My Training Blog

Finish
Jun 20, 2012 by Greg Wognild

Wow...without a doubt, one of the coolest and craziest experiences in my life. I can honestly say I would do it again. I pushed myself hard enought to make it hurt but not so hard to make body suffer. Therefore, I would do it again.


Training came to a weird stand still 2 weeks prior to the event as we made an unscheduled trip to Idaho/Washington. It ends up that my Father-in-Law gets a double lung transplant, that turns into a miracle that only God could orchestrate. But I survive, Bob survives, Jeff survives, and my brother survives. All the way around, Life is Good. For those of you really wondering, my time 3:29:25. 190th place overall and 18 in my age group. Not bad for a 41 year old fat guy.


What I learned: I can do things and like things I didn't think I would, even at my age.

Family is important to have at a life changing event.

Cancer sucks!

We all need support.


Thanks for helping to raise over $700,000 for this event alone.




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30 day count down-Bad News
May 12, 2012 by Greg Wognild

I am going to steal some words from some people because they hit me hard this week along with bad news...

One of our coaches re-marked "that the mind is like a bad neighborhood; you never go in alone." When you are running and biking around Anchorage (or living in for that matter) there are truly some places you don't want be by yourself. Another coach wrote in the weekly newletter that "our minds are truly a place where we can only go in alone." We have sole acces to our personal thoughts as humans. You can tell people all you want and be truthful even to the point of brutal honestly. the coach went on to mention that a few years ago, a book called The Secret by Rhonda Byrne was a hot item. It sold millions of copies (out-selling even the most popular book, the Bible). The tenets of the book is that the universe is governed by a natural law called the law of attraction which is said to work by attracting into a person's life the experiences, situations, events, and people that 'match the frequency' of the person's thoughts and feelings. Therefore, positive thinking and feeling positive are claimed to create life-changing results such as increased wealth, health, and happiness. In essence, our thoughts create our reality. What you think about the most, or focus on the most, will appear as your life.


A good message, inspiring. However, when Jeff called me Thursday on his way home from the hospital to tell me they found a mass between his lung and aorta on a routine PET scan, I didn't know what to say. This, a year to the day he found out he had Hodgkins. And only a couple of months ago was told he was in remission. He has detailed his experiences in his blog entitled "Life is Good" (What's up irony?) Jeff had surgery yesterday. He is recovering well but the results of the biopsy from the oncologist won't happen for a couple of days. However, the surgeon thought Hodgkins has returned its ugly face inside Jeff's body.


To create a successful, joyful life--you have to attract it into your life by happy, positive thoughts and feelings. For the Hoeben family, life this couldn't be closer to the truth. And yet, if you know Jeff and Rebecca you would agree with me in saying, why then is Jeff lying in a hospital bed with a three inch incision awaiting a fate or random cruelty. Two of the most dedicated parents and people I know that have devoted their life's work to making positive change at a youth camp called Camp Gray in Wisconsin.


So alone with my thoughts as I write this entry, I have mixed feelings. Our thoughts do create our reality sometimes through choices and sometimes maifested through our reactions and interactions with people and tragic circumstances. But sometimes we don't get to choose what happens to us, only how we react.


Applied to my training...

Your thoughts can create either a joyful experience or a painful struggle. Just Google "training mantras" and see what you get. There is a point in a triathlon or a marathon where an athlete starts to have negative thoughts of "you can't do it" or "give up, loser" or "this is too hard." It is easy to give up. Ask anyone. I had to go back and read my own blogs. Week five posted, "Athlete?" I need to change my own mantra. I need to change my own thoughts in the "bad neighborhood" I have found myself training in. I am going to be in Hawaii for crying out loud.

Jeff's first words to me on the phone when he called after he found the mass was "Keep swimming, brother." My new mantra... "Keep going, brother."

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Week 14-Wow, Catch up Greg
May 12, 2012 by Greg Wognild

Dear Everyone,


Sheesh, I am still training. Now here's the reacap of the last three weeks. Week 10-11 were SBA Testing. Kristin and I were having to rearrange some life things like childcare because I was not able to get Atlin to school and be at the testing site at the same time. In addition, I was spending afternoons trying to get In-Kind Donations for the Silent Auction event hosted by Scared Scriptless on April 21st. (Successfulyl, I might add.)

Speaking of adding, we also went through 2 birthdays, Atlin now 5 and Kai turned 3, and our 10 year Anniversary in between. (Sorry I didn't get your present made, Kris.) I had also decided it would be a good idea to step up my swimming training. So I attended a couple of Master Swimmer training sessions with disasterous consequences. Mostly, I was hoping to get a little faster, but in pushing the limits, my left shoulder really started hurting. With my goal of being injury free, I decided that it was in my body's best interest to stop. So I took a week off swimming. In the meantime, my running also took a turn for the worst. After a 20 mile ride and 4.5 mile run I started to feel severe pain in my right hip. I did some stretching and blew it off as a long training session and I needed some time to recover from the pain. But it continued to bother me just walking over the next couple of days. A week later I was feeling better but was I trepidatious about jumping on the treadmill again. I visited a Rolfer last week and I am optomistic that it will help.

Long story short, I am getting back on track. The snow has almosted completely melted and the weather has been warming my bones. It also means trails are clearing and I have started to train outside, except for swimming. (Too much ice on the lakes for me.) It isn't 80 degrees, but I'll take it. It is just different being on your own bike outside and being able to run where the scenery does change and all the reruns of Friends are not the best options on a TV screen in front of your treadmill.

Yesterday, I got up earlier than normal to hit the pool. Alone, I swam for 35 minutes completing my mile. Then I towled off and headed for 1/2/ hour ride 7.5 miles. Not far but just enough to feel like I accomplished something. I just got back from a short run this morning. My hands got cold, so I still need gloves this time of year in AK. I felt a little pain but not as intense so I powered through it hoping it won't keep me from running in the Triathlon.

I am that much closer to reaching my Fundraising Goal. With Scriptless donating all of the money from the ticket admission and the Silent Auction money and with a generous donation from a kindhearted woman and her family that almost made me cry, my personal goal of raising $5000 has almost been attained. I am thankful for all of my friends and family along with compassionate strangers who have donated so much. As Jeff's blog is entitled, Life is Good.


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Week 10 - The trianing is difficult but the fundraising is harder
May 12, 2012 by Greg Wognild

Physically the hardest thing this week was biking. My first ride was more comical than anything. I borrowed a free standing floor trainer from a friend. I set the trainer up in my garage between the '81 Landcruiser and the '85 Westy. The parking of the cars was extremely important because I needed to ride on the 16 in. wide rollers and try not hit my handle bars on either vehicle. The side mirror on the vanagon was placed just so I ended up with a nice view of my face when it was not folded in. (I really just wanted to see the look on my face.)

If you have never been on a free spinning trainer, it can get pretty exciting. Hence the reason for the placement between the cars. It is very easy to fall over; especially when you first get on. It takes a little practice and a lot of concentration.

Add to this my brilliant idea to watch a movie while I do this. The scenery doesn't change much in a garage and I was left looking at all the unfinished projects and disorganization of my tools. The movie would keep my from this distraction...right. I set up my computer on my table saw after removing some left over saw dust from the unfinished project I was making for Kristin. I had to use an extension for my headphones to reach my ears. (This already became a project in itself. I probably would have been able to ride an extra 15 minutes.) So finally, the movie, Letters to God, is set up my bike is ready, I climb on with headphones on. I begin my spin and immediately have to lean my left elbow against the van so as not to topple over and then I increase my pedal speed to catch my balance.

Movie...still rolling.

What I didn't realize is how loud my tires would be on the rubber rollers. Nice. I can barely hear anything over the deafening humming sound from my commuter wheels. And, oh, what is that crackling sound in my ears? Yeow! I touch the van again with my elbow. What the...? It begins to dawn on me that I am generating static electricity. "Oh yeah. I forgot to tell you that," Ramon would later tell me. Anyway, the movie is still playing and I can't stand the static so I tear out the headphones in my ears and continue the next 1/2 hour on my bike watching a movie that I can't hear and shocking myself about every 35-45 seconds on the van and the cruiser. Kept me on my toes. Literally, I was shocked.


(Posted...4/29) 3 weeks behind writing.

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Week 9 - Focus on Training
Apr 01, 2012 by Greg Wognild

Last Sunday we trained in the lazy river at H2Oasis. It's Alaska's version of a waterpark. They were kind enough to allow the 4 Team in Training triatheletes of Alaska to use the river as a training ground for a simulated open water swim. It brought back my feelings of nearly drowning the first couple of times I got in the pool in the beginning of my training. First, there is water shooting out the sides of the walls. Then water falling from the large pipes overhead. Avoid the inner tubes and the occasional family standing stationary in the middle. Finally, make sure to turn when there are corners for the entire 200m on each lap. All very different from swimming 25m laps in the pool with a black line to follow. It was difficult but not impossible as we swam 10 laps for a total of 2000m in about 45 min. Needless to say it was chaotic and at times remembering to try and keep form and brething was difficult. I felt like I had to keep my head up watching for hazards. Wish I could post a video of the ordeal for everyone.


The longer my training times, the more rest my body seems to need. I am adding in more 2 event day trainings.


Monday was bike 30 mins/run for 45 mins.

Tuesday rest.

Wednesday swim 1 mile/run 3 miles.

Thursday bike for 1 hour.

Friday swim for 1 hour.

Saturday rest.

Sunday bike 20 miles/run for 4. (Which means I need to get to bed here soon.)


I know I am stronger but an even more beneficial factor of training has been the loss of 17 pounds of fat. Maybe even more as it is converted to muscle but hey who's tracking that? I think it contributes to my ability to complete longer training sessions as well. It would be like training with a 1 year old on your person as you run, bike, and swim. I no longer look like the girls of Baywatch as I run on the treadmill. I still have an annoying beer belly that can only be reduced by eating the right foods of the right amounts. Kristin is trying to see to that and for that I am truly thankful.

Kristin, the kids and I walked around downtown Anchorage today dropping off donation letters for a silent auction that takes place at a Fundraising Event on April 21st with Scared Scriptless. We had fun just walking around. A good Saturday rest day.


Thank you everyone for all your support, directly and indirectly. I am behind on my personal thank you notes and emails. So if you haven't gotten one, it's coming.


~Greg

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Week 9 - Focus on Training
Apr 01, 2012 by Greg Wognild

Last Sunday we trained in the lazy river at H2Oasis. It's Alaska's version of a waterpark. They were kind enough to allow the 4 Team in Training triatheletes of Alaska to use the river as a training ground for a simulated open water swim. It brought back my feelings of nearly drowning the first couple of times I got in the pool in the beginning of my training. First, there is water shooting out the sides of the walls. Then water falling from the large pipes overhead. Avoid the inner tubes and the occasional family standing stationary in the middle. Finally, make sure to turn when there are corners for the entire 200m on each lap. All very different from swimming 25m laps in the pool with a black line to follow. It was difficult but not impossible as we swam 10 laps for a total of 2000m in about 45 min. Needless to say it was chaotic and at times remembering to try and keep form and brething was difficult. I felt like I had to keep my head up watching for hazards. Wish I could post a video of the ordeal for everyone.


The longer my training times, the more rest my body seems to need. I am adding in more 2 event day trainings.


Monday was bike 30 mins/run for 45 mins.

Tuesday rest.

Wednesday swim 1 mile/run 3 miles.

Thursday bike for 1 hour.

Friday swim for 1 hour.

Saturday rest.

Sunday bike 20 miles/run for 4. (Which means I need to get to bed here soon.)


I know I am stronger but an even more beneficial factor of training has been the loss of 17 pounds of fat. Maybe even more as it is converted to muscle but hey who's tracking that? I think it contributes to my ability to complete longer training sessions as well. It would be like training with a 1 year old on your person as you run, bike, and swim. I no longer look like the girls of Baywatch as I run on the treadmill. I still have an annoying beer belly that can only be reduced by eating the right foods of the right amounts. Kristin is trying to see to that and for that I am truly thankful.

Kristin, the kids and I walked around downtown Anchorage today dropping off donation letters for a silent auction that takes place at a Fundraising Event on April 21st with Scared Scriptless. We had fun just walking around. A good Saturday rest day.


Thank you everyone for all your support, directly and indirectly. I am behind on my personal thank you notes and emails. So if you haven't gotten one, it's coming.


~Greg

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Week 8 - Recommittment
Apr 01, 2012 by Greg Wognild

If you are reading this, then I know you are at least a little interested. I sure hope it's not like watching a baseball game where you are bored to tears until the 9th inning. Or Maybe you are a Nascar fan and the only reason you are following along is because you are waiting for "the big crash." Well, I certainly don't want to disappoint but I am only in the 7th inning stretch and I don't make a lot of left hand turns at 200 mph.

In Alaska terms, reading about my training is probably a lot like watching the 130 inches of snow we got this winter melt. Boring...this is going to take till the end of May; and so is my training. I am erroring on the side of an injury free event.


Triathlons are new to Team in Training for the Alaska chapter. For good reason, where does one train? And why does one have to raise so much money? I am lucky enough to have a gym membership that allows me access to all the resources I need. Training inside has been adequate but not ideal. Alaskans know that the greatest cost is just getting out of the state and flying to Hawaii means 3 parts: Alaska to Seattle, Seattle to Honolulu, Honolu to Maui. (Alright, I am going to Hawaii, but there aren't a lot of triathlons to particpate in that Team in Training can send athletes to represent.)

So, more than 1/2 the money goes to reasearch specifically for finding a cure for blood cancers, some to supporting family services, and some to administrative overhead. Donating to me, helps me too. A portion of the money pays for my participation in this event; there are registration fees for the event and triathlon association, hotel, airfair, transportation, and the cost of shipping my bike from Alaska. LLS takes care of all of this so I can focus on the training.

The most exciting thing so far is that I am about 1/3 of the way to my fundraising goal and almost 1/2 way through training. I hope that anyone reading this will help either through donating money, sharing my efforts, or becoming an advocate for Leukemia Lyphoma Society.

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Week Seven-Routine
Mar 18, 2012 by Greg Wognild

It's been a crazy week. I can't emphasize enough how important having a routine is. Last Thursday Kai had a temperature, so I stayed home...and again on Friday. Well, turns out Kristin and Atlin also get sick. (We are all on antibiotics, by the way.) Routine for the whole family is out of the ordinary and so trying to keep a training schedule was impossible. Some how we managed but only because of spring break.

Turns out both Kristin and I came down with strep and the kids had ear infections. I had to top it off with a root canal; twice, because my tooth had walled itself off and I need to go to an endodontist. Needless to say my week was a little less than stellar for keeping up with training.


Here's the break down:

Monday - Rest Day

Tuesday - Rest Day (Root Canal)

Wednesday - 37 lap swim

Thursday - 1 hour bike / 1 mile run

Friday - 45 minute swim (Root Canal after swimming)

Saturday - 5 K run / 7 laps in the pool -- bonus shovel snow off the roof

Sunday - Rest


I can't say I always find it easy to get up early to train and today was no exception. I knew I had to do some running. So I made a deal with myself that I would run if I could swim after. I was finishing up my third mile and decided I should start cooling down with a walk. I should have known that swimming was a bad idea after running. First, I still hadn't eaten anything except a few gummies and when I decided to spit in my goggles to keep them from fogging up, there was a bit of red saliva. Maybe the gummie coating will help. But alas, I begin my swim and know immediately I don't have the strength or energy to finish. And a good thing I didn't. As soon as I got out of the pool I realized there is a reason the swim is alway first in the triathlon, no one drowns running. I think I will stick to the routine; swim, bike, run.



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Week Six-Still Feeling Good
Mar 10, 2012 by Greg Wognild

When it comes down to it, I feel pretty good. Here I am 1/3 or the way through training before event day on June 10th. (I'll know who the math geeks are from comments) I never would have thought I would be able to swim continuously for 40 minutes in the pool by now but I can. I really had to slow myself down in the beginning. Apparently there is something called 'pacing'.

Some kind woman in the pool asked me how I learned to swim and I couldn't answer. "Why, am I that bad?" "No," she replied hesitantly. "But can I give you some advice?" I am a pretty humble guy (Ironic I write that. I guess that makes me ironic too. Let's not forget that last sentence contained sarcasm) so of course I agreed. Come to find out she has completed a number of triathlons but has since injured herself through rigorous training. Her advice, "Slow down. It is your first one." Then she went on to explain the rest of my swimming faults. All things I am grateful for now.

I finally asked my mom who taught me how to swim. "You learned on your own in the Whetam's pool." Well that explains a lot. No formal swimming instruction. I just relied on the hypothalamus flight or fight response mechanism in my brain to survive and not drown. I thought it would be a long swim just dog paddling. (sarcasm again)

I am grateful for spin classes as it keeps me rolling on the bike. My only real regret is that on race day, all the great music that helps me keep pace for my hour long rides will be non-existent. I ride anywhere from 1/2 hour to hour 3X per week where one day is a bike/run combo. And I almost always have a playlist. So later Def Leppard.

The transition from bike to run is one of the harder pieces (bricks) in the event because different leg muscles are being used. So, it's kind of funny training inside a gym because depending on which gym I go to the bike trainers are downstairs and the track and treadmill are upstairs. I stretch a little when I get off the bike and try to take it easy going up the stairs for fear of falling. Wobbly legs. I certainly hope there are no stairs involved at the real triathlon.

Which brings me to my least favorite event of all, the running. (no sarcasm) I have found a pace of a little more than 10 minute miles that I can continue for at least 3 miles, my longest runs thus far. I can maintain this speed even after my rides.

However, I have not ran more than 2 miles after a medium intensity bike ride. I have not pushed beyond this only because it seems to early in the game. I am injury free now. My knees are holding up okay and I want to keep it that way. Slow and steady wins the race. So for those of you who believe I can win the event, unicorns aren't real.

My goal is to finish; and I would like to finish in under 3.5 hours, which seems reasonable. I think.


~ Greg


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Week 5 - Athelete? Ahhhn, maybe...
Mar 03, 2012 by Greg Wognild

There is something about the ability to keep going. Like after you hit your head on the wall of the pool; yes, I did that and kept going. Or like when you stand up on your bike in spin class and put a little pressure on the handbars and it sinks down to the front wheel... eeeerrrrrwww; as silly as you look and feel, you keep going.


I felt good this week. Donations have been coming in, people are reading my blog, and many people are asking how my training is going. All of you help me to keep going. It really does make a difference to me to know you are reading, you're telling others, and you care. So thank you.


A little soreness in my bones (mostly knees and shoulders) let me know I am pushing but not too far. No injuries are a good thing. Especially when I am running on the treadmill and start thinking about falling off. And yes, that has been my worry. But I have been running up to 3 miles without walking or resting, swimming in the pool for up to 1900m, and my longest ride is 24 miles. Quite the acomplishment for the couch potato (add an e if you want) I was.


So I know that when I finish the triathlon, I won't be done. I will keep going. Not for the sake of becoming an athelete or a marathoner or whatever. Just because I should keep going. I have learned that even when I want to stop training, if I just continue a little more, I can get past the mental block to keep going. So to Jeff, and to my brother, here is to the ability to keep going.


Please keep sharing my blog with others, keep making comments, and if you can't donate any money, please consider another option become a blood donor

https://www.dkmsamericas.org/register.


Greg


"I suppose we will never ever really be ready for all that life has to throw at us. That should, however, not stop us from trying." ~jeff hoeben



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Supporter Comments

  •  
    "Way to Go Greg! We are behind you the whole way. Feel free to call on us to help us for moral support through the process."
     

    The Graziano Family

    Sun Feb 26 12:16:21 EST 2012

  •  
    "You are embarking on a hero's journey for the many heros in our lives and in the nation. Thank you for taking it on. I wish you luck and an ice bath at the end!"
     

    Nicole Fitzgerald

    Sat Mar 03 01:08:07 EST 2012

  •  
    "Go Gregor! You're a mighty fine man and I'm so proud of you. "
     

    Danielle Lesko

    Thu Mar 08 01:29:00 EST 2012

  •  
    "Great Event Greg!"
     

    Susie Wretnmore

    Mon Apr 23 04:31:59 EDT 2012

  •  
    "Go Greg!"
     

    Jeff, Kelly, Talia & Zach Day

    Sun Mar 18 04:41:11 EDT 2012

My Fundraising Total

Raised: $4,597.92 | Goal: $5,000.00
 
92 %

Make a Donation


We are sorry donations are no longer being accepted for this participant for this event.

In Honor of

Jeff Hoeben/ Dick Wognild

My Thanks To

Scared Scriptless, LLC $1550.92
Grace's Place LLC $500.00
Lindsey Fees $155.00
Team on Trainers $130.00
Bruce and Hana Schindler $100.00
Tisha Gieser $100.00
Jenny Pesce $100.00
Michael Ross $100.00
Peggy Michaud $100.00
Donna Koehler $100.00
Jeff, Kelly, Talia & Zach... $100.00
Danielle Lesko $100.00
Bryan White $100.00
Angie Deichert $100.00
The Wingblade Family $100.00
Benjamin Shelton $100.00
The Graziano Family $100.00
Josh Howes $100.00
Terri Foust Rogers $100.00
Beverly Hoshide $50.00
Janice Horn $50.00
John and Robyn Simmons $50.00
John Robinson $50.00
LaRae and Lance Adams $50.00
Irma Watson $50.00
Franny and David Hall $50.00
Nicole Fitzgerald $50.00
Ron "Mr. Z" Zandman-Zema... $50.00
Susie Wretnmore $40.00
Shannon Cobb $40.00
Ariel Glaser $36.00
Ariel Glaser $36.00
Jane Yokoyama $35.00
John & Karen Richardson $25.00