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

Monday, July 30, 2007

07/30/07: The week in review

Plan was for a nice break this week of only 8.5 hours, consisting of 3 hours swimming, 3.5 hours cycling, and 2 hours running.

I ended up at 3.5 hours of swimming, 2.42 hours of cycling, and 2 hours of running.

Total 3.5 hours, 4.06 miles
Thursday's practice got cut short because of lightening and I only got in 45 minutes. Even though swimming wasn't on the schedule for the weekend of the recovery week, I wanted to get some distance in with the ocean marathon swim coming up, so I added an hour swim. Not a problem as far as overall training hours went, since I skipped Friday's hour recovery ride due to lightening, and a total lack of motivation to be on the trainer for an hour on a perfectly good friday.

Total 2.42 hours, 42.46 miles.
Significantly fewer miles than last week - Ahhhh...recovery time....Already mentioned skipping Friday's recover ride. Saturday's 2 hour ride was okay at best....I just never felt quite right. Did the usual perpetuem and gels. I think I was probably a bit dehydrated from Saturday's indulgence in food and wine, and starting the day of with too much coffee and not enough water. Can't wait to get fitted on and pick up my new bike this coming Saturday...I just hope I have enough energy to enjoy it after the ocean swim.

Running: Total 2 hours, 12.02 miles
The hour run as part of yesterday's brick was a miserable disaster. A normal brick run for me should be at a 9 something pace. This was at almost 12. The good news....at least I finished it, even if I did have to walk for almost half the time. Some days are good, some aren't...this one definitely wasn't.

Overall an mediocre training week. I felt very tired and worn out for most of it, which has continued today. Hopefully in the next few days my body will catch up, in time for this coming weeks 12.75 hours of training....

That's a good point about sleep Johhny - thanks. I forgot to add that after yesterday's ride I got home and slept...and slept...and slept.....What was planned as a one hour nap ended up being a three hour nap.....hmmm.....New goal for this week - be in bed no later than 10:30 every night!

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

07/30/07: Indulgence, a long swim, and a brutal brick

The last couple of months I've been swimming almost entirely with the masters group and made great progress, but have gotten in very little long distance work. Since Thursday's swim got cut short because of lightening and I skipped Friday's ride for the same reason, Saturday seemed perfect for a long swim, even though this was a recovery week.

I headed over to UNF and after a quick 600 warmup (200xswim, kick, pull), I swam for an hour (1:01 to be exact), getting in 2600 yds. Not only was I able to swim constantly for an hour, I used ZERO effort. In fact, I wasn't even breathing hard when I got out of the pool. YEA. Overall, that translates to a 2:33/100m pace, which would put me at a ~1:40 ironman swim: PERFECT. I'll find out how well I can hold that pace in the ocean this coming Saturday.

Saturday night was indulgence time,as Lori and I went to Opus 39 in St Augustine for dinner. There's just something about a chef's tasting menu that makes my mouth water...In this case, there were 5 courses to make my mouth water. Thanks to Christine and Chef Michael for their fantastic culinary creations. We got to enjoy such things as foie gras, scallops, salmon, swordfish, veal, tenderloin, and too many other things to mention. YUMMY!

Funny thing about a 5 course tasting menu. When the food comes out, I look at the portions and think there's no way that it's going to be enough for my ironman sized appetite. By the time we finished with the chocolate truffles - which Michael sent out AFTER dessert - I was begging them to stop bringing food!

Unfortunately Saturday night's pleasure was followed by Sunday's pain - although totally unrelated. Sunday was a three hour brick: two hour bike ride followed by an hour run. The bike ride was supposed to be 80 minutes in zone 2 and 40 minutes in zone 3, followed by the run anywhere in zones 1-3. Of course, I also had to trade the previous nights wonderful culinary delights for Perpetuem and gels (and of course uncrustables).

Since low tide was at 2 PM, I started the ride at 10, so I could run on the beach afterwards. BIG MISTAKE. The ride went okay, and I did stay in zone 2 for the first 80 minutes and zone three for the last 40, but never felt quite right on the ride. Maybe because I was on my old bike after enjoying last week's nice smooth ride on the new carbon fiber Kuota?

In any case, when I got off the bike it was HOT....REALLY HOT....the ocean breeze helped a bit, but I was miserable. Usually for an hour run I'd do 30 minutes out and back. Since I was suffering a bit (actually massively), I did 15 minutes down and back and stopped by my car for some water. At this point, although my heart rate was reasonable (mid zone 3), I had nothing left. Now it was a question of calling it quits, or walking through the rest of the workout.

Well...there's nothing easy about an ironman....so I kept pushing through. Over the next 30 minutes I'd jog for a minute or two, and walk for a couple of minutes. I managed to finish the hour run, getting in just over 5 miles. REALLY slow pace for me, but I'm proud of myself for pushing through the misery and finishing the workout.

So much for a nice, easy recovery week......

Friday, July 27, 2007

07/27/07: What Not to Do

Ever driven into your garage and heard a loud crunch? Well....I just did

Note to self: Don't drive the car into the garage with the bike on top!

Bad news: The garage won. My car's roof rack went bye bye, and being that it's a Lexus, it'll probably cost more than a new American car to get it fixed (no offense intended, just humor)

Good news: 1. It was my old bike (aluminum) and the bike seems fine. If it was the new bike (carbon fiber), the bike probably wouldn't have survived; 2. Insurance covers stupidity.....

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

Thursday, July 26, 2007

07/26/07: Someone forgot....

to tell my body it's recovery week. Although my brain in fully aware, my body seems oblivious to the fact. Woke up, checked my hr: 50 - perfect. Enough sleep? check. Eating enough? Trust me - that's NEVER a problem.

In any case, I woke up feeling woefully apathetic. Oh well,such is life....can't go at 100% everyday right - I guess that's why training periodization works so well. So I did what any totally committed ironman in training would do - went back to sleep.

Today is a 30 minute form workout on the bike and a group swim. Since the bike workout is so short, I'll do it after swimming practice. The odd thing is I'm actually looking forward to swimming tonight. Uh oh, now I know something is really wrong....

There's been a lot of talk lately that it's our running shoes that cause a lot of our running problems: plantar fasciatis, stress fractures, shin splints, it band issues. Some theories say that our bodies are designed to run without shoes and because our feet are so protected, we never have a chance to build the strength needed to support us in running. There's even a barefoot running org Running barefoot. Not sure I'm buying it, but one of the form workouts in the Triathletes Training Bible is to do barefoot pickups (20 second sprints at near maximum effort), why not give it a try.

Last night I did a 30 minute zone 2 barefoot run on the beach and threw in 4 pickups in the middle. It's definitely a different workout. It supposedly strengthens the muscles, tendons and ligaments in the feet and I could certainly feel a difference. I can see doing more of these workouts on the beach. It felt particularly freeing, and since it wasn't low tide, it was nice to be able to run though the water without worrying about ruining my new $90 running shoes......

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

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

07/25/07: Group Swim and a Lower Resting Heartrate

One thought that came to mind this morning is how much time, money and flexibility training for an IM takes; so, for the record, I'm extremely grateful that I have a job, girlfriend, family, friends and overall lifestyle that allows me to pursue this crazy goal.

When I started training for my first marathon last year I checked my resting heartrate most mornings, with the theory that if it jumps up more than 5 or so bpm, somethings going on, e.g. overtraining, getting sick, stressed....At the time it was in the low to mid 50's. For some reason I got away from this habit. The last couple of days I started checking my morning resting hr again, and was pleasantly surprised to see that it's now down around 47.

Resting HR down in the 40's, running lactate threshold up in the 180's.....hmmm...maybe all of this aerobic training stuff really does work.....My god....imagine what I could accomplish with some blood doping.....Sorry, couldn't resist after the latest Tour de France fiasco....

Last night was another great workout with Coach Carrie. We once again worked quite a bit on form, while still getting in 2400m. Last nights form thoughts:

1. Hands shouldn't cross the center line - pay particular attention to this while breathing.

2. Hand enters index finger first, and should feel like reaching over to grab a rope. Catch and hold the water through the rest of the stroke.

Hmmm....so that's what the catch feels like.....I think I've now graduated to having the swimming ability of a half decent 7 year old......

Last night's set was:

400 wu: 300 swim, 100 kick (was supposed to be 200 swim, 200 kick, 200 pull)

2x200 swim with 100 kick in between (the lane was doing im's - thankfully Carrie gave me the option to swim freestyle instead, although I did throw in a little bit of breastroke for variety)

100 easy swim

8x100 on 2:30 (the lane was going on a 2:15 interval - I was able to keep up for one...so I slowed down to a 2:20/100m pace, with 10 sec rest)

400 drill: 25 1 arm, 25 swim (the lane did 600 with fins = 400 for me w/o fins)

cd: 200 swim

My zoomer fins, which I got based on Carrie's recommendation should be arriving today

Since this is recovery week, and I'm only scheduled for a 30 min form run, I'm going to head out to the beach tonight for some barefoot running.....

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

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

07/24/07: Congrats and the Start of Recovery Week

Let's start off recovery week with congratulations to Minya for overcoming cramps and finishing her 1st sprint (8/30 in the novice group) - GREAT JOB! Thanks for the race report - looks like in addition to finishing your first race you learned quite a bit. Also, way to go Kellie, going 11:56:18 at Lake Placid, which is one of the most challenging and hilly courses anywhere!! Not only that, she placed 519 overall and had the fastest run split in her age group. YOU ROCK!

Also, congrats to all of my blogging peeps on their races over the weekend. I saw LOTS of PRs, and will leave comments on your posts, instead of trying to list everyone here, since I'll undoubtedly forget someone.

Carrie, the new saddle definitely made a huge difference, although I obviously can't address this from a female point of view. There was absolutely 0 pressure in some not so wanted places....my "sit" bones were a bit sore, as expected. I followed the advice from my bike shop and double shorted, to help out a bit. They told me that it takes 2-8 rides to be completely used to the new saddle. The way I see it, after riding for 60+ miles I'm going to suffer - at least now I can choose where I suffer :) Putting in a 3.5 hour ride on a new saddle wasn't the brightest idea, but it worked out really well and I couldn't be happier making the switch. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

Recovery week started off with a not so easy 30 minute zone 2 run. On some runs I'm definitely feeling like my cardio fitness is outpacing my muscular fitness. To keep my hr in zone 2 I was running a sub-8 minute pace for most of the run. Gotta love getting faster.

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

Monday, July 23, 2007

07/23/07: A Run, A Ride, and The Week in Review...

I would have liked to have kept up-to-date on my workouts throughout the weekend....but I didn't.....so this will be a bit long.....

On Friday I had a 30 minute recovery ride scheduled....Since it was going to take me longer than that to change clothes after work and drive to a good spot for a ride, I decided to skip it....No guilt, since I give myself permission to skip Friday's zone 1 recovery rides as I see fit :)

I find it interesting that I'm up earlier on the weekends than I am during the week. Kind of makes Mondays a bit more bearable, knowing I get to sleep in. Saturday I was up at 5:30 so I could be running on the beach at sunup - one of my favorite things. Unfortunately it was cloudy and the sunrise was rather uninspiring.

Regardless of the sunrise, it's nice to get a long run done early, before it's ridiculously hot, especially when it's a slightly harder zone 3 workout. I ran for 2 hours at low tide, an hour out and back, with the clouds keeping the temps in check. Total distance: 13.56 miles, averaging 8.50 / mile with a heart rate of 161.

Not an easy run by any stretch of the imagination, although I felt pretty good when I was done. Nothing like running slightly more than a 1/2 marathon on tired legs.....

Sunday's plan was for a 3.5 hour ride, and I knew I'd be miserable on the saddle that was currently on my bike, so opted for trying something new. I had been reading some great reviews about the new adamo saddles. With nothing in the middle, there's no pressure in certain places where pressure isn't exactly wanted. The intelligent thing to do would have been to try out the saddle on some short rides, but what fun would that be?

My plan was going to be to test out the new saddle on my old bike. Lucky for me, Drew at Bike Fitters was kind enough to let me test out the new saddle on what's going to be my new bike (minus the $2200 race wheels in the picture) Those guys really went WAY above and beyond setting up the bike for me, transferring all of my measurements from my fitting and putting on the speedplay pedals, computer, saddle, etc.

I'm really glad they did, since it made Sunday's ride much more bearable. Speaking of, on Sunday it was once again up at 5 something....

I had planned on joining a 7:00 "B" ride, yet accidentally ended up with the "A" ride. The difference between a 20-22 mph ride and a 22-25 hr ride is significant. As it turns out, I'm glad I joined the A group, even though I knew I would get dropped at some point, which I did.

I really enjoyed the first hour of the ride with the group, where we kept a pace of 23-25. Then we got to the Palm Valley Bridge...That's where I got dropped and the group went bye bye....I made a half hearted attempt to catch back up, but one triathlete has very little chance of catching a group very strong dedicated cyclists. At first I was a bit pissed that no one came back to pull me back into the group.

The reality is I'm glad they didn't, since I could now hang out on my aero-bars for the next couple of hours. Riding in a group at 25 is very different then spinning in an aero position, and this was a perfect chance to see how the bike would perform in it's more "natural" environment.

I'm happy to report that it performed flawlessly. On flat roads before the wind picked up I was cruising along at 21-23. The new seat was great, putting pressure in much different, and much less uncomfortable spots. The last 45 minutes or so I was riding straight into a pretty strong wind, and went from 22 mph down to 14 in some spots, giving me a good chance to stay aero and spin through the wind. All in all, I had a great opportunity to put the bike through several different conditions and it was great.

On my old bike I would have been completely miserable after 3 1/2 hours; on the new bike I definitely could have kept pedalling for quite a while longer. I'm sure biking nutrition helped a bit was well.

I had mixed a pretty strong bottle of Perpetuem (1000 calories), went through 3 gels, and two Uncrustables (YUMMY) Gotta love a buffet on the bike.

Unfortunately the same wind the gave me a much more challenging workout on the bike was enough to cancel the ocean swim. Lori & I took Kramer to the beach anyway and found out very quickly why the swim was cancelled: the waves were HUGE!!! Even the surfers were getting beat to hell. Speaking of, I have to admit to enjoying watching stupidity at its finest. There was a guy trying to swim out with a sea kayak, getting absolutely pummelled by the waves. FUNNY!!!

What would a weekend of hard and long running and riding be without a bit of indulgence? We wrapped up the weekend at THE place to indulge....that's right....The Cheesecake Factory....On the menu? Avocado eggrolls, a shrimp and bacon club, and Dolce du Lece Cheesecake.....YUMMY. I know, it wasn't quite Ucrustables, but you gotta have some variety in life......

Ok...the week in review.......

Plan was for 13.75 hours, made up of 4.5 swimming, 5.5 cycling, 3.75 running.

Totals were 11.22: 2.75 swimming, 4.72 cycling, 3.75 running.

Swimming: Swimming got cut short by the masters group meeting to discuss a new coach, the UNF pool being closed for a swim meet on Saturday, and the ocean swim getting cancelled by the wind and waves. I had planned on doing a 2500m continuous swim over the weekend. Even though UNF was closed, I could have gone to another pool....Knowing I have the 2.5 mile ocean swim coming up I really should have found a way to get in the swim.....oh well......

Cycling: Cycling was a little short because of skipping the 30 minute Friday recovery ride - not a problem......

Running: Right on target.

Over the course of the week I swam 3.08 miles, rode 85.35 and ran 25.75. Today's really good news? THIS IS THE START OF RECOVERY WEEK. YEA.

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

Friday, July 20, 2007

07/20/07: Random Thoughts

First off, best of luck to Kellie at IM Lake Placid this weekend, which is supposedly one of the most challenging courses, due to all of the climbing on the bike. Not quite sure how you trained for all of the hill climbing you're about to do, but would like to find out when you get back!! Have a great race and remember: Swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, run 26.2 miles, BRAG FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. It's mind over matter, if you don't mind, it doesn't matter.

Next, thanks to Coach Carrie for all of the form work in the pool last night. Ahhh...the benefits of having a coach who really understands swimming form and efficiency.

I can describe in great detail the proper swimming stroke; I just can't do it to save my life...yet. Just because I know how to swim properly, and think I'm actually swimming somewhat efficiently and with good form, doesn't mean I really am, as proven by my split times. That's where good coaching comes in. A good coach can see what should be happening versus what's actually happening and close the gap between the two.

Although we worked on a lot of things last night, the one that seemed to make the most difference was my hand entering the water index finger first. That set up the correct catch and pull, so that I was maximizing (or at least improving) the propulsion. She also recommended that I get a set of Zoomer fins to refine my kick a bit and work on ankle flexibility, which I ordered this morning.

Even with all of the form work, I still got in 2900 yds (Episcopal has a swim meet this weekend, so they changed the pool to short course; therefore, yds instead of meters):

WU: 300 swim, 100 kick, 200 pull (was supposed to be 200 swim, 200 kick, 200 pull - I cheated, thus the need for a better kick and getting some fins)

10x100 decreasing stoke count by one each 25 - VERY cool drill

8x50 im (I substituted freestyle for butterfly)

100 kick, 200 pull, 300 swim, 200 pull, 100 kick

Awesome workout! Thanks Carrie!!

Too bad she's only willing to coach once per week :(

This afternoon is a 30 minute zone 1 recovery ride to stretch out my legs before this weekend's 2 hour run, 3.5 hour ride and 2500m continuous swim.

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

07/19/07: Some quick swim reminders....

from Coach Carrie....

We worked a lot on form tonight. I just want to get these out of my head before I forget them:

Arms enter at 10 and 2 so they end up at 12

Elbow is out of the water before hand and stays in front

Hand enters index finger first

Suntan bottom of feet

3/4 front quadrant stroke

07/19/07: Now I know I've Lost It

How do I know I've truly lost my mind? I just signed up for the Hammerhead Ocean Marathon on Aug 4, a 2.5 mile ocean swim.

The good news: I'll get a preview of what it'll be like to swim 2.4 miles in the ironman. This should give me a lot of confidence if I'm able to swim it in a reasonable time without too many issues, especially since I know I'll have the benefit of a wetsuit in November. Based on my swimming at this point, I'd consider 1:45ish a reasonable time. If I'm able to do that, I'm in GREAT shape for the ironman.

The bad news? It's a 2.5 mile ocean swim....Lori wants me to wear a rubber ducky.....

To Carrie and "anonomous": What's a poor swimming triathlete to do? At least we know we're all suffering through the wonderful world of masters swimming together. Even with all of the drama, I've made TREMENDOUS swimming progress over the last couple of months, and there's no way I'd have taken 30 seconds per hundred off, while using significnantly less effort, swimming on my own. All in all, I think it's very positive.

Last night I made another deposit into my cycling account: 1:10 on the trainer, usual workout. 21 minute gearing pyramid as a warmup (19-13); 3x3 ilt; cadence drill (100x3; 110x2, 120x1); 21 min reverse gearing pyramid as a cooldown. I've noticed a massive improvement in the ilt drills - I guess it's working.

Woke up this morning to perfect running weather: 75 with 90% humidity. Who am I kidding? It's Florida in July - there is no perfect running weather. All of this training in the heat and humudity, even in the early morning, should set me up for a nice race in November, when hopefully it'll be a bit cooler and a lot less humid.

On the other hand, it was in the 80's and extremely humid for the Disney marathon in January, so you just never know. The ironman is going to be enough of a sufferfest on it's own, so hopefully the weather cooperates....

Anyway, this morning was an hour zone 2 form run. 10 minute warmup, 2 x 6x30 sec pickups with 10 minutes in-between. The rest of the run was all zone 2. Overall, I did just over 7 miles, which turned out to be a ~8:30 pace....a fantastic pace for a zone 2 run for me :)

Tonight's a group swim, followed by tomorrow's easy 1/2 hour recovery ride, setting me up for a weekend of training fun....

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

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

07/18/07: Start of another training week....

Thanks again for all of the great comments!!

Yesterday was the beginning of another training week - the peak of base 2; actually, Monday was the beginning, and one of my favorite days....a rest day.

This week I planned 13.75 hours, consisting of 4.5 hours in the pool, 5.5 hours cycling and 3.75 hours running. As usual, about half of that will be on the weekend, with a long continuous swim (2500 + wu & cd), 3.5 hour bike ride and a 2 hour run. I'm once again fully stocked with Perpetuem, Lava Salts and gels......

I started things off yesterday with a swim with the masters group. I'm very happy to report that I graduated from the beginners lane. YEAH ME. Now I get to actually swim, instead of having to deal with drama queens who hold everyone up and then want to argue about it (and talk about how things were three years ago - see my earlier post if you missed out on the drama 07/08/07 Week In Review

Last night, after a quick warmup, there was a team meeting, mentioning that last Saturday was our coaches last day and that another local coach was interested in coaching us. As fate would have it, the other coach was the speaker at the tri club meeting last week, and seems extraordinarily knowledgeable about form, efficiency and coaching. Hopefully people will be able to stay out of their own way long enough for us to take him up on his offer to coach us....

Even with the meeting, we managed to get in 2200:

WU: 300 swim; 100 kick

900: 4x50; 2x100; 200; 100; 4x50 (I got lapped and had to skip one of the 100s. I'd MUCH rather be the slowest person in a faster lane than the fastest person in a slower lane.....)

100 easy swim

300: 25 kick, 25 swim


CD: 200 easy swim

I definitely seem to be making constant progress in the pool. With a bit of effort, I'm now maintaining 2:20 / 100m pace, and 2:30/100 with zero effort. HUGE HUGE progress from where I started, which was 3:00 / 100 with some effort.

If I can maintain a 2:30/100m pace in the ironman (which I should be able to do, especially with a wetsuit), I'm looking at a 1:35-1:45 swim. PERFECT! We'll see how that theory holds up (minus the wetsuit) in the 2.5 mile ocean swim on Aug 4th.

After the swim, I went for a 45 minute easy zone 2 run. Although I usually like to do my runs in the morning, I had an early dentist appt, so an evening run it was. It was a nice change of pace, running a bit tired after swimming.

My teeth are nice and clean, and my run went well :) Good start to the week......

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

Monday, July 16, 2007

07/16/07: OW Swimming vs Pool Swimming

Hey TriTurtl

Congrats on the sponsorship :)

Open water swimming is VERY different than swimming in the pool.

First, there's no little black line to follow, so sighting becomes important. To avoid zig-zagging during the whole swim, and thus swimming twice as far as you need to, you need to look up and sight on the buoys every 8-12 strokes or so. You can either practice a bunch and learn to look up on occassion right after you take a breath, or can simply stop and do the breast stroke for a few seconds while you get your bearings.

A trick I learned from one of the better local triathletes is to look up twice in quick succession, right after taking a breath: 1st time is to get the big picture and get a general idea of where the buoy is, 2nd time is to sight in on the buoy. The more straight you can swim, the shorter the distance = faster with less effort.

Second, even if there was a little black line to follow, you probably couldn't see it anyway, because the water clarity usually sucks, which is a technical term by the way. It definitely took me a while getting used to putting my face into water that I couldn't see in.

Third, I'd like to introduce a concept called positive pessimism. I learned this from someone who was an Everest expidition leader. Up on Everest, they used positive pessimism often, e.g. the climbing ropes are very old, but at least they're not very well maintained. How does this apply to open water swimming you ask?

Well, you can't see much and don't know where you're going, but at least it's really crowded and there's lots of other people around bumping into you. Put differently, open water swimming is a full contact sport.

Now that I've probably scared the hell out of you, here are some solutions:

1. Practice!!!!!! If there are any open water swims near you, try going at least a couple of times a month. If not, one alternative is to swim in the pool with your eyes closed (just remember to open them every so often so you don't hit the end of the pool).

2. Self seed in a race. Unless you're a really strong swimmer, there'e no need to get caught in the middle of the washing machine and have people unintentionally beating the hell out of you and swimming over you. Simply start towards the back and outside of the pack and you can avoid most of the melee.

3. If someone elbows you or kicks you, elbow or kick them back. :-)

Hope this helps


07/16/07: The Week in Review

First off, thanks for all of the comments! Even though I'm primarily writing most of this blog for me, it's nice to know some others are finding value in it.

As far as the swimming goes, keep in mind that everything's relative. In 2005 I could barely swim 100 yds without being totally exhausted. Now I can swim over 2000 yds faster with less effort, although still have a long way to go. What matters is that I'll be able to swim 2.4 miles in less than 2 hours and 20 minutes on Nov 3. Whether or not I'm better than I was a couple of years ago is irrelevant - the clock doesn't care.

This week I had planned for 4 hours of swimming, 5.25 biking and 2.75 running, for a total of 12 hours.

The actuals were 10.27 hours:

Swimming: 3.5 hours, totalling 4.4 miles. One swim got cut short because of a thunderstorm blowing through. Although I wanted to get in an ocean swim yesterday, the weather again had other plans, and I ended up inside at UNF. I did a 2x1000 plus and addition 500 after biking. I was REALLY happy with this swim, as I kept up a consistent pace after a 2 hour bike ride. Overall, a good swimming week.

Biking: 4.06 hours, totalling 74.45 miles. Strange happenings on the bike over the weekend.

On my recovery ride Friday afternoon, which I'm grateful I was able to squeeze in between storms, something flew into my helmet and bit or stung me. OUCH. I kept riding, and didn't notice it too much until I stopped. That's when it really started to hurt, and I started feeling not so great. After a couple of benedryl, a good nights sleep, very vivid dreams, the obligatory benedryl hangover the next morning, and Panera for breakfast (thanks Lori), I was good as new.

Next up on the bike was a bit of poor planning on my part. I ran out of Perpetuem and gels, and was going to stop by the bike shop on Saturday to re-stock, which didn't happen.

3 hour group ride + no food on bike = massive bonk; so, instead of doing the group ride on Sunday morning, I waited for the bike shop to open, got more perpetuem and gels, and was off on my bike at 12:30.

Afternoon ride in Florida + Summertime = Thunderstorm

About an hour into my ride, I had to duck into the Gate station on A1A to get out of the rain and lightening. After about a 1/2 hour, the storm was far enough away to ride back. Getting off the subject for just a moment, I'm always amazed by some people's brilliance. There's lightening everywhere, and I saw people going down to the beach with their fishing gear. Pure genius. Darwin at work.....

Anyway, by the time I was rode back to my car, another line of showers was blowing through, cutting my ride short by an hour. I definitely need to stick with riding in the mornings from now on. Overall, fair week of biking, cut short by an hour due to lack of planning on my part :(

Running: 2.71 hours, totalling 17.95 miles.

Saturday's weather made the afternoon perfect for grabbing a bite to eat and a movie. Note to self: chicken wings, fries, beer and movie popcorn is not ideal pre long-run nutrition!!

After the afternoon's indulgence, I put in a 1.75 hour, 11.29 mile run. The run was more of a challenge mentally than physically. After an hour I felt very lethargic - big surprise there.....I sucked it up and finished the run anyway.....Pretty good week of running, and I give myself bonus points for finishing Saturday's long run even though I didn't particularly want to; unfortunately, I have to subtract points for eating like crap Sat afternoon, knowing I had to run for 1.75 hours later in the day.

All in all, a fair training week.

A couple of things I did well:

1. Got in all three swims, even when the weather didn't cooperate
2. Finished long run, after afternoon indulgence
3. Salvaged 2 hours of planned bike ride

Lessons learned:

1. Plan better. It's not like I woke up Sun morning and suddenly realized I was out of perpetuem and gels. I could have picked them up at any time during the week and instead waited until the last minute.

2. Do bike rides in the mornings - see #1

3. Either run in the morning, or wait until after the run to indulge.

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure

Friday, July 13, 2007

07/13/07: Finally.....

A REALLY good swim workout....

I'll get to that in a minute. First, thanks for the great comments.

Karen - thinking about a 70.3? Go for it. I followed Gale Bernhardt's 13 week training plan in her book Training Plans for Multisport Athletes, and felt completely ready come race day.

Carrie - sleep? What's that? Actually, I've gotten VERY good at napping!

OK, last night's swim. I've been spending so much time working on form, which I've desperately needed, I haven't been getting in a whole lot of distance. Last night I considered skipping the group swim workout and doing a couple of 1000 yard sets on my own. I joined the group after all, and ironically enough, started out with a 1000 continuous warmup, followed by a couple more distance sets with some kicking thrown in. EXACTLY what I needed (other than the kicking) ;-)

Total for the night was 2,700:

1000 continuous warmup

500 swim, 200 kick, 400 pull

4x100 (50 kick, 50 swim)

200 cd

This weekend I am going to skip the group swim and do a ocean swim with the tri group for an hour or so. I decided to do the upcoming ocean marathon on August 4th, and am going to jump in the deep end: 2.5 miles!!

It'll be my longest ocean swim BY FAR. Since there's no time limit and plenty of safety kayakers, I'm positive I can finish, I just don't know how long it will take me. I've been consistently swimming 2:30 / 100m in the pool with very little effort, and should be able to maintain that in the ocean as well, since we'll be swimming point to point with the current. It'll be a great opportunity for me to see where I am and how far I need to go between now and Nov 3. That, and knowing that IM FL is a wetsuit swim has me feeling a lot more confident about 2.4 miles in the gulf on race day.

The rest of this weekend's training is a 1.75 hour run and a 3 hour ride. Fortunately temps are expected to be a little more reasonable over the weekend, with highs of only around 90 :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

07/11/07: Is it the love of the sport?

My dad said something intersesting: he said the training sounds gruesome, but I understand that you love the sport, which got me thinking. Is it really triathlon I love? What is it that gets so many of us hooked on this crazy sport? Why do we spend thousands and thousands of dollars on bikes, race fees, travel, nutrition, etc. Why do commit so much of something even more valuable, our time?

Is it for the fame and fortune? HAH - most people know virtually nothing about the sport and care even less; hell, even our family and friends think we're nuts. Is it so we can wake up at 5:30 in the morning to spend an hour or two suffering on the bike on a trainer, and then complaining about it afterwards? Certainly not - sleeping in sounds (and feels) SO much better. Is it so we can endure 5 hour rides and three hour runs in Florida's heat and humidity in the middle of summer? You've got to be kidding me.....Is it so we can wake up earlier on the weekends than we do during the week to avoid said humidity? Maybe it's the oh so attrective spandex tri shorts? Hang on a minute - I just made myself nauteous.....

Ok, I'm back....

So why is it we put ourselves, and those close to us, through this madness?

For me at least, it's more about the challenge than it is the sport. It's about turning something seemingly impossible into reality. It's about a massive change in perspective of what's possible. It's about taking a long term view of something in this short-term culture that we live in. And it's about doing something where commitment, consistency, determination and overcoming obstacles is the only way to the finish line.

No amount of money can get you across the finish line (although you may get there faster - nothing like a $2000 set of race wheels on a $4000 bike, which I don't have by the way). No help from family, friends, coaches, or anyone else gets you there, although you certainly don't have a chance in hell of getting there without their total support. Excuses? Try? Can't? Those words get left at the door. There is no try - you either do or don't do.

The only way you go 140.6 miles in under 17 hours on race day is with 100% commitment, focus and action, which brings me back to my question? Is it really the love of the sport?

No. It's about doing something that transcends the I want it now, fix it with a pill, distract ourselves with tv, food, drugs, I don't have the time, money, health, fill in the blank world in which we live. The fact is ironman has nothing to do with physical or athletic ability (come watch me swim sometime if you need proof) - anyone can do this sport, just ask Team Hoyt or Sister Madonna (the 76 year old nun).

It's about learning that what happens today doesn't really matter; instead, good or bad, you take it in stride, realizing that it's the cumulative effect of days stacked on days, weeks on weeks, month after month and year after year that makes the differece and gets you there.

It's not about any single race day, and it's not even about the swimming, biking and running. Lance Armstrong couldn't have been more accurate when he said it's not about the bike.

Instead, it's about who you become in the process, because that long-term perspective and the total commitment and focus needed for that perspective spills over into all the other areas of life: work, relationships, friends, finances, you name it.

Oh yeah, on top of all of this wonderful philosophical thinking, I actually got in some training.

The week kicked off yesterday with an easy 30 minute zone 2 run. My shorter zone 2 runs are now consistently sub-9 minute miles, which is a HUGE jump from where I was a year ago.

Last night I felt fortunate to be able to swim. A REALLY strong thunderstorm blew through about the time we were getting in the pool. Good news: it's Florida. 15 minutes later the sun was shining again and it was perfect weather to enjoy swimming some laps....scratch that....I almost never enjoy swimming laps......

Even after the delay, we managed to get in 2100 meters:

600 warmup (200 swim kick pull)

6x50 1/2 kick 1/2 swim

4 x 100 pull, 100 swim

200: 25 hard, 25 easy; 25 easy 25 hard; 50 easy; 50 hard

200 cd

Woke up this morning for an hour on the bike trainer:

21 min gearing pyramid (19-13), 2 x cadence drill (3 min 100, 2 min 110, 1 min 120), 21 min reverse gearing pyramid (13-19)

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure


Sunday, July 8, 2007

07/08/07: The Week in Review

The good, the bad and....well, there wasn't really any ugly.

Let's start with the bad. I got a speeding ticket on the way home from last night's beach run. I vaguely recall someone warning me about a lot of cops being out a week or so ago. Yip - Lori was right.....enough said.

Now, if I may, a bit of a divergance - and since it's my blog I certainly may....I'm a pretty tolerant person, although there's one thing that absolutely drives me up a wall - selfishness.

Imagine this: you join a swimming group for the sole purpose of improving your swimming technique while building some endurance. You have a coach for spefically that purpose. The coach gives you, and the 6 or 7 other people in the lane, a set to do. 6 of the people are doing it, and one person decides that they'd rather do their own thing and are slowly paddling along doing the backstroke, while everyone else is trying to swim. Can you guess what happens? Total gridlock in our lane :(

When I politely point out to the person in question that she's holding everyone else up and that with this many people in the lane she really needs to be doing the same thing as the rest of us, she of course realized how frustrating we were getting with her holding us all up, right? Of course not; instead, I had to hear about how things were at the pool three years ago. UGGGHHHH.....

Note to self: never mud wrestle with a pig. You get dirty and the pig likes it.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Now, onto the good.....

This week I had planned 10 hours: 3 swim, 4.25 bike and 2.75 run.

I ended up with 12.31 hours:

Swimming: 4.5 hours, going 4.1 miles. I'm ok going over here. I had originally build my plan around 3 1 hour swims. The group swims are 1 1/2 hours each. Plus, since swimming is 0 impact and doesn't take too much of an aerobic toll, no harm done.

Biking: 5.06 hours, going 88.73 miles. The overage came today on a group ride. I was scheduled to do a 2 1/2 hour ride today. The group ride was slated for 50-60 miles. We ended up doing 58 miles in just over three hours. The nice thing about riding in a group is drafting. It made for a very easy ride, even with the time I spend up front pulling. Overall I went over the schedule by 45 minutes - I can live with that, especially since today's ride was pretty easy, even if it was longer than I had planned. After the ride I ate pretty much everything in sight, even though I drank 750 calories worth of perpetuem plus had 2 gels on the ride (another 200 calories). Hmmm....

Running: 2.75 hours, going 17.96 miles: right on target. I particularly enjoyed running on the beach at low tide last night, which is by far my favorite run. Fortunately, if you don't like the weather in Florida, wait 15 minutes, it'll change. At 7:15 there was a severe thunderstorm watch and heavy downpoors at the beach. By 7:30 it was sunny with a beatuful rainbow over the ocean......

Overall, a very good week. Time to go eat again :)

Friday, July 6, 2007

07/06/07: Update

Lori was busily crafting a response, but was sidetracked when she felt the sudden need to immediately inventory all of her personal care items, ensuring that I wasn't using any of them as "gear"....

Stay tuned.....

07/06/07: Priceless

1st, a quick training update:

Last night's swim went well. Seems like I'm making progress every time I hit the pool, with much thanks and gratitude to Greg, the masters swimming coach. When I 1st started swimming with him, I was swimming 3 min / 100 with a certain amount of effort. I'm now swimming 2:20-2:30 with virtually no effort. Still slow by any standard, but major progress nonetheless, so I'm happy with it and look forward to continued massive improvement. That is, by the way, what keeps me going to the pool every Tuesday and Thursday night after work when there are about 100 other things I'd rather be doing.

When I got home from the pool it was running time, since I promised myself that I wasn't going to skip the workout. There's a man-made pond close to my house, and it's about a 1.5 mile trip out around the pond and back, so I took Kramer with me (of course). He used to be great for 3-4 miles. Unfortunately, after being a sedated, lifeless ball of fur for a month (see previous days musings), not so much anymore. He did great for the 1st 1.25. The last little bit we had a nice walk back. Of course, he was a trooper and got some nice, well-deserved water and treats when we got home. I then headed out for the rest of my run.

I inserted about 6 20 second accelerations into the rest of my run, with a few minutes in between each, to work on running form. Overall run was 45 minutes and 4.75 miles.

Since I have plans for tonight (see tomorrow's blog entry), this morning it was up early and on the bike on the trainer for a 45 minute recovery ride. Nothing too interesting to report, so on to the fun stuff.

More often than not, it's the little things in life that make all the difference. For my most recent example, let's discuss the aero bottle for a bit. It's a brilliantly thought of concept, making it really easy to drink while staying aero. It's a great little water bottle that fits right between the aero bars.

There's one little problem with the aero bottle - two actually, but I digress. Instead of having a top, it has a little yellow mesh-like thingamajig (yes - that's a perfectly acceptable technical term) that allows you to refill the bottle while on the go, and acts as a splash guard. What's the problem you ask? Well....if you ask anyone who has ever used one, they'll all give you the same answer. Two problems in fact:

1. Someone forgot to explain to the yellow thingamajig that it's supposed to act as a splash guard. Getting constantly splashed with water is not too bad I suppose. Having myself, my bike, my bike computer, and anything else within a 10 foot radius covered in gatorade is a bit more unpleasant.

2. Someone forgot to explain to the yellow thingamajig that it's supposed to stay in the bottle. Apparently the thingamajig has it's own agenda and would rather be lying on the road than staying in the bottle, because all it takes is going over a really small bump and it's long gone. It's actually pretty funny to see the road covered in yellow thingamajigs at some races.

What's the solution? After doing quite a bit of research (translation - searching the forum on beginnertrathlete.com), I found the ideal solution: the shower poofything (again, a technical term)

The shower poofything does an ideal job at both keeping itself and the water/gatorade in the bottle. I realize that some of you reading this right now are thinking, "DUH....doesn't everyone know that?" Well, to me this has been an earthshattering discovery, so let me enjoy it for a bit.....

Tri bike: Way too much $
AeroDrink: $14.95
Aerobracket: $11.95
Replacement parts kit with yellow thingamajig: $7.00
Gatorade Endurance: 3 for $4.00
Shower poofything: $0.94
Ability to ride without being a sticky mess from gatorade splashing all over me: PRICELESS

Ah yes, sometimes it's the little things in life.

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure.

PS - Lori - a minor thought: using the shower poofie thing in the shower would probably have about the same result as using my razor on your legs without telling me: really really really bad consequences!!!! :)

Thursday, July 5, 2007

07/05/07: A quick training update

Gotta love having a day off of work in the middle of the week. Catch up on some sleep, stuff around the house, laundry, and still have time for some training.

Tuesdays run and swim went well. Run was just a 1/2 hour.

Swim set was 2200:

300 wu

700: 50 breast 50 swim; 50 breast 100 swim; 50 breast 150 swim; 50 breast 200 swim

4 x 150 50 kick, 50 swim, 50 pull

6 x 50 easy, medium, hard

300 cd

Yesterday I got in an hour form ride. It was particularly nice because I was able to do it outside for a change. Doing ILT drills outside is definitely a bit tougher then doing them inside on the trainer.

Last night I decided that sleep was going to be more important than waking up early to do a 45 minute run this morning, so I'm going to do a 30-45 minute run tonight after swimming.

Once again, the power of public commitment at work. Even though I know I'm not going to want to run after swimming, I pretty much have to do it now, since I typed it on here....

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

07/04/07: 50 Signs You're A Triathlete

50. You are over 30 and there is still someone in your life that you refer to as "coach".
49. Your last bike cost more than your first car.
48. You have peed outdoors more times in the last year than you did in your first year of university.
47. You think of mowing the lawn as a form of cross-training.
46. You've worn a heart-rate monitor to bed.
45. And it wasn't when you were sleeping.
44. You refer to the front hall of your house as the "transition area".
43. When you get home from a training session at the pool, the newspaper is just being delivered to your house.
42. You have changed more flat tires this year than light bulbs.
41. The most frequently used software program on your computer is the one that keeps track of your workouts.
40. You have no idea why they call Cal Ripken Jr. "Iron Man" when, after all, he was a baseball player.
39. The first three items on your grocery list are Gatorade, power bars, and gels.
38. When you floss at night, it's to get the bugs out of your teeth.
37. Your legs move in a cycling motion while you are asleep.
36. When you see a drop of blood, your first reaction is that you spilled some red Gatorade.
35. You know how far you biked and ran last year, to one-tenth of a kilometre.
34. You think the ultimate form of wallpaper is about 64 racing bibs.
33. A 19-year old kid who works in a bicycle shop knows more about you than your nextdoor neighbor.
32. Your children are more likely to recognize you if you put your bicycle helmet.
31. You have a vanity license plate with the word "Kona" in it.
30. About half the shirts you own have at least a dozen logos on the back of them.
29. You don't find the word "fartlek" in the least bit amusing.
28. When you refer to your "partner", you mean neither your spouse nor the co-owner of your business but the person you run or bike with three times a week.
27. You shave your legs more often than your wife.
26. The closest you came to punching somebody was when they disagreed with your position on whether wearing a wetsuit amounts to cheating.
25. It doesn't feel right that you can't "clip " in and out of the pedals in your car.
24. There is a group of people in your life about whom you are more likely to know how fast they can swim 100 metres than their surnames or occupations.
23. Some of the shorts you wear today are tighter than the ones you wore in high school.
22. You are frustrated with the latest Garmin Forerunner because its live readings have a margin of error of approximately three per cent.
21. There's a separate load of laundry every week that is just your workout clothes.
20. One of your goals this year is to be faster at getting out of your wetsuit.
19. You failed high school chemistry but you could teach a course on lactic acid.
18. All you want for Christmas is something called a carbon crank set.
17. You wore a digital watch to your wedding.
16. You have to have completely separate meals from your spouse because he or she is on a lowcarb diet.
15. Your bicycle is in your living room.
14. You have stocked up on a brand of cereal because it has a coupon that will save you money on your next two pairs of running shoes.
13. In order to establish a new personal best, you considered peeing without getting off your bike.
12. One of your proudest moments is when you lost a toenail.
11. When a car follows too closely behind you, you accuse the driver of "drafting".
10. When you went for a job interview, you wrote your social security number on your arm in black marker.
9. Your spouse cried during Terms of Endearment; you cried during the television coverage of the Hawaii Ironman.
8. You are comfortable discussing the sensitivity of your nipples with other guys.
7. Your spouse is looking forward to the day when you will slow down and just run marathons.
6. You have paused in front of the mirror in your wetsuit and thought, "Hey, I look like Spiderman."
5. You see no issue with talking about treatments for chafing or saddle rash at the dinner table.
4. You recently asked your spouse out for dinner by asking if he or she wanted to "fuel up" together.
3. For you, "bonking" no longer has a sexual connotation.
2. The magazine secretly tucked under your mattress has pictures of really expensive bicycles in it.

And the No. 1 sign you're a triathlete:

1. Most of this list doesn't seem like a joke to you.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

07/03/07: Another Day....

...another 3.5 miles....

Since having started training for the Rock n Roll Marathon back in Jan 06, I've taken very little time off from training. I've rested for a couple of weeks after both marathons and after the 1/2 ironman, and that's about it. Other than those few brief periods, it's been training as usuual 4-6 (and sometimes 7) days a week. Have I mentioned how much I enjoy every 4th week, aka recovery week?

What's my point? Lately it seems like one workout just runs into the next. I don't seem to really give them too much thought anymore. When I first started training for the marathon, every day seemed like a new challenge. That's no longer the case.

Most days start off with: alarm clock goes off WAY too early...what day is it? Tuesday....ok - I need to get up and run...but it's REALLY early and I want to sleep in....I can sleep after the ironman - suck it up, get up and run....so I get up and run.....

Becuase I do like having a quite a bit of variety in my life, I of couse have an alternative...alarm clock goes off WAY too early...what day is it? Wednesday....ok - I need to get up and bike...but I want to sleep in....I can sleep after the ironman - get up and bike....but it's dark out and I hate being on the trainer...too bad....suck it up......so I get up and bike.....

Ahhh - much better - variety....

Thus another 3.5 miles this morning...

This sarcasm has been sponsored today by.....oh yeah - I still don't have any sponsors...nevermind.....

Speaking of variety, tonight's a swim, which is always full of variety, thanks to good coaching. Plus, as an added bonus, my stellar swimming ability has led me to one very important and very enlightening conclusion: any swimming night that I don't drown is a very good night. Let's hope for a very good night tonight.


There's a local 5k tomorrow that I'm thiking about doing - may be fun to push myself a bit and see how much time I can take off of last year's. I'm also considering doing another local sprint tri on the 14th. As much as I enjoy racing the sprints now, since the whole race only takes a bit over an hour, I'll still have to get in an hour swim, three hour ride and 1.75 hour run...hmmm...have to give that one some thought.

I hope everyone has a fantastic (and safe) holiday!!

Live with Purpose. Enjoy the Adventure.

Monday, July 2, 2007

07/02: One Down....

One training block down....5 to go. Somehow that sounds better to me than 18 weeks to go.

Bike time trial was great on Friday. With all of the longer, slower, "easier" workouts that make up the vast majority of training, it's nice to be able to go really hard on occasion. For the last couple of months I had been using a guesstimate for my biking lt based on my running lt, which I did test. I was close, although a little high. As it turns out, my biking lt is 171, versus the 175 I had been using. Close enough.....(lt = lactate threshold = aerobic vs anaerobic).

Gotta love recovery weeks. I enjoyed a complete day off on Saturday, which was especially nice after trashing my legs on the bike Fri night. Sunday I enjoyed one of my absolute favorite activities - a really long afternoon nap - the thunderstorms blowing through the area certainly helped that along.

I was scheduled for a 2 hour brick, and since it was still raining, I hopped on the trainer for 1:15 ride and did a 30 minute run. I've already whined enough about biking on the trainer, so I'll leave that part alone for the time being. Don't worry....over the next 18 weeks I'm quite certain I'll complain about it several more times....

Overall, the 1st 4 weeks went really well. So far I've swam 12 miles, biked 205 miles and ran almost 54 miles, logging a total of 35 hours. YIKES - looking at the numbers, I suddenly feel very tired....

So far everything's right on track. Thanks to www.breakingthetape.com for making it so easy to track all of the training and link the numbers to my blog (shameless plug).

My reward for all of the hard work (and long afternoon naps)? Lori made us a fantastic dinner last night. Thank You Lori!! Ahhh - the way to an athlete's heart....


Live with Purpose....Enjoy the Adventure