distance I had ever biked.  I followed up Saturday's training with a 75 mile ride and a 1 hr run.  Heading into the weekend, I wasn't sure how I would handle the heavy workload, but was quite pleased about how I felt Sunday evening.  Going into the weekend, I had thought Monday might need to be a recovery day, but Sunday evening I felt completely healthy and looking forward to Monday's workouts.  Although I had planned a swim and run on Monday, I gladly eliminated the swim in order to watch Luke in the morning, attend a meeting at Luke's KinderCare in the afternoon, and go to Luke's first Pirate game in the evening.  We had a blast as the Pirates beat the Cardinals 6-2.

Luke & "Papa Bob" at the game
The rest of the week has been fairly routine with the following workouts:

Tuesday: 3000 meter swim, 2 hr bike
Wednesday: 3000 meter swim, 1 hr run
Thursday: 1.5 hr bike followed immediately by a 40 min run

And tomorrow is going to be somewhat of a rest day with a morning swim (about 3500 m) and an afternoon yoga session.  I incorporate the yoga every now and then to maintain balance between the left and right sides of my body and flexibility.

This brings us to the plans for this coming weekend.  I'm really excited about Saturday's 120 mile bike ride (my longest ride ever) with Matt Mauclair, a beast on the bike.  I know Matt will push me and I'm very much looking forward to seeing how I do.  Sunday will consist of a long run (10-15 miles) and a swim, if I can fit it in before my cousin Jen's daughter's baptism.  I'm also anxious to see how the long run goes after the long ride on Saturday.  My intentions this weekend are to tear down some of my own personal perceptions or limits.  If I can follow-up Saturday's ride with a strong run on Sunday, my perception of biking 56 miles and running 13.1 in a half-ironman will change drastically.  I took a big step towards this last weekend, and am hoping to make another stride in that direction.  I'll let you know how it goes...

So with Vegas only 23 days 1 hr and 24 min away, I'm putting in the work that will hopefully pay-off in my best performance to date.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

"My List of Inspirational Movies"

Oh man, today's swim and run were tough.  It's not that they were particularly long or intense, but I just wasn't feeling it today.  I was tired.  Today became all about getting the work done.  One of those days that you need a little extra inspiration.

We all need inspiration in our lives, and one place to find it is at the movies.  In order to have some fun on this blog, I've compiled a list of some of my most inspirational movies.  These movies inspire me to be better than I think I can be.  The title of each movie is a link to many of the trailers, and I think when you watch, you'll feel that same emotion I do.  I'd love to hear from you so comment on the movies of my list or suggest some of your inspirational movies.  The one stipulation for my list is no super-hero movies.  I love them as much as anyone, but I think they deserve their own category separate from this list.  Many of the movies on my list were inspired by true stories, while others are simply inspiring stories written by great writers that share the need of inspiration with you and me.

Apollo 13
Real life drama at it's best.  These men of Apollo 13 portrayed real courage during the "successful failure."

Vision Quest
A virtually unknown movie, unless you were a high school wrestler, which I wasn't.  I couldn't find the trailer so the link leads to the famous inspirational scene "6 minutes."  Corky, you embody Louden Swayne.

If you haven't seen Rocky (the original) you must have died in 1975.  We all know Rocky's story.  It has inspired for decades.

Hoosiers is about a small-town Indiana high school basketball team during 1951/1952, when all high schools in Indiana, regardless of size, competed in one state championship tournament. It is loosely based on the Milan High School team that won the 1954 state championship.  "I love you guys."

Field of Dreams
Ok, maybe the most far-fetched story on the list, but the ending is a tear jerker.  Any time this movie is on, I can't help but sit and watch it through the end.  Love you dad.  I'll always remember going to the Oaks theatre in Oakmont to see this movie with you for the first time.

Forrest Gump
Forrest Gump didn't know the limits that most people live within.  This movie inspired a country, when it was released in July of 1994.  People believed anything was possible again!  Great soundtrack too!  I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that my dad played the theme song at home before every one of my high school football games.

Seabiscuit became the symbol of hope to many Americans during the Great Depression.  Honestly, I don't know whose story is more inspiring, the horse's, the jockey's, the trainer's, or the owner's.  An inspiring story made into a fantastic movie!

Stand and Deliver
You don't have to be a teacher to be inspired by this movie.  The true story of how mathematics teacher, Jaime Escalante, inspired inner city students to learn calculus and overcome the challenges they faced in life.

The Natural
Ok, I admit I wanted to be Roy Hobbes after seeing this movie as a kid.  Maybe choosing #9 as my college football number had something to do with Roy as well.  If you've seen the movie, watch the trailer and get the chills all over again.  "There goes Roy Hobbes, the best there ever was."

Not exactly a movie that will make you jump out of your seat and go run 10 miles, but the life and sacrifices of Mahatma Gandhi changed the world.  Everyone should be familiar with his story.

Life is Beautiful
An inspiring story about the sacrifices of being a loving husband and father during the darkest of times.

The Fighter
The true story of boxer Micky Ward's journey to the title.

Cinderella Man
Titled after the nickname of heavyweight boxer James J. Braddock and inspired by his life during the Great Depression.

The Pursuit of Happyness
Inspired by the true story of Chris Gardner, a San Francisco salesman struggling to provide a good life for himself and his 5-year-old son.

Cast Away
The story of a man that "returns from the dead" after 4 years on a deserted island to find that overcoming all odds has given him a new life of endless possibilities.

Patch Adams
The story of a doctor that believed treating the human being was more important than treating just the disease.  This inspiring movie is based on the true story of Patch Adams, M.D..  You can learn more at

3:10 to Yuma
The story of a poor man that becomes a hero to his son when he delivers the most famous and ruthless criminal, Ben Wade, to the train station when nobody else would.