Monday, March 31, 2008

Unrelated Ramblings

Ms. Dee Dee decided to send the problem LBS an email describing our trials and tribulations in a business matter of fact manner. Evidently, they got the word cause they called me on my cell phone in my car Sunday afternoon to apologize. The store manager made no excuses, which was nice. He offered to take my bike that afternoon, work on it that night, and have it ready for me Monday morning. I told him that was a very nice offer, but no can do. The other LBS would be tuning my bike up for me. I did tell him I appreciated him calling me though, and I would be back to visit his store in the future, or not :-)

Yesterday, Sunday, featured my long run of the week. First off, I over dressed, again, for my forty-five minute run. I ended up shedding clothes, that I head to carry, during the first two miles of my run. Second, I did an out and back. Now, I always figure. Since I have to take The Test on the way back, I would do 22 minutes out and 23 minutes back. You know. Just in case I wanted to walk a leeeetle coming up those hills. Well, silly me did 22 minutes out and 21 back. Bah!! I hate having to run past my house at the end of a run. LOL!!

Now, I would like to call your attention to my new graphic on the right, write2fight.com. This is a blog to raise awareness for cancer research. I have been touched multiple times by cancer in my life. If you and yours have been touched by this horrible disease, in any way, and would like to join us, please feel free to do so. Livestrong.

Last night featured my return for the first time in ages to the world of soccer refereeing. I centered two adult games and thoroughly enjoyed each one. Truth be known, I'm in it for the money :-) Not for me. Number one son needs to make money to pay for his car insurance and gas! But I did have a great time. I just need to figure out how to incorporate all that running into my training.

For the part you've all been waiting for... March, by the numbers:

Running: 63.5 miles
Cycling: 258 miles
Swimming: 10.9 miles

I am extremely pleased with those numbers. First, I'm pleased to hit over 60 miles for the month. Second, I'm pleased to be putting up such large numbers in the swimming and cycling area.

BTW: don't tell anyone. During this macro cycle of my plan, I'm peaking :-) I haven't peaked since I was 18 ;-)

Wes

ORN: 4.3 miles, 45 minutes, ~10:30 mmp

Saturday, March 29, 2008

LBS: Strike Three! You're Out!!!

Today was a classic day. Everything had to be executed on time and on target for everything to happen, all according to plan. I actually slept in until 8:30 AM, sat for an hour and half reading blogs and drinking coffee with Dee Dee, then made breakfast for the fam. Today was the first day I've had coffee all week. I know its sad (Lisa), but coffee is definitely inflaming (if not responsible for) my acid reflux. I've reduced it to a weekend treat.

After breakfast, I grab the Silver Streak with the bike rack and head over to the LBS. I, honestly, knew what to expect. As I stood at the counter and asked for my bike, the technician went to check on it. The work order was still sitting on the table from yesterday. Nope. They hadn't touched Aerowyn. I made them take off all the new parts they had hung on her, tape, wires, and such, then I walked out of the store never to return.

Now, I'm in a bad mood. I make it to Columns Drive at 11:45 AM, and I realize that with one hour and thirty minutes of training, I would be hard pressed to make it up the road to get to Matthew's game on time. It just so happens it was right around the corner. I love riding at Columns Drive. There was no wind today, and my 18-20 mph ride was almost effortless. I cut my ride short by fifteen minutes (I rode 45 minutes), then hit the trails behind the parking lot for my half hour run off. I had never been on the trails behind the parking lot before. There's a lot more to explore. I just wasn't all that comfortable running them by myself.

I made it to Matthew's game on time. They ended up waiting an extra half hour for lightning to clear. Matthew got about a game and half in before the weather drove us off the fields for good. We stopped at another LBS in Woodstock on the way home. They told me my bike would be tuned up by Tuesday, and it was $15.00 cheaper! Oh yea!! Gotta love that!! Also, the boss gave me permission to put time trial handle bars on Aerowyn. After she comes out of the LBS, she'll have a new look. I'm excited for her!!

To all my peeps running the ING (and other races this weekend), rock hard!!! but most of all, have fun :-)

Wes

OCN: 15 miles, ~45 minutes, ~20 mph (my bike computer was acting crazy)
ORN: 3 miles, 30:18, 10:06 mmp

Friday, March 28, 2008

No Worries

I dropped Aerowyn off at the beauty shop for a tune up and cable replacement. Dee Dee just went by there to pick her up and they hadn't even gotten started on her yet. Grrrrr! Friday means Friday, people! Strike one LBS ...

This, of course, means that Bags and I have been having a jolly good time all week. We did my fav 10 mile route on Wednesday, and then again on Thursday. Thursday, I was feeling good enough to get out of the saddle on some of the hills, resulting in a .2 mph increase over Wednesday's ride :-) What was really cool though was that during my 15 minute run off, I was hitting a 9 minute pace. I had to catch myself. I didn't remember feeling that good at my last 10K. I did slow down and finished the 1.55 mile run at a 9:40 over all pace, but it was good to know I had such a hard time pushing myself during the race because I was a bit tired and sore from my training.

Can you believe on my ride last night that I almost got run over twice? By people in my neighborhood? and one of them was a freakin sheriff's deputy? OMG!!! Unbelievable! The one lady decided to just pull out in front of me. When I waved at her she basically waved back apologetically. Yea, a lot of good that would have done me lady if I was trapped under your 2 ton SUV. No less then two minutes later, I'm waiting at the stop light to go through an intersection. My light turns green so I gingerly begin to take off, expecting the left turning traffic to yield, and the freakin sheriff's deputy just about ran me over! A-hole... That's the absolute last person I would believe would not know the laws in the State of Georgia. How sad :-(

Last night, my good friend Blaine came to visit me at the restaurant! We had a nice hour long chat and dinner. It was really nice of Blaine to make the trip up from South Atlanta. The drive took at least as long! Blaine is here for a coach's certification class and the ING Marathon. I was like a proud papa, all bragging on him and stuff to Dee Dee.

Should be a quiet weekend. All my local peeps are doing the ING. I have yet to swim or do strength today. I am going to the oldest son's soccer game at 4 PM, then I plan to stop off at the pool for an hour on the way home. Saturday and Sunday, I have about an hour each of riding and running.

Everybody have a fantastic weekend!!!

Wes

OCN: 10.1 miles, ~45 minutes, ~13 mph (forgot to start my Garmin)
OCN: 10.4 miles, 46:00, 13.2 mph
ORN: 1.55 miles, 15 minutes, 9:40 mmp

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Shhhhhh!!


I am recovering...

Yesterday, I swam 1500 meters in the pool in 30 minutes.

At soccer practice last night, I ran 3.55 very sore and tired miles. Shortly there after, I re-hydrated with bourbon.

Today, I did strength for thirty minutes. I'm so proud of myself. I did 20 push ups straight. Do you KNOW HOW long it has been since I did 20 push ups without stopping? 22 years!

Off to watch oldest son's soccer match and try to find 45 minutes to ride the bike!!

Wes

OSN: 1500 meters, 30 minutes, 1x300 w/u, 10x100, 1x200 c/d
ORN: 3.55 miles, 40 minutes, ~11:12 mmp

Monday, March 24, 2008

Highlights of a Breaththough Brick

Seems like a lot of you out there had massively enjoyable training episodes this weekend, and I was no different. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. I could almost write a rather lengthy race report style post to describe it all, but rather than that, I will give you the abridged version. Hold your applause (for abridged)...

Friday, I discovered I was doubling some of my leg exercises while strength training. Oopsie. Go figure...

Saturday, I hit the Silver Comet Trail trailhead by 9:30 AM. Temps started out in the fifties, but I went with shorts, an Under Armor shirt and jersey. By 9:45, I was on the trail.

At the 7.3 mile marker, I was unceremoniously drafted upon by a cycling chica. I decided to go for my 45 minutes at race pace a bit sooner than planned and hauled butt. I was hitting 25-26 mph on the declines and 16-18 on the inclines, 19-21 in the flats.

She noted I was a tri guy and asked if I wanted her to pull. I said sure. She "pulled" away from me and I let her go, upon which time she ran over a squirrel! ROFL!! I told her she was a better cyclist than I. She said she couldn't believe my longest ride was only 50 miles (last year) and that I was pulling her. She said she did back to back centuries (and I had nice legs ;-)

I left my new friend about mile 19 and turned around for home. I reset my computer and made it back to the trail in an hour. Since my race pace is 19 mph for the half iron, I think that qualifies for hitting race pace :-)

On the way back, I failed to give a recreational cyclist enough warning and she hit me on the hip with her handlebars. She didn't crash, and I went off the trail in my aerobars, but I didn't panic and kept my balance. I was able to come back up on the trail without crashing. I apologized as it was totally my fault, and I got the four inch bruise on my hip to prove it.

I did three miles on my thirty minute run off. That's a little goal I've been dying to get to since I started doing these bricks. To do 37.6 miles on the bike, then feel so good on the run off was just indescribable.

Sunday, I met Akshaye at Sweetwater State Park for a trail run. Despite not knowing the trails, we had a good time exploring. One of these days, we'll go back and try to find that stupid white trail :-) I think we did 7.8 miles in around 1:40:00. The run along the river was beautiful and flat, but climbing the ridges was torturous and bit delicate coming down the other side. All in all, I had a great time, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat!!

That about sums it up! I am SO ready for recovery week!

Oh yea, almost forgot. Dee Dee and I had dinner at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in Buckhead Saturday night. They absolutely have some of the best steaks around. We then left for the Mood Lounge, a bar in a house type situation. When we arrived, they wouldn't let us in because of a birthday party. We set outside until almost 10:30 PM. We kept the bartender entertained, and finally, they let us in without paying any cover. We had a good time. At least I know Dee Dee did. For some reason, after nineteen years, she decided my dancing was funny :-)

Wes

OCN: 37.6 miles, 2 hours, ~18.8 mph
ORN: 3 miles, 30 minutes, 10 mmp
ORN: 7.8 miles, 1:40:20, ~12:52 mmp (trail run)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Bailed

I've been slowly trying to work my swimmage up into the high 3K range in anticipation of the Ridges 5K Open Water Swim. Of course, I've been doing this without any forethought or planning, just trying to wing it along with my "normal" half ironman training. I mean, how hard can it be to swim 3.2 miles? I know. The added .1 mile is a bonus for those of us that love to swim. In the lake. With the fishes.

With that in mind, I thought I would bump my swimmage up to 3800 meters today, but I didn't. Instead, I bailed out and followed the plan. I know, I know. You are all aghast at my apparent lack of self motivation, but really, my body was saying, "Nuff already!" I'm going to go back and look at my plan this weekend and try to come up with something intelligent. Yea, that's the ticket.

Everybody got big plans for the weekend? Here's how mine is shaping up. Tomorrow is 2 hour ride with 45 minutes at race pace followed by a thirty minute run off. After that, its off to Matthew's soccer game at 1:30, then home for a nap. Tomorrow night is dinner, drinking, dancing, and romance as Dee Dee and I burn the midnight oil. Sunday, I'm meeting Akshaye over at Sweetwater Park for a taper run (for him) and a long run for me. Should be fun!!

Everybody have a great weekend!!

Wes

OSN: 2800 meters, 60 minutes, 1x500 w/u, 2x300,4x50,2x250,4x50,2x200,200 kick, 200 c/d

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hurtin, I Am

Evidently, I'm still recuperating from Sunday's race, and there is a good chance that I won't recover until well into next week. My ride yesterday called for 60 minutes, with 30 at race pace.

Ummmm... Execuse me... There is no such thing as race pace in my neighborhood. It is grind, grind, grind. I couldn't ride at work yesterday due to the rain moving through. Lucky for me, the clouds broke on the way home from work.

But yea, back to the grind... For a flat course, the 10K sure did a number on my thighs. I had to remind myself several times, I love the pain. When I came to The Test on the way home, I chuckled to myself and said, "Here comes trouble!" LOL!!! I did manage to eek out a half mile increase over the same route as two weeks ago.

Today, on the other hand, is a beautiful day, if not a bit chilly. I made sure to dress warmly in tights and three layers on top as I set out for Columns Drive in the forty degree temps. My poor legs started screaming at me the minute I left the garage. I was very kind to them on the way over through the park. I had not sooner arrived when it was time to go. Thirty minutes at race pace. I gritted my teeth and duked it out, despite the serious headwinds we were experiencing today. Near the end of my second loop, I was actually surprised to see the clock at 28 minutes. I finished up my prescribed workout and headed back to the office for my run off.

Sometimes, running after you get off the bike can be downright awkward. In this case, both the bottom half of my legs were tingling for the first three to four minutes of my run. LOL!! I was running at a normal pace, just laughing and thinking how I couldn't wait to feel my feet again!

Good thing next week is a recovery week for me. The macro schedule for this plan goes like this: base(4), build(3), peak(3), taper(2). Next week is a recovery week, and I.can't.wait :-) I just need to make it through the longest swim, brick, and run of this season.

Happy training, y'all!

Wes

OCN: 15.25 miles, 1 hour, ~15.2 mph
OCN: 16.9 miles, 1:02:43, ~16.5 mph
ORN: 1.4 miles, 15 minutes, 10:45 mmp

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Minor Epiphanies (of sorts)

Every once in a while, I look at a comment I have placed on y'all's blogs and think, where in THE HELL did that come from? LOL... It got me to thinking a bit over the last couple of days about some of the influences in my life that had a profound affect on the way I see the world. (Since I haven't been blogging, I've had extra time for leisure activities :-)

In my early days, a favorite uncle got me interested in the Civil War. My days and nights were filled with books about generals and men of valor. From there, I branched off into ancient generals and the wars of Europe. For the most part, these men where the knights and heroes of their ages. Each had their own peculiarities and motivations, but for the most part, they were men of honor, integrity, and faith.

In high school, I discovered fantasy books. I started out reading Piers Anthony and moved on from there. I have read hundreds if not thousands of fantasy and science fiction series in my lifetime. Each book was filled with tales of honor, deceit, love, and treachery. Of course, the good guys always won.

I think on a subconscious level, these books were the fertilizer for the seed of my own honor and integrity as I grew from a wayward chaotic teenager into a responsible member of society. While I realize that I can't fix all the world's problems nor make everyone see the world through my eyes, I can bring a little ray of hope, honor, and love into my circle of influence. This is a gift that I do not question.

While I was sitting at my desk yesterday, I was pondering the workouts for the day. Note that this was after I did my 2500 meters in the pool. The plan called for six half mile intervals. I gave it a lot of thought and chunked it after I realized I ran a race Sunday and basically did ten half mile splits :-) Good thing too, as I could barely run at the soccer fields last night. I eeked out 5 slow painful miles and called it a recovery run!

For the record, Monday night I opted to spin in Zone 1 for my streaking workout...

Finally, last night Dee Dee and I celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary in a quiet way. No romantic dinner. No flowers. No gifts. No night of passionate whoopie... Just damn :-) Truth is, we were both just plain exhausted. Dee Dee worked 16 hours Monday for St. Patty's Day, and I'm still recovering from the race, the swim, and the run... Some people might consider this a "bad" anniversary or a lost one. In the grand scheme of things, it is a blip on the radar of nineteen years of marriage. Besides, we plan to make up for it this weekend. Saturday night, we'll be tearing up the town!

Bring it :-)

Wes

OCN: 7 miles, 30 minutes, 14 mph
OSN: 2500 meters, 55 minutes
ORN: 5 miles, 1 hour, 12 mmp

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ceviche, Storms, Rodents, and Shamrocks

Karnak: What is a Shamrock n Roll 10K Race Report?

Friday night, I stopped off at the pool on the way home to get my swim workout completed. I thought rather than kicking my arse first thing in the morning and being tired all day, I would kick it on the way home and only be tired for a quarter of the day.

I picked out Endurance Workout 4, set A, which called for 3100 meters. The first 300 meters was swim, the second 300 meters was kick. God, I hate kick. Then it was on to the main set. The main set consisted of 8x150, 8x100, and 8x50. Now, the instructions were 2-2-2-2 descending. For those of you who don't know, this means every 2 intervals gets faster. For future reference, when you see this on your own plan. Be afraid. Be very afraid. By the time I got done, I was grateful I was only doing 50s. I was toast. I threw in another 300 meter straight interval to get my swim up to 3400 meters, along with my 100 meter cool down. When Dee Dee got home from work Friday night, she asked me why I was so red. LOL!! The only thing I could think of was that the chlorine in the pool cooked me like cerviche for an hour and fifteen minutes.

After setting the alarm clock for a 6:30 AM wake up call, it was off to bed. Around 5 AM, the crack of thunder and lighting woke me from my sleep. I listened carefully to the approaching storm. I didn't hear the tornado sirens going off, so I killed the alarm and went back to sleep. When I woke at 8:30 AM, I hurried downstairs to check the radar. I saw the storms in Alabama, and I figured I had three to four hours to get my workout in. I hurriedly ate breakfast, packed the car and drove out to the Silver Comet. I heard on the radio about the devastation from the tornado that hit downtown, and I worried for my friends, Sarah and Akshaye.

The brick on the Silver Comet went well. The plan called for 90 minutes, 30 at race pace, followed by a 30 minute run off. I was very sore and intentionally took it easy in the first and last thirty minutes of the ride. The thirty minutes at race pace went fine, but hard. You could tell that I worked hard this week. I usually do my entire ride on the SCT at twenty miles per hour. This time, I could only muster a 17.5 mph average over the whole ride. On the way back to the car, I unfortunately ran over a squirrel. Poor fellow. There were lots of squirrels and even chipmunks out because the trail was nearly deserted. He was sitting right in my path, and I waited for him to scamper away. By the time he decided to move, he dashed directly into the path of my bike, and I got him with both wheels. I turned to look behind me, expecting to see the poor critter in convulsions, but he scampered off the trail. I was sick to my stomach and hoped that he would be alright.

As I drove home to the house, the north Georgia skies were filled with ominous black clouds. The tornado sirens went off when I pulled in the drive way. I hurried into the house and flipped on the news. A line of thunderstorms, one with a tornado in it, was moving in a bee-line across Cartersville and on to Canton. The edge of the storm barely brushed my house. We were not in the danger area. We did call the store, however, and instruct the kids to take evasive maneuvers. Fortunately for us all, no damage or injuries occurred in our part of town. My heart goes out to those unfortunate people killed and their families in North Georgia.


After the drama Saturday, including the brick, I hit the bed early Saturday. Dee Dee got us up at 5:15 AM. We got this pre-race stuff down now. We were in the car and on the way to Atlantic Station by 6:15 AM, Sunday. We got there a little early. The temperature gauge on the car said it was 49, but the wind was blowing strong. I had dressed in tights and my Mizuno shell. The weather channel said it FELT LIKE 39 degrees out. This figured strongly in my decision on how to dress, but I would regret it later.

We picked up our race packets and then went back to the car for twenty minutes or so. Dee Dee wanted to use the restroom. We managed to get in before the crowds. We picked around in the athletic store for a while and when we came out, the line stretched into the park. Dee Dee and I did a warm up lap then moved to the middle of the pack at the starting line. Neither Dee Dee nor I heard the start, but the crowd up front yelled, and the mass of people started moving forward. It took us around thirty seconds or so to cross the starting line. I hit start on my Garmin and tried to find room to run.

The race wasn't a huge race, but the narrow streets of Atlantic Station made the initial going hectic at best. Since I was running the first mile in zones 2 and 3, the pace suited me. I usually start out too fast. We ran clock-wise around the square. I had a little trouble keeping my heart rate at or below 153. I think it crept up to 155 a couple of times. I saw Sarah cheering on the runners at the first music station. I crossed the first mile marker at around 9:30, which I thought was OK for zones 2 and 3 (my Garmin appears to be non-functioning now, for some reason).

The group of runners made a left turn and then a right and took seventeenth street down towards Northside. There was a very nice downhill section here and one moderate up hill. I allowed my heart rate to creep to the stop of zone 3 and I held it there (157-160). When we made the right turn onto Northside, a huge steep hill stared us right in the face. I refused to walk it this first time, and my heart rate crept up to 170 and 171 before I finally crested. There was one more little hill (a bridge) to get over before we started heading back downhill to Atlantic station. I passed mile marker two with a 9:16 for the second mile. I was starting to sweat profusely.

The middle part of the race was definitely nice. Some long gentle downhills and flat out and backs along Atlantic Station. We ran past Sarah again as we headed to the square. I didn't get too excited about the nice downhill there. I knew I needed to do another lap, and that meant going back uphill again. The finish is actually beneath Atlantic Station. The 5Kers peeled off to the right, and the 10Kers went straight ahead for another lap.

Sure enough, as we made a right turn, back onto the previous loop, we had a challenging little uphill to climb. I had passed mile marker three in 9:15, but now, I was free to let my HR roam wherever it wanted. As it turned out, my heart rate climbed into the 170s going up the hills, but settled into 168-169 range on the flats and downhills.

Miles 4 and 5 were more of the same. I ended up having to walk the monster hill halfway up, and I jettisoned the Mizuno shell after mile 4. We got to see a live band around mile 4.5. Then it was on past Sarah again. She was all smiles cheering me on. About a half mile from the finish, I really picked up the pace. I knew I was in the PR range, but not by much, and I definitely wanted to take advantage of that nice downhill to make up some time. I crossed mile 6 with a time of 8:35, my fastest mile yet.

When I made the right turn into the finish chute, I had about a tenth of a mile to go. I kicked it in and began the final sprint. I wasn't racing anybody. That's just the way I roll. I saw 56 on the finish line clock and was a little disappointed, but I crossed the finish line in 56:24, a one minute PR over my last 10K.

Dee Dee and I meandered around the finish line for a while. We watched the Irish dancers and listened to the band. The sun was out and it was glorious morning. After checking out all the attractions, we packed up the car and headed home. Matthew was still sleeping when we got home. He never even knew we were gone. Funny thing, when he came down for breakfast, he asked us when we were doing our race :-)

How best to summarize? I think I did pretty damn good :-) I've been busting my chops all week with this training plan, and Friday's swim and Saturday's brick was especially tough. I executed my race plan perfectly. I didn't start out too fast. I PRed. With an overall pace of 9:04, what's not to love?


Dee Dee had a good time at the 5K as well. She finished in 35:15. It wasn't a PR for her, but then again, she hasn't run AT ALL since the marathon. She did real good too :-)

Wes

ORN: 6.2 miles, 56:24, 9:04 mmp

Friday, March 14, 2008

Ready to Toe the Line

I am definitely getting better. This whole working out at lunch thing presents its own set of logistical challenges. It helps to pack the bike in the SUV at night, along with all the other cycling stuff. Being organized is a good thing. It also helps to pre-pump the tires too. Just sayin... I do NOT like feeling rushed when I work out, but exercising during my "lunch hour" requires some expediency.

Yesterday's ride was just as good, if not better than the previous ride. I thought it might be tougher, due to being sore, but it wasn't. I made a conscious effort to warm up properly and hit my twenty minutes at race pace in stride. Unfortunately, I am not very good at tracking time, as I went over, again, by six minutes :-)

The run off went OK. I am having no problems hitting my stride now, getting off the bike. I just hit the hills on the Bob Calhan Trail at the end of the out portion of my run, and I was SO unmotivated to tackle them.

Today, I slept in until 6:30 AM, and it felt.so.good! LOL... I decided to do my workouts backwards today. I am going to strength train at lunch and swim on the way home.

Last, but not least, Dee Dee and I will be toe-ing the line at the Shamrock n Roll 10K and 5K on Sunday at Atlantic Station. Just so happens that a 10K fits into my training schedule perfectly, although not at race pace :-) Dee Dee is doing the 5K , and I am doing the 10K.

I've been giving this race quite a bit of thought this week. I definitely want to PR. The question is how much? I'm NOT ready to run a sub-50. That level of effort would require specific training. McMillan says I should run 8:24 miles and come in around 52 minutes. That sounds good, but that may be more of an effort than I want to give. Seeing as my "coach" says I should run the first mile in zone 2-3, the second and third miles in zone 3, and the last three miles all out, I'm shooting for a sub-55. If I'm feeling good, then I'll go for more. I just got to remember that Monday is a new training week!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wes

OCN: 17.8 miles, 1:02:45, ~17 mph
ORN: 1.4 miles, 15 minutes, ~10:40 mmp

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Repeat If Necessary

Back in July of 2006 when I took this endie (endurance) stuff to heart, I changed my eating habits. I bought into, and still believe in, eating 4-5 smaller meals a day. For the past 18 months, my breakfast has consisted of Quaker Oats breakfast bars. I eat two in the morning and one for a snack at 10:30 AM. This allows me to exactly calculate the number of calories I have for breakfast. I'm tired of it now. I've branched out into... oatmeal. LOL! I know, newsworthy stuff!! Who knew food that looks like baby up-chuck could taste good?

While we are on the subject of food. I made this Lasagna recipe this weekend. It was quick, easy, and very good. Pulling a new dish out of the oven, cutting it up and plating it just like the picture gives you that "I just made delicious brownies out of a box" feeling.

The ride yesterday was magnificent. It takes me almost exactly ten minutes to get to Columns Drive from my office. I can't really go fast because I have to traverse the Chattahoochee Park on gravel paths. Once there it was game on. Last time I was there, I did my cycling lactate threshold test. The test consisted of a ten minute warm up, then twenty minutes all out. My average heart rate was 151, and my high that I noticed was like 156.

This time was a bit different. Rather than doing twenty minutes at race pace (like the plan called for), I was sure it was more like thirty. (I've got the feeling I'm going to regret this today!) I'm not very good at warming up. Good news is my heart rate never got above 146, yet I was achieving the same speeds, another sign of measurable progress!

Today calls for a repeat of yesterday's ride with a 15 minute run off at the end. The temperature is ten degrees hotter. I'll be wearing short sleeves. It's a beautiful day....

Wes

OCN: 16.75 miles, 1:01:13, ~16.45 avg mph

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Let the Build Begin

There's nothing quite like Arrrrrrrrrmy training, Sir!! Ummmm... I mean triathlon training. As much as I might like it to be different, I doubt I will make it on the podium any time soon, but there is one thing about me you can count on. I will finish what I start. Hopping on the treadmill at 11 PM at night or going out for that missed run at 9:45 PM is all part of the process. Let's call it tenacity training. For me, if I allow a crack to appear in the foundation, the rest of the structure is open to problems. I don't want to let that happen.

This week is the first week of my build phase. I kicked the week off with a 2600 meter swim, yesterday. I did something new called Underwater Recovery. Basically, when you swim, you never allow your arm to leave the water, kind a like doggy paddling. I honestly felt like a damn fish...

I followed this up with 4 half mile intervals last night at my son's soccer practice. My heart rate just insisted on climbing to 170 and staying there, so I went with it. With the warm up and cool down, I did four miles total.

The alarm went off extra early this morning again. I want to ride my bike at lunch today. I needed the extra time to pack the car and get my strength training in this morning. The Build Phase of my plan has a major shift in the exercises I am doing. There is almost no opportunity to use the weight machines.

It STILL KICKED MY BUTT :-)

Now, I'm sitting here itching to get out on my bike. I have a sixty minute ride planned, with twenty at race pace! Woo hoo!! Outta zone 2, finally! :-)

Everybody have a blessed day... Happy training,

Wes

OSN: 2600 meters, ~60 minutes, 350 w/u, 4x250 drills, 2x600 intervals, 150 c/d
ORN: 4 miles, 40:20, 10:05 mmp (4x0.5 mile intervals @ 8:36-8:55)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Stupid Challenge

I almost like Mondays as much as I do the weekends. Kind a sick, huh? Monday is a recovery day for me. I would call it a "rest" day, but there's the streak, ya know. Yesterday, after getting off work, I was just dog tired. I'm sure the one hour recovery ride, which ended up being two and half, had something to do with that, but mostly I think it was about being out in the elements. That and the stupid snoring dog.

After work, I found myself updating the accounting software and monthly budget. Have I mentioned that I've fully converted to the dark side? I am running Linux full time on my laptop now. It was not necessarily a pleasant experience, either the updating nor the budgeting piece. My little spreadsheet was showing lots of red, and its only the tenth of the month. In truth, its not a serious issue. I just misjudged some of the utility bills for the month, and the three doctors visits, and the new soccer cleats. You get the idea.

Before I knew it, it was quarter till eleven and I'm heading off to bed. As I lay curled up next to Dee Dee, I suddenly realized that I hadn't done my thirty minutes of exercising for the day. Just damn. I tried every excuse imaginable to accept my first "real" goose egg of the year. You know the ones.

1. I cycled for 2.5 hours yesterday. Can't I just transfer thirty minutes to today?
2. I cycled 2.5 hours yesterday. My legs are shot. I need a rest day.
3. I slept like crap last night. I'm really tired.
4. I can just tell a little white lie (I know, I know).

I just couldn't stand it. I was fidgeting. I was feeling downright sad that I didn't put forth the effort. Finally, as if by the Hand of God, I found myself downstairs on the treadmill at 11 PM. Sad, but true. Dee Dee joined me. Together, we watched some guy cooking up good food on FitTV. That was a nice bonus, but more than that, I was happy.

The streak lives.

Wes

BTW: Speaking of Paul, he lost a friend of his in a cycling accident in San Fransisco, a national caliber female cyclist. Keep him, her, their friends and family in your thoughts and prayers and stay safe out there, will ya?.

OWN: 1.75 miles, 30 minutes

Monday, March 10, 2008

Ride of the Icicle Faeries

Over the past month, I have had the distinct pleasure of having fellow blogger and triathlete David come by for a visit when he comes to Atlanta for Navy training (Sir!!). The first time David came out, we met at Dave and Buster's by the base. The second time, David came out to the house for dinner. This time, I wanted to take him up to the restaurant for fine dining and much beer.

We have this thing at the restaurant called The Nuclear Challenge. I use the phrase "restaurant" loosely. My place is a Family Sports Pub. It's the type of restaurant situated between a fast food joint and an Applebee's or TGI Fridays. Anywho, David sees The Nuclear Challenge and decides thats the thing for him. He has to eat twenty nuclear wings in twenty minutes to get a t-shirt and his picture on the Wall of Flame (LOL!!!). David ate all twenty wings in 8 minutes. The record was six minutes. That poor guy was walking around in the parking lot with two glasses of water for an hour and half. With David, you couldn't even tell! Talk about a stomach (and taste buds) of iron!!!


We've been holding out! We knew we needed a bathroom pic for Marcy :-D Our bathrooms are decorated in fine white decor...

Due to the cold and windy conditions Saturday, I opted to do my long-ish run on the treadmill. I must say, I executed the run perfectly. I spent the first 10 minutes warming up. I ran the next twenty-five minutes at a 10 minute pace, then I spent the last 10 minutes cooling down. No ego or heart rate monitor involved.

I am not sure what I was expecting Sunday, but I was NOT expecting it to be freezing. The original temperature range during the week looked positive. That's why I had wanted to ride early in the morning. I had setup a group ride between myself, Sarah, and Lauren. With even a slight chance of them being there, no way was I going to miss out on that ride.

The 29 degree temps at the gas station didn't even phase me. I watched with glee as the temperature climbed to 34 as I headed south to the trail. Sure nuff. When I pulled into the parking lot, there was Sarah, unpacking her bike. I didn't know it at the time, but Lauren pulled in right behind me and began unpacking her bike as well. I was very, very impressed when Lauren walked up to Sarah and introduced herself. Not many people I know would show up at 9 AM in thirty degree weather for their first ride! (Shhhhh.... I think Lauren is going to be hard core ;-)

After the introductions and some decision making, we hit out on the trail. It was COOOOLD. Mainly, I was cold on my face, and it wasn't long before the old feet started to freeze. I used to laugh at shoe covers. No more! I need me some for next year!! After about thirty minutes of riding, we were about six miles in. We asked Lauren if she wanted to turn around here. An hour seemed like a good amount of time for her first ride, but she said no! Did I mention she's becoming hard core? LOL!! We agreed that we would go out to the ten mile marker and turn around. I think we declined to go down the hill from about mile 9.2 and turned around there.

If anything, it got colder on the way back. I'm not sure how that works... After one hour and thirty five minutes, we pulled back into the trailhead with18.6 solid miles under hour belts. I had to run to the little boyz room, so I gave Lauren a hurried good bye! Lauren, the ride was awesome. We'll be looking for you out at the trail more often!

After Lauren left, Sarah and I headed back out on the trail for another hours worth of riding. I swear it was getting colder. On the way back, the temperature finally began to rise and more and more cyclist began to appear on the trail. Sarah and I completed another 16 miles or so in that final hour. After saying good bye to Sarah, I did a thirty minute run off to complete my brick workout.

I am surely glad that Spring is on its way, but I learned something this weekend. With the right equipment, I really don't need to be afraid of riding in the cold weather.

Have a great week everyone!!

Wes

ORN: 4 miles, 45 minutes, ~11:15 mmp
OCN: 34.6 miles, 2:35:14
ORN: 2.8 miles, 30 minutes, ~10:42 mmp

Friday, March 07, 2008

On Being Naughty

I despise incompetence, especially so when it involves me. I don't consider myself incompetent by any stretch of the imagination. As a matter of fact, I've been the number two guy in some small companies that have done really great things. No. I'm not incompetent. Once in a while, however, incompetence pokes its ugly little head in my life, and I react like a white blood cell to the latest flu.

This is a government job. It moves at a government's pace. It's not particularly challenging, nor particularly fun. The people are very nice, and quite frankly are a joy to work with it, and the pay is good. It has a lot going for it. Getting back to the pace... I could work this job two to three hours a day and spend the rest of my time working out :-) That's why this particular bout of incompetence struck me pretty hard. I overlooked something that was important, that I should not have.

I am better consultant than this.

It's taken me all week to make things right. I've been chewing on nails. I have been unsociable (LOL!!). Driving poor Dee Dee batty. Now, its over with, and I can put this behind me and hopefully press on to bigger and better things.

During this recovery week, I've been naughty. I've been training without the HRM. I rode Bags for 45 minutes yesterday and then did a delicious 15 minute run off at 9:45 minute miles. Oh yea... I know. Not particularly fast, but it FELT REAL (fo really reals) good. I followed this up with a very relaxing 1500 meter swim in the pool this morning, all in the name of recovery.

Next week, its back to the daily grind. My training times are going up, and I have a l'il ole 10K race to run next weekend. I have my goals already in mind, but I'm going to ponder it over next week to put everything in perspective. I can assure you, however, my plans do include a PR :-)

A bunch of us budding triathletes are getting together at the Silver Comet Trail Sunday morning 9 AM, Mavel Road trailhead. Come join us...

Everybody else, have a great weekend. All my racing peeps have a great race!! You will be in my thoughts...

Wes

OCN: 10.3 miles, 45 minutes, ~13.6 mph
ORN: 1.55 miles, 15 minutes, ~9:45 mmp
OSN: 1500 meters, 30 minutes, 1x300 w/u, 5x200, 1x200 c/d

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Bow (Wow) Down

No, I haven't dropped off the face of the earth. I'm just having a really shitty week at work. I won't go into details. Let's just say I'm cantankerous and leave it at that.

Here, I give you Mufasa. Moo, for short, is a Lhasa Apso. That is Tibetan for "Lion Dog".


Pardon us, your majesty, while we wake you from your mid-morning nap to take your picture. There's this thing with Lhasas. They will allow you to live in the same house as them, as long as you recognize that they are in charge. This particular Canine Rex also happens to snore like a lumber mill, which is one of the reasons why I have trouble sleeping at night. His majesty may find his bed moved to another part of the house.

The training has been going fine. This is a recovery week for me. I swam a full mile straight on Tuesday, just to remember what it was like. I got done in like 28 minutes. That night, when I got home, I ran thirty minutes on the treadmill. I know I shouldna dun it, but I ratched up the speed in the final 10 minutes until I was running seven miles an hour. Wednesday was a "regular" hour bike ride. I rode in the sub-50 degree temps. I felt recovered and strong on the hills.

Anybody besides me excited about daylight savings time next week?

I will leave you with these parting words of advice... When his majesty is "dating" a member of his harem, do NOT stick your foot between him and the door his femme just used to exit to the back yard. That will be all.

Wes

OSN: 1700 meters, ~31 minutes, straight
ORN: 30 minutes, 2.75 miles, ?? mmp
OCN: 15.2 miles, 1 hour, ~15 mph

Monday, March 03, 2008

Wiped Out

I took a nap Saturday and felt SOOOOO good... Life then conspired with me for a change. I found myself childless after cooking dinner Saturday night. Dee Dee and I pulled a late nighter and shared some adult beverages. I'm still staying as far away from the beer as I can get!

Something is definitely wrong with me. No matter how my head and body feels, I am waking up at all hours of the morning. Even without kids, sleeping past 10 AM is a no no. I just feel like my entire day is shot. After cooking a nice omelet breakfast with left over ham, Dee Dee and I ditched the kids for our ride at the Silver Comet Trail.

It was definitely a glorious afternoon. Before I knew it, my 45 minutes out was over, and I was heading back. It seems a lot of recreational riders and walkers were on the trail. The last four to five miles were treacherous. Poor Dee Dee ended up crashing her bike twice. She has the bruises and cuts to prove it! I'm still trying to figure out how she always ends up having all the excitement :-)

While she rested at the car, I did my thirty minute run off. I found that my body didn't want to run in Zone 2. It was Zone 3 or nothing. I just went with it. About twenty minutes in, I felt like I was gonna hurl. NEED.TO.WORK.ON.NUTRION.PLAN :-)

My sleep last night was semi restful. Thank God this is a recovery week, and for ten minute power naps at lunch :-)

Have a great week y'all!!

Wes

OCN: 25 miles, 1:30:15, ~17.5 mph
ORN: 2.8 miles, 30 minutes, ~10:40 mmp

Sunday, March 02, 2008

It's a Beautiful Day

It's a beautiful day
Sky falls, you feel like
It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away
-- U2

The sun is shining. It's going to almost reach seventy today. Very little if any wind. The Silver Comet Trail is calling me... I wish I could package some of this up for you guys, but I trust you will get your share soon :-)

Got up extremely early (6 AM) on a Saturday so I could get my run in before the trip down to Fayetteville for my son's soccer game. The 600 meters of kick I did in the pool Friday whupped my arse!! and it showed!

Have a great day!!

Wes

ORN: 5.55 miles, 60 minutes, ~10:45 miles