Posts Tagged ‘Triathlon’

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“LOSE IT” – Feb. 22

February 22, 2016

“Every athlete exercises self-control in all things.  They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.  1 Corinthians 9:25

“How could I have let this happen?”

This was my thought as I stepped off of the scales about a month ago.  In April of 2015, I wrote FAT DENIED  which chronicled my struggle with weight.  After writing that post, I continued to lose weight and got down to 182 lb.lose-weight-now-300x200

I felt great. 

My Strava account  testifies to the fact that I broke more PRs (personal records) from April through September, 2015 than at any other time.  I had demonstrated that the unnecessary layer of fat around my torso was the great hindrance to my athletic performance.  I was committed to keeping the weight off.

And then, the off-season happened;
My calendar cleared of all races;
Daylight savings robbed me of training after work;
And I ate my way through the holidays.

I was staring in disgust at a number on my scale that I had allowed to happen in just 4 months.  I had never wanted to see 190 lbs. again and here I was staring at 200 lbs.

“How could I have let this happen?”

Actually, I know exactly how it happened.  It is not a mystery.

I lacked self-control.

I ate more food than my activity level could burn off.  A snack here and there.  I ate a little extra of this and that.  I had maybe seconds and sometimes thirds, which was all  it took to make the numbers on the scale start to climb.   I am frustrated and disappointed with myself because this is completely on me.

I lacked self-control.

So, I have started again.  I have begun to lose that same 20 lbs. but I am not following a diet.  I am not subscribing to some method.  My weight loss strategy is simply self-control.  I have already learned what I should be eating.  I know how to exercise.

My issue is self-control.

Therefore, I am utilizing a self-control tool.  I am using the LOSE IT! app to help me maintain self-control.  I am not dieting.  I am seeking to live a balanced life.   After I reach my weight goal, I want my calories in to be roughly equal to my calories out.  I want to lose weight at this time.  So, I want my calories in to be less than my calories out.  I need data to help my self-control.

The LOSE IT app allows me to set a weight goal level and the date that I want to achieve it.  Based on those parameters, I have a daily calorie account.  I log what I eat and the app tallies it up.  I log my exercise and the app subtracts the calories burned from my total.  The goal is to keep each day below my daily calorie total.

I have found it to be an incredibly helpful self-control tool.

Several times I have climbed on by bicycle trainer, when I didn’t feel like it, simply to burn some calories because I had eaten too much.
I have foregone seconds and certainly thirds because I know how many calories that I have left for the day.
I am better at keeping my hand out of the nut jar because I know how many calories are in a handful.

I realize that some will think that I am being legalistic about my use of the LOSE IT app.  However, they don’t value my goals.  What they term legalistic, I define as self-control.  I wish that I did not need to use the LOSE IT app.  I know a buffet is not beneficial for me.  I wish that I could be free to eat whatever I wanted without any detrimental effects to my goals.   I can’t.

I lack self-control.

I could not help but think of the spiritual application of my recent weight gain experience.  Paul encourages us to live a life of self-control.

But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.  1 Corinthians 9:27

What does a self-control life look like to you? 
I think many may be too quick to confuse self-control with legalism.

The problem with legalism is that it is self-control with the wrong goal.  Legalism seeks righteousness through works but lack love for God.  Self-control seeks to love God by eliminating the stumbling blocks to our weaknesses.  I know that all things are free to me but all things are not beneficial.

I have to live in the world but I don’t want to be of the world.  Therefore, I can only consume a certain amount of the world; I have to exercise the spiritual disciplines to stay strong.   This is how I maintain a balanced spiritual life.

Some may criticize me for being legalistic.
Others may call me licentious.

However, I know what my spiritual goals are.  I know the race that I am in.  I am not running aimlessly.  I am not boxing as one beating the air.  I have learned the areas in which I have freedom and those in which I need self-control.  I know how to practice the spiritual disciplines.OpenBible

Based on those parameters, I strive to live as one who is running to obtain the prize.

How about you?

Do you have a spiritual goal?
Do you know your weaknesses?
Do you practice any spiritual disciplines?

Are you running to obtain the prize?

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for giving me a hope that surpasses this world.  Thank you for completing the work  you have started in me.  Thank you for giving me weakness.  Thank you for teaching me discipline.  Father, help me to live a balanced life that strives to glorify you.   Help me to be in the world but not of it.  Enable me to run as one running to obtain the prize.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

Please feel free to follow me on Strava or Lose It!

Francis Chan

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WHAT I’VE LIKED – Jan. 2

January 2, 2016

next waveThe following are some of my favorite waves
from my web surfing over the last couple weeks.


 QUOTE:

corrie ten boom


FAITH:

I ran across this article through a link at Already Not Yet.  I appreciated 7 Ways to Become a Better Sermon Listener as a nice change from many articles.  I read a lot on how preachers need to improve but I don’t hear much advice about what we in the pews can do to get more out of what we are hearing.  This was a good reminder for me.


POETRY:

Today more than ever,
we need to be alert . . .
when with temptation
we begin to flirt.

We need to treat,
all temptation as a threat
so that we’re not filled
with remorse or regret.

We need to consider,
the warnings they create
our spiritual senses . . .
we must always elevate.

We need to be sober,
to the flags that are red
unless unto temptation
we might fall into bed.

Today more than ever,
we must not be ignorant
temptation must be treated
as a threat imminent!

Deborah Ann Belka, Red Flag Warning


RUNNING:

While How to Stay Motivated to Run this Winter had some good motivation to stay running, it was trumped by the 12 lbs that I have gain during this off-season.  So, I found weight loss to be the motivator that actually got me back to pounding the pavement.  I love the motivational stories in 15 Incredible Stories of Weight Loss Through Running

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A winter run – I actually did one!


CYCLING / TRIATHLON:

Good advice to change my bike trainer attitude:  Make Peace With Your Bike Trainer

However, I will take a ride in the cold over a ride on the trainer any day.  This article has a lot of good advice for those who are willing to embrace the cold: Why I Bike in Cold Weather–And How You Can Too

Best Motivation for Winter Cycling - The Beardcicle

Best Motivation for Winter Cycling – The Beardcicle


GARDENING:

I can always get my garden fix from FLORATUBE.ORG.  As I am surrounded by white snow, I was contented to see all the green from this video which FLORATUBE.ORG linked to.  So, I will do the same:


SCIENCE:

I have a new excuse – my tapeworm made me do it.  This article freaked me out.  Hidden Epidemic: 
Tapeworms Living Inside People’s Brains gives you all the reason you need to make sure your pork is cooked properly.

People forget that science is a process pursued by fallible people.  I was dismayed by the number of retractions cited in The Top 10 Retractions of 2015 due to shear fabrication of data.  It is always good to remember that many scientist have motivations other than pure science.


ART & CRAFTSMANSHIP:


FUNNY/HEART-WARMING:

You have got to love someone with a style all their own.


 

 

"Thumbs up" picture, mostly uploaded...

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HAPPY BEARDCICLE DAY – Jan. 1

January 1, 2016

“Oh, you’ve grown your beard out” has been the obvious statement which I have heard several times over the last couple months.  It is usually followed by a puzzled look and an awkward pause.  Usually, I try to fill the silence with some justification as to why, I would do such a thing to my face.

I understand the question.

My beard is an accurate gauge of my mortality.  I check it annually from November through January.  Every year, the territory of brown whiskers has slowly been ceded to the territory of the grey.  At this point, whiskers are an effective strategy to add 10 years to my appearance.  This is the question behind every puzzled look – why would you do that?

My reason for growing a beard is one that only those who live in cold climates can appreciate and today, my reason was fulfilled.

I was fortunate enough to get outside and do some New Year’s Day cycling.  The temperature was 12 degrees F and the roads were relatively free of ice.  So, we bundled up and rode.

New Year's Ride

I grow my beard out for just this opportunity.   If you cycle cleanly shaven in the cold, the best you will experience is a frozen face.  However, a beard gives you the opportunity to experience the shear epic-ness of winter cycling:

the beardcicle.

 

Beard-cicle

2016 is off to a great start!

I pray you all will have many epic, beardcicle
worthy, days in the coming year.

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WHAT I’VE LIKED – Dec. 26

December 26, 2015

next waveThe following are some of my favorite waves
from my web surfing over the last couple weeks.

QUOTE:
newton

 

FAITH:

Never underestimate what God may use to draw the lost to himself.

 

POETRY:

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.
~ Christina Rossetti, In the Bleak Midwinter

 

INSPIRATION/ENCOURAGEMENT:
This article by Derek Rishmawy was a very encouraging reminder, “to strive to become Spirit-empowered readers who are disciplined in the interpretive virtues.”  Admiring v. Flying Boeing 747

RUNNING:
Since I still haven’t done any running this winter, this article was truly needed.
How to Stay Motivated to Run this Winter
cold run 1

TRIATHLON:
A lot of good reasons to get a coach…we’ll see if this advice is enough to shell out some cash.  Why Did You Start Using a Coach

The article was encouraging to remember that the primary aspects of triathlon are mental.  11 Traits of Top-Notch Triathletes

GARDENING:
I love the power of gardens!

 

SCIENCE:

We live in amazing times.  I was once again amazed by our Creator and the incredible nature of DNA.  The concepts of using DNA to store data is more than a few science classes beyond my understanding.  Data Storage on DNA can Keep it Safe for Centuries

Molecules Arranged in Double Helix --- Image by © Imtek Imagineering, Inc./CORBIS

Molecules Arranged in Double Helix — Image by © Imtek Imagineering, Inc./CORBIS

The contrast of God’s hand in the molecular and the macrocosm (Hubble Snaps Breathtaking View of Colorful Veil Nebula) can be summarize as simply astounding.

This image shows a small section of the Veil Nebula, as it was observed by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. This section of the outer shell of the famous supernova remnant is in a region known as NGC 6960 or — more colloquially — the Witch’s Broom Nebula.

This image shows a small section of the Veil Nebula, as it was observed by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. This section of the outer shell of the famous supernova remnant is in a region known as NGC 6960 or — more colloquially — the Witch’s Broom Nebula.

 

CRAFTSMANSHIP:

FUNNY/HEART-WARMING:

 

"Thumbs up" picture, mostly uploaded...

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WHAT I’VE LIKED – Nov. 28

November 28, 2015

next waveThe following are some of my favorite waves from my web surfing over the last couple weeks.

QUOTE:
“It’s nice to be great, but far greater to be nice.”
~ Joe Newton

FAITH:
I appreciated this article of strategies to help enjoy continuous communion with God.  Nancy gives 10 very practical aids to help set our minds on God.  I particularly liked her reminder, “our all-gracious God chooses to bless us when we seek to bless him.”  Ten Ways to Keep Mindful of God

POETRY:
“And then one day He wasn’t there –
no voice, no touch, no sense
that He was watching over me,
the heavens just seemed dense.
And then I knew just how it felt
to be an afterthought.
To not be top of someone’s list,
the first thing they sought.
It took some time to make it up,
I learned to make amends.
But now I guard it preciously
that God and I are friends.”
~ Ann Marie Thomas, Neglect, My Stroke of Inspiration

INSPIRATION/ENCOURAGEMENT:
This article by Tim Challies was very encouraging as he exhorts, “You can be far holier, far purer than you ever thought possible.”  A Simple but Life-Changing Realization

RUNNING:
It is a familiar story –
I am seeking inspiration to run;
maybe some running movies will help.
12 Great Running Movies

CYCLING:

Tri-Bike Trainer

I hate it when the weather gets too cold and I am forced onto the indoor trainer.  I just can’t take long trainer workouts so that is why I liked this article.  The author recommends short, hard efforts to build our aerobic energy system—in less time.  Work a little harder but get it done in less time – I like that.

The article has workouts to do two to three times a week.  I am going to give these a go this off-season.  How to Ride Inside:  Indoor Trainer Workouts for Cyclists

GARDENING:
I will warn you – if you like great gardens, it is hard to watch only one episode.

 

CRAFTSMANSHIP:

AMAZING:

 

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“PUKING OVER PURSUED GREATNESS” – Feb 11

February 11, 2015

““…whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” 1 John 2:6

 I want to be like Tony Martin… the cyclist, not the singer.  Tony Martin is a three time world champion and an absolute monster in the individual event where cyclists race against the clock.  The individual time trial is the “race of truth” since winning depends only on a rider’s strength and endurance.

I imagine being Tony Martin in the obscurity of my basement while spinning on my trainer.

Just like Tony Martin,…

I lie low over time-trial handlebars in a sleek aero-position.
I crank out intervals in my big chain ring.
I practice the Tony Martin open mouth “air scoop” breathing method.

I am a world champion time trialer… in my basement.

The sun shone brightly on a recent Saturday with temperatures above 40 degrees F and only a slight wind.  It was the perfect opportunity to turn my Tony Martin impersonation loose on the local rural roads. I kicked gravity loose and after a short warm-up, I was flying along in the practiced aero-position of a world champion that my mind imagined me to be.

Tony Martin had positioned me such, that only an extreme craning of my neck would allow sighting any distance ahead.  I had to content myself with watching the road a mere 5 feet beyond my front tire.  An occasional glance into the distance was my only assurance that the road actually continued before me.  The problem with this approach was that my focal point was upon a road blurred with speed.

I powered through some rollers but on the ascent of the last hill I began to feel a little queasy.  I held my aero-position thinking that the exertion was causing my stomach discomfort.  At the top of the hill, I slowed my pedaling and allowed my heart rate to fall.  One cough and then another brought me out of my aero-position.  A few coughs turned into dry heaves.

What is going on?  I am about to puke.

"The Way Way Back"I had not been riding hard enough to make myself puke.  “This is ridiculous,” I thought as I tried soft pedaling between wretches.  As I sat up on my bicycle, my head swirled and my stomach gurgled.  These symptoms were all too familiar from a childhood of relegation to the backseat of a station wagon.

I had made myself motion sick.
I had nearly made myself puke over a pursuit of greatness.

My Tony Martin impersonation had backfired.  I had failed at one of the three principles of a proper time trial fit – comfort.  (The 3 Priorities of a Proper Triathlon Bike Fit)

Needless to say, I have raised my handle bars and conceded, “I am not Tony Martin; at least not today; probably not tomorrow either.” He is still my example but I just can’t do some of the things he makes look so easy.  Subsequently, I have ridden this same route in my new more comfortable position.  Even though I am not as low as before, this new position allowed me to maintain an aero-position through the majority of a ride.  The result was that I was significantly faster and I never felt like puking.

We have a plethora of examples in our lives – especially our spiritual lives.  Paul encouraged us to follow these examples.  Therefore, following the example of another more mature Christian is not a bad thing.  It is wise to learn from the experience of someone who has walked deeply in the Spirit for years.

I have a lot of spiritual heroes.  I appreciate the gift of faith that these people have demonstrated by their lives and the glory to God that they have been blessed to participate in. However, my greatest example is Jesus Christ himself.  There has never been a better example of how to live than the life of Christ.

However, what happens when we don’t
achieve the same result of our example?

I learned that I cannot hold an aero-position like Tony Martin, but that does not negate the value of his example.  I demonstrated to myself that I will experience more success by following Tony Martin’s example to the best of my ability rather than giving up completely on riding in an aero-position.  Therefore, I am not going to abandon my Tony Martin impersonation.  I am going to tweak it.  I will continue to tweak it because I know that even a tweaked Tony Martin impression will be better than doing it my own way.  However, my goal will always be the perfect impersonation.

I have seen many folks make resolutions in their spiritual lives influenced by examples from the Bible or some other exemplar example of true faith.  They were great godly resolutions.  Yet, they abandon their resolve when they discover that they just can’t get it done like they had thought.

February is the month when most resolutions are abandoned.  Often, the optimism of a new year gets crushed under the practicalities of real life and we find that we just can’t do what we had hoped.  Many of us find that the activities of those we want to emulate are just too hard to pull off.  When that happens, there is a strong tendency to give up.

long_road-aheadI posted my resolution for 2015.  I am already behind on several of them.  For one, I know that I won’t be riding like Tony Martin by August.  However, it would be silly for me to abandon my plans just because they are not working well in light of my everyday life.  Therefore, I am going to do a little tweaking and continue until I get something that works, because I know that it will be better than going back to my own way.

There may be a whole list of legitimate and illegitimate reasons for not doing what seemed so tangible in January.  Yet, it is good to remember we are on the long road of perseverance.

Just don’t give up. 
Don’t make yourself puke over a pursuit of greatness. 

Tweak what needs to be tweaked in order for you to consistently do what the Lord has drawn you to do.  Few goals are ever achieved in exactly the manner we plan.  We are all individuals with our own strengths, weaknesses, and personal commitments.  It would be unrealistic to think that a resolution will not have to be altered under the pressures of life.

Striving after the Lord is worth it.  Following Christ in our tweaked, imperfect manner will always be better than going our own way.

PRAYER: Lord, you know that I need a lot of tweaking.  Forgive me for the imperfect manner in which I strive to follow you.  Help me to follow better.  Help me to not give up on what is good for my soul.  Help me to desire you more than anything else.  Lead me in way of following you in obedience and joy.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

 

 

 

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TRAINING PLANS – Jan 2

January 2, 2015

“Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths.  Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:7-8

 training bibleAs I languish on the couch with used tissues accumulating around me, I am still sick (AM I SICK), I have been diligently working through my recent Christmas present.  I received the book The Triathlete’s Training Bible by Joel Friel.

It only took a few chapters for me to realize that my training could be so much more effective.  The training philosophy espoused by Joel Friel is very different than what I have been doing:

An athlete should do
the least amount
of the most specific training
that brings continual improvement.

I have not been following this philosophy.  I tend to do random training workouts that usually focus on my strengths rather than weaknesses.  This haphazard training regiment survives reasonably well through approximately two-thirds of the season.  However, I have a tendency of burning-out toward the end of the summer.  I probably could be the poster-boy for the weekend warrior athlete’s battle with consistency.

Joel Friel is teaching me something new regarding how to maintain consistency.

Consistent training, not extreme training, is the way to attain the highest possible fitness.  Illness, injury, and overtraining can cause training breakdown, and extended or frequent downtime from such problems inevitably results in a loss of fitness and the need to rebuild by returning to previous levels of training…Consistency must serve as the ultimate standard in all training decisions…The key is to strive for moderation in training while resting at regular intervals.
~ Joel Friel, The Triathlete’s Training Bible, Page 7

Friel estimates that you will need to double the duration of a training break to rebuild the lost level of fitness.   That makes consistency the key to continual improvement.  Friel’s solution is to emphasis rest and recovering while maintaining fitness to avoid the inconsistency of significant breaks.

Just as the farmer’s field must lie fallow every winter, so does the human body, mind, and spirit need a rest, with time to reflect, recover, and rejuvenate.
~ Rob Sleamaker, Serious Training for Serious Athletes

That takes planning.  I have finished my annual training plan based on the guidance in The Triathlete’s Training Bible.  It is still a work in progress since I don’t have all my race, vacation, and work travel dates but this is what it is looking like so far:   Annual Training Plan   I am still in the process of creating my weekly and daily workout schedule in Training Peaks so I cannot share those specifics.

This planning process has been an excellent evaluation of what I am doing and why.  As a result, I am optimistic that my training plan for 2015 will guide me to training according to Friel’s philosophy – doing the least amount of the most specific training that will bring continual improvement and help me to achieve my goals.

While I concentrated on my athletic goals for 2015, I could not keep from reviewing my other resolutions for 2014.  I did not do very well.OpenBible

I did not read nearly the quantity or quality of books I had hoped.  Most disappointing, I did not stay consistent in my Bible reading plan and did not complete it.

I failed to memorize Romans 8, once again.

I failed on every single one of my prayer strategies.

I was not as consistent in writing this blog as I had hoped.

I actually gained weight.

I didn’t start a home Bible study.

I did not send out a note of encouragement per week.

The sharing of achievements is much more satisfying than the acknowledgement of unfulfilled goals.  However, I share my lack of success because I don’t think that I am alone.  According to a study by the University of Scranton, just 8% of the people who make New Year’s resolutions will achieve their goal.

There are a lot of reasons resolutions are abandoned but for me the number one reason is fatigue.  I get tired and give up.  My resolve breaks down under illness, disappointment, distraction, or simply taking on too much (overtraining).

The intent of my athletic plan is to increase consistency – consistency will produce continual improvement.  That is what I need in my spiritual life.  I want to make the most of the time I have been given.  Therefore, I am going to try an experiment in 2015.  I am applying what I have learned from Joel Friel into a new spiritual training philosophy for 2015:

I will strive for consistent spiritual training
as the standard for all my resolutions
while incorporating regular periods
of rest and reflection in order
to achieve continual spiritual growth.

That is going to take some planning.  I have finished my first draft of an annual spiritual training plan.  I am still working on what I am going to be doing for each “X” but this is what I have so far: Annual Spiritual Training Plan

It is still a work in progress so I will be interested to hear any advice or comments.

PRAYER: Father, you know my fickle, inconsistent heart.  You know that I love to start things but struggle to see it through.  Lord, help me to consistently walk in your Spirit through this coming year.  Father, I ask that you will guide and bless the plan  I have laid before you.  May it be a tool in my sanctification.  Create in me a pure heart.  Train me in godliness for your glory.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

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