Monday, April 24, 2006

LSD Bolus

As a bold blogger in Boulder has acronymized, I need some LSD - long slow distance. Considering I had not worked out this week, I decided to pile as much as I could into Saturday and Sunday. It felt good, the numbers look good, I like my chances. But my optimism is held fully in check. I'll recap my workouts and then try to explain my pessimistic position. But first, my reward for the weekend - vanilla bean cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory.

Saturday was swim and weights. My time in the pool went like this: 1400 meters of warmup, drills, and kicks. 100, 200, 400, 1600m, 400 pull, 100 cool down. My 11 day hiatus from the pool did not hurt as much as I thought it would as I clocked the mile in a steady 32:31. Hopped out of the pool feeling pretty good so pumped some iron just to see if I still had that in me. I have never really liked the whole experience of excercising in a room filled with mirrors and cro-magnons with biceps bigger than their heads and legs like pencils. But I have felt the benefits and thus swallow my medicine. And it felt pretty good this day.

Sunday was a 40 mile ride followed up with a 5 mile run. I met up with one of my IMWI sisters and her man and we tackled some rolling hills. Holy cross winds batman. I didn't mind pulling the train most of the day because I could control the pace. I kept my cadence up over 100 rpms except on the climbs and felt pretty darn good. Ten minutes after our ride I took off down the trail for a quick jog. I expected a bit of a struggle considering I was already a little dehydrated. I decided to just go with it. First mile 6:49. What? Okay, let's back that off. So I finished up with 7:15, 7:26 (had to estimate a half mile to turn around at) 7:12, 7:19. The legs felt heavy but pretty good; I wanted to and could have gone further, but I needed to get some liquids in me soon. And my mind started to wander a little bit too much - that was the hardest part of my run.

So what was wrong with this weekend's workouts? Well nothing really. I know have the ability to cross the finish line in September, but I have set a really ambitious goal time for my first IM. So now is not the time to rest; it is time to climb to the next plateau.

The last few weeks have been like taper, so it's no real wonder that my body feels fresh out there. So regarding the swim, I have the confidence to be able to complete the 2.4 mile swim, but now can I lower my time? Based on Saturday's swim, I would climb out of the water in around 1:20. And that was done in a serene pool not a washing machine. I can improve on that. Regarding the bike, I have a lot to learn, especially how to ride hills. At the first hint of an incline I jump up out of the saddle. Hence I burn my legs out way too quickly. I need to stop that and ride at an even pace. I made this same comment a few weeks ago regarding my recent duathlon. Hopefully I will learn before September. Regarding the run, I need to keep working on that nutrition and hydration. I guess I should be happy I could go for a few hours on two donuts and 1 gel. And yes I will need to keep strengthening the mind so that I can push through on that run.

It was a good weekend, but the clock is still ticking... 139 days till it matters...give me another shot of LSD and maybe some LFD too...I've got to keep climbing.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Unoriginal Content

Congratulations to Elizabeth on a great run in Boston this past Monday!!! What an impressive race and an awesome job sharing all those photos of your experience too. Maybe I'll run with you next year in Boston. I'm still wondering how these guys did so well in their marathon.

So my training this week has been a 30 minute trainer ride and a 20 minute jog. (Those are not typos.) Maybe I'll get some workout in soon.

Bill Amend (Foxtrot) has given me a few smiles recently.

Last night I was driving home from working at a clinic in farm country. I couldn't stop staring at the all the twinkling stars. Not smart when your cruising in your car at 50 mph on a winding road in the middle of nowhere at 1am. So for any causal star gazers, there's a small meteor shower that peaks Friday night. Nothing impressive at all as the maximum rate is only about 10 per hour. I suggest some day in your lifetime, try to watch a major shower, one that has hourly rates of 100+. Awesome sight.

I'll leave you with this random photo before I return to shielding neutrons.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter

Well folks, I'm going to get a little off the tri topic this Easter day. As a Christian - I prefer the Roman Catholic flavor - I am called to share my faith. So if you're interested, read on....

Holy Week is one of my favorite weeks of the year, not just because of all the unique liturgical services, but so much of my faith can be extracted from the recollection of Jesus' last days before his death by crucifixtion. And yes it is capped off by the defining moment of the Christian faith, the resurrection of Jesus from death.

For Catholics, the bulk of the year is spent in "Ordinary Time" where it can seem every Sunday is the same old thing. Then you go through forty days of fasting, praying, and examining your self. Holy Week starts with some pomp and pagentry on Palm Sunday. Red vestments, everyone waving palm branches, the procession into the church, it's quite a pregame festivity. But if you get down to it, Jesus came in to the Holy City riding a donkey, not a war charriot, or some fancy carriage. It is his way of reminding us to live a life of peace and not concern yourself with worldly possessions.

Holy Thursday is proably my favorite liturgy of the whole year. Holy Thursday is much more significant than it appears. It recounts the Last Supper where Jesus broke bread with his disciples and said: "This is my body, this is my blood, do this in memory of me." In addition to that profound proclamation, Holy Thursday also recognizes the institution of the priesthood. For the rest of us on this day, we are reminded to live a life of humility and service to others. We recall this by remembering that Jesus himself became the servant and washed the feet of his disciples. On this day we are also foreshadowing his ultimate sacrifice for us. This liturgy technically does not end for a few more days. In some churches there is a solemn procession out of the main church to an area where the consecrated bread is placed among flowers on an altar. Here the Body of Chirst will remain for adoration in the evening, just like Jesus inviting his disciples to pray with him in the garden on the evening of his betrayal. The past few years I have gone across town to the church I went to during college. The liturgy starts sometime like 7:30 at night and finishes up around 9:30. I'll grab a bite to eat somewhere and then head back to the lower hall of the church for adoration and silent reflection. I will stick around until after a short night prayer service at midnight. There are many other events and symbols of this day. Holy oils are blessed and distributed on this day from the cathedral. The altar is bare, but the priests wear white - symbolic of a holy or glorious occasions. Church bells stop ringing. I could discuss Holy Thursday for a lot longer. Maybe some day I'll come back to this, but I best be moving to Good Friday.

Good Friday is a continuation of Holy Thursday. The Passion of Christ is recalled on this most solemn day. It is a time for us to reflect on the ultimate sacrifce of Jesus on a cross. The church is usually barren of decorations. A wooden cross is brought in and you can kiss it in adoration. I have never really liked that because I worry about getting a splinter in my lip. Anyways there usually is a laundry list of prayers and intentions, sometimes sung or chanted. And finally a service to distribute the consecrated bread from Holy Thursday. The mood is somber. I will try to fast, pray, and reflect on how my life has changed because I believe that God became man, suffered, sacrificed, and died on a cross for humanity, and "in a few days" rose from the dead. Good Friday also reminds me that I have a my own cross to carry. It may get heavy at times - even Jesus had help physically carrying his cross - but I know there is hope.

Well there's a lot that goes on during Holy Saturday too, but most of things done on this day seem to stem from traditions of the early church. This liturgy is a continuation of the past two days and is usually held after sundown. Sometimes fire is brought into the church and everything becomes glorious and bright again. New Catholics are baptised into the church. But I think the significance of Saturday is usually overshadowed by the real deal on Sunday.

We all have heard about Easter. On this day we celebrate the fact that Jesus rose from the dead. Again he has shown us the way to conquer our fears. So in short, Jesus has shown us a path to get us through life here on earth. We have nothing to worry about if we follow him. If we live in Christ, we will be with him in the end.

These were some of my thoughts over the last few days. Thanks for reading this.

I'd like to mention Kewl Nitrox for posting some really good thoughts, especially his series entitled "Life is a Race." Great thoughts.


My zodiac sign is the rabbit, but I'm still learning how to be a pace bunny. Today started with a little run with TriSaraTops and I decided to be her pace bunny. I was really hoping she could break through for a PR, but it wasn't in the cards today. She had a great attitude about it though realizing that her focus is on IM Wisconsin, not a speedy 5K; Those are two totally different animals. When I read she went out and had a good 51 mile bike ride later that day, I thought: Well, damn, nothing is going to keep her down. A little disappointment turned into the best ride of her life!!! How awesome is that. I know she's mentally tough enough for Ironman. I am so glad we are traveling towards IM Wisconsin together.

In regards to my bunny duties, I probably should have given her a little more encouragement out there and I probably could have pulled her a little quicker through the middle of the race and the last half mile, but that will wait till next time, say in October. Oh and a big "Hooray" to Sara's Mom for a PR!!!

For the rest of my run, I don't believe Microsoft Streets & Trips, but it said I did a total of 15.5 miles today. Hunh? I was only shooting for 12. I was supposed to do some fartleks at 10k pace earlier this week. I have done a grand total of two 10k races in my life. The last one was hmm, 1992. Although I am getting much better at pacing, the sprinter inside usually tells me to go as fast as you can for as long as you can. So "10k pace" is like Greek to me - I kind of know the alphabet, but can't make out the words. Unfortunately the portion of the bike and hike trail that I used has a number of stop lights that makes longer pushes a bit trickier. I decided to do four 1/2 mile pushes. The splits: 3:15/3:02/3:08/3:05. Hunh? Where are these coming from? Don't my legs know they've already run 10 miles? Honestly I don't trust those splits, but dang am I really able to go under 6:30 mile pace? Right now? Wasn't I just happy to get under 7:00 a few weeks ago? Why do I doubt? Well, I'll get back to you on that one, because right now the taxman cometh.

But before I head off, I strolled around the internet block and stumbled across this: Never thought I could use my dremel for food prep.

Have a Happy Bunny Day!!!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Today's a Quickie

Sorry folks. It's 2:30 in the morning so I best ought to keep this short. Most of my time has been consumed with these school projects that need to be done soon. I can't wait to get out of this month. So my training, well, I'm so far off my intended plan that I'm not even going to bother updating my sidebar. I did manage a quick trot today. But the big news of the day is that my "metabolic rate" is in a pretty high gear right now. Last year I weighed in at almost 170 pounds. As recent as late January I was still at 163 pounds. Tonight I snuck onto the scale in my friends bathroom and it read 150. Thirteen pounds in three months!!! All this while not really cutting back (on food or beer) or altering my diet. I actually hope to drop a few more pounds by the start of the summer which means come September I will probably be racing at close to 140 pounds. Time to get some tighter jeans!!! Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Buzzard Du

Here are a few notes about today's race.

- Nice seeing BuckeyeRunner out there. I watched TriEric blow by me on the bike as I was slipping my feet into my shoes on a hill. I know I saw Papa Louie out there, but he was finished long before I strolled through the chute. I believe DaisyDuc made her duathlon debut today too. NICE JOB NEO bloggers!!!

- I never sleep well the night before a big event. Saturday night was no different. I remeber looking at the clock reading 3:36 and my wake up call was 7:05.

- I probably should do longer warmups, but since this was a "training day," I used the first two miles of the first run as a warmup. I literally started in the back of the pack and said hi to many of the people I knew as I passed them. I probably did not hit a Zone 3 HR till near the end of the first run. In other terms, my RPE was probably around 11-12 out of 20 for most of that first run.

- Did a good job keeping the heart rate down. Even with some rolling hills, no major spikes in the HR. In hindsight, I probably should have worn my HR monitor to make it feel even more like a training day.

- I really need to work on my biking. I did okay; I think I averaged just under 20 mph, but I have a ton of room for improvement. I tried spinning and not mashing as much today; I could feel the hamstrings working hard today. But I need to learn how to just tuck into an aero position and just cruise. Yeah I get a ton more power when I stand up out of the saddle, but I need to realize doing that too often will drain the legs pretty fast.

- According to Papa Louie's race report the temperature was about 38 degrees F (3.3 C). I don't own tights, never have, probably never will. I did the bike portion and second run in shorts. So it's my own damn fault that my calves were trying to roll up into my stomach on the last few miles of the bike. Coming out of the second transition was even more brutal as I crawled up the first hill. I will admit to walking a bit and not just because my calves were not cooperating.

- I usually don't run with sunglasses, but choose to do so today. That might have thrown me off my rhythm coming out of T2. So I am walking up that first hill because my calves were screaming at me and I just realized I made a fashion faux pas. I was trying to hide my mistake somewhere. Running with your bike helmet securely fastened to your head makes you:
a.) Feel safe
b.) Feel sleek
c.) Feel stupid
d.) Feel sexy
e.) all of the above.

I don't think there is any evidence out there, but we'll see when folks start posting some pictures.

- There's a phrase that I utter sometimes: It's bad luck to be superstitious. So I don't have many pre race/race day routines. I don't even have my race morning nutrition figured out. But the one thing I consistently do on race day is shower and shave in the morning. Maybe the feeling of a clean shave makes me feel faster. I don't know, but I do it anyways. As I try to focus in on the morning of Ironman, I would love to hear about some of your pre race routines.

- Official posted time: 1:31:07.8. Not excellent, but good for today.

No promises, but maybe I will post some pictures (other than one of a buzzard). BuckeyeRunner has a few though.

Have a Happy Holy Week everyone!!!

Okay so there is evidence out there. Can't you see I really enjoy playing football? Click on the image and if you can zoom in on my hands; you may notice something interesting about those gloves.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Two Tickets to Paradise

Recovery week couldn't have come at a better time, we'll actually I could certainly use a recovery month with all my school projects due in a matter of weeks. Just finished one this morning, two more due by Monday and four more due in three weeks. Fun times.

With the light workout schedule this week, I might not miss any this week. Although I will have to get creative on Friday; I have a bike refit (got new cranks last fall, new saddle and new shoes this winter and have not really felt great since) and then off to the Indian's Home Opener!!! Let's hope for some sun and a win over the hapless Twinkies.

Sunday I have designated my first duathlon of the season as an "S" race, but I'm sure once I get out on the course I will instinctively kick it up a notch. I'm in much better shape than I was last year, but I have to keep reminding myself: um, you're still under doctor's orders to do LOW intensity workouts ONLY!!! Maybe I can sneak in a sub 7:00 minute mile at the end. I've heard rumors of a strong local blogger presence there, too.

By the way anyone else out there watch the Amazing Race? That is the only TV show that I consistently watch. I actually filled out an application this year, but never followed through with it. I realized that it would cut into my IM training, which is a definite no-no. Pretty boring episode this week though and I don't like this time switch to Wednesday nights at 20:00 either. I'm usually still working out at that hour. Of well, I'll deal.

With Easter right around the corner, maybe I'll have some deep thoughts to share. Or maybe I'll just post one of my term papers to help you folks get a good nights sleep.

Hope everyone is having a great week!!!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Week in pictures

I haven't had much time or brain power to do much with my blog. But here are a few pictures that are representative of the past few days.

Wednesday: Long day at the hospital working on my projects. This included a two hour seminar/brainstorming session for the department. At least they gave us food and drinks. I did manage a two hour trainer ride in the morning.

Thursday: Decent training day with a two hour ride, time in the weight room, and some time in the pool. There were a few new faces in the pool which made it the busiest I have seen at night in a while. Four swimmers sharing an Olympic sized pool with a few divers.

Friday: Rest day from training so I was able to spend some time doing some odd jobs and errands.

Saturday: Another long training day. 5400 meter swim, long course style. Followed that up with a run 75 minute run. Got in somewhere between 9 and 10 miles. This was my reward and no I don't care how many calories this slice of cake contained.

Sunday: OPENING DAY!!! Sadly things did not go too well for the Tribe. CC Sabathia gets injured before getting out of the third inning. The bullpen implodes and loss to start the season. And it ended after 02:00 am.

This upcoming week is a recovery week. Thank goodness. My body will gladly appreciate the light training days. Have a great week everybody!!!