Thursday, April 14, 2011

Learning to Walk Again...

For those who follow me on Twitter (@rrheisler), you'll know I've been on a bit of a Foo Fighters kick as of late. The new album, Wasting Light, dropped on Tuesday, and it has been playing non-stop since.

The final track of the album, "Walk", has been a bit of a motivator for me as of late:

You keep alive a moment at a time
But still inside a whisper to a liar
To sacrifice, but knowing to survive
The first to find another state of mind
I'm on my knees, I'm waiting for a sign...

...I'm learning to walk again
I believe I've waited long enough
Where do I begin?

It's been tough trying to keep moving forward. Essentially, last year this was all a blur: the spring, the time change, the trips to Boston, New Hampshire, Cape Cod, down to Hartford in all made no sense. Couple this with essentially taking the golden parachute off, and finding that I want to do what I love (work in the athletic industry), rather than chase law down and be miserable with who I am as a person...and it's been a hell of a ride as of late.

That being said, here's the latest Question-and-Answer session, as we barrel towards racing season:

How is your training going?
It's been great! The key so far has been staying intuitive with my body: listen to what it is telling me. Know when to push, know when to back off. There have been times where I've gotten a little more married to my numbers, but only when I am supposed to (take, for instance, a race pace 10K run: time to get wedded). I've been burning through some PRs running. Swimming has been good. I need more time in the saddle, though.

Speaking of the ride, how has maintenance gone?
Tom Demerly, of TriSports, has said it best: these are racing machines, and they will have all the inherent issues of being such a creature.

This means that the shifting stays pretty crisp, but you need to know how to adjust your limiter screws, tighten things up, clean them, etc. This is not a bike that you get to beat the crap out of. You take care of it, treat it like a child, pamper it, etc. Hence why he has the name. And why we talk when we're out on the road.

You the bike.
Yes...? You sound surprised...when you're torturing yourself climbing, you either start talking to the bike or you start yelling. I prefer being a little quieter. I get stared at less.

Any sort of product recommendations that you can make?
Sure thing! I was lucky enough to receive some 2XU Endurance Aero Tri Shorts from the sales representative in the area.

These things are amazing. I can't stop raving about them. The chamois pad is small, comfortable, and quick-drying. The compression level actually works a bit. And they're dimpled.

Yes, you read that right. Dimpled. As in, akin to dimpled Zipp wheels. Seeing as I won't be riding Zipps, I guess I had to get aero some other way. And if it's going to be this comfortable...

You've been so positive with reviews. Anything just flat out not work?
I've got two nutrition products that I'd recommend avoiding: Nathan Catalyst Electrolyte Tabs (oh, the taste of metal in the morning is just so GOOD!) and Lava Gels. Although Lava tastes decently, it soured my stomach. On the plus side, it made me run a personal best 5:36 mile. On the negative side, it was to avoid making sure I didn't wind up like this guy.

So, how's Team Tri-Harder coming along?
To be honest: I'm disappointed.

Although I thank the number of people who have donated to the cause so far, I've been disappointed to see less action on this front. Perhaps I haven't done a good enough job. Perhaps people don't like Lance Armstrong, and let it cloud their judgment of the foundation, which does wonderful things for cancer research.

At the end of the day, whether you love Lance or think he doped, it should not cloud what that organization does for cancer patients, or the families of patients. I wear a LIVESTRONG bracelet proudly. I respect other people's opinions of Lance the cyclist. But do not dare to talk about the organization. They've done a lot for my family. And now I'd like to return the favor.

So, again, here are the links: my personal donation page, as well as info to join Team Tri-Harder this season.

One last question: updated race schedule?
Looks like the following:

Rev 3 Quassy 6/5/11
Timberman 70.3 8/21/11
Maine Marathon 10/2/11**tentative

I'd like to add in two sprints: one in May, one in July. Looks like I've got some work to do.

Thanks all.