From Coney Island back to Kona Training

Before getting started, I wanted to share my first column, Mind Games, for Lava Magazine's website.  For those of you who have been following regularly, thank you as always!  And for those who may be new to this space, welcome!  Like my column (hopefully) suggests, I promise an open, honest look at triathlon training from a "regular guy's" perspective.  Someone juggling a career, a soon-to-be marriage (wedding in August!) and trying to hold my body together long enough to eventually find my way to Kona -- either through qualifying or by lottery. I try to blog daily whenever I can, since we're all training daily I figure there's always something worth sharing!

Since I wasn't training the past few days, I didn't write much though.  What was I doing? EATING!  Judging by what I consumed this past holiday season, the only thing it seems I have been training for is not Kona, but rather Coney Island and the big eating contest held there annually.  I've gained nearly 10 pounds since Ironman Arizona!  Words like "heaping", "double-helping", "extra whip cream" and "Ghiradelli Chocolate" were routinely a part of my vocabulary from Christmas through New Year's.  This was accentuated by a visit to Napa Valley and San Francisco to ring in the New Year.  They've got some pretty good wine up there, ya know.

Now, the jeans that required an extra tight cinch on my belt to keep them up can rest a little more comfortably on my waistline.  On the way back from the Bay Area yesterday, I told Steph it was time for me to refocus my training.  Words like "portion control," "healthy," and "vegetables" need to re-enter my lexicon.  We've got less than six months to Ironman Coeur d'Alene, I've got achey legs and a busy work schedule.  This year is going to be a tougher road to becoming an Ironman than last year, even though I have a lot more experience.

My first day training in 2011 took me to Equinox, in Westwood.  I've written about this place before, and now Steph is a member.  Yesssss!!!!!!  Equinox is simply the Nordstrom's of gyms.  Working out there is truly a pleasure and feels like a privilege.  Steph and I took a spin class together and then I had my first brick workout since IMAZ, a light 1,500 yard swim.  Neither workout was spectacular, but I did try something new in both.  On the bike, Equinox offers power and cadence meters.  While I use a cadence meter on my tri bike, I haven't taken the plunge yet to buy a power meter.  I can see what the buzz is about just from experimenting with it briefly.  While the meter may not have been that accurate, I know I'm pushing roughly 120-123 watts between 85-95 RPM in a relatively low heart rate.  When weather gets in the way of heart-rate, knowing what kind of power output you've got can help regulate over-compensation.

I can almost see Steph rolling her eyes now at the thought of another tri-purchase.  Ruh-roh!

On the swim, I asked Steph to record me swimming so I could analyze my stroke. Rather than write about it, I'll show you.

Ryan\'s Swim Stroke, AKA Attack of the Killer Scissor Kick!

Yes folks, I'm now on YouTube!  My channel name is TheRealIronmadman.  I decided that I needed to become more adept at video editing and this is a good way to start.  I'm going to try and incorporate more video posts into my blogs to spice things up a bit.  Now I just need to figure out how to embed video straight into each post.

Happy New Year, everyone.  Tomorrow I'll likely write about a few Resolutions I've been thinking about.

170 days and counting