Friday, December 30, 2011

Amazing Race and Escape Routes

My favorite reality TV show is Amazing Race. For those of you that have never seen it, it’s pretty much a race around the world, where teams of 2 compete for a prize of $1,000,000. Teams are provided clues along the way to get from point A to point B, and must complete challenges along the way. Whichever team arrives at a designated “pit stop” last gets eliminated until there is only 1 team standing! You don’t even have to be the last team standing to win! The winners of each individual leg can win some sort of a prize, whether it be vacation trips, new cars, and/or just decent amount of $$$! Your team just has to finish first on that particular day. Definitely a little extra motivation to race fast, and come in 1st every time!  In a perfect world, one could win 11 individual prizes as there usually are 11 legs of the race plus the $1 mil in the end! Why not strive for perfection!  I mean, I go into every triathlon race with the mindset of winning, don’t you? Whatever winning means to you – whether it means coming 1st overall, 1st in your AG, finishing that swim leg in a certain time, or simply just finishing the race – it’s winning, and only YOU know what “winning” means for you! 

It seriously sounds like sooooo much fun, and it really is the only reality TV show that I would ever want to go on.  I mean, wouldn’t you want to travel the world and potentially win prizes along the way? What’s also great is that every stop made on this journey, means a different country, and usually a challenge that is true to the country’s culture and heritage! What better to learn about the world than competing in a challenge or solving a puzzle? Having fun and learning! What a combination J

So where am I going with this?

Amazing Race was holding their auditions in Boston a few weeks ago. But guess what … as a non U.S citizen, I was not allowed to participate.  So very sad, and I am going to leave it at that. My buddy Briana however, got to audition, and is now waiting to hear the outcome. Since I don’t have the chance to compete, the next closest I could be to winning, is by following her journey.  

The Amazing Race Auditions are done, but she still needs your help!

She was also able to enter into another very similar series called Escape Routes.  

Again a team of two , where the winning team  receives a brand new 2013 Ford Escape, and considering she is driving a car from 1990, she sounds like a great candidate and a winner to me! In order to get on the show she needs your help. If you are reading this, please click on the link below, and vote for her video on WHY Briana and Jason should be part of this show. They really are a great team. Czech it out for yourself by clicking the link below and voting for them.

Thanks for reading, watching the video and clicking “I like the video”.  Every vote counts!  One per IP address, so using your phone 3G/4G counts too! Thanks for the support! :)

Now I better get my butt to … you got it … THE POOL! 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Letting Go and Believing

Here we are in the middle of the offseason, and with that comes time to work on your “favorite” or perhaps “least favorite” discipline.  If you have ever read my blog, or followed my race results, it’s no surprise that for me that means a lot of time spent in the pool! Even Santa somehow knew! A few new suits, swimmers shampoo/conditioner, much needed face/body lotion, and super duper travel size hair dryer! It’s a bit chilly now to walk around with wet hair all day!

Merry Christmas to me! J

I took a nice long break after the 70.3 Worlds in Vegas, and made sure I got out of shape. There were at least 4 or more of weeks of no swimming, biking, or running, and the month of October really consisted of bunch of EZ running since I spent most of it travelling for work. So when I got in the pool for the first time again in November it was ugly! Really, really, really ugly!  5-6 times a week in the pool, week after week, and after 2 months, I am finally starting to see some progress. I swear my body just refuses to grasp the proper technique of freestyle, but the time spent with my new friend that comes along to every swim session is starting to pay off.  Meet Mr. Torture a.k.a the ankle lock.

My a$% is now floating, and I can swim longer than 25 yards before my feet drag on the bottom of the pool. I am now at the point when I actually time myself, and can swim 100 or 200 yards with it at a time. For me that is progress.

PB for 100 with ankle lock – 1:47
PB for 200 with ankle lock – 2:52

I know that really doesn’t mean much for OWS, but it gives me hope that there is the light at the end of the tunnel, and that maybe one day, I will actually swim fast or at least faster.

So in the month of November, I swam a total of 40,300 yards essentially in 3 weeks. I spent one week travelling the “world” a.k.a my little European getaway. Don’t be jealous – it was more like a sprint or Amazing Race through Europe. 6 countries in 6 days – France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Slovakia, and Czech Republic. Lots of time spent on the planes, in hockey stores or in the car flying down the highway in Germany. And I mean literally flying – gotta love no speed limit!  Highlight of the trip was a quick meet up with my mom and cousin in Prague. We exchanged some Christmas presents and the trip went on. I really wish I could have stayed longer, but work didn’t allow it this time.

Only in Europe will you see a billboard like this:

December was  a bit more quiet on the work front, but of course I had to come down with a cold, which meant no swimming for another week L There went my hope of putting in at least 50,000 yards. As we are here today, it looks like I’ll put in a bit over 40,000 yards again. I know that’s nothing for you swimmers out there, but it’s progress for me. With a bit of technique, and volume, I have finally experienced a bit of an “aha” moment and hopefully unlocked one key to some more speed in the months to come.

But back to the title of this post of “Letting Go”.  All this additional swimming means that something else has to give. Unfortunately it’s not less hours spent at work, or less sleep, it’s less time spent on the bike. So much less that Mr. Fireball is looking a bit sad, and when I do get to ride, it really shows me who the boss is. And no, it’s not me. I find myself contemplating almost every day, if all this time in the pool will pay off. Pay off in a way that’s bigger than if I spent my extra time on the bike. Will all the time spent in the pool get me to come out of water at least 5+ minutes earlier than I have been?  Will my biking and my power get up to the same or better level at which I ended my season in Vegas in September come race season?  All these questions are popping up in my head every single day, and as much as I understand that offseason is the perfect time to work on your weaknesses, I find it extremely difficult of “Letting Go” of the strengths.  Do you?

Even though I am seeing time gains in the pool, I can’t help but feel oh so slow all the way around.  My power in comparison to last season seems to be a bit “non-existent”, and the thought of Time Trialing is making me sick. The 250 Watts that I was able to put out last summer during my CP testing seems SO far away. Right now, all I can do is believe! Believe in the master plan that my coach put together, believe in myself, stay consistent, and see where the journey will take me.

To  quote my coach:

We want to be fast come our big races and not as much during training; in other words, while certainly in training you will push your body out of its comfort zone, the majority of the efforts will be part of a bigger plan that will culminate on your respective A races. So, keep that mind, don’t lose sight of the ultimate goal and whether you have an easy short run or an intense bike session, take one day at a time and conquer each session.”

I have some big goals for 2012, and I can’t wait for the tri season to begin. What about you?