Sunday, June 29, 2008

long ride, semi mechanical breakdown

Today was a great ride. The weather was perfect, other than the heavy humidity. A coworker and rode under mostly cloudy conditions that kept the heat at bay. Unfortunately at around mile 40 I have a mechanical issue. My front tire started to come out of the wheel as the tube was trying to push out. Yikes! So I pulled over and quickly deflated the tire so I can save the tube. That worked. However, the CO2 cartridge didn't work so well and I either didn't puncture it well enough or the valve wasn't connected correctly, but not enough air got in. Damn! So I was stuck and my coworker didn't have a pump or another cartidge. Double damn! So I was suddenly SOL.

Fortunately because the weather was so great, there were TONS of cyclists out today, and before I knew it a very nice couple pulled over and let me use a CO2 cartridge. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get a full inflate, but I did have enough pressure to limp myself along Rt 22 to get back to Armonk and into the bike shop. The bad part about this section of road is that its a pretty good hill, and I was doing it on a soft tire, which makes the climbing that much harder. I did the climbs and was scared about the downhill into town, but I made it to the shop and they fixed me up and sent me on my way.

I do remember that while I was on a pretty good downhill on miles 20-30 that I felt a rythmic bump in my front tire. Its a brand new tire and I thought it was just a piece of rubber that hadn't been broken in yet. I was wrong! That bump as the start of my tire coming out of the wheel! I got LUCKY for most of the ride.

Here is the route.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

rescheduled and a swim to make it up

I went down to Altheus and then the trainer and I went to the beach for my lesson in the ocean. Unfortunately we had NO idea how much it was going to cost to even get INTO the place. I knew I would have to pay a parking fee, $8, but we had no idea that it would cost $8/person to get ONTO the beach itself. Not only did we have not have any cash on us @ this point, but I also didn't have enough cash left over to get us in. Doh! So we rescheduled for Tuesday afternoon. The trainer did give me a few drills to practice in the meantime...

Which I did when I got back I took a short nap and headed back to the Y and into the pool. The drills helped and after the drills I did over the past two weeks and today my stroke is starting to "feel" stronger. I think I am starting to overcome my dread of a poor stroke and I hope that soon that my stroke will start to turn around and become better. This swim workout this afternoon definately made up for the disappointment of this morning.

Also next week I AM GOING to get two OWS in in the lake. Whether I want to or not, I WILL do these two swims to get some more endurance into my body with the wet-suit on.

Another thing I noticed while looking over my training logs is the amount of volume. I really need to step up the volume. I feel confident in my abilities, but I know that I can really step it up even more now and start to get even stronger. Its good to know that I have so much more room for improvement. I actually dread the day where I hit a wall and cannot really improve much more.

Friday, June 27, 2008

swim, pullbouy

I did .75 miles tonight in 33 mins. Yeah, nothing to brag about but my form overall felt like it has improved a bit. My breathing sucked and I felt a bit out of breath for most of the swim. I guess that happens when you drop your swimming volume. Ouch.

I tried out a pullbouy tonight. Its a float that goes between your thighs and keeps your legs bouyant so you can work on your arm stroke. It works! I felt immediately how I could concentrate all of my effort into my arms. Of course, when I took the bouy away I had to adjust. The bouy also helped balance me. I think using this will help a lot.

Tomorrow @ noon I have my swim lesson in the ocean. I have never really swam in the ocean other than bobbing up and down. I dont think I have ever put my face in ocean water!

I guess I am scared but also eager to get over my phobia of swimming in ocean water. I am not worried about sharks. This will help for my next two triathlons, which will both be in the ocean.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

5 miler and GI issues

Did another 5 miler this morning and in about the same time. I was having major GI issues this morning, so much so that I had to stop at one point and walk it out. It was not a fun run and I was glad to have it over with.

I think because I was concentrating on the pain from my innards so much I didn't even notice the pain in my legs.

I did stretch my legs out after the run though. I was feeling a bit stiff throughout the run.

I think I am hitting a point where doing the same mileage 3 times in a row within a week is getting to be harder. The rate that I am building up mileage is increasing too quickly. I also think the amount of recovery time between these runs needs to increase or else I am just going to run sore forever, which is gonna suck and I really won't become stronger as fast.

Maybe a long run, easy 5K, long run, 2 day rest? I gotta read up on it some more I guess.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

bike ride and food journal

Did 23.46 miles tonight @ an average of 16.87 mph....I was trying to keep up my speed, but yet take it easier to save myself for tomorrow AM's 5 mile run. My thighs were a little crispy during the first half of the ride. The weather was AWESOME tonight. I wish I could have ridden longer.

I am starting to keep a food journal and record my weight. Not gonna post it here, as this is just a test to see if anything comes of it. I have been keeping track of my weight and it will vary depending mostly on water weight. I have 3-5 pound fluccuations over the course of 2-3 days. Usually the lowest is when I return from a long run and go to the bathroom.

I have lost some weight though! I was in the 173 lb range last January/February and a week ago I weighed 164,5 lbs. Of course I was prolly dehydrated and I immediately put on two pounds when I started drinking water. I haven't been trying to diet at all. I try to get enough food in so that I know I will have a succesful workout without worrying about running out of food. I am doing this and I am losing weight, then screw dieting! Of course I do need to watch what I eat, which I think I do a good job of as I don't really eat junk food, but rather try to keep to the healthier stuff. I think though that I could go a little lighter on the amount of butter and olive oil that I use in my diet. I love peaches though!

My route.

swim last night

Did a 1 mile swim last night. I had a conversation with the lifeguard about the Master's swimming program. He said the instructors are technique nuts. I am going to sign up today!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

5 mile run

I finally am back up to running 5 miles. I mean I could have always ran 5 miles since the last time I did it, but that would have ended in disaster with either an injury or enough soreness to sideline me in other ways.

So this morning I did it with ease. My left hamstring is a bit sore, but I was able to go faster and I felt stronger as the run progressed until the end. I averaged my usual 8:45 min/mile pace and finished in under 44 mins.

Finally my running is back up to where it was, oh 2 MONTHS ago. Yeah, april 25th was the last time I ran 5 miles... 2 whole freaking months ago....

Sunday, June 22, 2008

long ride, yesterday

Did 58.77 miles yesterday in a little over 3.5 hours. Averaged between 16-17 mph. For the first half of the ride, my legs felt like they were stuck in 2nd gear. I just couldn't shift up to a faster speed. I think its leftovers from that run last thursday. I had a great ride.

I checked out the course for the Greenwich Cup Triathlon at the end of July. Half the bike course is the same as the duathlon that they put on, but the other half is on a section that I have never been on, or thought I had never been on. There is one stretch that crosses over a section that I have been on a few times, and a second stretch that goes along a road that I had in fact ridden on early in the season last year. I had always wondered where that road was, well now I know.

I also did Palmer Hill Rd. I didn't want to do it and thought I could just avoid it, but I didn't realize how close to the hill I came, so I just said, "Whatever!" and went up it. I was surprised at how easy it felt. I mean I was breathing a little harder at the top, but I tried to relax my body as best as I could and keep my cadence up. It worked! I was basically able to spin up it a LOT easier than the other 3 times I have been up it. Maybe this is a tactic I should replicate during the race next month....

Here is my route:

Thursday, June 19, 2008

adding speed

Did 4.5 miles again this morning, but this time I mixed it up. Did the usual 3 mile run course, but @ ~mile 2.5 I came to the brand new running track at the local middle school. That track rocks! Its like running on a pillow it feels so good on your legs. But anyways, I did 6 laps around the 1/4 mile track, with a spurts of I think a 200 meter pickup on each lap except for the 5th lap. I was feeling pretty wasted after that effort and was happy to be done when the run was over. They say this kind of speedwork will only get your faster. Lets hope they are right!

And whats amazing, even with the speed work I still only managed an 8:45 min/mile pace. Maybe I did some extra distance? eh who knows...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

drills night

I did nothing but drills in the pool tonight. It was good. I watched some educational swim videos on and discovered some easy drills. Did these:

Drag your fingers across the water during recovery
Catch up drill (actually this is how I swim)
Pinky Drill (similar to the drag fingers drill, but more extreme)
superman one arm drill
Fist drill....prolly the best one I did...its like swimming and getting some no pull, but when you go back to using your hands, you feel like you are swimming with a 10 foot wide oar attached to your arms.
Delayed arm drill...basically when your arm is half way up out of the water, hold it, then stroke...i think this was the best drill I did besides the fist drill.

Took about 30 mins...not sure how far I swam....didnt work too hard, but I feel like I accomplished something.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

another swim

a whatever swim...80 lengths in 52 mins or so...i did about 10 fast lengths trying to get some drills in. They are feeling easier, however I feel like I am just flayling in the water with NO grace what so ever. I feel like I am just reinforcing bad habits.

ramping up the run mileage

Did 4.5 miles this AM in 39:32, or an 8:45 min/mile pace. I am starting to finally come out of the running funk that I have been in for the past month, starting to feel like a runner once again. It feels good!

I had to take yesterday off since I have been having eye issues (possible pink eye) so I spent a porton of yesterday @ the eye doctor. No more contacts for the next week. This should be interesting @ the pool tonight, swimming blind!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

the billy goat bonk

I had one goal for today. Do 7 hill climbs and then go home and eat a cheeseburger. That is all.

Part of that goal was to NOT bonk. Yeah...especially up the last freaking steepest hill of em all! I was so sapped of energy going up Beemer hill that I don't really even remember most of it nor did I really feel it. All I felt was the feeling of draining water and just wanting to eat a bar of chocolate.

So three slices of pizza, a bowl of special K, half a bottle of gatorade, a triple chocolate chaos bar, and a chocolate gu was not enough fuel to get me through a 44.5 mile ride. WTF!

Well, I did the ride, and I did it in 2.75 hours with an average speed of 16.18 MPH, so I think I did REALLY well despite some poor nutritional choices. After last friday's run and resulting cramp and today's ride, I really need to rethink my nutritional choices for this week. I could really screw myself up for a week if I am not getting enough fuel!

I am better now. Here is my route for the day and elevation profile:

Friday, June 13, 2008

and i figured it out

The cramp is from not only running first, then swimming, but also because I point my toes too hard, especially when i was doing the 25 meter, go as hard as you can, lengths. I just remembered that to dig for more power I will flex my lower legs and over time when I push off (that and the coldish water) my calf will just go BANG....CRAMP! more running then immediately swimming, or I think this is prolly a bigger issue, I need to relax my lower legs during the flutter kick, something that I should be doing anyways.

Back to the kickboard!

calf knot while swimming

I was having a great swim when all of a sudden 40 mins into it I pushed off the wall in the shallow end and my left calf just turned into the most excrutiatingly painful knot I have every experienced. I am so fortunate I was in the shallow end because I was clawing to get back to the wall. I didn't know how to get rid the knot so I was pulling my leg together then stretching it out. Stretching it out did the trick, but man, my calf muscle was SO FREAKING TIGHT!

It still hurts even now and my rubbing stick is @ the office. Doh!

I was having a good swim too. I was doing an easy length then going hard for the second length , then resting. Then repeat.

Freaking wierd!

almost bonked on a run

I thought I had eaten enough this afternoon for a nice and easy 4 mile run, but it didn't turn out that way. I finished the run strong, with an 8:56 min/mile pace, but about half way into the run I started to get that feeling. You know, the feeling of "uh oh, I think I am about to get hungry and my legs are starting to feel week!"

I toughed through it and finished, although I think this will be the last time that I only eat a light-ish lunch then about 4 pretzel sticks then decide to run for 36 mins.

I feel good though! My body was able to do the distance no problem, I just amost ran out of energy!

Off to the pool I go. Oh and I am being a complete nerd right now and I am writing a C++ program to automajically calculate the min/mile pace of a run or bike. *snort*

Thursday, June 12, 2008

recovery ride

Did the usual 14.5 mile recovery ride. I did it on my TT bike and wished I hadn't by the end. My seat was really uncomfortable! I did hit some sections of the route where I went pretty fast. Sometimes I wish I had a computer.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

back @ it

I took two days off since the race on sunday. During that time they DQ'ed the winner since his swim was over 2 mins faster than everyone else's. Basically he started in the wrong wave.

After work I went out for the usual 3 mile run and did it in under 27:00 but I felt great during the entire run. Then I hit the pool. Its time to ramp up the volume in the pool.

After doing the usual mile or 1650 yards in the pool, my arms were not feeling as tired as they did when I did the half mile swim in my wet-suit on sunday. So I continued on for another 15 mins. I finished with some drills @ the end. I think its time to not only increase volume, but also add more and more drills. Also, I need to get out @ least once a week for an OWS.

Monday, June 9, 2008

results for tri #2 are in!

1:42:12 for 103/286

So the cool thing about the results from this race are that I can compare them to the results of last week's race! Overall I beat last week's time by 2 mins 26 seconds. Below are the breakdowns, minus the transitions.

This week: 19:48.2
Last week: 20:12
Difference: 24 seconds

This week: 51:36.36
Last week: 52:04
Difference: 28 seconds

This week: 26:52.0
Last week: 28:09
Difference: 1:17

I am happy to see faster times overall. I was surprised that the swim went faster, as it felt slower. The bike I know I could have gone a LOT fast had I not raced the previous weekend. I am VERY happy about the run though. The fact that I shaved off 1:17 off of my time is HUGE and shows that I am improving in this part of the race.

For the next three weeks, its going to be a running boot camp.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

triathlon #2 in the bag!

Just got back from triathlon #2. Overall I felt more exausted than last week's race, yet I still put in a faster time. This race course was mostly the same as last week with the same exact swim portion, a bike course that went in the opposite direction, but a completely different run. I think my approximate finishing time was in the 1:42 and change area.

I think I felt more exausted because I raced last Sunday, tried to recover as best as I could during the week and then raced again. I felt strong and hopefully recovered going into the swim, but quickly realized that things were going to hurt more right from the start my arms hurt, and I mean bad. I kept going and was happy to finish. The real clincher that I was more exausted was the transition out of the water. I just couldn't run out of the water and had to walk. Then on dry land running to the transition area was really difficulty.

Transitioning from swim to bike took forever it felt like, but whatever, it was just a transition (I am going to start working on faster transitions when I start racing to place better).

The bike portion felt a lot faster than last week because the uphill this time was more of a stairstep up after I flew down the huge hill that I climbed last week. I just couldn't find my rhythm up the hill. I was passing people (and was passed more this time) so that was good that I was moving faster, but still I didn't have the legs that I normally would have. I am going to attribute this hurting to again not recovering fully from last week. I am curious to see what my time is for this leg.

Now for the run. I just wanted to walk from the start. It hurt so bad, almost as bad as the brooklyn duathlon, but still not as bad. But I still wanted to walk. It was hot @ this point and the water that one of the volunteer's poured over my head saved me @ the very beginning.

At the halfway point of the run they had more water (thank GOD!) and I actually walked through this little section. Mentally I hardened up from this point on. I said to myself that others will pass you, that you are racing at your pace and now try to block everyone out and think of this as just another run through the neighborhood. This helped A LOT and I started to find my groove and run a bit faster and with some more determination.

At the finish I just wanted this thing to be over with and to get some water. I felt HUGELY relieved to be done and am glad that I have 5 weeks until my next race.

This race was a good learning tool in that racing two weekends in a row is hard. Very hard. Mentally it drains you. I need to spend this next week recovering and not doing any hard work.

My supervisor at work knew that I had a race today and on friday was coming up with a list of things to work on come monday, and I got this feeling that he was trying to take it easy on me because I was going to be tired because of the race. I thought that was funny.

Friday, June 6, 2008

brick and fatigue

First I tried to do the same workout as last thursday. It didn't happen. I got through the biking portion ok, but I just didn't have the legs to go as fast. But I did it.

Next came the run. I was wanting to do the 1.68 miles. After getting off the bike and putting on the shoes I knew I just didn't have the legs for it. I think I might have put in a .25 mile run. I got over the initial "shock" of the bike to run transition and started the autopilot mode, and then finished.

I just need to rest up over the next 48 hours. I feel tired!...which is NOT good!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

bad swim last night

I just couldn't find my rhythm last night. After 26 mins of frustration and only about 44 lengths I called it a night.

Oh well....

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

recovery run

After work I ran a run where I just wanted to get out there and do a 5K to feel like I can still RUN.

I had a good run.

Didnt go hard and kept a steady pace and I bounded up the hills with ease. I did a 9:20 min/mile pace. A bit on the slow side, but I felt loose.

The little bit of rain that fell during the middle portion of the run felt awesome!

Monday, June 2, 2008

recovery bike/swim

Did the same 55 min recovery 14.5 mile ride tonight. Took is E-A-S-Y. It was absolutely perfect riding tonight, and with no bugs.

Then I hit the pool. I only wanted to do about 1/4 mile to loosen my arms up. I did that, but had to do it in 3 sets of 4 lengths and a final set of 6 lengths. My arms are really sore from yesterday. That suit really inhibits the motion. Hopefully it will only make me stronger.

Also, I learned how to swim bilaterally tonight. I brought along my kickboard and after I did the initial 1/4 mile, I did about 8 lengths where I did left arm strokes and breathing. Then I ditched the kickboard and went for it. It felt totally natural on my first try!

I had tried this back in February and all I got out of it was a mouth full of water followed by choking and coughing, so I gave up. I think why it was so much easier this time around is that my overall body is stronger and I am able to hold my body up in the water to allow myself to roll to breath and do a left armed stroke.

I finished the swim with 2 continuous lengths of real bilateral swimming. I felt like I was swimming faster than when I just breath on my right. We shall see soon. Unfortunately I can't really do any official time tests yet because I need to put in a quality swim before my next race on sunday.

race results are in!

So I cleaned up on the bike...31/213... but got destroyed on the swim(165/213) and run(151/213) portions. Guess I know what I need to work on! I guess biking for 9 years has payed off!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

completed my first TRIATHLON!!!

So I did it! I don't have official results yet, but I finished around 01:45:00 and change. Over all the swim was a bit harder than I expected, the bike was as I expected, and I could have gone harder on the run. Here goes the breakdown:

First off the water was a balmy 72 degrees!.....72 degrees! Thats freaking WARM! I dipped my toes in the water expecting it to be cold (not as cold as last weekend) but cold. No way was it that. I got my wetsuit on and warmed up a bit. No hyperventilation. No issues putting my face in the water. That water felt AWESOME.

So it finally came time to line up. Before the horn went off a group of buzzards decided to swarm over the water. We all had a good laugh at that one! I went into slower than the front guys to keep out of the mayhem. The water still looked like rapids from us running and diving in. I dove in too soon cuz the water was still too shallow, got up ran a bit more than went. I just need even more practice in the wetsuit. The suit constricts your arm movements and it felt like I was swimming 2x as a hard to go the same speed as usual. I did great sighting this time and swam towards the big orange bouy .25 miles out. After turning the bouy I was happy to get onto the final stretch, but the sun was in our eyes so sighting this time was a bit harder, so I aimed for the big boat house until I could sight on the final two orange giant inflatable balls on the shore.

Coming out of the water my legs felt like rubber and I couldn't run that fast, which was strange because I wasn't using my legs! I guess maybe the little bit of kicking I did was enough. I did the swim in about just under 20 mins (new record for a .5 mile swim!) even though I felt like a slow moving barge in the water.

Transition from swim to bike was easy. I got my wetsuit no problem, dried my suit no problem and put on socks no problem.

After running through transition, I had a bit of trouble getting my first cleat into the petal. I finally got it in and got moving.

I started passing people. Then I passed more people. I passed a LOT of people on the biking portion just like I passed a lot of others on the bike in the two duathlons I have done.

The came "The Hill." I did much better up (meaning went faster) up the hill than the last two times, and at a race pace. It still hurt as bad but I was going faster and legs were turning the petals faster. I again passed quite a few folks on this leg. The stupid race number that goes onto your bike this time was basically a sticker that you wrap around your top tube. The thing was a POS. It came loose on the downhills and after the last uphill on the flats it was totally loose flopping around and scratching my inner legs pretty hard. It was pretty frustrating.

Also, I got a new water bottle that goes between the aero bars. That thing works great but the spongy thing that keeps liquid from spilling out fell out of the top of the bottle on one of the flying downhills, so whenever I hit a bump, liquid would splash out and hit me in the face. Another frustration. Oh also at the very beginning of the biking portion a bee hit me and stung me on the upper lip. That hurt a bit but kinda fired me up. My lip is fine now, but what a freak accident!

I came off the bike @ 01:15:00 so that mins 20 mins is what, a 55 min bike? I think its less because of the transition from the swim to bike with took 2-3 mins.

The transition from bike to run was non eventful and something I have done 3 times now.

My legs were slow and I was bit more tired, but it still wasn't as bad as the two duathlons that I have done. My legs were actually able to GO this time, but again, not as fast. The run course was an out and back course which mostly went uphill for the first half and then you got to go down it on the 2nd, so the 2nd leg was much better than the first, and I felt like I could have pushed it a bit harder on the run. And again, those who I passed on the bike passed me on the run. Something I STILL need to work on.

I think my run time was 30 mins or less, due to the transition from bike to run. I prolly ran around a 9:45 min mile pace.

I wasn't here to win or to place well. That wasn't my goal. My goal was to finish, and if I happened to finish in under 2 hours, then thats cool too, which I did do :)