Monday, March 30, 2009

Taking A Toll...

Recently I have been working with a few athletes/friends that are going through some things that I know are not that uncommon. How do I know this? I know this because I have gone through so many of the same things and seen others go through them too.

Triathlon is a great sport! It is a healthy lifestyle, it is made up of fantastic people and teaches us that we can do so much more than we thought possible. For the most part, I find that the sport is made up of very hard working, nice, goal oriented people. From our first race, we want to improve...go faster, push more watts, do better than we did on our previous time out.

This can be a good thing in that it is what great performances are made of. But there is also a downside. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the sport (actually this is true of many things in life, but I will stay on track here) that we let it become more than just something that we do. It starts to define us...it becomes us. We are happy when we do well, we are down when we don't, life is over when we are injured, we feel bad about ourselfs if we aren't at race weight,we are successful when we PR and we fail when we go slower. We place so many expectations on ourselves in what we think we "should" be doing, that the sport goes from something that enhances our lives, to something that drags us down. We forget why we actually got into the sport and somewhere along the way, we lose the enjoyment of it.

We tend to view the world in a way where we are at the center. Everything revoles around us, when in reality most people are so concerned with what is going on with themselves that they have no idea/or care what is going with you. Not saying that this is the everyone, but it is the majority. All of the expectations that we create regarding how fast we need to go, or thinking we are going to let others down if we don't, are a mirage and created in our own heads.

Triathlon is JUST swimming/cycling/running in the end. At some point, we will have to be OK with letting it go. Whether it be 20 years from now because of life changes, or much sooner because of something else...we need to be OK with it, ready for it or not! It is OK if you never go a second faster, never PR again, or never qualify for that race that you want so badly to do. Remember, no one judges you, or thinks you are any less of a person.

Now the last paragraph might sound drastic to some, but they are valid fears and thoughts for many in our sport (including myself), other sports and demanding careers in general. In the big picture, triathlon (these things) is a big part of our lives, but it is NOT our life. It is not ultimately what makes us happy and is not important when compared to the things that really do matter.

So if you start to feel the pressure....the pressure that you have created yourself and placed on yourself....take a step back. Focus on the things that really matter in life....Family and those who are closest to you... Do your training, work hard, enjoy it....but then leave it at that. Do your best and take what you get. I think that you will find you are not only happier, but will be racing and training much better! Sometimes we have to take a step back, before we can take a step forward.

That is all for now....on the health front, I am healing up ok on this end and will still be racing this coming weekend!

Have a great week everyone!

BB:)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Rolling With The Punches...

Throughout life we are dealt many different cards....some are great and some we would rather forget about. To make it a little bit easier to deal with the tough times, we have to just roll with the punches, however or whenever they come, we have to just do what can and keep moving forward.

Today I was out on my last key ride before the California Half Ironman next Saturday and was dealt some not so favorable cards. I was having a great ride ride and seeing solid watts for the amount of training that I have been putting in (not a ton).

Half way through the first of my 3, 20minute intervals, a bee flew straight into my mouth and stung me.....awesome. The ride was off to a great start. I finished my second interval with no issues and then I had about 90seconds left on my third interval when I was coming up to a four way stop where I always turn right. There was no traffic, so I took the turn with a little bit of speed. Well as I went into the corner, i blew out my front tire and before I knew it, I was on my back. Complete with road rash, a scuffed helmet (thank you Rudy for saving my head for the third time).

...yes, my first thot was, "how is my baby...I mean bike?" haha, it was ok. It landed on top of me, so scuffed bar take was the only mark. I got up and decided that I would try to ride home. I just needed to change my flat. So i got out my spares... #1 - failed, #2 - the stem was not long enough for the rim...so now that wasn't an option......awesome!

I called for a ride, but had no luck, so I spent the next 45min hitchhiking and finally got a ride from a local who was nice enough to drive me the 20-25minutes back into town.

After I got cleaned up, things aren't too bad. I have road rash on my ankle, knee, hip, hands and arm....but nothing too bad. The only questions are my ankle, which hit the pavement pretty hard and is swollen, and my hip which is also a bit puffy.

So, I am just going to roll with these punches and get back as soon as my body let's me. There is nothing else I can do now. I just hope that I got the back luck out of my system for the year and don't have any more close calls.

Be safe out there everyone and make sure that your helmet is fit correctly!

BB:)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Real Question Is.....

....how long would it take you to eat this jar of Peanut Butter???
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Here are the nutritional facts to help you think about it a little more. Yes, that is 6400calories of Peanut Butter goodness!!!
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Since the Challenge Wanaka Ironman race in January, I have decided to give up "added sugar" in my diet. This includes all sugars that aren't naturally occurring. The only exceptions are special occasions, or times when it doesn't fit well for others. That doesn't happen too often right now, so I have to have another way to replace those calories....
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The solution....PEANUT BUTTER...actually anything with fat in it.
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Anyway, the other day I was having my peanut butter and spoon (yes, that mens I was just spooning it down...doesn't everyone do that? :) and Curt asked me how long it would take me to finish the container to PB...I said "I don't know!?! How long do you think it will take me?" He said 6 days, so I decided to take the challenge. The one rule is that it cannot be the main ingredient in any meal....has to be eaten between meals.....
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So far I am on day 4 and I have about 2/3's of that container finished....I will keep you all updated on the progress....If this is successful, I will move up to the Sam's club size next week!
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I hope everyone is doing well otherwise, I have two weeks left out west before returning to Wisconsin and will toeing the line for the first time at the California Half Ironman a week from Saturday. I am feeling good, but really making an effort not to come into top form until June and September this year!
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Back to PB~
BB

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring Is here....

It's the first day of spring and for many that live in colder climates, this is the time where the motivational switch is flipped. The smell of the ground that has been frozen for 6months, the pollen in the air from budding trees and flowers, the rain showers and the longer days all contribute to the feeling that warmer weather is ahead. For many people, who get the blues toward the end of winter, this is also a time where they start to feel happier.
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Some people have trained hard over the cold months, some people have skied, some people are are rehabbing from injuries and some people haven't done much. Regardless of where you are and what you have done, it is important for you to ease into things. It is very easy to get out the door and drill yourself every single day that the weather is nice. Most of the time, things go well for a week or two, but it soon back fires, with sickness, injury or becoming over-reached.
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Racing is still along way off in the midwest and northeast, so it is important to keep things in perspective. Spend a week just getting rolling again outdoors. Then spend another week with just one quality session on the bike and run. This will allow the body to adapt to the increased training load and avoid many potential problems.

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On this end, things are going great. I haven't been putting in a ton of hours here in Tucson, but am getting in some good quality sessions and am feeling strong. I may be a little under prepared for Cali 70.3 in a few weeks, but not by much. I am just enjoying the process of getting fit again, enjoying life and am excited for the season ahead.

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I have confirmed the dates of my Ironman Training Camp this summer in Madison, Wisconsin. It will start on July 24th at noon and run through the afternoon on the 26th. The cost is $500 per athlete, which includes everything but flights, lodging and a 1 breakfast. There are also couples discounts available, if you would like to bring your significant other.
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There is now a cap of 25 athletes on the camp and there are about 15 slots remaining. The camp will consist of some very solid training each day, lectures between the sessions, demo's from Trek and Power Tap, as well as some good food, free swag and great company!
I hope to see you there. For more info or a complete schedule, email me at blakebeck@gmail.com or give me a call at 608-219-7447.

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Outside of the racing, we are having a March Madness party tonight which should be a lot of fun....I also have a new favorite singer/song writer by the name of Matt Nathanson...check him out.
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I will check in again soon, but I hope everyone is doing well and I will see you soon!
Blake