I cannot begin to express what I feel is a tremendous breakthrough this morning during my bike/run brick training workout.

The workout was to consist of 20 minutes at 90 RPM followed by 20 minutes of recovery followed by 20 minutes at 90 RPM followed by a 30 minutes run.  The 20 minutes of recovery was to be at 135 HR.

Well Robert and I took off on the bike and hit the 90 RPM pretty quickly and rode for 20 minutes but it really seemed like 5.  The 20 minute recovery felt like forever b/c the pace while not slow was not about spinning your legs, but then the next 20 minutes was gone in a flash as well.

Averaged 17.7 MPH with a HR of 147.  Maximum HR got up to 164 and burned 954 calories but overall the ride felt great.  Averaging 17.7 MPH while going down to a recovery of 135 HR is awesome for me.  During the 90 cadence periods I was at an average of 19.0 MPH which is 2.5 MPH faster then the last tri I did.  Not to mention my HR was never higher then 164 and probably averaged around 155.  I am getting very excited for the Grapevine Tri on June 5th because of this.

After the run we hit the road on our feet.  I turned off my HRM to allow myself to just run.  After 30 minutes of running I covered 3.19 miles at an avg pace of 9:18 with a HR of 149.  This also picked up my spirits that all the training is coming together.

During a race my HR is probably close to 170.  Having the ability to be more efficient in the water will allow me to ride faster and run faster at that same HR because I won't have burn so much energy getting through the water.

Going to be heading to my first open water swim on Sunday.  Coach C wants me to do 1000 yards and thinks that it should be fine.  If I get tired she said to just flip over and float on my back for a while and then back around but that the 1000 should be ok.

I agree with her considering that I have been doing 1500-1800 in the pool already but the open water swim is a little intimidating for my first one but at the same time 1000 is about only 60% of what I normally swim.  Either way I am fired up for it.

This article has convinced me that it isn't going to be as bad as I think it is.  This is from USAT and was written by Dr Mitchell Greene.     Searching for Confidence

Once out of the pool it will be time to run 9 miles.  I am ultra pumped for this weekends training as it should be tough but tons of fun as well.
This morning there was a knock on the door and it was the UPS man.  I got my hopes up that the order from SwimOutlet.com had come in with my new goggles and bag.  I got to the door and there were two boxes there.  One was for Karen and the other for me but it wasn't from SwimOutlet.com it was from 24 Hour Fitness and was a sort of care package.

I posted a link to my blog on their FB page and they sent me a nice gift.  It had a gym bag, water bottle, running socks, wristbands, pins, t-shirt and a gift card.  It was totally unexpected and so very nice of them to do.  Completley unnecessary as I'm trying to get viewers to my blog but will be very well received as well.
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Tuesday, 25 May 2010 17:30

Great Article on Running

Just finished reading this article on how to get better at running and what is described as Rule #4 certainly pertains to me.

As I have pointed out the muscle that needs the most work for me is the brain.  I need to not focus on the HR, or the speed but just focus on the run and then analyze and see where it was hard and where it was easy.  Where the breathing was rapid, or where the pace fit the hurt.

Here is rule #4 from this article written by Marty Munson on the USAT website:     4 New Rules For Running Better, Faster, Stronger

4. Run as fast as you want to, not as fast as you think you can. Who’s imposing your limits? Sometimes it’s you, says Elizabeth Waterstraat, coach and founder of Multisport Mastery (multisportmastery.com) in Chicago. “Especially when athletes train heavily with technology, they can become wrapped up and limited by where the numbers should be, rather than where they could be.” Unplug the technology now and then, she says, “and tune into how running fast feels in your legs, what it sounds like in your breathing, and what it speaks in your head. If you look down at your device and see you’re approaching 5K pace, you might begin to fear that you will blow up or not be able to hold it. But you just might be breaking through in that workout. Save the evaluation for later. Don’t let your fears and worries limit how much you are willing to give.”

Learn how to define what’s truly hard for yourself. “Many athletes look to coaches or formulas to tell them what hard is by heart rate, pace, or percentage of VO2max. Hard is hard. You run hard. Until you connect to that, you will not run as fast as you want to; you’ll run as fast as someone tells you to go.”

Then, listen to what you’re saying. “You may be focusing on the negative (I am so slow) rather than the positive (I am getting stronger; this is a solid starting point). Running fast is so much about managing the physical pain; there is no hiding behind equipment (bicycle) or conditions (waves); it’s usually just you and the pavement. Your legs must be strong, but your head must be stronger,” Waterstraat says.

“To know your limits, you have to be willing to test them,” she says. “The best athletes take logical risks in training so they know how far they can go in racing.” Don’t be surprised if it’s farther than you thought.
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Tuesday, 18 May 2010 18:09

Brick Work - May 18th, 2010

Today was a brick day, but this one focused on running at tempo pace as oppose to a long bike and short run.

The bike was 30 minutes and I managed to go 7.73 miles during that time but the most important thing is that I did not fall down on the new bike.

The bike was making some weird noises at first and I think I was babying it instead of riding it, but give me a break that is an expensive bike that I did not want to ding in anyway on the first ride.

Riding on that bike was smooth and effortless.  It went by without any issues whatsoever and is fast.  Very little peddling gets that bike going at a good speed.  Question is whether or not to use it in the Grapevine Tri.  Not sure I want to just yet but at the same time I have got to use it at a race at some point.  It might help push me toward the top of the age group.

The run today was to be a 6 miler b/t 8:30 and 8:45 pace with 4x2 at 8:15.  Finished the run at a pace of 8:44 but I think that the increase pace was faster then 8:15 and the recovery was slower then 8:45, but all in all it was great run.

Karen started her training yesterday with Coach C and she like it a lot.  We both have a lot on our plates right now in terms of training and work, so we need to make sure we balance our lives together at the same time.  This is going to be fun comparing how we are doing in our training.  I am beyond happy for her to go out on this limb and try something new and do something for herself.

Today I get inagurated into the Board of Directors.  What a great moment!!!!!  I can't wait to sit at the table to discuss items that not only affect my family, but also affect those families of my neighbors and those in the community that I don't know.

Being at the table and having a voice is what I ran for.  Being at the table to get a better understanding of Castle Hills is what I ran for.


Once that meeting is done I have a different type of brick to do.  Board meeting from 430-630p then off to playoff softball at 645p.  Probably won't make it there on time but will be ready to go when I do get there.  Our team hasn't been to the playoffs in about 4 or 5 seasons so this is exciting.  We have a very good team and one that can win it all if we eliminate the mistakes.


Swim tomorrow and I'm excited for it.  Going to have a great night and a great morning of training.

Until tomorrow.......don't forget to Tri everything you can in life b/c it is too short.
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Saturday, 15 May 2010 15:08

Back in the Saddle.....literally

Got back to training this morning.  I gotta say that being off for even one day is a lot for me.  I'm used to going at 100 mph all day every day and having a rest day was probably the hardest part of this training for me.  I know that it is necessary to do but that doesn't make it any easier.  Think of the dentist.  You KNOW you have to go every 6 months but that doesn't mean that you enjoy it or that you even want to do it.  So from now on I am looking at rest days like the dentist.  Hate it but gotta do it.

Today's training consists of a 60 minute ride followed by a 20 minute run.  These are called bricks.  Why?  No clue, but if I had to guess it is because you are builing your house for the tri.  Or maybe b/c your legs usually feel like bricks going from the bike to the run.  Not sure, but will google in a bit to educate myself some more.

Speaking of which, this whole training is like learning a second language.  I actually went and googled training  phrases yesterday so I wouldn't bother  Coach C too much with all my questions.  For example tomorrow's training involves pickups, spm, RT/LT......had no clue what any of that meant.  Found out through this phrase bible and Coach C that pickups are short but relaxed increases in speed for 20-30 seconds.  My pick-up will be at 90 spm.......spm = strikes per minute.  I will count my right foot strikes to the floor and need to have 45 in the 30 second pick.  These are used for speed turn-over.  RT/LT......right side only/left side only during the swim.  So basically one arm out in front while kicking and the other arm strokes.

Anyway, back to today's training.  The 60 minute ride wound up being 63 minutes with an avg HR of 141 and covered 17.42 miles at a pace of 16.6 MPH.  Today was to be hills and my overall max elevation was 620 feet, so while not climbing a mile the elevation was pretty good and the hills were fairly tough.  I could tell b/c my max heart rate was 161 and that was usually on the hills only.  I looked for as many hills as I could find.  My training partner, Robert, hates hill and everytime I would find one you could almost hear him grunt.  He will get better and start to enjoy them the more we do them.

The run was 20 minutes and covered 2.17 miles at an average pace of 9:14.  My HR on average was 142 with a max of 150 so in other words......PERFECT to where Coach C wanted it.

Amazing that running at that pace which is not super slow and I could keep my HR that low.  Normally at that pace my HR is high and pounding, but being in control has been a huge help for me.

As mentioned before getting down to 145 is going to be key for me.  I think that is where I'm fastest and strongest.  This morning I weighed 149 lbs so I have lost 3 lbs since last Monday doing this training.  Continuing to eat right and getting my rest will get me down to 145 lbs in no time.
My Newest Prize?

Went to RBM yesterday to get my road bike re-taped and a cateye put on while also having the aero bars fixed since I put them on myself.

While I was there I spoke to Jeremy (sold Karen her Bianchi) and figured it was time to talk shop on a Tri Bike.  So I told him about the Blue that I had the opportunity to get down in Austin and the price range and he showed me a Specialized Transision Comp for about the same price.  The bike is gorgeous.

He fitted me to the bike for about an hour and it works.  It is fitted for me.  With my inseam a small or medium would work but the Comp takes a lot of fitting and we weren't sure it would work since they have no smalls.  The medium was fitted to my body type and I have to go back on Sunday for about 2 more hours of fitting......an entire day ordeal.....but worth it.

When I hired Coach C to train me I knew I was committing.  When I signed up for 70.3 California I knew I was committing.  By buying this bike  I am committing.  This is going to be a lifestyle change for me.  I am going to be a triathlete.  I knew at the beginning of this year when I told Karen that if I got into the NYC Marathon that was the last one I was doing.  I didn't get in, but I do plan on doing one more marathon and essentially being done with that as I focus on the triathlons.  Maybe Coach C will want me to participate in long races (1/2 marathons) for training for the distance and short races (5k to 15K) for speed but I think that my days of focusing solely on the run are over with this purchase.

I have goosebumps just thinking of making this type of investment but in my heart of hearts I know this is the right thing to do for me.  I will talk to Karen more about this but I think I am almost fully convinced that this is right.  One thing to keep in mind with the new bike is that I have to keep my family first throughout this process.  Spending as much time as possible is going to help get me through the tough days of training.  Having their full support is going to be critical.  I love my family and miss them right now as when I got back from my training Karen went to the gym to get her training in.  I know it will work like that weekend mornings but we have all day together, and trust me with the weather today it will be all day together, just hopefully not inside.  Gloomy out there.

So that is probably all for today, but keep reading and find out how the 1850 yards of swimming tomorrow evening go.
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Today turned out to be a very good day. This morning I had a great workout with Robert over in Grapevine. We ran the and rode the course for the Grapevine Tri in June.

We started out with the run to essentially tire out the legs before getting on the bike and then finished that up with another run to get the feel of trainsitioning from the bike to the run.

The first run we did was 3.5 miles followed by a 12.05 mile bike then followed by a 3.05 mile run.

The best part of this was that there was a stronghead wind and there are lots of tough hills on this course but at one point we took it slow and probably averaged 14 mph but at the end of the ride we finished at 16.8 mph which is 0.3 mph faster then the race last year and 0.2 mph faster then Caveman. I am excited as I think I can break 17.0 mph at Grapevine on June 5th.

The two runs averaged 8:36 and 8:13. We got faster on the 2nd run and that was after a fast first run and bike. I am excited to see how this all translates on race day, but I have to keep in mind that my bigger goal is Toyota in October, California in April and then 140.6 in 2012.

All in all it was a great training session.

From the training session I got home and showered up as the family was going to the museum today to check out the dinosaur exhibit. Lots of interesting facts about how the dinosaurs occupied Texas. There has been mammoth findings right near Loop 12 and there is an archeological dig going on right around Arlington. Fascinating information, and man were those dinos big.

My step-son seemed to have a great time while checking out the dino exhibits but I think he enjoyed the extra exhibits more. They had one on light, one DNA, one on farms and animals. Things to keep kids intrigued but what I found amazing was all the information that was available to adults to keep them interested.

I also got to see the Cotton Bowl upclose after all those years living on the East Coast and seeing it on TV.

Lastly, today was election day. I ran for a seat in our local government and based on unofficial results look to have won. The experience was incredible and such a valuable learning tool for myself. It was not just winning but the fact that I participated in something historic for our community of Castle Hills. A bunch of us got together down at Mezza Luna for an election night dinner and to find out the results together.

As it turns out 'unofficially' 9 independent residents got elected. We had been part of a Project RoundTable that discusses issues in the neighborhood and what we like/dislike and what can we actually change. From these informal gatherings I became more and more interested in being a bigger part of the solution and not just stand around to watch all go on around me.

Link to the election results: http://elections.dentoncounty.com/go.asp?Parent=75&Link=1116

I ran in District 1-B.

My first board meeting, once these votes become official, is most likely going to be on May 18th. I will be sworn in at that meeting and take the time to absorb all that I can so that my service on the board will be worth the while it took for those who voted for me. Thank you to everybody who voted whether it be for me or other candidates. Congratulations to all those that won today and I look forward to working on the Board of 1-B.

It is late and I will be watching the little man in the morning while Karen is out getting her own training in. She is looking to do a 7.5-8 mile run tomorrow AM. I hope it doesn't rain and that she gets a great run in. Go get 'em honey.

One last thing.....outdoor kitchen is looking great. Be on the lookout for full transformation of backyard in the very near future.
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