Friday, February 29, 2008

February 2008

What a great month. It started out with my taking the running lactate threshold test. I can't harp enough on how great HR training is. Even if you don't tri, it is an excellent way to train. Before I forget, today is the last day you can vote for Sarah! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for my homegirl!!! Woo hoo!!

With the 2900 meters I did in the pool this morning, I swam 10.5 miles this month. I uped my Tuesday workout to 2500 meters, and I am in the process of uping my Friday swim into the 3500+ meter range.

I ran for 47 miles, about half the distance I was running during marathon training. Why not go into maintenance mode and keep my long run above 13.1? The answer is because I am doing so many other things. I need to balance my effort with strength, swimming, and cycling. I know I could go out and run 13.1 miles tomorrow, but I ain't. Last week tore me up and spit me into Monday. This week, my muscles are tired, but good, and I'm looking forward to my recovery week.

Purchasing the cycling trainer was a God-send. I don't know HOW I would have gotten in all the cycling training without it. I cycled 163.4 miles in February, and a good portion of that was on the trainer. My cycling legs are starting to feel strong again.

Oh, forgot to mention, yesterday, during my brick, not only did I get into "form" off the bike a lot quicker, I managed a 10:20 pace while keeping my HR in zone 2. More progress!!

Everyone have a great weekend! I'll be lurking :-)


OCN: 15.2 miles, 1 hour, ~15.2 mph
ORN: 1.55 miles, 16 minutes, 10:20 mmp

OSN: 2900 meters, 1:10:00, 1x300 SW, 200 kick (WU), 4x300 (100 SW, 100K, 100SW), 1x600, 16x25 (build every 2), 1x200 c/d
Strength: 30 minutes

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Resistance is Futile

It has been decreed.

I will no longer ponder the mystery of the trainer.

For the first time, work conspired against me to interrupt my regularly scheduled programming. I'm all dressed out, ready to head downstairs, and the dreaded email comes in.

Wes, there is a conference call at 2:30 PM. You need to be on it.

Damn!! I sit in my workout clothes for another thirty minutes, then participate in the conference call. By the time its over, and I've wrapped up some work I was doing, it was almost time to head home. I stopped by the office gym on the way out and FLEW through my strength session. Lower weights. Faster turnaround. I was outta there in twenty-five minutes. Just what a mashed up pile of man-meat needed.

When I got home, Dee Dee had dinner almost finished. Woo hoo!! Another night off from cooking. After dinner, it was back to the budget crisis. What is it that Dave Ramsey says? I got more month than money (and big plans too, don't ya know :-) Dee Dee and I completed our first pass at a budget. Around 9:30 PM, I realized, Uh oh, I haven't ridden my bike for an hour yet!

I hooked up my bike. I spin, spin, spin. Didn't even look at my watch for the first thirty minutes. Kept my heart rate in low-low zone two and got the full hour in feeling good. Thing is, I added another mile to my time: 19.3 to be exact (last time was 18.1). I have now succumbed to the odyssey that is the trainer. I have no idea what the hell is up. I do know, I like the trend :-)


P.S. Don't forget to vote for Sarah for Team EvoTri!! Information can be found here!

Strength: 25 minutes
OCN: 19.3 miles (trainer), 1 hour, ~19.3 mph

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Hitting the Numbers

Yesterday was another day of "form" workout at the pool. Next up? Endurance Form Workout #2. It just so happens that set B is 2500 meters and fits almost perfectly into the forty five minutes of allotted time.

Now, I don't know about you, but doing four form drills and the rest endurance sets just seems a little bit lopsided to me, but I digress...

Four hundred meter warm up... Just kind of took it easy... After that, came 8x50 with the first twenty five meters being right arm/left arm only, alternating intervals, with the second twenty five meters being build. Swimming with one arm is fun, but slow. It teaches you how to hold your breath in an entirely new way!

The lopsided endurance drills went as follows:

1x400 @ T+6 w/20 sec rest
2x200 @ T+2 w/15 sec rest
1x400 @ T+6 w/20 sec rest
4x100 @ T w/15 sec rest

Then a 100 meter cool down.

For me, the four hundred meter sets would have come in around 7:04. I came in at 6:40 and 6:56 respectively. I tried REAL HARD to slow it down a bit for the second set. The 200's should have come in around 3:24 for me. I came in at 3:19 and 3:20 respectively. All of my 100's came in at T-1 or T-2. I think I'll need a new T-Test soon :-)

When I got home, I made a scrumptious meal of hot dogs, baked beans, and macaroni salad for dinner. This budding chef needs an easy night cooking once in a while. After dinner, I worked on my budget. I'm about half way done. Who knew that budgets were so damn difficult? I'm not even trying to live by it yet!!

Around ten till nine, I figured I better get my run in. I cranked up the treadmill until I hit my aerobic threshold (AeT). I was surprised that I was going a half mile an hour faster then last week. My euphoria was short lived however. About half way through my run, I began to tank. By the end of the run, I had to lower my pace to five miles per hour to keep my heart rate in the zone.

Dee Dee came home from work and tried to have a conversation with me, but I was just knackered :-). You could have knocked me over with a feather. This training stuff is like building muscle, but on a macro cycle. You know. Tear the muscle down so you can rebuild it stronger. This hunk-a-hunk of triathlete is going to be a mush pile of man-meat by the end of the week. To reconstitute, just add rest and beer :-)

Happy Wednesday, y'all!


OSN: 2500 meters, 52 minutes, 1x400 w/u, 8x50 drills, 1x400, 2x200, 1x400, 4x100, 1x100 c/d
ORN: 3.5 miles, 40 minutes, 11:38 mmp

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Power of Two

K!? I got tagged by someone who spends more time loaded then she does locked :-) Awwwwww.... I quack me up! ROFL!!! I guess it just depends on what you are "loaded" with while training for the freakin Ironman?!? eh? All the way, baby!!! Ya hear me!! Woo hoo!!

Two Names You Go By: Wes and dumb ass. I really don't have a preference ;-)

Two Things You Are Wearing Right Now: My fifteenth anniversary wedding band given to me by my bride and bestest friend. It has seven little diamonds in it. My Ironman Timex watch. The cheaper version, but I {heart} it. Reminds me everyday of why I do this.

Two things you want (or have) in a relationship: Honesty, brutal if necessary, to be the most important person in her life, and vice a versa.

Two of Your Favorite Things to do: You want me to narrow it down to two? Triathlon and trying to cook new dishes. I emphasize the word "trying"!!

Two things you did last night: Read Steps 4 and 5 of the Total Money Makeover. (No, I haven't done step one yet, don't ask). Made sweet love for six hours straight. What? Six minutes? Fine!! K.M.A :-)

Two people you Last Talked To: My boss and my son. We had some nasty storms come through this morning and I had to warn the young man about downed trees and power outages and such.

Two Things You're doing tomorrow: Too easy! Tomorrow is cycling for me, probably on the trainer, and... I am working on my budget (which IS step one, by the way!)

Two Longest Car Rides: I drove from Mobile Alabama to Oklahoma City Oklahoma in one day cause the stupid hotel in Dallas wouldn't let a teenager rent a room. Those bastards!!! Dee Dee and I drove from Fort Lauderdale to Tallahassee the day we got back from our honeymoon because SOMEBODY forgot to rent a room. Evidently, the entire state of Florida was booked. Okay!! IT WAS MEEEEEEE!!!

Two Favorite Drinks: Oh, God help me... Beer and Gin w/tonic. Lucky for me, I'm quitting. Yea, right! I got property to sell you too!! But really. I wanna quit and be like TriguyJt... Even though it is all about me :-) His characterization fits me perfectly: one beer was too many and 30 were not enough.

Two Things About Me you may not have known: I don't socialize in real life very much. That is one of the reasons I enjoy all my bloggy buds company. I can ride my bike backwards. One of these days, I'm going to tri like that! ROFL!!!

Two jobs I have had in my life: I have been a whopper flopper at Burger King. I used to do dealer exchanges for my uncle's car dealership.

Two Movies I would watch over and over: Oh, I could just go on and on. Starship Troopers, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Titanic, Ghosts, The Sixth Sense... blah, blah. I almost NEVER see a movie in the theaters.

Two of my favorite foods: All things Mexican, and Red Beans and Rice/Jambalaya.

Two places I'd rather be right now: In my dream home on the beach of Kuai'i, or on my bike in a warm but not hot place on a sixty-ish mile ride!

As I mentioned, we had bad storms come through here this morning. I'm not sure what the rules are regarding swimming in underground pools during thunder and lightning, but I passed. I am going to stop on the way home and get in my 45 minute swim. I'll run at Matthew's soccer practice.

If you wanna be tagged with this, consider yo self tagged!


Streaking Note: Walked 1.9 miles, 32 minutes, Hill Walk Program/Treadmill

Monday, February 25, 2008

Dialing it In

Last week was one of those "WOW!" weeks. My mileage isn't all that great, as my actual training times are short, but the number of sessions sure has caught up with me. I did six two a day sessions last week, including three brick workouts. By the time I woke up for my training ride Saturday morning, I had quivering thighs of jell-o. I was NOT looking forward to the pain.

Good thing I was taking it easy! I mean, that is what this heart rate training thing is all about. Right? When you are tired, run down, and your legs are shot, the HRM will keep you honest, dialed into the proper zone without killing yourself. The best I could muster on this 1 hour jaunt was a 14.2 mph average in 45 degree weather. It was a damp, chilly, painful, but still, a good ride. Funny, but the run off afterwards felt even better. Despite the hills, I managed a 10:45 pace with the hills and running in zone 2. I am getting stronger, and I feel it.

Sunday rolls around and I'm dreading the 45 minute run. I put it off until late in the afternoon to give myself as much rest as possible. I even went back to Hobgood Park to run around the baseball fields. Flat was just plain better for my thighs. I ended up having one of THOSE runs. You know, where you are just feeling awesome, tuned in, zoning. I kept my heart rate dialed into my Aerobic Threshold (AeT, 148-153 bpm) the entire time and was very pleased with my 10:30 over all pace. I actually FELT like I was running the entire 45 minutes.

Do you guys get the email newsletters from If not, there is a fantastic article on how to dial in your nutrition for performance and weight loss as an athlete. It is the most clear and concise article I have yet to come across. I plan to put it into action ASAP. You can find the article here.

Homegirl Sarah has made it into the final round of voting for!! Woo hoo!! Way to go Sarah!!! This is our last chance to rally the troops and win Sarah the spot she deserves on this team. Email with 'Sarah McKibben - Final Round' in the subject line. I am VERY THANKFUL for all your help! You guys R-O-C-K!!!


OCN: 15.2 miles, 1:04:14, ~14.2 mph
ORN: 2.4 miles, 30 minutes, ~10:45 mmp
ORN: 4.25 miles, 45 minutes, ~10:30 mmp

Friday, February 22, 2008

Short but Sweet

Due to the wonderful rain we've been having here in Georgia over the last two days, I was shunted off onto the trainer last night. Its getting a bit harder to stay focused while pedaling away. Maybe I need a book stand or something? I'm still trying to figure out what's the deal with the cyclo-computer as well. I start out in the 20-22 mph range, and then, when my heart rate final gets up there (around five minutes), I settle into a comfortable 17-18 mph range. Weird!

After the ride, its onto the treadmill for a fifteen minute run off. I have learned that if you try to hit your running form ASAP after getting off the bike, you recover faster! In the past, I've kind of hobbled along :-)

I did my first 3000 meter swim workout of the season this morning. Endurance 2 Set A. Woo hoo! I did an A :-D Huge warm up and cool down, then two times a long interval starting at 200 and going up to four hundred, with a fast 100 between each distance. It made the time go by quickly, and I felt really good getting out of the water today!

Everyone have a fantastic weekend. Don't forget to go by and vote for Sarah!!


OCN: 14.4 miles, 45 minutes, ~19.2 mph
ORN: 1.4 miles, 15 minutes, ~10:53 mmp
OSN: 3000 meters, 60 minutes, 6x75 w/u, 2x200, 1x100, 2x300, 1x100,2x400, 1x100, 6x75 c/d

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Damn You Zone Two!!

And Your Little Hills Too!!

I know you guys are getting tired of me harping and/or complaining about all the darn hills in my neighborhood. I'm sure you'll be happy to know that I am waving the white flag of surrender. {hangs head} That's right. I'm quitting!

I took Aerowyn down by the lake in a neighborhood called Victoria Landing, thinking it might be a leeeetle flatter. Fuhgid aboud it! Nothing but up and down up and down repeat at your whimsy. That's why I'm surrendering. I will no longer even attempt to keep my heart rate in zone two while biking in my neighborhood. From now on, its just take it easy.

My heart rate hit 156 people! That's like Zone 7!?!?! WTH??

All is not lost...

Due to my demanding schedule, I worked it out with Dee Dee. I can now bring my bike to work on Thursdays (but not today, its raining). Get here early. Brick for lunch. Back home in time to take the munchkin to soccer practice. Works for me. Works for Dee Dee. Works for Matthew. Dee Dee rocks :-) That means I'll be out on Columns Drive for an hour during lunch on Thursdays! It will be a blast. And flat...

Homegirl Sarah has made it through to the second round. She, and I, thank you all for your support! Round 2 voting is under way. You need to help me put this woman in her rightful place!!! Which is a highly valued member of Team EvoTri!!! You can do this by sending an email to Put 'Sarah McKibben - Round 2' in the subject.

Now that I think about it, I upped my weights during strength training yesterday before my ride. Me thinks that had something to do with the cruel and unusual punishment I subjected myself to?!?

We are over the hump! Weekend, dead ahead!!


OCN: 15 miles, 1 hour, 15 mph

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Last Chance to Vote

Voting ends tonight in the first round of the EVOTRI video contest. For exact information on what this is, see my last post. Sarah needs your vote! You can find details on how to cast your vote here.

After the first week of training, my sorry carcass is settling into its rhythm. I got up a little bit early yesterday again and hit the pool. My goal, as far as swimming goes, is to get to 2400-2600 meters worth of drills and form work on Tuesdays, and then go long on Fridays with something in the 3000+ meter range. I'm just not going to have much time after Florida Ironman 70.3 to ramp up my swimming for the 5K open water swim.

Yesterday's swim was some fun stuff. I took a 3600 meter swim set and scaled it back to suit my needs. It basically involved a 600 meter warmup, then 150 meters of drills, followed by a 300 meter interval to lock it in. It went well. I did 2400 meters in about 52 minutes.

I followed up my swim with a thirty minute run in the afternoon at Hobgood Park. The temp was about 47 degrees, but the wind was blistery! I left my Garmin and my heart rate monitor at home. I took advantage of this to turn in three 10 minute miles... Hee, hee. So sorry :-)

Today is strength and bike. I'm hoping to ride outside when I get home.

L8r, gators!


OSN: 2400 meters, 52 minutes, 600 w/u, 1650 drills and intervals, 150 meter c/d
ORN: 3 miles, 30 minutes, ~10 mmp

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Help Me, Please!

I don't ask for favors very often, but in this case, its kind of important. My home girl, Sarah, had her video entry accepted into the top ten videos for the EVOTRI age group triathlon team that is being put together via Iron Wil and the Internet.

Sarah is one of the first bloggers that I had the pleasure of meeting. What she has accomplished over the past few years has been nothing short of amazing. In order for Sarah to make the team, we need to vote for her video in this, the first round. By all means, go by and look at all the videos, but you'll see why Sarah's story is personal, inspiring, and uber motivating.

You can get the details on how to vote for Sarah here.

Thanks a bunch!!!


Monday, February 18, 2008

ROOOad Trip!!

I had a good trip down to Pensacola this weekend. We got down there fairly early (9:30 PM local time) and managed to get situated and grabbed a snack. We went to bed early because Matthew's first game was at 8 AM in the morning. A covey of cackling hens in the room behind me kept me up most of the night. I finally called the front desk and had them put a stop to it around 3 AM.

We met my father at the fields at 8 AM. While Matthew was going through his 30 minute pre-game, I did a brisk 2 mile walk around the park to get in my "workout". It's kind of cheesy, but it counts, right? Matthew tied his first game, even though his team played better (a recurring theme). We went back to the hotel to get Dad situated, then it was off to lunch and Matthew's 12:30 game. Matthew scored the one and only goal in that game, defeating their opponents one to nothing.

Since we had already eaten lunch, we headed right over to the naval museum. I thought for sure Matthew would want to spend the rest of the afternoon there. That's one of the reasons I left my bike at home. As it were, Matthew as tired after a couple of hours and was ready to leave. We had a really good time there.

For dinner ,we headed across the bay to Pensacola Beach. There were a ton of people there enjoying the warm 70 degree weather. We drove four or five miles along the beach, looking for a place to eat. It was gorgeous, and I was kicking myself in the arse for not bringing my bike again. Eventually, we found a nice place to eat before heading back to the hotel. I fell asleep at 7 PM local time and didn't get back up again.

Sunday morning, I was up at 6 AM to get my run in. I made the mistake of wearing my long sleeve shirt to run in, and I sweated the entire way! I think I did about 4.25 miles in 47 minutes. I found it still hard to keep my heart rate in Zone 2, despite the flatness of the location. One thing I figured... I probably should have brought something to drink, as dehydration definitely affects your heart rate.

Matthew lost his semi-final game to a team from Mobile (my home town). They just couldn't score, despite spending most of the game in their opponents part of the field. We got out of their just before the bad weather came through. The tornadic thunderstorms chased us all the way back to Atlanta.

To make up for the missed long bike on Saturday, I woke up early this morning and hit the trainer. I put in 18 miles in one hour. I think I'm going to have to play with the resistance to keep the level of effort consistent. I had a hard time getting my heart rate up into zone 2. I followed this up with a thirty minute run (all run) on the treadmill for 2.65 miles. My legs fully recovered this time in about four tenths of a mile. I was very successful at keeping my HR consistent.

Hope everyone had a great weekend! I'll try not to be so long winded this week (Pokey ;-)!!


ORN (Sunday): 4.25 miles, 47 minutes, ~11 mmp
OCN (Trainer): 18 miles, 60 minutes, 18 mph
ORN: 2.65 miles, 30 minutes, ~11:20 mmp

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Land of Blah (ROFL!!)

Controlling your heart rate on a trainer is easy peasy. Controlling your heart rate on your bike in my neighborhood? Not so easy.

I had anticipated another trainer ride last night, followed by a fifteen minute run-off on the treadmill. What I had not anticipated, and maybe I should have, was (yet) another boring ass day at work. I was just unable to bank more hours for my early day Friday (today). I left on time, and got home early.

Promptly after arriving home, I abandoned Matthew to his friends and hit the road on Aerowyn. It quickly became evident that my trainer workout Wednesday was a good one. I could feel the effort in my thighs. I tried real hard to keep my heart rate in zone 2, but with those hills, it was all but impossible. I compensated by spinning easy, mustering a measly 14.2 mph average over the 50 minute bike ride.

When I got back to the house, I changed into my running clothes and began my run off. More hills, hills, hills! I did a much better job on my run at controlling my heart rate. My legs seemed to recover a lot quicker this time than they had in the past. I was able to kick it in after about half a mile. Most important, the running felt almost normal. I ran 1.4 miles in about 17 minutes at a very easy pace. Actually, I started out real slow, then picked up the pace as my legs adapted.

This morning, it was up and early for my first ever Swim Workout in a Binder! LOL!! I did the Endurance 1B workout. It took me 52 minutes to do 2400 meters. It was different. It was fun, and I got in a good workout. For most of the workout, I had a really cool swimmer chica in the lane next to me. We weren't competing or anything, but it was nice watching her form and seeing how she was using her training aides (and for the record, no, I wasn't checking her out ;-).

Alrighty, good people! I'm off to Pensacola FL for the weekend. Ryan calls it the Land of Blah :-) Ryan is a funny dude. I'm from that part of the country. It really is a beautiful place. There just ain't much happenin, especially in winter. I can empathize with him :-) Matthew has three soccer games this weekend. In his honor, I decided to move my bike ride to Monday. I think I can get away with it as I'm in the base phase of my plan, and its early.

Have a fantabulous weekend, y'all! I'll see ya on Monday!!


OCN: 12 miles, 52 minutes, ~14.2 mph
ORN: 1.4 miles, 17 minutes, ~12:08 mmp
OSN: 2400 meters, 52 minutes, 400 meter w/u (drills), MS 400, 200, 100 (MOD), 200, 100, 50 (negative split), 200, 100 FAST, 6x100 RI :25, 1x100 C/D

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Now is Good

The question was asked as to why I would bring up my first ever DNF again, this long after the event. Here are my reasons:

1. I want to remember.
2. I want to forget.
3. My race report was sub-par. I wanted to do the effort justice.
4. I thought someone else might get some value out of it.
5. I thought it might be entertaining.
6. I needed a topic for yesterday's post.

Kudos to Dee Dee (Happy Valentines Day, sweetheart!) for helping convince me that I needed to get the trainer now. It was far too cold and far to dark to ride outside last night. Did my second trainer ride, this time for an hour. I kept the heart rate in Zone 2 and the cadence in the 80-90 range. I love being able to control my heart rate on the trainer. I spent 57 minutes in the zone and kept my training on schedule!!


OCN: 15.3 trainer miles, 60 minutes, 15.3 mph avg

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

That Day

Yea, I've been holding this one in for a while, and honestly, I wanted to write something about it a long time ago, but I been bizzy :-) A wise friend reminded me that we learn more by our defeats than by our victories. This is part of that process.

The race director signaled the start and the twenty to thirty or so middle aged triathletes moved into the water. The first and most noticeable surprise was that the water was cold. I learned at West Point and Cohutta Springs the importance of warming up IN THE WATER with a practice swim. I can't stress this enough. Not only does it prepare the body physically, but it prepares the mind for the shock of hitting the water. Knowing what to expect is half the battle. Having gotten there late, I was not prepared.

The other surprise was the very muddy bottom and steep drop off from the shore. The drought had pushed the shore line out quite a bit. It went from ankle deep to no standing deep in like five feet. Later, I learned that where we were swimming was the deepest part of Lake Lanier.

The group of triathletes swam at a 30 degree angle or so for the first buoy. I put my face in the water and began swimming. I found myself in the middle of the pack, something for which I was not prepared. I spent as much time trying not to beat the crap out of somebody as I did breathing and stroking. Swimming to the right exacerbated the current, and we steadily found ourselves being pushed out further and further past the buoy. The upside to this was it all happened very fast.

As I made the turn past the buoy, my world turned green and came to a screeching halt.

I picked up my head to try to sight, but the sun blinded me. I put my head back into the water and tried to swim, but I FELT like I wasn't making any progress. By the time I got my bearings, I realized that I was 10 feet inside the buoys, stuck half way between buoy one and buoy two. Every time I picked my head up, one of two things happened. I either got blinded by the sun, or a big wave smacked me right in the face.

After several minutes of making little to no progress, I got frustrated. I was trapped inside the buoys. The Weakness manifested itself. Almost of its own accord, my body turned towards shore, flipped over on its back, and kicked and back stroked. About half way to shore, I realized that I was fine. I shouldn't have let this happen.

Climbing out of the water, I was grateful to see that the last wave had already hit the lake. Grateful not to be embarrassed, and grateful not to scare any of the triathletes before the took a shot at the lake.

I watched the swimmers from the last wave round the first buoy, and I decided to give the swim another go. Before I even got to the first buoy, I decided that this day pretty much sucked, and I quit. I left the water mentally defeated. Not physically defeated. Not even close. But still, defeated.

You can read the full, angry race report, here.


Strength: 30 minutes
Cycle: TBD (45 minutes, trainer)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I Say, "No, no, no"

Some of the beautiful weather we had this weekend spilled over into Monday, without the blistering 20-40 mph wind gusts. I sneaked out of work a tad bit early and traffic was stupendous. I got home early. With at least an hour and fifteen minutes of daylight, sixty degree temps, I just couldn't waste that on a trainer ride.

I went downstairs to the basement and retrieved Bags. She sobbed for joy when I began pumping up her tires. Dee Dee asked me why I was taking out Bags and not Aerowyn, and I told her that it might get dark while I was out. Bags is equipped with lighting.

Dee Dee said, "Why don't you sell Bags on E-bay?", but I say "no, no, no" :-)

I {heart} Bags. We have many great fun filled rides ahead of us! After carrying her upstairs (sorry Bags, but you are HEAVY), I got dressed and hit the mean streets of my neighborhood. Within half a mile, I turned around and went home to get a long sleeve shirt :-) Then I was off on my little tour. Nothing strenuous. Just me, Bags, and a recovery ride. Of course, I couldn't resist climbing out of the saddle to attack a hill or two.

Today was the start of early morning training. Wait for it... I got out of bed at quarter to six! Oh, the humanity!! I was in the pool by six-fifteen, out by seven, and still got to work early! Booyah! Today was a drill day for me. That officially means I cannot, et all, be concerned about time or meterage. Just do the drills, have fun, and go home. Who knew that one armed drills, catch up, kick, and bilateral breathing drills could be such fun?

My bilateral drills went something like this: stroke, stroke, breath, stroke, stroke, breath, stroke stroke stroke, stroked, breath, stroke, stroke, stroke, stroke, stroke, breath, stroke, inhale water, cough, sputter, stroke, repeat as necessary :-)

Now, I'm presented with a quandary. I need to figure out where to slip my long ride for this weekend into my schedule early. I am taking Matthew to Pensacola this weekend for a soccer tournament. I think I'll be able to get in the 45 minute long run. The bike I am less confident about.

Have a great day, all :-)


To answer a few questions...

The brand of trainer I bought is a Forza. It appears to be fairly sturdy and quiet. I bought mine off of Amazon.

The Florida Ironman 70.3 is a half ironman.

OCN: 8 miles, 36 minutes, ~12.7 mph
OSN: 1300 meters, 30 minutes, 3x100 w/u, 4x200 drills, 1x100 kick, 1x100 c/d

Monday, February 11, 2008

Nine on the Ninth

A Valentine's Virtual Race Report

The story behind the story...

Every year, my son's club holds an Icebreaker tournament for the Academy. The Academy is made up of younger kids who want to be more competitive than normal recreational soccer. Sometimes, the weather is brutal. Two years ago, we had rain, sleet, and freezing temps. This year, it was much nicer. The temps were in the very low sixties, but we had some pretty strong winds coming through Georgia.

I had wanted to get up and go for a bike ride before my son's first game at 11 AM, but I just couldn't drag myself out of the warm bed and out into the cold. I told myself I could ride after Matthew's last game of the day. We made it to the fields and Matthew had a great game, winning 1-0. After the game, I reffed a couple of games. The first game was a line, and the second game was a center. It was good getting these games under my belt as I am woefully out of practice.

Matthew's second game was another barn buster. He lost 1-0 in the final minutes of the game. By that time it was really getting cold and windy. We had invited David to come over for dinner on Friday, as he was in town for training again. We hurried home, then ran to the grocery store for food. When we got back, David was sitting outside the house. Matthew, evidently, hasn't learned the proper way to treat guests :-)

We had a really nice dinner and enjoyed having David over. As Dee Dee and I were tearing up the kitchen, David asked if our dinner time always involved a production of this magnitude. I laughed. Evidently, he hasn't gotten the word that I am the world's messiest cook!! In truth, we added one extra pan to the stove to cook the extra food we bought, but Dee Dee was making a separate side for herself. After dinner, we hung out for a while, chatting and watching ESPN. Dee Dee MADE us eat dessert. As the night progressed, it became evident that I had gotten sun and wind burned at the fields. I was feeling the affects of the weather on my face and the rest of me too for that matter.

After Dave left, Dee Dee and I went right to bed. I was wondering how and when I was going to get my race in. It kind of depended on how Matthew did in the tournament on Sunday. After he won his third game 5-1, his team managed to squeak into the finals by winning his division. I was tempted to run to the soccer fields for Matthew's final game, but I was afraid that I would take too long and miss part of his game. In retrospect, I should have brought my gear and run home after his game, but I didn't do that either.

Matthew's team won their final! We were so excited for him. The team went down 2-0 early in the first half. Matthew scored the tying goal with like five minutes left to go in the game. The team went on to win in over time. We got home about 5:15 or so, and I decided at that point, that I had better get out and get my run in.

My body has basically been in a state of shock all week. I'm not sure what I did, but I did a number on it fer sure. With that in mind, at first, I didn't want to do the run at all. Then, I thought I would stop at six miles, but in the end, I did the entire run. Due to the fact that I wasn't feeling 100% and that I had reffed two soccer games the day before, I decided to keep my HR in zone 2 for as much of the run as I could. No small task given the hills in my neighborhood. The run test paid off though, and I managed to keep my heart rate in the zone for 45 minutes of the 1:30 or so, unlike like last time, where I kept a measly twenty something minutes in the zone.

As I passed The Test on my way home, my knees began to ache and my shins hurt. I knew I was pushing my luck. My shins have NEVER hurt since I started on this journey. I coasted downhill to the house and came in with a time of 1:40:12 for an 11:08 average pace. I ran the whole way, walking a couple of times to slow my heart rate.

This week begins my training for the Ironman Florida 70.3. It is a 12 week plan with two extra weeks thrown in so I can taper and recover for Langely Pond. Mondays are my official recovery days. In order to keep the streak alive, I'll either walk or do a recovery ride on the trainer. I think the latter is more appealing today. We'll see how it goes!

Have a great week, y'all!!


ORN: 9 miles, 1:40:12, 11:08 mmp

Friday, February 08, 2008

T is for Trainer (or is that toy?)

In retrospect, it was probably the 120 pound leg presses and/or the single leg hamstring curls that did me in Wednesday. I don't kick very much in the pool, although I am trying to kick more. I just knew, yesterday, that my legs really weren't up to running, and I needed another option to keep the streak alive.

Dee Dee texted me around 11 AM to tell me our trainer had arrived! I had waffled back and forth for months on whether or not to get a trainer. I hemmed and hawed because it really doesn't get that cold here in Atlanta. I mean, suck it up and dress warm, but get out there and ride!
What finally won me over was my need to be able to exercise at weird hours, and also the fact that Dee Dee could get some good use out of it as well.

When it arrived last night, I set it up in about five minutes and quickly changed and hit the bike for a thirty minute workout. It was a leeeeeetle hard. Kind of like running on the treadmill, but I definitely got a good workout in. I am excited to add this new piece of equipment to my training repertoire.


OCN: 9.2 miles, 30 minutes, ~18 mph

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Just Damn

Drawing a little inspiration...

I decided to be extra attentive in my strength training. Focus. One up. Two down. Seconds that is. And by the way... I know you THINK I didn't notice you left out the regular crunches on the spreadsheet, but I did, and I slipped them back in. How'd that feel? I WAS impressed that you were doing single leg hamstring curls too. No upping the weights yet.

Then it was off to the pool for my Wednesday swim. I did a 200 meter warm up, then 4x500 @ 10 minutes (I needed to get home). I got pretty tired in the final interval, but the swim went well, coming in around 8:50 for each interval. When I pulled into the driveway, Dee Dee was leaving with Matthew for soccer practice. Just damn. My daughter was sick at work and there was nobody to work the bar except me. Just damn. Around 10 o'clock, I realized I'd had my ass kicked and you could knock me over with a spoon.

Around eleven PM, I perked back up. Closed the store down and headed home. Some dude was out running at 12:30 AM, in the dark. I was impressed.

Just damn...


OSN: 2300 meters, 2x100 w/u, 4x500@10 mins,1x100 c/d
Strength: 35 minutes

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Thar's Lead in My Boots

I would like to personally welcome the return of soccer season. This means that until mid-June-ish, my weekends will primarily consist of training and soccer. That's pretty much it. Besides, of course, the more mundane stuff like cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, etc.

To make it even better, Numba 1 son is playing high school soccer. That means most of his games are on week nights. Not only are my weekends busy, but now, I get to fill my week nights with soccer as well! I {heart} being a soccer Mom :-)

This was all precipitated by my youngest son's first night of soccer practice. The fields weren't open, so they practiced in the lit parking lot. Of course, the lights on the field weren't on. I had to run along the doom and gloom main road. Two LT tests and a twenty mile bike did a number on my legs, and they felt like lead. Good news is that zone 2 kept me at about a 10:30 pace, despite the hills, and I was happy with that!

The streak lives...


ORN: 3.2 miles, 33:05, ~10:30 mmp

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Positive (Kinda)

The human mind's tolerance for pain is what allows us to push beyond the boundaries of our lactate threshold and continue to exercise, despite the build up of acid on our muscles. The greater the athlete you are, the longer and harder you can go. To compensate for this, one needs to subtract an arbitrary number from the lactate threshold test to get within a comfortable distance of the true number.

In the example I was following, Mr. Ironman professional triathlete subtracted 12 points from his test. Me? I subtracted two. I am, after all, a Ironman in the making, and I'm still working so very hard to build my base. Thusly, I arrived at the magic number of 168. One would think that would be good enough. Plug it into the spreadsheet, and voila!! All zones are pretty printed for your training pleasure.

But no... We ARE talking about me, right?

I felt the need to do the treadmill test too, to kinda confirm what my other test had shown. With that in mind, I enlisted the help of my beautiful assistant, Dee Dee, and spent twenty heart pounding minutes on the slippery slopes of my own treadmill, trying to determine exactly where that elusive threshold was hiding. If you are interested in how to perform the treadmill test, look here.

We started out at six miles per hour and increased the speed 0.2 mph every minute. After eight minutes, I hit stop on the treadmill and collapsed into a quivering pile of pre-iron flesh. Once the urge to throw up had subsided, I went to the laptop to graph my data. In my eyes, the results confirmed my magic number of 168. I can rest easy now.

Training begins in earnest next week. I have WORK to do, people!! There's training to teach myself to get up early, strength training, soccer practice is starting back up again, oh my :-) Aaaaaannnd... Since somebody I know is giving up their fav drink during triathlon season (kinda), I think I should follow in her footsteps and cut way back on the beer. I've done it before. I can do it again.



ORN: 2.25 miles, 24:12, LT Treadmill Test

Monday, February 04, 2008

Putting it All Together

If you take this "training with a heart rate monitor" stuff seriously (and you do, don't you?), you know that the primary purpose of determining max heart rate and lactate threshold heart rate is to calculate your zones. Zones define the range you want your heart rate to be during certain types of training.

The way I see it, there are basically three different ways to train, and this applies equally to running, cycling, and triathlon. You can train entirely on how you feel on that particular day. Let's face it. A very large percentage of runners and triathletes get along just fine doing it that way. The second method is training by perceived level of effort. Over the course of your training, you figure out how hard you are running on a scale of one to ten. You then match that level of effort based on what your training calls for on any given day. The final method, is of course, training by heart rate.

I find heart rate based training fascinating. Your heart rate almost never lies. Feeling run down? Sick? Your heart rate will make you run slower. Feeling awesome? Top of your game? Your heart rate will let you run faster. The key thing is that you will get a consistent level of effort.

The 12 week plan I am starting next week, basically calls for four different levels of effort: easy, just above race pace, race pace, and hard effort. I know from my research these correspond to the following zones respectively: two, three, four, and five (a). Further, my research has shown that all easy runs are to be done at aerobic threshold. Well, it just so happens that aerobic threshold is twenty beats less than lactate threshold, which in my case is upper zone 2. Perfect!

Another interesting pace is called "steady". Steady is a reasonably hard aerobic effort that you could maintain "all day", then come out and do it again tomorrow. This effort is optimal for building your aerobic endurance and pushing the boundaries of your lactate threshold. Steady is about 10 bpm beneath your lactate threshold or 92-94% of your lactate threshold. For me, that puts my steady in the 156-159 range (zone 3), just above race pace :-) My race pace for the half Ironman will be my steady pace and/or high zone three. For Olympics and sprints, I will be racing in zone 4.

In a way, I feel vindicated after taking this test. I always got frustrated because it was so hard (and slow) to keep my heart rate below 146. I finally got frustrated and gave up, using the number 150 instead. Now this test confirms that my adjustments were correct. For running, my upper zone 2 ends at one fifty three. It should be a lot easier to keep myself in zone 2 now!

Phew! Dee Dee and I went for a nice bike ride at the Silver Comet Trail yesterday. It was a comfortable zone 1/low zone 2 kind of effort. We rode twenty good miles in about an hour and a half. The primary purpose of this training ride was to get Dee Dee used to her new pedals and tri shoes. She did beautifully. Also, we have added some new races for this year. Dee Dee and I will be repeating Callaway Gardens. We both signed up for Lake Logan in Canton, NC. This will be Dee Dee's first Olympic distance. She also signed up for the all women's sprint at Indian Springs on May 10th. I don't want to get too excited, but rumor has it that Dee Dee has her eye on New Orleans 70.3 in 2009. I'll update you more on that as it moves along!

Hope all this was somewhat helpful. The key benefit of heart rate training over "pace" training is that you are always running at the best pace your heart rate will allow, not some pre-defined number. If you are interested in my zones, check out the new tables on my side bar.

and happy training, y'all!


OCN: 20 miles, ~1:39:00

Saturday, February 02, 2008

One Seventy

Now, I'm going to have a very tall bourbon while I figure out what that means... Almost certainly, due to my high tolerance for discomfort, it's a bit skewed. I noticed the burning in my muscles and my ragged breath around 168. Now, excuse me... I have to puke :-)


ORN: 5.2 miles, 50:11, LT testing

Friday, February 01, 2008

Now, The Plan is This...

That sounds vaguely familiar... Almost like it could be a blog all to its own... Hmmm... Never mind!!!

Alrighty then... Big, big day tomorrow. I would say that this is THE most important day of my off/pre season. Tomorrow is the day for the dreaded lactate threshold run test. Why dreaded? Cause I gotz to run at or near lactate threshold for THIRTY minutes. LOL!! I have nothing to compare this to except my last 5K, where I ran an 8:06 average pace for 25 minutes (or so).


OK. Time to bear down and gurgitate the plan... Here is how it's gonna shake out.

10 minute warm up at my comfy pace of 11-12 minute miles. Last 3 minutes doing 20 second strides with 40 seconds of recovery, to get my heart rate up to race'em pace'em.

10 minutes at or slightly above a 9 minute pace. I ran ten 9 minute miles (almost) at Chickamauga. This should be fine.

Hit the start on the heart rate monitor and do 8 minute miles +/- for twenty minutes. The most important thing here is an equal effort! Do not burn out!!!

Hit stop. Cool down for 10 minutes and record my average heart rate.

Wish me luck, homies! If you don't hear from me by noon, please send an ambulance to Hobgood Park, Cherokee County, Georgia.


Strength: 30 minutes