Time to Procrastinate

Full disclosure: I'm blogging to procrastinate right now. My new Garmin 310x uber-watch is staring at me, waiting to be programmed.  Begging, in fact.  Coach Gerardo is begging too.

Full disclosure:  I've had this watch for about two weeks.  It's still in the original box.  Anat likes to point this out regularly.

Tonight I've made some progress though.  All the parts are out of the box and now I simply need to download the appropriate software.  Yet I feel like the kid in that online car buying TV commercial (no, I don't fast-forward past all commercials, I'm actually an ad geek) where he can perform open heart surgery with a ballpoint pen but is frightened by the prospect of choosing the right vehicle.

I can run with bulls, sky dive or complete a triathlon... but I'm stymied by complicated-looking technology.

This from a guy who works at a video games developer.

To be fair, the actual set-up looks pretty harmless. Download some software, upload my vital stats, sync my heart-rate monitor and I'm done.  At least that's how the manual reads.

But the watch itself, well, it looks like something Batman should wear, not me.  I'm still searching for the hidden button that deploys the grappling hook.  And with all the features it sports, I'm afraid I'll try to get off the treadmill before it's time to do so and the belt will speed up uncontrollably, followed by, "I'm afraid I can't let you do that, Ryan."

So, that's why I'm procrastinating.  My life may depend on it!

I'll let you know how the set-up goes tomorrow.  I've got a blog to write now.

My schedule called for a brick workout today, spinning with hill climbs for 45 minutes followed immediately by a 30-minute tempo run with hill climbing to elevate my heart-rate to zone 4 (168 bpm).  I woke up at 6 to do it, crossing the darkened, bustling Sepulveda Pass to Equinox -- Gym of the Gods.  (My guest pass membership is expiring.  I am sad.)

The workout itself was uneventful, which is a victory since that meant I wasn't sore at all from Sunday's half-marathon.  Judging by my soaked clothes though, it was a productive workout nonetheless.  I'm finding that I need to work harder to elevate my heart-rate to the zones specified in my training schedule.  In other words, my heart is growing stronger, as is my endurance.  That feels good.

The real highlight of the day was seeing my blog featured in KNBC-LA news anchor (and now friend) Chris Schauble's "Iron News Man" blog.  To read that I'm truly inspiring others and they like what I'm writing -- it's almost overwhelming.  My blog is a labor of love, a "pay it forward" gift to my future family.  But it's becoming bigger than that, thanks to the people who read and contribute energy to it.

That energy is now adding fuel to my every pedal stroke, swim rotation and running stride.  It's permeating into my work, and my personal life.  I am growing stronger, faster, better.  I owe it to the collective energy of my friends and family, and for having an outlet such as this to dive deeply into my consciousness without fear of ridicule, embarrassment or rejection.

Thank you.

Now if only I can get one of you to program my watch.

286 days and counting.


The Valley Coach group met this morning at 8 at the Cheseboro Park in Old Agoura, the site of my first trail run.

The first time I ran it this past November, my IT bands were bothering me around the 12th mile, I had succumbed to peer pressure by running more than I was assigned to, and I ultimately regretted it all day with soreness. In short, not a very fun run.
Not this time.
Decked out in my new Asics 2140GT trail runners and Amphipod running belt, I was ready to run. Perhaps part of the eagerness stemmed from the large contingent of Valley Coach athletes, LA Tri Clubbers and friends of the group who showed up. The energy level was high, as were the jokes and smiles. Even if it was chilly by my own weather-wuss standards, it was a great way to start the day.
The run itself was even more pleasant than expected. What I mean is that after last Sunday's depressing solo jog, I've concluded it's far more fun to chat with friends throughout the duration of the run. Keeps me from thinking about the run itself, or anything else remotely negative. Today, I got to know Lisa (now in her seventh triathlon season) and Paul (a former producer at Electronic Arts responsible for NBA Street, one of my favorite PlayStation 2 games).
Of course, it was still hard to watch most of the runners take off ahead of me from the start. Fortunately, Gerardo's brother Ray stayed with me and kept me company. I'm still confined to zones 1-2 on flat ground and zone 3 heart-rate on the hills, although I'm not sure it would have made much of a difference. Still, I know I'm hitting my goals from Coach Gerardo's workout plan. And I earned some validation from Christina, who said I should be stoked on my weekend performance considering I essentially cycled 60 miles and swam nearly two miles back-to-back, and followed that up today with what was probably at least a 13-mile run. She thinks I could be ready for an Ironman in four months if I wanted to, but that I'll be in spectacular shape by Ironman Arizona. Considering she's done two Ironmans, that praise was very flattering and encouraging.
As the run concluded, I realized that I hadn't bonked, my legs weren't tight or in pain, and that I was still hydrated (for the most part).
Progress! I felt much better than just a month or so ago doing the same run. What a feeling of accomplishment.
After the run, I had my bike tuned up at Bicycle John's in Agoura. If you are local and looking for a great cycling shop, Bicycle John's is my favorite. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly without being pushy. The shop has a nice frequent buyer's plan so you can earn discounts along the way, and the selection of parts, bikes and apparel is first-rate.
From there, I caught up with one of my closest friends, TJ, who was back in town from his Florida vacation. It was nice to reconnect again after two weeks.
Finally, the weekend wound down in what I think will become a new tradition: a "restorative yoga" session at Black Dog Yoga. If you haven't taken a restorative yoga class, especially on a Sunday night, it's the perfect way to segue from the weekend into the week ahead. Most of the poses are relaxing stretches held for long periods of time. The intensity is low, but the relaxation factor is very high, enhanced with aromatherapy oils by request.
The best part of the class is focusing on your inner intention for the moment, and if you'd like, the week ahead. I vowed to take it easy this week on myself in terms of letting go some of the angst from my last relationship, and to take it easy on others should I find my patience running low.
I will try to carry that intention out.
318 days and counting. Namaste.