Sunday, January 31, 2010

January Totals and some reflection

January was a HUGE volume record month for me. Even though I have swam further and biked farther in a month's time, I have NEVER ran as much before.

Swim: 23100 yards
Bike: 314.28 miles
Run: 91.75 miles
41 hours, 40 mins total
2 races, a 5 miler and a half marathon which included a HUGE PR.

For some comparison, for January 2009, I only swam 11050 yards, biked 177 miles, and ran 35.5 miles.

I'd say that I am off to a solid 2010 start!

Am I burning a match too early in the season? I'd so no. Most of these workouts have been zone 2 easy intensity just building a solid base. Other than in the pool, I think I went hard 4 times: 2 time trials on the bike and 2 running races.

One other thing that I am realizing is that my body is capable of making a full recovery within 7 days of a half marathon PR within a full week of training. i.e. I broke my body down to ashes last Sunday, then managed to get another 11.5 hours of base training in while recovering. I am not gloating or bragging, it is a reality that I learned about myself. I was REALLY cautious/worried when I wrote up my training plan for January that I would be able to do 11.5 hours after that race, especially after my recent injury. Usually you would take a rest week after that kind of an effort! Well, I am doing that after my next race. :)

Another thing to note was that most of those biking miles were done on a trainer. The good: keeps me in a controlled state while hitting target wattage to build a base. The bad: its freaking boring on that thing! and I go harder outside and improve quicker on varying terrain. The bad about that? Recovery tends to be longer after an outdoor ride.

I wrote up my February plan this morning and if I follow it, I won't hit the same numbers as this month due to a rest week and a shortened month, but it will still be a good month of solid base building. I feel February will be the last month of indoor riding which will propel me outdoors for March which will mean some SERIOUS long rides to get me ready for New Orleans in April.

How did your January turn out?

Friday, January 29, 2010

I make funny faces when I run

and I have knack for getting the absolute WORST yet FUNNIEST race pictures taken of me. Don't believe me? Lookie here! These are shots taken from last Sunday's Half Marathon.

(Grrr, i hate life?)

(I run with my head sideways?)

(Uh oh, something didn't taste right?)

(I'm whistling?!?!?)

Speaking of running. The weather has been winning over the past two days and sent me back onto the dreadmill. Wound up with 3 miles yesterday and 6 miles today. Yesterday we got some freak snowstorm that generated a lot worse weather than expected, and today it dropped down into the teens with high winds. Those conditions = NO OUTDOOR RUNNING. Boooo!!!

Sunday is looking like a MUCH better day for getting outside for a nice long run. Fingers crossed!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

tagged! my favorite 10....

BEERS! Gonna change it up a bit. Maria @ 2010 Brings Racine tagged me to list my 10 favorite things. Well, that is too broad so I am switching it up to my 10 favorite hoppy drinks.

#1 Saison Dupont
The best beer in the ENTIRE WORLD!

#2 Duvel
By far the foamiest beer in the world, and 8.5%

#3 Castelain Biere de Garde

#4 Hoegaarden
Best beer to eat while drinking pizza (you get that?!?!)

#5 Sam Adams
any flavor will do....

#6 Blue Moon
nuff said....

#7 Kronenbourg
Fueled two European summers of cyling, also known as the French wife beater beer

#8 Dogfish Head Pumpkin Ale
Ring a glass with cinnamon, trust me!

#9 Ommegang Hennepin
Just go visit Cooperstown, NY

#10 Pilsner Urquell
The original. I mean, its named after the town of Pilsner.

Beer is my 2nd hobby. I like to brew it and I like the science of brewing it. Its very close to triathlon, in fact. You buy lots of expensive gear and you are constantly upgrading it.

What is your favorite brew?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

what a torture session will do for ya!

I very rarely have bad days. There, I said it!

I had a bad day yesterday.

Don't feel sorry for me; this story has a happy ending! So bare with me....

I was having a slow day at work, yada yada yada, about to leave @ 5:30 when @ 3:30 the shit hits the fan at work. It was messy.

Stressed, I scrambled and got everything done with 20 mins to spare. It wasn't just the job, it was the dreading of the inevitable of what was to come for my final PT session with "The Elbow." It was on my mind all day and I didn't want to go through it, even though I knew it was not only going to be the best medicine, but by far the most painful.

6PM I am on the table @ PT and I wish I had my heart rate monitor on to record what I was about to go through. She starts on the top of my quads and they aren't too tight and it doesn't hurt. She is just using her forearm at this point.

Then it begins: She breaks out the elbow and goes straight for the jugular, aka, the bottom side of the quad. Can't put this into words other than I became this:

There was a guy on the table next to me who must have been startled and looked over. The PT quickly calmed his fears by explaining that I was "fine." HA!

She finished up my quads (OUCH!) and the other PT took over. He went to work on my right calf. Basically he took his fingers and massaged deeply right between the two calf muscles up to the back of the knee then pressed inwards and held. OUCH! After about three of those I was crawling up the table in shear agony.

I just wanted to go home and be like this:

I felt worse walking out of there than I came in. I went home and was passed out by 9PM.

Now for the happy ending to the story: Shear magic happened overnight and I was suddenly healed! I went for a painless swim at lunch and I had to remind myself of the soreness when I got back to work.

The hard part is over with. PHEW!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

recoveryville and NYC Marathon, I AM IN!

I already feel about 50% better than yesterday. I had to go through some pretty painful workouts and stretching/foam rolling/icing to get to where I am now, but the first hard part is over with. I am not limping anymore!

Started with a swim @ lunch that turned into aqua jogging and kicking on my back with some stretching in the pool. Then last night I was on the trainer for 45 mins. No joke, my legs felt like they had never peddled a bike before. I was doing about 80 watts to start off and my legs could push no more. Eventually they opened up a bit, but I never got above 110 watts. More stretching/foam rolling/icing ensued.

Then this morning was just a runtarded morning. I didn't really "run" but rather "hobbled" about 4.18 miles in 42:31 for a mind blowing, record breaking, super speedy pace of 10:10 mins/mile. This run was exactly what I needed. It hurt a LOT but it broke up all of the crap in my legs and made me a lot more mobile. More stretching/foam rolling/icing ensued and I felt like a brand new person.

Unfortunately the hard part is yet to come. Tonight I visit "The Elbow." If you hear any screaming from the direction of Westchester County, NY, don't worry, its just me crying like a 5 year old.

Yesterday the registration for guaranteed entry into the 2010 NYC Marathon opened up. I promptly signed up and quickly received this:

So now its real. I am ACTUALLY going to run a marathon in 7 months time! Bring it!

Monday, January 25, 2010

my legs are f-ed and Lake Placid!

Thanks everyone for the well wishes after my race yesterday. I REALLY appreciate it and I look forward to congratulating you on your future races!

So the downside to going hard, especially for almost 2 hours is that you are putting some SEVERE damage on the legs.

Waking up this morning was NOT exactly the most wonderful feeling ever.

So my laundry list of "hurts" goes as this:
- right calf feels "torn"
- i'm limping due to the ^above^
- both quads are laughing at me
- the hamstrings are surprisingly not hurting?@?@?
- the balls of my feet feel totally inflamed
- my right knee injury has popped its head back up to say "Oh Hai!"
- and my left shoulder hurts? wtf?

Fortunately I am heading back in to see "The Elbow" tomorrow night so that she can put me back together. Oh its gonna hurt like nothing I have ever experienced, but its hopefully going to speed up the recovery process 10 fold.

Yesterday's efforts were so worth it!

Then this morning signups to volunteer at Ironman Lake Placid opened up. I signed up and gave my three choices for volunteer slots: 2 changing tent shifts and a gear check in shift.

This will be my first Ironman anything experience, so it should be fun to watch and fun to help out. I chose the changing tent because that is where you see the athletes and their equipment and fuel choices for the race.
Then the volunteers get first dibs on registering to compete the following year. Should be a fun weekend!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Manhattan Half Marathon, race report, BIG PR!!!

The goal of this race was to break the 2 hour barrier that has plagued me over my last 3 attempts at the half marathon distance. I SMASHED it this morning with a time of 1:47:58, for an 8:15 pace. My prior PR was 2:00:10. So 12 mins faster?

Mile1: 8:39
Mile2: 8:28
Mile3: 8:08
Mile4: 8:19
Mile5: 8:11
Mile6: 8:04
Mile7: 8:00
Mile8: 8:09
Mile9: 7:22
Mile10: 7:58
Mile11: 8:04
Mile12: 7:55
Mile13: 8:59

I feel like the race wound up in 4 pieces, because my legs felt different 4 times. After a 1.5 mile warm up, the first 3 miles were basically shaking the rust off the legs. I wasn't too thrilled with my first 2 miles after seeing my splits and I thought that I was in for a VERY rough day. Fortunately by the time I got to the top of the hill at the top of the park my legs FINALLY loosened up and I went into autopilot mode until mile 8. I felt fine and I was comfortable.

After mile 8 I switched another gear and went into the pain fog. I knew it was going to hurt (and boy did it hurt!) and just trudged through it and it paid off. My splits started to decrease and the damage started. By the time I crested the top of the hill for the last time at the top of the park, my legs entered into the third stage of pain and I knew it was mental going forward. I realized that I was going to go under 2 hours, but now it was how FAR under 2 hours did I want to go. Well, I let my legs decide.

I held the pain until mile 12 and then another switch went off, which was just surviving to the finish. I felt fast still, but my 9 min split showed otherwise. It was ok, anything at this point was pure gravy.

The funniest part of the race occured around mile 12.5 when this older non runner type woman on the sidelines asked a runner in front of me in a thick NY accent, "What are you all running for?" The runner responded with simply, "Health." Woman: "Health?!?!? Oh gaaaawwwwd." That was enough to give me a chuckle and survive the final .6 miles. Yes, we endurance athletes are an intriguing bunch!

As for my race tactics: My breakfast was appropriate 2 hours before the gun time. Bowl of cheerios, two slices of toast with butter, banana, glass of OJ. I shot a Gu 15 mins before the gun, and took another @ mile 6.5. I got water 3 times on the course. For pacing, I started off slower (not that the legs would let me go any faster) and increased the pace until survival for the final 1.1 miles. My tactics paid off and I "get" this distance now. I would repeat these tactics again and with more and more running, I think I can bring my time down further.

Today was a SUCCESS!!!

For my post race meal, I turned back into a 5 year old and had PB&J on white bread with chocolate milk. Sooooo gooood!

Friday, January 22, 2010

when is your next event?

I am always curious to know when someone is doing their next big race, run, long ride or any kind of event, no matter how short or long it is. I am curious because I want to read about his/her experience once he/she finishes it, that way I can learn from you did. I like to look for: Was your preparation for the event enough? Did it pay off? Did something go wrong? Can you learn from it? Would you do this again?

I guess I think of it as gracious stealing?

I quickly learned during my first season of triathlon that being stuck in your own ways is only going to lead to hitting a wall. So I learned how to "swallow my pride" or "check my ego at the door" and started to listen to how others are accomplishing their endurance racing goals. Trust me, most of my equipment choices were not made from self discovery ;)

So when is your next event and what type of event is it? I look forward to reading about it!....even if it is months away.

I'll start: my next event is this Sunday, and it is the Manhattan Half Marathon.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

every taper is different

I guess I should start tapering for this weekend's Manhattan Half Marathon? I mean, its ONLY a half marathon ;) kidding! A half marathon is not really a "hey lets go out for an easy 13.1 miles!" It will involve pain, especially in the last least for me it will.

But the last time I did a race that was over an hour was my last triathlon, and that involved a 13.1 mile run after a 56 mile bike after a 1.2 mile swim, so my perspective on running 13.1 miles by itself is now permanently skewed.

Back to tapering, I have learned that every taper is different. It depends on how important the race is (A, B, C, etc), what day it falls on, when the next race is and if its an end of the season race. For this half marathon, I am bringing the running way down in frequency this week by only doing 5 yesterday, 4 tomorrow, then sorta resting for Sunday.

I am still keeping up with the biking this week (hey, a 56 mile bike portion still hurts! can't drop the biking entirely) but I am bringing the intensity down but increasing the time (I love training load!). For example this morning I did 20 miles, but kept the watts around 100 in zone 1-2 to not kill myself, but that meant going about 5 mins longer. No problem, the legs feel fine and I got the distance in. I need to repeat this Friday morning and then put in 30 easy mins Saturday.

Swimming will stay the same this fact I did my first 3000 yarder of the season @ lunch today. I stayed purely aerobic and did 2X's through descending sets:

Boring, yes, but it got the job done and didn't totally destroy me.

Now for hydration. I am ALREADY getting super hydrated. One thing that I learned from following Lance Armstrong during his earlier glory days, especially from a super hot TT during the 2003 Tour de France is that your hydration issues will surface themselves not because of poor hydration that day, but from poor hydration days before. I have good luck by staying super hydrated the days leading up to a race, but then backing off the morning of to limit potty breaks.

Hey, the clock don't stop on the toilet!

Do you have any funky taper rituals?

Monday, January 18, 2010

My favorite stroll through Greenwich and Google calendar ROCKS

When it comes to training, I am ALWAYS talking about the weather. It determines where you are going, what you are wearing, and sometimes how hard you can go.

Take for today: Another bright and sunny 45 degree day. Is winter over with? It IS January 18th, right?!?!?

Well, coincidentally I had to bike for 90 mins today so this is one of those days that I call PERFECT. There was no need to time trial anything so I brought out the road bike. Its been a long time since I rode over the border into ritzy Greenwich, so I went out onto one of my favorite 26 mile courses:

I just cruised nice and easy. This course is so wonderful because it offers rollers, some steep pitches, and some nice long flat straightaways. Not to mention a number of $10 million dollar houses. There is a $95 million estate available a mile from this route if anyone is interested!

I also want to give a shout out to Kevin @ for hooking me up with this totally kick@$$ google calendar (almost) widget.

Check out his site and send him a comment if you want instructions on a how-to to get this going. I use this blog as my training center and I am constantly looking at my calendar to see what I have to do currently and in the near future. This calendar widget just made it 100's easier and clearer. I *heart* Google!

Base Week #1 in review with a "manly" celebration

I finished my first week of base training this morning with the 9 mile run in Central Park. So for the week, I followed my plan almost perfectly and wound up with a little extra for:
- 3 swims, 7250 yards total in 2:35:00
- 3 bikes, 70 miles total in 4:05:36
- 3 runs, 20.67 miles total in 3:16:47
9:57:23 total time. So almost 10 hours for the week. Phew!

Looking back on at my logs from last season, for a 10 hour week, this is one of my most balanced weeks in my short triathlon career in terms of time/distance spent S/B/R. So I'd say this is a good start to base training.

So I sorta celebrated tonight by slow cooking a pork butt for 6 hours:

And then bottled my Belgian Blond Ale into champagne bottles with real cork. Isn't this such a beautiful sight?!?!? 5 gallons worth of beer:

Sunday, January 17, 2010

9 miles of Central Park

For my final run before next weekend's half marathon, I headed down to Central Park for a 9 miler. We did once around the park with 2 extra upper loops around the top of the park for the hills. The hill really isn't that bad, its just that I have little experience on them. My first experience up there was during the NYC Triathlon and I didn't know that running in the clockwise direction that there was not one, but 2 good sized hills. That killed me that day, mentally.

Lesson learned that if you can, try to inspect the course prior to race day.

I ate 2 slices of toast, a bowl of cheerios, a banana and half a glass of OJ before this morning's run. I didn't need to Gu. But since the last 5K of a half marathon is (what I think) the hardest part of the run, I think with the same breakfast that I'll Gu it up at around mile 6 for the race next weekend.

This will only be my 3rd ever Half Marathon, so I am still feeling out this distance in terms of pacing, nutrition and hydration. I do feel ready for it and my knee is 100% better than 3 weeks ago. Thank you my pain loving physical therapist!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Outdoor TT/new FTP test. PLEASED!!!

It hit 45 degrees today with sunny and windless conditions. Score! aka perfect time trial conditions :)

And boy did I take advantage of the conditions! I went out to Time Trial heaven and did an 8.5 mile TT to put up some solid #'s, especially for this time of season. I feel like I have redeemed myself from Wednesday night's FTP test.

I was SO HAPPY to get outside on the bike today, that I had to take a picture of my bike prior to doing battle:

*WARNING, I am about to totally NERD OUT!*
So the time trial was 8.5 miles, took me 22:39 for a speed average of 22.37 mph for an average wattage of 230 watts. MUCH better performance than Wednesday night. Subtract 5%, and my new FTP is 218.5 watts, which is in line with last year, but I am 7 pounds lighter (currently 158), which makes my power to weight ratio @ 3.05. So in reality, I am ahead of this time last year. SCORE!

So now to talk about reality. That power to weight ratio # is OK. Its not super great. But thats ok! It gives me something to work towards. According to this chart, I am at the middle-bottom of a CAT 4 cyclist. A goal that I would like to work towards in time for Timberman next August 22nd, is to lose 10 pounds and increase my FTP to the low 230's. That would bump me up into the low end of Cat 3. Its a goal!

8 months to lose 10 pounds? Is it possible? (hide the chocolate basket!)

Friday, January 15, 2010

a good week in the pool

Finished swim #3 for the week @ lunch today with 2700 yards. For me, this swim was one of those that would "put hair on your chest" or put you in the "hurt locker," the "pain cave" or you "hang your season" on. However trite or colloquial I can be about it, this was a good swim! I felt myself getting stronger and stronger by the end even after 2 other hard swims.

So today, I did:
250 WU
8 x 300, descending each 4
150 CD

On 300 # 7, I went 4:57, which for me, is a dream pace in the pool @ 1:39/100. I was doing 2:00+/100 this time last year.

Finally the weather has warmed up and yesterday @ lunch it was in the low 40's, so I went outside for a 6.6 mile run. No headband needed and I think wearing my vest was a bit too much clothing! Here is my route:

The weather looks like it is holding out just enough for me to get OUTSIDE ON THE BIKE TOMORROW!! Woo hoo!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

FTP test and a pyramid swim

I train with power on the bike. In fact, I use a PowerTap as the rear hub on my rear wheel. It can be a really nifty (and expensive!) bike computer, or it can be used correctly to give you improvements on the bike.

Since training with power is based upon watts, you need a base. That base is your FTP, or functional threshold power. In human terms, its a wattage # that you can hold for 60 mins. To improve that threshold, you need to not only ride a lot, but also ride above that # to increase your threshold.

I did my first FTP test of the season today, and my magic number came out to be 200 even. Sweet! Even number!

Not so sweet that it is 20 watts lower than this time last year :(

No problem, its something to work towards to improve. So this number will determine what watts I need to ride to recover, go smooth, or go hard without burning a match. Last season, I found that I used it to limit myself during races, to save the legs for runs. I can take that number and use it to base what my wattage should be for the half ironman races I am competing in this year.

Here is the test via graph:
and specific 20 min test:
So the test consists of a 20 min warmup, 5 min @ an intense level to "open" the legs up, 10 mins EZ, then the 20 min test at a level you think you can sustain. Then a cool down.

After the 20 min test, you take the average watts (of only those specific 20 mins) then subtract 5%, because that is the estimate of what you would have done over a 60 min period. 211 watts - 5% = ~200 watts.

Ok, nerd stuff DONE! haha!

Earlier I did a pyramid swim today. Did everything on a 2 min base.
500 WU
100 EZ
200 EZ
300 EZ
400 (harder)
400 (try to beat the last 400)
300 (go hard if you can)
200 (go hard if you can)
50 to get back and forth
2550 total in 50 mins

So the intensity basically built throughout the entire swim where you were going your hardest (and possibly) the fastest by the end of the swim. The swim hurt like heck, but I could feel myself getting stronger as the swim went. This time last year a 1000 yard swim took 30 mins and was a long swim for me. I feel like a completely different swimmer!

"The Elbow", round 3; and what it takes to run a ProTour Team

Went to round 3 of PT last night. Hard to say whether last night hurt more or less than the other two times. I'd say last night was more consistent pain, whereas last week had more intense but shorter pain bursts (especially when she "rolled" my IT band). Regardless, my right quad felt like pudding by the end of it. What made it hurt even more was the fact that my muscles were just plain old sore from a race on Saturday and a couple of longer trainer sessions on Sunday and Monday. Even right now my right quad is tingling!

Some good news!!! I am back in alignment!


Since I got my start in endurance sports in road cycling when I was in high school, I have always followed pro cycling and keep up with it on a daily basis. I ran across this article this morning about the logistics behind the ProTour cycling team, Garmin-Transitions. To quote the article, these guys have available to them "....30,000 Clif bars, gels and blocks. On top of that, nearly 700 pounds of energy drink mix, 200 tubes of DZ Nuts chamois cream, 2,500 feed bags and 22,000 CamelBak bottles..."

Its like a supermarket for endurance athletes! How cool would it be to work in a support car for this team?!?!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Chock full O' workouts

Its go time! Monday marked the official start of "Base" training. Good bye prep period!

No more, "Oh well, I missed a workout because [fill in the blank]." No more missed workouts from here on out (if a miracle happens ;) )!

The next 12 weeks will define how big I go this season. Big meaning results. As long as I follow the plan and stay uber consistent, I should see the results that I am wanting. It's as simple as that! And the great thing about the base period is that it is all fairly low intensity; you just go and grind it out and gradually increase volume over time.

So after Saturday's 5 mile race, I took it easy for the rest of the day and slept. It felt gooood!

Sunday, I was on the trainer for 1:45:00. Used the TT bike and alternated between 5 mins sitting up, 5 mins in the aero position, and standing every 10 mins for a butt break. The legs were smooth and was in the Endurace zone (zone 2) for the entire time.

Monday was back into the pool @ lunch. Both Bob and I were NOT feeling 100%, so we did our best to get this much done:
500 WU
4 x 100
2 x 50
200 EZ
300 EZ
50 to get back and forth to clock side of pool
2050 yards total

And since I could NOT get up Monday morning, I moved my trainer session to last night. I did another 1:13:xx.

After finishing around 10-ish, then stretching and showering, it was off to bed around 11-ish, only to get up @ 5:45 for 5 mile run up @ the Kensico Dam. (Yeah, tell me about it! sleep, workout, eat, stretch, shower, sleep, workout, eat, stretch, sleep.......and shower!)

We held 10 min miles......haha! Boy was that a change from 8:05's only a few days ago!

Got home for more stretching. I am finding that I have been spending a LOT of time stretching/foam roller/icing after every workout. Yes, it takes up a lot of time, but my knee is starting to feel more "normal" finally. The foam roller is a miracle device!

I go in for "THE ELBOW" tonight! Wish me luck!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Fred Lebow 5 miler, race report

At 23 degrees, it was a very crisp but beautiful morning for a quick 5 mile running race in Central Park in NYC. This race kick started the 2010 racing season.

The goal of this race was not to go fast, but to hone in on a conservative pace and hold it for my upcoming half marathon on Jan 24th. My goal was to hold an 8:30 pace, and I (fortunately or unfortunately?) failed miserably at that goal and instead held an 8:05 average pace. Oops!

Here is the catch though, I tried, I mean I REALLY tried to go slow! I swear!! haha! But my legs (and especially my right knee) were feeling great and my body just went. I didn't want to go fast because I was unsure how my knee would hold up and I wanted to simulate 40% of the half marathon.

Here are the details:

and time and splits:
40:25 / 8:05 avg
mile 1: 8:16
mile 2: 7:51
mile 3: 7:58
mile 4: 8:06
mile 5: 8:00

To break it down: After a 2 mile warmup, I didn't care what I did for the first mile, because that would determine if I would either speed up or slow down. With an 8:16, I took it down a notch and in the process sped up by 25 seconds per mile? confused? (mile 2 was a net downhill)

So mile 2 came in at a 7:51. So I REALLY tried again to slow down further. 7:58 for mile 3. Oh come on! I swallowed my pride, slowed, and people were passing me, as expected. 8:06 for mile 4. 8:00 flat for mile 5.

Who knows! I'll take the 8:05 pace and honestly, my perceived exertion was middle of the road and I was NOT working hard, just staying nice and smooth. I guess running 80 miles in December has paid off!

So here is the really significant thing about this run: I did this race last year, and basically ran at a zone 4 effort and came in at 42:51 for an 8:32 pace. In other words, I have improved a LOT over the past 12 months :)

I wish I had heart rate data from last year's race to compare to this year's. I ran 27 seconds/mile faster this year at probably an entire heart rate zone lower than last year.

Awesome race as usual put on by NYRR and the cold didn't affect me other than some cold hands by mile 2, but went away by mile 3. I actually started unzipping @ mile 1. The Manhattan Half is in 2 weeks.

Friday, January 8, 2010

'eve before first race of 2010

I really don't feel like I had an "off season." Since Timberman, I never took as long as a full week off and I didn't feel like I needed it. I never encountered any mental burnout so bad that I just wanted to do nothing. I guess that horrible run @ Timberman lit enough of a fire under my a$$ to keep going to prove to myself that I can in fact run a successful half marathon.

Well tomorrow morning is the start of it all and the start to the 2010 season. Its a 5 miler around Central Park in NYC. On the racing scale its probably a "D" level race for me, meaning I am not hanging my season on it and I am not burning any matches on it. So why do it? Well, it kicks off the 2010 racing season gets my head into the "racing" game. So I'd say this race is more of a mental thing than physical.

Since I did this race last year, I am going to try to repeat what I did (hold an 8:30 pace) and see how much easier (or harder!) it will be this year. Plus, an 8:30 pace is what I am hoping to hold for the Half Marathon later this month. So this race will also be some R&D.

Its gonna be cold, but there is the motivation to go fast! :)

When is your first race of the year (or 2nd or 3rd!)?

quick spin and a good swim

Writing this down before I forget it:

Biked a whopping 8 miles in 30 easy mins on the trainer this morning. Then stretched forever and iced. Felt gooooooood.

Then lunch time swum it:
500 WU
6 x 300 (first 100 ez, 2nd 100 hard, 3rd 100 survive)
25 backstroke/25 free
50 to get back and forth in the pool
2500 yards

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I won the lottery!: NYC Half Marathon

I guess I got lucky because I was able to lottery into the NYC Half Marathon which is on March 21st.

The timing of this race couldn't be any better. Its 4 weeks out from New Orleans, and (if the knee plays nice) could be my 3rd half of the year.

Another good thing about doing this race will be the exposure of running with 10,000+ other runners. This will be a good warmup (with crowds) to the full NYC Marathon next November, which I am qualified for.

And so this completes my race schedule (for major races) for the year.

1/24: Manhattan Half
2/xx: still looking for a half, there are a few possibilities
3/21: NYC Half
4/18: New Orleans 70.3
6/6: Mooseman 70.3
8/22: Timberman 70.3
11/7: NYC Marathon

I said I wanted to improve my half marathon abilities this year, well, here I go!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I graduated to the elbow

Went in last night for another torture PT session. I should back up and say that last week she kept saying she was "being nice to me." Uh, what?

Last night she used her elbow.

Have you ever had your IT Band "roll" over? Here I am laying on my left side with the PT's elbow deep into the IT Band when she "rolls" it over and suddenly I am screaming bloody murder and flattened on my stomach on the bench in pure agony. Meanwhile she is laughing.

This happened 2 more times.

She kept asking me why I was so quiet. Cuz I am biting my tongue in pain!?!?! haha!

The good news is that I am much looser than a week ago. I can bend over and touch my toes now (a first). I need to do my alignment lunges more often and I need to continue to keep up with the foam roller.

I drank two beers after that session and I go in again for round #3 next week, same time, same elbow.

Monday, January 4, 2010

REALLY good recipe, squeaky wheel and a swim

I combined two recipes together into a burrito that tastes just oh-so good! The first part is that spicy quinoa recipe mixed with a sweet potato veggie medley. Somehow quinoa and sweet potato go perfectly together and it mellows out the spice.

So make these two recipes first:

Vegetarian Grain and Bean Mix
(im going to chop this recipe in half next time I make it, it makes a LOT)
Grain Mix:

1/2 c Israeli couscous
1/4 c Orzo (green or red)
1/2 c Quinoa

Spice Mix:
2 tsp. Chipotle chili powder
2 tsp. Cumin
1 tsp. Granulated Garlic
1 tsp. Minced Onion
1 tsp. Kosher Salt

Bean Mix:
1 can black beans
1 4oz can chopped green chili

Use a 2:1 ratio for the liquid:grains. 2.5 cups in this case Add water (or vegetable stock for more flavor), spice mix, and grains to a pot and cook till all the water is absorbed or cooked off. Add the beans and green chili and stir. Viola!!!

Sweet potato veggie medley:
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed into 1" cubes
1 small red bell pepper, diced large
1 small red bell pepper, diced large
1 med zuccini, diced large
1 small onion, sliced
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
dried thyme powder
salt and pepper

combine veggies in a bowl and season with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. bake @ 375 for 45 mins or until sweet potato is soft

to combine the entire recipe together, i take 1/3 cup of quina mix and 1/3 cup of veggies, place in a large burrito shell, then cover with 1 oz shredded cheddar and 2 Tbsp of salsa. Wrap and nuke for 20 seconds. So yummy and it filled me for practically 5 hours.

Then for today's workouts:
Meant to do 60+ mins on the trainer this morning, but after the first 10 I couldn't take the squeaking of the wheel. I had on noise canceling headphones and I could still hear the squeak. I apologize to my neighbors if I woke you!

Turns out the rear tire's tread was completely flat and worn out, resulting in a near 90 degree ridge on either side of the tire. So I swapped out the front and rear tires and problem solved. *Note to self* replace front tire before going outside. After the time spent changing tires, I was able to get in another 20 mins before I was out of time.

Then I did a lunch time swim. No speed, just volume. Nothing too special.
1000 WU
3 x 500
50 CD
2550 total.

I was actually sore before the swim due to supporting myself while using the foam roller this past weekend. Who knew that its a pain machine AND an upper body workout all in one! ;)p

Sunday, January 3, 2010

new dreamill PR, Last week of "Prep"

I ran for 70 mins on the dreadmill this morning to simulate ~7 miles of running. That is a new PR in terms of time spent @ once on a treadmill. It was boring but I went into the "zone"....i.e. zoned out.

Tomorrow I start my last week of "prep." It looks really similar to a base week, but is meant to kick me off of the off season habits and into a more structured week. Next Saturday I already have my first race of the season, the NYRR Fred Lebow Classic, 5 miler down in Central Park. I'm gonna use this race to simulate my race pace for the half marathon on Jan 24th. I'm aiming for a 8:30-8:45-ish pace. This reminds me of a VERY funny race pic of me from last year's edition of this race: (I'm saying "Get this over with!!!")

(The woman behind me says "Oh hai!")

Saturday, January 2, 2010

"The Cervelo and the Foam Roller"

"The Cervelo and the Foam Roller".....sounds like a title to a cheesy knockoff children's illustrated triathlon book. If you write me a story based upon this title, I'll send you a box of 24 Chocolate Gu's. And the story HAS to be cheesy!

But really, that is what my late morning was like.

I hopped onto the trainer for 90 mins watching some really-way-to-serious Irish movie called The Wind That Shakes the Barley. Got in ~25 miles:

I alternated between 5 mins sitting up, and 5 mins in the aero position. I stood up every 10 mins for 1 min to give my butt a break. My legs felt great. I'm still chomping at the bit to get outside.

Then I stretched, iced, and foam rolled. Thanks to Krista @ Commitment Is Liberating for giving me a link to a really great foam rolling how-to site. I foam rolled until I couldn't tolerate the pain anymore. Ouchy ouchy ouchy! The guy who wrote the how-to says its gonna hurt for the first few weeks, but eventually (if you stick with it) you will kneed out all of the kinks. I seem to have a lot of kinks because I couldn't spend more than 60 seconds on a muscle.

Friday, January 1, 2010

a running start to the new year, my cockpit setup, and do you like spicy?

I hit the ground running (literally) this year by putting in a short 3 miler to finish in 27 mins on the dot. It was 33 degrees outside....that temp actually feels warm now!

While watching hours of Ironman World Championships on the Universal Sports channel I got motivated to install my Speedfil hydration system onto the P2:

I tested it out on the trainer and I don't have to move my head to drink, only my left arm and hand. The tube clips in easily between my PowerTap computer and the aero bars. In my opinion, this beats Profile Design's aero drink and tube mounted and rear mounted water bottles. With my XLAB bento box, I think my setup is complete and will keep me in the aero position for the entire bike portion of a race. If anything, I will add a Gu flask mount.

Finally, here is a recipe a guy from work gave me. It sure is filling, and its SPICY!

Vegetarian Grain and Bean Mix

Grain Mix:

1/2 c Israeli couscous
1/4 c Orzo (green or red)
1/2 c Quinoa

Spice Mix:
2 tsp. Chipotle chili powder
2 tsp. Cumin
1 tsp. Granulated Garlic
1 tsp. Minced Onion
1 tsp. Kosher Salt

Bean Mix:
1 can black beans
1 4oz can chopped green chili

Use a 2:1 ratio for the liquid:grains. 2.5 cups in this case Add water (or vegetable stock for more flavor), spice mix, and grains to a pot and cook till all the water is absorbed or cooked off. Add the beans and green chili and stir. Viola!!!

I'm thinking of adding some salsa, shredded cheddar and sauteed bell peppers and onion and sticking it all inside a tortilla. Yum!