Thursday, May 31, 2007

Today's Workout: Aha!

Up at 4:30 AM today with a scramble to feed the animal kingdom. Abs then off to the pool for my Master's swim class.

With my plantar fascia bothering me so much (especially now when I first get out of bed) I only used my fins for kicking today. Even that amount of fin use was bothersome. The class swam 3300 meters today but I had some teaching moments with the coach to work on spotting and breathing. My end total was 3000. If I had more time I would have stayed but work we must.

I was talking to our coach about my breathing. I've been told (and I do know this to be true) that I hum when I breathe. Today I was experimenting with breathing and not humming. I don't know how the humming started. Maybe that was how I learned to breathe while swimming, maybe it is a cathartic mechanism--not sure. As I was experimenting today I noted that when I don't hum I'm not aerobically tired. I was mentioning this to our coach. She has a very different take on breathing, unlike everything any other class or coach teaches you. She says you should exhale and inhale out of the water whereas everyone else teaches you to only inhale out of the water and to start exhaling the minute you turn your head back in the water.

I tried my coach's way for about 500 meters. Interestingly, I felt like I could have swum all day. Really, all day. I may be on to something here but further testing is necessary. To that end (I can't believe I am saying this) I look forward to Saturday's swim even though Saturday is a trifecta day.

Tomorrow, an hour on the bike perhaps with a ride to work.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Today's Workout: The Elusive Cure

I was hoping for the miracle cure at the bike fitter's last night but alas there was no tweaking. It seems I have a functionality issue. While both of my legs are the same length, due to my left hip rotation my seat is perfect for my right leg but too short for my left leg. Ummmm, no wonder my left hip hurts so much. My bike fitter and chiro are going to put their heads together and science this all up to figure out next steps.

Meanwhile, up at 4 AM today and on the bike by 4:30 AM (I snuck in my abs last night to save time). 90 minutes on the bike--ok, the trainer is really boring so I watched a movie. 30 minutes zone 2, 30 minutes zone 3, and then we mixed in 4 one-minute zone 4s with 4 minutes high zone 2 recovery. Next, I laced them up and went out on a 45 minute run. Throw in some 6 by one minute zone 4 with 4 minutes recovery, a warm up and warm down and I'm done....or am I. Ok, I also rode into work on my 400 pound hybrid. Such a beautiful day how can you not enjoy it.

Tomorrow, back in the pool with the Masters.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Day of Rest

Today is a rest day. Later this evening I will go get my bike fit by a bike expert. The hope is that he can "dial in" the perfect fit for me to alleviate or better yet eliminate the problems I am having with my hip.

I was just looking at the LP course, completely freaking myself out. I started thinking about how long I will be out on the course and it is almost longer then the amount of time I spend awake everyday.

Goal number one in the next few weeks, find the zen.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Today's Workout: Sigh!

Sigh! No really, sigh! A swim day today and not a very long one. 2550 meters, that's no 2.4 miles trust me. Still, I can't get my head around swimming. I don't want to be in the water at all. My sets today were short and yet I struggled to complete each one. The only time I am happy is when I'm done. I have to push myself to finish.

There is no physical obstacle. True, my form could be better but swimming like Janet Evans between now and July is not going to happen. Swimming is completely mental for me and the voices of doubt shout when I am in the pool. I have to find a way to cope with this or else I will be crying on the shoreline of Mirror Lake.

In other news, my riding partner called me to ride today which I would have loved but instead I took my bike to the shop and with a minor adjustment I'm hoping my gears will stop shifting without me. Yes, no matter the cost of your bike, this is always a delicate balance to get the cables adjusted just right.

Tomorrow, a day of rest.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Today's Workout: I didn't shed blood

I had a 90 minute run on the agenda for today. I knew the three H's were in order (hazy, hot, and humid) so I was on the road by 7 AM. I ran through Old Town Alexandria but couldn't quite remember what route would take me 90 minutes so I made it up as I went along.

My legs were rather slow initially, still recovering from yesterday's bike. Eventually they picked up and I had a good run on a very beautiful morning.

When I got home, JB and I headed out to Columbia, MD. She signed up for the Irongirl in August, a hefty sprint triathlon, and we were going out to ride the course. We rode about 10 miles of the 17 mile course and my legs were grateful we went no further. First, JB took one of those slow spills to the right when on an uphill her chain came off and she could not click out. We have all had them. You think you can stop yourself because you are going slow but you can't. She has a little raspberry on her knee. See, it wasn't me who shed blood this time.

The course has some really nice rolling hills but there is very little shoulder room to work with and the traffic was very heavy. I have never ridden in such horrible traffic. My work commutes may have a lot of cars but none are moving that fast. In the country there were a fair amount of cars all apparently unconcerned with fuel economy.

Speaking of fuel economy, after we drove the course the gas light in the car came on. I have no idea where people in Columbia, MD get gas. We followed no less than three different gas signs that lead to nowhere. With fumes to spare we finally headed south on 95 and found gas when we approached civilization.

Tomorrow: usually a day off but I'm going to swim on Monday. I prefer to sleep in on a work day, it feels like a bonus.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Today's Workout: No Gas

I was scheduled for a 3.5 hour bike and 30 minute run today, fairly light in comparison to most workouts.

I was out of bed at 4:15 and on the road by 5 AM. I met my biking partner and her friend who is also doing Lake Placid. We were clicked into our pedals by 7 AM. The first 5 miles of our ride is uphill, followed by a small down grade and then about 3 more miles uphill. I think I lost sight of my biking partners by mile 2. Did I mention that they are older and obviously in better shape than me.

Not sure why, but the hills were a complete struggle for me today. I tried to keep my cadence up but I felt like I was making no progress and I had no more lower gears. It didn't help that when I shifted to a higher gear to stand a climb a little, a small reprieve for my buttocks, that my bike kept deciding to shift. I'll have to get it into the shop to get that fixed ASAP.

As for nutrition, I tucked some salt tablets in my pocket and they melted before mile 3--it was super hot and steamy today. I'll take better care of them next time. I also need to find a way to tuck other food in my bento box. I'm so sick of what I'm carrying that half-way through I just stop eating.

Some days you have it, some days you do not. Today I had no gas going uphill but I was enjoying the downhill a little bit....that is until I entered a section that had just been milled. Who mills a beautiful road that in my view does not need repaving? I'm hoping this gets resolved before next week.

Tomorrow, a 90 minute run and an unscheduled ride with JB on the Irongirl course. She is set to race there in August and wants to know what she has signed up for.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Today's Workout: You call this a workout

On schedule today, a one hour light ride on the bike. Up at 5:30 AM, the animals were restless.

Abs then I mounted my 400 pound hybrid bike and rode to work. Beautiful morning, absolutely no humidity. Bottle this and let me open it for the next 90 days.

Tomorrow, I head to the mountains for 4 hours of riding and a 30 minute run--sans the bears I hope. My riding partner is joining me mercifully which will certainly help the time pass. Plus, she yells at me to stay off the brakes on the downhill which I need.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

today's Workout: Be the fish

Up at 4:30 AM and after my morning abs and protein shake off to the pool.

I swam with the Masters today. I usually ease into my swim with a measured warm up but I was paired with some fast swimmers today so I hit zone 3 early.....and still they lapped me. A nice long workout today totaling 3400 meters. It felt pretty good, the things you hate to do are always better in good company.

Tomorrow, I have an hour bike ride. I'll use that to make sure everything is in order for my longer ride Saturday. I had some mechanical issues with my bike as I ended my bike leg on Sunday but I'm hoping they are related to my current non-hill gearing. My hope is all will be in order once I switch out my rear tire for my hill gears. I'm hoping for company on my long ride Saturday. I have feelers out but nothing yet. Imagine, folks having something to do on a long weekend that is unrelated to training.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Today's Workout: Think like Nemo

In lieu of active recovery, I rolled out of bed at 4:40 AM, addressed the needs of the animal kingdom, hit my abs and then headed to the pool.

My goal: put my unpleasant swim from Sunday behind me and think like Nemo. I'm going to have to see Finding Nemo again but my coach says there is a point in the movie where Nemo says, "Keep swimming, keep swimming" and she asked me to think like Nemo when I am swimming.

I completed a 45 minute swim, total of 1900 meters. A walk in the park normally. It wasn't horrible but I didn't love it either. Also, my arm where I stabbed myself was definitely bothering me on the pull. I'm not sure if it was the chlorine or if my arm is just still sore but it was unpleasant. I wonder if it was really bugging me Sunday but I was too over-stimulated to pinpoint the source.

Tomorrow, back to the pool with the Master's team. Looking forward to it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Still Resting

Another day of rest. I wish I could say that I slept in but the psycho dog started incessantly barking at 5:45 AM. So I fell out of bed and worked with my new triggerpoint therapy tools. This is yet another example of a simple idea I should have thought of that could have made me rich.

Remember your mother's rolling pin that she used to roll out pie crust? Same idea but add roller blade wheels. This uses the force of your own body weight against the "rolling pin" to address things like plantar fasciitis, iliotibial band syndrome, piriformis syndrome, hip problems among others--these of course are my problems and what I am most concerned with. It hurts, to be sure, but hopefully it gets me through 8 more weeks of training.

That's right, t-minus 60 days to Lake Placid. Yikes!

Tomorrow, even though I'm still on active recovery, I'm going to head to the pool. My left leg and hip are still sore and there is no better solution then to get in the pool. Hopefully it does two things: gets the lactic acid moving around and gives me a positive swimming experience for the mental side of the game.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Monday Morning Quaterbacking

I am sore today, both arms and legs. I have never been sore before so I know yesterday's effort was a good one.

I'm competing Sunday in a two-mile open water swim to help with my swimming confidence level. I added 4 minutes to my swim time between last year and yesterday's effort and that is not the direction you want to go in.

Here is the 2007 analysis:
Swim 51:52
Bike 3:10:54
Run 2:12:58

With transition, total time was 6:23:09. I finished 52 out of 87 among women 40-44. I was supposed to be in the 45-49 year old age group but my registration was incorrect. I would have been mid-pack (32 out of 65) had I been in the correct age group.

That is my best bike and best run at this distance but my worst swim. I gave up a lot of time swimming so wide. I have to get better at spotting the buoys. Could it be I need to wear contacts during the swim? Has it really come to this?

Just for comparison, here is my 2006 data for the Florida Ironman 70.3. The bike course was different. This year it had rollers, last year it was flat with one hill.
Swim 47:52
Bike 3:24:22
Run 2:37:00

With transition, the 2006 total time was 6:58:59

I have to consult my schedule for the week. I think I have another rest day tomorrow and I truly need it. BTW, I finally got my stitches out today so I feel liberated.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Mission Accomplished but so far away from the full Ironman

Quick update, more details tomorrow. I had a personal best today beating last year's time of 6 hours 58 minutes by 35 minutes. I had to do it all on the bike and run as I had a wide, slow swim-disappointing. Could I have doubled my distance today? Not a chance. I would have been left on the shore crying, refusing to enter the water for a second lap. The swim was physical the entire way today and I hated every minute of it, including my toe cramps. To say I am worried about Lake Placid is an understatement. On a brighter note, I was pedaling with and passing the boys today. Imagine if my hip were better.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

FL Update

Less than twelve hours to race start and all is calm. My bike is racked after a quick reassembly and fifteen minute ride. My gear bag hopefully has all of my gear stowed, my nutrition at the ready. I will be nervous but as of now I am calm. I have had my pre-race carb load--thanks Olive Garden. I am off to bed shortly scheduled to rise at 3:30 AM. I am in a very late heat. I should be with the 45-49 women but they have me in the faster 40-44 year olds. My heat does not start until 7 AM. The good news: unlike last year when it was high humidity and over 100 the temperature tomorrow will be a high of 85 with low humidity and 10-15 mph wind. Race day results tomorrow.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Florida Ironman 70.3 Strategy

Today I fly south to Orlando to compete in Sunday's Florida Ironman 70.3. When I land I will frantically want to reassemble my bike and take it for a test spin. Once that is done, I can settle in and start race preparations.

Saturday morning I will drop my bike off at Ironman Village. There it will sit in my designated spot on the rack overnight. Afterward I will organize my food and clothes and try to stay out of the heat to preserve my energy for race day. I will eat, no doubt, in carb heaven--The Olive Garden across from our hotel.

I have raced this course before which is an advantage but I do not perform well in the heat--a disadvantage. Last year in 100 degree temperatures I died on the run--really, I died. What normally takes me an hour and 50 minutes to two hours to run 13.1 miles took over 3 hours I believe. I was sick from the heat, but I finished.

This year, I am competing in a new age group--45-49 year olds. Last year the 40-44 year old women went just before 100 20-24 year old men. Yes, I was swum over several times--trust me, I make sure they are aware they are making body contact. This year, I'm hoping for a better draw.

My goal is to swim a little closer to the buoys unless I get swum over. I typically swim wide to avoid being swim over. Last year I feel like I added at least 400 yards to my swim due to how wide I had to swim. Provided I get to the bike in good shape I plan to be a bit more aggressive on my bike this year. I have a lot of hill training time and this course is flat with the exception of a few small hills (where you are grateful to get out of the saddle). I want to see what my legs have in them. I'm adding salt tablets this year to help with the heat so I will focus on taking in salt and getting good nutrition and fluids on the bike.

Coming off the bike, I want to have enough legs to run at least a 9 or 10 minute mile. This may seem slow to you and it is far from my 7:38 mile time at shorter distances but keeping the 9-10 minute pace consistently is a goal given the heat.

Overall, I want to finish, I want to prevent injury, I want to feel good throughout the race, and I want to beat my course record from last year. Last year I finished the course in just under 7 hours. My half-Ironman best time is 6 hours 38 minutes. I think I can squeeze ever closer to the 6 hour mark.

Individual times I hope for:

Swim--I probably can't do much better then 42 minutes but I sure would love to. Swimming the course wide costs me in time and added distance.

Bike--I think I can finish the course in slightly over 3 hours. My best time at this distance in the heat is 3 hours 15 minutes.

Run--I want to finish the run in 2 hours or very close to that mark. If my nutrition and preparation work and if the heat does not kill me I think this is doable.

Stay tuned for my race report.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Today's Workout: What workout?

Like the cartoon? A friend of mine sent it to me. Trust me, there will be moments during the Ironman where I will have flabby guy triathlon envy.

No workout scheduled today but I took Della on a long 2.5 mile walk. She loved it but I nearly had to carry her back.

Tonight, final packing for Florida. I think I have my nutrition needs set aside and most of my gear but I will do some last minute checking to ensure I do not unnecessarily add to my race day anxiety.

Tomorrow, stay tuned: I will post my race day predictions.

Today's Workout: Mini-me

Up at 5:15 today, absolutely glorious.

Abs then on my old bike for 30 minutes. A quick switch of close and on the road for a 30 minute run. Both the bike and run included a zone 4 bump today and while the time total is significantly lower then normal (this being my taper week) I have to say it was tiring.

I managed to finish boxing up my bike last night....without further injury. It is in a few more pieces then I would like but hopefully all manageable for the rebuild in Florida Friday. I won't relax until I have the bike all back together and ride it around a bit.

Tomorrow my coach has nothing planned for me, nothing. If I were training on my own (and didn't have stitches in my arm) I probably would do a swim. Instead, I think I will take Della for a nice early morning walk which I'm certain she will enjoy.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Today's Workout: Pool Envy

Up at 4:45 today, it's like sleeping in.

Abs then off to the gym for a one-hour spinning class. I stopped by the pool briefly and to be completely honest, I wish I were swimming today. It is so calming to swim and leading into a race weekend a swim workout would not have been strenuous.

Alas, I joined the spinning class instead of my friends in the pool. I hate spinning. I'd rather be on my trainer on the porch then on those incredibly uncomfortable spin bikes. I also struggle with the tension: what is too much, what is not enough.

Things are getting back to normal. My arm feels pretty good, a little pulling with the stitches but not bad. My hip is not feeling great but it should not interfere with the weekend.

Tomorrow, a spin on the bike and a run. One more little brick workout.

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Day of Rest

If ever I needed a day of rest, today would be it. My legs are completely recovered from Saturday's ride and my neck is feeling better then yesterday. The swim definitely helped move the soreness from my body.

As for my self-inflicted pain, my hand is less swollen today which has given me back both hands for typing. My arm is still rather sore making it not so much fun to move my hand around or to hold anything with even a little weight to it but I feel it will come back quickly. The cut itself looks good. My right shoulder is just slightly sore from the tetanus. Otherwise, I'm back.

As for the rest of the week, I think I will head to a spinning class tomorrow morning and perhaps a little run and spin on Wednesday. One thing for sure, no sharp objects.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Today's Workout: I think I have a medical emergency

Let me lead by saying everything is fine now that I have my stitches. Uh, yeah.

The day started at 4 AM as I was set to help JB in the Virginia Run Sprint Triathlon. This is my coach's race so I also volunteered. I was everywhere but I started at the bike inspection--you would be surprised how many people don't reconnect their brakes before a race. JB did a fantastic job crossing the finish line within her goal time. And while she says she has no interest in an Ironman, we shall see.

Afterwards I came home to take a little nap, being out in the early morning air and not competing took a lot out of me. I later headed to the pool for a 3300 meter workout which included two 1200 meter sets....I hated that.

Post swim I came home to breakdown my bike into 100 parts to take on the plane with me to FL on Friday. T-minus 6 days until the Florida Half-Ironman. This is where the theme of today's entry comes in. I decided to transfer my gu container from my old bike to my new bike. While I try to avoid stripping parts off my old bike for my new bike--bad karma--here come the stitches. I was cutting two tiny zip ties with a knife, you see where this is leading, right. Yep, knife enters left forearm--I had to pull it out. I immediately applied pressure more because I knew it was a bleeder then for a medical reason. I came upstairs. JB was outside having a siesta, including a Margarita. I calmly said, "JB I think I have a medical emergency".

Four hours later, I have a couple stitches and a new tetanus booster. A few observations from those 4 hours. No one looked sick in the Urgent one. Blood doesn't pay forward on the list. The only way I would have moved is if I damaged nerves and that move would be to the ER where I'm sure I would still be sitting. The doctor shouldn't really show squeamish patients the muscle that they just cut in their arm.

The good news, the doctor thinks I could get the stitches out and still compete next Sunday even though I did cut into the muscle--I cut with the grain. Right now the muscle in my arm is quite painful, even to just move my fingers (how about these one-handed typing skills). My right arm is a bit sore from the shot. My bike is only half-packed. I cannot swim at all this week--of this I am least sad. Stay tuned, we will see where this road leads.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Today's Workout: In Great Company

Last night, very late, I sent an email to a woman my coach referred me to for cycling at Skyline Drive. She called me immediately and agreed to meet me at 6:30 AM this morning at Shenandoah National Park. I was a little worried she would be too fast for me and more my coach's age then my own.

KR pulled up behind me within minutes of my arrival. I was pleased that we were the same age groupers. More importantly, after confessing my fear and inability on the downhill she coached and encouraged me to explore the speed and lay off the brakes. My spedometer hit in excess of 30 mph. We were completely compatible going uphill and she would wait for me a bit on the deep descents. I had a fantastic time and enjoyed the company immensely, it made the 4 hour ride fly. Mission accomplished. 50 miles, 3,000 feet of climbing.

After our ride I ran 40 minutes. A struggle at first but eventually I hit my groove. I was so happy to be heading home by noon. The 4 AM wake up call and 5 AM departure from the house were completely worth it. K and I ran into very little traffic and what better way to bring in the morning then to find the depth of your aerobic capacity.

Tomorrow, a long swim and hopefully a little bike--first though, I must go support JB in a local tri. Woot, woot--go team.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Today's Workout: Who turned on the heat?

Thank you US Airways for delaying my flight for several hours last evening. As a result, I was up at 6 AM not 4 AM as I had planned.

Abs then out on the road for a 2 hour and 10 minute run. Ok, that is kind of long before work but completely doable. It was a good run but unexpectedly hot. Someone flipped the humidity switch to the on position. I tried my salt tablets for the first time which allowed me to retain my fluids and feel good but made me thirstier than the 28 oz of motor tab drink that I had. If only someone could meet me with a cold one (motor tab) at mile 10.

Sorely I head to work. Up tomorrow, a long run and ride.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Today's Workout: Leg Crampalooza

Up at 4:30 and today I remembered my protein shake to help offset the early AM calorie burn.

Abs then off to the pool to swim with the Master's. Today's theme, how to burn out your legs 500 meters at a time. I was suffering from toe cramps in both feet, calf cramps both legs, and quad cramps in my left leg. After our warm-up we did some fast/slow kicking drills. This is when I first noticed that the chlorine content was high, I might as well have had my lips around the chlorine jar while breathing--kind of a major irritation on my sensitive longs. We did a lot of 500 series kicking and then a 500 swim with paddles. I added some swimming with paddles at the end to get me up to 3,000 meters on the day. I'm hoping as I get on my plane to Pittsburgh that my legs don't cramp up in the tiny seat.

Tomorrow is scheduled to be a long swim or ride but I'm mixing things up again to accommodate weekend obligations. I'll do my long run tomorrow morning before work. This will require that I'm out the door before 5 AM. Wahoo!! Anybody joining me?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Today's Workout: Can you say bonk

Up at 4 AM. Rudely awakened by my alarm clock after a horrible night's sleep thanks to a 2 AM sneezing fit. I think I could have slept until noon.

Abs then on the bike for 75 minutes. It started out kind of easy but ended with a killer set. 15 minute warmup. 10 x 1 minute one legged drills (you know I love these), 20 minutes time trial in zone 3. This is where I say thank goodness I have good music. The brutal finale: 10 x 1 minute zone 4 with a cadence of 80 followed by a two minute easy spin. Your heart really shouldn't pump that fast before the sun comes up.

A switch in clothes and then out the door for a 45 minute run. Bonk, total bonk. Not sure what happened, I guess I may need to add some more calories on the bike. It took a bit to get into zone 3 and there I stayed. I was supposed to fluctuate between my Ironman pace--presumably slower zone 3--and my 10k pace (ie. shorter and faster but a high zone 3). I'd say the latter part of the run was at my 10k pace but I had real trouble moving my legs. First what I did eat and drink on the bike was not sitting well with my stomach when I went from aero to vertical. Thereafter, I think I just was suffering from lack of sleep and the need for some energy boost, say a delicious powerbar gel pack. Mmmmmmm.

Tomorrow, back to the pool with the Master's team.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Today's Workout: Was that 9 or 10?

Up at 4:30, that seemed to arrive quickly today. Abs then off to the gym for a quick upper body workout. Into the pool by 6 AM.

You know what I hate? I hate when you are swimming along and you lose track of your laps. Now that I am swimming longer sets I have to occupy my mind with something to help pass the time. The problem is I can get so carried away that I forget what lap I am on. I always go with the shorter. If I can't remember whether it is lap 9 or 10, I go with 9 realizing I may be adding to my mileage.

Today, I swam a mere 2500 meters. 500 warm-up, 6 x 50 (25 drill, 25 swim), 2 x 800 (the first with the pull buoy). 100 warm-down. Exhausting, really. I noticed that my time for the half-mile is better so I'm happy. I'll still get lapped at Lake Placid but I just don't want to be the last one out of the lake.

Tomorrow, an early rise for a bike and run.

Monday, May 07, 2007

A day or rest

I'm resting today, recovering from my deep tissue massage. Many think massages are to put you in a zen state. Not so in my case. My massage therapist does deep tissue sports massages that under regular circumstances hurt. Yesterday she was working intensely on my ailing hip and left leg. She said, "Breathe deeply this is going to hurt." Hurt, I about cried. Hopefully all of this pain leads to healing.

Tomorrow, the weight room and back in the pool. L

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Today's Workout: Z swim, Z swim

It is with dread that I go to the pool, no matter the day, the weather, or how I am feeling. I am not a swimmer. I am a land animal that learned to swim merely to bike and run.

Longish swim today but certainly no 2.4 miles. 300 warmup, 8 x 50 drill and then the final set (she says final as if it were brief) 3 x 800. 800 incidentally is a half-mile, try this with 60 seconds rest between sets. 100 warm down capped the day for a total of 3200 meters. For anyone keeping track, that is a mere 800 meters short of the 2.4 miles. Not bad, not bad.

To be honest, I felt like I moved very well in the water today and I felt that I could have done more when I finished. These two feelings rarely combine. Everything felt good except that I have these new goggles that feel like they are pressing into my sinus cavity. I wear one type of goggles and have for several years but I didn't notice several months ago when I reorderd my stock that they gave me the wrong kind. Mama, the pain made me move today.

Off to get a deep tissue massage to work on my 4 problem points: 1. The left piriformis (this is a branched muscle tucked back in with your glute). The chiro thinks I may have tore it but because it is only a problem in the first 20 miles on the bike, onward I go. 2. The left hip flexor and another muscle near the iliotibial band at the hip. Perhaps it is the tensor fascia latae which sounds like a coffee drink. Again, bothersome on the bike only. 3. The sartorius just above the inner knee still left leg. And 4. what appears to be a recurrance of plantar fascitis in my right foot. Everyone at Lake Placid will lineup with one or more problems, I'm just working with my chiro and massage therapist to ensure I can get there even if this list gets longer.

Tomorrow, rest, rest, rest oh ye weary body.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Today's Workout: The Long Run

Up at 5, darned animals. On the couch for a little nap, and then out the door by 7:30 AM. I ran down to the Memorial Bridge and along the river up through Old Town and back. Beautiful morning, perfect temperature and I got my nutrition exactly right today. Motor Tabs for a drink and two Powerbar gels seemed to be just perfect.

Although I was sore from my chiro appointment everything was working perfectly. I was a little disappointed in overall mileage but I did feel that I was moving well and consistently throughout.

Up tomorrow, a very long swim and hopefully a little bit of a bike.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Today's Workout: Hills anyone?

I was a little anxious about today's workout, make that a lot anxious. I needed to do my long ride and brick run and I needed some hills. I headed to Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park by myself at 6:15 AM. Door to door this is a 75 mile drive which seems ridiculous but my coach has assured me that if I train there the hills around Lake Placid will be nothing come race day.

It was unclear to me where to park so I pulled off into a little parking area right before the entrance and I rode in. Entrance fees for a bike are $8 and a car $15, however, the park was not open yet so I rode in for free.

The first 5 miles, and I do not exaggerate, are uphill. A climb starting at 600 feet before it levels off momentarily at 2200 feet--yes, you are reading those numbers right. At the 5 mile mark there is a big parking lot and visitor center (aka bathrooms and food). I was in my lowest gear those 5 miles on my hill climbing gearing so to say I was worried about the "real hills" is yet another understatement. I realized that all of the cyclist who passed me in their cars were all parked in the Visitor Center lot. Apparently I'm one of the few idiots who ride the first 5 miles but I'll do it again if it aids my preparation.

I forgot to mention that in those first 5 miles when the world was passing me slowly I saw a ton of dear and I heard some other large animals that I refused to look at. There are bear and while I didn't "see" one trust that I upped my cadence when I smelt fresh poop between mile 1 and 2 or heard restling near the roadside.

The rest of the ride was a series of long uphill (which I did like) and 3 downhill on the way out (which I didn't care for). The views were spectacular even as they were shrouded in the morning fog. I rode up and down never getting higher then 2800 feet before my turn around. My turn around which was at slightly over the hour and 45 minute mark ended up being too early. With all of the downhill I was back at the entrance in no time so I turned around and headed up the hill again to ensure I got my full 3.5 hours in.

Back at the car I switched into my running gear and tried to make my legs move for a 40 minute run. They felt dead at first and while it seemed like a long 40 minutes it was uneventful. I was tired driving back but not too bad. I came home, went to the chiro who fixed my hip which was out of place, and then threw a "Cuatro de Mayo" themed dinner party for friends. To say it was a full day....really says it all.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Today's Workout

This was a good pool day, a day I can envision completing the 2.4 mile swim course at Lake Placid.

Up at 4:30. Funny how after I feed the animal kingdom they all go back to bed. I on the other hand moved to my abs then off to the gym.

I swam with the Masters today and we did a really great arm workout. We started with a 500 freestyle kick (with fins or else I'd still be there doing it). What a leg burn. Then we did 7 x 100 pull, sometimes with paddles, sometimes with one arm, sometimes no paddles--it was a great arm burner. We did 500 fly kick with one arm. My favorite was the 2 x 200, the first with the right paddle left fin the second with the left paddle right fin. Yes, it is very challenging to discern your left and right side in the morning. I can't remember what else we did, some back pull buoy, maybe some more one arm drills. I didn't stop until I hit 3,000 meters. That is just 1,000 meters shy of what I need on July 22 so I was very pleased.

Tomorrow, aye, tomorrow is going to be my big day. We are having company this weekend so I'm switching up my entire workout. Tomorrow I'm riding 3.5 hours of hills and then running for 40 minutes immediately after. Let's call it the long burn. Here is hoping that I will get a nap in before putting on a dinner party tomorrow evening.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Today's Workout

Up at 4:15 AM, just before the sun.......went down. That's what it feels like anyhow.

Abs then on the bike for an hour of work on the trainer. 20 minute zone 2 warmup, 20 minutes zone 3 with a cadence of 90, 15 minutes zone 3, 5 minutes easy spin cadence of 90 plus. Kind of boring. To be honest, I would have loved 20 minutes of one legged spinning but then I'm sick in that way.

A quick change and then out the door for a 40 minute run. What great weather. I don't really know what the temperature was but I was cool and comfortable in just shorts and a t-shirt. 10 minute warmup and then 5 x 4 minutes in zone 3, with a 2 minute zone 2 recovery. Hitting these zones is not as easy as it would seem and I think my anaerobic threshold may have changed. I talked to my coach about this. Apparently, sometimes your anaerobic threshold can lower. It makes no sense to me, you would think the fitter you get the higher it would get. That appears not to be the case with me.

In other news, the bike fitter has officially disappeared so I'm trying to get connected with someone else. Meanwhile, I see my chiro on Friday and I suspect that he will be realigning my hips. Ahhhh, it hurts so good.

Tomorrow, swimming with the Masters.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Today's Workout

Up at 4:30 AM and on to my abs. I was hurrying about this morning and forgot to also take in a protein shake--critical mistake.

Upper body weights, still managing to squeeze this in one a week. Into the pool for a 60 minute swim, or in my case, 70 minutes. This is where the no pre-workout calories takes effect. The beginning of my swim was fine, the last set nearly killed me. 400 warmup, 200 kick. 6 x 75 (50 drill, 25 swim)with 15 seconds rest--still working those one armed drills. 16 x 100 with 20 seconds rest, the first 800 with a pull buoy. The first 800 were no problem but I was definitely in a high zone 3 for heart rate. I decided to focus on not slowing down at the wall as I turn. I think I've been slowing down, resting a little as I turn. Not today. As a result, the last 800 about killed me. My heart rate was definitely jacked, it felt like zone 4. 50 warm down. 2700 total for the day.

Today was one of those days where the thought of swimming 2.4 miles seems incredibly impossible. I'm hoping that I am just tired from my ride on Sunday or that and the combination of the missing protein shake put me in a detriment before I hit the water today.

Tomorrow, bike and run combo.