Thursday, July 29, 2010

Three Things Thursday

Work has been tough on me the past week or so. When Dee Dee got up for work this morning, I couldn't get back to sleep. I went out on my "short" forty five minute run at 5:30 AM. I was back home and working by 6:30 AM. That's a bit strange for me in that it means I had breakfast early, drank 6 cups of coffee, and will be done with my day by 3 PM. LOL...

There's an old saying, never discuss politics amongst friends, and I, personally, have decided not to air my political views on this blog or on my Facebook status. There are some people that have no such inhibitions, and I've rather enjoyed the pointed debate back and forth. In my mind, it's just important to remember that at the end of the day, everybody has their own opinions and feelings on certain matters that are entirely theirs. Diversity is one of the things that makes this such a great country in which to live. At the end of the day, friendship remains.

I don't feel like I am recovering well this week. My hammies are sore, I suspect, from my bike rides this weekend. Running three days in a row is a little tough for me too. I'm going to play it by ear and re-evaluate my progress by the end of the week.

So Happy It's Thursday, y'all :-)


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Great (Anti) Monkey Butt Experiment

Since me, I, Ich, Yo, am a famous multi-sport blogger and all, I frequently get contacted by people who want me to try their stuff. Often, I say yes. Sometimes, I say no, especially if I suspect their motives/don't trust them.

Recently, the kind folks at the Anti Monkey Butt corporation contacted me and asked if I would like to try their products, and if things worked out, give some away to you, my loyal readers. I jumped at the opportunity. Over my long illustrious history, I have seldom put anything in my shorts that didn't absolutely belong there. I used body glide once in a while, but only if chaffing/sores got really bad. Totally a dude thing fer sure. As my mileage has been getting higher and higher, the return of chaffed arse is imminent. As a matter of fact, I have a few sore spots on my right side now. I received the box in the mail from the AMB people just in time for my long rides this weekend.

From left to right: deodorant, Anti-Monkey Butt Powder, packs of AMB powder, ROHTO eye drops in different flavors, CAR STICKERS!!

Saturday, I rode 63-ish miles on the Silver Comet Trail. I loaded down my chamois with AMB powder, and not knowing what I was doing, I did this before I put them on :-) I went outside on the deck to shake them out and get nekkid. Good thing it was 5:30-ish AM. I rode an evenly paced out and back, trying to save something for my Sunday ride. When I got back to the car, I noticed that my shorts were soaking wet from the sweat, but my chamois was just as dry as it could be. I can't give the AMB powder a thumbs up or thumbs down after one weekend, and truth to be told, its not fair to evaluate based on my current condition, so I'm going to give it a couple of weeks. My first impression is VERY GOOD, however.

Sunday, I loaded up my tri shorts with AMB powder and hit the trail for a two hour ride. Let me tell ya... Even though I held back on Saturday, that was a new definition of pain! It took me almost a whole hour to shake the soreness out of my legs. Every time I hit zone 2 I was crying for my momma. The AMB powder performed very well, again, and I actually felt pretty decent for my 30 minute run off. My legs had recovered well from Thursday's early AM long run.

Overall, I'm pleased as punch with my training for last week. I put in 13 hours of quality training, including 7700 yards in the pool, 119 miles of cycling, and 20.4 miles of running. That's huge for me and is the perfect place to start a recovery week :-)

Over the next coupla weeks or three, I'll review all of the products in my little box of goodies, then we'll do the give away. Stay tuned!

Have a great week, y'all!


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thoughts for the Day

  1. Experienced athletes that have disappointing run splits should slow their first two race legs until they are able to run in line with training performance. This requires a level of humility and maturity that many athletes will never achieve. -- Gordo Byrn
  2. Each day, let your training plan have one vote for the kind of run you do and let your body--your feelings of fatigue and readiness, enjoyment, confidence, and comfort--have two votes. In other words, don't be afraid to wing it. -- Matt Fitzgerald, 6 Tips for Mind Body Running

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Planning, Planning, and More Planning

This early morning stuff is getting easier. I woke up with Dee Dee yesterday at 4:15 AM, even though I didn't drag myself out of bed until 5-ish. Then it was off to the pool for my 100% technique session. As most of you have pointed out, my planned schedule has no off day. The (supposed) beauty of this type of training cycle is that rest is "built in" with the three swim sessions. While I did spend an hour in the pool yesterday, I didn't get my training stress over a 30, which is perfect.

Today, I had to drop Dee Dee off at work. We are having automobile challenges, and with my youngest son going to summer school and having soccer camp all week, getting around town AND getting in the workouts is proving a challenge. I opted to go to work early, go home and get Matthew, take him to camp, then do my bike/run workout at Columns Drive this evening. I'm praying the temps are below 90 by the time I get there :-(

While Matthew was at camp last night, I took the opportunity to dive into a Borders book store and look at two books: Be Iron Fit and Going Long. Both of which are really good books by the way, and I'd like to buy them both eventually. From just the short time I browsed both books, I took away some valuable lessons:
  1. Planning and consistency is the key
  2. Gradual and progressive adaption (follow 10% rule)
  3. Training volume is important (equal to duration * intensity)
  4. Training volume is more important to the 10% rule than duration
  5. In Ironman training, steady/base/endurance is the biggest factor
After thinking about it for a while, I sat down and mapped out my training hours for the rest of the year. I started with my max hours in each discipline. I will keep the intensity the same until I reach my max hours by adding duration (time). Once I've accomplished that, I will begin to modify the intensity of each workout.

There are three tournaments coming up at the end of August that I would like to referee. Using my spreadsheet, I was able to modify my basic week to get in all the hours I need and still be able to referee. That excites me! I want to train properly for this Ironman in November, but I also want to spend time with my family AND do some of the other things I love to do. The fact that I'll be running, a lot, at these tournaments, is definitely a bonus!


Friday, July 16, 2010

A New Day

Dee Dee continues to provide the motivation. I don't know how she manages to get out of bed at 4 AM like she does for work, but she is an amazing cookie. I'm doing a pretty bang up job following after her, although I do get to check my eye lids for cracks while she is in the shower.

After careful consideration, I have decided to reorganize my workouts along the lines of the training plans from Endurance Nation. My basic week will look like this:

Monday: swim, technique
Tuesday: brick (bike, run)
Wednesday: run (tempo, speed, hills), swim
Thursday: long run
Friday: long swim
Saturday: long bike
Sunday: medium bike, run (short, brick)

This just fits my life style better. Being home on Saturday and Sundays before noon is appealing, and I still want to referee during Ironman training this year. I will use the guidance from my many triathlon training plan books to build individual weeks and workouts.

With this thought in mind, I was out the door at 5 AM for my long run. The plan was 25 minutes in Zone 1, 15 minutes in Zone 2, 10 minutes in Zone 3, then back down the ladder. My legs were feeling my Wednesday night tempo run, but I managed to hit all my zones in my hilly neighborhood. I even had to walk at times to keep my HR in the proper place. While tiring, it was great to have all my workouts done by 6:30 AM!

Today, I got to sleep in until 6:30! Dee Dee is off this morning and no summer school for Matthew. I was able to take my time getting to the gym and getting my long swim on, 2700 yards in fifty three minutes. Despite the bonus time, I still forgot my boxers :-O So much for being prepared!

This weekend, I have two bikes and two runs planned, one of the runs just being "extra". It's time for my annual referee recertification. That's always fun. In the past, I've used this test to calculate my magic mile. My best mile time on this particular track is like 7:21. I'll decided in the morning if I am "feeling it" or not and go for it, or just run to survive.

Have a great weekend, y'all!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dawn's Early Light

Day two of early morning workouts is in full effect. After Dee Dee work up at 4 AM, I reset the alarm for 5:00 AM and tried to go back to sleep. I woke myself up at 5:15 AM and realized that I had set the alarm for PM, not AM. That was a bamboozle.

I let the dogs out, three on my running stuff and headed up to Hobgood Park for my tempo run. I did 18 miles on the bike and a 30 minute T-run the night before. I was interested to see how this was going to work out. My plan was to put some "umph" back into my running. Hopefully, the run would go as executed: warm up, 2x4 minutes in Zone 4 with 2 minutes recovery, then a cool down. I reminded myself that I could hit Zone 4 earlier if I was tired :-)

The park was dark, even with the walking lights around the softball fields. There was one other lady out there walking in the dark. My legs were a little tired to start with, but they felt halfway descent about midway through my warm up. I settled into a 10 minute pace. At the 20 minute mark, I set off on my first four minute interval. I worked hard and was, quite frankly, surprised that it came so easy to me. The Garmin said I was running an 8 minute mile.

When the four minutes were up, I walked a bit, then jogged. I checked my watch and was surprised to see that the two minutes passed so quickly. I thought about doing an entire lap instead, but all of sudden, I took off running again, without thinking. This one was harder, but I knew I could do anything for four minutes, and I did, and I was grateful. The rest of my fifty minutes was spent watching the sun come up and all the new peeps showing up to run around the track.

Tomorrow is my long run. I hope I have a l'il sumfin left in the legs. I recovered them a bit in the cool pool over lunch doing a drill session, 2350 yards in an hour. I am not used to swimming that slow, but I am determined to improve my economy and technique.

Re-learning is a humble process...


Monday, July 12, 2010

Life's Little Mysteries

I woke up Saturday at 6 AM. It's a lot easier to do that without the influence of alcohol, a definite benefit to THAT change in my diet. Twice a month, the Concourse Tri Club has an open water swim at Red Top Mountain. They moved it up to 8:30 AM, and I thought it would be cooler (literally) to get my run in before the swim, rather than after. I dilly-dallied just a little, but still managed to get to The Lodge at 7 AM. My run was an hour twenty. That would leave me ten minutes to get ready for my swim.

The first thing I noticed on pulling into the parking lot was that the lodge was closed. I couldn't pay the parking fee. I hemmed and hawed and even thought about leaving. Finally, I decided to write a note and leave it on my dash, hoping to avoid a ticket. I saw the pay station next to the trail. I decided to take an envelope and put the tag on my mirror and still pay later. I wasn't about to stuff a twenty into an envelope that only called for four dollars.

Temperatures must have been in the seventies when I finally started running. Everything started out OK, but conditions quickly deteriorated. The mugginess in the forest was oppressive, and the breeze non-existent. After running for forty minutes, I came out by the lodge. I grabbed my twenty dollar bill and went in and tried to pay my fee. The park ranger said that the bank was not open and wouldn't open for another twenty minutes. I rolled my eyes and promised to come back later. I paid a visit to the l'il boyz room and instantly felt one hundred percent better. Funny how that works out. I was able to to put in another twenty minutes before having to cut it short and get ready for my swim.

The crowd at the lake was a little smaller this time. I needed to put in 2300 yards, so I took off across the lake and came back as a warm up, about 200 meters in total. When the swim got underway, I followed the lead group off down the cove. I was feeling Friday's swim in my shoulders and lats. At first, I thought that this would be my last open water swim for while. By the time I got back, I had finally settled in and really enjoyed myself. I focused on form and technique, and not on fighting the water. I was REALLY happy to see a time of 37 minutes and 1.2 miles. Basically, I traded 2 minutes for a much easier swim. Lesson learned.

I ran another twenty minutes after the swim to get in my full time. Brilliant...

Dee Dee got up at 4 AM on Sunday to get ready for work. I rolled out of bed shortly thereafter, ate breakfast, tossed Dee Dee into the car along with my bike and gear, and took off for the Silver Comet Trail. I dropped Dee Dee off at her work first, and still managed to arrive at the trail ten to fifteen minutes before daylight. I took my time setting up and even put on sunscreen. At dawns first light I was off.

The ride itself was uneventful, except for the three trees that were down ON the trail. I literally had to carry my bike over two of them, and one of them was huge. I was sure I was gonna kill myself. Cyclo-cross anyone? I barely managed Zone 3 and Zone 2 on the ride. I was definitely feeling my trail run from the previous day. I managed to cover fifty miles in about two hours and fifty minutes. The forty minute run off wasn't quite the struggle they have been. Overall, a good day.

On the way home, I found Dee Dee's sun glasses that she "lost" months and months ago. They were in the sun glasses holder in her car. I guess that's the last place anybody would look for them.

I was downstairs on the computer watching TV. Dee Dee had come home from work and was doing something in the laundry room. She yelled at me that she had found "it". What was it, I wondered? Dee Dee found her gold bracelet in the laundry room! This was the gold bracelet that Dee Dee thought she had accidentally dropped in some kid's Halloween basket over nine years ago.

Yea, that one. The one that is irreplaceable.

It was in the laundry room this whole time, and nobody ever saw it. Not Dee Dee. Not I. Not the repair men...

I sent Dee Dee to the store for a lottery ticket. I'm feeling lucky and blessed...


Friday, July 09, 2010

Friday Foolishness

In honor of Dee Dee moving to the day shift on Sunday (she get's her training officer), I woke up at 5:15 AM this morning to swim. The first thought that went through my head was... What is plan B? Then, I realized that the quiche I cooked last night was still sitting on the stove where I had left it to cool. Normally, I wake up two to three times a night, mostly due to Mufasa, but last night I woke up with the alarm. I jumped out of bed to put the quiche in the frig. It was an easy transition from there to the pool.

Another 2100 yards in the book. Longer intervals today. The swims on my current plan are not too imaginative. The workouts go like this. Speed. Medium intervals. Non-stop swimming. Three workouts a week.

Tomorrow, I am meeting the crew at Red Top Mountain for an open water swim. I need to get in at least 2300 yards. I'm hoping to keep this early morning stuff going by getting in my hour twenty minute run before the swim. If I can get in my run today at lunch, I'll just be beside myself :-)

have a great weekend y'all!


Thursday, July 08, 2010

The TI Experiment

and not, that doesn't mean Texas Instruments :-)

I have two years worth of swim workouts, courtesy of Coach, and she always was a an expert at dreaming up interesting ways to kick one's arse in the pool. However, repeating the same workouts over and over again gets rather droll, and I am always on the look out for some fun time in the pool.

The two books, I just finished reading, reminded me that excellent swimming is seventy percent technique and thirty percent strength, give or take a few percentage points. Thus, my refocus in the pool on technique. I'm pretty sure I can bang out sub 1:30 100s any time now. I need to unlock the secret to 1:20s and 1:15s.

One of the recommended techniques is swimming slower to race faster, kind of like long slow runs, no? The other technique is a single minded focus on stroke count (which translates into distance per stroke). With that thought in mind, I set off to the pool at lunch yesterday to get in my 2100 yard workout.

I warmed up with 300 yards easy, focusing on keeping my head down. I have a habit of looking to far in front when I swim. I then did 8x25 drill, and 1x50 swim golf, to establish my score and stroke count. I managed a score of 74, coming in with 28 strokes for fifty yards. With 14 strokes per length of the pool, I then did 8x100 with the goal of keeping my strokes within a range of 14-16, and my time within 3 seconds of 0:49. My stroke count started off at 14, then 15, then towards the end, I was trying not slip past 16. I noticed that the higher my stroke count went, the slower I was going. I realized that this is a great technique for maintaining a consistent effort across the workout. I wrapped up the session at 8x50 hard (stroke count 18, or +4), 8x25 kick (I hate kick!), and a 300 yard cool down.

Yesterday was also my first double in a long time. I waited until almost 8:15 to run, and it was still 90 degrees out! At least the sun wasn't out, and it really wasn't that bad till the end. Running on legs that also swam is so different from "just running". It was a good reminder, both of my past races AND where I need to be going forward.


Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Square One

Ironman training started yesterday.

I managed to find my bike AND the Silver Comet Trail on Saturday for a nice two hour ride with a twenty minute run-off.

Sunday, I thought my legs would be too tired for a long run, but after the first mile or two, they felt pretty darn good. I went ahead and ran the 6.1 miles I had planned, and wrapped up the week with 22 miles of running. That's a pretty big number for me, and something I plan to repeat often.

How was everybody's fourth? Dee Dee was working all weekend. That left Matthew and I to fend for ourselves. We played lots of soccer and (I) drank copious amounts of beer. I somehow managed to not bloat myself up to Good Year blimp size. Outstanding. Cuz Tuesday's bike session called for "small" hill repeats at VO2 max.

For now, I'm jumping into my Ironman plan at the twenty week mark (24 week plan). Two half Ironmans have to count for something, right? and this four week block is all about building strength. Strength before speed. Eight times I went up that dayum hill for a minute with a two minute recovery, and all I could think was that my thighs haven't felt like this since I did those trainer sessions back in the winter!

Nose to the grind stone! Back into the swing of things. Let's get this show on the road...


Friday, July 02, 2010

Getting My Run On

The period of slackage is nearing an end. I needed that. Thanks. I haven't ridden my bike since Callaway, something I plan to fix over the weekend. I have swam a measly two times, and I would like to get back in the pool this evening, seeing as I am ALL ALONE.

What I have been doing is keeping up with my running. While running is the most demanding of the three disciplines, its my go to workout, probably because of the ease of getting started. As long as I don't push myself "too hard", I actually enjoy it!

:-) ROFL...

Yesterday, waited to run at lunch. It was like 85 degrees and just plain out hot. True. Cooler than the 90's we've been having, but humidity?! We gotz humidity. I wanted to run for an hour fifteen, but ended up only going an hour. I started off at the little trail by my house, got half of my run done there and in the back of the neighborhood, and finished up by heading down towards Hobgood Park. I ended up cutting it short cuz it was just hot, and I didn't need to kill myself. I did decide that from now on, when its that hot, I bring water, no matter how far I am running.

Today, I got another lunch time run in at work. The difference in temps was thirteen degrees. It was raining earlier, and I kicked myself for missing it. Still, 72 degrees is a pretty good starting temp for this time of year. I felt really strong and managed three progressively faster miles before having to slow down my fourth mile due to GI issues.

Despite all that, I'm feeling good about myself. I want a base of 20 miles a week to start off my General Prep next week, and I'm gonna have it. Then, we'll just have to start filling in the swimming and cycling gaps with sumfin exciting.

Have a great weekend, y'all!