Tuesday, November 12, 2013

9 days in CA and the JFT105 Challenge

Don't be upset by the results you didn't get with the work you didn't do
"Don't be upset by the results you didn't get with the work you didn't do." Saw this t-shirt, love it, want it! (Too bad they are men's shirts and out of stock in Small's.)
Consistency has been my problem since the end of my short-lived professional triathlon career. These days I only half-heartedly train for stuff, sometimes, when there is a race on the near horizon, and haven't had much in terms of big goals. But now I'm motivated to try to get on the worlds team for Chicago 2015, which means a top 18 AG finish in Milwaukee next August.
Like Kelly at It's Always Sunny Running, I've contemplated getting a coach, but haven't for a variety of reasons. Firstly, it costs money (that's better spent on student loans). Secondly, after having personally worked with arguably the world's best coach (who controversially left teamTBB recently after 7 years of fantastically brainwashing a bunch of us into fast results), it's kind of tough picking someone else, which I hear is not unusual with fellow TBB alumni. And the coaches of that tier cost mega bucks, which I don't really need since I'm not competing at that level any more.
Thirdly, I know I haven't really done the work that I need to do to get as fast as I could on my own. (See shirt quote above.) It's kind of been my pattern in the last couple years: not really train for stuff, hope I can still go kind of fast, and when I don't, brush it off because "well I didn't really train much for it anyway." Maybe it's a self preservation technique because I'm secretly afraid I won't be fast any more... even if I tried really hard. Lame!
Anyway, this third reason for not having a coach was very much verified when I stumbled across one of Gordo's articles "Are You Wasting Money?" during my recent California vacation. Gordo Byrn is an ex-pro/triathlon coach who was very influential to my first triathlon coach (Coach Mike from the college days, of Mike and Susan homestay fame in Spokane), so he obviously knows what he's talking about. He also was the guest speaker at the very first local triathlon club meeting I ever attended when I was 18 years old (13+ years ago!). Gordo basically says not to waste money hiring a coach if you haven't even put in 15 weeks of consistent basic training, "some form of physical activity every day for 105 days". I believe he also coined the phrase "JFT" aka just freakin' train. (Well, the F really stands for another F word.)
"Hiring a coach, and paying $1,500 to $12,000 per annum, will not make you faster. Training makes you faster.
Before hiring a coach, see if you can follow a simple, basic week fifteen weeks in a row. Aim for half of what you think you need and focus solely on one thing -- 'some form of physical activity every day for 105 days.'
105 in 105 is surprisingly tough and absolutely essential."
So henceforth begins my 105-day challenge, which I shall call...the JFT105 Challenge. (Not that I would hire a coach anyway at the end of it, but I definitely need to boost up my consistency.) It started yesterday, once I got back to DC from 9 awesome days back home in California. I've decided to qualify a day of training as one that involves changing into workout clothes and sweating for at least 30 minutes minimum (no maximum). This helps differentiate it from, say, bike commuting or walking to work, and would allow me to count a hard lifting session. Yesterday was an easy 45mins of running, tonight I jumped on the trainer for 50mins while catching up on my guilty pleasure show, CW's Beauty and the Beast (big gear work during commercial breaks). I may not throw in doubles or lifting until this weekend as my immune system feels a bit weak from the travel. 105 days ends on February 24th! That seems like a long time from now. I'll update at least every 10 days, that's only 10 or 11 updates for a good blogging consistency goal. Yeah!
How was California, you ask? It was amazing! Me and Kevin's first big vacation together, and also since we both started our jobs in DC. He got to see the West Coast for the first time, got to meet the whole family, and my brother got married. We ended up being good travel buddies, flew well together, road tripped well together, ran around many beaches together, and met up with lots of family and friends. We'll definitely be back!
There were San Francisco touristy things (Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge with the new LED lights, Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf, Ride the Ducks!!!), Los Angeles touristy things (Hollywood Walk of Fame and the sign, a taping of Jay Leno at NBC studios), and beaches, lots of beaches in between and every day. Here are some of my favorite photos. Enjoy and JFT!







  1. woohoo, still living the super sassy lifestyle!!! vive sassy! as we say!! always fun to read about your adventures, hope we get to meet up next time i'm in DC!

  2. Hmm, I am going to tell myself this. Just frickin' train!