While I was unable to actually run the Wildflower 2013 Olympic Distance Triathlon this year (You can see why in this post: Triathlons and Babies) I did train for 20 weeks and I was sure that I was ready for the race because of my training plan. Since I was very much out of shape the plan started as basic levels and did a 3 week on 1 week off peak plan for 18 weeks. It was focused solely on strength and endurance at the expense of speed but since this was to be my first triathlon finishing was most important. Over the 18 weeks of real training with a 2 week taper, my strength and endurance skyrocketed and I lost 20 pounds (192 to 172). As a comparison, my 1st week totals were 800 meters of swimming, 20 miles of cycling, 5.5 miles of running, and 50 minutes of weight training while my 18th week totals were 8500 meters of swimming, 130 miles of cycling, 27 miles of running, and 120 minutes of weight training. In the three sports this is a huge increase, 1000% in swimming, 750% in cycling, and 500% in running.
In strength, time wasn’t the real measure, it only allowed me to increase the number of exercises. This chart shows the actual change over the 14 weeks I used the weight room; you can see the weight I started, ended, percent increase, and week the exercise began. All exercises were performed in an attempt at 3 sets of 12. Once I hit that point I increased weight the following week.
At the end of training the projected total distances for the three sports were as follows: 77,550 meters of swimming, 1342 miles of cycling, and 256 miles of running. I only skipped three exercises total so I was pretty close to these goals. I am really proud of this even though I didn’t complete the race. I will now move on to training for my makeup race, the Triathlon at Pacific Grove on September 14th, but my training will be different. Since I am at a new level of fitness, I can focus on speed and power instead of only strength and endurance. I also plan to begin at the distances in week 11 of this plan ans 80% of my weight max in each exercise. This will allow me to perform even better in September.
Here is my month my month Wildflower 2013 Olympic Distance Triathlon training guide for others to use, let me know what you think!
Good luck on future training!
For 20 long weeks I trained for the Wildflower Triathlon going from almost an inability to swim and lackadaisical running and cycling to 3000 meter swims, 50 mile rides, and 10 mile runs all in one week. After 18 weeks of building, my level of fitness skyrocketed and I dropped 20 pounds. The training was pretty intense, but I made it through with only skipping 3 sessions. Then came the taper. As per the norm halfway through the first week of my taper I got sick and was sidelined for five days. As I recovered physically, my severe cold turned into a sinus infection. I was having a lot of trouble logging my taper workouts but I was getting there by moving some things around. On the Friday before the race I had an appointment with my ENT and was planning to get some antibiotics at that time since the race was only two days away. That morning, May 3rd, 2013 I drove a 36 week pregnant Virginia to work and was planning to go to the doctor and then…
Upon our arrival to campus Virginia asked me to wait while she went to the restroom. A few minutes later she came back out and less than an hour later we were admitted to the hospital. 4 weeks early, Virginia’s water broke and the baby was on it’s way. The next 8.5 hours were a blur of phone calls, house trips, doctor’s visits and the word “PUSH!!!”. The result at 4:29pm was Samantha Beth Lerer, 6lb 3oz, 19.5 in, a beautiful baby girl who, in an instant, changed everything.
So, on Sunday instead of receiving a finishers medal I received a daughter and I couldn’t be happier. Now I need to figure out how to work training into my new role as a father, so here we go! Since I missed my first attempt at a triathlon I have signed up for a make-up race in September, the Triathlon at Pacific Grove. I have rededicated my fundraising to that race so help me raise money for No Kid Hungry. The scary part is that this is an open water swim in the Pacific Ocean, I was hoping to have a lake swim under my belt before I went in the ocean but as I just learned, life throws you curve balls and you still have to swing! Training should be a little easier because I am already at a good fitness level unlike the begining of Wildflower training so I hope to hit a higher peak and work in some speed drills to finish even faster. The cool part is that Sam and Virginia will come to this one and cheer me on!
***Note: If you like this post and want to receive parts of my list, click here to donate to my fund and help me leave No Kid Hungry***
While on a trip to San Francisco we decided to swing by Nopa for some lunch. Upon our arrival we were quickly seated in the upstairs dining area and started to look at the menu. Unfortunately the bacon flat bread pizza from The Best Thing I Ever Ate was not on the menu so we had to go a different direction. I ordered goat cheese bread pudding, whiskey braised pork with jalapeno biscuits, and of course a side of bacon. I thought about ordering a specialty beer but at those prices, it was not going to happen.
Before I talk about the food, I am going to say this now, our server was awful. He wasn’t rude just sort of indifferent. He never told us his name, never looked us in the eye, and barely asked us if we liked the food. I thought for a minute that maybe the hipster theme translated to the service but then our food was brought out by someone else. This server was friendly, talkative, and excited about the food. Too bad we only saw her once because she would have made us feel much more welcomed. I will always knock a restaurant for bad service especially one that is going to cost me more than $50 for lunch. They should probably work on that.
First my bread pudding arrived with the goat cheese on the bottom. While I wasn’t overly impressed by the presentation, the flavors were pretty good. The bread pudding was moist but I was surprised that the goat cheese was mostly at the bottom. I expected the cheese to flow across the entire dish but alas, you had to dig to it. I really liked the pickled beets perhaps better than the pudding itself. Enjoying the vegetable side will be a theme in this meal. The arugula was completely unnecessary.
My entree came out next with my side of bacon (Not pictured but decent). I was very surprised by the presentation. I was not expecting it to come out as a kind of stew. I really like my pork but this was a little bland. It was cooked really well though and melted in my mouth. The only thing that was truly memorable from this dish was the brussel sprouts. These were slightly charred and delicious soaked in the pork broth. Tasty veggies aside this was a disappointing entree. The two biscuits also left me a little wanting. If you call somethings jalapeno cheddar than it better be just that. These biscuits just tasted like normal biscuits where I was hoping for cheesy and spicy flavors.
I was expecting so much more from our trip to Nopa but sadly it was only mediocre. At the price point I was hoping for a more engaged server and better flavors but it seemed that all I was paying for was a nice seat at a sleek modern eatery. While I do love my beets and brussel sprouts when they are the things I remember best from a meal that included pork and goat cheese, you have a problem. The meal just did not come together how I would have hoped and I will probably not return to try it again.
See if you like Nopa and tell me I was wrong, check out their website here
The Foodie and the Fatty
Guest Blog by Kafele J. Khalfani (@kafele)
As Steve is a foodie and I am a fatty, I go where Steve tells me to go to eat. Last night, I tried Devi (www.devinyc.com 8 E 18th Street New York, NY 10003). Steve normally has a recommendation for every restaurant. The reco for here was a Hot Pepper Stew. It wasn’t on the menu, despite Steve’s demand to fire them, I stayed for dinner.
Clearly seeing that I was going to eat them out of house and home, they recommended we do the Three Course Tasting Menu, which I somehow did twice cause…well, yeah.
Devi is having their liquor license renewed so they don’t have alcohol. I did have a lovely Ginger Ale Chiller that was awesome. It was like ginger ale with a kick. LOVED IT!
We were then given a complimentary shooter. I have no idea what the waiter said it was because (1) it was loud (2) I can’t hear and (3) his accent was thick. I think I heard pomegranate. I drank it hoping I wouldn’t be sentences to months in the Underworld like Persephone. The shooter was hot and spicy, like an angry gazpacho. LOVED IT!
First appetizer was a paneer & zucchini tikka. It looked good. It tasted fine, but it’s not something I would have again. Mainly because I don’t like zucchini and I have no idea what paneer is. Also my date ordered it. MEH.
SIDE NOTE: Yes, I was on a date. And he was the world’s slowest eater. At one point I had to ask if he wasn’t hungry or if he was a slow eater. He wasn’t that hungry at which point I heard the announcer from Mortal Kombat say “FINISH HIM” and I destroyed the rest of the food.
Second App was a Chicken Kastoori Kebab – totally awesome. Huge piece of chicken. Well-seasoned and with a side salad made from what my date called “the stuff they put on the burritos at Chipotle”, which the rest of us call avocado. (Please note, he’s kinda cute so I’m letting that burrito comment slide). LOVED IT!
The entrees were a Chicken Vindaloo (pretty much an Indian staple) and Tandoor Grilled Lamb Chops. The Vindaloo was good. Enjoyable. Just enough spice, good sauce. Nom. Nom. Nom. LOVED IT!
The Lamb Chops were also good, but they suffered because I had some AMAZING lamp chops at Enoteca Maria (http://www.enotecamaria.com/wp/) a few months ago that brought me to tears. Enoteca Maria – - one reason to come to Staten Island. But Devi’s chops were good. LIKED IT
Totally bombed on the dessert picks. Pista Kulfi is an indian ice cream with pisachop and rose milk. The best way I can describe the ice cream would be a milk flavored Italian ice with soy juice. And I hate break pudding. But date ordered Emperor’s Morsel “Shahi Tukra”. It was like if you eat French toast before you put it in the pan. Not their fault, but boo to desert. DOUBLE MEH.
The ambience of the restaurant was a very subtle Indian. Overhead light fixtures, drapes in the back part of the restaurant for some booths. The uniforms of the waiters. Music was loud enough that you couldn’t hear people at the next table unless you really tried.
Wait staff was attentive and quick. Clearly they have an optimistic view of water glass refilling as I was never at glass half full. The manager was great and made lots of recommendations for what to eat. Also made recommendations to save money. LOVE IT!
Overall Review: 7/10
Check out Devi’s menu here
- My 5 Foodie Links (theflyingfugu.com)
- The Spiciest Dish in the World (and How to Make it) (theflyingfugu.com)
Well it’s finally here, the last month of training! This past month was a tough one to get through. Things were going well at the start, I was strong and losing weight but then I got cocky. The morning after a 40 mile bike ride I woke up without good stretching and went for a leg workout. While that was normal, what wasn’t was jumping the weight on the leg press by 15 pounds AND increasing my reps from 12 to 15. No surprise that halfway through my second set a searing pain shot from the middle of my knee up to my hip. Immediately I left and went home. Terrified that I tore my meniscus again I skipped the first workout of my training plan. While I should be happy that I didn’t skip a workout in 12 weeks, I was upset that I was down 5 miles of running.
The next two weeks were very complicated, not only was my leg acting weird, work got crazy and I traveled to Orlando for a conference. I also had to brake out the brace again to protect my knee. It appeared that March was going to me the adjustment month because nothing seemed to work out right. This was especially true when it came to the conference in Orlando. Of course they had closed their lap pool for construction and the play pools opened at 9am. This didn’t work so well because I had conference work before that time everyday. I also had to cycle in the gym and run in circles in the parking lot. This all amounted to no fun in training for that week and catchup for the next two. I ended down another 1000m that I will not get back. I also ate like crap for that week so from the Friday before I left to the Friday 2 weeks later, I had a weight loss of zero. Now I have to fight through April to drop the last 10 pounds.
With all of those issues, my knee is feeling better and my strength and speed gains have returned. I capped off March with a 45 mile bike ride, my longest yet. The next three weeks are the peak weeks of training, things get very intense. This should help kickstart the weight loss again. Every pound down is a pound I don’t have to carry with me during the race. My swimming climbs to 8500m in week 18 plus additional exercises in all weight workouts. Not to mention the peaks in cycling (130mi) and running (27mi). This, plus a very intense month at work, will push me to the physical and mental limit before my two week taper and the free time to get my bike fully cleaned and tuned up for the race. I can’t believe that this is the final 5 weeks of training and Race Day is clearly in the picture. Just 16 weeks ago, I swam my first 300m and struggled while this past week I hit 2000m at one time without issue. I’ve come a long way but still have a ways to go!
Take a look at my April plan and give me some encouragement. A motivating donation to my race charity, No Kid Hungry, couldn’t hurt!
- 8 of my triathlon training essentials (trifatherhood.com)
- Yikes Its Tuesday Already!!! Two Weeks and Counting Weekly Goals (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
This past week I travelled to the annual National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) conference in Orlando, Florida. Seven years ago I attended my first national conference also in Florida. At that conference I was a first year graduate student in a sea of over ten thousand attendees. That experience was incredibly overwhelming, I knew no one, was involved in nothing, and had no idea what sessions to attend. I spent most of that conference in my room, and only came out to get food and attend a session that I found particularly interesting. It was definitely not a good conference experience and made me question if involvement was right for me.
Six conferences have past since that day and I have not missed one. My second conference experience was much better because I took a volunteer position on a committee and presented. I was also actively job searching so I started to get to know other participants in the conference. Additionally, it helped that the conference was in Boston, a city I could walk around. Unlike Orlando I felt much less trapped and able to explore on my own. Since that time I have been to Seattle, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Arizona, each conference better than the last. In Arizona I was an award winner and that was an experience all to itself. You can see that post here.
Though last year was a great experience, this year was one where I really felt like a full fledged part of the organization. The reason behind this feeling is active involvement. There is a big difference to me between going to a conference and participating in one. I am a networker through doing, not one through meeting. This means that I will get to know people and develop relationships through the work that I accomplish. At this conference I had all sorts of things to do. I was a member of the regional advisory board, a leader in the knowledge communities, and a member of the 2014 regional conference committee.
All of these activities shifted my experience and brought me to meetings, gatherings, and fun receptions. The difference between this year and last was that I have now served on the board for a full year. I am no longer building new relationships, rather growing ones that already exist. Walking through the conference I was never too far away from someone I knew which makes you feel much more engaged in the conference activities. I also was able to attend over a half dozen receptions, some that had full meals and great conversation. I have never been so busy at a conference and yet so content and energized. As my friend Renee said on Monday night, “If you’re whole body hurts, you know you did NASPA right”.
There is also something to be said about being at my second campus and my second job. With a significant portion of new professionals leaving the field after 3-5 years it feels good to be at the entry point to mid-level, people definitely treat you differently. It seems like an unspoken statement of “Ok, you’re here to stay so lets chat”. This may be something to think about moving forward because a lack of acknowledgment and connections could be one reason why people leave. From now on I will make it my business to help new professionals and first time attendees feel connected to the association. I think I also felt much more confident sitting on boards with people at much higher positions now that I am at my second step. Lastly, being at a new campus means that reconnecting with past colleagues is a new adventure. Spending Tuesday night with friends from UCR was great fun, just like spending other meals with friends from graduate school. It is amazing to see where we are all going and what is in store for us in the future.
The last fun thing at the Orlando conference was running into and reconnecting with past employees and others you have helped over the years. I was able to sit down with an old Resident Advisor who worked for me for two years, went to graduate school, and was job searching. It was amazing to see her growth over the past few years and it truly demonstrates the value of the work we do. It was my first “Full circle” experience, and definitely not the last. Additionally, I ran into someone who sat in one of my presentations at a difference conference in my second professional year. He told me that my work with student training molded the programs they did at his campus over the next few years. He said that they pulled out my documents each year to make sure they followed the guidelines to success. It is amazing to see your creations impact campuses in other states in such dramatic ways. Another reason why I know this work is for me.
At the end of the day, the conference is just the pinnacle of each year’s work in NASPA. The more you volunteer and the more good work you do, the better your annual conference experience will be. Over the next year I will continue to serve on the board and see where that involvement takes me. If anything it will help me meet even more people and develop more relationships so that the Baltimore conference will surpass Orlando. Eventually babies may join the party but I’m ready for that change to come and add a new nuance to the conference adventure. Until next year!
Well we made it to the next milestone of the pregnancy, the third trimester is here. It is amazing how fast the first six months went, only twelve weeks to go. I guess it’s time for us to start getting ready for this little Lerer to arrive. We have so much to do and the biggest part is finding a home in which to build a nursery. Last week we started search and lucky us, we found a place in the first few days. A 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath with a 3 car garage, pool and spa. It is priced a little high but we put in an offer contingent on appraisal hoping the appraisal brings the price down. The homes in the area make us confident so wish us good luck. If the appraisal isn’t where we want it, we can back out with no penalty, but we really hope that doesn’t happen.
If we get the house, we will move in May with the baby arriving around June 1st. Cutting it super close but that just how we seem to live our lives. It really does not matter though, with Virginia pregnant or not, I would still be getting some major assistance from friends. At least now we have an excuse. We will also have June as the last month on our lease so it looks like the family will help with the big stuff, though they don’t know it yet. It will be really nice to have everything settled by the time the baby comes so we can focus on it instead of house hunting. If all goes well we will have gotten new jobs, moved to a new city, had a baby, and bought a house all in one year. Not too shabby!
As for the baby, we need to figure out a name. This is proving to be a little complicated. I’m currently voting for Baby Lerer and letting it decide later on. Pretty sure I am going to lose that one. We have to take a birth class but since Merced only offers them on Wednesday nights and I have meetings at that time, we will be off to Modesto for an all day seminar on a Saturday in April. At least it’s free. We also have to find a pediatrician, get baby stuff, have a shower, write a will, get more life insurance, ect ect…oh and work somewhere in there. Good thing I am getting in shape with my triathlon training, I will need all the energy I can get to help Virginia through the next three months.
One step at a time and we will get there. The third trimester begins and we can’t be more excited. Wish us luck!