Macca Uncut: Part I

When I interviewed Chris McCormack for my recent Lava Magazine column, I knew I had to share bigger chunks of our conversation here on the blog.  There was just too much good stuff to let hide in my hard drive for eternity.  With that in mind, I give you one simple question, and one very insightful answer. This is directly from my transcribed notes.

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Macca Column Live on Lava

It's the final work week day going into the Super Bowl of video games, E3. Therefore, I'm slammed at the moment.  Lots going on. AND, today Lava Magazine released my June "Mind Games" column on Chris McCormack. You can read about it here.

Tonight, I'm off to dork out at the Hollywood Bowl to watch a Star Wars concert featuring Anthony Daniels, the voice of C3PO.  Yup, I'm a nerd at heart.  Tomorrow, I'm riding a century in beautiful Ojai, near Ventura and Santa Barbara.  Check out the course here.  I will write more tomorrow after my ride, and next week I'll update my blog with lengthier excerpts from my interview with Macca.  Can't wait to share that with you!

I gotta jet, but please read my Lava column and let me know what you think!

24 days and counting.

Smarter, not Harder

Before I get started, my latest Lava Magazine Online column is now live.  It's all about defining and overcoming the Off-Season Training Blues (OTSB).  Tried to have some fun with it.  Hope you enjoy, and if you do, please don't be shy about passing it around the internet!  Here's the link Onto today.  Yesterday, I mentioned I was going to cram some killer workouts in today before my Las Vegas business trip.  Well, in baseball terms I was 2-3.  I ran for an hour on the treadmill at my office complex gym, slogging through 5x3 minute hill repeats in HR zone 5b.  That left me absolutely drenched in sweat, not to mention the treadmill.  It also served as a great warmup for my personal strength training session with Shannan.  She led me through a battery of agility drills designed to improve strength and flexibility in my hips and glutes.

At the end of both workouts this morning, I could feel myself getting stronger.  I feel like I've turned a corner in my training.  Despite my current hectic schedule, I do believe the worst is over in my recovery period -- mentally and physically.  While my speed may not be what I'd like at the moment, my form is improving and my legs seem more resilient.  That is a great sign.

This form of progress also allowed me to be more pragmatic in my training approach for tonight's scheduled Fortius swim.  After a long day of meetings -- OK one meeting that lasted seven hours -- I realized I just didn't have much left in the tank for a grueling coached swim workout.  I spoke with Gerardo, and we both agreed I should postpone it until tomorrow, moving my cycling time trial to next week.

That's the thing about training for a second Ironman though.  It's not about training harder, as was the case in my first Ironman odyssey, it's about training smarter.  I find that with the limited time I have now, I'm listening to my body even more.  If I don't feel like training, I try to motivate and push myself to rally. But I can sense the difference between fatigue and exhaustion.  The former feels like laziness or a lack of enthusiasm to push myself. The latter feels like an inability to do so even if I wanted to.

That's how tonight felt. So, I came home, packed my bags for another trip, and hung out with my lady.

The night ended on another positive note.  My review Newtons finally arrived!  I've been looking forward to this day for weeks.  I'm going to try the Sir Isaacs stability line.  They're pictured here.  What I immediately noticed was the increased rubber on the sole in the forefoot area, along with the...ahem...bold peach/orange colors.  Whether it's from an awkward stride or the coloring of the shoes, people will see me rockin' my Newtons from near or far.  I'll be taking notes in the coming weeks and month and will share my impressions via Lava Magazine Online.  Of course, you'll be the first to know when the story hits.

Off to bed, and another crazy day draws to a close.

133 days and counting.

Lava Man

I have a little secret to share with you. In fact, you're the first to know.

Starting at the end of this month, I'm going to be writing monthly columns for Lava Magazine's website. As you may know, Lava is the official magazine of Ironman, and I'm beyond honored to become a small "official" part of the Ironman experience. My column, which will be called "Mind Games," is going to focus on the mental parts of training for an Ironman.  As I trained for my first Ironman, I found the spiritual, mental and emotional journey to be far more powerful (and useful) than any physical gains made from my training regimen. "Mind Games" will be devoted to exploring the many issues we all face as triathletes and looking to pros, sports psychologists -- and each other -- for answers and support.

I hope you'll continue to read my blog, and if you're so inclined, to join me at Lava Magazine's website for a monthly visit as well.

And if you have any ideas for columns I should consider, I'm totally open to hearing them!


In other news, I can summarize my day in the following manner, which could encapsulate my lifestyle the past few weeks:

-- Spun on the bike trainer (45 minutes)

-- Iced my legs

-- Ate all day (mostly decent food)

-- Fit in a full day of work

-- Downed a massive burger for dinner with a pint of beer

-- Lying on couch blogging and watching Lakers game

I do not feel like an Ironman, and I'm beginning to wonder if I no longer look like one either. I've gained six pounds now since November 21, with no slowdowns of that trend in sight.  I feel like a bear that's stuffing himself to build up fat for a long hibernation period.  I can't stop eating!

195 days and counting.