Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thursday run

6 miles, fairly easy except that by the end I was thinking, "Hmmm, this is quite enjoyable, but does it not seem as though I have been running for quite a long time now?!?"

I did not run enough miles in the last week and half, that is the fact of the matter...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wednesday digression

It is strictly aspirational at this point, and really never will be relevant at the speeds I'd be going at - I will decide in August about whether I might try and do an Ironman race in 2010 (I am looking at IM Wisconsin - training time falls over the summer while I am off from teaching, potentially not too hot, no absolute white-knuckle downhills on the bike), but it may well be more sensible to wait till the year after - but Alan Couzens has a very interesting and persuasive post on long-course triathlon pacing that is especially relevant for the fast runners out there...

(I like these training blogs that really are oriented towards top age-group and elite athletes - obviously the pace guidelines are woefully different - but there are some underlying principles of considerable relevance. Jack Daniels has the best explanation of how the stuff he lays out can/should be tweaked for regular-person speeds - I am a devout believer in the notion that every endurance athlete should own a copy of Daniels' Running Formula...)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tuesday swim

Well, I am certainly feeling very bad about how little I've trained for this upcoming race, but I had to write off my more ambitious early-evening exercise plans (it was either a bike or a run + TNYA swim workout) due to feeling utterly awful! Combination of tiredness, end-of-semester wear and tear, bizarrely hot weather (it was near 90, ugh!) and truly epically awful allergies - I felt the need to warn the students sitting closest to me this afternoon that though I was going to be spraying them with sneeze, it was definitely seasonal allergies rather than swine flu...

Still felt fairly awful mid-evening, but the other obvious remedies (water, advil, food, caffeine) had failed to dispel persistent sinus-type headache, so I figured I'd better go over for a swim, and it was indeed a very nice one - not at all crowded, and I swam enough times over the weekend that I've got my feel for the water back, it is that more than lost fitness that mars one's swimming after a bit of a layoff.

Cannot remember now exactly what I did, but along these lines:


150 free + 50 breast (stuck behind a slow fellow!)

100 IM kick with board

200 free

100 IM drill

200 free

100 IM swim

100 breast

100 back

4 x 100 as 100 free, 100 free-free-breast-free, 100 free-back-breast-free, 100 IM

100 free

100 reverse IM (backstroke flags only up at one end...)

3 x 50 (back-free, fly-free, breast-free)

3 x 50 drill-swim by 25 (thumbs-and-salute, catch-up, fists)

3 x 50 (fly-back, back-breast, breast-free)

2150 yards

(I guess I went over earlier than usual - often I only have 35 minutes before the pool closes, and only get in 1500-1600 - this is better...)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Brief pool swim

It is nice even just to get in for a dip - I'm flying back to NY later, won't be home till 10 or later, no time for exercise...

(This week is a crazy school week - I'm not going to be on a good exercise track until Saturday, unless I'm much mistaken - but I'll just have to fit in everything I can and figure on riding my bike as much as possible during the first ten days of May.)

c. 700 dog-leg freestyle and breaststroke

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday run

OK, that was very good - first half-hour fairly penitential - but then the good running chemicals kicked in, and the last three miles were genuinely enjoyable. It vaguely dawns on me that even when I run in the world as opposed to on a treadmill, it takes me about half an hour to feel fully warmed up - and that is obviously a much more pleasant half-hour with the wind whistling around one's ears or what have you...

6 slow warm miles

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday mini-workout

I did not at all feel like going to the gym, only I figured even a short workout would be better than nothing. Short it was, and mildly ill-fated (though now that it is over, I am glad I went); on the treadmill, I felt mildly indigested, hugely overheated and with a stitch in my side that made me call it at 2 rather than staying on for three, and the strength bit just told me that I have not been doing enough strength-training recently, I was too hot and sweaty to face a third round even of this mini-workout! All will be better when the school year is over...

2 warm uncomfortable treadmill miles

2 x (15 push-ups, 15 lateral raise and side raise with 5lb. weights, 15 bicep curl and kickback with 10lb. weights)

Sea swim!

The palette for mammals is nothing compared to what fish, birds, insects etc. got...

40 minutes sea swim - I am counting it at 500 yards = 10 mins., though I am sure I do not cover quite so much distance than that - but swimming in the sea is better exercise than swimming straight freestyle in the pool!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sea swim!

30 minutes - I will count it as 1500 yards, though I am sure I covered less than that distance (a lot of chop/current on way 'out' along shore, then much quicker coming back).

As soon as I got horizontal I found myself in the midst of an amazing school of tiny fish, bigger than minnows but smaller than anchovies. And I saw two different sea turtles within the first five minutes also, one of them very attractively sticking its head up above the water for a gulp of air (it is like something out of Alice in Wonderland).

I need a cheat sheet to tell me which fish is which - not heavily fish-populated right round here, but some interesting individuals to be seen here and there...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Inspired bicycles

Rare that I would use the words bicycle and delightful in the same sentences, but this is an amazing video... (Courtesy of Marina.)

Tuesday digression

Have skipped "core sculpt" and TNYA due to excessive weariness. Will see if I can fit in a quiet swim later, though I think I would be better off doing my reading and writing tomorrow's lecture and generally having a quiet evening at home - in the meantime, a good bicycle-related story from the CU student paper - "The spirit of the living creatures was in the wheel..."

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday run

Only did 5 - ran (slowly) over to the bottom of Harlem Hill and met up with training partner C., who I haven't seen since February.

We did 2 x the upper hill loop, but I ran out of steam on the third loop - we walked up to the top of the hill, and then I ran back down it and home. Had caught my breath and cooled down a bit by the time I made it back to Broadway and 110th, and thought of going down to 96th and back up through Riverside Park to make it up to the notional 6 - but really I need to get on with my work day, alas...

(An enjoyable run, but I must regain mental focus and stop copping out of hills - really we could have run up the rest of that one!)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday swim

Full of self-reproach that I did not bike - but on the other hand the swim was certainly the most enjoyable thing I have done all day...

2 x 400 as 75 free, 25 drill stroke in IM order

3 x (3 x 50 stroke-free) (first three fly, 2nd three back, last three breast) on 10 seconds rest

100 strong (1:51, that is slow)

3 x 50 easy (back, breast, free)

100 easy free

1600 yards total

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Musical postscript

I have been greatly missing my sessions with Trainer Mark, which I will perhaps briefly resume the next time I get a Lump Sum but which really will have to await some future stage of much greater financial prosperity - but I got a very good e-mail from him just now with a link to the music video he's been working on! (It is not the MAIN point - but perhaps centrally of interest for the Triaspirational readership - check out those triceps!) His Myspace page is here - I think I prefer the acoustic version of "Heaven to You," which is really very lovely...

Saturday bike-run

It was a very good excursion, though I was mentally defeated at two points - in both cases by the same hill! I do not feel bad about it - the second was avoidable but minor, I just didn't have the mental focus and I didn't care enough to push through - the first was more significant, probably avoidable also, and I will have thoughts on how not to have it happen again...

So we drove out again to the Palisades Interstate Park - did the same ride as last week (which I regret to report is really only 15 v. hilly miles, not 20 as we wishfully imagined!), except we parked in a different lot.

This lot (it is by the police station - convenient toilets!) means starting out at the top of a long hill, which is bad for my nerves - still v. nervous the first 5 miles or so - but the middle part of the ride was super-enjoyable, I build up confidence.

Riding on the way back next to a PRECIPICE for instance did not seem so horrifying to me this time, except suddenly and intensely near the end of the ride - it is about a mile-long hill, medium gradient, leading up to where we'd left the car, and I just started really freaking out about halfway up.

I think that once I'm breathing hard from effort, my body is a lot more likely to tip over into panic mode - one moment I was trying not to look in the direction of the edge and thinking (I should have paid more attention!) "Hmmm, my body is strongly telling me that the only safe place to be on this hill is lying face down and clutching the ground so that I don't fall over, but I cannot do that, because other cyclists will be very alarmed if they see me lying face down on the ground!" Then it was a few minutes later, and suddenly my breathing had switched over to full panic mode.

I got off and walked the rest of the way - I knew it was only about a quarter of a mile from the top and that it wouldn't take too long. I think I should have just stayed on (I was pretty shaky, but it is a very safe road, other than irrational mental conviction of being too close to the edge and about to fall over), but in any case next time the thing to do will be to go onto the small chainring - I have a triple on my bike, really out of laziness I am always riding in the middle ring (the easiest gear on the middle ring gives you something pretty reasonable for riding up even a fairly steep hill), but I think that on a long steepish hill next to a PRECIPICE I will just have to ride slower and in an insanely easier gear and keep the breathing very steady...

Then we ran 4, only I will say I ran 3 and walked 1 - in fact walked up the (same!) hill. I can't even say I was that knackered - I was thirsty, but my legs weren't tired - and I just didn't have it in me.

(I always, fatally, in this sort of situation find myself thinking a bit too much about how I am a brisk walker and can get good cardio benefits from marching up a hill at 15:00 pace rather than staggering up it at a jogging pace of 13:00. Wasn't wearing a HR monitor, due to chafing from wearing it on my long run yesterday, but I would guess my HR was probably as high walking up the hill at the end of that workout - and the temps are mid-70s, we were under-hydrated! - as it was on the whole of my long run yesterday, i.e. upper 140s!)

Anyway it was a very solid workout, and we had some good thoughts about planning for future ones too - nothing this coming weekend, because I will be elsewhere (swimming in the sea!), but we will try for something fairly regular after that.

Hmmmmm, it must be said that in the spring a young(ish) woman's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of Ironman. But there are many factors to take into account, and I am not sure it will be wise to try for one in 2010 as opposed to 2011 - we will see how things go with the bike this summer, and with various life/work stuff as it begins to sort itself out...

In personal news: I am not sure this link will work permanently (I have pasted in the picture below, just case not), but the Big Bend Sentinel reports on the opening last weekend of my sister-in-law Michelle's store, JM Dry Goods (source of lovely housewares and vintage Western wear), in Marfa, TX! Go on in and say hello to her from me if you are passing that way...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Long run

12 miles easy (2:13:36, c. 11:00 pace, avg HR 147)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday core/swim

1 hr. "core sculpt" (left a bit early to make sure I got some pool warmup time), 1 hr. TNYA workout (got a small break - far lane was empty, so A. and I switched over from our regular lane and split that one instead - takes some pressure off on making the intervals esp. on kick, & of course just generally less crowded...)

150 free, 100 IM drill

5 x 100 IM kick-swim as (1) 100 kick (2) 75 kick 25 swim (3) 50 kick 50 swim (4) 25 kick 75 swim (5) 100 swim

400 pull (I only did 350 - lanemate A. is a slightly slower regular freestyler than I, but amazingly faster with a pull buoy - he was finishing his 400 as I finished my 300!)

4 x 100 descending: first three on 1:55, 1:50, 1:45, then 20-30 seconds rest, then last one all out on 1:40 (but I swam it in 1:45, which felt very slow)

10 x 25 kick (I could not make the assigned interval, even with allowable extra five seconds), evens easy odds fast

2 x 50 easy cooldown

1850 yards total (short yardage - I guess it is the kick that slows everything down)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Good advice

for triathletes...

Wednesday run

Ugh, work overload Monday and Tuesday, they were unwanted days "off" from training of a particularly exhausting kind!

I was so tired I wasn't sure I'd make it out the door, but the prospect of the mental and physical benefits of an outdoor run on an evening where it finally cleared up and reached the low 50s as opposed to the mid-40s was attractive enough that I managed to drag myself out.

It was actually a particularly nice one - much appreciated after three days of enormously hard work of the morn-till-midnight type...

Lots of good animal-watching - a large number of good-looking dogs, a parrot (brought there in a carrier - I have seen that bird around there before) very loudly contemplating the daffodils at 90th St., an attractive pair of mallard ducks having a drink from the puddles down by the sanitation pier - and (best of all) the cat known to me as the Tennis Court Calico! She looked in fine fettle - I have not seen her since before the winter...

6 miles easy

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sunday swim

An authentic swim-bike-run day, that is good. Only time to swim c. 1200 yards misc. - I was having a high irk factor with another fellow in the lane, but it was otherwise very pleasant.

I have been having low swimming morale recently, for the very obvious reason that I haven't been swimming enough! I would say that for someone in my position, i.e. basically an adult novice with more enthusiasm than technique, swimming 3 times a week is a minimum for real enjoyment, and I certainly do better when I swim 4-5 times, even if a couple of them are only a thousand yards or so.

(As opposed to running - where, honestly, 3 x week is just fine as long as you are doing other stuff - yes, it is true, I can see that I feel a lot stronger and easier in my running when I get up to about 25 mpw, which is easier to manage with 4 x than 3, but even so...)

It has also been a failed experiment doing the 5pm "core sculpt" followed by 6pm TNYA workout on Tuesdays and Thursdays - it seemed like a very compact use of time, but it makes me late to swim practice and I think that I enjoy each component less than I would on its own. I do think that I'll do the "core sculpt" again in the fall, but I will try the other time slot that's offered (schedule permitting).

In the meantime, it should be that over the next few weeks it is easier for me to fit in short evening swims than it was earlier in the semester, and the pool gets less crowded as we move towards exams, so that is good too...

Breathing huge sigh of relief

Well, I have just had an extremely successful and non-epic (in a good way!) bike-run workout - I actually now have a glimmer of hope that it might be that I could get on top of this biking thing, which has really seemed insurmountable to me...

It is all thanks to Triathlete Lauren! She has a thorough conviction (she is an Ambassador for the Sport!) that it is worth her taking some trouble with me in order to help me learn to love cycling a bit more...

(She is a former bike messenger and avid mountain biker and triathlete - hmmm, I am thinking she has about 5 bikes - and in a tiny NY apartment; it is not a question of having a garage or a basement! That may even be an underestimate... She is doing the Harriman half-iron race the same day I'm doing the Florida one.)

She picked me up in her CAR and we drove up and over the bridge to the Palisades Interstate Park (i.e. our ride was along "River Road"). Parked at the far end, rode back to the other end of the park (v. near the GW Bridge, and apparently now connected to it by a BIKE PATH - i.e. I could actually timidly make my way there myself, on my bicycle, from where I live, all on bike paths other than a couple very brief stretches where you might need to cross a street or two or whatever, but could get off bike and walk it...) and then back to the lot.

Very hilly and enjoyably challenging ride - I will say that the ride itself was 85% THOROUGHLY enjoyable; I am still very nervous before riding and during any brief break on the ride, and I am still pretty nervous about the steeper downhills, and I do not like riding near to the edge of what is basically a PRECIPICE, but there is no way I will get more comfortable with those other than by keeping on riding...

Then we ran for 20 minutes - first half-mile up a HUGE hill! Hmmm, that is where I should have been training for the Antarctica marathon (I believe that people do run from the Upper West Side up and over and into the park there - in fact it might be better for my nerves if I did that as a run first and really sussed out all the little bits of interconnection between dedicated bike paths before doing it with a nerve-racking bicycle accompanying me...).

20 miles bike, 2 miles run

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday run

Well, it was perfect in every way, except for one major blunder on my part that rendered it considerably more Antarctic/penitential than one really thinks of the perfect long run as being - I vaguely noticed this morning that there was a discrepancy between the temperature as given on the NYT site (low 40s) and the temperature visible on my desktop via (56F), but I didn't give it a second thought - I assumed that it was in the mid-50s.

A couple miles into the run, when I was already soaked to the skin and finding it fairly windy, it gradually dawned on me that the desktop temperature was clearly the one that was incorrect...

(Actual temperature: 43F. Steady rain, windy...)

I did 12 miles easy, along the west side, and I have to say that miles 4-10 or so were pretty much the coldest run I have ever had! I was wearing a long-sleeved wicking shirt and RaceReady shorts - no gloves, no jacket - socks were soaked...

I amused myself by trying to think of the last time I'd been that cold - there was a very cold Zodiac harbor cruise in Antarctica - and I seem to remember sitting in a terminal at JFK very early in the morning on a frigid New Year's Day (maybe mid-teens?) and thinking that airport design is not really suited to temperature extremes...

I stopped at the Chelsea Piers vending machines on the way back uptown to get another bottle of ersatz Gatorade to refill my fuel belt bottles, and I actually was a bit worried about whether my hands were going to work well enough to feed the bills into the machine - unscrewing and rescrewing those little bottle tops is a fiddly job at the best of times - it took me about five minutes, all told, and I was somewhat surprised I was able to manage it. Of course I was getting colder and colder as I stood there pouring away and trying to get the bottles back into their holders!

But I was damned if I was going to call my run off just for a bit of cold weather - only it is a pity that the race I am currently training for is sub-tropical (I am much better off cold and wet than overly warm, though I suppose that it is always a good thing to practice mental fortitude in conditions of moderate physical discomfort)!

Anyway, as I say, in every other respect it was a great run, the most enjoyable I have had for some time. I guess I'm getting back into the groove of it, I have had a very solid couple weeks of training now and have regained most of the fitness I felt like I lost on the Antarctica trip, but the main thing is that I am determined to work more consciously on my run training.

The best season I had, in terms of speed and ease, was the one a year and a half ago where I really took the notion of maintaining a low heartrate on the long run seriously. There are other factors, too (like I clearly have to re-lose 10 pounds between now and September if I want my fall marathon training to go as well as it should, ugh!), but I think the low-heartrate thing is HUGE. This past summer and fall I really got out of the habit of doing them that way - I was often running with a faster friend and at a relatively fast pace, and I don't think it translates into easy speed at the longer distances.

With low-mileage distance training plans, of course, there's not the same imperative to hold heartrates low - and yet I would have to say that I felt I more clearly benefited from the Hadd-style training than the FIRST-style (I wasn't hewing literally to either one, but it's a shorthand way of thinking about the basic approach).

So today I held HR really determinedly in the mid-140s, and it was great - very easy running at that pace, it is slow but that's just the way it's got to be - and I am going to try and really keep doing long ones very regularly this way all through the summer...

12 miles easy

Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter whimsy

A very good "On the Street" feature in the NYT this week - some good shots of the magnolias in Central Park, they were certainly very lovely when I was running there last Sunday - and a lot of little dogs in hilarious Easter bonnets - there is even a rodent of some sort in a little Huncamunca-type dress!

Friday spin

Spinervals 5.0, "Mental Toughness" (90 minutes)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

April anhedonia

1 hr. "core sculpt"


warmup: c. 200 misc.

5 x 100 free (first three on 2:05, last two on 2:00)

6 x 150 IM no free, with rolling kick on first three (i.e. 50 fly kick, 50 back, 50 breast; 50 fly, 50 kick on back, 50 breast, etc.), on 3:20 and 3:05

2 x (25 kick easy, 50 kick hard, 50 swim easy, 75 swim hard)

4 x 50 free on 1:00

I skipped a couple 50s here and there - my kick is devastatingly slow...

2050 yards

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

It's not about the bike

The fate of high-end cycling in an economic downturn. (Via Kelvin.)

NB: this year Cadence is the store that TriBike Transport ships from for the Florida 70.3 - and honestly, given the prices airlines charge for bikes, the complexity of taking apart and putting back together the wretched creatures and the need for a hard case for packing/travel (and I witnessed an absurd scene once at LaGuardia with a minivan taxi that would not take a racer's bike case!), it is a very good-value service the company offers - in fact it seems to me likely that in the down-the-road dream scenario where I ACTUALLY AM DOING AN IRONMAN RACE it will be one that these folks will ship my bike to...

Wednesday run

There, that has put me in a better mental and physical frame...

6 miles easy

Last night after swimming, I thought it must have been that there were more chemicals in the pool than usual - I couldn't stop sneezing, and my nasal passages felt unusually raw and irritated. Then I woke up this morning feeling fairly awful and realized that the spring allergy season is well upon us now - ugh!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tuesday core/swim

An enjoyable swim, though somewhat chaotic. I was having head management issues - literal, not metaphorical, for a change! - couldn't lay hands on a hair elastic, with cascade effect - cap would not stay on! Had to skip a couple 50s here and there while I wrestled with it.

It is a minor frustration - now and again I have a really annoying lane swim or practice, and in that case I feel justified ranting - this is not on that level, I do not want to grumble needlessly - but it definitely slightly compromises the quality of the workout when there is a lot of bunching up in the lane. I was swimming at the back for most of the workout - really I should be slotted in a spot or two further up, depending on the set - I am probably the middle swimmer of those 5 on speed, especially for longer freestyle bits - only the trouble is that me and the other 2 slower fellows all swim at a very similar pace, but neither of 'em will count five seconds before pushing off, so that if I want to have a swim without anyone on my heels, I am better off going at the back - only then I cannot swim as hard as I should and keep the intervals. Ah well, there is nothing fast I am training for, it is all distance, better to swim slower and with good form and at the back than to have a high irk factor...

(Also, again, I am not at all sure what was being swum for some of these bits - the 12 x 50 in particular was wayward, I was definitely far slower than everyone else but this, I think, was because I might have been the only person doing both fly and also the kick rather than swim on the second 25...)

Warmup (truncated): 150

5 x 150 free (first three on ?2:55, last two on 2:40) (I skipped two 50s)

(there might have been one other thing in here, only I have forgotten...)

12 x 50, swim-kick by 25, 3 of each stroke in IM order (I skipped a 50 of breast - further cap issues - and in fact never heard the interval, it was all a muddle!)

2 x 200 IM on 4:40

5 x 50 free (first three on 1:00, last two on :55)

50 swim down

1950 yards total

+ 1 hr. "core sculpt" (which makes me late to swimming, which is why I miss most of the warmup - I still think that the class is very beneficial, only not at all what I enjoy!)

Tuesday spin

30-minute Spinervals sprint/power (2 x [6 x 10 seconds hard + 50 seconds recovery])

Antarctic sprawl

Interesting post at Wired Science about King George Island, where we ran the marathon.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Monday spin

Well, I think there is no point in having self-reproach at not having had a long one, at least I did a short one. The endorphins make me like it once I am doing it...

30-minute Spinervals technique workout (high-cadence, one-leg drills), plus 3 x 15 pushups

(No point doing more core or strength tonight since I am planning on going to core sculpt and swimming on Tuesday and Thursday this week.)

Will probably do some slight switching-around of this week's schedule - I will have no time Wednesday morning for a workout, due to frantic projected essay marking for Wednesday afternoon lecture, but if I have a real rather than just very brief run tomorrow morning I could do a longer trainer workout on Wednesday after class - I have my eye on the one I liked so much last year, Mental Toughness...

NB very good likelihood, due to a friend's benevolence, of a real outdoor bike ride this weekend in a New Jersey park where traffic will not cause me anxiety - we will drive in a car (it is a fanciful notion for the NYC-dweller to whom all cars in which one actually rides are yellow taxis!) over the GW Bridge and then find bucolic cycling splendor. Report to follow - it is partly an exploratory mission to see if we can find somewhere to do a proper brick workout the week after.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Long run

Well, it was better than last week's - couldn't have had a nicer day for it, and good company! - though I still felt like I was struggling through it. We were thinking about doing 11, but left it at 10 due to a sore ankle/knee (J.) and general feeling of unfitness and inertia (me).

We were probably around 10:20 pace again - it is too fast me for a long run and at current fitness levels on a hilly course. I'll do my long run next weekend solo and along the west side greenway - will use HR monitor and pace off that. That will be better for morale, too, I am thinking. Today I was slightly underfueled and considerably underhydrated (tried to get away with just carrying a 10oz. bottle tucked in pocket of RaceReady shorts - the water fountains are back on in the park by now, so I can refill when needed - I hate running with a belt and bottle - but 20oz. over an hour and forty-five minutes of running is not enough).

I was also having the most painful underarm chafing! Ugh, it is ridiculous - I put on a lot of the offputtingly named Udder Cream beforehand (I prefer it to BodyGlide because you can really slather it on), but I think the problem is just with this shirt design.

It is a tragic saga - I had 3 short-sleeved Nike running shirts that I loved and used for everything, only finally they became so steeped with sweat smell that I regretfully decided they had to be thrown away.

(Now I have a washing machine which means [a] I can wash things more quickly after sweating into 'em and [b] I do not have to have multiples of the things I most like, but this was the old regime...)

So I got a Brooks short-sleeved shirt, took it out for a five-miler and then happily threw away the Nike ones and bought 2 more of the Brooks. Only to realize that they are utterly unsatisfactory on the chafing front for anything over about 6!

I will have to demote them to gym use, I think, and continue to search for the perfect short-sleeved running shirt - I did get another Nike one after that, but it is made of a different material and holds the sweat in a more soppingly heavy way than the previous ones did!

(The Brooks shirts are whatever last year's version was of this - consider yourself warned!)

10 dogged miles

Saturday, April 4, 2009


(I am already skipping a bike workout!)

Saturday swim

Very good swim today (preceded by 40 mins. of pilates/stretch led by Coach Conrad, who is devoted to the discipline of pilates!).

Benefited from various things, I think: me having had 36 hrs of relative calm, being fully back in the groove on swimming but also with a lane that is actually swimming on appropriate intervals and speeds - sometimes it is necessary to swim in a lane that's tipped over to being too fast for me (we only have 5 lanes at this practice, and there's often a slow lane of people doing things other than the workout, so that I am stuck in that lane regardless of some fast guys having moved in). There are of course ways to accommodate this (skipping 50s, using judgment about when to let front swimmers pass on long freestyle sets, etc.) but it is much better to be able to swim strong but still with lots of attention to technique and not feeling as though one is always scrambling just barely to be able to keep up.

Warmup: 400 free, 2 x 50 drill-swim (back, breast)

First set (and goodness knows what the first three fellows in the lane were doing - they were not doing the assigned workout, they were not watching the clock, they were not even leaving 5 seconds consistently between swimmers - the second-to-last fellow and I were looking at each other, like, WTF?!?):

stroke in IM order

4 x 25 drill on :40
4 x 25 kick on :45
4 x 25 easy swim on :40
4 x 25 hard swim on :40

4 x 100 free as 75 swim 25 kick on 2:20
4 x 100 IM on 2:15
4 x 100 free on 1:50

3 x (50 easy on 1:15, 25 hard on :25)

50 easy swim down

2300 yards total

Friday, April 3, 2009

Schedule of insanity

I seriously enjoyed making this...

It is a crazy schedule mainly because I have a crazily small amount of time to train for the Florida 70.3 race. Bike training woefully inadequate in particular.

(Why, oh why does triathlon have to have a bike leg?!?)

Last year was my first season of triathlon; this race was in fact my first triathlon ever! My only goal was to finish (the time cut-offs are generous); I regret to observe that again this year it is not sensible to have much of a goal other than finishing and enjoying myself.

I should be able to take some time off the swim (I never got in a groove last year, but I feel much more capable of handling a crowded swim this year, and I also have another year of swimming under my belt, so endurance is much superior).

The bike will be a very similar and very slow time; I will hope to be a bit more mentally acclimated, and to hydrate and fuel better, but I wouldn't count on it!

Last year I walked pretty much the whole run - it was such a long hot day, and when I found myself post-bike (i.e. already more than four hours into the race) in temperatures in the mid-90s with high humidity, I threw up my hands! My heartrate was already even at a walk where it normally would be if I were running c. 10:00 pace, and there seemed no point in pushing my luck.

(The irony, of course, is that really running is my strongest suit of the three! But I see that the run leg on every triathlon I ever do is almost certain to be so warm that I feel extremely slow...)

I have a much clearer sense of what the whole race entails now, obviously, and my goal this year - it will certainly be very warm and humid, there is no way around it - will be to jog it at 12:00/13:00 pace rather than walking it at 15:00 pace, though as a brisk walker I always feel that the walk is better value for money, as it were...

I'm visiting Brent for the weekend of 4/23-4/26, so that's a natural place to split up my training time. (And when I am there I will SWIM IN THE SEA!)

Block one is from now until then, and will mostly involve INDOOR bike hours on the trainer. I was really hoping to get out and ride along the greenway a lot this past week, but I just don't have it in me right now. The massive exertion of willpower does not lead to something becoming easy, just to a sense of being completely drained - I have a lot of other work things that require my serious attention - and we all know that to get on a good exercise schedule (it is like learning a language or playing a musical instrument) it's essential to make things easy habit rather than mentally strenuous exercise of willpower.

So I am going to build as much actual fitness as I can on the trainer, and then have some days (possibly even as late as the first week of May, after classes are over) when I ride as much as I can outside. The morning "bike" workout might just be one of the 30-minute Spinervals workouts, if I don't have time for more; I will do one long one every week, but it remains to be seen what "long" really means in this context.

I will probably take a couple rest days in there, but it's hard for me to predict in advance when I'll want them, so I prefer to make up the schedule regardless and then skip inessential workouts as needed.

Block two is really just a couple of weeks before I'm traveling again to Orlando for the race. The pilates class at the CU gym is over as of April 26, so it clears up a bit of space in the schedule.

Goals: don't get injured; don't get sick; take days off when needed; don't always skip bike workouts rather than runs and swims just because I like 'em less! I will need to pay some attention to questions about hydration and nutrition that are actually difficult to practice realistically on the trainer, but am currently thinking that I would be well-advised (the only reason against it is that it makes other racers worry!) to actually get off my bike every half-hour to eat and drink; I cannot currently do it effectively while riding, and it will make a big difference to my run leg if I can handle this properly.

(In the remote chance that your need for knowledge remains insufficiently sated, you can click for a closer view!)

Friday bike-run

Well, it was not the workout I planned, and I still feel fairly direly unfit, but I did have a very nice little workout that has filled me with a sense of calm and well-being.

Oh, yeah - and maybe the 2-hour nap I took in the middle of the day helped also...

I had a far more ambitious one in mind - it was slightly cock-eyed - I was going to run 6 and then do a 90+-minute indoor bike - run first so that I guaranteed a good one, since I am really not very happy about results of recent low mileage - calories to be consumed on the bike - had 2 bagels at 11am (on v. starvingly empty stomach) and thought I would get started around 3pm - but then I fell asleep, I could not imagine doing anything but lying down in bed! - and then it took me forever to get the bicycle into the wretched trainer, including a part where I looked with incredulity at the skewer and the back wheel and felt that I had inadvertently made my entire bicycle fall to pieces... - by that time it was 4 - I thought I should scale back my total workout time and do a more traditional brick - which was a good idea, only I did not have any calories while biking, and then found myself really quite underfueled on the run - have now had a delicious glass of strawberry kefir - yogurt-averse will shudder - and it is too full of sugar to be what one would really generally regard as nutritious - but it has 10 grams of protein for 180 calories (1 cup), so it is a good recovery drink - and I like it very much...

So I did one of the Spinervals Time Saver workouts (basically, core of workout is 6 x 90 seconds hard, 90 seconds easy, then 3 minutes build, for total of about 35 mins.) and then ran four miles at such an easy pace that I fear it will have to be called jogging. Picked it up for the last mile - legs were loose by that point and also I could use up the last little dribble of gas in the tank without worrying about whether I was going to make it home. Very nice fresh day out there by now - it was torrentially raining again earlier, this is some crazy weather we've had here this week. Workout c. 1:20 total.

I have some COPIOUS training thoughts which I think I will save for another post later this evening...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thursday swim

Couldn't make it to TNYA practice, but caught the last 35 minutes of evening lane swim - that was good. Swam very easy - I think it is not conducive to sleep to swim hard in mid-evening...


200 free
100 back
100 free
100 breast
100 free

100 free - 75 back - 50 breast - 25 fly - 25 fly - 50 breast - 75 back - 100 free (5 seconds rest)

3 x (50 drill, 50 swim): catch-up, front scull, fist swim

3 x 50 (back, free, back)

100 free build

1650 yards total

Thursday run

5 miles, mostly easy but a hard stretch on the straightaway at the end

+ 3 x (25 crunch, 15 side crunch on each side)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009