Sunday, May 27, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend

I made it through a pretty solid week without too much damage except for a sore foot. I put the holiday weekend to good use by getting in some extra bike volume and I'm happy to report that the weather actually cooperated *translation, no rain* even though it was pretty darn cloudy at times.

Since Steven was out of town, I hammered out a solitary long ride on Saturday. Overall, very good ride, aero is getting more comfortable and bike feels solid on the flats as well as climbing. I hit the big bumps (Bald Peak) as well as the speed bumps (3 x Hagg Lake loop) to get in a pretty hilly ride.

Saturday Bike
106.1 Miles
6.0 Hours

I was planning to take it easy on Sunday since Steven and I were going to be riding on Monday. I decided to keep the ride fairly flat but the wind was really whipping out there so I was forced to push more then I wanted. I still took it around Hagg Lake once since it is really hard to keep it flat around here. Whenever I wasn't going up, it seemed like I had to deal with a wall of wind. I was really glad to get off the bike! I went for a transition run and was keeping my fingers crossed since my PF flared up again in my right foot (yes, the other foot now too)! Major suckage! The run wasn't too bad and the pain in my right foot was much better then it was Friday / Saturday so that was a plus.

Sunday Bike
71.3 Miles
4.0 Hours

Transition Run
5 Miles

I was definitely feeling it a bit in the legs today after two solid days of riding but dragged myself to Steven's house for some more self-inflicted abuse. Steven and I headed into the hills straight outta the gate and got more then our fair share of climbing. We started with Unger and I knew it was going to be a long day due to my percieved effort on this out-of-the-saddle grinder . I can't imagine the hill got steeper since the last time I rode it but it sure felt like it! We then decided to follow a portion of the 05 LiveStrong ride and it was nothing but HILLS. BEAUTIFUL hills though...definitely a route that opens your eyes to the beauty that surrounds us up here! We also climbed up the backside of Bald Peak and were treated to some awesome vistas from the ridgeline...definitely a day to have a camera in your back pocket but sorry to say I didn't have mine. *sigh* Our mileage (or lack thereof) really gives an indication of the amount of vertical we hit today. I'd guess that we spent over 3 hours climbing today. My legs were toast but I had to deal with Steven rambling about the transition run and how it was going to "be great". If you can't beat'em, join'em right!? We got it done though so another solid block and a boost of extra volume to start the new week.

Monday Bike
72 Miles?
4.8 miles

Steven's awesome wife had thrown a pizza in the oven (their kitchen is awesome, btw) for lunch and gave me an invite but I had to look the other way and leave since I was going to try to make it to the Nike pool to get in a swim a bit later before they closed. If you know how much I love pizza, you can imagine how difficult this was. I only shed a couple tears though. ;-)

I made it to the gym with 45 minutes to spare and banged out a quick workout.
45 minutes
1 x 2500
My legs felt great, post-swim, so glad I forced myself to hit the gym!

Now the weekly stats for last week.
IMC Training Week 14
23.75 TOTAL Hours
Swim 2.75 Hrs

(9,000 Yrds - 3 swims. Swim volume still needs work. I have a very hard time choosing to go for a swim vs. cycling on the weekend but will have to bite the bullet since my bike volume is pretty steady.)
Bike 15.0 Hrs
(262.4 Miles - 5 rides. I love my tri-bike! I'm finally getting the position dialed in and it is feeling much more comfortable in the aero position vs. last week. Still focusing on getting in the hills. Did Richter pass on the computrainer several times and hit the usual big bumps around town here. 215.4 road miles / 47 Computrainer)
Run 4.5 Hrs
(36.9 Miles - 4 runs including 1 off the bike. Getting frustrated with my PF issues. While the left heel hasn't changed, my right heel flared up post-run Friday!! It was pretty sore just walking around Friday / Saturday with even some pain while cycling Saturday. It seemed to be a bit better on Sunday so I ran 5 miles off the bike and it actually wasn't too bad so keeping my fingers crossed here. Aaah, just when I was starting to get my "run legs" back!)
Weights 1.5 Hrs
(2 x 45min sessions. Increasing the poundage but still sticking to a weight that I can do higher reps of 15-20. I'm loving the weight sessions!! *NOT* I'm sticking to the schedule though.)

Last, but definitely not least, let's all take a few minutes to give thanks this Memorial Day to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in defending our country. Also, we need to continue supporting and giving thanks to our current troops. I have a nephew in Iraq right now and he is just a kid so it definitely hits close to home. Scary times indeed.

Hope you all had a relaxing and safe weekend!


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Don't Forget The Sunscreen

...and other assorted good advice


Monday, May 21, 2007

Recovery...Not So Much

I just got thru my "recovery" week although it didn't feel like it! I was buried at work so it couldn't have come at a better time but I really think "outside / life" stressors vs. just training stress should be a major consideration during a recovery week.

Let me throw out the hours last week- I didn't even break ten hours and the only reason I got close was because of a 4.25 hr ride I did with Steven on Saturday. Still came out the other side of the recovery week feeling a bit tired due to work.

IMC Training Week 15 (RECOVERY)
9.0 TOTAL Hours
Swim 1.5 Hrs

(4,500 Yrds - 2 swims. Easy 45 swims with drills)
Bike 5.5 Hrs
(78 Miles - 2 rides. 1 CT hill ride 12 miles and 66 mile road ride with Steven)
Run 2.0 Hrs
(16 Miles - 3 runs. Still having issues with the left heel. It's pretty sore for the first 5 minutes of each run then fine for the remainder.)

Based on work last week, I would have fried myself if I had to do more so luckily the recovery came at a good time. Work will be extremely busy though for the next couple weeks so really need to focus on maximizing my time / efficiency and making sure I can nail the workouts. I did get in 3 hours today via bike am / swim lunch / run pm so I'm on the right track. I am hoping to get in some extended volume this coming Memorial Day extended weekend so keeping my fingers crossed for some good weather. What happened to April Showers bring May flowers!?! Based on recent weather up here, April Showers guessed it, May Showers. ugh.

Now into a glimpse of how the top age groupers do it, I had an exchange with with one of the elite AG'ers in my club. He's an extremely knowledgeable guy and always very nice about responding to any training Q's. He and his wife just won their respective AG's last weekend at the Florida 70.3. I was asking him why he schedules his long runs Sunday following a long bike Saturday and his thoughts on my mid-week long run. This was his response:

"Ok, my theory...that's been tested by 3 straight kona slots and 2 top 3 finishes at CDA (yeah boasting)...and tested on Ann.

You need to tax your body metabolically in every way possible without over doing it. Take this past weekend for example...yeah I have the Florida 70.3 Sunday but I am looking at the big picture.
I did more than an ironman within a 48 hour period. Bike 127, Run 24 and swim 4K. Is that nuts? Well, a month ago yes, but I have periodized to handle the work.

So, I firmly believe in using various combinations of big workouts over a 24-36 hour period to tax the legs in various manners. That's why weekends vary from:
Long run, then long ride (reverse brick)
Run, bike, run, bike, run (big brick)
Ride long, then next morning run long
IM TT simulation, and run IM simulation off the bike.

These 4 combinations I think, doing them a couple of times each to varying degrees will best prepare you for the IM distance. Not just finishing...but placing high in the age group.
I have run Two 20 milers in the past 2 weeks day following over 100 miles on the bike. First 20 miler ave 7:15 pace, second one ave just under 7, 16 miles of which were 6:45 pace. The difference in strength over a couple of weeks is obviously noticeable. Ann? same thing. Her first 20 ave 8:20, her second 20 7:50 pace. Her IM goal pace is 8.

Now, why bike after a long 16 miler? There is no other way to put it except experiencing the total body weakness in the final hour of a long bike following a run.
After just 2 of these workouts, the next time you bike before running, you notice a huge difference in Bike strength.

The big brick and race simulation speak for themselves.

Now the other vital component? It's imperative that you practice exact as you can get...race day nutrition. On both the bike rides and the runs. This, over only a month or so, will allow you to adapt very well on both the bike and the run.

Mid week long run?
I dont disagree with this. My reasoning is this. I save the mid week for a key road interval or hill session. If this is done on tuesday, you could run long on thurs. You should allow 1 day between key runs though.
I would still try combinations of big workouts on the weekends, and maybe every third...take do your long run mid week.
Perhaps doing the long run during the week that you have a shorter ride/run planned, like a brick, big brick, or race simulation. Then chill out sunday.

Doing too much will spiral you down thats for certain. BUT...stringing together 2 bigger workouts together or within 24 hours will, over several weeks, allow you to adapt to extreme stress.
hope this helps a little"

Check his blog for a glimpse into his training here. Nice to be able to draw from that kind of experience when any questions arise. My take away is that beyond consistency, it's pretty important to vary the training stress. Also, no way around gotta HIT IT HARD. I definitely plan on incorporating some more run volume into the weekends, as suggested, since I already plan on hitting the bike volume pretty hard.

Have a great week out there!


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Break On Through

This past week was just a blur of activity for me. I was spreading myself a bit thin but figured there was light at the end of the tunnel since this was the last solid week in this training cycle. I just needed to make it through the weekend and my key bike workout.

I ended up flip-flopping my short / long bike ride so that I could get in a ride with Steven. We ended up doing 3 hours on Saturday. It was our first ride on our tri-bikes and it was quite the experience.

Ooof!! Sore neck! Sore back!

My bike is set up on the aggressive side with 79+ seat angle and about a 10.5 - 11cm drop from seat to bars so it will definitely take some time to adjust. Steven was going to make the final push in his kitchen remodel so this actually worked out for the best. In hindsight, the duration was probably perfect for our first ride on our tribikes anyway.

Today, I was going long and was wondering how it would all turn out. It actually wasn't too bad. I decided to push the hurt and ended up doing a pretty hilly ride (Unger / Bald Peak / Hagg Lake / Blooming Fern *at mile 86 ouch*). In addition to the hills, the wind was a BITCH today so definitely got my work in. Bike felt great- just need to put some time in the aeros and this was a step in the right direction. It was also another good day to train the nutrition / hydration protocol. I still haven't set-up the bike completely and without a rear hydration system, I had to resort to carrying a bottle in a jersey pocket but it worked out okay. I felt pretty strong at the end of the ride and was able to motor on the flats pretty well on the last stretch home. Once there, I jumped on the scale and got some great feedback.

My Pre / Post ride weight was exactly the same! That is HUGE for me.

I threw on the shoes for a quick transition run. I wasn't looking forward to this but knew I'd regret it later if I bagged it. It's much easier to get out there when Steven is cracking the whip. After a wobbly first mile on the run, I found my legs and finished it by descending on each mile *barely*. One thing I noticed immediately is that riding steep definitely helps when you are running off the bike. Also, that running comes much easier when you get off the bike well hydrated- what a concept eh!? ;-)
6.25 Hrs
104 Miles Hilly
4 Miles

Now the weekly stats
IMC Training Week 16
23.0 TOTAL Hours
Swim 3.0 Hrs

(9,250 Yrds - 3 swims. Again, swim yardage was a bit lacking with the missed 4th weekend swim. I definitely need to make sure I hit the weekend swim since it is my longer endurance set @ 1.25 - 1.5 hrs)
Bike 14.0 Hrs
(229 Miles - 5 rides. Still focusing on the hillwork and finally got the tribike on the road. Nutrition / hydration protocol is going well- will need to focus focus focus on this so it becomes second nature! 156 road miles / 73 Computrainer)
Run 4.5 Hrs
(32.5 Miles - 4 runs including 1 off the bike. Nice to get my piddly mileage over 30 for the week. Definitely have some room for improvement here! Continuing to monitor the left heel.)
Weights 1.5 Hrs
(2 x 45min sessions of low weight / hi-rep AA sessions. *Yawn* Got it done but not too excited about the gym work.)

Now to the bike.....check it out!
I haven't ridden the ZIPPS but figured I'd deck her out in her sunday best for the pics. Before anyone sez it, let me. Is that logo overkill or what!?! Looks like someone threw up on the bike with a ton of logos. I may actually peel the decals off the ZIPPS but nothing I can do about the frame. I would have preferred a more subtle graphic but the "formula one" style is sloooowly growing on me.

Close-up of the bars...they are actually pretty comfy and superlight (thanks jess!)

Last but not least, I'd like to wish all you awesome moms out there a HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!

That's all I got.

*tried to run, tried to hide....break on through to the other side, yeah!*

Have a great week!


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Thirsty Thursdays - Take One

I love the change in seasons up here in Oregon. It truly is beautiful once the sun pokes out from behind the clouds and the endless gray skies turn blue. With the great weather come the Thirsty Thursdays at work where they showcase different events accompanied by beers and appetizers.

I always make it a point to attend the first one of the year...The Annual Nike Mile. It is a pretty cool event with mile races for the kids (I think the 9-11 yr old winner ran sub-6 this year). The "All-Comers" event for the "not-so-competitive" employee runners at Nike. Yeah right, the winner finished in around 5:15. He definitely belonged in the Nike Competitive Mile for the "serious employee runners". The Competitive Mile was pretty darn fast with the majority finishing in sub-5. Yes, even the joker wearing a suit like he was dressed for an interview. Hilarious- I wish I had a picture but didn't get a shot. The top 3 finished in around 4:30- I think two Nike employees ended up beating Kara Goucher who jumped in to race. She is QUICK!!

The Elite Mile was awesome. It is truly amazing watching the guys at the top of the game running *so fast* so effortlessly. At least they make the hurt look painless. I didn't recognize the majority of the runners (besides Dan Browne & Adam Goucher) and we didn't have any Kenyans here this year but still a great race. Adam Goucher had an amazing kick in the last 200 yards and gapped the field...truly a beautiful thing to see in person. He also broke the record for the Nike Mile by running a 3:56:50!! Last year Gouch placed second running a 3:58:21.

Here are some pics....what a beautiful day!

The track on campus...really cool how it winds right thru the trees there.

Here are the leaders of the Nike Competitive Mile. I think the two guys in front of Kara Goucher came in at about 4:30 with her right behind them. The guy shadowing Kara is a 2:20 marathoner. Check out the pack behind them.

Here's the rest of the pack coming around the turn- they all finished right around 4:50-5:05

The Elites...ready, steady, GO!!

The elites coming around Lap 3. Gouch tucking in behind the rabbits waiting to make his move. They hit lap 3 in 3:01 so Gouch ran a 55 sec last quarter.

Gouch dropping the hammer and crossing the finish way out front - check out the gap he put on the rest of the field. Amazing!

Hope you all had a great day out there and the weather is cooperating for you! topic but I love this post.
"Find the good, and push it out…infect everyone you meet" excellent!


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Special Delivery

It goes without saying, but I'm going to say it...

It sure beats getting a bill in the mail!

More later but I gotta give a big shout out to Matt for "the deal" to end all killer deals. Thanks again brother!


Sunday, May 06, 2007

Miles To Go Before I Sleep

Regardless of how hard my job/work tried to derail my training this week, I was able to hammer it out. I did have to juggle some sessions and end up doing a couple in a sequence that was less then optimal but such is life. My goal was to make sure I was able to hit the key workout for the week (Saturday 6 hr HILLY brick - 5.5 ride / .5 run) as fresh as possible so the fact that I was starting my 1.5hr run on Friday at 7:10pm was not a good sign! I haven't eaten a ton of red meat lately and figured I'd need the boost so ate a big steak, post-run, at 10pm. I'm sure it came in handy on Saturday! ;-)

Steven and I started out early Saturday and thank god I checked the forecast because the temps were FREEEZING and were going to stay that way for most of the day. No rain though so that was a plus. We went hill hunting again and bagged a ton of nice ones. The looong seated climbs, the rolling grinders, the 16% grade out-of-saddle A$$ kicker, the extended out-of-saddle, out-of-breath killers...we had it all.

...and it was beautiful....

Still working on the fueling / hydration and drank 5+ bottles, 2 clif bars, 10 fig newtons. I was able to run ok after all that food although I felt dizzy a couple times. Not sure what that was about but I'm thinking that might be an electrolyte issue? I'm using a straight Maltodextrin / Cytomax blend which is sorely lacking in the electrolyte department so plan on purchasing some salt/electrolyte tabs shortly.

Saturday Brick
5.5 Hours
84.4 HILLY miles

33 Minutes?
4.3 Miles
7:40'ish pace

Sunday warmed up considerably and I had a 2.5 hour flat ride scheduled with a 1.25 swim later in the day. My actual workout was a bit different to say the least. About 30 minutes into the ride, a gal rode up next to me and we got to chatting. She also works at Nike (small world eh?) and does triathlon although she stated that she hasn't done Ironmans in 5 years due to how busy she is with kids/family. I was wearing a Bike Barn jersey which she recognized from doing Ironman Canada. She did the race twice, podiumed / Kona qualified twice. Pretty darn impressive. We ended up riding around Hagg Lake and continued around the back side of Bald Peak which was a nice extended climb .

(Steven**- not sure if you've done this route but on the way back from Hagg and over the railroad tracks, you go right back toward laurelwood vs. left toward blooming fern when you hit the T. You continue going straight pass the left turnoff for Laurelwood and head up around the back of Bald Peak- nice route).

Sunday Ride
4.5 Hours
75 Miles

So much for the flat day but nice to have company out there and get in some extra mileage. I didn't make it back in time for the swim since the Nike pool closes at 4:30pm on Sunday (yeah, a late start today) but figure the bike volume would make up for the extra swim.

IMC Training Week 17
22.5 TOTAL Hours
Swim 3.0 Hrs
(9,250 Yrds - 3 swims. Swim yardage was a bit lacking this week with the swap of a longer bike for a swim on Sunday. Will focus on hitting four swims next week. I did get in some longer sets 1 x 2K, 1 x 3K during the week)
Bike 14.25 Hrs
(224.4 Miles - 5 rides, again, with a major emphasis on hills. Bike endurance is coming around nicely. I will continue to focus on the nutrition / hydration aspect. Looking foward to hopefully take out the tribike next weekend! 159.4 road miles / 65 Computrainer)
Run 3.75 Hrs
(28.3 Miles - 4 runs including 1 off the bike. Left Heel is still sore but the right achilles pain has disappeared (good thing!). My motivation for running is lacking a bit- evident in my mileage numbers. Will work on turning this around.)
Weights 1.5 Hrs
(2 x 45min sessions of low weight / hi-rep AA sessions. These sessions were not bad this week, not sure how much benefit they are providing but will continue to hammer out two sessions a week)

Next week and beyond is looking good based on a 10 day weather forecast without any rain! *smile*

Thanks for reading and for the continued inspiration!