Wednesday, September 22, 2010

September Update

It feels like fall.  The triathlon season is ending.  It's time to start thinking about running with the arm warmers and a hat.  I welcome the fall season this year.  Something about it this year feels comfortable.

August was a great month for to recover from my biggest race to date; and I may have taken advantage of the 'month' for recovery.  My total biking miles were down, but my running was up as I will be running the Grand Rapids Marathon.  I did have a minor injury, so my swimming has been exceptionally minimal.  I dislocated a rib that caused an inflammation issue with the cartilage in the front of my chest.  I was told to rest, relax... blah blah blah or something to that effect.  I did, sort of.  I'm pretty much back to normal now - so about that water.

I was fortunate to participate in a study at Michigan State University for a PhD student who was finishing some research about energy expenditure in endurance athlete's.  It was a 2 week study where I had 3 visits to his lab each week.  I did complete body composition tests during each visit in a BOD POD (an enclosure that measures body density and body fat in about 45 seconds - equally as reliable as a water submersion test).  I also wore a SenseWear BMS armband for the whole 2 weeks.  This enables post week review of total calorie expenditure, activity and sleep efficiency (they are in for a ride looking at my sleep patterns!!).  Week 1 of the study I needed to log 15+ hours of training and week 2 I needed to log less than 10 hours of training.  Lastly, I did 2 separate VO2 Max treadmill tests.  My VO2 Max is 56 with a max heart rate of 186 for that test.  I've never felt my legs turn to noodles so quickly ever before.  I will be getting a complete training review at the end of this month with specific details about how I can better prepare for races and how to focus my training.  That was very cool to be able to be a part of.

On the family front, Anna started pre-school.  She is so very excited and I love her enthusiasm.  This also means more time for Sophia and I to hang out together while Anna is at pre-school.  Becky's work is stable and steady.  My job... well, is not 100% stable.  The township will be asking for voter support for a millage (essentially).  If it does not pass, I was officially informed yesterday by the fire chief, that in 2012 I will be laid off (along with 2 other firefighters).  Currently the fire department is down more than 6 positions and our monthly run volume has been consistently more than 100 calls higher for 3 months in a row.  So the stress level at home and work has been a little higher than normal.

Fluid has continued to support me throughout this year.  Today I received a new product that they are offering; the same great recovery drink with a new chocolate flavor.  In fact, I'm drinking some as I type!  Plus this flavor will mix great with milk - so for those of us training where it gets cold, it'll be a great post training session warm up (imagine the most nutritious and best tasting hot chocolate after playing in the snow)!  Go give it a try or hit me up for some samples! It's only 140 calories and has protein and glutamine in the mix!

Sharkies has also offered to bring me on board, the details are in the mix right now.  As soon as I know anything, I'll post it here.  Sharkies are a USDA Certified Organic snack-type source of electrolytes and complex carbohydrates.  They are Gluten and Wheat free as well as Vegetarian.  They have a few different flavors and even make a children's version of the snack.  If you've been bike riding with me, you know that I swear by Sharkies as a nutritional supplement while training and racing.  I've been using Sharkies for over a year.  So this opportunity is pretty exciting for me!

I look forward to this coming month and completing my first full marathon.  Thank you all who have continued to support me! Fall is a great time to ride and run!  I'm always looking for people to run with and I'm determined to get in a century ride again this year.  Give me a call and let's play!

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