California Love

Here I am in Oceanside, California… and I really don’t know when I’m going home.

I decided to pack and fly out to San Diego. I didn’t really tell anyone. I caught the 6:40am flight out of OKC and at noon Pacific time and $7.25 dollars later (a bus ride from the airport to the train station and a train ride to Oceanside), I had to make that phone call to my sister to ask her if she’d pick me up from the station close to her house. Luckily, she was around and not at the zoo with Kinsey, my niece. She was very surprised even though we had been talking about me coming out here for some time, I just never knew when I would actually do it. The fun thing is… I don’t have a return flight booked at all.

Once arriving, I got to see my niece and we went to the beach on base. They live on Camp Pendleton because my brother-in-law is a Marine and is stationed in Japan right now. My dad has been out here since the beginning of January to help out. The tide was incredibly low and we got some great pictures.
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Afterwards, I fell asleep on the couch at 8:30 and did not wake up until 8am this morning.

Today has been a busy day. Not busy in the sense that I was on the go, but I did what I would normally do at home… just with a scenic backdrop. I went to a 24 Hour Fitness close by and shot some baskets. Then I did my CrossFit Endurance workout. I broke a sweat to say the least.

Once I recovered from it, got some niece time in as my sister ran errands, I headed to the beach to get my run workout in. 2x5k with 5 minutes rest between followed by 8 rounds of 20 second sprints and :10 rest.

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Turns out, I even ran part of the course for tomorrows Carlsbad Marathon in a town just down the road. I contemplated running in it to get my California marathon out of the way but I only found out about it on Monday so I was in no shape to actually run 26.2.

I’ve been having trouble uploading my run, but once I do get it uploaded, I’ll post it.

So here I am in Oceanside, CA… and absolutely loving it so far. Also, I suppose this is an open invite to go steal anything and everything at my house.

The Long Swim

60 minutes. (semi)Constant swimming. Incredibly sore arms.

My coach has been planning out my swim workouts for me because she comes from a swimming background. She’s always said that swimming is the one thing that you have to be prepared for when entering any Ironman race and I’m only assuming this, but I’m pretty sure it’s because you can die during the swim. We’ve talked the past two weeks of a benchmark swim where I’d swim for 1 hour and just see how far I can get. That way, she could see where I was in regards to my swimming. Last night, I got an email at 9:55pm (CST):
“We talked about this. Tomorrow might be a good day to get your tempo/TT swim in, so I can see where to go with your swim programming.
Warm up with 100 kick with fins and then 100 pull
60 minutes of how far you can get.
Cool down with 100 any other stroke but free and butterfly.
Let me know distance.”

I mentally prepared, looked at the pool schedule and set my alarm and was in bed asleep before 11.

The alarm went off at 5:40am. Sidenote: If you have an iPhone or an iPad, use the iHome app as your alarm. It is the taste. I go to bed listening to Bon Iver and wake up to M83 currently. Before that, Florence + the Machine and before that, Big Sean (I’m all over the map). I was at the YMCA and in the pool by 6:20. I started my 60 minute swim right at 6:30. I need to figure out a counting system because I seriously got bored/confused just trying to keep track of my 50s. By the time I had reached 2,000 meters, 34 minutes had already passed. I took a quick breather and got back to it.

This next 1,000m was ridiculous. I knew I shouldn’t have stopped. Like any endurance sport, especially running, if you stop in the middle of a long training session, it’s tough to get back going again. This was like everything else and my arms/shoulders were killing me when I got started again. I pushed through this 1,000m and stopped to take another breather. My breathing was actually fine and didn’t really strain for breath at any point through this, but my arms were tiiiiirrreedd.

Looked at my watch and decided to hit it hard for the next 8 or 9 minutes that I had left and somehow was able to swim another 375 meters.

3,375 meters done. I WAS BEAT.

I emailed my coach right afterwards and I am looking forward to what she has to say. I’ll keep you posted. So now I have that benchmark and now know where I need to go in order to swim the 2.4 miles in open water without having to take these breaks.

UPDATE: I got that Email back from my coach:
“That’s awesome. Be sure you eat today a lot. You have to add dairy back in your diet or you will risk health problems with the volume you are moving now. After this weekend ride, you should start losing weight if you haven’t already. You do not want to lose more than three pounds a week till you get to your racing weight. Racing weight is pretty low, but as long as you are eating and staying strong, it is okay.
My caloric intake is 3700 calories a day to try to maintain my weight. Yours has to be higher than mine to give you an idea of how much you need to be eating.
I will keep you at the 10% increase on the swim and give you more time to work on skill work and pull.”

All this is good to know because I’m heading to the grocery store right after I post this. I looked in my fridge last night as I was making an omelet for dinner that I was really really low on vegetables and for the first time EVER, I was sad because of this. What’s wrong with me?! I can’t wait for that nap soon!

Have a great day!

Series Of Unfortunate Events

Not necessarily a series rather than just one unfortunate event. I was laid off on Wednesday morning from my job that I have had since September 15, 2008. It was the last thing I was expecting to happen when I arrived in my office that morning. The marketing department was being restructured and everything is going to be outsourced from what I understood when leaving. I worked for a bank and I am assuming because financial information of customers is on hand, I had to leave immediately after the meeting with HR. It was not a happy moment, but I did laugh when I was handed a box to gather my personal items from my office because it was happening just as you see it happen in the movies. I’m typically a glass half-full kind of person (or I just have difficulties handling serious situations) so I have been finding a ways to look at this in a good way.

This is the first time I have been released from a job but it’s not the only time that I have been unemployed. I made a difficult decision back in 2008 and quit my job in Dallas to move back to Oklahoma. I have noticed this time around I have a more positive outlook on things and I can only attribute that to my health. It’s definitely a weird feeling but in all honesty, my health is the main reason why I know I’ll make it out of this just fine. The first thing I did after cleaning out my office was head to the gym to get my workout in. A few hours after my CrossFit workout, I went to the YMCA to swim 1800 yards (just over 1 mile) for my endurance workout of the day. Just doing those two things made my day so much better. That first go-around with unemployment, I wasn’t in great shape and looking back, it made being without a job so much harder. Mentally, I was just not doing well with the whole situation. This time, things will be just fine.

If you happen to be a hiring manager and stumble upon this post, please take a look at my LinkedIn Profile to see if I may be a good fit for you!

I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And gosh darnit, people like me.

Ironman Training: Mid-January

Swimming and cycling are my main focuses (focuses?) right now. Running has been my thing and I feel like I can put most of my effort towards swimming and cycling for the time being and not really lose that much off my run. I still run, but it’s nowhere near the amount I was running. So far, my favorite has definitely been swimming. Cycling is something entirely new to me and I’m just now learning the ropes. I have a ways to go but yesterday’s 24 mile ride was something I was encouraged by.

I’m no Michael Phelps (I don’t do recreational drugs), but I have already seen improvement in my swimming. I’m up to 1800 yards/meters in the pool and doing so at a fairly fast clip. I say fairly fast, because I’m only 3 weeks into training and I’m comfortable in the pool but not necessarily 2.4 mile comfortable. This morning, I woke up at 6am and went to the YMCA to get in my workout:

  • Warm up (400y)
    4 X 75 @ 1:30, 100 drill
  • Main Set (1200y)
    6 X 200 @ 3:45, build effort by 50s
  • Cool down (200y)
    2 X [4X 25 @ :35]

My coach told me last week that she’s creating these workouts with the idea that I’ll be getting out of the water, come race day, right at 1 hour. That’s a 2.4 mile swim in an hour. I can only hope right now!

Yesterday’s bike ride was one for the books… partly because it was only my 2nd real bike ride. This time, I went out with my coach and 2 other guys. They were taking me through the ringer, teaching me when to be in what gear and how to approach hills.

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Hills are something of particular interest due to the fact that I’ll be racing in Louisville, Kentucky where the entire bike course is rolling hills. I learned a ton just from yesterday and this gave me a little confidence boost. Confidence is where I am lacking when it comes to cycling too.

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One day, Oklahoma will not be windy and I’ll be able to enjoy my long bike ride on the weekend.

Stay tuned this week, I may or may not have some fun news (regarding training) a little later this week.

10 Day Token

If you know who is pictured above, please contact me at ryan.doonkeen@gmail.com because I would like to take you out for a nice seafood dinner. That’s Phil Hartman playing the Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer on Saturday Night Life (pre-murder).

Everyone knows by now that I am on the Paleo Meal plan (I refuse to call it a diet). It’s going back to the caveman days of human history and eating like our ancestors ate. Lots of meat, vegetables, and fats that your body is supposed to have. It’s January 10th and I have had zero cheat meals and have started to notice changes. My weight is down a considerable amount. I have plenty of energy throughout the day and I’m never really hungry hungry during the day either. I’ve also become quite the cook in the past 10 days too.

I have found several websites that have made this transition easier. My favorite so far has been the 30 Nights of Paleo Crockpot cooking. I received a crockpot for Christmas and have put it to good use. I’ve tried my hand at the JalapeƱo Roast and the Stuffed Peppers with Spanish “Rice”. I cook plenty each time since it is just me so that means I’ve been having these items as part of every meal since Sunday. Last night for dinner, I had the chicken that I had leftover in lettuce wraps with guacamole and salsa. They were great. Tonight, I’ll probably be doing the same with the roast.

Another site that I just found today is paleoblocks.blogspot.com. Nothing fancy in terms of the site but it does list some great recipes that I am hoping to try out. I also really want one of these…. A NorCal Margarita: tequila, lime, soda water.

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It’s been 10 days without any sort of alcohol. I need a token.

This past weekend was my first “long” ride of my training schedule too. It was one lap around Draper Lake which is almost 15 miles. There was a pretty brisk north wind and a lot of the time I was riding north, there were some pretty solid hills.

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Just after I was done with my ride, I went over to my parents’ house to check up on their dogs and on my way home, I saw all sorts of news vans and police cars. They found a body of some girl that went missing for a month after meeting up with someone on Craigslist where she solicited her services. Pretty heavy stuff and pretty nuts that I was right there. I have also noticed I have given Oklahoma City a pretty bad name the past two posts. Expect one in the future featuring all the good things about OKC.

Only 34 more weeks of training!

Let the Training Begin

I’ve started my Ironman training following the CrossFit Endurance plan. I started on Monday. It is now Thursday. Am I worn out? Yep. Am I sore? Quite. Will I keep going? I have to.

Rewinding to pre-January 1. I spent New Year’s Eve with friends in downtown Oklahoma City. We went to CityWalk downtown but we left before the shooting… yeah, in Oklahoma City. Thug Life.

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I kicked off my nutrition plan first thing Sunday morning and began my Ironman training on Monday morning. I’m currently 5 days into it all and feeling pretty good/overwhelmed/terrified about everything. The nutrition plan actually has been fairly easy so far. I know I’m only 5 days in, but I’m feeling as if I can stick with this plan for the long term. Weekends are going to be the toughest part. It seems like I’ve been able to eat a ton and I’m never really hungry. I’ve had pork tenderloin, salmon (that my Dad caught in Alaska), hamburger patties, sweet potato, zucchini squash, broccoli, cauliflower, almonds, apples, applesauce, carrots. Like I said before, I started on Sunday. Monday night was the only night where I found myself having a headache because I’ve given up coffee/coke/tea as well. Trying my best to just drink water all day. I bring in a gallon jug of water to work everyday and I just work through that all day long.

I’ve had to step it up on my knowledge when it comes to training for this Ironman. Thank goodness I have a coach at CrossFit that has completed one and knows what it takes and knows what works and doesn’t work. She’s been a life saver already. I knew going into this that it would be a big time commitment physically, mentally and financially. I was prepared to purchase a few equipment items but I was not prepared to purchase the nutritionally supplements that would be required.

It’s been a learning experience for this first week and I’m still doing CrossFit. I’ve already lost all of those pounds that I put on over the holidays. Stepped on the scale this morning checking in at my playing weight. I’m hoping to lean out over the next few months before kicking everything into high gear.

I’m contemplating posting what I’ve covered each week just as a record keeper throughout the year, we’ll see. All I know, this year will be exhausting but I’m ready for it. Bring it on!