Friday, October 31, 2008

Signed up for the NYC Triathlon, '09

Because I am a USAT member, I got the privilege of signing up early for the NYC Triathlon '09. This means I don't have to skip out of the Halloween party @ midnight to sign up! Phew!

Whats crazy is that this race is super expensive for an Olympic distance race. I am basically paying $240 for an under 3 hour race in which I will swim in the Hudson river. Whatever, its freaking NYC, where I will be 1 of 4000 racers, making this one of the biggest races that I will EVER do, aside from a marathon.

Workout wise, I did a short 23 min swim Wednesday night, then did two dreadmill runs yesterday morning and this morningfor 30 mins each, with some speed intervals thrown in there to mix things up. Nothing much, just something to maintain things. I actually broke my personal record this month for running mileage. I did a little over 56 miles! That is 5 more miles than my previous 2 months, which happened to be exactly the same. My biking mileage was a poor 76 miles, while my total swim yardage was a measly 7000 yards. Blah!

It has been good to ramp things down for a bit and recharge. I can say though that while my swim volume has decreased, my swim technique has already seen huge gains through my swim class.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

another ass kicker on the bike

Wow, I got it handed to me tonight. I think that awesome 26 miler on Saturday did me in and I wasn't fully fully recovered, although that is really a terrible excuse. Tonight's workout was just plain old hard, doing some hard fast cadence stuff at an incredibly hard intensity. I think I am gonna feel this one tomorrow!

So looking into the future, I have decided to seriously consider going the power route in my training on the bike. Going with power means your rear wheel's hub is a special hub that is a power meter and meters the output of your biking in watts. The more watts you put out means the harder you are working. This data is a bit better than heart rate because it doesnt get all screwy with certain variables such as temperature, how you are feeling or weather. Basically if you aren't putting up the numbers, you flat out aren't putting up the numbers, and it works opposite as well. If you are putting up the numbers, then that means that you are doing something right. Then as you start to compile all of this data you can graph it and start to see how you are doing over the long term. Are you improving? How are you improving? Are you on the verge of overtraining? Undertraining? Plus your coach can look at the numbers and see if you are cheating or exceeding his or hers expectations.

Numbers don't lie!

I will be having a serious chat with my coach this week about going with power for next season. Forcing yourself to put up the numbers will only make you faster and stronger, and I look forward to that. Some folks say on average you will increase your race average speed by 2-4 mph. That will put me into the 22 mph range on a semi hilly course. Damn!

Monday, October 27, 2008

easy 3.44

Its too freaking dark at 7AM to go running anymore. So I have to wait an extra 15 mins.

I did 3.44 miles in 30:11. Whatever, I have no idea how fast that is, and I don't really care. What I do care about is that the temperature this morning (42 degrees) felt AWESOME to run in.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

raced a garbage truck

And won!

This was my first outdoors road ride since the ITPMan relay race. Yikes! That was almost 4 weeks ago. I hadn't even taken the race number sticker off of the front of my helmet! So since then I have done 2 indoor spin classes, and hour each.

So considering all of that, I had a good ride today! I was standing up most short/steep hills and was powering through them. I ended up doing a 26 mile loop in 1:33:02, so a little under 17 mph/avg.

So before the final downhill into Purchase, there was this garbage truck on the side of the road waiting for traffic to clear so it could pull out. I knew this fricking thing would come around me, then be unable to pass or would stay right in front of me, giving me the most wonderful perfume smell of all: GARBAGE!

I wouldn't have any of that! So when the garbage truck got behind me I gunned it and kept a pretty good speed up so that it couldn't pass me. Take that garbage truck!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

7.9 mile run, and got a little lost, sorta

Today my running partner and I set out for this trail that he had done once before. We departed at 6:40-ish and it was pretty dark. When we hit the trail at a little under the first mile, I couldn't see much, but fortunately the trail was clear of any major debris. Still dark....

Then when we got to the end of the trail, it just stopped practically in someone's backyard, so a little awkward that we ran through these people's backyard as they were eating breakfast. Fortunately they didn't see us. Then by seat of our pants we just ran in a general direction that we thought could get us to a major road. Well that major road turned out to the Saxon Woods Rd, a hilly road that I would pound up on my ROAD BIKE. Yikes! We were a good 5-ish miles away @ this point. Whatever, I am still in good running shape from the half marathon and I was feeling good so far. So I pounded down a GU and we were off.

What a nice crisp morning for a run. 34 degrees @ the start, but I was shedding clothing and unzipping shirts by mile 2. I think I can do this cold weather running, as long as I have someone to run with.

Oh and last night I went to the pool to practice those balance drills. It was a long 30 mins and I only put in 900 yards. Yikes! I am getting better at the balance drills, still not perfected, but a LOT better than when I first started doing these.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

not as bad tonight

My spin class went a bit better tonight. I didn't do as much speed work, but instead did the bulk in a low cadence high resistence @ 60 rpm with some standing work. Basically it was a strength building class.

I think last week hurt so bad because it was the first time back on the bike in about 2-3 weeks and I wasn't used to the different kind of resistence from the trainer. Tonight I was a lot more adjusted.

Oh and my cadence monitor showed up as I was leaving the door. Doh! I will have it working next week.

swim class #3 and a dreadmill session

Last night was a sort of a breakthrough night in the pool. We have been doing balance drills for the 3rd straight week, and last night it finally clicked. I have also got myself down to a consistent 17 strokes/25 yards, which is down from 19 during the season. No class next week, but that gives me 2 weeks to further master these balance drills. They are already paying dividends!

Then this morning I hit the dreadmill for 30 mins. Blah blah blah blah blah....the usual the dreadmill sucks blah blah blah sucks.

BUT! I am out on the road thursday AM for a trail run! Woo hoo!

And tonight I will have my humbling painfest on the bike for spin class. My cadence monitor/computer should be here today. Hopefully I will have time to hook that up before the class.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

a full day's rest and dreadmill intervals

Took yesterday off completely. Ahhhhh, it felt good, but I am still sore from Sunday's run. The most nagging injury is my left hamstring. It just plain hurts. Oh well.

This morning I hit the dreadmill for 30 mins. Intervals are the way to go to kill time on that dreaded piece of equipment, plus the intervals will keep my fast twitch muscles sharp for this off season. My goal is to maintain a 5K - 10K fitness until January. If I can do that, I am going to be able to put in an enormous running base for next season.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

2nd swim class and an ass kicking on the trainer

Monday night I had my second swim class. My warmup was basically torture since my body was essentially trashed from Sunday's half Marathon. Fortunately the swim class loosened me up by the end and turned out to be the greatest form of active recovery.

Oh so I thought....

Until last night when I went to my first of about 10 spin classes this fall. I basically got my ass handed to me. My coach had me spinning in these freaking huge gears that were unrelenting. At some points I just wanted to stop, get off, go home and cry. I have only been off of my bike for 2 weeks!

But anyways, this ass kicking will good for in terms of keeping me active and in shape with some intensity. I need to get a cadence computer for my bike, since some of the spin sets are cadence based.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Half Marathon

Wow so this time last year I had just finished up my 2nd round of the couch to 5K program where I ran about 2-3 5K's then went into hibernation/gain weight mode for the rest of the year. I had NO IDEA that a year from then (now) that I would be running my first half marathon and thinking that it was no biggie to run such a distance.

It was easy, and yet it was hard.

Easy because I had the physical strength and endurance to do it no problem. If you can do an Olympic distance triathlon in under 3 hours, you can do a 2 hour Marathon no sweat. That I learned today.

I came in at 2:02:05 for today which I am very proud of. Breaking 2 hours would have been icing on the cake, but I still have to remind myself over and over again that this running thing is still brand new to me!

The coolest part of the day was the hills. I freaking powered up the hills and was perfectly fine at the top of them. In fact it hurt MORE on the downhills then the uphills. I guess its because I am a sick hill loving freak?

Now for why running a half marathon is hard: My feet and knees freaking hurt at the end. Last week's 10 miler proved that my knees were going to hurt today. What I didn't know was that the balls of my feet were gonna hurt so badly. Funny how when my knees hurt, I would concentrate on the pain of my feet, then switch. No relief from pain, just the location.

Now going forward from a half to full marathon? Totally do-able, but its a totally different game. This is where I realize that I will need another year or two to harden my joints and feet up to withstand that kinda of punishment. I know that I could possibly put in a sub 4 hour marathon on a first try because I am pretty good shape now, but I also know that I have a LOT more potential in terms of running. So maybe a marathon in 2 years would be good.

I will do this race again. Absolutely perfect course up and down the Bronx River Parkway. Perfect weather today as well.

Friday, October 10, 2008

attack dogs come in all shapes and sizes

Ran to the track this morning for a couple pickups. Legs felt fine, I actually had to tell myself to slow down to preserve myself for Sunday. On the way home this little white mop dog on a leash decided to charge me. Its attempts at tripping me with the leash failed. Sorry dog, better luck next time! His owner was clearly embarrased. I just said, "Don't worry about it....dogs love me that much!"

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

toasty arms

Got back into the pool tonight and repeated most of the drills that I did from my class Monday night. The dreaded drill where I am 45 degrees rotated face down with my arm 45 degrees extended downwards went a heck of a lot better. Prolly 300% better! I am finally getting the hang of this drill. FINALLY!

I only did about 900 yards in 30 mins. I was finding that by the end of the night I was pulling way left, even more left than usual.

My arms are freaking sore!

no knee pain

No knee pain this morning during my adventures on the dreadmill. I did just 30 mins with 3 short 30 second intervals to get me through the last 6-8 mins of boredom.

It was ~42 degrees this morning. Time to buy some warm weather running gear!

Monday, October 6, 2008

swim class, week 1

Just got back from week 1 of my 10 week underwater video swim analysis class. There are 11 or 12 of us, so a pretty good sized class with 4 people in each lane. I'm in the middle speed lane, but about the slowest in the middle lane. Oh well, we aren't here for speed, just technique.

We started with an 8 minute warmup and I swam however far it takes to do in that much time. I was feeling it by the end. I have only been in the pool once since the Westchester Tri over 2 weeks ago. I soon found my rhythm again.

Then we moved onto drills. The first was easy, just kick on your stomach while pressing your chest down. Then we did that dreaded drill that I always choke on water on. Swim 45 degrees on your side with your arm 45 degrees down. Every time I roll I sink and I swallow water. Well guess what I get to work out this week!! Yay..........blah.....

Then we got to the swim video part. Upon review of the tape, I actually looked pretty good in the water. My body was horizontal and my kick was nice and conistent. My arm work is what was pointed out as not being so good. Basically I am trying to do a catch drill and I am letting my forward arm hang out in front too long. I am also crossing my arms over, which is making me zig-zag in the water, also not good. So already I am getting some great feedback.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Did my first LSD run this morning. LSD stands for "Long Slow Distance," and I think I accomplished that. A coworker and I ran 9.85 miles in 1:44:01. Yeah that definately accomplishes the slow part. We averaged 10:34 min/mile averages. haha

Eh whatever. I'm not out to set any records next weekend other than finishing my first half marathon. Besides, I am done with speed work for a LONG LONG LONG time. My body and mind is pretty cooked from this past season. It is good though to accomplish some goals through this off season.

As for today's run, I ran on a new (to me) path that is well paved the entire way, has some decent scenary and has some small hills. Its always good to find new terrain to switch things up from time to time. By the end of the run I felt really good, besides my knees being a bit sore. But my legs felt fine and I wasn't hungry or tired or wrecked. When I got home I was extremely hungry and I could feel my legs starting to feel a bit sore. Now my quads are pretty sore.

Tomorrow night I start my swim classes. Then Tuesday and Thursday I will be putting in some short runs for next Sunday's half marathon.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

getting recovered

Just ran an 8:23 min/mile pace for 3.5 miles this morning. 8:23?!?! Where did that come from? Does this mean that I am finally recovered? I didn't feel like I was running that fast, but I guess I did!

I mean since the last two races I have done a 9:30, 9:15, 9:08. 8:53 min/mile paces, but then all of a sudden it DROPS to 8:23? Well the numbers don't lie, and I think that I have finally recovered.

And I just signed up for the Westchester Half Marathon for the 12th. No backing out now!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

registered for my first HIM

Just registered for my first HIM (half Iron Man 70.3), Timberman, in Gilford, NH. This race is only 25 mins or so from where I grew up and is on the very same lake that I grew up on. I am excited as this will be a "home" race for me.

Wow, Swim 1.2 miles, Bike 56 miles, then run a half Marathon (13.1 miles). Should take me 6 hours or less. GULP!

Oh its gonna be awesome!

Timberman is one of the signiture races of the season, especially in the northeast. They had Kona's female winner, Chrissy Wellington, win the the female Pros this past year, along with Andy Potts, who almost made the US Olympic team. Who knows if they will repeat next year, but the race draws some big names.

August 23, 2009, here I come! Oh, and my race age @ that time will be 27. Yikes! I'm still ONLY 25!!!!!