Thursday, October 16, 2008

2008-2009 Begins Tomorrow Officially

Well I am back into the swing of things. I am looking at 2008-2009 in a similar manner as perhaps I would have looked at business school a few years back. I am now officially over the "hey, isn't this great I am working out" sensation. I am more looking at this upcoming year as an opportunity to build off of last year's base and get better at multisports.

After the last race in mid September, I relaxed for a few weeks, got back into my work, spent a lot of time with the kids (giving Adrienne a break), and drank a few dozens bottles of wine. The time off helped me heal up the knee and seal up the preceding. I then started thinking about what I wanted to improve upon this year. I need to get stronger, faster, and be in better shape for my races. This seems simple enough, but in the sport of triathlon achieving those goals requires a lot of work. While last year I was seemingly holding on for dear life during my races, this year I would like to attack the races and push through my previous times.

Right now I am in the weight room for about an hour three days a week (M,W,F) for the first time in a few years. I am just working on basic movements such as bench press, squats, chin-ups, dips and a few others that work muscles I need for the race. On off days I am in the pool working on kicking drills for the swim. Although the swim is my strength, my kick is weak. I basically do a breast stroke kick right now, which I would like to correct. If I can get more proficient with my flutter kick and get stronger I think I can be a lot faster in training and that will translate to faster in the race. This my third week on the program and I feel a lot better. I am constantly sore, so I am certainly doing the right thing and I am starting to get better at the kick.

This is what I am calling my pre-training phase. Once I get comfortable at this level I will begin bringing actual workouts into play and maintaining what I have done so far. But that should fall into place later. In the meantime, I have my first phone conversation with my coach for 2009 so wish me luck.

Song in my head: Shimmer by Fuel

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Season Rewind 2008

I am about a month removed from my final race of the season, the Black Diamond Half Ironman in Enumclaw WA. This race, unlike the July race was a success. I spent the intervening two months getting on my bike and getting some great long rides in. I also did some solid runs and even some bike/run bricks.. I didn't do much swimming, however, but had a few lake swims, so I was okay.

The portion was pretty hard and although I finished with a respectable 42 minutes, I suspect I was a little slower than normal. The bike was a daunting task but I was up for it. I got through the first 34 or so miles in an hour and a half and made it through my second loop in three and a half hours. I was extremely happy to finish the bike and I felt in great shape to start running. I was a little nervous because of a painful IT Band problem in my left leg. That forced me to run/walk the 13 miles but I finished in 7 hrs and 19 minutes.

The race capped a long season of training and stress but surprisingly I was in decent shape in the following days. I learned that I had to embrace my training and try to tackle the tasks I did not want to do. I also learned that a triathlon is a long race with lots of problems and pitfalls. It takes a clear head and a mentally prepared mind to get through it. But it is well worth the effort.

Stick around in the upcoming days to find out what 2009 has in store. Thanks for reading. Dennis