Monday, June 30, 2008

Pool day

Up at 4:19 AM. No, this is not an Ironman training day. I had to deal with a sick pup. Up again at 5 AM then on to the core work. Abs and pushups then off to the pool.

This is a recovery week in the periodization process so only 2,300 meters today. An awesome workout though with two sets of 4 x 50 drill, 200 build, 4 x 75 (25 fast, 25 easy, 25 fast) then 50 easy. The speed work was a burn but cheating Liz did not show up today.

Tomorrow, a brick. Bike and run.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A bad string of firsts

JB finished her first international distance triathlon today and I got a taste of what it is like to sit around in the heat and wait. It is interesting to watch a triathlon given that when you are racing you cannot appreciate the viewpoint. I saw some interesting "swimming" including some classic doggie paddle and tarzan swimming. That was rather startling.

JB did a great job. I was a little worried waiting for her to come out of the swim but eventually she emerged with her pink cap all askew. She headed out on the bike which I thought she would blaze through. I was joined by a friend who entertained me during the wait. I sat anxiously as her expected return time came and went. After what seemed like forever she returned, one of the last bikes to come in and off she went with a smile on the run. I waited an hour and 10 minutes and then decided to walk the run course in reverse. I passed one competitor in what was otherwise a quiet course. About a half hour later I found JB running with a guy, grateful she had company in the heat. I ran the mile and a half in with her.

As it turns out, JB had a flat tire on the bike. Curses, I knew I should have showed her how to change her tire. She made friends with the goats until the race truck came along. JB's firsts are not ones for the record book--she had a medical emergency in her first triathlon and now a flat in her first international. Makes me nervous for the half-Ironman relay she has entered in September.

Feeding the horseflies

I rode with a colleague today up and down the hills at Quantico. It was rather humid and for whatever reason the horseflies were hungry. They tend to get in my draft and bite me....usually in the butt, occasionally in the back of my thigh. It's annoying because when you are in aero and moving along you really don't want to have to react hastily. A good ride but one that has aggravated my piriformis a bit.

Tomorrow, a day off as I sit in support of JB's first international distance triathlon.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Oh yeah, baby...some road speed

Today, I ran 8 miles in an hour at a 7:49 pace. Not quite the 7:16 pace my garmin recorded Sunday (and that I still doubt) but then again it was a bit more humid this morning. Still, the glory days have started to return even though I still have some dread when I lace my shoes up. the downside, my foot is hurting again and my achilles is swollen. I am trying to ignore that for the time being.

Tomorrow, a long bike ride.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Spin Thursday

A cycling theme today. I started with the usual core work--abs and pushups, then on the bike for 45 minutes. I like to work the one legged drills and some high cadence just to get the heart pumping. After, I rode to work. I am constantly trying to beat my time to work. Today, I was pretty fast but I hit a lot of lights and was off my PR. Last week, the lights were all green and I made it to work in 42 minutes door to door. Careful planning is a must.

Tomorrow, normally a day off but JB is racing Sunday so I have to move up my long run.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What is the matter with me?

I am telling you, I don't even recognize myself in the pool anymore. I jump in and get it done. No stalling, no standing at the wall bemoaning what is ahead of me, and to be honest, no cheating. I continue to worry that this is temporary and if it is, I am just trying to enjoy it.

Up at 4:50 AM today. Abs and pushups then off to the pool. Some long work in the pool today topped off with some anaerobic work. The grand total, 2950 meters....inching up to Ironman worthy. Speaking of Ironman, I accidentally pulled up last year's training plan last night in preparation for today. Wow, that really was a lot of work. Let's hope I forget that part before I sign up for another one.

Tomorrow, could be a swim, could be a bike, could be a swim and a bike to work. Still working on it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Making progress

Power outage--again--that lasted until 3 am. I am pretty sure based on how warm the fridge was when we got home that it had been off for quite a while. So frustrating.

Up at 4:45 AM. Abs and pushups then on to the bike for an hour. Some one legged drills and then some sprint work today--feel those lungs. Off the bike I went for a 30 minute run alternating zones 2 and 4. I am making my leg work. The ultrasound treatment has helped the high piriformis pain, now I need to work the piriformis a bit lower and the hamstring. As I run I focus on following my leg all the way through. While painful, I think it has helped--if nothing else, it is less jarring on my leg.

Tomorrow, back to the pool.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Slippery fins

Up at 4:45 AM today. I think all of these power outages that we have endured have messed with my alarm clock.

Abs and pushups then off to the pool. My plan had not arrived today so I made up my pool routine. 500 warmup, 4 x 75 drill then 500, 400, 300, 200, 200 and 100. Not very original but I got in my 2500 meters. More than anything, this is why I need a coach. I tried some new fins today from Zura. They are made of Croc material and are a bit slippery but then again I guess you are not supposed to be standing in them. They definitely are more like your foot. While they help some with kicking weakness they also let you know your problem areas. It's been a while since I've sucked down pool water on my one-arm swim drills.

Tomorrow, brick Tuesday. The bike and run.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Could it be a fluke?

I had an hour run today. Again, my new mindset is to just hit the gas and let other parts of my body hurt besides my piriformis. I like to contrast my pain.

I was moving pretty well but forceably both mentally and physically. Generally I am not out of breath but I was definitely huffing. I knew my time would be an improvement over the usual 9:40 per mile of late but I was completely shocked when I looked at my Garmin. Reportedly I ran 8.5 miles in an hour at a 7:16 pace. Yes, 7:16. Even I cannot believe it which is why until I repeat it, my money is on a data error. Still, if that proves true, I was moving and I am pleased. There was no joy in it whatsoever....well, until I stopped, recovered and read my watch. Please let this be true.

Tomorrow, in the pool with my new, cool, disney-looking fins.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Short on sleep

We were invited to friends for a delightful barbecue last evening resulting in a post-midnight bedtime. We checked the weather to see whether we had the flexibility to do the long ride on Sunday-no such luck. Sunday they are predicting a 60-70% chance of rain all day.

The animal kingdom awoke us at around 6 AM. That hurt a little. We loaded the bikes and headed to Quantico for a ride. The day was sunny, a tiny bit humid but pretty tolerable. I was anxious to road test my speed play pedals.

The ride was great. Unfortunately, JB was suffering a bit so we brought her back to the car early and I did some hills in the park to get up to my minimum 40 miles. I think between the lack of sleep and too light a breakfast JB's tank came up empty.

I loved the speedplay pedals. I have to admit it felt completely different to climb--almost too much float in the pedals. That being said, I think if my pedals were the problem the speedplay is the answer. They really allow your foot to move naturally.

Tomorrow, a long run.

Friday, June 20, 2008

A day off

I thought about riding to work but I'm trying to hold true to the plan. Still, to miss such a glorious day.....

More ultrasound work this morning. I sure hope this pays off.

Long bike ride tomorrow, should be nearly perfect weather.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

So beautiful

Up before the alarm today, not sure why. Maybe because Buddy was sitting on my face or maybe it was that strange work dream.

Worked the core then hopped on the bike. Still looking for a smooth transition on my speedplay pedals so I did a lot of one legged drills. It may take a ride or two until I don't have to think about it. 45 minutes on the trainer and then I rode to work. What a beautiful day but in all honesty I cannot recall ever having to find my arm warmers in June.

Tomorrow, a day of rest....possibly.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Nearly Iron worthy

Up at 4:50 AM today, abs and pushups then off to the pool.

Killer workout today totalling 2,900 meters. I didn't even hesitate. Old Liz would stand on the deck or sit at the wall commiserating about what was ahead. New Liz just got in and got it done. I can see myself getting back to the 3,500 meter days....if only I could run pain free I'd push the Ironman lever and go for doble-fe.

Tomorrow, a little spin to work the new pedal platform and then, hopefully, a ride to work.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A beautiful brick

Up at 4:45 AM today. Abs and pushups then on the bike.

I have new pedals now which I am trying to get accustomed to. I went with the speedplay hoping the float helps my piriformis issues. I like them but am still working on entry. What better way to work on entry then to do some one legged drills. No doubt I will return to the one legged drills later in the week before taking the inaugural outdoor spin with the new pedal platform.

After an hour on the bike, I headed out for a 30 minute run. 5 x 3 minutes at zone 3, 2 minutes zone 2. I am just pushing pace and working on rotating my right leg completely through. It hurts still but it is also a tiny bit better. I missed my ultrasound yesterday because of a power outage but I look forward to my continued treatments this week to see whether I might be able to turn the corner.

Tomorrow, back in the pool.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Peace in the pool

Up at 4:50 AM today. Abs and pushups then off to the pool.

I am a little disappointed that I have made peace with the pool. It has gotten so bad that I actually look forward to swimming. Please, someone hold an intervention for me. 2,500 meters today with some good interval work. The kind where you suck wind at the wall as the resting seconds fall away from the clock. A nice, quiet, relaxing workout.

Tomorrow, a brick--bike and run.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Pushing Pace

Yes, the piriformis still hurts and inhibits me most on the run. However, I am so sick of running slow that today I decided to push pace on my hour run. Instead of the 9:30 or 9:40 mile that has become my staple, I was able to run at 9:02. Finally, a little progress. Not quite the 7:30 mile that seems a distant memory but progress nonetheless.

Tomorrow, more ultrasound--in fact I will get this 3 times this week--and I think a swim.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A good day for a ride

A little humid today but otherwise a beautiful, sunny day for a ride. We put in 40 miles of moderate hills. I was able to keep my RPMs very high today which was welcome after my burnout in last week's race. Although my plan only called for a 90 minute ride, I wanted a solid ride to see how the ultrasound treatment worked yesterday. For certain my piriformis is sore but I remain hopeful it is the soreness I must endure to finally heal.

Tomorrow, a long run in less humid conditions.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday the 13th

A day of rest. Tonight I will get my first ultrasound treatment on my piriformis. With a new diagnosis of piriformis syndrome and a new treatment plan that includes ultrasound I am hopeful at getting a breakthrough. I have been bothered by this for a year but in the last several months it has deeply effected my performance. Now I am ready to move on, thus on this Friday the 13th I endeavor to make my only luck.

Tomorrow, a bike ride.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Spinning out the legs

Up at 4:50 AM today. Finally feeling like my old self. Abs and pushups then on the bike for an hour to just spin out my legs at 85 RPM.

I have to say just spinning is rather boring. I'll take intervals and a mix of one legged drills any day over just a straight spin indoors. Now, outdoors would be a different story.

Tomorrow, a day off and some ultrasound treatment for my piriformis syndrome. Where are you my 8 minute mile, I am going to hunt you down.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Getting back to normal

Finally, I am feeling recovered from Eagleman. I can't believe it took so long. Up at 4:50 AM today, abs and pushups then off to the pool.

My plan called for 1750 meters but that was far too short for my taste. I added an additional 300 meters to get it over 2000. Sometimes I cannot believe it is me making fully volitional decisions to spend more time in the pool If I ever get my running legs back I wonder if this will continue to be the case.

Tomorrow, an hour bike. Meanwhile, I am working on figuring out where my nutrition is failing me or better yet how to take in more calories and prevent my stomach from shutting down. Also, I'm on the hunt for ultrasound for my piriformis. I will not settle for the sport of aqua-velo.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A swim for the hurting me

Up at 4:50 AM today. I still feel like crap. Abs and pushups then off to the pool because I knew it would help bring me back. The cool water felt great and I had no problem completing my workout. More advil and off to work. I think I will pump in some more electrolytes today--just looking to get back to normal.

Tomorrow, another swim or a bike--whatever feels good.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Help me

I have never, ever been hurting the day after a race. I am dying today. I am sore, I feel exhausted.....obviously I am spent. It is tempting to call in sick but this is self induced so I must get my butt to work. Advil and electrolytes, the course for the day. I hope I can bounce back on this day of rest.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Eagleman..what a bust

I cranked the AC last night to stay as cool as possible. Unfortunately this provoked my asthma and I woke up coughing. I was able to position myself upright to sleep which helped--you didn't think I would turn down the AC did you?

Up at 3:50 AM. I ate more than usual--half a banana, half of an English muffin, and a granola bar. My heat did not take off until 8 AM so I wanted to get a good base in. Off to transition we headed arriving around 5:30. I setup my gear and then grabbed the sunblock to douse myself. After stretching I sat near the starting pen to watch the 10 heats before me take off. I was grateful when someone blocked the sun from me.

Finally, we got in the water and what a relief. In the heat, in my wetsuit, that water felt so good. I started on the left side of the course, buoys for the course were on the left and I wanted to be as direct as possible. Although I wanted to hit my shoulder with the buoy I did manage to keep them close for the first two turns. After that point, the current swept me wide on the course. Still, I felt very comfortable and I was seeing the course well--and for a change there were plenty of people with me. Coming into the final turn and then the dock I was really getting pushed in the water but I just kept calm and kept moving forward. Finally I was out of the water. To be honest, I thought my time would be about 38 minutes--it was 45. Still, I'll take it.

Off on the bike, I took the first 5 miles to eat and settle in. Thereafter, I just glued it down in aero position keeping close tabs on my cadence. By mile 25, I had averaged over 17 mph which is pretty good for me. I was not tired, my legs felt great so I decided to hit the speed button. Critical mistake. In the next ten miles, I developed a horrible headache, I could no longer eat, and I was extremely nauseous. My average speed fell through the floor and the heat was incredibly intense. I had all I could do to finish the bike and I knew I set myself up for a miserable run.

Off the bike, I did not make it far in the run before I had to pull off to try to be sick. No luck. The entire run was a mix of zig-zag walking, running and dragging my right leg with the piriformis injury, and trying to get nourishment where I could at the rest stops. It was ugly, really ugly. I did finish but I have never been slower. Of my 6 half-Ironman performances this was my second worst. I could not speak for over an hour after the race as I fought my nausea.

Thus far, not a good year performance wise. Given that I am not racing until August I think my two points of concentration are going to be to get my leg fixed and figure out how to overcome my stomach issues in the heat. I will get a PR this year, somehow, somewhere.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Off to Eagleman

A short bike to make sure my bike was working well. I shifted the gears around and tooled around the neighborhood at race speed. Everything was working good. Once home, I turned it around for a short run. Yikes, was it ever hot. Tomorrow will be brutal.

Off to Cambridge, MD for Eagleman. Trying to stay out of the heat as much as possible today.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Another walk with Della

Della was stoked that I had another day off today. We went on an early morning walk and her tail never stopped wagging. Tomorrow, a little bike a little run just to make sure everything is working well before we pack to head out to Eagleman.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

A walk with Della

A day off today. Della and I headed out for a short walk which is such a treat for her. Although she can only walk a few short blocks now she is extremely excited to go and take in the morning smells.

Tomorrow, another day off and I hope time for another walk. Meanwhile, I'm ingesting Race Day Boost 4 times a day (and my fingers and toes are swelling as I type). The heat is expected to be on Sunday and the Race Day Boost coupled with salt tablets and good nutrition should carry me through.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Can I call it a swim?

Up at 4:50 AM today. Abs and pushups then off to the pool.

When I looked at my plan today I could have added my totals on my toes. 1,100 meters on the plan. I can't help myself, I just can't swim that short of distance and call it a workout. Not that long ago I would have been in my glory but I think because I am enjoying the pool more and because mentally I need the confidence that comes with swimming healthy distances I had to up the ante. I rounded it out to 1,500 meters.

Tomorrow, a day off.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

I got you

Up at 4:50 AM today. The plan called for a brick and it proved to be the best one that I have had for a while.

Abs and pushups then on the bike. Some one legged drills and a long zone 3 tempo set at 85 RPM. Off the bike I hit the road for 25 minutes. My leg was hurting to be sure, but I wanted to try to move today. The air could not have been more perfect, 65 degrees and no humidity. At one point I spotted a guy about 300 yards ahead. I decided to try to hunt him down. Success. Without much effort I not only caught him but passed him. Thus far this season I have been unable to catch anyone--I'm hoping this is where I turn the corner.

Tomorrow, back in the pool for a short swim.

Monday, June 02, 2008

More fun in the pool

Up at 4:50 AM today. It was a scheduled off day but I just couldn't do it. Instead, I used it to knock out one of my two swims this week.

Abs and pushups then off to the pool. My workout was light given the taper week. A scheduled 1800 meters which I had to top off. I just don't want to swim less than 2000. Again, I have to say that it was not an unpleasant experience. I jumped in, got it done, noted some improvements on technique but most notably on my ability to relax in the water. I don't know what happened to the old Liz at the pool but I'm kind of hoping she doesn't come back.

Tomorrow, the last brick before Eagleman.