Saturday, April 2, 2011

End of workout cycle

I give myself a failing grade for my workout cycle. My last post was January 22. It is now April 2 and I have hardly gotten off my couch. I am sick today an have been for the last week. But I actually ran 1.5 miles and did some light cycling. Spring has rolled around and the sun has come out around here. I saw some old pictures from 2009 when I was in pretty decent shape. I got a little nostalgic. No better time than now to start moving again.

I head off to Hawaii this week. This is a great time to get started again. I am shooting a reality-style TV show in Kona Hawaii with some Ironman athletes. Maybe I'll have a chance to start back in the water, on the back, and on the road.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bringing It!: Guitar, ALS and Unstoppable Spirit . . . Film Dir...

Bringing It!: Guitar, ALS and Unstoppable Spirit . . . Film Dir...: "At 16 years old, Jason Becker had already become a legend in the guitar scene. At 20, he was diagnosed with ALS - a.k.a. Lou Gehrig's diseas..."

Saturday, January 22, 2011

2 Weeks In

I am 2 weeks into the program and I am doing okay. I have missed a few workouts but I have executed a few workouts as well. I am back on the the bike and in the pool. I am also doing very light weights.

This week was interesting. On Tuesday I did every lap of my 2500 yd swim and headed straight to weights. I am not a weight person anymore so I struggled immensely. It was a very successful day and for one day I felt I was back to where I was. The next day I woke up early and went straight on the bike without thinking. It was a good move because if I had an opportunity to think about it I would have skipped.

Thursday and Friday I skipped due to the crippling pain Tuesdays weights caused. Pathetically, I inflicted the damage by doing merely 3 sets of 10 squats with no weights. As I may have mentioned I am woefully out of fitness in the weight room.

But I am still at it. Training Peaks is the bomb. Every night my workouts are in my email. I have an opportunity to plan my day around my workout. My expectations are reasonable this go-around. I am allowing some skip days for recovery and scheduling reasons, but since I am committed to this, I get right back at it the next days.

Today was another miss due to my childcare responsibilities. We are toilet training Ainsley. Tomorrow I have a 1 hr bike and 1 hr run. Hoping to get them both in somehow.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

2 Days Down

Two days into the training program. This is my third and I am taking the day off. The first day was a 45 minute bike. That I got on it was a huge victory, that I rode it for about 45 minutes was as well.

Yesterday was a swim with some light gym exercises. That I got to the gym was a huge victory, hat I got to the pool was as well. Once I jumped into the pool I realized how much this is going to suck. The last time I did Training Peaks was about 2 or 3 years ago and all the familiar memories came rushing back. Long workouts, cold days in the pool endless laps, fatigue. Triathlete are literally crazy people. I gutted through 30 mins of swimming in very cold water and did some half-ass exercises in the gym.

My life schedule does not have this much training built into it. The last time I was on this program I did not have kids in school and other kids not in school. Juggling these training hours is going to be really tough. Yesterday was a mother.

Today I am really really tired and need a break. I am going to lay off until I am ready to train again and then hit the workouts. Hopefully tomorrow I will be back in the pool and the gym floor.

Enthusiasm level - 2
Readiness - 1
Fatigue - 10
Happiness that I am back doing this again - 5

I am going to stick with this program as best I can. I will skip when I need to and I will not beat myself up mentally is I skip. Hopefully in this process I will find a healthy equilibrium for training.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

18 months since my last post? Good God

A lot has happened since I last posted. Good thing blogs age better than fruit. No one is supposed to read this so I don't care what I say but I need to do something to get myself back in gear physically. I mean I am in good shape for a bum, but for my adult sport of triathlon I am a mess.

For a few months I have been telling myself to get back into the swing of things. It's just so easy to do nothing. I mean no pain, so its easy to no gain.

It's not like I've done nothing for 18 months. I've actually worked out sort of regularly. In 2010 I focused a lot on cals (pushups and chins), and running, with some swimming and cycling mixed in. In my personal life I quit drinking. I also worked toward eliminating meat and dairy from my diet. I also dedicated myself to learning guitar by joining a band and taking lessons. All those changes have altered my life both physically and emotionally.

Physically I feel good but not great. My fitness is probably fine for beginners but I am way off what I was. But I am not sure what I want out of my fitness existence. I feel the Ironman/half-Ironman fitness level is an all-encompassing endeavor that causes tons of physical pain and ripples throughout our life. The sprint/Olympic fitness triathlon fitness level seems practical but even that is a commitment.

So now I am searching for continued balance in my personal by adding a fitness element. I'm back on the Training Peaks software after false starts on consecutive weeks. Each evening I am emailed next day's workout. It's a very good system and provides a solid routine for getting going.

Tomorrow is a 45 minute bike. I have the indoor trainer in my office but my bike is currently a coat rack and my workout area is a dumping ground. So now half my workout will entail digging out a workout space. If I get the bike on the trainer and find a pair of bike shorts it will be a monumental victory.

Current weight - 161 (I don't eat meat or cheese anymore so I eat much less fat)
Fitness level - weak
Readiness - Unbelievably not ready
Excitement level (1-10) - 2
Enthusiasm (1-10) - 1

Monday, July 20, 2009

Race 4 Recap

I'm skipping my Race 3 recap and doing Race 4 because I didn't really feel like blogging Race 3. That will be incorporated in this recap.

Race 4 was the 2nd in the Fort Lewis Triple Threat triathlon series which are three identical races close to my house. I did Race 3 a month earlier. I was happy I finished because time was very tight with a newborn and family and work responsibilities. I hardly trained for Race 3 and I was very slow. The positives were that I raced, I practiced transitions, and racing conditions, and all the intangible stuff that can make the sport really hard.

This race I concentrated on getting a solid three weeks worth of work. My focus was on staying above 90 cadence, staying in the swim draft, and finishing "all out". I was able to rejigger my schedule around enough to get my training in. Instead of going to bed at 10:30, I would hit the trainer for 30-40 minutes of speed work. I snuck a few long rides in as well. In addition I ran a few times and employed "transition runs" after my bike rides to get used to race conditions. Finally I focused on simple acheivable goals that would guarantee improvement.

The race went really well. On Race 3 I somehow lost my line in the lake and wound up swimming by myself for the final few hundred meters. This race, I sighted towards the end to make sure I was always with someone. My swim last race was a disappointing 16 mins while this race I was a satisfied 15 mins over 800 meters. Out of the water I had a very good transition and smartly brought a tub filled with water to wash off my feet because they were filthy coming out of the water.

My bike started off pretty fast. Fort Lewis is flat and straight and ideal for practicing smooth, fast cycling. I maintained my 90 cadence which guaranteed me a much, much faster bike time. Psychologically I found myself hanging with some guys out there, which boosted my confidence. I finished the 15 mile ride on 49 minutes, thus besting my previous time by 11 minutes.

With two enormously successful legs finished, I could have hopped the three miles and been happy. But I wanted to put together a complete race that included a fast run and hunting down some of my competitors. I remember reading an article say that the last few miles of the run are all about guts. The three miles flew right by and I worked myself into my legs. I was tired but I wanted to finish "all out" just to understand the feeling of leaving everything on the course. I crossed the line at 1:30:ish with a full on sprint and found my way back to my gear.

Overall the race was a huge success. I trained hard, I stuck to my prerace goals, and executed them as well as possible. I came in 53 out of over 200, was in the middle of my age group and have a lot to build on. I can shave about a minute off my swim time, I can conceivably take 5 minutes off my bike, and there is always ways to run faster. I realize the only difference between below/average performance and very good performance is some good work prerace and an executed plan in the race. I'm not sure if I will get to do the third race in this series due a planned vacation, but I will get one or two more races in by the end of the season.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Race #2

My second race of the year was this past Sunday May 17th. Heading into the race I was still up in the air about my seasonal plans. I still could probably pull myself together by my A race in September which is the Black Diamond Half Ironman. I could also pull it back and do an Olympic that day or a few others if I wanted to. An additional option would be to do some sprints and work on my skills at the sport.

There is a lot more to the sport than running swimming and biking long distances. Most top pros started races many many times per year on short distances, progressed into the Olympic/International levels, made their names at half-Ironman and eventually had what it take to win Kona. Last year I skipped a few steps and slowly trudged my way through 2 halfs with a low level of success.

Doing the second race of the season was a perfect way for me to continue working on the sport even though my time is limited with the new baby. I hadn't really trained much other than a few swims and a few runs, but since it was a sprint, the distances are not a problem.

The race was a tiny tiny field at my home gym, but hey, it's triathlon. Not every race needs to be Kona. Perfect place for me to work on the sport for the sake of the sport.

My swim was excellent. I came out of the water 2nd out of ten. I focused this time on going slow and pacing myself. I had plenty of energy at the end and was able to kick it nicely on my final lap. The bike was easier than before and I went faster than before, while pushing more power. I held my position, hydrated well and got myself ready for the run. The run was a quick two miles on an outdoor, dirt track. The footing stunk, and my first lap or so as always was difficult. But I settled down and went kicked it decently as I finished.

My times really mean nothing because of the way the race was set up but I averaged about a 1:36 in the pool per 100. That might be my best swim so far and while it is not very fast, I merely wanted to swim smooth and position myself for the rest of the race.

Moving forward, I am back in full gear for the season. Sprint races work well for this year because I can skip a workout and not worry about my race condition. I can miss a week for travel, or family, and not freak out. I can race close to my house and not worry about hotels, parking, race checkins, and whatnot. And, just like Sunday, my Saturday night can be all messed up and it will not force me to toss and turn all night. I have other races in June, July, August and most likely September so I will get plenty of work in this summer. I will also be doing some 5K runs and perhaps a long, 2 day bike weekend if time permits.

My bike is still of course my Achilles heel but I am working through it. I plan on getting out there much more and working in the saddle. More on that later.