HeartGeek Completes Triathlon

HeartGeek Triathlon

HeartGeek Completes Triathlon

Just a quick post to let everyone know that I survived the Dewey Beach Triathlon.  My family and I travelled down to the beach last Friday evening and met three friends who also made the foolish decision to swim, bike, and run for an ungodly amount of time.

After dinner at the Starboard, we all went back to my friends house and turned in somewhat early.  Nobody slept too well that evening and we all began stirring around sunrise the next morning.  Luckily, the starting line for the event is about five minutes from the house.

The morning was gray and the sea was angry.  Almost 1,000 competitors marched a half mile down the beach just so we could swim back the same distance.  Staring at the swells of the ocean during that walk was somewhat intimidating.

It wasn’t pretty, but I finished the swim.  My biggest obstacle out of the way, it was on to the bike.  This leg was my best and fairly uneventful.  After a quick transition, I was out running.

About a mile into the run, my quads started cramping.  Another runner told me to “stride it out”.  I basically sprinted two blocks and walked one block for the next 2.5 miles.  Funny thing is, it didn’t impact my time too significantly.

I was very happy to finish and was even pleased with my overall time.  Here is the kicker, when looking online at my results, I found out I was penalized.  Officially, the penalty reads “abandonment of equipment”.  I think it really means I dropped an energy bar!

Tri Friends

Time for a new challenge.  What should I do next?

Heartgeek Training With Moose!

moose swim

I hit the beach last weekend for a little training with a couple of longtime friends and fellow triathlon participants.  The wife and kids were away at Grandmas, so I was flying solo.  Early Saturday morning, I went for a four mile run, showered, and strapped the bike on the car.

Salt Water Nemesis

I arrived a little before lunch, had something to eat, and hit the beach.  The number one goal of this trip was to get in some ocean swim time.  Something I had failed to do during a week at the beach in late July.

With my ocean swim goal in mind, I decided a nap was in order.  Thankfully, my two buddies shamed me out of that plan.  Time to hit the water.  Lots of witty banter ensued about how much this was going to suck.

We set out with a goal of a quarter mile.  What would be a warmup in the pool.  Within a few minutes, I was already sucking wind.  Unlike a pool, it’s impossible to see where you are going.  And even with only three of us, I was about to collide with one of my buddies.

Swimming turned into basic survival.  Two of us hit the quarter mile goal in a very ugly fashion.  The third in our group mockingly completed a full half mile.  It was rough, but the obstacle and associated fear was finally removed.  I might, just might be able to do a half mile in the ocean.

The next day, we set out to conquer the bike course we will be riding on race day.  Eight miles out with the wind in our face and eight miles back with the wind in our face. The downside of riding near the ocean.

Later that day I commented that I still thought the swim was the worst leg of the triathlon.  My buddy replied back:

Let’s face it, they all suck!

Survey Says

So why are we, or for that matter, why does anyone put themselves through this misery.  Several years ago, fitness writer Ben Greenfield asked his readers why they did triathlons.   Scroll down to the comments to find some interesting responses.  Below are a number of those reasons:

  • To prove I can do anything
  • For balanced fitness
  • Personal challenge
  • Bragging rights
  • To be a bad ass!

There you have it.  Prove to yourself and everyone else that you are a BAD ASS!

Training Summary

For those keeping track,  here is the suggested training plan for the week (per trinewbie.com)

Triathlon Weekly Training

Monday was my off day.  I added a weight workout to Tuesday’s run.  I bumped the Wednesday swim up from a 400 to a 1600 (swimming is my Achilles).  Due to an early morning flight to Northern Minnesota on Thursday, I substituted a weight workout for the brick.

After arriving in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, I had to make some major adjustments to the training plan.  I didn’t bring the bike, so here is the plan:

  • Friday – Find one of those 10,000 lakes
  • Saturday – Run
  • Sunday – Off
  • Monday – Run

Since this is a vacation, there will also be a lot of Dairy Queen and Pizza involved.  Good time to double down on the cardio.  Three weeks to race day!

Welcome to HeartGeek!

From Dead to Geek

Hello, my name is Paul Maher and this is HeartGeek.  Although my dorky picture below might communicate otherwise, I will be turning seven years old this July.

Let me explain.  In July of 2007 I suffered a cardiac arrest at my home.  I was dead on the floor and 50 shades of blue when my wife found me and ultimately saved my life.  In addition to the cardiac arrest, I had a heart attack (which probably triggered the cardiac arrest) and was just a complete vascular mess.

Today, for a variety of non-cardiac reasons, I am still part mess.  But I am also healthier than I have ever been in my life.  I am happily married, have two awesome kids, a great job, and a very active lifestyle.

Over the past several years, I have developed a passion for improving my heart health and general fitness through a combination of exercise, diet, and a few technical gadgets to satisfy my inner geek.  Put it all together, and I am a HeartGeek!

Let’s Make Heart Disease Fun!

If you had a heart attack or dropped dead on the kitchen floor, would you imagine a fun recovery?  Of course not.  Heart disease is not fun, but managing it can be.  Heartgeek is a place where people who have experienced a cardiac arrest, heart attack, or have heart disease can find and share information on improving heart health.  To be fair though, I won’t turn away or discriminate against the healthy.

I went through my “event” at the fairly young age of 41.  As a result, I didn’t find a lot of information about cardiac recovery that was targeted at my age group.  Most of the data I found out there was targeted to the retired community.  Sure, I could put on my white reeboks, black socks, wrap around shades and go for a nice leisurely walk at the mall.  But I knew that wouldn’t sustain me for long.  I began to research exercise programs, diets, lifestyle changes, and even technologies that could improve my health and hold my interest!

The HeartGeek Promise to You

At HeartGeek, I will be sharing my experiences with you in the hope that I can help you enjoy a healthy life – even with heart disease.  Of course, I am not a doctor and I am not offering any medical advice.  Always consult with your physician before trying anything you read about here.  My intent is to keep you interested  in heart health by offering:

  • The best, up-to-date information related to heart health – I will stay on top of developments in cardiac treatment and bring that information to you.

  • Exercise and diet tips, backed up by experts and my own experiments and progress.

  • Informative reviews of technologies and tools to monitor and improve heart health.  This is the fun part!

  • A community of heartgeeks to help and support each other in getting healthier and enjoying life.

Please Participate in HeartGeek

As with most blogs out there, comments are vital to keeping heartgeek interactive, interesting, and useful.  I welcome your comments and questions and encourage you to participate within the site.

The intent here is to help one another recover, learn, evolve, improve our heart health and have fun.  You can contact me via email using the contact form or follow me on TwitterFacebook or Google.