Saturday, December 29, 2007


63 cycling miles of undulating hills in 53 degree December. These are stolen moments of training. I should be indoors on the trainer this time of the year but I was so happy to ride outside today and to actually sweat doing so. By the end of the day I was dog tired but who could resist adding the miles on such a beautiful day. I am not sure how I trained up to 112 miles on the bike, 63 was extremely challenging.

Tomorrow, hopefully a run and possibly a swim. Popping the recoverease to make all of that possible.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The missing gift

I did not find a box of "swim faster" under the Christmas tree, my hopes dashed again. I feel regression in the pool. I am swimming slower and I have no capacity for distance. I swam on Sunday and between my own inability and a rather big boned guy next to me who kept swamping my lane no matter what side I was breathing it was a frustrating day.

Today I tried to redeem myself by getting back in the pool but the Y refused to open the pool until 6:30 AM. Hugely inconvenient to those of us who work for a living. I will sacrifice my evening schedule to get my swim in but to say that I am not pleased at the inconvenience is an understatement. Hopefully, I find a comfort zone between the new breathing and changes to my stroke.

Meanwhile, I have my weight workouts in the can for the week and some good biking albeit on the trainer. Last night I finished my second run of the week and although the gastrocnemius and sciatic are bothersome, I was moving with nearly my PR fluidity. It felt so good. Alas, the real challenge....da swim, da swim.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Going so slow never felt so good

Yesterday I was able to get in a 4 mile run with minimal discomfort. I'm certain I was running no faster than a 10 minute mile, possibly less, and while this is far away from my preferred 7:30-8 minute mile pace it was equally as satisfying. I'm continuing to stay off my beloved hills and I'm keeping up with my ART treatments. I'll do anything to be able to keep running.

Today I was in the weight room where I feel very strong. Lots of good upper and lower body strength building going on there. Tonight we have swim class in the cold. I'm trying to get to a point in my head where I stop complaining about swimming and just do it. I'm still so slow and I get so winded but on the positive side I have that bilateral breathing and I am breaking away from crossing my arms over the midline. I learned a new drill last week to help me break that bad habit. If only I could shut down the voice of doubt in my head.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

"I'm back"

she says with hesitation. For the first time since Thanksgiving, I was able to run and it was in the neighborhood of 3 miles.

To be honest, when I left the house I thought I would get 3 blocks because of the gastrocnemius injury in my good leg. After weeks of ART and massage I am finally able to run on the flats. I took my dog Della, again because I thought it would result in a nice walk for her but on the rare chance that I could run I knew she would keep me from going too hard. She's 9 years old and has not run with me for years but she does stand by my shoes lornfully when she knows I'm heading out.

The run was not bad. My sciatica was bothersome, I could feel the plantar fascitis, and I could feel a slight discomfort in the gastrocnemius but overall I'm so happy to be back out on the road.

Next up, I think I'm going to jump on the trainer for 90 minutes.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

How cold can you go?

Out for a bike ride today. My riding partner and I were aiming to do 50 miles but we were thwarted when access to our new secret riding place was blocked. Thus, we had to stick the very hilly loop of our Ironman training park and only accomplished 30 miles.

The temperature today: 38. I do not sweat at these temperatures. You rheart has to work hard to keep your body warm. My cadence was 95-100 on the flats which felt great but alas not a drop of sweat. I was certainly warm enough except, per the usual, my toes. I had two pair of socks (one of which were wool), my toe warmer, my booties and I picked up the little toe warmers you get at REI to tuck in your shoes. Meanwhile, KR was sweating with one pair of socks and toe warmers--yes, I know I'm not normal.

Next weekend, I will be in Syracuse and while the trainer will be in the car so, too, will my bag of winter gear. 38 cannot be the ultimate record.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Crossing the line

Yesterday, my riding partner and I headed out for a ride. As I was driving there it began pouring but we were both already on the road so we kept heading out. We put 50 miles in during a bit of rain and a temperature of 42 degrees. My riding partner proclaimed that we had definitely crossed the line.

True, so true, but the ride was glorious. Were we cold? Not really. Our toes were eventually frozen because they were wet but otherwise we had no complaints. So listen up all you Ironmen, real Ironmen ride in inclement weather. Bring it on.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Competition Beware

My new Master's class is an intense challenge but one I already see benefit in. I'm completely confident that I will be faster in the water. Last night I swam so hard my upper abs hurt. When you are limited to 16 strokes per length you are putting some serious stretch on your body.

Today is usually my off day but I'm traveling for work tomorrow. Normally, this would be a great running day but I still cannot run. Thus, I'm off to lift weights, swim and maybe get on the elliptical machine although it is a poor replacement for my run. It's tough to duplicate my weights and swim workout yesterday but I have little choice.

I'm hoping to ride outside on Sunday but the weather forecast has now dropped by 10 degrees--wrong direction. I would hate to be on the trainer Sunday but it could happen. Off to the gym.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


I thought that was the release word. 23 degrees this morning when I headed out to the gym--sheesh, it's only December. I know we of Canadian blood should not complain but really, 23?

I hit the weight room today. I started back in the weight room about a month ago. When my training time ramps up I drop the weight room altogether--that's usually sometime after March. It's amazing because there is no difference in muscle tone during my weight room absence but now that I'm back, I feel much stronger. Build, build, build the base.

Tonight, a bedtime swim with my coach's master program in the frigid waters of the Aquatic Freedom Center. I await with trepidation.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Back to the basics

I'm always training for my next race (May 2008) but this time of the year I'm training on technique beginning with the swim.

Every Thursday evening , I'm driving 45 minutes to an 8:30 pm swim class taught by my coach. The pool temperature and air temperature are exceptionally cold--wetsuit cold, but of course I don't want to look any more foolish then my skills already convey. I know through Shandra I will take my swimming to the next level. I have to, I cannot embarass myself in front of my coach. Already I have nailed weakside breathing and I'm learning flip turns--something I swore I would never do. Why? It isn't like there are walls in a lake or ocean.

I'm also working on my biking. Cadence, cadence, cadence. How high can I take my heart rate? I have to say I get a little dizzy in high zone 4. I'm also working on flattening my back more in aero. I much prefer being out on the open road but the last two weeks it has been all trainer time. Trust me, moving nowhere in three hours at a high cadence is not that exciting. I yearn for road time.

Notice I have not mentioned running. Aside from my chronic plantar fascitis and sciatica, I now have some issue with my left calf which has prohibited me from running one step since Thanksgiving. I live for the run so you know this is killing me. I'm back to ART and I hope to get on the road soon--at least a few solid, long runs before I have one of two procedures for my foot.

Healing and basics, tis the season.