The Quest

The ongoing journey for personal health, fitness and beauty

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Meeting Bicycle Touring Peeps: Matt and Pam

Earlier this year I came across a site called CrazyGuyOnABike. It is a place where folks from all across the globe can journal their bike tours. Folks tour from coast to coast, border to border and everything in between sharing the story of their bicycle touring adventures. I have been all kinds of inspired from reading the journal entries of cyclists who ride all over the world. Did I mention it is inspiring? Oh, I did? Well, it really is inspiring.

Dinner with Cyclists Matt and Pam who are traveling across the country from California to Florida.

Dinner with Cyclists Matt and Pam who are traveling across the country from California to Florida.

Last week I happened upon a journal for Matt and Pam who are cycling from California to Florida along what is commonly known at the Southern Tier. I began corresponding with them in the hopes of being able to visit with them somewhere along the Central Texas portion of their ride. Luckily everything worked out for us to meet for an early dinner while they were taking a couple of rest days in Comfort, TX. Below is the quick audio interview and a picture from our delicious dinner at PO PO Restaurant.

I really enjoyed spending time with Matt and Pam. I hope they didn’t mind all the interrogating…er..um…questions I had regarding the down and dirty aspects to bike touring that typically don’t make it to the journal entries of CrazyGuyOnABike. Thank you both for your candor, honesty and not balking when I asked the tough questions. I hope to begin my own CrazyGuyOnABike adventure in early April.

So, if Matt and Pam’s journey interests you, if you have ever been on a bike tour or are fired up and ready to join my West Texas Triangle Tour let me hear form you in the comments or via email.

Martindale Triathlon Complete!

On Saturday, October 26th I participated in my first ever triathlon. As much as I thought I had prepared for the 7 mile run/16.5mile bike/5.5mile kayak I was not. I wasn’t concerned with cycling since I had been doing that regularly for the last 2 1/2 years. I had participated in bike tours of up to 54 miles. Kayaking was something I had picked up recently, but felt pretty good about. What had me concerned was the running.

Now if you’ve been following my blog, then you may recall a post titled, “I’m A Runner”. And I was back about 8-10 years ago. In mid-September I started the run portion of my training in earnest. The more I did it, the better I felt about things. I have never been a fast runner, cyclists (insert given sport here), but I have always been someone who finishes. So, I knew the only way I wouldn’t complete the triathlon would be if I were injured. Thank goodness that did not happen.

To get my body accustomed to shift from running to cycling, I started stacking my workouts with a short run followed by a short cycle. I felt okay and thought I would be able to finish the run and bike portions of the triathlon within the 3 hour time limit.

The morning of the event, Michelle Geyer and myself discovered that there were some hardcore folks competing and that quite a few of the folks participating were doing so in teams. One person to run another to ride then a team kayak. When a fellow participant asked, “You are doing it all?” in a surprised disbelieving tone I knew I was in trouble. My response was, “It’s our first triathlon, we didn’t know any better.” That’s not to say there were not other “doing it all” folks there, but I get the feeling they were the ones who looked a whole lot more fit than this recreational cyclists/runner/kayaker.

It didn’t take long for me to find myself running solo. I was extra glad I had brought along my iPad Mini inside my backpack. I had been training using Todd Lange’s 10K101 podcast and needed the familiar beat, encouragement and rhythm to keep me going. Todd was there to tell me I was doing a good job, tell me when to run and when to walk and even had crowd sounds to cheer me on. Call me crazy but I was so thankful that I even told the recorded Todd, “Thanks!” when I heard words of encouragement. I knew I was the last of the runners, but I also knew I wasn’t going to give up.

It was an out and back course so it wasn’t too long before I started seeing runners on their way back. I decided to encourage them by cheering them on and giving them high fives. It was funny because encouraging them actually encouraged me. Naturally they were supportive in return.

When I finally made it to the run/bike transition the organizers and volunteers cheered me into the bike corral. Although I was encouraged to speak to the Race Director before proceeding. They told me that I had 1 hour and 10 minutes to complete the 16.5 mile bike portion before the 3 hour cut-off. I told them that I wasn’t in this event to win or compete. This was simply a challenge with myself to see it through and that if they would let me do that then I considered it a win. They understood my goal and wished me luck.

I headed and out and saw cyclist who were completing their second leg of the triathlon and knew I really needed to cycle as fast as I could. This was where I knew I could make up time. Cycling was my real strength in this event. My legs were worn from the run and I faced a headwind in the first few miles. When I got to my second turn was when I encountered the man who became my own personal cheerleader. He was on a motorcycle and helping to direct the cyclists. Being the last one meant that he was waiting on me. And wait on me he did. He told me how much time I had at each turn. Would come back to check on me and tell me I needed to, “Ride like hell” and “You’ve got this!” and “Pedal as fast as you can”. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I was going about as fast as I could on legs that felt like lead. He was also there when I was rounding the last turn to let me know that it was exactly the 3 hour mark and to, “Ride in with my head held high”.

As I neared the end of the bike ride, I heard cheers and looked up to see my family with signs encouraging me to “go faster” and telling me, “you can do it”. They made me feel like I had already won. When I pulled in to move to the kayak portion, I was met by a spitfire of a woman who told me, “Get changed and lets go. You’ve got a personal escort.” In my thrilled but bewildered state I complied and in no time at all I was kayaking.

Jeannette, my kayaking hero

Jeannette, my kayaking hero

The spitfire’s name was Jeanette and over the course of the next 5.5 miles of kayaking she became my friend and inspiration. Her story of how she became an adventure racer is one that requires a post all it’s own. I hope to sit down with Jeannette soon for an interview so that you can hear it in her own words. I wish I could share more, but what I will tell you is that my life changed that day. The Martindale Triathlon and it’s wonderful, and in my mind heroic, volunteers are worth their weight in gold.

I finished the entire event but if you look me up you’ll see that I am labeled “disqualified”. By finishing the run and bike portion in 3 hours and 13 minutes I went beyond the official time limit by 13 minutes. When I climbed out of that kayak on even more wobbly legs my family was there once again to cheer my success. And that’s exactly what it was, a success. I set out to see if I could complete a triathlon and by God I did.

Fitness: Martindale Triathlon

TriathlonTomorrow morning Michelle Geyer and I will be making our first ever attempt at a triathlon (7 mile run/16.5 mile bike/5 mile kayak). Event starts at 9am.

We must complete two legs of the event (7 mile run and 16.5 mile bike) within a 3 hour window. My goal is to complete the 7 mile run by 1 1/2 hours (I’m more of a tortoise than a hare). My goal for the 16.5 mile cycling is to complete it in no more than 1 hour 15 minutes. Allowing 15 minutes for the transition from running to cycling.

I am doing this event not as a competition against anyone else but more as a personal accomplishment. I just want to finish the entire event.

Originally, I was concerned with the run portion of the event since it had been a good long while (over 2 1/2 years) since I had done any serious running. The Duathlon I participated in last year (2 mile run/15 mile bike/2 mile run) was tough on me. The fact I did not train for the run portion had a whole lot to do with the difficulty and extreme soreness afterwards. A 7 mile run is not something I could even begin to take lightly. So, this time I knew I needed to actually put some training time into running.

I found the 5K101 training podcast by Todd Lange and knew right away I had found the perfect training partner. I started out running with the 5K101 podcast and quickly graduated to the 10K101 podcast. 1 1/2 weeks before the triathlon I actually completed a 7 mile run in 1 hour, 29 minutes and 32 seconds. Talk about cutting it close. I then knew that I could handle the run. The next training test was to combo or stack two events. 4 days before the triathlon, Michelle and I went out for a 4 mile run and a 13 mile bike. I felt pretty good about that training, too. All in all, I was feeling confident about completing the triathlon within the time requirements.

Can I admit to now being nervous about the kayaking portion? With my slow running and cycling, I already know I’ll be left way behind everyone else. During our training I have felt comfortable kayaking with Michelle, but the idea of kayaking solo is a bit daunting. I have been told this is a calm portion of the river but for someone who has only kayaked 3 times calm could mean something entirely different to this newbie vs. someone who is a seasoned pro.

I am going to rely on my training and hope that the Good Lord will see to my safety. See you all on the flip side.

 

Struggling on a Saturday Morning Run

I am a speaker at an inner circle retreat in Tennessee this weekend. I decided to go for a run to keep up with my triathlon training. To say it was less than stellar would be putting it mildly.


nike run struggle

Health Assessment Part 3: The Bloodwork

In part three of the Health Assessment, Dr. Ho from Pinnacle Wellness draws some blood and explains what I will learn once the results are back from the lab.

 

 

Disclosure: Pinnacle Wellness is providing me with services for the health portion of my Health | Fitness | Beauty Quest. I will share my personal experiences of my weekly visits through audio posts and videos which will be posted on the site as well as on the Health|Fitness|Beauty Quest YouTube channel.

Fitness: The Workouts

Quick update: As many of you know, I am training for the Martindale Triathlon which is happening at the end of the month. My main concern has been the running since it had been 2 1/2 years since I put forth some serious effort towards any kind of running. Using the 5K101 podcast training, taking the USANA supplements from Penny Muckelroy and about 3 weeks later, I am on track to complete the 7 miles without much fuss.

Here is the workout I did on Sunday in the rain. I felt so good I could have done a few more miles, but the rain was falling harder and I knew that I need to stick to training and not overdue it if I want to be successful.

Ran well on a rainy Sunday afternoon

Ran well on a rainy Sunday afternoon

 

Health: Spine Check and X-rays

In part 2 of the Health Assessment, Dr. Q takes a look at my spine to see it’s current state. During the check, I learn a whole lot about which part of my body is carrying more weight than the other, how carrying a bowling ball is very similar to what my spine has to do with my head and that I may not be as straight or as centered as I thought.

 

 

Disclosure: Pinnacle Wellness is providing me with services for the health portion of my Health | Fitness | Beauty Quest. I will share my personal experiences of my weekly visits through audio posts and videos which will be posted on the site as well as on the Health|Fitness|Beauty Quest YouTube channel.

Health: The Background

After my interview with Dr. Ho and Dr. Q, I scheduled a health assessment at Pinnacle Wellness. I completed a double-sided two page form which was unlike any I had ever filled out at a doctor’s office. I knew right then and there this was no ordinary place. I was even more intrigued to learn more about how the Pinnacle Wellness philosophy would impact my journey.

 

When I sat down with Dr. Q, one of the first things he did during my Health Assessment was ask me questions related to my working habits, physical activity, drinking, eating habits and more. The part  I found rather interesting was when he asked me about the physical health and happiness during my childhood and teen years. There is a method to their system so I invite you to join me in part 1 of a 3 part Health Assessment Series.

 

Food: Keeping Track

I have decided the best way to really understand the balance between fitness and food is to keep track of them both. I already do a fairly good job of tracking my bike rides with MapMyRide and runs with Nike+. I took a look at several tools and apps, but after review opted to work within the “Log Food” under the Nutrition section of MapMyRide.

Synching

It actually works pretty well because I have my Nike+ runs sync with MapMyRide. So, whether I run or bike all my workouts are tracked in one place. Which makes tracking food in the same place a no-brainer. Here is a snapshot of the workout and food consumption calories from Saturday:

MapMyRide Food and Fitness Log

 

The Numbers

As you know the part of the taking you on my Health|Fitness|Beauty journey is sharing all the pros and cons nitty gritty. Did you notice the Daily Snapshot not only lists allowed daily calorie intake and calories burned, it also shows my age, height and weight? This was pretty tough for me to share. I pondered this for a while. I realized that while I am not using weight loss as an indicator of success, it does give everyone a true picture of my starting point. I have not owned a scale for a long time and do not plan on owning one anytime in the future.  My philosophy when it comes to fitness has more to do with the way I feel and how my clothes fit than it does a number on a scale.

What platforms and/or apps do you use to keep track of your health and fitness goals?

Fitness|Food: Bless Me Father For I Have Sinned…

The past few weeks have been an amazingly productive time for me. I work with some phenomenal clients and have had 3 launches in the last 3 months. I was coasting along quite nicely until I added in some online training courses and some social media events. Not sure why I am surprised that all of the sudden my fitness and health program are going by the wayside. And do not even get me started on the food. I am still eating fruit and salad during the day but, after pulling 3 all-nighters in the last week, pecan pie, Krispy Kreme donuts and cake have become a major food group.

Turns out that when I’m crunched for time the first thing that gets the heave ho is me. Sleep, Exercise, Healthy Eating have suddenly become some foreign language. At this point I don’t even think it’s Klingon. Hence the title of my post.

Confession

Bless me Father for I have sinned…

Clock…..I love what I do but I need to do a better job at managing my time. Which means no matter how much I love a project the answer might be no…or at least not now.

…..I have not gotten a good night’s sleep in at least two weeks. I really do like working in the wee hours of the morning when the house is silent and my creativity is free to dance and frolic. Which does not mean I have to stop pulling all-nighters. What it does mean is that I need to not do cram them all in together. I need more of a gap so that my body and mind can replenish itself.

…..I have been slacking on my fitness regimen. I enjoy cycling. No wait. Let me rephrase that.  I really, really, really enjoy cycling. When I am on my bike I can’t help but smile. For me, being on my bike is a state of blissful childlike abandon. Every place is magical and every moment an opportunity to revel in God’s Glory. Which means I need to do more to protect this piece of zen in my life.

SnapMeal…..I am still stubborn about my food. I am bargaining with myself to allow donuts and pie and cake (oh my!) . Eating a salad does not equal a delicious, tasty, sweet donut. No matter how much I want it to, it just doesn’t. Which means I need a reality check regarding this aspect of the Health|Fitness|Beauty Quest. Being accountable to only myself is not working. I told you I would put myself out there, so I am going to start share my meals using the MealSnap app. Hat tip to Pamela Price for sharing this gem of an app.

Absolution

It is my hope that by confessing and coming up with what I believe are positive solutions that I can be absolved of these health, fitness and beauty sins.

Have you ever known you needed some accountability to help you stay on track during busy times?