Monday, October 15, 2012

Old Me

I feel old and I also feel the old me coming back.

The fun and exciting aspect of getting back into shape is accomplishing little goals every day.  Two years ago I would have laughed at the idea of running 5 miles as a great workout day.  Five miles would be equivalent to an easy off day run.  Today I ran 5 miles and it was a great goal to accomplish.

Another aspect I love about getting back into shape is realizing what a machine my body is.  I am a machine!  This past weekend I worked out for at least 5 hours of hard training with 3 hours in the pool.  I am only a couple of months into working out again so this great weekend of training is a very positive sign.  The most positive sign is how my body feels today.  It feels great!

Although I am enjoying the old feelings coming back I am also keenly aware that I am getting older.  I do not believe I will run best times again but thankfully I have never really maximized my potential as a triathlete.  With the way my swimming is going I think I will be swimming fast by summer.  Already I am swimming times close to what I was capable of when training for triathlon.

The biggest sport news I have is that I bought a speedy road bike and I love it.  I finally understand how people can spend all day on their bikes training and why people love their bikes so much.  My Cannondale CAAD 8 is sweet (a Cannondale rider won the tour of Beijing, FYI).

Looking forward I am running in the Whistler 50 this weekend with a group of strangers.  I know one person on the team.  I am running a 12.8 km leg which will be a challenge.  I will run a tempo on Wednesday (first tempo in 1.5 years!) and see what happens.  I am mostly really excited to train really hard again.  I have my fire back!

Happy Training!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

On The Road Again

I'm back into athlete mode for real.

I'm training again at an intensity I have not felt in over a year.  The high intensity training is only in the pool but I am now working towards building a running base and getting onto a bike at least once a week.  My body is not responding like it used to but I also have not been this out of shape in a long time.  I have a feeling I'm going to get it back though.

I've missed sport.  I've missed the daily accomplishment of little goals that lead to a big goal.  It is a nice feeling to look at the clock and see a quick time.  I was swimming 1:20 low for 100 m freestyle in a 150 set today.  This is about as fast as I ever swam when I was doing triathlon.  Knowing that I am able to lead a workout (in the medium lane) and swim quick after only 3 weeks in the pool is pretty exciting.  It really makes me want to race and to suffer in training.  It makes the holding breath sets seem much more acceptable.

Running is something that I have finally decided to do again.  I even bought a watch.  At last I am starting to miss running with my club and especially Kevin.  I still think of coach John when I do a long exhale during a workout.  "Big exhale Jay!"  I am aiming to be able to run workouts in January but we will see.  I want to take this slow and enjoy the training!

I saw some pictures today of my niece and nephew running the St.F.X. Open in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.  It made me quite nostalgic.  That race was the only AUS level race that I have won and it was the first race I ever won.  I do not know how they placed but regardless is makes winning the race more important and harder than it seemed at the time.  I was very excited when I won but it did not seem real.  That goal always seemed impossible.  It really was quite exceptional that I won a league race in a university conference. 

So living the gay life has come to an end.  I am going to live a hybrid life.  I am going to live my life.  I am going to do what makes me happy.  I am going to workout a lot.  I am going to spend more time with the people I love and who make me happy.  I am going to reach out.  I am going to love again.

Happy Training!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Running is Hard

I have been running again and it is really hard.

Last night I went for what was supposed to be an easy run after a hard open water swim. I have not learned to jog yet so I wound up running with reckless abandon along Vancouver's seawall. I did some drills and strides after my run to open up my stride and maintain my running flexibility and strength. After being in my apartment for 15 minutes every muscle in my body tightened up and I was very sore.

I love being sore after a workout. It tells me I have done something to improve my body and performance. I realize that I am not training and thus should not be concerned with performance but I still want to be quick. I love the feeling of moving fast and I think I do not have the patience to run slow. I want to move and I have the fire to run fast and swim fast. My pain an fatigue after my relatively easy workout shows me that running is really hard and further, I am really tough.

With my returned interest in running and triathlon I am also pursuing tennis. I love hitting a tennis ball and there are few better feelings than setting up a great point in a match and finishing it with a great winner. I am surprised by my skill level after not playing for many years. I am trying out for a tennis team with Vancouver Tennis Association, a gay and lesbian tennis association. If I make this team I will be playing at a tournament in Seattle towards the end of the summer. I have my first try out tomorrow evening and I am excited and nervous. Tennis is a touchy sport and as I am a bit high strung I can have my game go off the rails quite quickly. I am going to focus on enjoying myself and having a good time. I will save the suffering for running and triathlon training.

I am absolutely loving getting into shape. I think I have a bit more of a bounce in my step. Most exciting is that I am trying to maintain my weight! I am not trying to lose any weight (most would say I am still too skinny). This may be difficult but I will ensure I continue to drink my 1000 calorie shakes after workouts.

Here's to doing what you love and loving what you are doing!

Happy Training!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Long Road Back

I am having quite the journey.

The last 6 months, and especially the last 2 months, have been quite formative and I have learned a lot about myself. It has been a very positive momentum shift and I am excited for the future. My horoscope on my birthday, almost 2 months ago, promised a terrific year where nothing could go wrong. I am feeling this prediction has been accurate.

It feels that in all aspects of my life things are really looking up. I am getting more energy leading into summer and I am excited to work out again and have even started doing hard workouts in the pool. I managed to swim 5 times 200 on 3 minutes. Not a very difficult set but I was getting 20 to 30 seconds recovery which was very surprising. To think I could have easily swum 200s on 2:50 or less is very positive. Me thinking that this matters is a sign that my competitive juices are flowing again. I want to do triathlon. I am loving swimming both in the pool and in the ocean. I started running again (boy am I sore...) and I would like to get on a bike again.

I have met a few interesting men and one in particular who has really given me a great feeling about myself and my expectations. For a while I had ignored some of the more important exclusion criteria when it comes to who I would date. I met interesting and adorable men but the differences between us become barriers to anything deep happening. When I was feeling a bit down I happened to meet someone, at the bar of all places, who is very much in line with the individual I may have thought I wanted to be with. He is fantastic in the things that are important to me. We share small similarities which create a type of rapport and ease of being between us. We both communicate in a similar fashion and he is bright and charming. We have worked out together and he is even a runner. Unfortunately he is only living in Vancity for a short time and will be back in Oz in a few short weeks. Although I ought to be disappointed, I feel that this rendezvous has offered me confirmation that there are super wonderful men out there. I just need to open my eyes to see them.

It is often hard to write when I am feeling happy. I do not feel I learn much when I am doing things right and the stars are aligned. It is also somewhat nauseating to read rainbow bright posts. I also have not been thinking much about being in sport. It is only lately that I have been seriously planning to race again. I will not be aiming to win the race but rather I will look to enjoy myself and have fun again. Now that my thinking has shifted I will write about a few workouts and possibly outline some of the work and improvement I am seeing.

I am going to enjoy riding the crest of this wave.

Happy Training!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Back into the Game

I went running today.

For the past 2 or 3 months I have been thinking about resuming training in an attempt to complete an Ironman triathlon. Today might have been my first running step towards my new goal.

Much has happened since July when I took a hiatus from hard run training to become a gay man and have some fun. I have met a man and am experiencing my first foray into boyfriendom. I worked very hard to go in the absolute opposite direction of all I have done before and have really enjoyed it. The call of hurt has come back though and I want to work towards a goal again.

I would like to write that I have missed training but that would be a lie. I have experienced a freedom in the last 10 months that I have never had before. Although I do continue to workout at least 5 days a week I do not actually have to workout 5 days a week. If I am tired or someone suggests something more fun to do then I will not workout. If I want to go to a concert on a Thursday night I go. If there is a hot after hours party on a Friday night I go, and manage to get home at the time I would have been heading to workout. It is a glorious feeling to arrive home from a wild night of gayness while everyone else is getting up for the morning.

I know the pain and exhaustion of training and this makes me nervous for the future. Ironman is a totally different beast of an event than what I have trained for before. I will be completing up to 16 workouts a week at my peak training. I will have to spend a lot of money for the basic equipment I need to compete. I will have to swallow my pride in knowing that I will not be at the front of the pack. My life will become triathlon for the next year and a half.

I have also tasted the world of the normal gay person and it can taste pretty nice. Gaining weight has been fantastic and the reaction I get when I go out is profoundly different. I even get checked out at the gym! I also have a boyfriend now who is not an athlete. He knows I was once an athlete but will he be able to handle me when I am freaking out about missing a workout? Will he want to be with me when I lose my appetite and lose too much weight? Will he understand when he sees me cry for the first time because of a bad workout or a terrible race?

For the next 4 months I intend to play tennis and begin to build a base in swimming, cycling and running. I do not want to lose weight or any of the muscle I have worked hard to build (this is going to be a big challenge, I think about running and I lose weight...). In the fall I will begin workouts mostly focusing on swimming and cycling. In the new year I hope to begin hard run training again to complete the picture. I will race again in the spring and hopefully get a spot in Ironman Canada.

I have a lot of work in front of me. The biggest task will be to maintain at least some sort of balance between the athlete me and the gay me. I'm getting back into the game and I am pretty excited!

Happy Training!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Welcome 2012

2012 came in with a bang. What will this year hold?

New Years has always been a time when I sit myself down and evaluate my life and where I want it to go. This is a time to reflect on the past and make a plan for the future. Typically I would sit down at the begining of the year and decide my race schedule and training periods. Now that I am not training any more I have different goals to set.

I continue to be content away from the running world. There are days that I miss my fitness and the camaraderie of a group to train with. I miss finishing a hard workout and feeling a great sense of accomplishment. I do not miss the total exhaustion that marked my life. I do not miss always being in pain. I really like trying to gain weight!

I always seem to set some of the same goals every year. The big thing I usually look for is a boyfriend. At 33 years old and yet to have a boyfriend I am thinking that 2012 may not be the year. I have dated and chased. I have added random people on Facebook and been asked to be set up with anyone that anyone knows. I have done electronic dating of all kinds. I have been shameless. I have also gotten involved in activities that are meaningful for me both gay and not gay. I have met thousands of people but not one single gay man who can tolerate me nor who I could have a relationship with. At the beginning of 2012 I am thinking that I will never fall in love and no one is going to fall in love with me. I am not setting any goals about meeting someone.

With regards to athletics my goals are solely superficial. I want to gain 10 to 15 pounds of muscle. This will be difficult as I have lost much of my appetite after years of training myself not to eat. I plan to hit the weight hard with some running to keep lean with a healthy heart.

Generally I want to have a happy and healthy 2012. I would like to get out more and party a bit more than I did last year. I am still learning what life is like away from training and running. I still forget sometimes that I can stay up late during the week and it will not destroy me for the week as when I was training. I want to maximize my potential in all areas of my life.

Lastly I would like to think of a new direction to take this blog. I started this blog because I did not see much about gays in sport on the web. Now that I am not competing maybe I can write about being a normal gay guy who has a type A personality. I will do some thinking.

Happy Training!