Monday, December 10, 2007

Still Resting the shoulder

Song in my head "Last Christmas" Manic Street Preachers (its a Wham cover)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Typing with One Hand

Saturday's workout was the last day of my first program. I swam twenty minutes straight (no warmup). I got about 1200 yards and I was pretty satisfied with my progress. After I cycled for about 20 minutes and ran for 20 as well. I did everything nice and easy. My goal is to restart the program (thus saving about 60 bucks) on Monday and have much better performance on a day to day basis. I went out way too hard last time around. The key here is pacing and preparing myself for the upcoming season.

I played hockey on Sunday night for the first time in almost a year. I dogged it a bit because I had not been on the ice in a while and had never played out west before. I did score a few goals though so that was nice. I'm not really interested in competing in a difficult league, I just wanted to get a good skate in. Problem is, I hyperextended my shoulder on the last play. Serves me right, I wasn't paying attention and fell awkwardly. I'll try to ice it tomorrow, hopefully it feels better. At least I scored on the play.

Song in My Head - "Can't Take My Eyes Of of You" by Manic Street Preachers

Friday, November 30, 2007


This has been a slightly boring week as I am in taper mode. Wednesday was a 30 minute bike ride. Very simple. Thursday was an easy swim much like Tuesdays. I was surprised how quickly I finished. Following that, I was on the treadmill for a half hour. I have to admit that I did not run much during this training period but I felt great yesterday. I got a couple miles in, just nice and easy, with a little walking as a warmup and cooldown. No pain this time. The taper period has been great. I am planning to go ahead with the program I just did for the second time. I think I will have a much better success rate from workout to workout.

Song in my head - "Don't Let Him Go" by REO Speedwagon of High Infidelity awesome guitar work by Gary Richrath. They get a lot of flak but that album is a classic.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I did a triathlon today, in a way

Today was a good workout. I was scheduled to try all three legs. The workout has now made it to its taper phase where the workouts typically ease up in anticipation of a race. I am really off schedule because of the two week break so the easy workoutsw are fine with me. But anyway, I swam a 300 warmup, 6 50s, 6 100s, and a 200 warmdown. The workout was very easy but I still felt tired in my upper body. I then hit the bike for 15 minutes and ran for 15 minutes. I was supposed to go for 60 minutes and 30 minutes respectively, but honestly, all I wanted to do was get the blood flowing. I think I really shot myself in the foot at the beginning of the routine by going all out. Now my goal is to get set up for when the season begins in April. Therefore I want to maintain my swim pace, gradually build up my cycling and running throughout the offseason and be in position to really kick butt by April.

Song in my head "Christmas Wrapping" by The Waitresses ("bah humbug")

Its been 14 days since my last confession...oops, entry

Well then, after a week of rest and a trip back East, I got back on the bike yesterday. The new fit felt great but I only did about a half hour. No pain, no soreness after a while. All good. I am sort of off program at this point, but I am not really worried. My program is winding down. I guess it would be in the taper phase so the workouts themselves would be easy. Tomorrow I am scheduled for all three but due to appointments I will lucky to get them in.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Two doors close, one opens

Its been said that, "We can't control the things that other people do or say, we can only control our reactions to what people do or say." That type of modus operandi is a lot easier said than done sometimes. Today was one of those days when I was on the recieving end of some seemingly unpleasant news when I was first waking up this morning.

My dilemma this morning was how to react to the news. What I wanted to do and what I knew I should do were opposites. I figured the best way to change my attitude was to hit the gym and do my planned workout. Perhaps at the end of the session I would feel better.

My swim was scheduled to be a long one. Warmup was 1000 yds followed 4 100s, 3 800s, 300 yd pull, and 8 25s, finishing with a 200 cool down. This was by far the longest I had ever swum at one time (4500 yds or about 2.5 miles). I went easy for the warmups. When I got to the sets of 800, I went for length; counting my strokes the whole time. I averaged 19 throughout the 2400 yds which was great. I was able to finish the 4300 (no cool down as the pool closed) in about an hour and a half.

My focus was on point. I started to mull over what had happened this morning, but was forced to forget it as the sets got more intense and much more focus was required. It started to creep back in my head throughout the workout and again had to cast it aside in order to focus on my form, my counting, and my breathing.

I can't say that I am completely over things, but I am in a much better place mentally, because the thing on my mind right now is how much my triceps hurt and how hungry I am.

Song in my head "Why Can't I Be You" by The Cure. They played it on Dancing With The Stars (Mary Anna is obsessed with that show her favorite dancer is Mel B. from the Spice Girls).

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I'm Only Home In My Galaxie

Just got back from my friends, Odessah and Nannette's housewarming party. I wish I stayed all night. I was drinking some red wine and having a grand ole time but, it was time to leave. I am still off the bike. Each day I am feeling better, but, there is no need to rush because it is offseason, so I will wait. Thanks to Odessah, Nannette, Auntie Letty, and Uncle Ernie. What a party!

Song in my head Galaxie by Blind Melon off of "Soup"

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Much better

I had a good workout today. I swam 2900 yds. I started with a 300 yd. warmup, 4 200s pull, 8 100s, 200 kick, 6 100s, and a 200 yd. cooldown. Starting with the pull set, I just started stretching. I was hitting the wall on 15 and 16 strokes. As I kept going I kept getting 18s and 19s when I hit the wall. It wasn't a legendary performance but I felt back on track from Tuesday. I hate to say it but getting back on the Optygen may have been the trick. At least it put me in a better spot, mentally.

Also had my new seat installed yesterday. The fit is much much better. I have a few more days to rest it before I get back on, but I am very excited.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Don't want to but I have to...

I want to cycle in the worst way, but I am staying off for a few days. I am still getting a little pain in my knee and want it to heal fully before I get back on. It is really annoying to be training for next summer without actually training. Fortunately I can swim. No soreness from yesterday, which figures because I sucked. In the meantime, I am clearing off my desk of extra work in hopes to get back on the bike next week. Maybe I will run a bit. Probably not.

Ann Murray song my head today "No I Don't Think Time". Slow day.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

One Step Backward

After my elation of last Friday, I took the weekend off. I am not sacrificing fitness by doing it, and I am hoping to eliminate the pain in my knee. It's still here but perhaps getting better. I refuse to get on the bike until I am pain free.

Today I was back in the pool for 2600 yds. The first set was 4 200s, followed by 500 yds, then 6 200s at race pace. Again I didn't want to get in the pool but made it there. I can only describe the workout as SLUGGISH. I usually get to the wall at 19 strokes or less. Here 19 was the best I could possibly do. Most times I was hitting at 21 or more. I literally felt like someone was pulling me back or that the wall getting further and further away.

But how could that be? Friday was so great. During the swim I was searching for answers. Was I dogging it? No, I was working my a$$ off! Was I tired? Yeah but that's no excuse. Lazy? Sure, always. Was it because I had little breakfast? Maybe but not very likely. The only answer I could come up with was I had stopped taking my vitamins and Optygen for a few days since last week. I sort of slack off on the weekends as far as vitamins. I kind of vedge-out during football Saturdays and get distracted with church and family stuff on Sundays. No more. This is crazy. I'm back on the vitamins and the supplements religiously from now on.

Song in my head "Do You Love What You Feel?" Rufus and Chaka Khan "Stompin' At The Savoy"

Friday, November 2, 2007

I'm toast

Just got back from the gym. Very relieved to be finished and I feel great. Saying I did not want to go was an understatement. I went kicking and screaming. The whole thought of a swim workout was nauseating. Having to go to the gym, signing in, undressing, showering before the workout, then walking onto the pool deck freezing from the shower, getting into the cold pool and warming up all sounded awful to me. Plus, I had to complete the workout which, no doubt, would wear me out. My only positive thought would be how good it would feel going into the weekend knowing I completed two good cycles and a really good swim workout.

The workout went swimmingly. My warmup was 300 yds plus 300 yds as a drill (I chose fisting). My main set was to be 8 100s followed by another 8 100s at the best avg time of the previous 8. I then had to do 400 with just arms and a buoy and a 200 yd warmdown. In all 2800 yds. I had no stopwatch, so instead, I focused counting my strokes.

Because I was so anti-workout today, I decided I would lengthen my body as much as I could and go easy. The key today was smooth. My first warmup laps got me to the wall at 19 strokes. I had to have counted wrong, I thought, because I usually avg about 21. But it kept coming up as 19. As I got to my main set, I was regularly getting to the wall in 18 strokes very easily. So I then started to challenge myself and shoot for 17. I stretched and stretched and started hitting 17s with regularity. As it was happening, I started to get over the drudgery of the swim and really started to enjoy myself and the challenge of hitting 17s. I would say my average for the day was 18. As I got a little more tired, I started to get 19s and even a 20 or so on an easy lap.

But the workout was a success nonetheless. Counting strokes is one of the best ways a swimmer can use to achieve optimum form. Although it's never possible to have perfect form in the water, you are always trying to go further, faster, with less effort, and in the most efficient manner. That is, you should strive to glide like a fish rather than thrashing like a dog. A 17 stroke lap means that I was getting a good push off the wall, I was stretching my arms straight, and using my triceps to propel myself. It also means I was breathing by twisting my body rather than pulling it out of the water.

I am very happy with my performance today. 17 stokes was probably a number I hit only a few times before. I used to try to strive for under twenty. Now that I have a new goal, that's attainable, I can strive for making that my new norm, and thereby, ensuring better and better swim technique. Alright no more typing, my triceps are killing me.

Song in my head "Big Girls Don't Cry" Fergie but since that sucks I'm going to switch it to "Become the Enemy" Lemonheads because you gotta listen to their new album, its a masterpiece.

Whoever says "in shape" people don't get sick... a liar. I got a cold out of the blue Tuesday. I spent Wednesday with tissue up my nose (but I still cycled). Thursday was a swim day but I still felt like crap so I stayed away from the gym. Now I am scheduled to rest, but I am off to the gym. I have to admit, I do not want to go. The minute I got up, I did this morning yoga thing with Mary Anna to wake up. Then I just put my clothes in my bag, and took my vitamins. I also made my drinks the night before. These things help make the decision to go to the gym less cumbersome because everything is set up eliminating any excuse not to go. So I am dragging myself off to the gym. I DO NOT WANT TO GO! Just in case you did not know already.

The focus for the day, slow and smooth.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

I didn't swim yesterday because I was exhausted. But that's okay. My swimming was my strong suit by far, therefore, skipping a minor workout is okay to keep me fresh for today.

I'm a little sick today, my nose won't stop running. But instead of skipping a second day I got on the bike for the 1:16 I was prescribed. As always, my main concern on the bike is finishing the workout pain-free since my knees were keeping me on the shelf.

I definitely felt a little strain in the back of my knees during the ride so I stayed in a lower gear and just spun it out. But I was able to get through the entire 1:16. When I finished, I felt very good. The pain during the workout was more of a muscle soreness than a knee ligament or tendon pain. I was very tired but I am starting to get more comfortable on the bike.

It was a very encourtaging day. It's not every day that you see improvement in the training. Also, I am starting to get over the "bike is my overwhelming weakness" plateau. With the new sizing of my bike and the alleviation of pain, I am able to get two workouts in per week, minimum. Now I am becoming more comfortable on the bike. I am sensing my muscles that are needed for the bike getting stronger and the pain going away quicker. This is a great sign for me.

People always talk about setting clear, reachable goals for the season ahead to guide your training. At this point, I am not self-aware enough to know how good I am and how good I can be. I am still just starting to learn how to swim and cycle. It takes a lot of time in our busy lives to buy a bike, buy a trainer, a computer, to learn how to use all of those things, to start spending time in the saddle, to get over the muscle pains experienced from starting out from scratch. I've been at this for almost two years and I'm just starting to feel comfortable on the bike. Just starting.

The same with swimming. At first I couldn't find goggles that worked properly and my suit was way too loose and I could barely get from one end of the pool to the other. Now I'm averaging 1:40 per 100 yds. The thought of that was inconceivable even two months ago.

I guess the moral of the story is, you gotta keep at it. The Japanese use the term kaizen which means constant improvement. That has been the goal of my training; to constantly improve my swimming technique, to spend more time on the bike, and to squeeze a run in. Hopefully it pays off this summer.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Back on the Bike

After a few days off I was scheduled for an hour and a half on the bike. The bike has been a love/hate thing for me since I started training. It is my major weakness mainly because I've never cycled before and because living in Boston had made it difficult in the past. Plus I fell a bunch of times when I was first learning and it hurt. Now that I have an indoor trainer I have no excuse...right?

Yes and No. I was off the bike for a few weeks due to pain in my left knee. It turns out my seat was way to low thus crunching my outer calf muscles. The pain was getting worse the more time I spent in the saddle. Finally I shelled out some bucks to have my bike re-fit to my height and dimensions which has all but eliminated the pain. So right now I have been cycling until I feel the familiar pain and then getting off.

Hopefully I can just gradually build up the muscles at this pace for a while and be 100% pain free by late winter.

Today I did 70 minutes at a pretty good cadence for a relatively pain free workout. Tomorrow I swim so I should get some decent rest. I am glad I have been resting on Saturday and Sunday. We are still a good ways out from race time so the extra rest won't kill me and I can be ready for the week ahead. So far so good.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Art of War

"Every battle is won or lost before it is ever fought" - Sun Tzu The Art of War

"So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will win a hundred times in a hundred battles. If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you win one and lose the next. If you do not know yourself or your enemy, you will always lose - Sun Tzu The Art of War

Rest Day

I've found my two races for next year and signed up for one of them. I am doing the Lake Stevens Triathlon in Washington on July 6 and the Black Diamond Triathlon. Both are Half-Ironman distance and give me a good opportunity to know the races that I am gunning for well in advance. They are also well into the season which allows me the opportunity to book a few sprint races and an Olympic in time for the races. I am psyched.

Song in my head - Somebody Come and Play Today from the show "Play With Me Sesame" on TV.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Time trial

My workout today called for a time trial, which was to follow a good warm up. I was to swim for 1000 yds keeping a steady, race-like pace, but I was not supposed to go out so hard as to burn myself out by the end. At the end, I needed to figure out my avg. split time for each 100 yd. interval, which would give me a good estimate of my improvement. My previous best was 1:48, meaning I completed the 1000 yds. in 18:03.

I used to hate warming up thinking that I would tire myself out for the main set. That's such BS. Its impossible to swim at your best if you get in the water cold. I need to swim at least 300 yds. before I am used to the water.

After a good warmup, I started the main set, wayyyy fast. By 200yds., I was virtually out of breath and starting to struggle. By 300 I was checking the clock just in case I needed stop. At that point I realized I wouldn't finish unless I relaxed, focused on my breathing, and lengthened my body. By 700 I was still out of breath but swimming well and excited about the home stretch. I finished the set 16:43, crushing my previous time and averaging 1:40. Sick.

It was a great set, I really pushed myself and worked hard. Swimming is counter-intuitive, so when I say I worked hard, I mean worked hard mentally and stayed as calm and composed as I could. Therefore, I could go faster. When I got out of the pool, my lats (muscles in the back under the tricep) and triceps were shredded. My chest was pumping too. I musta done something right. Plus, I felt nothing in my shoulders which tells me my form was good.

Although I am physically shot, I am pretty pumped. Tomorrow I am scheduled to bike and Sunday I am scheduled to run. I haven't really worked out on the weekends much in favor of resting and getting set up for the week ahead. It'll be a gametime decision whether I get on the bike. I am supposed to do 3 hrs, but if I rest until Monday I may be better off.

To answer Veronica's comment - I don't really think about much underwater. I spend most of the time counting strokes from wall to wall. If I am swimming really well I can make it to the wall in 19 or 20 strokes. But my average is probably 21. If I am swimming poorly or losing focus I am more like 23 or 24. This topic deserves more discussion so I will come back to this over the weekend.

Off to see my niece and goddaughter who was born this morning. Kai'leia Doreen Corpuz 7lbs. 8 oz.

Here's a video of the Lemonheads song from before:

Song in my head - Who You Wit'? Jay-Z from "In My Lifetime, Vol. 1" I am so stuck in the 1990s its pathetic "Doe to get, More show to rip, I suggest you wanna roll with the clique, Who You Wit'? Frozen wrists, and flow's is sick, more 0's than you know exist @#$%^, Who You Wit'" Best rap song ever.

Friday was supposed to be a rest day...

But Thursday ended up being a rest day. So my swim test is today. I am a lot less sore today. Last night I did some pushups and ab work while watching the Red Sox in Game 2 because I was bored. Mary Anna adds some good resistance by jumping on my back during the pushups. She's tipping the scales at about 33 lbs now so its some good weight.

Some wise@$$ named Veronica was wondering if "talking to myself" is what gets me through the swim workouts. The quick answer is "sort of"... I spend a lot of time in the water counting. But I will write about that later on in the day. For now, here is a picture of my bike, isn't she a beaut?

Song In My Head - "Let's Just Laugh" Lemonheads from Lemonheads

Thursday, October 25, 2007


I'm a little bit slower today but I have an easy workout. Today I'm in the pool and after a typical warmup I go 1000 yds at race pace. Its supposed to tell me my avg. time over 100 yds. My last few times I have been hovering around the 1:46 - 1:48 range. I am not sure how much better I will be, but I don't care I just want to swim well. I might use a few flip turns. I need to start integrating them as part of my workout more often. After that, it's weights.

Oh and we're having a girl. Feel free to suggest names.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

We've moved

Just found the box Mary Anna was wrapped in

Done with Bike

I was supposed to ride for an hour...and I did. My schedule was for a 10 minute minute warmup and 5 sets (5 minutes hard and 3 minutes easy). Started to feel a little pain my knees, then I went easy for the rest of the workout. I feel great ready for the Red Sox, Game 1 of the World Series.

Swim Recovery, Some Bike, and a Surprise

Yesterday I swam 4000 yds. 400 warmup, 5 sets (500 yds, 100yds, 50 yds sprint, 50 yds off stroke) 100 cool down. This was my longest workout ever. By the beginning of the second set thought my arms were going to fall off. I started talking to myself at the beginning because I was sure I could not make. By the middle sets I felt better and better. By the end, the sense of accomplishment was awesome. Did some weights too but very light weight, just enough to move the blood around.

Today I feel good, but pretty tired. I have an hour on the bike and some running but will only be able to squeeze it in. I will go easy and keep a close eye on my knees to make sure the soreness does not return.

First Post

I wanted to create this blog as a way to write down my training thoughts as I prepare for my races. A bit of background. My name is Dennis, I am 31, married with a 2 and 1/2 year old daughter. I started training in early 2006 because I started feeling like it was getting too late to get in great shape (and I had always wanted to try a triathlon). I started on the exercise bike at the gym, and went into the pool a few times for a few laps and thought it might be fun. A friend soon told me, "Just sign up for a race, by then you will be committed." The rest is history.

In 2006 I did 3 races (shoulda been four). The longest distance I completed was a grueling International distance triathlon which set me on my way. My performance was horrible. I could barely swim. I was one of the worst cyclists in the race (each time I raced), and I could not run since the bike would usually kick my butt.

I worked out throughout the Fall of 2006 and Winter of 2007. Swimming started to become my strong suit as I focused on "swimming pretty". I was soon training at a half-Ironman level and cycling and running at a much better pace. Due to a cross country move I was unable to compete in any races in 2007, but I am ready to go for 2008.

I joined Team Blazeman which raised money and awareness for ALS research (Lou Gehrig's disease more on that later). Through the team I recieved free training workouts through and D3Multisport. My only problem was I started to get rundown from fatigue, and getting distracted by a million other things. It became very easy to talk myself out of working out or getting bogged down by work, family and whatnot. This blog is here for me to put my boring thoughts down and keep me focused on training. Feel free to email me comments or suggestions. Other than that, ENJOY!