Round Two…

August 1, 2011 By Lauren and Tom

Stroke 9
“Kick Some Ass”
How many people wanna kick some ass?
I do I do!
And how many people sick of holding it back?
I am!
Well I am too!
Zilla is always ready to “kick some ass!”
Back on May 2nd, I started my 60 day challenge that I kept pretty quiet about.  I wrapped that one up on the 30th of June and it was a great success for me personally (Progress Both Big and Small).  So after having dialed back a bit in July where I’ve still been working out just about every day but also have been juggling several crazy schedules and all of our little home projects…needless to say that July was a whirlwind and I’m shocked it is August 1st.

So with that being said; and knowing that August and September are going to be busy with The Lawsuit and my NPO preparing for programming I have decided to undertake round two of my challenge.  I’m going for 45 days straight between August 2nd and September 15th. 

This time it’s a little different; I’ve already got some fitness so I’m not nearly as pathetic starting now as I was on May 2nd.  I’ve been able to get some decent miles in on the bike, enjoy the weather, and am continuing to learn what my back tolerates and doesn’t tolerate.  So; the terms are a bit different this time to make it better for what I am looking to achieve.

This also goes hand in hand with the fact that after lots of personal reflection over the past months; I’ve decided to try and resume training full time this fall as if I am going to be able to compete fulltime next year with medical clearance.  No idea if my brain injury will actually allow that; but I’d rather go into the season trying to replicate race fitness and not be able to race than get cleared medically in May of 2012 and not have any fitness at all.  Figure this way I’ve at least gained something (fitness) if everything else stays status quo.
Racing in Germany in 2007; seems like just yesterday…want to go back!
I’ve also set it up a bit differently; I know what my goals will be throughout and I’ve got a couple of benchmarks that I want to hit along the way.  I’m still going to use riding, swimming, and a few trail runs as my tools of exercise and to keep it fun.

My goals throughout the 45 day challenge are:

August 16: 1 hour trail run with Lauren to get it out of my system and know I can do it
August 30: 3 hour ride that should hopefully be a lot easier than the final ride on June 30th
September 15: 4 hour ride, and my first 4 hour ride in 18 months to boot
I figure that going through September 15th will allow me to complete this goal, rest up for a few weeks and spend some time in the gym lifting and doing some odds and ends, and start really logging in some miles on the bike in a traditional offseason style come October 15th as well as get back into a regular weightlifting routine.  The other benefit is we can spend that month between this wrapping up and a normal training routine to hopefully watch IU win some football, get up to Chicago for a weekend, and continue to further refine our lovely home!

Ironically I feel I’ve done a pretty good job conquering the bike (gauged by my ability to knock out 2+ hour rides without a second thought now) and my time in the pool (gauged by my ability to not have drowned yet).  I’m hoping that I can tolerate the trail runs a bit better now than I was doing earlier in the year as I really would like to be able to run with Lauren a bit as she gears up for her trail marathon in December.  I’m also really craving the need to get back in the gym and hit the weights.  I love lifting, I’ve always combined it into my winter workouts and it has helped my sprint and max power on the bike a ton over the years.  I think I’ve finally come to terms with the reality that my spine doctor said no squats, deadlifts, or cleans (which are 3 of my favorite lifts EVER); and that’s a bitter pill to swallow knowing that Jerry Lowery and John Mavris are both responsible for taking away activities that I have been doing for more than a decade that I love; but it is what it is I suppose and I can’t do anything about it.
This also gives us an excuse (and further motivation) to retreat down to our favorite getaway destination Fort Lauderdale in the midst of the snow and cold in January or February.  They’ve got a track down there that I’ve used several times to train at during the cold and I’m thinking that the Flroida track will be my first velodrome ride if we can sort out a week long trip this winter. 
Road trip to Fort Lauderdale with Lauren in 2009 to train and relax; and the lesson that the Subaru WRX+4 bikes on roof+the Florida Turnpike and its questionable spacing of gas stations stations=almost running out of gas every time
Bike ride up A1A on the road bikes to shake out the legs=happy time
My new friend, Iggy the Iguana at almost 6 feet long; whom tried to crash me in warmup at the Fort Lauderdale track
Post workout/beach recovery drink at our favorite afternoon bar in Fort Lauderdale (Buy One Get One every day!)
So, there it is; instead of keeping this one secret and just hoping it is possible; I’ve set the bar high enough and am willing to share it with the world.  So in the theme of an old Stroke 9 song; lets kick some ass (mine)!