Saturday, July 29, 2006

July 28, 2006 - I'm late!

Bike: 10km (24min)

I needed to leave work early today, but (surprize!) something came up right at the last minute. Ended up leaving the same time as usual, so now I'm busy trying to make up time on the ride home. And not the best conditions for it - almost 40degC with the humidity, and there's a smog advisory.

This was one of the tougher rides I've done for a while. I just kept pushing and pushing, trying to keep the same cadence, but one gear higher. Even if it weren't for all the red lights I kept hitting, I don't think it would have made much of a difference. I ended up spending most of my energy early on, so I was struggling the rest of the way.

And once I got home, I found that I didn't need to rush home anyways! Ah well, at least I got a good hard workout in.

Friday, July 28, 2006

July 28, 2006 - Countdown to the weekend

Bike: 10km (23min)

Just plain tired this morning. The wee one didn't even let me get one complete snooze-button of extra sleep this morning, but we both quickly got rid of the sleepies and started our day. We both ate like pigs at breakfast. For a little girl, she sure can pack it away!

Heading out the door with my almost stereotypical bottle of orange Gatorade, I catch myself thinking "I should have stretched last night. Heck, I should stretch now." The lazy demons in my head squash that thought and make me drink half of my Gatorade before I even jump on the bike. I did, however, make sure that I started out slow and easy to let the legs loosen up, and they quickly did. It ended up being a nice ride, with light traffic and a damp coolness in the air (but my shades kept on fogging up on me).

And now I sit in my office - obviously procrastinating (how else would I get this entry done?!?) - waiting for the hours to slip by. Not only is it payday, but we've got a babysitter for tomorrow. C'mon weekend! Hurry up and get here!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

July 27, 2006 - Saved myself for tonight

Swim: 1900m (1h15)

So close! Almost had another 2000m night - if only my warmup was just a wee bit quicker, I would have had it. Ah well, I'm still averaging higher than when I started - significantly higher.

Tonight's swim was everything but butterfly. The 800m warmup (700 for me) of choice in swim, kick, pull and sprints was followed by 4 iterations of 200m swim + 4x25m sprints. The four iterations were broken up across backstroke, breaststroke, free, and "choice." For me, rather intimidating. But I did much better than I thought I would. I've never, ever swam 200m backstroke before...until tonight. And I didn't take on that much water in the process. The rest went well too, and in the "choice" category, I broke it up like a mini-IM -- I actually chose to do butterfly (well, with one arm, but I still did it).

I'm definitely tired, though. Even getting there tonight seemed like a chore (and seeing my wife and daughter in the evenings always makes it hard enough). But it's over for another week. Now I can focus on some fun along with the training this weekend -- work's out of the way for a couple days again.

July 26, 2006 - Gotta love HammerGel!

Bike: 10km (21min)

Stiff, persistant headwind the whole way at 20-40kph, but I still managed a 21min ride! Focused on cadance rather than brute strength on the pedals, and that seemed to make a big difference. Had lots "in the tank" - had an orange HammerGel about 20min before heading out. Also had the nice "side effect" of not leaving me groggy and drained in the evening, since I didn't deplete stored glycogen.

Had to drop down to the small chainring right from the start, and jsut adjusted the rear cogs as I went. I think the pace was more even, and the energy output was as well. Rather than pushing hard to fight the wind and the hills, I just focused on a smooth pedalstroke while keeping my cadance. Obviously, it worked.

Mental note -- sleeveless shirts and backpacks don't mix. The stinging sensation behind my shoulders indicates some chaffing - nice and red!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

July 26, 2006 - Toothpaste and Orange Gatorade

Bike: 10km (24min)

Tried to give the legs a bit of a rest today. I can certainly feel them after yesterday's training. To give myself a bit of a boost, I decided to take some Gatorade with me on the ride, with the idea being that I'd deplete glycogen from what I've consumed instead of what's stored in the muscles. I've started doing this on heavier days and it really does make a difference.

So I'm on the road, hit my first red light, and decide to take a sip. After a couple of seconds, my mouth tastes fuzzy. Then it tastes like lead. Then it goes away. Apparently Colgate Total and orange Gatorade don't mix well. I certainly don't recommend it.

July 25, 2006 - Just keep swimming, swimming, ....

Swim: 1850m (1h15)

It took forever to get that stroke smoothed out tonight. I just couldn't get it down pat. It took 600m of warmup and 200m of the first set to get rid of that panicked "oh-my-god-I'm-gonna-drown-'cause-I-can't-breathe" swimform (trust me, it's ugly and it's not very efficient).

It was all freestyle tonight, with two sets after the warmup:
3 x 100m on 2:10, with 10/20/30sec rest, respectively, then
300m on 6:30
The first one was a struggle. Again I fell back on the drills that help me with reaching and recovery, slowed my panicked kick, and it fell into place. Then it was just a matter of keeping it aerobic, as requested by the coach. I wasn't all that successful with that, but I did get the sets done.

I noticed that I'm starting to get more and more comfortable in the water, but only after I find my stride. I need to try some on-shore warmup and stretching to get things ready and see if that gets me to a happy place faster. Sure hope so, 'cause I don't feel like struggling for 600m in the river during the tri.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

July 25, 2006 - It's better than sitting the office

Bike: 50min spin (distance unknown)

I had two choices: either sit in my office through lunch and work, or go to the gym and spin. Not a difficult choice at all!

The weather's been unpredictable here, with chance of rain/sun/wind/??? every day this week. We got rain all night, and it's threatening more. Decided that I'm too lazy to rework my bike after riding in the rain, so I'll spin over lunch. Kept it aerobic the whole time, breathing through my nose from start to finish. Funny how much you sweat even at that low level of exertion!

Tried a packet of Hammer HEED sport drink today, and so far I really like it (I'm rather fond of their HammerGel's too). It has a very soft flavor, and it's not at all sweet/syrup-ey like Gatorade can be. It is, however, more expensive but I think that you get better nutrients with HEED than Gatorade. Nothing against Gatorade (I've used it for years) but it's full of sugar - one scoop has 35g of sugar, where HEED has only 2g - and sodium. I think that Gatorade focuses more on sodium/potassium for electrolytes, where HEED backs off on them and adds other things like stuff to assist with fatigue and recovery.

In any case, I kind of like it. Back to my favorite sport store I go! For more info on Hammer fueling, check this article.

Monday, July 24, 2006

July 24, 2006 - Water, fruit and vegetables

Run: 36min (6.5km approx)

Still feeling sluggish and heavy today. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the 10lbs of cake I ate last night before bed. Thankfully (or perhaps not), the cake is gone, attacked by wild animals (aka me - Jack Hannah would have found it amuzing, I'm sure). Although I could have another piece right about now....

Today's diet aims to get rid of the rest of the cake et al that's sitting in my body. Lots of water, fruits, vegetables....and yes, the odd sausage (we've still got lots of those).

And knowing me, once I get rid of it, I'll want more. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course! Maybe I should get another cake, put it in the blender for a few minutes, and store it in little gel packs. Then it would at least be convenient for my next run. I wonder how many gel packs will fit on my race belt.....

July 23, 2005 - OhmygodIamsofull....

Run: 5.5km (29m45)

The birthday party was a huge success - easily the best birthday I've ever had, and I really don't think I'll ever forget it. My wife (bless her heart) pulled out all the stops, and everyone had a fantastic time.

Where my wife and I come from, one measure of the success of a party or get-together is the volume of food and drink that's (a) available, and (b) consumed. This party was a huge success on both counts. I'm sure that every guest gained at least 5lbs at the party! The trouble is that there's still a lot left. And I just hate throwing food away.

Needless to say, I've fed very, very well over the last two days. I've had more sausages than I can count, beer and wine to wash the palate, and a piece of cake that was a big as my head. And I am not exaggerating.

Then I decided to go for a run. Knowing that I was in now way going to survive a longer one today (stomach's still full!) I decided on a short 5.5km run. I was fast, and the cardio was keeping up, but I hurt and ached all over. I think I could feel where the sausages and cake had formed a spiny lump under the ribs on the left side, and it just bounced and pinged the whole way. My legs felt like goo, and it took a good 2-3km for them to finally remember how to move properly. But I toughed it out, thinking that I was sweating out all the fat from yesterday.

Honestly, I didn't care about the run today. It was done more out of guilt than anything, really. And I knew that keeping it short would allow me to continue the great times I was having with my family. I truly am blessed, and I'm continually reminded of that fact whenever I see my wife or my daughter. Life is grand.

Totals for the week:
Swim: 2.1km (1h15m)
Bike: 40km (2h21m) / Spin: 45min
Run: 13km (1h13m)

I still can't believe that my wife did all that for me....

July 21, 2006 - Looking at a great weekend

Bike: 10km (22min)

A beautiful afternoon (with a tailwind!) to ride home. Traffic was light, the legs had recovered (somewhat), and clipped home at a nice pace. I think I need to adjust the dropbar angle and the seat position - feels like I'm continually sliding forward and putting tonnes of pressure on the hands, especially when I'm on the brakehoods.

Really looking forward to this weekend. It's my 35th birthday on Sunday, and my loving wife has planned some great big adventure for me on Saturday, including a large party (do we really know that many people?!?). Should be a great time.

And no, I won't be training a whole lot this weekend.

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