Monday, March 31, 2008

A quick spin

Up at 4:40 AM, abs and pushups. I had to convince Della that she was not hungry and going back to bed was the best option. No food or drink since midnight for her--I'm feeling her pain.

On the bike for an hour spinerval. I was split between zone 2 and zone 3 nearly equally. I would like to have pushed the heart rate a bit higher but that was all I had in me.

Tomorrow, to the city pool. I am off to Birmingham Wednesday so I need to get in two swims before then.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Wiped out

I went on my longest run today and it was miserable. One hour and slightly over 6 miles--could I be any slower. I was in so much pain--my sciatica, my hip, my knee. Did I turn 90 overnight or gain 300 pounds? I have no earthly idea why I just cannot seem to return to my enjoyable, long runs. How I am ever going to run 13 miles in 4 weeks I do not know.

Despite being exhausted, after a catnap I went to the pool and completed 2600 meters. It certainly felt better than running but I was definitely off for the day.

Tomorrow, Della has to have some surgery in the morning so I will get on the trainer to ensure that she gets dropped off in a timely manner. Poor pup.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Eagleman preparation

This was not planned but it was windy today and that served to be great preparation for Eagleman in June. I would not have ordered it, but I dealt with it.

I logged 47 miles. At one point it had been nearly 2 hours since I had seen another person or car--needless to say I was a bit lonely. I did have the company of some buzzards (no kidding), an enormous and beautiful crane, and a pack of 6 deer. That was pretty awesome.

I tried some new multifocal contacts today to help me see better on the bike. To my surprise, they worked great. I can both see the road ahead of me and my computer. Usually, I cannot focus on either. I think my doctor may be on to something. I have one more lens to try for my left eye that is a little stronger. I am supposed to be able to read and see everything in the distance clearly but the reading aspect is still a bit off. I'm hoping the stronger lens helps.

Tomorrow, a long run (I am hoping for at least an hour) and a swim.

Friday, March 28, 2008


No workout today, just rest.

Weather wise, it looks like tomorrow will be my long ride. Sunday is supposed to be 48 degrees and that is fine but 54 sounds so much better. The trouble is my riding partner is out of commission for the weekend. She is racing a half marathon and also put her bike in the shop. It will be lonely and I'll have to motivate myself. No one will be there to push me.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The low zone

Up at 4:40 AM today but really unmotivated. Abs and pushups. I tossed around the idea of a run given that the temperature was perfect but instead I kept it just to the bike. A 70-minute spinerval. This resulted in a great deal of sweat but not a lot of high heart rate work. Disappointing to say the least.

Tonight, swimming with the Masters in Manassass. The pool has been closed to us for two weeks so it is always hard to get back to the late Thursday night routine. The last time we had class, I was swimming with a junior in high school. Yes, I felt old. I commented to someone that it was okay if someone half as young as us beat us in the water....she gave me a strange look. It was then that I realized she was well more than half of our age.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hold the ice and bodily fluids

Up at 4:40 AM today. Abs and pushups then off to the pool.

The pool was unusually cold today. Not quite Thursday night Masters cold but Chinquapin cold. To make matters less inviting, there were signs everywhere that the pool was prematurely closed last evening due to a "bodily fluids" accident. In the past, these same signs have sometimes been more specific--for example, they have included the descriptive "vomitus". Maybe it's just me, but why not just say the pool is closed for cleaning and leave it at that. I really do not need the details.

I had a tremendous swim today. Not fun, but exhausting. High heart rate was the order of the day. I opted not to do any flip turns today. It was bad enough that my mind was overthinking the water entering my nose and mouth, I did not want it in my brain which is where water seems to go on flip turns. Keep it simple, try to keep the orafices closed. "Bodily fluids" super chlorinated.

Tomorrow, I think I will get on the trainer in the morning--not sure about a brick. Back in the pool in the evening for a swim with the Masters.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The brick

Building the house of competition, brick by brick. Up early today without the alarm at 4:30. I can't even blame Buddy for that. Abs and pushups then out the door for a run.

Not to complain, but I am tired of 34 degree runs. It is nearly April, I want spring. The run was uneventful, painful on the sciatica per the usual. Going to see yet another doctor next week...someone will have an answer soon. I hate not enjoying my run. I used to live for it and now as I lace up my shoes I anticipate the pain.

Back home I hopped on the trainer for an hour. The usual one legged drills with some zone 3 work. Not horribly hard on the heart rate but I was a tad tired.

Tomorrow, the pool. I have to make up for yesterday.

Monday, March 24, 2008


Wicked migraine today thus I took a pass on the pool. Back at it tomorrow.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Great outdoor cadence work

My riding partner was not available today so I headed out on my own. I rode from the house to a nearby trail. It is generally very congested and always too flat but I had hoped given Easter Sunday that I would be alone. Wrong. It was not as crowded as it normally is but I was not alone. I used this as an opportunity to work on cadence. Where possible I rode at 90 rpm and I tried to always keep it above 80. In some spots I was rolling at 25 mph. It felt great but after 47 miles I was completely spent. It was an awesome ride on a not so great trail.

Tomorrow, it's time to hit the pool again.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A trifecta

Normally, I like to do my long ride on Saturday but the forecast today called for more than a 50% chance of rain. When I awoke it was sunny but I bought into the forecast. Thus, trifecta Saturday.

As always, we start with a run. In an effort to use the best possible form, I run first before I tire my body in other ways. After my run, I hopped on the trainer for an hour. More one-legged drills and some zone 3 work. I finished the day in the pool, what I dread the most. My swim today was not horrible, it passed quickly and was fairly painless thanks in part to a small cat nap that I took after the bike.

Of course, it did not rain today--so much for the forecast. Alas, my long ride will be tomorrow.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The sleep of death

No exercise today. I slept right up to the alarm and then some. I am not even sure I moved all night--I definitely had some catching up to do.

Tomorrow, the weather is not looking favorable for riding. It looks like a run, swim, bike day all indoors. I am hoping I can convince my riding partner to slip away from her Easter basket on Sunday and get a few hours in on the road.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Just a swim

Rough flight back which left me a bit nauseous. I have never felt like getting sick in the pool but I started feeling sympathetic to the boy and his wonder bread who closed the pool a few months back. I finished my swim but that was it for the day. 2,650 meters and then I needed the couch. I'm not as young as I used to be, the redeye talks back.

Tomorrow, maybe a day off--maybe I'll get on the bike.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Y Tour

Still in SF, not sure what time zone I am in. I awoke at 4 and stayed in bed until 4:30. From there, after my ab routine, I ran down to the Y. It was not a far run, perhaps 10 blocks, but did it ever hurt. I guess I am a little sore from yesterday's run and admittedly lame stretching routine.

I have used the SF YMCA in the past, one of the many I have visited. The SF Y is right on the water. A more beautiful view from a treadmill you will not find. I was not there for the treadmill but instead I was there to lift weights and that I did. I stopped by the pool and watched folks swim. I suppose that is a saner option for swimming in SF then donning your wetsuit and hitting the bay....still, the bay she does call me.

After a redeye flight tonight (yes, I will hate myself in the morning) I hope to swim and get on my bike. Meanwhile I include a view of the beginning of sunrise over Golden Gate Bridge with my fellow crazy swimmers swimming in the bay. It's a bit blurry because I was not operating with much light.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My love hate relationship with travel

I hate work travel. It exhausts me but I try to make the most of it. I look for good restaurants and I always take a run to enjoy and experience where I am.

San Francisco is a place I find myself often. When I can run and am not hobbled by a bad foot or sciatica, I run from Pier 2 (the base of a bridge) to Golden Gate Bridge and back. It is along the water and most beautiful (if not for the effervescence of fish and seal poop). Sometimes, I stop at Maritime Park and watch fellow triathletes and Master swimmers swim in the channel--vowing each time that I will join them another day.

Today I could not run my bridge to bridge run but I did get out for 40 minutes along the piers in the most beautiful of weather. Another day of travel saved by the sanity of a run.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A day off

After a midnight arrival, and wrapping my mind around the 3 hour time difference, a day off could not be better planned. Tomorrow, my favorite run along the piers of San Francisco.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Trying to get ahead on my workout in advance of my trip to San Francisco. First up, an hour on the trainer. Not a great day for pushing the heart rate up, I guess I am a little tired from yesterday's rid. I thought I could have achieved a bit more.

Off to the pool for 2,500 meters. While I hate the pool, there is no better place to be when you are a little bit sore. Next to yoga, it is the best way to work through some lactic acid build up.

No swimming until I return on Thursday. I am always tempted to tuck my wet suit in my bag and swim down by Maritime Park in SF but it just seems so cold. There is always a number of folks swimming there but I have yet to join them. Count me as a chicken.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Alas, back outdoors

My riding partner and I had intended to rip off 60 miles on our bikes today, we ended with 37. They were 37 quality miles of hills and high cadence--finally that work on the trainer is paying off. I did not have my normal hill legs today, or lung conditioning for that matter, but the ride was far from miserable. It was so beautiful outside and I appreciated every stroke of the pedal. I tapped the brakes once, when I was on a descent with a car right next to me other than that I was hanging on and trying to enjoy the invigorating and frightening speed.

We definitely would have tried for more miles but on the way there a huge traffic jam ensued. It may have been best, our workout today was absolutely perfect.

Tomorrow, I hope to swim and get on the bike for an hour--again trying to put some time in the bank for next week.

Friday, March 14, 2008

No rest for the weary

Normally today would be a rest day but I am heading out west for 4 days and my workout is a bit mixed up to compensate.

Today, I had my longest run yet. It remains very, very slow. Achieving a 9 minute mile pace is both depressing and contrarily elating--I have never been so slow but again, I am running. The foot is not great but I continue to remain hopeful. I'm noticing some imbalances in my form which need to be corrected before I injure something else.

After my run I headed to the gym for a swim. Kind of a mistake to get into the pool after running with only a 100 calorie intake. Not surprisingly, the swim was difficult.

I had a large number of errands and some cooking to do. We were having company and I was preparing a nice meal. All the while my carrot and stick approach was that I would get on my bike for an hour outside. By then it was 60 degrees and I was jonesing to get spinning. Eventually I did take my old bike out to make sure it is ready to start commuting to work. It was a short spin but one that did involve a fair amount of speed. An enjoyable tease I would say.

Tomorrow, weather cooperating, back outside for a long bike ride.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Thursday life

Up at 4:40 AM today. Abs and pushups then a run to the gym. It's not a great run, too much downhill and with the Newtons it's a little scary. If I felt I could move my legs fast enough to catch me as I allowed gravity to do its thing perhaps it would be invigorating.

Upper and lower body weights today. Toward the end, my legs grew tired.

Tomorrow would normally be a day off but I have to go to CA for 4 days so I may just try to get ahead on workouts in order to avoid scrambling to patch together a workout at a foreign Y. Then again, maybe I'll just sleep in. Taking a mental health day tomorrow and I don't even care that it is supposed to rain.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Up at 4:40 AM, abs and pushups then off to the pool. I did not sleep well last night, work stress. The best place to release that type of stress is in the pool. I am so concentrated on processing mentally that I forget how much I hate swimming.

The pool was incredibly crowded today which also helps to keep you moving. It is kind of hard to sit on the wall when you are circle swimming. I thought I was upwards of 3,000 meters but when I totaled my laps at the end it was only 2,300. Rats.

Tomorrow, I think I may run to the gym and lift weights. No swim class in the evening as the pool is closed (yippee!).

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The beloved brick

Up at 4:40 AM. Abs, pushups then out the door for a 25 minute run. I wish I could tell you the distance but my GPS is increasingly unreliable. Totally frustrating as I am trying to absorb data.

The run was great in the sense that I enjoyed being outside. My foot was talking to me, definitely sassing the effort. When I returned to the house I threw on my bike shorts and hit the trainer for an hour of good quality work--one legged drills and a bit of zone 3 and 4 efforts. I earned my breakfast.

Trying to break old habits, I spent 5-10 minutes stretching after the bike. I am using a lot of my yoga moves to work my calfs, arches and hips. Whereas I have always been one to shave time on stretching I am working to enjoy it. To that end, Buddy has been helpful. He is constantly rubbing up against any part of my body he can connect with and does not seem to be dissuaded by my singing. Now that is a good cat.

Tomorrow, probably back to the pool.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Finally electricity and heat

Up at 4:40 AM. Abs and pushups then off to the gym for a swim. We finally did get our electricity back on and the house has mercifully warmed. Donning my swimsuit was not a problem.

At the pool I was again completely unmotivated. I hate swimming and it is such a psychological drain. Moreover, on what I consider to be little effort my heart rate sky rockets. Again, I am certain this is more psychological than physical but finishing a set and sucking air on the wall is getting old.

Tomorrow, a brick.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Amish country

We lost electricity yesterday at 4 pm. Why this couldn't have happened during my 5.5 hour spinerval I have no idea. The temperature in the house was 52 degrees when I got up and 34 degrees outside. Initially the power company said we would be back on by 1 pm, that later changed to 6:30 pm.

I did go out for a run, my longest to date. I ran for 40 minute. To be completely honest, it was not a great run. The arch of my good foot started screaming as I descended King St. I have no idea why. From therein, both of my feet were less than comfortable and I was fighting off the voice in my head that says I will never run again.

Having returned to our still cold house, I opted not to go for a swim but to instead take my chilled body and plant it in front of the fireplace for the remainder of the day. I moved only when I had to.

Tomorrow, I have not decided whether to hit the pool or run and bike. I shall prepare for both and be moved on whim in the morning.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Crossing the line

I will confess that I have crossed a line here but in my defense if it seems impossible I somehow feel compelled to prove it is not. I finished the 5.5 hour spinerval today--85 miles on my bike, inside. Was it awful? Yes. Did I want to quite? Constantly in the last two hours. What motivated me to keep going? Nothing other than to say I started and finished the stupid DVD. I did cross the line of sanity. Will I ever do it again? Cross the line, yes--start and finish this DVD, highly unlikely.

Tomorrow, I hope to get in a run and swim at least, possibly a little time in the wait room.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

If it's Thursday it means a cold late night swim

Up at 4:40 AM today. Abs, pushups then a run to the gym. This was a short but back to back run. My newtons really keep my legs fresh and although my sciatica was a bit aggravating, overall the run fit pretty good.

I hit the weight room for a full upper and lower body. Glad to get that out of the way, I hate taking it into the weekend. Off to swim with the masters this evening and then an early, early morning flight to Chicago. This week of travel has about killed me.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The long lost brick

Up at 4:40 AM. Abs and pushups then out the door for a 25 minute run. The weather was perfect, 53 degrees and a little drizzle. My legs feel incredibly strong and the Newton shoes do make me feel like I can run forever--if only I can get rid of my foot and sciatic pain.

Once I returned home I hopped on the bike for an hour, 20 minutes of which was spent doing one legged drills. I hit my zones today without effort, obviously the run makes that helpful.

I did try out a new Selle seat today. It is nearly perfect. The seat fits my sits bones perfectly and holds you in position well but the nose I was hoping to get out of this cheaply but I think I have to opt for a $180 seat. You can suffer for 20-50 miles but when you are going to be on your bike for 6 hours, you don't want anything screaming back at you. Thus, a near $200 investment in comfort makes sense.

Tomorrow, the weight room and then an evening swim with the Masters. I may, emphasis on may, run to the gym for good measure.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Sleep swimming

After my long work day (6 AM until 1 AM) the last thing I want to think about is hopping in the pool. After abs and pushups, that is precisely where I headed.

At some point in the midst of my swim sets I was caught in a daze by the pool manager. She said it looked like I was praying. Praying that the workout would be over--most likely. I have felt like I am plowing through the water lately, not swimming streamlined. I know some of what is causing this--pulling my arm to early on weak side breathing--but while I try to focus on correcting it all efforts seem to no avail.

Tomorrow, on the bike...possibly a run.

Monday, March 03, 2008

No runs, no swims, no nothing

Off to NYC today for a long, long day of work. A swim would have been good today but alas I'll save that thought for tomorrow.

A late start tomorrow after a long evening. Hoping to either swim or get on my bike, it all depends on how late I get in and how much sleep I will need.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

My kingdom for the outdoors

Three hours on the trainer. It's getting tiresome, I wish the weather would cooperate. Today was not horrible outside but it could definitely be warmer.

Tomorrow I have to travel for work so unfortunately it is an unplanned day of rest. Well, I could get up at 3 am and get on my bike but that would just be sick.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

A reverse trifecta

I started with a 25 minute run. Unlike my run on Thursday, today my sciatic was screaming the entire way keeping my gait from opening up. I continue to search for a solution.

After my run I headed to the pool. It was not a great workout but I completed it nonetheless. I hit my trainer for 45 minutes of work, over half of which was spent in zone 4. A tiring day that exhausted me despite how it paled in comparison to my longer workouts.

Tomorrow, a long bike ride...preferably outside, possibly on the trainer.