Wednesday, February 13, 2008

And so the journey begins

"Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible and suddenly you are doing the impossible." - St. Francis of Assisi

I saw the above quote on a Pro triathlete’s blog, and decided to ‘borrow’ it for here, as its very appropriate to this blog subject.

Ten years ago this year (August) I had the bicycle accident that was shown on an X-ray on this post, that’s only the femur, there was a lot more breaks and a heck of a lot of blood. Someone up above was looking out for me that day, as this was in Hong Kong and the car that found me in the middle of the road happened to have two British nurses in it, who were able to stem the bleeding and take the actions required to save my life.

There followed a lengthy stay in hospital and then 9 months of disability, including two more operations as I rehabbed and regained the use of that leg.

I have always had in mind to revisit triathlons and re-acquire both the lifestyle and love for training that I used to have.

Privately I started on this path at the beginning of last year, though I was working out 2-3 days a week I weighed a shade under 210 pounds (actually a little more in Dec 2006), and started on a 10 month plan I got from Men’s Health Magazine, mixed up with a lot of mountain biking and attempts to return to running.

Most just thought I was getting fit and working out, but even then I had in mind 2007 was a year to transition, workout regularly, lose weight and regain fitness. All this in mind to build a base fitness level to be able to attack a Half Ironman triathlon this year with much more structured training.

By the end October my weight was down to around 195, and I had significantly reduced my body fat %, all my measurements reflecting a much better shape. But I hadn’t quite got the nutrition right, see-sawing between too little, not enough and too much of the wrong things even though I thought I was eating a healthy diet. So I signed up with an online trainer, over the next two months I followed the plan almost to the letter (adding more running than the recommended, but more of that later.

This did the trick, I dropped to around 182, but became much leaner overall, the nutrition balancing out my workload and also fuelling greater gains both in strength and fitness.

On January 1st I set myself some tests to reach by the end of the month before making a decision on racing, by now most people close to me knowing my intention to race a Half Ironman. I then blew them away, with the result that I drew up a training plan for the year, and am entering not a half Ironman, but a full one.

Great Floridian on October 25th – 2.4 miles swim, 112 miles bike, 26.2 miles run (marathon). Based on a projection of my training times now I hope to go under 12 hours, but will be very happy with a healthy and safe finish (cutoff is 17 ½ hours).
Training volume at the moment is three sessions in each sport per week, plus 3 weights workouts, this week is 10.5 hours, next is 12, with the week after being a rest week down to 7 hours, then build up to 15 hours over the next few months.

Long runs which at present are around 1 ½ hours will rise slowly, later in the year, my focus now being on increasing speed and regular endurance, whilst the rides will build from 2 ½ up to 6-7 hours later.

Its going to be an amazing journey, already I am fitter and stronger than I have ever been in my life, more motivated and organized with work (I have to be to work long and productive hours and also fit in the training), happier within myself, with the added bonus that it creates within me almost by default and incredibly positive outlook on life, partly as I really don’t have time for negativity or having to sweat the small stuff.

I want that medal, the finishers t-shirt, and the nice mylar wrapping at the finishing line. I want to toe the line, to start a day that will test me not only physically but force me to look deep within myself to keep going, hour after hour, to keep moving despite discomfort, and that last 100 yards up main street in Clermont to cross that line and the finishers tape.

So now the journey begins…..

Personal Mission statement : “I will explore and enjoy the gift of fitness, seek happiness, laughter, integrity and love at every turn, not only for myself but also with others. I will take every opportunity to find joy in not only this journey, but also with life and all those around me”


Lea said...

This was a great write, Andrew. You amaze me (and you know I hate to say that as now the sarcastic side wants to kick in)

Lea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vickie said...

Good luck on your goals. I know how hard it is to overcome injury and then have to rebuild and start where you left off.

bubbleman said...

In addition to everything that your dedication and training do for you internally... you also provide a wealth of knowledge and inspiration for those of us that know you.

You know I'm in your corner...whether or not that's helpful is for you to decide. :)