Focus Change

 I haven’t been updating this very well, now have I?

Well, I lost a bit of focus on keeping this updated. Seems I didn’t think of the blog tag line as it was written; I had previously focused on my photography (pardon the pun) while telling a bit of the story behind the images. Since I haven’t been out shooting, I haven’t had much to update. Also, other aspects of my life have taken priority to shooting. Well, that and the Arctic air mass that settled down over the area over the past few weeks, making for some raw, cold days. Not exactly the kind of days that make me want to get out and shoot.

As far as updating, a good friend made a comment that got me to thinking about my use of this blog. He said something to the effect that it would be a bit more successful if it was actually updated from time to time. What a simple comment. A simple comment that got me to read my own tag line. Notice there are two parts “My photography, my life”. Well, the photography’s not here (at the moment), but I’ve still got a life. So here goes…

My last post revolved around photos taken over our holiday trip. Since then, work and other things have kept me quite busy. Outside of work, the most time consuming events have been training. Training for the year’s upcoming race season, with all of my races building towards an Ironman triathlon in the latter part of September. For those of you who don’t know, an Ironman is a non-stop race consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run. In other words, a good time!

I’m sure some are saying “WTF!” or something along those lines. Fair enough. But for me it’s a natural progression, tying together three of the sports that I have loved the most and participated in all of my life. I’ve swam like a fish for most of my life, even swimming on a team as early as elementary school. I’ve run for almost as long, competing in track and cross-country throughout high school; I was a week shy of running my first marathon right after turning 18 when a stupid injury kept me from the starting line; during my late-20’s, I was an avid ultra-marathon bike racer, competing in 12- and 24-hour time trials. All good fun!

A few years ago, before moving to Japan, I raced a few sprint triathlons (200m swim, 20km bike, 5k run) down in Florida and loved every minute of it.

Triathlon in Japan was very difficult for me for several reasons. My work schedule really wreaked havoc with trying to keep a regular workout schedule (although some co-workers somehow managed to do it. And do it very well!); riding a bike to train for a race in Tokyo is pretty near impossible (a gazillion stop lights/signs); and trying to find triathlons to race was impossible (being a gaijin and trying to communicate with Japan’s national triathlon agency was futile). Anyway, those were my excuses and I stuck to them.

Back here in the states, there are hundreds held every year, running the gamut from the sprint distances to the ultra-distances (generally 2x the full-Ironman distance). After perusing the schedule for the year, I was quite pleased to discover an Ironman being held not 40 miles from my house. A bit more digging and within hours a race schedule was built for the year. A week or so of planning the training and I’ve been in business.

To give you an idea of a typical workout week for this time of year, here’s my schedule for this upcoming week. You’ll have to click on it to be able to read it.

Workout Week

Lots of numbers there, eh?

Basically, I train by hours and minutes, not by miles. As you can see in the far left of the calendar, my scheduled training time for this upcoming week is 13 hours and 45 minutes. Those workous need to be scheduled around work and family activities, so it takes quite a bit of juggling to make it work. Mainly by scheduling morning and afternoon/evening workouts. Now, I do have the luxury of having a small well-stocked gym at the end of the hall at my work, so that makes the strength sessions very convenient.

Each of the codes means a different type of workout, which helps me mix up my routine while keeping things interesting and progressing toward my goals.

For example, on the Monday swim session, referring to M5d tells me that I’ll be working on muscular endurance by doing speed intervals over distance, while completing about 2800 meters of swimming in that session. Another example would be the bike workout on Saturday, which will focus on force, by climbing all hills seated yet focusing on maintaining a steady heart rate. The “brick” workout immediately following on Saturday means that right after my 2 hour 30 minute ride, I’ll swap for running shoes and go out for a 30 minute run.

The beauty of that Saturday is that I get it done early enough, eat brunch, shower, nap and then I have the rest of the weekend with my family. What a wonderful group they are, encouraging me and understanding that this is something that I like to do, as well as something I need to do.

Anyway, this has gone on long enough. I’ll be surprised if any of you have read all the way through this. I will be updating this a bit more than I have, but for now there won’t be as much photography, unless we can manage a day trip on the weekend and I take my camera along.

Hope all is well with each of you. And thank you, Shimon, for identifying the flaw and inadvertently forcing me to reevaluate. I need that from time to time.

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4 thoughts on “Focus Change”

  1. Hey Bill,

    I read the whole thing! I’m training for a 10K race (running) so I can relate…although my workout schedule isn’t as…extreme! Haha.

  2. Bill – you are my hero! I doubt I’ll ever be able to juggle that training regimen. Keep the training log going, even if you can’t shoot – i’ll definitely follow your progress!

  3. this has been a very inspiring log, and it pointed out to me, once again, how opposites attract… I’m really tempted to follow with a description of my own exercising… back a few years before my first heart attack. I dedicated pretty much the same amount of time to my own version of the triathlon as you do, which as no easy project, with a full day every day which included college lectures, immense projects of commercial photography, and 40 or 50 cigarettes smoked every day. Tired as I might be, towards the end of a day like that… or sometimes after two or three days that would sort of run into one another as they stretched from a sense sensual awareness and waking appreciation of the world as a whole… all the way to the edge of intitive behavior… where I’d count on my knuckles to cover for me, if the rest of the body was on a momentary nod… on to my very own version of the triathlon… which was usually listening to music while inhaling hash and then opium, sometimes writing poetry all the while… and other times, translating from one language to another…

    and still, i can truly appreciate your physical exercise… though I never even got close to your level… cause further back in this trek through life, before, before, before… I used to go mountain hiking and know what a high that can be, the pleasure of the physical exertion, the thin air so cold it can crack coming in, and if you’re on a mountain peak you can be gazing at the whole world, and not even notice that you’re hanging by a thread…

    forgive me for going on and on… must have liked what you’ve written.

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