Friday, 18 June 2010 18:37

Rest Day = Much Needed

This has been a long week in terms of work.  The days have flown by but the amount of work seems to have tripled over night.  And it figures b/c I was supposed to be at a bachelor weekend and out there playing golf and hanging with my boys but duty called.

Unbeknownst to me though not going on the weekend may be a reward in disguise.  I need the rest b/c this weekend is a big training weekend.  I am doing a 1hr30m ride tomorrow at 135-145 HR and then a 45 minute run which will involve some hill training.  I am heading down to White Rock lake with Robert and Karen for this training tomorrow.  Want to get there as early as possible because it is supposed to be very hot this weekend.

Then on Sunday I am planning on doing 1800 yards in an open water swim with Gorilla Multisport.  Follow up that 1800 yards with an 8 miler with my HR >147.  So as you can see resting up today is certainly what the Dr, or in this case, Coach called for.

I have to remember to pack up a small cooler for myself tomorrow with some protein bars and gels, fruit and a recovery drink b/c it will be hot and I don't want to bonk or get dehydrated.  And then repack that same cooler on Saturday evening for Sunday's big day.

My plan for Sunday is to do the first 600 and take a breather of 1-2 minutes before going out and doing the next 600.  At that point if I have to stop for about 5 minutes then so be it.  We have 90 minutes out there so if it takes me 15 minutes for each 600 then I should have plenty of time to do 1800.  I have to remember to work on sighting and going around the buoys.  Also, remember that slow and steady wins the race and if need be do the breaststroke until I can get my wits about me and then keep going.  It is going to be a ton of fun and I'm excited for it.  Count my strokes and know that at 48-50 I will have done 100 yards.  So I basically need 6 sets of 50 strokes and I'll be done.  Easy.......just have to break it down and stick to the plan.
Since I have more in my life then training, let me vent for a moment about the World Cup and what unfolded today in South Africa.

The US was playing Slovenia.  This was a huge game for the US as a loss would just about elminate them from the Cup.  They came out flat and were beat in just about every way possible, but the ref also did not call a good game.

The 2nd half came and the US looked like a totally different team.  They were attacking and Landon Donovan let loose a rocket of a shot that the goalie only had one thing to do and that was get out of the way.  The US scored again and it was now 2-2 and they were playing really well.

Then came a free kick on which the US looked to have scored, but the ref blew the whistle and disallowed the goal for a reason only he still knows.  Nobody was offside, nobody was fouled.....well 3 of the US players were dragged down but the call did not go against Slovenia it went against Uncle Sam.

The game ended in a 2-2 draw and now the US needs England to win their next two matches and for them to win their next match against Algeria to advance.  Going to be a tight World Cup.
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Tuesday, 15 June 2010 14:27

It's a Brick Morning.....

As has become routine my alarm went off at 4:04am and I decided to hit snooze, because as anybody knows in order to perform your best you need proper rest.  I stayed asleep for another hour before waking up and having breakfast and coffee.  First time in almost a month that I drank a full cup of coffee in the morning and boy it tasted good.

Karen woke up around 5:45a and I got to see her for a few minutes before I headed out on my ride.  The ride this morning was a maintenance and recover ride.  90+ RPM while staying in Z1-Z2 or essentially 125-145 which should be fairly easy to do.  BUT this morning I was having a difficult time getting my legs going for some reason and my HR was up around 135 while my cadence was 85.  This did not make me happy.  I couldn't figure out the issues.  Was I still tired?  Were my legs fatigued from the strength workout last night?

BUT when everything seems bleak, the skies opened up.  I saw the most beautiful sunrise on the ride and it reminded me how much I love living in Texas.  I can't recall seeing a sunrise like that in New York, at least not near the city.  We had some gorgeous sunrises in Oswego while I was in college but this was perfect.  Texas land as far as the eye could see with a purple sun and white clouds shrouded in a grey scale.  It was unreal.

So my cadence picked up a bit then and I felt much better, then the real cake topper happened.  I was riding and passed another rider on his bike in the aero position.  I always say hi.  I wave or nod my head.  We are a fraternity.  We are there to help each other as much as we are to beat each other.  The guy didn't even give me the courtesy wave.  My competitiveness flaired up right then and there and I got up to 95+ cadence and kept my HR very low and managed to do that for the remainder of the ride which was about 20 minutes.  I just kept thinking of picking him off as we inched closer to the finish line and I would not let him beat me.

Average speed was 15.0 MPH covering 15.08 miles in 60 minutes.  Average HR was 122 with a max of 141.  Burned 690 calories.

Then after that it was time for a 30 minute run.  I was ready to run today.  I felt good getting off the bike and figured this was going to be a great run.  Within my 30 minutes of running I was to do some drills which consist of high knees, carry over, straight leg and what Coach C calls hiney kick (or what I call ass kickin' - bring your heals to to your glutes.)

None of these drill is designed to go fast while doing the drills but to help you while your are running.  Doing these drills go my HR up even though I was barely moving.  Looking at my Garmin you can see where the drills were started and where they ended and when I was running.  The pace drops dramatically and the HR picks up.

Before the start of training today I was 145.8 lbs and when I was done I was down to 143.4.  Had a protein bar and a banana after the workout to get the proteins back into my system to help my recovery.  It is coming up on 9:15am and time to have a snack of fruits and probably a PBJ sanwich.
Tomorrow I am back in the pool and Coach C has me swimming quite a bit these days.  Last month I was around 1500 yards at most and now I'm up to 2000-2200 which is almost a 50% increase and I can tell the difference in my back and shoulder muscles.  They are a little more tired then normal and this is something that will happen when you change routines and shock your body.

But I can say how excited I am and how much confidence I'm building in the water.  These distances in one session were nothing but a dream and now they are reality.  So much so that Gorilla Multisport is hosting another OWS this weekend and I cannot wait to get in the water.  I am planning on doing 1800 yards or 3 laps since the bouys are 600 yards apart.  It is going to be a challenge but you can't get to the starting line of Ironman 70.3 without staring challenges in the face and then beating them.  All I have to do is remember my pool swims which are slow and easy and the 600 will fly by.  High elbows, proper hand entrance into the water, and if you panice slow down even more.  Easy....create a plan and stick to it and everything turns out fine.

Plus I will try out my new wetsuit.  Good times ahead.
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Sunday, 30 May 2010 16:30

Open Water Swim to Start My Sunday

I am so excited this morning over having completed my first Open Water Swim (OWS.)  It was incredible to have swam 1100 yards in the open water of Lake Grapevine.  I had such a blast becuase of the effort that I put in but also because of the fact that it is another learning experience for me.

Learning to deal with the waves and the various currents that come and go against your body.  Sighting is a big difference as there is no big black line on the bottom of the lake floor to follow.  I am really learning to enjoy the water and I almost feel like going out to the pool this evening for more swimming but not sure Coach C would want that (I've already emailed her to find out.)

In searching for ways to get better at the OWS I found an article written by Hazen Kent for that essentially says the best way to get better in OWS is to practice in the open water.  With that being said the 1100 yards this morning seems more and more important to my overall plan of doing Ironman then I would have thought.  Coach C told me she just wanted me to swim and that is essentially what I did and it was great practice for me.  This article reinforces that idea while also giving me some tips and drills for working on in the pool that will help me in the open water.

The link to the article is right here:     Open Water Swimming Tips For Triathletes: Overcoming Your Fears

After putting in 1100 yards of swimming which was essentially 50 and 75 yard drills with :20 RI I had a 9 mile easy run to put in.  The 9 miles was fairly smooth and easy.  My average HR was 145 with a max of 156, but that was always on the uphill portion of the run.  The average pace for the 9 mile run was 10:10 and I couldn't be happier with that run as it was so easy.

In looking at past easy Sunday runs the HR was slightly lower but they were more difficult and most likely because of the fact that I completely ignored my HRM and just ran.  I did not feel like my body was tired or dehydrated and that I could have run for miles at that pace and felt great at the end.

All in all, the Sunday training session was one to remember and one to build off of.  Next week when I head to the open water it will be another set of drills where I'm doing 75 and 100 yards with :20 RI to get in 400 yards and then maybe heading out and around the buoys for the last 600 yards and do those with the rest intervals of floating on my back and kicking to keep moving.  Now that I have done an OWS the intimidation is fading and the competitor in my is starting to show through.

Here is the map with some data of my run this morning:
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Saturday, 29 May 2010 15:20

Great Way To Start Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend got off on the right foot this morning.  The training was great and the weather was just as perfect.

Today's workout consisted of a 60 minute ride at 90 RPM followed by a 20 minutes run.

As usual Robert and I headed out to Lake Grapevine around 6:30am to get our workout in.  The bike was awesome although I lost Robert after the first 2 or 3 miles.  The point of the exercise today was to keep a high cadence going and that cadence was to be 90+ RPM.

One of the best things about today's workout, or any workout at high cadence, is that you learn to use your gears in order to keep your legs spinning.  The lowest speed I averaged was 15.7 and overall for the 17.5 miles that I rode this morning I averaged 18.3 MPH which is 1.8 MPH faster then my time in Grapevine last year.  That has me very excited because that means that I should be shaving some good time off of my bike portion next week.

Here is a map of the ride:

The run that followed was to be a 20 minute run.  I took the HR alerts off to allow me to just run and overall it was not that bad for the two miles.  My HR averaged 158 with a pace of 8:29.  I covered 2.31 miles today and I know that if I push myself that my pace will be faster then last year's pace at the Tri Grapvine.

Here is map and some information on the run:

Overall I feel great.  I need to stretch but my energy is there and I don't feel fatigues one bit.  I actually told Robert that I could have run at least another 5 miles and maybe not at 8:34 but certainly could have gone at a 9:00 pace for the next 5 miles.  I'm thrilled with where I'm at after about 3 full weeks of training.

I'm prepared both mentally and physically to beat last year's time and to be able to compete in my age group and be close to my time of 1:18:53 in the Caveman Tri.

Now, onto stretching then the shower and most importantly time with my family at our pool bbq'ing and laughing.

Memorial Day here we are.
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