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!