In 2014 I tore my meniscus in my right knee. I was also diagnosed with “severe” arthritis. That was my wake up call. I was not done competing in the Ironman and did not believe I had to quit. “Certainly, other runners have arthritis and still run”, I thought. I was troubled when Dr. Braden told me that arthritis was bone on bone and eventually I’d have to have my knees replaced.
I told him perhaps in other people. Not for me.
I had knee surgery in January of 2015 to repair the torn meniscus.
Right after that was my quest to figure all this out. I discovered some stats that troubled me yet led to my discovery that I’m sharing with you today.
Did you know that the United States has the most running type injuries than any country in the world? The country with the least running injuries was Africa. Why is this so?
Learning has been a big part of my life. It started by reading the entire encyclopedia set my mom bought when I was a youngster. Then when I was old enough at age eight to obtain my own library card I would walk about a mile and half to the public library and spend all day there. I’d walk up and down the isles of books until a book title caught my eye and I’d pull it off the shelf and sit down in the isle and read it.
The Ironman triathlon has so many parts to it. There is the 2.4 mile swim that deals with efficiency of the stroke in removing drag and increasing the propulsive force. Not to mention having a calm mind swimming next to people the entire way without any way keep them from getting in your way or punching or kicking you.
The bike ride has many elements to contend with. The sheer length of 112 miles deals with the science body fuel; fat, glucose and glycogen. Then the hydration aspect of making sure your my body can stay healthy. Aerodynamics are an important aspect of going fast. The goal is to reduce wind drag at the expense of losing pedal power because my hips are closed by crouching in the aerodynamic position.
Finally the run of 26.2 miles after swimming and biking is the most challenging. My body takes the most pounding because in every stride I contact the ground and that shock has to be absorbed by my muscles, tendons and bones. Again fuel becomes important as well as hydration. The running stride can either promote less ground force and using gravity to move me forward or it can be a shear test of brut force and strength in moving forward.
Because my goal is to finish fast it has caused me to learn as much as I can about every aspect of the race. Racing in my 16th Ironman on November 19, 2017 in Tempe Arizona I’ve learned the most than any other Ironman. This is the first Ironman I believe I could win my age group (60-64). In all my prior races was just to finish.
I’ve improved in so many aspects as I’ve had a vision to win. Below are the milestones I’ve had in this Ironman:
Ketogenic lifestyle and how low-carb has helped me lose weight and teach my body use fat as my primary fuel. Losing weight will make me faster in all areas too.
Three weeks ago I spent a lot of time analyzing my swim stroke and discovered some major flaws. All I do when swimming since is to groove a more efficient stroke into muscle memory.
In May I spent a great deal of time in changing my position on the bike to let me be more aerodynamic. Because of a process of super compensation and adaptation, I’m teaching the muscles that I’m now using because of the change to be more aerodynamic to become strong. In the beginning of this change I was constantly sore in my lower back and hamstrings because they were now being used. Before in the more upright and less aerodynamic position I was mainly using my quads and not my gluts and hamstrings.
In February I discovered I was insulin resistant and that explained why I could not lose weight I had gained over the last three years and the reason I had bonked in at least 6 of my previous Ironman. This led me to ketones first and then a complete ketogenic diet.
I discovered several products to help me gain health and burn more fat and less glucose as I raced. I’ve used exogenous ketones to keep me in a higher state of ketosis and fat burning. I’ve used Vespa, a extract from hornets, to burn more fat as I raced. Then a week ago rediscovered redox molecules (Asea) to improve cellular function and ultimately my VO2Max (the rate of oxygen transfer to my working muscles).
A week ago I discovered a run method to allow me to use gravity to propel me instead of my muscles. It claims to have a 12 week adaptation phase to perfect it. I’ve shortened that time by accelerating the amount of time I’ve spent in learning it. It’s called the Pose Running Method. It has already produced efficiency and I’m running faster at the same heart rate (energy expenditure).
I learned that as an aging athlete I have to go harder and more often. I’ve been able to do that without injury. I now perform targeted strength training routines in order to prevent injury.
I’ve learned compassion. I no longer beat myself up if I miss a routine or make a mistake in training. I accept God’s grace. I’ve spent a lot of time this year understanding grace and that it’s appropriate for me to ask God to help me and expect grace to provide the results. I’ll accept any outcome of the race. If I win I’ll be very happy. If I fail to finish or finish slower than the winner, I’ll be happy. In either case I’ll praise God for my results.
What I’ve Really Learned
It’s important to have a vision of where it is I want to go in my life. Then allow the vision to keep my mind opened to all possibilities. I’ve actively sought new knowledge. If my mind is pricked with an idea, like all those discoveries I’ve mentioned, I follow up and see where it will lead me.
It’s the answer to my prayers.
I asked for a way to lose weight. Ketogenic came into my life. The health I gained open my eyes to a new vision of winning this race. That changed vision of winning, and again asking for help, led me to all these other discoveries. Each one started with my vision which led to those still small voices to look further.
For me this is a way of life.
This Special Day For Me
Everyday is special to me. Today is my 61th birthday. I’m taking the day off and going to the library and sit in the isles and read!
You’re probably most interested in how Gatorade gamed us all in the amount of fluid with sodium and carbohydrate we all need so we wouldn’t get dehydrated.
When I learned how Gatorade influenced the science and those scientists after reading Dr. Tim Noakes book, Waterlogged; The Serious Problem of Overhydration in Endurance Sports, I was shocked. It supported my belief of just follow the money and you’ll be lead to the real truth and cause of most problems in the world.
While perhaps the word “fraud” may be overstated, I feel that much of what they did to promote their product was. Gatorade was invented by Dr. Robert Cade in 1965 based upon the problems with the University of Florida’s freshmen football team who were having issues with the Florida heat and humidity, or many thought was the problem
Recently I’ve given several public speeches and intertwined lessons and stories from my Ironman triathlon experiences. I’ve been getting asked at almost every presentation if I have a blog about it. I’ve never thought it was a topic that would interest anyone so I’ve never written about it. Perhaps they’ve inquired because of the stories I’ve shared that personally connect with them.
With your permission I thought I’d start to share some of the stories of Ironman. If you’d rather not have them, just shoot me an email and if I get several “don’t write about that” messages, I’ll stop.
One reaction that I almost always receive when someone discovers that I’ve finished 15 Ironman’s after the age of 50 is look of disbelief. Everyone is always supportive though and I appreciate that.
I suppose like you, there was that first thought of doing something you’d never done before too and it grew and grew until you actually did it. It was that way with me too, I had only heard about the Ironman mostly from watching the replay of the race in Hawaii on NBC Sports. For you doing something special grew out of
Have you ever woke up very unmotivated about your day? Maybe you’ve even gone weeks and months lethargic and unmotivated. On the other hand, do you have people you know who seem highly motivated? What’s the best best way to naturally stay highly motivated?
When I first joined a company that was full of highly motivated people I wondered why they were so up and positive. As an Ironman triathlete and owner of my own CPA firm I felt energetic and upbeat and approached each day ready to get after it. I didn’t need all the hype of a 4 CD set of the hottest motivational speakers or book touting a 10-Step program to success. But I was now in a culture that had new people join who had been just the opposite of me and the successful leaders in my company. They had never been really motivated in their life and now for the first time they were motivated to do something special only to have that motivation fade away a week later.
That is when I began my quest to help my new associates stay motivated long after the hype was over.
The Single Biggest Key to Motivation; The Treasure Map Approach™
The best way to create motivation in your life and to keep it is by having a great big and valuable purpose in life. Some refer to purpose as “your why.” Why do you get up in the morning? What excites you? Why do you have certain needs for you and your family that compel you to continue to seek after when you have to face your fears and conquering them?
Your why is like the treasure on the treasure map. The more valuable the treasure the more motivated you’d be at finding it.
Let’s use this analogy. If I buried a box with $25,000 in your back yard and placed a map under one of the 10,000 rocks in a field next to your home as to where it was buried, you’d stay motivated turning over each of the rocks until your found the map. But if the buried treasure was only $100, you might give up looking after turning over 50 rocks.
The key to staying highly motivated is to have a great big why!
I’ve been highly motivated to conquer the finish lines in Ironman triathlons ever since I started racing at age 50 in 2007. Why? For me the lifestyle kept me healthy and fit and able to live a freedom life physically, something my dad, who died of cancer, never enjoyed. In 2015 I was invited to race in the pinnacle of all Ironman’s, The Ironman World Championship held in Kona, Hawaii. I had two major surgeries during that year and perhaps most people would have quit and said it was to much, i.e., their buried treasure was only $100. Yet for me, racing the World Championship was much more. It was freedom! I wanted the physical freedom to never be restricted in want I wanted do. For me, the World Championship was the $25,000 buried treasure. I had to stay highly motivated to train and rehabilitate from the two surgeries. I was fortunate to accomplish my goal of finishing! Found my $25,000 buried treasure too!
I have many great big whys! Spiritually, physically, emotionally and financially, I’m motivated to accomplish all of them. If you build your why, it’s much easier to stay motivated and to fight through the challenges that you’re sure to face as to work to achieve them.
What is Your Great Big Why?
What is your treasure chest? How much is buried in it? Is it so powerful that it would lead you to keep seeking after it? Is it larger than your fears?