Saturday, August 12, 2006

August 11, 2006 - Some inspiration for us all

No training today, thanks to work "crises." But I had to post this for whoever reads this blog.

There's a link on this blog to Team Hoyt - an amazing family. I strongly recommend reading their story. I find that they always motivate me off of the couch, and I usually end up with tears in my eyes reading their story.

Someone passed this video on to me. I don't know if this is a music video or not, but it's a summary of the Hoyt's story, concluding with their electrifying finish at Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. If this doesn't convince you that you can do anything you set your mind to, there's no help for you.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

August 10, 2006 - Intimidating swim...but do-able!

Swim: 2300m (1h15min)

You read it right - 2300m tonight! That's a new distance for me in the swim!

While it wasn't all freestyle stroke, it was a killer, and it did force me to become very efficient in the water when I was doing freestyle.

A typical 600m warmup, which I took my time going through. Focused the drills on freestyle pull and recovery. Got a couple of good tips from the coach which made things a lot easier on me (namely arm symmetry on recovery - pull with submerged arm while breathing and recovering other arm). Did lots of "catch-ups" with flutterboard and pullboy to reinforce that.

Then the set that scared us all. 9 x 200m! Nearly all of us got out of the water when we saw that! But it was distributed across two strokes of your choice - one moderate pace (A), one fast (B) - and across 5min intervals. As usual, you got a break if you finished before 5min. Then the set was distributed like this:
200m (A)
175m (A), 25m (B)
150m (A), 50m (B)
25m (A), 175m (B)
200m (B)
I took breaststroke as (A) and freestyle as (B). While breaststroke is my strongest, it still wore me out, and I had to ensure proper form for freestyle was used in order to do the distances. And honestly, it wasn't all that bad. My arms were really starting to wearout after 6 or 7 intervals, but I made it all the way through the intervals...except for the last 100m of the last one. So, in total, the set was 900m breaststroke and 800m free.

I'm very pleased with the results tonight. Things feel like they're falling into place more and more, and it's just a matter of stamina now. Even if I can't do the full 750m in the tri on free, I know full well I can get the distance done by switching strokes a bit if I need to.

In the warmup, I played a wee bit with sighting too. It's awful tough, really. Rather than breathing off to the side, you lift your head straight up on the recovery. Sounds simple, but it forces the rest of your body lower into the water, severely increasing the drag in the water. Worst case, I'll switch to breaststroke to sight. But at least I gave it a shot. I'll probably try more next week....

...which is actually the last week of the summer swim session! Wow, did that go fast!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

August 8, 2006 - Swimming and lessons learned

Swim: 1h15min, 1600m

Lesson 1: Eating 3/4s of a medium Stuffed Crust Super Supreme from Pizza Hut about 90min before swimming is not the best idea.

Being so out of energy, I mixed up a liter of Hammer Nutrition's Sustained Energy, a carb-protein drink. It's "unflavored" which makes you think it'll just taste like water, but it's more like the water leftover when you make oatmeal. Now in saying that, the stuff works rather well.

Today's swim was scary -- 1000m warmup (which, of course, I didn't even try to finish), 4 x 100m heats on 2min-2min30. Then 2x(2x100m up/down on speed).

Lesson 2: It's not a good idea to go all-out in the first heat when you know there's still three to do.

I got through 800m in the warmup, which was a mix of free/choice swims and IM drills. Actually, it went rather well. I was able to ease into it quite well right from the start, even considering the fatigue I was facing.

The heats were crazy. Each one was all-out like a race, fully focused on generating as much lactic acid in the muscles as possible (just in case I didn't have enough stored already!). These were tough, especially since the coach wanted us to use moer than one stroke, and at least one of the 100m had to be IM (fly, back, breast, free). I managed to do two IM heats, but had to do the butterfly with one arm (like the drill) 'cause I'm not strong enough for a full butterfly stroke yet. My 100m breaststroke was almost as fast as my 100m free (?!?), but overall each heat was around 2min for me.

Then we finished with a "working" warmdown of 400m free with gentle speed up/down across 100m intervals.

Overall it was a good swim, especially since I was low on fuel when I got there. And I managed to keep the pizza inside too.

August 8, 2006 - Why do I always do this?

Bike: 10km, 21min

21min, again. It's not that I'm upset with the duration, but every time I have to leave work late, or get a tailwind, and I have to swim the same night, I always put it all on the line and race home. Will I ever learn?

My legs are spent. When I got home, I carried my 2yo up one flight of stairs, and I was almost out of breath! God, I don't know how I'm going to swim tonight....

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

August 8, 2006 - It's cold!

Bike: 10km, 25min

The weather channel showed 17degC and a 20kph wind from the northeast. "Tough headwind, but should be nice" I thought. Then I started riding and I felt rather cold - is fall here already?!? Or am I just used to 40degC heat now....

I geared down and hunched over to fight the wind, and other than my chain jumping off (?!?) the ride was uneventful. Oh yeah, I flipped off a guy who decided to ignore my left hand signal to pass me as I was starting to cross away from the right turning lane. Thankfully, I was more than aware of my surroundings and easily avoided a close-call. I was tempted, however, to gear up and catch the s.o.b. and instruct him on the rules of the road.... Obviously, I didn't.

Hoping the idiots leave work before I do this afternoon.

Monday, August 07, 2006

August 6, 2006 - So I don't forget again... weekly totals.
Swim: 1700m, 1h15min
Bike: 60.1km, 3h
Run: 5.5km, 32min

August 6, 2006 - Bricks and mortar

Bike: 20km (45min; route @
Run: 5.5km (32min)

The dreaded "brick" workout. The simulation of the T2 transition to get the body more efficient to the change from cycling to biking. I managed to find an unofficial reference that said they call these bricks because that's what your legs feel like coming off the bike.

And boy, do they. But the silver lining is that it only (?) takes about 0.5mi to get the legs back. Unfortunately, you have to put up with some real discomfort until then.

But I held up rather well. My bike pace was 27kph on a hilly and windy route, and I still managed a 5:40min/km pace on the run (which is usually my easy pace). It was quite an experience, and I know that I've strengthened from it. I can literally feel each of the three quadricep muscles now, achey but strong.

The big thing today was the mental work that this needed. I had to back off on the bike and figure out some nutrition to prep for the run. The start of the run (which was just under 3min after getting off the bike) forced me to ease into it to avoid overclocking the heart rate and injecting cramps into my legs. Then near the end of the run, just staying focused enough to hold pace and run "just one more kilometer"....twice.

After all that, I'm really looking forward to my next one.

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