Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Art of Becoming an IRONMAN.

Art is the process or product of deliberately arranging elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions. It encompasses a diverse range of human activities, creations, and modes of expression, including music, sport and literature.

Science (from the Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge") refers to any systematic knowledge-base or prescriptive practice that is capable of resulting in a prediction or predictable type of outcome. In this sense, science may refer to a highly skilled technique or practice.

Plenty of information is available on the scientific preparation that goes into
both training and completing an IRONMAN Triathlon. However it is that very
information that prevents most people (who have the ability) from ever
contemplating such a task. "I can't do that!" is the response to such scientific
awareness.When signing up for IRONMAN I made commitment to myself that I wouldn't follow some template or protocol but rather would simply train as I wanted and as I could. In a sense I would make my training a work of Art not a Science project.

During my training I consistently did "less" than my contemporaries. I remained committed to my work, social, family and ice-cream consumption obligations. When I felt like a day-off I took it. If I wanted a glass of Wine, I had it. Training was a part of life; NOT my Life!

Upon arriving in Lake Placid, I was immediately taken by the number of athletes that where swimming, biking and running just days before the event. I took a more relaxed approach in the final days and opted to enjoy a walk around the town and save myself for race day. I continued to enjoy my usual eating schedule complete with a visit to the local Ben & Jerry's.

Race day started with a little nervousness as my biggest fear was not getting to the START on time. After getting my wetsuit on and doing a little stretch - the cannon sounded at 7am and 2400 of us where splashing ahead 2.4 miles of swimming to go.

I had never swam that far before, but I felt I could complete the swim in 1:20 (1hr 20min). After 2 loops of the lake I exited the water in 1:18..feeling good despite a very painful hip flexor? Making my way to the bike transition I passed Francesca and gave her my wetsuit. I took my time in the transition area; changing into cycling shorts, shirt, dry socks and applying sun-block for the upcoming 112 mile ride.

The bike course was a series of up & down hills with long stretches of sun-soaked road. I was feeling good and eating/drinking as my body was telling me. I felt a sense of relief when I hit the 95 mile-marker. However, some quick math reminded me that I still had 17 miles to go and the last 6 where going to be uphill. 1 hr later I finished the bike and made my way to the run transition area. Again, taking my time to change into dry running clothes and sock/shoes I felt no sense to rush through the transition as I knew 26.2 miles of running where waiting for me. What I didn't know (upon leaving transition) was that running was not an option. My legs where dead tired and I could only walk; despite my desire to run. I accepted my fate and walked mile after mile until about mile 6 when I was able to muster a little "jog". During this (recovery) time I was drinking Gatorade & Water in an attempt to regain some energy. I saw Francesca at mile 13 and stopped for a quick hello and update "This is really tough, but I'm OK" I informed her before continuing my journey. I began to feel better with each mile, partially aided (perhaps?) by the Cola's I was now consuming on the race course. After 10+ hrs of Gatorade I could no longer stomach the taste of it, so Cola was a welcome change. I hit mile 20 and felt strong enough to switch from Jog to Run mode. The last 6.2 miles was more like what I'm accustomed to.With 1 mile to go I was running like I stole something, I hit the track towards the finish line and out sprinted some guy (just for "good measure") to hear the announcer say "Frank Pucher. You are an IRONMAN!" Final time 13:53 (yes, that's 13 hrs & 53 minutes)

After receiving my finishers medal I immediately found 2 of my friends & clients "Chuck & Sandy" (both of whom made the trip to watch my event.) I was then joined by my parents and Francesca. As if I hadn't done enough exercise already; we walked a 1/2 mile to a little restaurant for some dinner before walking back to my hotel for a long awaited shower and some sleep.

I awoke the next morning with little to no soreness and a little to more than usual hunger. Questions came over breakfast about my interest/potential to do "another?" It's a perfectly legitimate question. I'm a highly competitive individual that is always seeking to better my previous efforts. While you "never say never" I feel confident in proclaiming that I have no interest in completing another IRONMAN. I finished with no pain, no injuries, no issues. I had no crashes, trips to the medical tent or soreness the following day. I did what I wanted to do (Finish an IRONMAN!) If you ask me, I had the perfect race. The fact that I did it on my own terms and to my liking, makes it a masterpiece.

I think I'll turn my attention to my business now. We are adding a new TEAM Member "Anthony Lopez".
He (Anthony) is already an outstanding Fitness Professional and we are fortunate to have him. The rest of the TEAM is equally impressed and we will celebrate our Hibachi 10x2 Dinner with him next Friday.

This will be my final IRONMAN blog so I'll take this opportunity to thank the 3 people that read my blog & all of our clients that have wished me luck & congratulations. The same goes to my family & friends that have supported me with their thoughts. Finally, thank you to Rachel (IM finisher in 16:27) for getting me to the starting line and Francesca for being at the finish line. They say that you can tell a lot about a person based on the company you keep. If that's true than I consider myself fortunate to have them both around me.

On to what's next, whatever that may be?

Frank Pucher

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Where You At?

Random thoughts today but:

Heaven, Hell & Purgatory are all here on this earth right now. Where you are depends on what you are doing.

Heaven is doing what you LOVE. It's living with PASSION and doing what you were meant to do.

Hell is just existing in this life. Just getting by day after day.

Purgatory is knowing and becoming aware of your LOVE & PASSION but failing to take action and just sitting with it.

So where are you; where do you want to be?

Frank Pucher (as taught by the Wizard of ID; Rick Ivonne)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

2 Weeks Out from Ironman

A quite training week really. Looking back, it's weeks like this that make you start to ask questions like "have I done enough?" Not that there is anything that can be done at this point.

I had a conversation with Rachel yesterday and I re-assured her of that very thing. "The money is in the bank" I explained, "so let's no dwell on what has/hasn't been done." 

Here is what the week had for me:

Monday: Rest day. Still very sore from last the long run.
Tuesday: 1hr bike indoors, still fatigued.
Wednesday: 45 minute swim.
Thursday: Rest day (I could get use to this!)
Friday: Run 40 minutes, very humid outside!
Saturday: 90 minute bike indoors (watching TDF).
Sunday: Another rest day....

I dropped my bike off for it's final clean and some new tires. This week I'll pick-up my race day goodies, bars, gels and liquids. Extra sleep, less wine and positive affirmations are on order.

1 week to go...

Frank Pucher

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Prescription

Dr. Frank's Prescription for a Happy-Healthy Life:

1. Drink more water.
2. Move more often.
3. Eat more fruit.
4. Eat 2x more vegetables than you currently do.
5. Spend some time outdoors.
6. Laugh & Smile.
7. Avoid people, places, & things that inhibit #6.
8. Push & Pull objects that are difficult to move.
9. Say the word "LOVE" each day.
10. Repeat Daily or as Needed.

*Dr. Frank's opinions and credentials are currently shunned by the Medical Community and their Elitist Organizations; thus they refuse to recognize his (Doctor) status - despite his contributions.

-Frank Pucher

Friday, July 17, 2009

Happy-Happy Friday

Happy Friday Everyone. What a week it has been! The days just flew right by...

For starters I need to thank the TEAM for a "phenomenal" last 2 weeks!!

Also, we have finished all of our interviews today for our "NEW TEAMMATE." The individual we selected will be an outstanding addition to our TEAM. I shall give all of the details in a later entry. (They don't know yet!)

Tonight however our TEAM will celebrate with Dinner @ The Chart House in Weehawkin. The work they have been doing has truly been GREAT and some recognition is in order.

Happy Weekend All..

Frank Pucher

Sunday, July 12, 2009

With 3 Weeks Out

Greetings from the home office. I have just returned from my last "long run" (quite possibly ever? TBD) in Central Park.

I Love Central Park. There is always an excitement, especially on a beautiful summers day (like today!) The place has many wonderful memories for me and I always find a new enjoyment whenever I make the trip.

This week was pretty basic in my training with my longest S-B-R over the last several days. 

Here is how it all went down:

Monday: 50 minute run
Tuesday: 2.5 hrs bike
Wednesday: 1 hr swim
Thursday: 2.5 hrs bike
Friday: 1hr 20 minute swim (longest ever)
Saturday: 80 mile bike ride with Rachel.
Sunday: 18 mile run in CP, (longest run of the cycle).

I celebrated my run today with some blueberry waffles and eggs..oh and a Coke, some fruit, and some hummus & crackers. (I'm wondering what's for dinner?)

Francesca asked me how I was feeling about my training? I replied "as good as I expect to feel."

My next 2 weeks will see a reduced volume and some increased rest & recovery. Hair buzz, manicure, pedicure (That's right I said it!) and maybe a massage up at Lake Placid the days before the race.

Basically, the work is done and now I just have to pull it all together. I'm counting the days's getting real. This is really gonna happen!

Frank Pucher

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Another I Will....


1. Continue asking questions and getting feedback from my other team members to help myself become a "better" trainer.
2. Get to the beach 2 or 3 more times this summer (hopefully!!)
3. Start my training plan for my first marathon.
4. Make sure I am always ready to go (well rested, energized, motivating) for my clients so I can make their time at Fitness 121 the BEST part of their day.
5. Get together with friends I graduated with from ESU, who I have not seen since October this month.
6.Stay postive and strong, not only for myself, but for my family, friends, clients, and team members...even (especially) when times are tough...
7. Add 2-3 more clients to my schedule.

-Lori Johanson

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Should Women Train Like Men?

Today I was asked by a client: "Should Women Train Like Men?" I paused (something I rarely do; perhaps I should?) before answering "Yes or No."

"Yes, Women should/can perform the same movements as their male counterparts. The requirements of a female cyclist are the same as a male cyclist; the needs of a female firefighter are equal to that of a Fireman; and the benefits of Training are not discriminatory."

I then continued with:

"No, Women shouldn't train like Men; and neither should Men. I don't believe in Sex training (at least not as it relates to this question) I believe in Training. Proper training is for everyone! Smart Women & Men all should engage in movements that enhance mobility, increase stability and fortify the body."

It truly was a great question. Many people with seemingly better credentials than I will argue the counterpoint to my above statements. "Women want to tone & Men want to bulk" they'll say; or the old "Men are stronger than women." It's statements like those that make me realize how utterly clueless the smarter people are!
The question or issue isn't "should people with different goals & abilities
train the same?"
Of course not, I don't care what sex you are!
Part of the problem (that leads to the question in the 1st place) is the stereotype that Women like using those cute little pink weights & Men of course like to pick up heavy objects. Really? The fitness industry is partially to blame for this as they always depict the Women with the aforementioned pink weights in her hands. In my opinion, not only is this an unhealthy image of what Women are capable of; but it in no way helps to alleviate the health risk many women face Osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a serious health risk that affects too many women. While there is a heredity component to this; a strength training program is about the best prevention for bone loss there is. A women with the pink weights isn't being helped at all, while a smart women who "Trains Properly" receives tremendous benefits in the way of bone strength, joint integrity and injury prevention. What Men don't want that? Perhaps the question is "Should Men Train Like Smart Women?"

Frank Pucher


My Master Mind group was assigned an exercise today; I WILL?
Basically, a public to do list that keep us focused and accountable.

This week I will:

1) Provide an outstanding experience to each of my clients & encourage my TEAM to do the same.
2) Continue to interview potential employees.
3) Meet with a new bank to discuss refinancing our business loans.
4) Complete my last Long Ride & Run in my training cycle.
5) Take one of my TEAM to Lunch to discuss new client acquisition.
6) Work/Assist with Francesca on a PILATES Video for possible distribution.
7) Encourage votes from Clients, Friends & Strangers for "Best Gym in Essex County."
8) Arrange Lunch-Dinner plans with some friends I've been out of touch with.
9) Continue positive affirmations regarding all things.

Frank Pucher

Sunday, July 5, 2009

4 Weeks Out

This week I spent some time thinking about "what's next?" after IRONMAN.
I don't know if that's a sign of my being ready to be over this? or just a sign of my competitive nature? All I do know is that I'm confident and nervous; just on that fine line of where I need to be.

Here was my training last week:

Monday: Run 60 minutes
Tuesday: Bike 2 hours; didn't feel that great..actually a little tired.
Wednesday: Swim 1 hr 10min..felt good
Thursday: Run 40 minutes
Friday: Bike 90 minutes
Saturday: Bradley Beach 1 mile Ocean Swim with Friend/Client (Chris Adams)
-I felt surprisingly good!
Sunday: 1hr run around the bay.

This was a low key week. I will do some more volume next week and specifically next weekend before tapering down. This weekend was also a chance to relax at the beach with some family & friends. We enjoyed some laughs, wine and fireworks on the beach.

Happy 4th of July to all.

Frank Pucher