Monday, August 26, 2013

I'm Back!

After a month long hiatus marked by weight gain (not the good kind), injury, vacation, and illness, I'm back! Some of the new things I've learned over the past month or so:

1. Adidas Energy Boost is here to stay. Contrary to what many people (myself included) thought, Energy Boost is much more than a fad. When I first heard of this new tech, I thought marketing gimmick. It gives energy back? Please. But with a new midsole design made with thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) vs EVA foam found in most shoes, Adidas has hit the jackpot. I have yet to try a pair, they run $140. But I've talked to more than a few, including several former collegiate athletes (translation: still serious runners), who have run north of 800 miles in them. That alone makes me want to try them. Combined with results from the Runners' World lab confirming their claimed cushioning, this shoe now has serious ethos. Read the Runners' World review here. Additionally, I'm told by a sales rep from Boulder Running Company that the TPU midsole will be making it's way into most Adidas models, including my beloved Adios 2 racing flats.

2. It's true, occasionally I can run faster than a bike. My former cross country put out a challenge to me. I'm known as more of a cyclist, he's an Olympic trials marathoner. There's a hill around here that he thought he could race me up and beat me. It didn't happen, he got injured and is riding a bike around now, but there's another infamous hill around these parts called Maniac. And as luck would have it, the USA Pro Challenge went up it Saturday. And believe it or not, I kept up with (by his own admission) an out of shape Chris Froome from Team Sky, running with a friend and a banana costume on.

3. Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition. I've learned this lesson too many times, but I'm still in the mode where either I don't care enough to bring calories with me during a workout, or I'm simply negligent and forget. Either way, I need to learn to time workouts around meals so can get something in before the carbohydrate window closes.

I'm off to college in a few days, but I'll do my best to keep this up. Stay tuned for an Energy Boost review!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Adjustment

Races are all different. No two are exactly alike. I wish I had learned it earlier in my racing days. After a lackluster cross country career, which taught me much, but yielded little in the way of results, I moved to triathlon.

My first race, back in May, was a sprint distance race. The namesake is obvious, this is a fast event, you go hard from the gun. It was a lot like cross country or track, where the longest event in either is a 5k. So for 20 minutes or so in those races, you just hurt. Your lungs hurt, your legs burn, your heart beats at 180 bpm, just like your feet hit the pavement 180 times every minute.

In June, I raced Ironman 70.3 Kansas. Completely different. The only thing that was similar was the fact it was swim, bike, run. But what I wasn't really expecting was the fact that it didn't hurt. Not all the time at least. Certainly there were parts of the race, like the massive climb that showed up twice on the run that hurt like Hell. But I was used to hurting the entire time, in fact, I rather enjoyed that aspect of my previous races. Without pain, I had no measuring stick to gauge my efforts. I never raced with power, etc. and I had never raced something so long.

The best thing to do is learn from each race. What I learned in Kansas was that (despite the foreboding nature of the race) longer races aren't necessarily harder than shorter ones. They're simply different. Once you learn to make that mental adjustment, you'll grow in leaps and bounds as an athlete.