Saturday, July 24, 2010

My Training: What is Worse than "Pathetic"?

I saw this at my client and had to take a picture. This was a person's lunch and reading material.

In the absence of real goals we drift from our desired path. I'm so out of shape that training to get in shape to train is tough.

In life, things are alright. (Isn't that always the case?) I am working as a consultant (5 month contract) so currently, I'm working. This means looking for a full time replacement for the end of November/early December time frame. For those of you NOT in IT, this is normal. People are interchangeable and disposable. It's kinda like being a technology hooker. Got the skills the buyer is looking for? They pay. No longer have the desired skills? You are on the corner and considering "enhancements". Luckily, my current client is teaching me Oracle 10g and 11g (the bee's knees of today's database world). This combined with my deep SME (subject matter expert) project management skills and human resource management skills SHOULD make me attractive as a job candidate for the future. It all depends on the hiring manager (HM). One HM at United thought I "would be bored" and one at Disney thought I was "a perfect fit for our 2011 plans". Hooray for 2011! Wonder if the bank holding my mortgage can wait that long? Unemployment sucks the joy out of life - and I have a REALLY SUPPORTIVE WIFE. It is damn near impossible to train appropriately when I lack structure in my career. This... I have learned.

So while I have "amazing skills", I have to wonder where the future is for me. Maybe this is what happens when you get into your 40s and have been RIF'd (reduction in force) a couple times in spite of 5 out of 5 on reviews and "A+" from senior vice presidents. Wouldn't an organization that has a person (notice I didn't say resource) doing this well want to KEEP said person and cut loose the lower performing people? Apparently, tenure still has many managers staying "old school".

I'm not going to worry about it. I cannot control other people. I'll just do my job well. In the meantime, I'll look for a career path that suits me.

Family has been fun. Lorrie and I are great. We have been walking with Greta a bunch. It's been fun. The only concerns are around my dad who is battling a new form of cancer. It sucks. Can't the man enjoy at least ONE year of retirement?

My most consistent training partner (except for Dick Lansing, Jay Silber and Brad Muckerheide); Is it time to walk NOW?!

Where was I? Oh yeah... training.

I am swimming three days a week now and starting to feel good in the water. I think I'll be ready to return to masters swimming come late August. This is a very good thing. I am riding two times a week. Sometimes more, but honestly it has been tough to climb onto my bike. I'm trying to ride with Dick Lansing in his preparation for Ironman Hawaii - so my weekly long ride is normally 90% of my volume. As Dick is a bit older than I am, the heart rate numbers work in my favor. I've been down in the 130s which is just what I need to burn some fat. Running... where to begin? How about (BEEP) running?! I am walking 1.78 miles to and from the office. Evenings have had some jogging there with a laptop on (and in pants). I need to get back onto running more regularly.

This person's illegal transition area sums up my year of racing and training.

The future... of my training is to train to train properly. Wrong place to be in August (basically) of a North American triathlon season, but an honest place.

I haven't been honest with my own training since 2003. That's a long time. Trust me - I'm looking at the logs. (Insert cartoon vomit sound here.)

Right now my goal for the remainder of the 2010 season is to meet my sponsor expectations, have fun, and lastly swim the Ironman distance (open water) in under 1 hour without a wetsuit. If I can do that by October, I will declare this year a success. I am already planning changes for 2011. More to come on that...

My athletes are all having marvelous years and I have marshaled a TON of races. Great experiences.

So, to the haters, why bother reading?

To the supporters, thanks. I'll be my old self soon. Very soon.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Why LeBron James will go to Miami

Tonight should end the year long dance to obtain Mr. James basketball skill set. His decision won't be based on race, creed, color, or money (or even winning) as the talking heads on ESPN and every other sports "expert" would have you believe. It would seem that whoever signs James will be handed the NBA championship trophy. This blog entry is being written on an iPhone.

It will be based on sociology and his generational differences to other players and management.

"Walk" with me...
James is 25. His generation wants things NOW. Bring me a Starbucks and a book on my iPod. His generation doesn't want to work at things like a slightly older generation is sort of willing to do. He wants it NOW. Remember, this is a guy who had his HS games on ESPN. Tonight his free agent signing will be on ESPN. Got a Hummer (insert your joke here) for HS graduation. What the so-called experts are missing is that money, power, as well as winning and ego are not what James wants (unlike earlier generations). James wants fun. Easy. Fast. A Michael Jordan would never go somewhere he may have to really share a spotlight. This is what makes this decision interesting.

Look at any office in the summer and you will understand. The younger folks want to work from home (so do I), where comfy clothing (versus the corporate uniform), and still I see people leaving early, doing half assed work. They want benefits without the work. The word "earn" seems to be out of thier dictionary. This doesn't bode well for the sport of cycling and triathlon. Maybe it does. The work in the sport comes on their own terms. Another generational item.

Enter NBA teams-
NY Knicks- too much pressure to win, no teammates (like Cleveland). Nope!
Cleveland- no teammates, pressure to win; wildcard- thy do have money... For him.
Chicago- quality young team with potential (read: pressure), Jordan legacy (pressure). Only other option versus Miami. What eliminates the bulls? A new, defensive specialist coach. In the words of Bill Murray in the movie Space Jam, "Wait... I don't play defense." (work- not fun)
Miami- young stars, easy, warm weather, clubs, escape from Cleveland. Most importantly- less responsibility. Just what his generation wants! If Miami fails, there will be two others to blame. In Chicago James could have that too, but have you been to Chicago in February lately? It represents work. Everything James is seeing about Miami is "fun" right now.

In my opinion, based on his generation, James will pick Miami.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tour de France Power Analysis


If you've been enjoying the Tour de France on Versus or on you know what a BRUTAL assault the beginning has been on the riders. Follow this link for daily power analysis from SRM and "our riders" (I am an SRM dealer.)

Power is an amazing when you train with it intelligently.

You know it is: A) July, B) Tour time when you get an email like this at work from your wife. "THOR!"

Norwegian sprinter Thor <span class=
Hushovd takes out the third stage with Cadel Evans, left.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Health First

I notice that what is missed in triathlon more and more is the health and lifestyle benefits of being uberfit. You can walk to the office and not be out of breath. You don't get sick like others in the office. You aren't dragging with energy late in the day. You are more positive.

Recently, friends and family members of mine have had the following: surgery (3), broken bones (12), punctured lungs (1), DVT(1), pneumonia(1), hernias found(4 - one person), and Cancer (Hodgkins Lymphoma).

A lot of talk is about "what matters" in racing, but after the medals are put away (about seven days time before a medal I get finds its way into the sock drawer) there are still the health benefits.

I tell my athletes the following. "First we get healthy. Then we get fit. Then we get fast."

You cannot race fast if you aren't healthy (certainly not for long). You cannot get fit if you aren't healthy. You cannot get fast if you aren't fit or healthy. Get healthy. Then get fit. Then get fast. Nobody remembers what place you got last year in whatever race. People will notice if you aren't there.

As this weekend is Independence Day weekend, I wish to thank my friend Dan (US Navy Seal) for giving his lower legs for our freedom. Legs or no legs, pretty soon he will be healthy, then fit (always fit), and fast. He will be kicking so called "able bodied" people's asses at a race near you very soon. I got $20 on Dan against just about anyone. Thank you for your service and unbelievably positive attitude.

Most people are too afraid of their own success to even try to compete, get in shape or move forward with better health.

Give yourself the gift of health.

Happy Birthday USA! I may be Italian, Czech and Pol by heritage - but as my grandparents said, "be proud you are born an American".