Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day 20

Today's bike was pretty good. Another good day of balance between the glute muscles and pushing and pulling on the pedals.

2.5 hours is still a long time on the bike and keeping my focus is difficult. When the weather improves and I can get outside I'm sure things will be much better. Until then this is good practice in patience and focus.

Todays swim was great. The pain in my left shoulder was gone. I'll definitely stay conscious of it but it was nice to feel smooth in the water.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Day 19

Today I wasn't very motivated to get on my butt and hit the trail. Originally I was going to run early in the morning but due to the unpleasantly cold weather I waited around until around noon when the temps reached their hight for the day to hit the trail. In the morning instead I decided to cook the weeks meals. I made homemade chicken noodle soup and hobo soup. They both turned out splendid.

As noon got closer I was losing my motivation to hit the trail. Not sure what my deal has been recently but doing anything has been more of a struggle than I would like. I knew if I was going to get this run in I'd have to do it far away from where I could easily escape so I decided to run around the lakes. This wound up being a wise choice because otherwise I would have curled up in a ball on my couch and drank coffee all day.

The run was nice except for my obnoxious HRM. In the first hour it kept misreading my heart rate because of the cold weather. It was so cold I couldn't sweat so it would read my heart rate around 165 bpm one second and then about 3 seconds after that I would be down to 130 or so. Completely sporadic. I decided to block it out until I got done which turned out to be the wise move. Sadly, I missed my goal of 13 miles in the two hours by 0.08 miles. I'll get it next time.

Day 18

Nice little tempo swim. Nothing much to speak of except my left tricep and shoulder started to ache near the end of the tempo swims. Something I definitely need to keep an eye on.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Day 17

I'm still extremely exhausted. I got about 30 minutes into the workout and just can't stomach doing the remaining hour. I need to keep my HR in the 129-149 range and in the 30 minutes I did I struggled to keep it near 130 with it lingering around 124 most of the time. I think it's time for some R&R.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Day 16

I finally had to cut a workout a bit short. I was so wiped out I couldn't weight lift after my 1.5 hour run. But I did manage to get the run in. For the run I had to treadmill it because wind chills were around -18°F which is not something I felt like doing. Unfortunately I forgot my Garmin at home so there's no record of my having done it. Guess you'll have to take this one on faith.

Instead of weight lifting I downed two Chipotle burritos with room to spare. A fair tradeoff I'd say.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Day 15

I didn't sleep well last night (what else is new?) but still managed to drag myself out of bed this morning for the days swim.

Warm up: 100 swim. 4x50 on 30 sec rest. Main Set: 1x700 on 2 min rest, 3x100 on 10 sec rest. 6x25 kick on 20 sec rest. Warm down: 50 easy.

The 700 was a challenge but I'm feeling the endurance and smoothness coming back. After a 2 minute rest I hammered out the 100's and they felt fantastic. My form and stroke were both strong and my feet felt almost in perfect rhythm with the flow of the water.

This evening's bike was a killer. Getting my heart rate into zone 4 is more challenging than I remember. I had to jump the bike into the big front ring and pedal with a lot of force for about 10 minutes to get into zone 4. Then I had to stay there for another 55 minutes. Let me just say that this is no simple task. I'd write more but am completely demolished from the bike. I have got to eat. Until tomorrow.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day 13

In order to get in todays swim (300 swim, 300 pull, 300 kick, 100 cool down) I bought my woman a massage. While she was getting pampered I was pumping out the laps. The swim was good. It was at Life Time Fitness in Minnetonka. The luxury club that costs a monthly fortune to attend. But spa guests get in for free. Seeing as my woman (and I kind of) were spa guests we got in for no charge. The massage cost me roughly $100 but still it was worth it.

After my woman [sadly] left back home for Chicago I hopped on the bike for my 2 hour spin. This was actually great today. This was my first time on the new Fi'zi:k saddle and it was great. No numb body parts. Just a sore butt on the sit bones. Exactly what was needed. I'm pumped to try this out. I can probably stand for a few adjustments but still it was a much better ride than that crap saddle I was riding in.

Day 12

This was an interesting long run. My woman was in town from Chicago so she and I met up with some friends of mine that she already knows and we hit the lakes. My friends went an hour but I had an extra half hour to go so I pumped out Lake Harriet twice.

It generally isn't a big deal but there was freezing rain so it made for quite an adventure. No one twisted an ankle or got hurt otherwise but I did manage to see a lady slip and fall into the snow banks. She didn't get hurt so I felt like it was okay to laugh at her. I would expect the same from anyone if I were the one who fell.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Day 11

This was a really tough tempo swim. 1000 yds total as follows:

Warm up
100 easy swim/100 pull/ 4x25 on 30 sec rest

Main Set
3x200 fast broken at the 50's for 15 sec all on rest of 1 min

Warm down
100 easy

It was the main set that broke me. I thought what I'd do was take the 50's as hard as I comfortably could. By the end of the first 200 I wanted to pack my bags and call it a week but just as I convinced myself to step out of the pool another thought popped into mind. It was a saying I like to say to myself but usually in the heat of the moment forget about:

Pain is weakness leaving the body.

It was at that moment I decided to fight the desire to hop out of the pool and battle through the pain. And I'm glad I did. The rest of the swim was horridly painful but in the end I feel a lot stronger and better for it. Here's to the weekend.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 10

I had a case of insomnia this morning so decided to kick the day off with my aerobic spin. My mind wasn't there. Neither was my motivation. But I got it done and can look forward to the rest of the day. Especially the 50 minute tempo run after work. Here's hoping the work day goes smoothly.

Got the tempo run done. Just over 6.5 miles in 55 minutes. Not half shabby. What I need to find out is how to get that distance in around 45 minutes. Now that would be a real trick.

Day 9

Nice 1 hour aerobic run. This time it helped clear my mind. I've been worrying a lot recently. Not about anything in particular. Just life in general causing a lot of angst. I wish I could pin point it.

If I had to guess it would be general dissatisfaction with my job, where my professional life is right now, the fact that for my education, experience and position I'm undercompensated and as far as mathematicians go, according to the Federal Department of Labor Statistics, I'm being paid in the lower 10%. It makes me feel both angry and fearful. At least I have exercise to help take care of some of that until review time.

Regardless, here's the run I did today. It was a bit chilly on the way out but much more comfortable on the way back.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Day 8

Yesterdays workout was a bit messed up. I swam the 1500 yds in the pool in the morning but had to run to the auto repair shop to pick up my car. I even somehow managed to keep a sub-7:00/mile pace running there too. That was a lot of fun. But the run really messed up my spin. I went home to spin and gave up after 10 minutes. Maybe I'll do the spin today.

On more fun news the car works great. I'm $1,000 poorer now but it definitely could be much worse.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day 6

2.5 hour spin. I'm heading to the gym right now for the swim. Should be fun.

The spin went very well. Good balance of glute muscles and quads. That's amazingly encouraging. Got to keep this trend going.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Day 5

Today's long run. I really enjoy this route. Today I started at the club and instead of following the regional trail out to Excelsior and Lake Minnetonka and I originally planned I decided to run it the other way to Excelsior Blvd. From there I picked up the Cedar Lake trail and followed that through the calm and peaceful neighborhoods in St. Louis Park toward downtown Minneapolis.

It was a beautiful day with nothing but the sun keeping me warm and being a part of nature. There's something about running along railroad tracks that's really peaceful. Not sure what that is but today, from the moment I started until I was done and even past that I've been feeling very spiritually connected. Today is a great day.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Day 4

Today's end-of-week workout was a nice short 500 yd tempo swim. It took me literally 10 minutes. It was a 200 yd warm up followed by 8x25 yd sprints on 45 sec rest and a 100 yd cool down.

At the end of the day, not a bad first week. Nice and easy entry back into the game. This weekend I've got my work cut out for me. Saturday won't be too difficult with a 75 minute easy run in Zone 3.

Sunday is another creature all together. I need to figure out how if I want to turn this into a brick or not. It's a swim & and bike but clearly cannot do the swim at home and ride my bike afterword. Likewise, I'd like to spin on my bike but cannot take it with me to the gym. And I cannot fathom spending 150 minutes in the stationary cycle room listening to my iPod. I'll get it figured out one way or another.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 3

90 minute bike today. I survived. This is definitely my weakest link. Can't wait for my new saddle to come in. Another season on this one (Bontrager Race X Lite) is almost horrid to think of.

Here's todays tempo run. Ironically I ran exactly the same distance I did yesterday but 5 minutes quicker and in zone 4. So that's all 1 higher HR zone saves me? 5 minutes every hour? Guess I never knew that. On a more fun note I saw a deer in the trail while I was running. It was peeing right on the trail. Classy.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Day 2

A little 50 minute Zone 3 run (née, jog) and some weight lifting. Not a bad workout. I have to keep reminding myself it's early and I took some serious time off.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The First Day

Well, technically yesterday was the first day but it was a scheduled day off so nothing to report there.

Today was an aerobic swim in the AM and a tempo ride in the PM. The swim, a total of 1000 yds, was very easy. Welcomingly easy in fact.

The bike was another story. It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that the bike is my weak link. I'm not olympic swimmer but am fairly good at it. And running is my forte. Biking I do because I have to and compound that with some horrible muscle imbalances and it's simply dreadful. Fortunately my glutes are leagues better than they were this time last year but I've still got a long way to go to be efficient. Today's bike was a 60 minute tempo. Not bad all in all. Can't wait to ramp things up.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

So Much For That Plan

You ever have those days where you wake up and you just know some strangeness is going to go down? Take Mondays for instance. Monday, like any other work day, involves all the usual prep work, you then get to the office, do your stuff, come home and call it a day. However, this particular Monday, as your planning out your day, you notice there's no hot water for the shower and your house has mysteriously moved 10 miles further from the office. These things aren't necessarily bad but they definitely take the "ordinary" out of the day.

Such is the case with 2010 so far. I've had the plan to follow the Tri-Fuel 36-week Ironman training program with some of my friends to get ready for Madison this year. As of a week ago that got thrown up on its head. Thanks to the overly generous people at HeadSweats (and my woman) I have been given a comprehensive Ironman training program with a personal trainer through markallenonline. There simply aren't words to describe what kind of amazing gift this is

It does however leave me a bit flummoxed. Prior to this wonderful gift I had all of 2010 planned out from beginning to end. I knew the races I'd do, my entire workout regimen, where I'd go to do what workout, what time to get up in the AM, etc. It was very static and predictable. Things we human beings enjoy having: predictability. It adds comfort and takes stress away. Now it's all up in the air. Fluid. Dynamic. Ever changing. Unpredictable.

And now my race schedule is a bit off. I had my first race (a sprint tri) being in early June. Now, because of the new training I'm schedule for a half IM on May 8. Clearly not around here because it's not a 1.2 mile waddle on the ice, 56 mile snowmobile ride and 13.1 mile ski event. It's down at Panama City Beach, FL. Though the added expense isn't something I'm looking forward to, my woman will be able to go and I'll be able to visit with my parents on the following day, May 9, which coincidentally happens to be Mother's Day.

This new plan starts Monday. Today I'm getting a VO2 test done and hopefully buying a new 130mm stem for my bike (doubtful but we'll see) and a new saddle because mine is a POS.