Back in the saddle

It’s been a few days since I’ve focused on my life as an endurance athlete – mainly because I’ve had a couple of travel days and a few days at a work conference in the Twin Cities.

Still, the ending to my trip to Arizona was good: I logged a rewarding 11-mile run along the canals in the East Valley, and then put in a nice 5-mile before taking a shuttle to Sky Harbor airport to catch a plane to Minneapolis.

The 11-miler was particularly rewarding. It gave me a chance to think about a lot of things going on right now in my life, and it was long enough to give my mind a chance to go blank. I love those longer runs as it seems its about the only time aI can just shut off the brain and let it rest. Afterward, my brother and I drove over to the Phoenix Mountain Preserves, where we hiked up a trail and took a bunch of photos. Here are a few of them: From the main trail, we looked out on the rest of the park area, and there is a terrific array of trails there. Without a doubt, I’ll be visiting the area again and planning a long run. The idea just makes me excited for the possibilities there.

Unfortunately, since my return to Minnesota, I have yet to get back in the saddle and start running, cycling and swimming again. That changes today, and that doesn’t mean I haven’t done things to make myself a better athlete and competitor.

While I was gone, I had my tri bike over at Gear West for a tuneup and an equipment upgrade for the Ironman Wisconsin race. I purchased the bike there while at the Twin Cities Marathon last fall, but with the distance from Bemidji to Wayzata, the store was gracious enough to let me delay my tuneup. While there, I also had a different rear cassette installed and make the course a little less challenging. There’s a great Facebook group for IMMOO (as the race is known) and I’ve learned a lot from that group so far.

Plus, while picking up my bike Saturday, I asked a couple questions to make training and racing a bit easier. I’m lucky the staff are helpful and willing to provide useful information so readily.

I also splurged on one other item: The Feed Zone Cookbook. For quite some time, I’ve to focus and improve my nutritional intake and habits, and I am ready to make the commitment. The idea for me is to eat clean by developing habits for eating whole and unprocessed foods – lots of fruits, vegetables, lean meats and foods with few ingredients. I followed a similar approach when I first started an intensive power lifting and body building routine 10 years ago. While I have a lot to talk about, it’s time to get to the pool for the first part of today’s workout.

One thought on “Back in the saddle

  1. Great cookbook with practical and tasty recipies! My daughter and I hiked some of those trails in December. Your pictures bring back good memories.