Thursday, April 30, 2009

2000 yards

Did 2000 yards in 44:19....thats almost 3 mins faster than my last 2000 yarder. Getting there slowly! I felt like a monster in the pool for the first 250, which may have been 300. I did what I thought was 250, looked at my watch and it only said 3:33, which was a 1:25/100 average. Thats WAY too fast, so I did another 50. I think I had only done 200 up to the 3:33 point.

Sooooo, this brings me to 18125 yards for the month of April. That is the most I have ever swam in a month and I am seeing HUGE improvements because of the extra yardage. My warmup this morning was a testament to that.

Its kind of like when I was in my freshman year of high school in history class. For some reason I kept forgetting to do my homework and I would get C's on all of my quizes and tests. Then after my teacher gave me a swift kick in the ass I started doing my homework, and sure enough my quiz and test grades started to rise signifigantly. So if you do your homework, results will come!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

ouch blisters!

I ended up with some nasty blisters from running downhill from Sunday's half marathon. They felt fine but looked bad over the past few days and I thought they would just fade away. So during my lunch time run today I used moleskin and tape and prepped the blisters really well. My feet didn't hurt at all during the run, but afterwards the blisters felt hot. I took the tape off and sure enough those little things were completely filled with liquid and very tender.

Sooooooo.....They need to be drained! I hope it didn't come to this, but these aren't the type that will just fade away and harden the skin.

Crap! good thing I have a roll of moleskin.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

an exploding flat

Went on an easy recovery ride tonight on the TT bike and within a mile of leaving my rear wheel starts to rub and then vibrate and then bounce and then POP! Fortunately I started to immediately slow down to a stop once I felt the rear wheel start to go. The tube exploded with such force that it popped a 4-6" portion of the tire right off of the rim. Yikes! It could have been worse. I was able to change the tube quickly until I realized that my spare tube's stem was too short for my deeper rimmed rear wheel. Fortunately again I was riding with 4 others and one other rider had a long stem tube. Phew! I did, however, have to ride the remaining 18 miles on a wheel inflated with CO2, which meant that it was gonna be soft by the end of the ride.

The rest of the ride was fine. I took it completely easy and felt as good as new by the end.

Monday, April 27, 2009

back in the pool

Did a 1300 yarder at lunch today. My legs feel great considering yesterday's half marathon. I did 200 yards of kicking and my legs actually weren't achy at all. Weird!

We pushed it a bit harder in the pool today. We ended with 2 X 200 sets with some effort. I finished the first one and my arms were shot. My coworker convinced me to do another, and this time I had enough gas left at the last 25 that I was able to put some heat on and finish strong.

My confidence in the pool is building more and more.....finally!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

hot as hell half marathon

Its April 26th, and its 90 degrees outside! WHHHHHHAAAATTTT!!!!

For the half marathon this morning, it was in the 70's at the start and in the 80's at the finish. Thats not really hot actually, but! when you are training in 50-60 degree weather and then you race in temps 20-30 degrees higher, its gonna take a toll! I mean, you body is just not used to that kind of heat yet.

I did 2:00:10......doh! 11 seconds too slow! haha.....i don't really care about not breaking 2 hours. I know I am capable of a sub 2 hour half marathon. The first mile was crowded on a narrow path so the bottleneck effect right there cost me 20 seconds over the first mile.

It was a challenging course, with this beast at the end of mile 9:

My mile splits are as follows:

0:57 (last .1)

I feel great right now actually. I hurt a LOT worse after my first half marathon last October, which I did over 2 mins slower. My feet hurt at the end, but that was mostly due to a couple of blisters on the outside of the ball of my right foot....i got those from running downhill actually.

This is a great addition to my running base for the upcoming season, which starts in 4 weeks!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tri Ridgefield course preview

Drove up to Ridgefield this morning to preview the bike course for my first tri of the season, Tri Ridgefield.

I like the course. It has a lot of turns, no big hills but a few rollers. There is a sharp left downhill turn that was kinda fun and will give you some nice speed that you can carry for a bit. I hope they have good signs for the turns and folks to hold off traffic at the intersections. There are a few busy intersections (crossing rt 35 2X) that could be a bit tricky. There were only a few roads with some beat up pavement, but mostly the roads are nice and smooth.

Just taking it easy, it took me ~45+ mins to do the course. Its about 14 miles.

I wanted to do 2 loops, but I decided not to so as to preserve my legs for tomorrow AM's half marathon.

Friday, April 24, 2009

2000 yards

I swam 2000 yards this morning!

I did it like this:

5 X 50
5 X 100
5 X 150
2 X 250

The first 5 50's were pretty tiring and my arms were hurting from Wednesday's swim. By the time I hit the last 100 yard set, my arms were finally warmed up. The 150 yard and 250 yard sets were actually the easiest since I was totally warmed up and it just came down to doing the yardage.

I did a total 0f 6300 yards for the week. That is my most EVER in the pool in a week. I am feeling a lot more confident about my swim form than I was 3 weeks ago.

Just gotta keep swimming....

Thursday, April 23, 2009

i got slaughtered

I absolutely punished myself on the bike tonight. I mean utterly obliterated my legs!

The ride was kind of a soap opera with a lot of ups and downs. I did 28.65 miles over 1:43:11, for a 16.45 mph average. Overall, not a super fast ride, but that was due to some steep hills towards the end that just killed me. I realized on this ride that climbing on my time trial bike is a lot harder than my road bike. I think this bike is a lot heavier to to the aero setup in the front, and the frame is aluminum instead of carbon.

The goal of this ride was to hit some flat sections of road on my time trial bike to put in some threshold pace work and to use my powerTap to gage my effort levels. I tried to keep my wattage at 220 watts for as long as possible. I did well actually. Watching my wattage influenced my gear selection and actually kept me really consistent including my cadence. I felt good!

One thing that I realized was that when going downhill, my wattage will drop signifigantly, so I really need to increase my gearing to compensate.

Now for the hill!

So I sorta kinda got confused as to which turn I had to take so I went the way that I thought I should have gone (which ended up being the correct way in the end), but I wound up going up this REALLY steap hill. Look here (yes, those pitches are in the teens....i don't think it was 20%, but it was definately over 10%):

So I went up 1/4 of it before I realized I was gonna hurt REALLY bad if I went up this thing, so I turned around and tried to go the other way around. Unfortunately a bridge was out so the only other way to up to the top of this hill was a long long round about way that would have taken too long. Sooooo after getting to the road block, I turned around and proceeded to swallow my ego and climb the stupid hill. I got up it and thought of going up Mont Ventoux the entire time. This thing was 1/4 mile long. I did this same pitch for 15 miles. Man I can't climb on the TT bike!

As for the flats towards the middle of the ride, I am proud to say that I was able to hold a 25 mph average for 15 mins!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

1:45/100 pace in the pool

Tonight was the last of 10 classes in my swim clinic. To finish things off, we did a 500 yard time trial to see how we are doing. I did 500 yards in 8:43, or ~1:45/100 pace at an average of 19 strokes/length.

I'll take that! That would come out to a 15:30 for a half mile swim.

For my first sprint this year, which is coming up in a little under 6 weeks, anything under 16 mins for the swim will be a success for me.

This season has been utter frustration in the pool. BUT! I am NOT giving up on it and I feel like I have made some serious progress in the past 3 weeks.

I need to work on the timing of my pull. I am still rotating my body before I start my pull. I just need to not keep my arm out so far (which is basically a catch up stroke) and start my pull sooner. This of course is one of MANY things that I need to work on.

6.7 mile run

Did it in 59 mins flat or about an 8:48 min/mile pace. This will be my half marathon pace, I have decided. I can go a few seconds slower/mile if I want and I will still finish in under 2 hours.

It was rainy and cold during the run, but I had to do it!

Here is the (unnormalized) elevation profile:

Monday, April 20, 2009

2500 yards in the pool today

granted I did it over 2 swims, but I saw progress today!

Being in the pool with my swimmer elite coworker is already paying dividends. He shows me a drill, I then do the drill as he is underwater watching me, then he gives me feedback, and rinse and repeat. Even if I am not getting the drill then, it hits me later, such as today.

I finished my second swim tonight on a high note with a strooooooooong pull. I used some paddles to see what its like to get a strong resistance in the water, then I played around with my pull until I could simulate a similar feeling in the water. I finally found that feeling on the last 25 and it felt AWESOME!

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Did the same exact 4 mile NYRR race today in central park that I did 2 weeks ago. I did 31:22, or about 18 seconds slower this time. I wasn't supposed to do this race, but since I had to do an hour run anyways, why not phone this one in and complete race #7/9? Since I have my half marathon next weekend, I did a 2 mile warmup, then did a 7:51 average for 4 miles, then a 2 mile cool down.

The cool thing was that I finished the final 2 miles "like whatever, I guess I could keep going" but I had to get back. So I think I will be fine for next weekend if 8 miles with half of them @ a sub 8 min/mile pace is a no biggie run anymore! Wow has my running improved in a year!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

long slooooooow ride

Took a new rider out onto the road today. So we went long and slow.

I think I ended up with about 25 miles over a little over 2 yeah, SLOW. Its ok though since I have a race tomorrow in central park. Planning on doing 8 miles including the 4 mile race.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

in the gym

30 mins in the gym with a nice long stretch. This has been a recovery week.....probably don't need this one as bad, but its perfect timing since I haven't been this busy at work in about 3 years. I hit my deadline last night with 5 mins to spare!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


1700 yards in class tonight. Just reviewing what we went over the past 8 weeks.

Monday, April 13, 2009

swim in the pool with my swimming coworker

I have the pleasure of working with a guy who is an ex college/elite swimmer. Super nice guy who wants to swim with me!

So finally we got into the pool together today. He jumps in and goes having not swam for 6-7 months.

I was laughing because he just freaking took off like he never stopped swimming. He was complaining when he finished his first 100 meter swim set in 1:13. Yeah, sorry buddy, I feel REALLY bad for you for that poor performance!....meanwhile I'm doing 1:50's and am out of breath. haha!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Long run, finally

My Aunt, who is a very experienced runner, was up in NH with us, so we went running together. She slowed down for me :)

We did 8.76 miles in a little less than 1:20:00. @ an 8:56 min/mile pace, I think thats surprisingly the fastest I have ever gone for such a long-ish distance. I guess I was always hurting too much to run any faster than that for a longer distance run. Strange.

Well anyways, it was a solid run and I think I found my half marathon pace, which will give me a sub 2 hour time, which is my goal.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

indoor spin

Up in NH this weekend. No time to get out for a ride, so I brought the trainer with me. Fortunately "Lost" and "The Office" can keep me sane on the trainer for an hour.

Just spun easy.

Friday, April 10, 2009

early morning hilly run

Got up too early this morning and headed out with a group for a ~5 mile run. We went easy and we went up a freaking steep hill. I'll take it....good training for the hill in the upcoming half marathon. My legs were a little sore from last night's awesome ride.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

outside with some speed on the bike

I got outside after work for the first time this season, and I went harder than I have all season. It felt good and I kept the hard durations under control. I could have gone another 25 at this rate, it felt.

Sooooooo, tonight's ride was basically an unofficial benchmark test ride because I do this route a lot, and it always gives me feedback on how "strong" I feel. Since it is the beginning of April and I am already riding like the end of the summer, I feel pretty confident about my form. Booking 22 mph on the flats was also a nice upside to the ride :)

At the midpoint of the ride, we climbed up to the top of this good sized stair stepper where its the steepest @ the top. I was able to stand at the top and accelerate, another sign that my climbing skills didn't go away.

We did 24 miles in 1:33, or about 15mph and change. That big climb that we did brought down the average.

I sure felt strong!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

a good swim, finally!

Tonight we did 2100 yards in the pool. We were moving tonight and I didn't feel wasted by the end of it, yay!

My position in the water is better, since I have raised my head, but I am still sinking. This is more than just my head position. I am arching my back as well which is also sinking me. Sooooo, I need go back to basics and do more kicking drills. I need to tuck my belly button in to engage my core muscles.

Back to basics!

...I did gain a lot of confidence in the water tonight. I took me about 1000 yards to actually get warmed up.

first AM run in a long time

This was my first AM run in a long time. Finally there is enough light out @ 6:30 am. It was 35 degrees this morning. Yikes! Well....actually that is pretty warm compared to the 17 degree runs that I did back in January.

I did 5.5 miles in 50 mins flat, or about a 9:11 pace, but it felt faster. I think my legs are still a little shot from this past weekend's fun. I feel great now!

Hopefully this non rainy weather will last until tomorrow night when I can do my first after work ride as well!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

strength and a quick trainer ride

Just 30 mins of strength this morning in the gym. My legs hurt on the dreadmill, but pushing the weights felt easier than ever!

Then I hopped onto the trainer for 30 mins. I can only watch "Lost" on the trainer, otherwise the boredom sets in!

Monday, April 6, 2009

in the pool

1500 yards. Nothing too crazy with some kicking on my back to work out my sore legs from the weekend. I kept my head higher which kept me more on the surface of the water instead of under it. I feel relieved to have finally figured that part out.....still LOTS more to go.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

new 4 mile PR

4 miles, 31:04/ 7:46 min/miles.

Considering my 40+ miler yesterday, I had a successful morning in Central Park. I did a longer warmup and that helped a lot. Also, I looked down at my watch each mile to see how I was doing. I held that 7:46 min/mile pace from start to finish! Between mile 2 and 3 my legs were starting to go, but they came back for the final mile.

I bested my previous 4 mile time by 1:32, or decreased my pace at this distance by 23 seconds. It was the same course, and similar weather, so this was a direct comparison. I'll call that improvement!

and my performace today was right in line with my new heart rate zones chart:

Zone4: 167 - 186 BPM or 6:15 - 7:54 min/mile pace:

I came in 186/434 in my age group or in the 42nd percentile. This was a large race, with 5739 total runners.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

41.5 mile ride

Wasn't supposed to ride today, but what the hell, I only have a 4 mile race around central park tomorrow AM. I can handle the load! Besides, we rode really slow again, so I didn't really feel it too bad.

Here is the route. It was a REALLY windy ride. When we go out to Greenwich Point at the tip I almost came to a complete stop from this intense head wind. The waves were really cool looking. I think it was about 50 degrees during the entire ride, but my toes were completely numb due to the wind cutting through me.

I think this is my longest ride this season.....I gotta get these ride distances up!

Friday, April 3, 2009

its the head position, stupid!

Man, what a difference in the pool tonight! This season for some reason I have been swimming with my head tucked WAY too low in the water, which essential sinks me and causes me to swim COMPLETELY underwater, which is BAD! B . A . D ! BAD! BAAAAAAAAD!!!!

So I posted a video of me swimming to the forum and a lot of people gave me some awesome feedback. The first thing that stood out was my head position and that I was tucking it. So tonight in the pool I raised it and INSTANTLY I was swimming on the water and not under it. I felt like I was FLYING through the water.

Another thing that I would do is upon hand entry, I would rotate my hands and stick me thumbs straight up, which drops me elbows. ANOTHER BAD!!!! Easy enough, just keep your hands flat or pinky down. There. done. not so hard, right? Well actually a lot harder than you think because I would forget from time to time.

Basically tonight's swim was like restarting my swim season all over again.

Ahhhhhhh, I feel better. I have actually been quite stressed out over this!

rainy, so indoors

30 mins on the dreadmill this morning.

That is all.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

short outside ride

It was 60 and sunny out today.....only one thing to do when that happens. GET OUTSIDE AND RIDE! I did an easy 10.48 in ~40 mins, or 15.46 mph, which is my usual go out and take it easy speed.

My right calf was really tight during the ride. It didn't cramp up, but its the 3rd time that I have felt it act up in the past 2 weeks. I am starting to worry a bit about it. I don't feel it when I run, only on the bike. Hopefully the problem will go away, or else the "stick" will come out.

I need to run for 45 mins tomorrow AM, hopefully the rain will show up when I finish the run.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

new running zones

I was hooked up to the VO2Max machine on the treadmill this past monday night to reassess my VO2Max #'s and my heart rate and speeds on the run.

First off, my VO2 max is now @ 62.3. A little over a year ago about it was 50. Thats a 20% increase. Basically my aerobic engine has increased by 20% in a years time. Thats flipping HUGE!

My new running zones are as follows:
Zone 1: 132-142 BPM or 10:00 - 12:00 min/mile pace
Zone2: 142 - 155 BPM or 9:05- 10:00 min/mile pace
Zone3: 155 - 167 BPM or 7:54 - 9:05 min/mile pace
Zone4: 167 - 186 BPM or 6:15 - 7:54 min/mile pace
Zone5: 186+ BPM or 6:15 or faster min/mile

And now compare this to January 5th:
Zone 1: 144 -154 BPM or 10:00 - 10:56 min/mile pace
Zone2: 154 - 164 BPM or 9:31- 10:00 min/mile pace
Zone3: 164 - 174 BPM or 8:13 - 9:31 min/mile pace
Zone4: 174 - 184 BPM or 6:40 - 8:13 min/mile pace
Zone5: 184+ BPM or 6:40 or faster min/mile

Basically I can run faster and at a lower heart all at the same time. And this is all within ~12 weeks. I'll take that!

fast and fast

Ran with two new people today at lunch. One is training for his first triathlon, the other is a fast runner. I tried to go easy, but we ended up doing an 8:28 min/mile pace over 4.2 miles. I felt comfortable the whole way, which is good, so it was ok to be pushed. So I have some people I can run with that will keep my at bay and force me to run slow, and I have some people who will force me to run fast. Then there is me, who will force me to run whatever I feel like. I like to run with others because it makes my pacing more consistent? I don't know.

Then tonight in the pool we did OWS drills which totally kicked my a$$. I was just running on empty by the end.

Still more technique issues to work on. First off is the high elbow entry. I am still reaching too far in front during the entry, so I need to pull that back. The second is my catch could be done quicker and earlier. I basically start my roll before my catch and pull, so I am losing a lot there. One other thing that was pointed out was that I swim really deep in the water. Like my head is completely underwater except for when I breath.

Things to work on....