A vision for my life - Because what we focus on expands

Friday, August 31, 2007

08/31/07: Just in.....An amazing race report

Here's one of the best race reports I've ever read, from Courtney who just finished IM KY.


IM KY Report from 140point6miles

08/31/07: We interrupt this swim for lightening


Such is life in Fla in the summer...Still managed to get in 2100 yds:

wu: 100 x swim, kick, pull

300 pull

6x100 descend 1-3 & 4-6 on 2:10

6x50 swim with fins on 1'

300 pull


Backing up a couple of days, on Wednesday I did a one hour form ride. I split it up into 30 minutes on the rollers, 15 minutes on the trainer (3x3 ilt), and another 15 minutes on the rollers. The person in the condo below me complained that the rollers were noisy (note to self: start looking at single family homes in the spring), so ready or not, I graduated from riding in a doorframe and put the rollers in the spare bedroom. It was like riding without training wheels for the 1st time...a bit nerve-racking, but worked out just fine - no harm done to me, Kramer, my house or my bike. YAY

Yesterday morning was a 45 minute form run. I ran some laps around a lake behind my condo, getting in 8 30" pickups during the run.

As the weekend hours are getting REALLY long, I scheduled Fridays as rest days as well as Mondays, to ensure that my key workouts are quality sessions. So today my legs get a break, although I'll still probably put my bike on the rollers for 5-10 minutes of easy spinning. At least in theory, 5-10 minutes a day on the rollers should turn me into a cyclist with at least reasonable balance.

This weekend has me doing a 1 1/2 hour swim, which I'll probably do with the group, a 2 1/2 hour run, and a 4 1/2 hour ride. 8 1/2 hours over two days....Hmmmm.....

Live with purpose....Enjoy the Adventure

Thursday, August 30, 2007

08/30/07: What's your challenge?

What is it that makes Ironman so special? Is it the World Championships in Kona every year?

Kona hosts some of the most athletically gifted and genetically endowed men and women on the planet each year. Although awed by their abilities, I'm not one of them, never will be, and could care less. That's not what this is about, at least for me, although I may decide I want a lottery spot to Kona later in life (or I may not).

For me it's how hard the journey is to get there. The harder and more challenging something is, the bigger the payoff in the end. Although anyone CAN do an ironman, very few actually will. For me the payoff is in the challenge, so to speak. To a certain extent, if it were easy, then why bother?

For me this journey began back in January 2005 when I started training for my first marathon. Back then the thought of consistently running 4 days a week was a bit overwhelming, and the thought of running 10 miles the first time was totally intimidating.

Two and a half years later, there are no 4 day training weeks, since even recovery weeks have me training 5 days. Now I consider ten mile runs and 40 mile bike rides short. Consistency and determination are the keys to endurance events, nothing more, nothing less. Well, ok, you need a good training plan that'll get you from where you are fitness'wise to the starting line injury free, but I digress.....

Some love swimming, or biking, or running for hours on end - me, not so much. Some use it for social purposes - I prefer training alone most of the time.

For me, one thing I've grown very certain of is that this is about the challenge, and in two months and three days this challenge will reach it's peak: 140.6 miles in under 17 hours.

It doesn't really matter whether the subject is endurance events, or relationships, or spiritual, or financial independence, or any other area of life, it's the same story for all of them. In the end, it's not the race that's important, it's what we went though to get there and who we become in the process that really matters.

So what's your challenge?

Now back to IM training, already in progress........

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

08/29/07: Back in the Pool

Started off Base 3 in the pool. Benji was out, so had George, one of his assistant coaches on deck. George likes distance....

We put in 3300 yds, which felt pretty good actually:

4x (4x50 on 1:15, 200)

6x50 kick, 100 swim; 4x50 kick, 100 swim

3x300 pull

100 cd

After this swim I ran the bridges, doing a quick 30 minute loop.

Just 7 hard weeks of training left before the taper starts....

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure....

PS - I believe in positive pessimism....Even though I had a bad race over the weekend, the pictures came out horrible :)

Monday, August 27, 2007

08/27/07: HOT Report & The Week in Review

HOT Report:

First, thanks to all of the volunteers for helping make this a great race once again. We couldn't race without you!!

Onto the race....I didn't do particularly well, and fell well short of my goals, but have to find some positives and some lessons, so here goes:

Woke up at 4:30, drank 3 Boosts = 750 calories, and drove the 45 minutes down to Camp Blanding. Got there in plenty of time to relax and take my time setting up transition.

Walked the transition area, swim in to rack; rack to bike out; bike in to rack; rack to run out....Quick 10 minute warm up run; 5 minute warm up swim....ready to go....except the weather wasn't....

It was REALLY foggy, so much that we couldn't see even the first buoy from shore....so they postponed the start of the race for a 1/2 hour for the fog to lift.

I went off in the first wave, which meant there were plenty of people to swim over me as the faster swimmers in the later waves went by, which they did. Overall I felt pretty good on the swim. My goal was 40 minutes, and I was actually a bit surprised when I got out of the water and saw 45 minutes on my watch.

Based on my latest swims, 40 minutes was probably a bit too aggressive of a goal. A 40 minute swim would be a 2:40 / 100m time, and my my split in the last ocean swim was 2:55 / 100m. The 45 minute swim put me at 3:02 / 100m, which is in the ballpark for me, although still a snails pace by comparison. The faster swimmers literally finished in 1/2 that time....With all of the swimming I've been doing with the group, I thought I'd have improved more than this by now, but I suppose any progress in good....And I did make progress, swimming 3 1/2 minutes faster than last year. Not huge, but progress none-the-less.

The good news is that a 3:02 pace in the IM swim = 1:57. Slow as hell, but good enough to finish before the 2:20 cutoff...plus it's a wetsuit swim, which should help me go slightly faster.....

I had a relatively quick transition, downed a couple of salts with a sip of water, and was off on the bike.....

One of the cardinal rules of triathlon is nothing new on race day. I'm amending that rule slightly....Nothing new the night before race day either...

Lori & I went out for dinner to a Japanese steak house on Sat night, and the food was great (as well as the company). Unfortunately, my stomach and gi (gastrointestinal) didn't agree on Sunday.

Almost immediately from the time I started biking I had a wicked side stitch and stomach cramps. Uggghhhh....NOT FUN.

I tried sticking with my nutrition plan of alternating water and gatorade endurance every 10 minutes, with a gel and salts at 45 minutes. After almost throwing up for the second time, and realizing that I didn't particularly enjoy the combined taste of lake water, gel and gatorade, I stuck with sipping water.

I felt like I had a pretty good bike split considering, although was 30 seconds slower than last year as it turns out. In comparison, last year my training was for the HOT and I tapered for a couple of weeks, versus this year where this was a training race.

Trying to find a positive, I sucked it up and pushed past my stomach issues, changed my nutrition plan so that I didn't keep doing what already wasn't working, and the bike performed flawlessly.....Also, I managed to keep my intensity way up in Zone 4 (just under lactate threshold), which is where I wanted it for an Olympic distance.

After another pretty quick transition, time to get my run on....Typical run strategy: run from aid station to aid station walk the aid stations.

First mile always sucks, so no big deal. First aid station grab some water, walk for 30 secs or so....onto the next aid station.....same thing.....

That's about the time when my gi issues became more than a minor (or not so minor as the case may be) annoyance. GI issues = no digestion = not enough carbs/glycogen in the bloodstream & muscles = BONK.

My plan of running from aid station to aid station changed to run for 5 minutes, walk one. There's one and only one way to finish a race = keep moving forward...so I did. Up and over the hill at mile 4 and back down again at mile 5. By now it was run 2 minutes and walk one.....

With .2 miles to go it was time to get past the pain and just finish, so I started accelerating for the last two minutes. I had to laugh when I crossed the finish line at just below a full sprint and the announcer said it looked like I could do it again.....Ummmmm.....not so much......

Goal: Sub 3...Swim: 40, Bike: 1:18, Run: 55

Actual: Swim: 45; Bike 1:24; Run: 1:08

I finished the race 50 seconds faster than last year, all of which was from the swim, since my bike time was 30 seconds slower this year and my run was 2:46 slower this year.

Other positives (I'm searching for anything): T1 was 20 seconds faster, T2 24 seconds faster.

The Week in Review

Goal: 10 Hours, Actual 9.38

Goal: 3 hours
Actual: 4.25, 4.05 miles

Tu, Th 1:30 group swims, Sat 30 minute group swim + race


Goal: 4.5 hours
Actual: 3 hours

Mid-week rides were right on target. Weekend ride was initially scheduled for 3 hours and the I rode just under 1 1/2 in the race. Higher intensity/lower volume = acceptable for a recover week, although I have to make sure to get back on track volume-wise with this week's 5 hour ride.


Goal: 2.5 hours
Actual: 2:13

Similarly to the bike, mid-week runs were on target, and the weekend run was originally scheduled for 1 1/2 hours.

Coming up is a shortened Base 3 period, with two training weeks and a recovery week in week 3 to do the Palm Valley 1/2, basically an unsupported 6 hour training day to hopefully improve on my nutrition plan and work out at an intensity in zone three, versus yesterday's zone 4.

After Base 3, I'll only have one more 4 week base period, and then it's taper time.....

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure....

Friday, August 24, 2007

08/24/07: Recovery Week Continues w/ a Swim

Last night's swim had another great Benji set. After a 200 warmup, we did 3 400 sets:

4x100, 2x200, 400

One thing I really like about Benji;s practices is that everything has a purpose, versus merely going out and swimming a bunch laps or doing drills with no apparent meaning. The purpose of this set was to keep a consistent pace though each set, even as they got longer. Probably even more importantly than running, pacing is critical in the water....Go out too hard = major issues later. The first set I stayed right at 2'/100; the second set were both on 4', so far so good; the third set was 8'10", just a bit off.....

After a couple of drill sets, we had a bit of a team competition. First it was 50's on 35 seconds. What did I learn from this? 1. We have some REALLY FAST swimmers in our group. 2. I'm not one of them....50's on 35? Not a chance, at least not yet.....

Next was backstroke 50's on 45. As usual, the triathletes in the pool were given a bit of leeway, and could swim freestyle instead of backstroke...45 seconds....hmmm....Swimming as hard as I could, I managed to make the interval the first time; second trip not so much.....

Now for the depressing part....there are a few people in our group that can swim backstroke indefinitely on that interval.....So, I have a new goal....Be able to swim freestyle at least as fast as they can swim backstroke......

On a slightly less sarcastic note, since I've already managed to take off 30 sec / 100 in my last several races through a combination of consistent swimming and massive technique improvement, my goal is to take off another 15 sec / 100 by November. That would put me at 1:43 swim time for the ironman - perfect.....

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure.....

Thursday, August 23, 2007

08/23/07: Swimming, Barefoot on the Beach, & Rollers

So far it's been a great week of workouts. God I LOVE recovery week. For the first time in months my legs aren't stiff and I'm not too tired.

Tuesday's swim had a great VO2 Max set built in. Totalled 2850 yds:

Warmup: 200 swim, 50 kick, 50 pull

3x300 negative split w/ 1 min ri. One of the best things about Benji is he's done triathlons and realizes that the triathletes could care less about doing butterfly sets. So while he was working with the "swimmers" on butterfly form, we got to swim.

3x50 kick

3x (4x100 HARD on 2:30) 50 easy in between each set. This was the fun one of the evening. The idea was to go really hard on the 100s, with plenty of time in between. Great set.

Cool down 150

On the way home from the pool I ran the bridges. One loop from the Y and back takes about 25 minutes...add a bit onto the end and it's a perfect 30 minute run.

Last night was once again time to go barefoot at the beach. The nice thing about recovery week is I get to do some workouts because I want to, instead of feeling like I have to. Getting to run barefoot at the beach for a 1/2 hour as the sun sets is DEFINITELY a workout I WANT to do.

After a 10 minute warmup, I did 6 20 second strides, aiming for 32 right foot strikes, which as it turns out is pretty fast. I walked back to the start before each interval, since this is a form workout and not a hard running workout. After the strides I headed back for about 10 minutes at a pretty good pace (~7:30 / mile), which was just hard enough to get my heart rate up into zone 2.

Finally this morning it was time to tackle the rollers. I got on them the last couple of nights just for a few minutes to work on balance. Today was my first actual workout on them, which didn't go too badly.

I'm staying in a doorway, at least for now. After practicing the last couple of nights I'm able to stay on them pretty well, only bouncing off the doorway occasionally, that is until I reached for my water bottle.....Andy go bye bye.....Even with falling off a couple of times, it was a good 30 minute spinning workout, with my heart rate staying mostly in zone 1 and low zone 2. The idea of rollers is to keep a good cadence (90-100) and work on form and balance more than anything else.

With enough practice on the rollers, I aspire to doing ILT drills on them, although for the moment I can't even ride them in the aero bars, much less without hands:

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

08/22/07: Catching up - Last Weeks Review

Better late than never......

Last weeks plan was for 15 hours, and I trained a total of 11.9 hours :(

Overall I ended up trading some intensity for volume, which I would have been better off doing this week, since it's a recovery week; sometimes you just have to go with what you have:

Plan: 4.25
Actual: 3.0

The weeks group swims were great. I'm grateful we were able to land Benji as our coach.

I showed up for Sunday's ocean swim and was greeted by a pretty choppy ocean with a strong current, although swimmable. I started swimming and swimming and swimming and was going nowhere fast. It took me around 8 minutes to go 150 yds or so on the way down, and 2 minutes for the return trip. Unfortunately the waves got HUGE and were cresting right on top of us.

After getting pummeled to the bottom and held there by a wave for the second time, I figured I'd had enough. The other 5 or 6 people seemed to have the exact same idea. So much for my hour ocean swim :(

Since UNF was closed for maintenance, there went the weekends long swim....oh well, what are you gonna do.....

Plan: 6.5
Actual: 5.39

The usual mid-week rides both went according to plan. For a change of pace, I went to Clermont to ride some hills with friends on Saturday. Let me start out by saying all of Florida is not flat.

Saturday's ride was supposed to be 4.5 hours, although ended up at 3.75, which was fine considering the rolling hills and Sugarloaf. Sugarloaf is only 300 ft high, but rumor has it is at an 18% grade = steep. No matter how many gears you have, there aren't enough. Even with compact cranks and a 12-25, I was going ~4 mph with a cadence of 40 something going up Sugarloaf. Speaking of, compact cranks rock....I was loving them in the rollers........If you don't already have them, I'd stongly recommend looking into them.....

Given the steepness of the climb, we did what any intelligent group of cyclists would do....climbed it twice :) Gotta love a challenging, thigh burning, lung searing, threshold pushing climb!

We ended up doing 55 miles with ~2500 feet of climbing...Fun.....

Plan: 4.25 hours
Actual: 3.5 hours

With the heat and training volume, my legs have been just too dead to do a long run and ride in consecutive days on the weekends, so I switched my long run from the weekend to Wednesday.

Good plan.....my 2.5 hour long run on Wednesday went great, even though I started the run at 7:30 PM and finished at 10 PM. I went 15.95 miles, keeping my HR in zone 2, averaging 9:24 min / mi.

The other thing I did well was forced myself to run for 15 minutes after Saturday's long ride, as much as my legs (and lungs) really didn't want me to. No one ever said this was supposed to be easy.

Moving my long run to Wednesday left me with an hour form run scheduled for Sunday, which I was going to do after the ocean swim. With the swim cancelled, the weather REALLY hot, and my legs done after Saturday's climbing, I bagged the run.

One key to training is realizing when rest will be more beneficial than training, and this was one of those times. Although I'd never skip a key long workout, trading in a short form run for some much needed rest seemed like a good idea at the time, and in hindsight it was.

Taking off both Sunday (for the most part) and Monday gave me some much needed rest. I was exhausted through my entire last recovery week last month. This time I feel pretty good headed into recovery week.

Base 2 Summary and a Look Ahead
Taking a look back at the last three weeks, the quality of the workouts was great; unfortunately the volume was off a bit.

The weeks should have had 12.75, 13.75 and 15 hours. I ended up with 12.12, 12, and 11.9, obviously going the wrong way.

Running and cycling were very much on target, with swimming being the apparent culprit in my training hours being a little light the last couple of weeks. I think trading the hills for some volume last week was a good plan, since it's rare that I get an opportunity to train in hills.

I had an excused absence from week 2's swim, and can't do much about weather and pool maintenance this past weekend, so overall swimming was as on target as it could be.

Looking back over the last three weeks, I don't see anything I would have changed, except for maybe moving the long run to mid-week a bit sooner....

Now my favorite part of training (and Lori's).......RECOVERY WEEK...YAY

Recovery week is the perfect time for reduced volume and slightly increased intensity = RACE!! This weekend in the HOT, which will probably live up to its acronym once again.

Last year I was 43/49 in my age group, going 3:23:35. I had an abysmal 49 minute swim (49/49) followed by a decent 1:24 bike and 1:05 run.

Although this year I'm doing the HOT as an un-tapered B priority race, my goal is still to go sub 3, with a 40 minute swim, 1:18 bike and 55 run. Add a few minutes for transitions and I'm right at 2:58. My other goal is to keep my heart rate in zone 3-4 for the whole race....lower volume + higher intensity = good end of Base 2.

See you at the finish :)

Live with purpose....Enjoy the Adventure

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

08/21/07: If you suffer in the pool (or open water)....

A one day Total Immersion swim clinic is coming to Jacksonville on September 8th:

What You’ll Learn
Total Immersion Senior Coach Gary Fahey will guide you through the skills and drills that will help you develop a fast, efficient freestyle stroke. We’ll use a time-tested sequence that builds logically from basic body balance to fluent whole stroke freestyle. We’ll combine hands-on pool time with extensive videoanalysis to help you master these core movements and concepts.

This class is an exclusive 1-day version of our renowned 2-day workshops and is being offered for the first time anywhere at the special rate of $295.

Experience the Hands-On Difference
We’re committed to helping you become the best swimmer possible and will be with you in the water as we show you the keys to fast, efficient and enjoyable swimming. Our hands-on, get wet philosophy keeps us intimately involved in your learning process and makes us active partners in your success.

We’ll also provide you with a dvd record of your clinic to inspire and inform you in the weeks and months ahead.

Limited to the First Ten to Register
To ensure personalized attention, the clinic is limited to the first ten swimmers to register.

To secure your space, please have your credit card number ready and call Total Immersion at 800.609.7946. You will receive an email confirmation that will include a medical waiver and liability release.

You MUST bring the completed release to the clinic in order to participate.


Total Immersion Clinic
U. of North Florida
September 8th, 2007

9:00 - 9:30 Classroom
9:30 - 11:30 Pool / Videotape & Drill Sequence
11:30 - 1:00 Classroom / Lunch & Videoanalysis
1:00 - 3:00 Pool / Videotape 2 & Integration
3:00 - 4:00 Classroom / Video Review

I hope to see a few of you that I know there. Stay tuned tomorrow for last weeks review and a look forward to this weekends race!

08/21/07: Comments and Rollers

First, thanks for all of your comments. I really appreciate them. It's great hearing from others who are sick and twisted enough to do this crazy sport we all seem to love so much.

Speaking of sick and twisted, what crazy, demented, sick bastard came up with the idea for rollers?

Those of you who have had the "pleasure" of riding on rollers before are no doubt laughing your asses off right now, since you understand my plight. For those who have never had the pleasure, I'll describe the experience for you:

Go get your bike, take it to the nearest ice rink, put your bike on the ice, and start riding....No, I'm not kidding......And to make things worse, Lori's going to make me start wearing my helmet in the house now....Ok, now I'm kidding....

The suggestion is to start off in a doorframe until you get used to them and learn the concept of balance, something I've obviously not yet learned. Something tells me I'm going to be spending a lot of time in the doorframe :)

One more thing:

To everyone doing the HOT this weekend, I look forward to seeing you there. Megann Ann, my guess is you'll surprise yourself and do better than you think; besides, I have more respect for the person who comes in last in the race than anyone else.....becuase everyone else quit!

Live with Purpose....Enjoy the Adventure

Friday, August 17, 2007

08/17/07: Quantifiable Progress in the Pool

If you've paid attention to my blog at all, you know by now that I'm a bit analytical...ok, maybe more than a bit...anyway....I started looking back at my race swims to see if I'm actually making any real progress.

2006 HOT Olympic Distance: .9 mi swim, 49:06 = 3:23/100m
Fla 70.3: 1.2 mi swim, 1:02:12 = 3:13/100m
Ocean Marathon: 2.5 mi swim, 1:57:50 = 2:55/100m

Looks like I've taken ~30 secs off my 100 meter pace. Go me!

Speaking of swimming, our new swim coach rocks.

Last nights swim was 2850 yds:

Warmup: 200 swim, 150 kick

6x100 on 2:15

400, 300, 200, 100 descend

50 easy

150 kick

9x50 hypoxic (varying 3-5 breaths / 50)

5x50 ascend

Tonight it's 45 minutes of running bridges (our version of hills) before tomorrows 4.5 hours of riding in actual hills

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure.....

Thursday, August 16, 2007

08/16/07: News Announcement & a Training Update

First the news: We're having a baby! :)

Priorities are important....Triathlon's just a sport...having a baby and a family is real....so, with that said, I'm glad I signed up for an IM when I did, since it'll probably be my last for a bit.....Both Lori & I are really excited and I'll put some updates here, although most will probably be on our new baby blog.....

Since this is a training blog....on with my training update....

I moved some workouts around this week so that I could split up my long run and ride. Doing both in consecutive days has been too much.

This week started out with a 1:15 form ride on my trainer and a swim Tuesday night. When I showed up to swim practice on Tuesday, I had a great birthday present waiting for me: Benji, our new masters swim coach. Benji has a phenomenal coaching resume spanning 20 years and really "gets it" when it comes to massively improving form and balance in the water, and that triathletes in the pool could care less about doing im sets.

I lost track of the distance once we started doing hypoxic swim sets (lots of swimming, very little breathing), although they were fun. I'm guessing we got in 2300-2500 yds:

wu: 150 (I got there a few minutes late)

After some talk about using a 3/4 catchup stroke,

10 x 100

3 x (2x100 kick, 100 swim)

Misc hypoxic sets

Fun swim and I'm grateful Benji agreed to coach us!!

Last night I did my long 2.5 hour run, instead of trying to do it on Saturday.

Running on slightly fresher legs and avoiding the rediculous heat we've had lately seemed to make a BIG difference. I intentionally took it VERY easy for the first 5 miles or so, keeping my pace in the 9-10 min / mile range, planning on a negative split.

My hr stayed in zone 1 for first 5 miles. I picked up the pace a little, pushing my HR into zone 2 for the rest of the run, keeping my pace in the 8:30 - 10:00 range.

Nutritionally I drank a boost (240 calories) an hour befure the run, and took 2 lava salts (electrolytes)about 15 minutes before I started. During the run, I took a couple of sips of water every 10 minutes. I took another 2 lava salts with a gel 45 minutes into the run, and a second gel at 1 1/2 hours.

Overall the run went well. I ran 15.95 miles in 2.5 hours, for an average pace of 9:24, with an average HR of 153. A good solid run. The last 1/2 hour or so I definitely slowed down a bit, which means I probably could have used one more gel at 2 hours, giving me some extra energy for the last 15 minutes...I'll try it next time.

When I got home I had a Recoverite and went to sleep, since I got home from the run at 10:30.....

This morning was a quick 30 minute zone 1 recovery spin on the trainer, which I REALLY didn't want to do, although I felt much better after, which I knew I would....

Looking at the rest of the week, I have a group swim tonight, a zone 2 run tomorrow, and then it's off to ride hills in Clermont for 4.5 hours on Saturday. Finally, Sunday finishes off this 15 hour week with an hour form run and an ocean swim with the hammerheads. Oh yea, and lots of baby planning...... :)

Live with purpose...Enjoy the adventure.....

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

08/14/07: Last Week In Review

Better late than never...

Last week had a planned 13.75 hours, and ended up at 12 hours:

Planned: 4.25
Actual: 2.17 hours, 4910 yds

Missed Thursday's swim workout....it was an excused absence though....Even though I hope for afternoon thunderstorms every Tues and Thurs, I can honestly say I haven't missed a single swim workout due to simply not wanting to go....and missing this one was no different....no harm done

In fact, I'm actually starting to look forward to swimming, since I've been making so much progress and Carrie's been so amazingly helpful as a coach.

Planned: 6.25 hours
Actual: 6.33 hours

The new bike is amazing and 3 1/2 of Sunday's 4 hour ride was great; on the other hand, the last 30 minutes after I bonked was pure hell, not to mention the 15 run immediately afterwards.....This coming week it's back to 2 lava salts / hour in my perpetuem and gels every 45 minutes....Running off the bike after riding the hills of Clermont should be interesting......

Planned: 3.25 hours
Actual: 3.50 hours

It was nice finally getting in a long run where I didn't stop to walk every two minutes....Even though Saturday's run was brutal and I only managed a 10 something minute pace with my heart rate in zone 4, I got it in and pushed through....Sometimes those are the best workouts of all......

I learned a very valuable lesson last week: especially in this heat and humidity, I really need to split up my long rides and runs. Trying to both in consecutive days is leaving my totally exhausted.

So...this week I moved some thing around on my schedule and am going to do my long run (2.5 hours) on Wednesday night, with my long ride (4.5 hours of hills in Clermont) on Saturday. Hopefully that'll keep me a bit fresher while still getting in all of the mileage, considering that I have a VERY BIG 15 hour week planned. YIKES!

Live with purpose...Enjoy the adventure....

Sunday, August 12, 2007

08/12/07: 1HappyAthlete Blog History

Let me start off by making 1happyathlete blog history:

My favorite workout this weekend was the swim.....

Print that statement and frame it, because there's a pretty good chance that you'll never see that here again.

Yip that's right, me who despises swimming so much and usually is just trying to survive in the water enjoyed the swim this weekend. How could that be you ask? Simple, it's the only time this weekend that it wasn't unbelievably, unbearably hot!

Sat morning had a 2.25 zone 3 run scheduled. After the last couple weeks nightmarish runs, I was really hoping for a good run this week, especially since it's my strongest sport (notice I said strongest, not fastest).

Friday night I thought to myself that I wanted to start running before sunup to beat the heat. Good plan...didn't happen....

I started my run at 8:30 out at the beach, which still wasn't too bad. The first half hour or so went great. I was running 9 something pace, keeping my hr nice and low, planning on doing a negative split. Then as the heat increased, so did my hr, straight through zones 2 and 3 into zone 4.

At this point I had two choices: walk yet again, or suck it up and keep training. This time I chose to suck it up and train through my high heart rate. Thank god for my camelback and lava salts.

I went through twice as much water as I normally would, having to stop and refill a little over half way through, which I've never had to do before....Speaking of - thanks to the girl at the Marriott who gave me a key to the exercise room to refill with cold water....She gets my good samaritan award this week.....

I got in 13.19 miles in 2.25 hours, for an average pace of 10:14. As brutal as the run was, I was thrilled to get in a run without having to stop and walk every minute like the last couple of weeks.

Sat afternoon getting in the pool was a welcome break from the heat. I only had an hour before the pool closed, so managed to get in 2200 yds:

200 swim kick pull warmup

200 tennis ball drill

200 swim

10 ebeh (easy, build, easy, hard)

200 cd

As tired as I've been from working out in the lovely North Florida summer, I had a feeling today's ride was going to be tough....I was right.....

Today I did manage to start my 4 hour ride right at sunup. The ride was a zone 2 ride, which was never a problem. My heart rate stayed pretty low all day, completely the opposite of yesterday's run.

It was great starting so early...it was only in the 70's...which didn't last very long, but was nice for a little bit. I tried something new nutrition wise....

I cut down on the lava salts a bit, since perpetuem already has an electolyte profile, and instead of gels tried uncrustables on the ride....both mistakes.....I bonked with about a 1/2 hour to go...that last 1/2 hour seemed to take forever. Next week it's back to gels every 45 minutes and 2 lava salts per hour.....stick with what works. During the ride I went through two bottles of perpetuem (4 scoops each) and 3 uncrustables + almost three liters of water.

Overall the ride went well, and I love the new bike!! The ride ended up being 72.21 miles in 4:14, for an average of 17.06 mph. Not exactly fast, but I can live with it, especially given the condition of my legs from yesterday's run.

After the ride I got in my obligatory post ride run. A short and very much forced 15 minute run, mainly to keep getting used to running on VERY tired legs.

After some recoverite and a LONG nap, I'm looking forward to tonight's red meat binge at Tento, our local Churrascaria, to celebrate my birthday with a truly wonderful woman.....yes, I'm of course talking about Lori.....and tomorrow's well deserved day off.

Stay tuned for the week in review and an important blog announcement :)

Live with purpose....Enjoy the Adventure....

08/12/07: Congratulate Me.....

on my slowest ride ever:

Friday's recovery/form ride was 14.98 miles in 57 minutes, for an average speed of 15.77 mph.

Once you get past my sarcasm, there's actually some good news here. It was a scheduled Zone 1 recovery ride, and I left my ego at the car and kept it as a zone 1 recovery ride.

The heat and humidity have been totally unbearable all week, and have definitely had a cumulative effect = exhausting = higher than normal heart rate!!!

Although it's really hot pretty much everywhere right now, for those of you missing out on the humidity in your training, take your bike and trainer to the gym with you, put them in the steamroom, and go to work for a couple of hours.

Friday, August 10, 2007

08/10/07: Ocean Marathon Results

The results were finally posted, so here's the way my age group stacked up:

Men 35 - 39
115 8 1 Jon Sakovich, 37 1:02:10 24:52
114 17 2 Jr Woodward, 38 1:14:38 29:51
100 20 3 Jeff Gidwind, 39 1:18:34 31:26
69 25 4 David Mariotti, 35, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 1:20:50 32:20
68 33 5 Saswata Roy, 38, Jacksonville Beach, & 1:32:44 37:05
109 34 6 Carlos Marina, 38 1:33:36 37:26
74 41 7 Andrew Hariton, 38, Jacksonville, FL 1:57:50 47:08

25 minutes slower then the next slowest person? You've got to be f&*%ing kidding me.......


Thursday, August 9, 2007

08/09/07: Planning for the Mass Swim Start



08/09/07: More Training in the Heat

Training through this heat wave is definitely challenging. The key: hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.....

Base 2 training has definitely stepped things up a bit.

Last night was a 1.25 hour ride (1:08 actually) with some bridge repeats and 20 minutes or so of zone 3 time thrown in. Add in the heat and humidity, and it was a pretty tough ride. I went through almost two water bottles in just over an hour. Totalled 19.45 miles, averaging 17.16 mph. A bit slower than I would have expected, given that what goes up the bridge at 10 mph comes down at 35.....

This morning I woke up to some nice stiff legs, and was torn between bagging this morning's run and doing it. Knowing how important recovery and rest are, I almost didn't do the run, thinking how tired I was. Then I realized that I'm always tired, so I did the run :)

30 minute form run: After a 10 minute warmup or so, I did 6x30 sec pickups with a couple of minutes in between, and cooled down for the rest of the time (as much as one can cool down with 88% humidity that early in the morning). I felt much better and more energetic after the run, just like I always do.

As hot as it's been, I'm ironically looking forward to beeing in the pool tonight to cool off. Speaking of the heat, my next ironman (which is a very big IF there's a next one) will more than likely be something in the spring like CDA or Lake Placid so I can train through the winter and spring instead of dealing with this ungodly humidity......

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

08/08/07: Another Good Swim

Thanks to all for the positive comments about the ocean swim. Although I'm THRILLED that I was able to finish an OWS of that distance, which I wouldn't have even thought about a year ago, I'm dissapointed in my time. That's actually a good thing....it forces me to stay VERY focused on my swimming over the next three months...

Speaking of swimming, last night was a group swim as usual. We had a group meeting before we started and it looks like Benji, the Episcopal High School coach who I mentioned a few entries back is going to start coaching us. YEA

The pool is now back to short course for the rest of the summer :(

Got in 2500 after Benji gave his thoughts:

wu: 200 swim, 200 kick, 100 pull

10x75 on 1:50 (was supposed to be on 2:00, but we sped things up a bit)

50 easy

4x 50 dolphin kick, 100 kick (50 was supposed to be back), 50 swim

200 medium/hard

200 cd

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure.....

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

08/07/07: Just a little bit of humidity

Starting off week 13 as usual with a 30 minute run. I now know why it felt like a steamroom at 6:45 am:

Jacksonville International Airport
Lat: 30.43 N Lon: 81.7 W Elev: 39 ft
Last Update on Aug 7, 6:56 am EDT

76°F (24°C) Humidity: 97 %


Now that I'm done whining, here's a little humor forwarded by Lori :)

As we pursue excellence in triathlon events our behavior can become a bit obsessive, especially from the perspective of those who don't participate, but that's what passion for sport is all about. As obsessions go triathlon is not that bad, perhaps a little taxing to family and significant others, but no threat to society as a whole. Consider what we do from the perspective of those not 'addicted' and you should be able to see some humor in it.

"Those who hear not the music think the dancers mad." - Chinese Proverb

Here are the symptoms:

  • Just one more qualifier and you're sure you'll make it to Kona.
  • Only one workout a day makes you feel guilty.
  • You called in sick not because you're hung over but because the weather was bad over the weekend and you've got to get that long workout in.
  • You lie to your friends and family about what you did over the weekend: "I relaxed!"
  • You can accurately assess fitness level by volume of laundry.
  • You know the exact weather prediction for any given day, when a storm is coming, what the wind speed is—and most important—from which direction it's blowing.
  • Your bike(s), wheels, wetsuit, and other miscellaneous tri-gear are worth more than your car.
  • A year of entry fees cost more than your car insurance.
  • You never sleep-in on weekends.
  • You used to eat candy bars and still do, but now they have names that include words like: Power, Balance, Zone, etc.
  • Acronyms and numbers like HRM, AT, LT, ATP, OD, 140.6, 70.3 are familiar, and IM does not mean Instant Messenger!
  • You know there's still a band aid at the bottom of lane 3.
  • The phrases "Swim Meet this Weekend," and "Annual Maintenance Shutdown" stress you out.
  • You forgot how to tie shoe laces.
  • You know all the kilometer to mile conversions by heart.
  • Spending another $1000 on your bike to shave a few seconds off your 40k time is well worth it.
  • You plan your race season a year in advance and log on at midnight with your credit card ready.
  • You used to make fun of people wearing Lycra, now you think it looks cool. :)
  • You look forward to getting older (aging up = less competition)!

A couple of last thoughts about Saturday's ocean swim: Even though I went a bit slower than I would have liked, 1. I didn't drown, 2. I finished; 3. I didn't finish last (although that would have been ok with me too)

Live with purpose...Enjoy the Adventure....

Monday, August 6, 2007

08/06/07: A long weekend of workouts

The weekend started with Saturday's Hammerhead Ocean Swim: 2.5 miles of ocean fun. If you've been following my blog at all, you already know that I'm a REALLY bad swimmer.

Fortunately the winds were out of the south west and the water was calm as could be. There were several small buoys along the path, most of which I never saw. I pretty much sighted on the houses along the shore, and the pier that we were swimming towards.

Being that last year I was unwilling to even attempt the 1.25 mile swim, I'd say the I've made a lot of progress. My form has definitely improved MASSIVELY. I spend most of the swim very relaxed and used very little energy. In fact, I wasn't really even breathing that hard through most of it - an indication that I probably should have been swimming harder.

One thing that did cause me a bit of trouble was the salt water getting into my nose and sinuses. After the first hour it got EXTREMELY annoying and made it very hard for me to breathe. I may start trying to swim with a nose plug and see if that helps....the only downside to that plan is that it'll probably get knocked off in the middle of the IM swimming beatdown anyway...

I finished the swim in just under 2 hours, (1:57 something), which is a 2:55 / 100m pace. Although about 15 minutes slower than I would have liked, it definitely puts my mind at ease knowing I can swim the distance in under the 2:20 cutoff. Over the next couple of months continuously improving my swimming with the masters group, I should be able to knock off 10-15 minutes easily; plus, the IM swim is wetsuit legal, which should also help quite a bit.

Not that it matters, but the teenage winner of the swim, (it wasn't really so much of a race, alhtough it was timed) finished in under an hour...UGHHHHH

Overall, a complete success, other than my sinuses being a wreck from all of the saltwater.

Right after the ocean swim, I picked up my new bike...YEA...

Although I had a run scheduled for Sat evening, I was still too wiped and my breathing was still too much of a wreck, so I had the brilliant idea to do the run Sunday afternoon instead. That would have been fine, except for Sunday morning's bike ride.

I met the Velobrew "B" group at 7. I stayed with them for about and hour, most of which I hung off the back on my aerobars. When one woman got dropped, I went back for her to pull her back to the group, and she said that the group was too fast and that she was going to finish the ride on her own.

Whereas a couple of weeks ago I had no chance of catching up with the A group, I probably could have gotten back to the B group - they were doing 20-22 (versus the 25 of the A group). Instead of using up a whole bunch of energy needlessly to try to catch the group again, I decided to stay on my aero bars and ride on my own the rest of the way. Following my training plan, I wanted to get in some zone 3 time and do some bridgework anyway.

I spent about 20 minutes in zone 3, still keeping my cadence over 90. Then I met the Acosta bridge. The bridge won. I think my speed dropped down to around 7 on the way up..the good news is I hit 36 on the way down - FUN. I probably could have gone a bit faster, but didn't want to push my luck too much on a new bike. I'm getting a set of compact cranks next week that should help significantly, which I'm most definitely going to need heading to Clermont on the 18th...All of Florida is not as flat as everyone seem's to think.....

Total ride was 61 miles in 3.5 hours, for an average speed of 17.4 mph. Interesting thing was the group got back shortly after I did, having gone a total of only 64 miles, which gave them an average of only 18.3 mph. I guess it was windier than I thought....and I'm glad I went off on my own...After the ride I ran for about 10 minutes or so, which I'm going to continue doing after all of my long rides.

After much napping and a really bad dinner choice, it was run time. Out of pure convenience, I threw a couple of the organic hamburgers I had in my freezer on the foreman grill, which tasted great at the time. An hour and a half later, when mixed with very the morning's Perpetuam and gels, tired legs, gatorade endurance, and the really high heat and humidity....BAD IDEA. My stomach was NOT HAPPY!!!!

After the 1st 1/2 hour or so of the run, every step required immense mental and physical effort, and once again I found myself walking as much, if not more, than I was running. I should have known better than to try running on the same day as a long bike ride. Oh well....

Since I felt like I was doing more harm than good at this point, I cut the run short a bit over an hour and a half, having gotten on only 8 miles or so. Better to lose the battle and win the war, so to speak. Lesson learned.

As I get to my peak training weeks later in September, I think I'm going to split up my runs and rides a bit more, instead of trying to get them both in on the weekend. Not sure when I'm going to fit in a 3 hour run mid-week, but I have some time to figure it out.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

08/05/07: Week in Review

I just got back from an exhausting run, so will give some details tomorrow. Note to self: don't run 2 hours on the same day as a 3.5 hour ride.....

For now, here are the numbers:

Total: 12.12 hours, of a planned 12.75

Swimming: Planned 4.25 hours
Actual: 3.97 hours, 4.93 miles

Cycling: Planned 5.25 hours
Actual: 5.13 hours, 89.45 miles

Running: Planned 3.25 Hours
Actual: 3.02 hours, 18.07 miles

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Friday, August 3, 2007

08/03/07: Shuffling Workouts

With last nights rain at rush hour, traffic was SLOW to say the least. I got home too late to make it to either the masters swim or to UNF. So, instead of swimming last night I put my bike on the trainer for 45 minutes of easy zone 1 spinning.

Tonight I'll head to UNF and swim for a 1/2 hour or so...just long enough to do a warmup (200 swim kick pull) and swim a few laps focusing on form...that should be enough to hopefully have me as ready as I'm going to be for tomorrow's 2.5 mile ocean swim.

I just read an interesting quote from Joe Friel (author of the Triathlete's Training Bible)that seems appropriate for tomorrow’s swim: “How do you know when you’re ready to go long? You don’t. You commit, train, and pray.”

After tonight's warmup swim I'll be doing a lot of praying.

I’ll admit to being a bit nervous (translation: terrified) of the swim – 2.5 miles is a LONG way to go in the ocean, and I’ve never gone anywhere near that far. I guess I’ll see how much progress I’ve really made swimming with the masters group.

Looks like we’ll have good weather at least:

FZUS52 KJAX 030805

405 AM EDT FRI AUG 3 2007

405 AM EDT FRI AUG 3 2007







Now onto some blog housecleaning items:

1. First of all, there's no way in hell I'm hiking the Appalachian trail. It's 2,175 miles. I can't even to begin to imagine living out of a tent for 6 months. I think I'll stick to much easier endeavors, like going 140.6 miles less than 17 hours.

2. July in revew (no wonder I'm tired):

Swimming: 15.75 hours, 17.44 miles

Cycling: 17.50 hours, 313.36 miles

Running: 12.21 hours, 80.38 miles

Overall my training hours seem to be right on target.

3. A few schedule revisions:

Instead of doing the Disney Olympic in September, I'm going to do our local HOT Olympic on Aug 26. Based on my training, my goal is to take off 20 minutes from last years race and finish in under 3 hours, which I thing is a very realistic goal if I have a decent swim.

Everyone warned me not to do the Florida Challenge 1/2 since it's only a couple of weeks before the full, so I'm going to do the Palm Valley 1/2 instead in mid September. A few years ago, Susan Wallace, the Hammerheads president, was looking for a fall 1/2 and couldn't find anything to fit her schedule, so she created one.

It's a local, unsupported, no t-shirt, no crowds, totally unnoficial half - perfect.

Last but not least, my goals for tomorrow's swim:

a. Don't drown
b. Finish in under 1:45

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure....

Thursday, August 2, 2007

08/02/07: The Start of Base 2

This week is the start of a new training block: Base 2.

Time to add a bit of force and muscular endurance training to the endurance and form work I've already been doing; in english...bridge repeats and some extended time in zone 3.

I added a bit of extra nutrition to make sure I'm getting in enough calories throughout the day. I started using hammer nutrition's recoverite after my longer workouts to help get some glycogen, protein and electrolytes back into my system ASAP and to hopefully recover more quickly, especially after brutal workout's like Sundays.

I also started drinking Boost Plus a couple of times during the day, to spread out my energy intake during the day...From a common sense standpoint, I really like the idea of eating 6 smaller BALANCED meals throughout the day as espoused by Bill Phillips in his Body for Life program. Taking in fuel constantly and consistently during the day seems like a much better idea than having a few huge meals spread out by several hours.

Not to get off on a complete tangent, but what is up with the fad diets that are so completely out of balance: no carbs, or no protein, or whatever other ridiculous concepts some flakes seem to come up with; even worse, why in the hell do people buy into such complete nonsense...Sorry, I'm back now.....

Over the weekend Sean, Susan and Rich from Velocity Multisport coaching had a Tanita Ironman scale setup over at the Trek store where they were doing power testing and body composition testing. Although I skipped the power testing, I did the body composition testing, finding out I have 14.8% bodyfat and a metabolic age of 21...not bad considering I'm about to be 39....Shhhh...nobody tell my body that....

Since they seem to think the scales are reasonably accurate and are only around $100, time to get one for myself to see if my new nutrition additions keep me headed in the right direction. By the time IM rolls around, I'd like to have lowered my bodyfat % to the 12-14% range and dropped about 10-15 lbs to give myself a higher power to weight ratio.....

The week started off with the Tuesday's usual run and swim. The run was 30 minutes in zone 2, which ended up being 3.51 miles, with an avg hr of 151 and an average pace of 8.33 / mi. Nothing too interesting. No lingering ill effects from Sunday's workout thank god.

Tuesday night's swim was 2900 yds:

wu: 300 swim, 200 kick (zoomer fins are a HUGE help - they make kick sets doable)

4x50 10 ri; 2x100 15 ri; 200 20 ri; 2x100 15 ri; 4x50 10 ri

5x100 swim w/ fins (a bit tiring on the legs, although it's nice to swim a bit faster and they seem to be helping with ankle flexibility and kicking form)

2 x im (substituted freestyle for butterfly)

300 pull

cd: 200 swim

Yesterday morning I put in 45 minutes on the bike trainer. Once again, the usual: gearing pyramid (17-13), 3x3 ilt; reverse gearing pyramid. Nothing too interesting here, other than I get my new bike this weekend. YEA! This means my old bike is about to be a permanent fixture on the trainer. No sense in stressing a perfectly good carbon fiber frame on the trainer. Also, my next toy (aside from the new scale) is a set of rollers so I can work on balance.

Last night was the monthly Hammerhead meeting, where we got to hear Will Pearce, our local 19 year old triathlon superstar, give us some great tips on getting faster in the run. Will is FAST...REALLY FAST. We found out that a slow run for him is 7 minute miles....everything's relative.....his fast pace is 5:30.....we're not even going to talk about his swim time - it's too early in the morning to get that depressed.

I started this morning out with a resting hr of 49 and my favorite run of all: sunrise at the beach. I did a barefoot zone 2 run with 6x20 second strides. The run was one of my best yet, totalling 5.35 miles, with an average hr of 150 and an average pace of 8:24 / mile.

Running at low tide rocks. The only downside was that the bottom of my big toes started hurting around half way through the run - no big deal, just the sand acting like sandpaper on the bottom of my feet, right?

Imagine my surprise when I got home and noticed blisters the size of 1/2 dollars on the bottom of both big toes....oops.......Oh well, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.....

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure.....