Monday, July 31, 2006
There are about three paragrahs of random rantings, and then there is my actual topic for my blog. So if you want to skip, then scroll down to the paragraph in bold lettering. I just got done checking out all of the Tri Blogs I read on a daily basis (that number seems to be growing). It seems that everyone had a great weekend, except maybe a few (Iron Wil, sorry about the storm, hail is not fun at all). Kudos to Meagan, she is representing her age group AND country for WORLDS!!! Did any of you get to see the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon (taped event) on Saturday. Although we all already knew the results, it was nice to see it on TV for a change. I wish they would make it 1 hour longer though, and have some more film of some of the other athletes.
STATUS UPDATE ON SHOULDER: My trap in still in pain, although not as bad as friday night/saturday morning. Where it is located in the muscle, it kind of shoots up the side of my neck when I move it in certain directions. I went to the gym yesterday, and sat in the hot tub up to my neck for about 15 minutes. It helped a bit, but other than that, I am on Ibuprofen to help the pain/inflammation.
Saturday: This one really pisses me off, due to the fact that I was highly motivated for some reason on that day.
So you can plainly see why I was not happy with Saturday. I spent a good majority of the day with my sister, who I don't see too often (even though we are roommates). I also stopped by All3Sports. I picked up a rear bottle cage setup, along with some Gatorade Endurance and some GU. Please note: "Make sure when you buy parts to add to your bike, that the parts are compatible with one another. I bought an xlab rear setup, with profile deisgn bottle cages. It looks really, really good, but I had to jury rig the hell out of it.
NOW TO MY PROBLEM!!!
So, those of you who have read my posts have seen that I ride on a trail on the weekends called the Silver Comet Trail in Georgia. It is around 60 miles long, and goes from Smyrna (NW Atlanta) to the Alabama state line. It used to be railroad tracks, and they finally converted it in the late 90's I believe. There are mile markers every so often on the trail, and they were the original ones put out there. Now, technology has improved greatly in recent years with more accurate GPS, etc, so that when measuring distances, they are more accurate.
I went out to do my "race" brick yesterday (12.5 mile ride, ~5k run). On my other posts I have been talking about how on my Tuesday night ride I have been improving on my times. That ride has a couple thousand feet of total elevation change. The Silver Comet trail has maybe a 100 feet total, if that for the distance I did on Sunday. Yet here are my times;
12.5 miles in 39min 13 seconds
1min 30 sec (I fuged it a bit, since I had to actually lock up my bike and take stuff in/out of the car. I am 99 percent sure I can complete T2 in 1:30 or less. C'mon it is taking off helmet, racking the bike, and putting on shoes (with the quick ties).
~5k in 25:03:56 (I think I got the whole distance, it is hard to keep track since the nearest mile marker is 1.2mi so I have go gauge it)
So, adding roughly 8 min swim and 2 min T1 puts me at ~1:15:00:00. This is 9 minutes faster than last year, and puts me in the top 10, but not on the podium. I WANT THE PODIUM!
PROBLEM is that I don't know if the Silver Comet Trail distances are correct. I know two weekends ago when I went out with the four of us (Kevin, Jackie, Kelly, and myself) we went what I thought was 10-10.5 miles, and Kevin's polar sensor stated that we had gone over 11 miles. I know that the polar monitor is not a ten thousand dollar piece of measuring equipment, but I feel that it is more accurate than what was used to mark off the mileage on the Silver Comet Trail when it was built. I seem to be breaking time records on all my other rides, but I cannot budge on my Silver Comet Trail Rides, WHICH ARE FLAT!!!
Case in point: On my bike, am I riding 12.5 miles, or more(less)? I think it is more, since there are parts where you will see signs stating you have gone half a mile, and it feels less, and vice versa. Example, When I get to the 5.2 and 5.4 mile markers, the previous mile seems really short, and that includes stopping to cross over two highways. from Mile 5.2 to 6.2 (I turn around just after passing the 6.2 mile sign), feels twice as long as the previous mile, and what makes it worse is that I am going on a slight downhill (makes my speed go from 19 to about 22-23 mph).
I NEED TO GET A BIKE COMPUTER, or just break down and get my Polar/Garmin!!! I might just get a bike computer in the interim, since I do not want to charge anything to my creidt cards if I can help it, and I would have to do that if I purchased the either of those HRMs listed above. Whatever I do, I need to do it soon, to see what in the hell the problem is. How can I improve on times where there are diffucult hills and such, but get out on a very very flat course and not improve upon my time?
Something is not right...
I was happy with the run though... Only 2 minutes slower than what I was doing on run days only.
I will have another post tonight posing an interesting question which needs feedback from all of you...
Friday, July 28, 2006
The LA Fitness that I normally got to has a Sports Authority right next door in the same complex. When I went to go swimming last night, I stopped by to take a gander of what I might need to buy in the near future. I went to the swimming section first, and looked at prices of the pull bouys, webbed gloves (for pulls), board for kicking, etc. I then decided that I would go to the heart rate monitor section after looking at some warmup clothes and base layer stuff for the winter.
I finally find where they put the heart rate monitors, and I begin to look at what they have to offer. They also carried some off brands, as well as Nike, but I wanted Polar (or the Garmin Forerunner, which they do not sell of course). One of the associates asked if I needed some help (he looked to be about 20-21 years old). I politely told him that I had found what I was looking for, and if I had any questions I would let him know. It is funny, in some small way I know how some of you more "experienced" (by that I mean age) colleauges feel when someone younger than you trys to assist you, push you around, etc, whatever the situation is, and you are thinking, "What in the hell, to me you are knee high to a grasshopper, and I know just as much as/more than you, so leave me the hell alone and go back to what you were doing!!!" Anyways, I will get back on track now. He begins telling me about all the great "F" series Polar HRMs they have. I told him that what I was really looking for were the "S" series 520 and above. I mentioned I was a triathlete and that I needed functions that the "F" series could not provide. The young associate (who in reality is only 5-6 years younger than I, I am still considered a spring chicken to some) then trys to sell me one of the higher "F" series models, stating it can store multiple lap times, VO2 Max, etc... I then again, politely as I could, that I needed an "S" series model for additional functions suited for a triathlete. He then told me that they did not carry the S models, and I should go online to purchase them directly, or through the Sports Authority website. I told him thanks, and then went about my way. No crap, I have reasearched them online for the last couple of months. I walked away with nothing, but I really don't have any extra money to be spending right now, so that is good for me.
Thank god there are two Cycleworks locations near me, as well as an all3sports about 15-20 minutes North of my house. For shoes I would suggest Fleet Feet Sports if there is one in your city. They mold your foot to see what shoe(s) will work with your feet best, and they even will let you run in the shoes and try them before you buy. I can also order online, but sometimes you just like to go in and physcially browse/try out the merchandise. There, I just wanted to get that off my chest.
Just my small attempt to generate some humor, Jeff Foxworthy Style.
So please do not berate me too much, but what I did last night was completely stupid! Last night I rolled up to gym around 8:20p, (took a quick stop at Sports Authority, that is another story) and then went into the gym. And here is my set...
6X100 Speed Drills
1 @ 1:45
2 @ 1:40
3 @ 1:34
4 @ 1:32
5 @ 1:41
6 @ 1:33
200M freestyle moderate
First off, set #'s 3,4, and 6 were awsome. I have never broken 1:35 like that before in drills!! I was sooo excited. Secondly, I broke myself. I pulled my trapezius above my right shoulder blade. It could be a pinched nerve, but I do not think so, since it hurts when I turn my head in every direction, as well as moving in certain positions. So here is the part where you get mad at me. This happened during my speed drills, so I just figured I would finish the rest of my swim, and that would not be that bad. When I woke up this morning, I was sooo sore!
Does anyone have any suggestions for how to heal this up or make it hurt less. I took a pain pill last night, and it put me to sleep, so I did not wake up last night. But when I woke up this morning, I had trouble getting up because my neck and right shoulder were tight, and lots of pain (French Bread). It hurts to even type now because I have my right arm up in that position to type, and it bothers me. Screw it. At least while I recover, I can still participate in the two other disciplines while i let this thing heal.
I am going to Martini's and IMAX tonight with my girlfriend and OUR friends tonight (I designate OUR, because I feel that I have known them long enough to call them my friends as well). So tonight is an off night for training, but with my back/shoulder the way it is, I do not really have a problem taking the time off. This weekend is a combination of running and a brick (hopefully on Sunday). I will hold off swimming for at least the weekend, so I can see what happens with the pain (more French Bread). The brick will be at race distance (and hopefully @ race pace) and we shall see what happens.
I think I am going to compose a few more posts today, so I am going to cut this one short. Please, Please, Please let me know if you have any advice for my muscle problem.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Well, let me begin by saying, if I complete a post during the day, I will keep the window minimized, and when I get some downtime, I work on my post until it is done. If it is really busy, then I just wait until I get home. I was about two sentences from being done with my post (it was really, really long), and of course I never "save as draft", and the power went out. The total time it took me between projects was about 20 minutes, and with two sentences left, the power goes. No matter, it happens all the time around here for no reason at all. The power was out for about 30 minutes, so we had to close the bank for 30 minutes. The customers who showed up at the door were not too happy, but that is how things work sometimes. I think that Georgia Power probably needs to increase power to this block or fix something, because it should not happen 1-2 times a week for no reason (i.e. not storm related, etc...)
Ok, now onto what I will actually be able to remember from what I wrote earlier, which for some reason is not much. Last night I ran my Chastain Loop (~ 5K), and ran in the "easier" direction (which still has hills, versus my flat run on race day). Time: 22min, 58sec. Still need to get down at least 1-2 minutes on my run for this sprint race. This weekend I believe I am going to complete a brick workout at race distance, and see what happens. I feel as if my race time on the bike should be closer to 1hr 30-32min, considering what I do on my Sandy Spring ride at 6:30p (90 degrees heat with humidity) and lots of elevation changes (mostly uphill). Have to keep the cadence high though, so that I can keep my legs fresh for the run.
I am swimming tonight, and I have dialed down the distance so that I can focus more on speed and form drills (probably shooting for 800-1000M total in main set, since race distance is 400M). Speaking of which, the hardest thing I have found yet in triathlons (for me) is improving upon one's swimming. I have had to teach myself what I think is a more proper technique than what I used to swim (yeah, watch me get a swim coach and have them tell me I am all screwed up!). I have seen my times improve somewhat (although I am not keeping a very accurate track of my times on a daily basis), and so I know I have done something right. Something else that really irks me about improving your swimming, improving your technique. When you bike or run and you try to improve your stride/pedal stroke/etc, you don't have to worry about something else possibly going out of whack. When you swim though, you might try to change your pull, and then your body position goes out of whack, etc. That is why trying to improve my swim is so frustrating right now. I do not have the money for a coach or classes, and there seems to be no one around at the gym pool that has any coaching experience. My next technique endavor is catching my arm in the water so I am pulling from the get go, rather than my old plunge my arm in till full extension, and then pull. I was reading some swim techniques somewhere (the triathletemag.com swim articles), and it was saying that you should be pulling from the time your hand enters the water, so it stands to logic that the way I am currently putting my hand in the water is incorrect.
I cleaned my bike last night! Let me tell you how dirty it was. I went through two FULL buckets of soapy water (each bucket was black water by the time I was done), and half a bottle of degreaser (note those bottles are $11.00 a piece, and they only hold about 24 ounces of the stuff, and yes it is environmentally friendly). The casette, chain and everything else is not as shiny as it was brand new (due to general wear), but at least none of it is black anymore. By the way I forgot if I had posted it already, but I have moved my seat almost all the way forward, and raised it just a bit to compensate for the move, and I feel more comfortable (less stretched out). I also seem to be generating more power as well, which bodes well for me. I will put my brick in at the Silver Comet Trail this weekend, where just two days ago someone was killed around mile #13 or 14 during the day. It was a 54 year old woman on her bike, and it sounds like she put up quite a fight. They have taken someone into custody at the time who checked in for wounds from a fight, and he just got out of jail from a sex offense. Makes you say "hmmmm..."
If I can think of anything to write later, I will get it down, along with what I do in the pool tonight. I am off to go and read everyone else's blog now.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
With just over 30 days till my next race, I am transitioning into "taper" this week. I am going to dial down the distance on most of the disciplines, with the exception of running. Right now that is my biggest hurdle to clear (which is funny since it is the smallest amount of time I am trying to reduce, 2-3 minutes from last year's race). I believe I am going to incorporate some intervals into my workout, as well as I need to find a local track to do those. The course is not hilly at all, so doing the Chastain loop works out well for me (rolling hills and false flats galore).
I would like everyone to know that my averages seem to be down on my Tue night Sandy Springs Loop! Last year I was averaging about 1hr 45-50min (~26 miles), this does include stop lights and stop signs. This year I broke 1hr 40 at the beginning of the season (just after the time change), and I am averaging about 1hr 35-36 minutes for the same distance. After taking some advice from Sheila, I have been trying to keep up with the main group for a longer period of time, and so far I have gotten out to about 20-30 minutes with them, depending on the day. The groups have been smaller lately, due to the heat I believe. Usually we would have around 50-60 people riding on Tuesday nights, but yesterday I think we had around 30.
Outside of the running, I believe I will focus on developing my intensity at race pace, attempting to mimic the distances of the actual race. If I have any base workouts, I will just add a little extra distance, rather than doubling or doing my current training distance (i.e. riding 25-50 miles on my Saturday or Sunday rides). I feel pretty positive that I am going to be able to finish the swim in 8:00min, and I think that if I am riding on a tuesday night ride in traffic, stoplights, and total elevation change of a few thousand feet averaging 1:35, then I should be closer to 1hr 30 during the race.
Something I have not been practicing that I need to work on is my transitions. I am thinking 2-2:30 max in T1, and NO LONGER than 1:30 in T2. This is of course not taking into effect that I have to run about 75 yards from shore to bike racks in T1, and that I have to walk in the transition area in T2 (what kind of crap is that?? If you are on the wrong side of the transition area, you can lose 30-45 seconds just walking!).
I have been trying to clean my bike so I can get it up to the shop. You should see my chain and cassettes. They are well lubed, but BLACK!!! I mean I think I am probably using more energy due to all the GUNK that is on the chain and the gears!
Question: Does anyone know how easy it is to convert a regular road bike 3 ring in the front, to a 2 ring. I am assuming that there is an easy way that works. I have a specialized allez, and most of the allez models that are 2 or more generations ahead of mine have the 2 ring system (I think). Any feedback or suggestions on this matter would be greatly appreciated. I might have more to post later, I spent alot of time looking at everyone's blogs today. It seems that people had lots to talk about.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Might I intrude on myself before I begin my own post, and let everyone know that I am jealous of Steven's ride through the Columbia River Gorge this weekend! If you have not seen his post or the pictures you should check it out here. I have only driven through there, and it has been almost 10 years since I have been through there last.
Now onto my weekend. There was no swimming on Friday (booooo, what the hell is your problem Andy, you slacker!), but Saturday and Sunday were productive. I competed a 5K around Chastain Park in Atlanta, time 23min 2 sec. This is ONLY 11 seconds better than my race time last year!!! I need to pick up the pace a bit, especially if I am gunning for 1st place in my age group!
Sunday was better. I went out riding with Jackie, Kevin, and Kelly. It was only Kelly's 2nd or 3rd time riding out any decent distance on a road bike, and so Jackie was nice enough to hang back with her while Kevin and I would go on ahead for awhile and return. We did more intervals than anything, consisting of 1 2 min high intensity, and lots of just high paced stuff 5+ minutes of 19-21mph clips. Total Distance = ~25 miles, I will have to get the exact data from Kevin when he downloads it from his Polar 720i tonight. This workout might have not seemed productive on the surface, but if you look closer you see that my average speed on intervals was between 19-21mph and our average non-intervals speed was 16-18mph. I think this is GREAT, since that is what I need to accomplish to get faster, is increase my average speed over longer periods of time.
Tomorrow is technically my day off, but I might hit the pool a bit before workout, since I did not do ANY this weekend. I hope that all of you had a great and productive weekend (or lazy, if that is what you needed). In Atlanta it was really humid all weekend, but it was also overcast with a few storms on Saturday, so it kept the temps under 90 degrees, which I was happy with. For some reason I have not been a morning person in quite sometime, so it puts the kibash on trying to work out first thing in the morning like most of you do. Fortunately, the payoff is that on raceday, I usually have been training in weather that is on average 15-20 degrees hotter than race conditions, so I feel that gives me a bit of an advantage.
If you have not read August's issue of Triathlete Magazine yet, you should go and get it, and read the point-counterpoint article on littering during races. I find it really interesting, and I feel that I fit somewhere in the middle of the equation. For me it has to do with a) the distance of the race (i.e. sprint vs. Ironman) and b) where you are at during the race when the time comes where you feel the need you might want to dump something. With point A, the shorter the distance, normally means less stuff that you carry with you. For me a Sprint Tri is 2 bottles that are mine (not dumping) and MAYBE, MAYBE a pack of GU (I have pocket at the back of my tri jersey I put it back there). During the run portion I pick up at aid stations and try to throw back as close to them as possible. I feel in races that short it is the race director and his volunteers who should take the brunt. At ironman, I feel that we should take more responsibility. Your clif wrapper is smaller empty than when it was full, so put it in your bento box. Transfer bottles they give you into yours, or throw yours away and put theirs on your bike at aid stations.
With point B, it depends on where you are during the race. If you are within 100-200yds of aid station, TOSS IT!!! If you get a penalty, then cuss the begeesus out of the race director, and tell him that is what the volunteers are for. If you are out in the middle of nowhere (i.e. no aid station around) take assessment of situation. Sure that bottle is empty and weighs 8-10 ozs, but it weighed about 20-30 ozs more when it was full, so suck it up... Most of us who wear full length tri tops have pockets, put your gel and bar wrappers in there if there is no place to dispose of them. Same with belts (if they have pouches).
Friday, July 21, 2006
Let me tell you for some reason it has been a strange week. Monday/Tuesday were good training days (not the best mind you, but good) and for some reason Wednesday and Thursday fell apart. Wednesday was a scheduling issue crossed with the fact that I did not get too much sleep Tuesday night. Thursday was due to the fact that I went with my co-workers to martini night at Taurus in Atlanta (basically it is in the same complex as the bank, we went straight from work). So here we are at Friday, with three days left in the week, and roughly 35 days until the Peachtree City Triathlon. I am not sure if they have had their second sell out yet, I will have to go check out the updates at their website.
My good friend's (and fraternity brother) birthday is today, so we are going out after I go to the gym (swimming tonight). I am going to put in a ride at the Silver Comet trail this weekend, and I might try to sneak in a 1/2 Sandy Springs loop with Jackie, since she needs some extra training with hills. Really it is just that she needs to be broken in. Maybe I can get Kevin out there with us on Sunday. He will kick my butt, which is what I need. Last time he came out and rode, he had me do a 3 mile sprint @ 28mph. Yes the entire three miles, and then we sprinted the last two miles when we finished. The really sad part was that he must have larger cassettes than me because it APPEARED that he was in a smaller gear than me, but I was having trouble keeping up. Oh wait, he is on the Georgia Tech cycling team. Yeah I forgot to tell you guys that tidbit of info.
I am also going to try and begin running again this weekend. It seems that the beast that is plantar fasciitis has subsided for the time being, and so I am going to try and pick it up. That I believe will be the hardest for me to get down on my time for the sprint triathlon in August (see link above).
In other news I might be able to use what is left of my bonus money (which will not be much, I have had some personal emergencies which have left me in a small hole), I might be able to get a few things on my Summer Christmas list that I posted last week. Most likely, it will be aerobars, and we shall see if we can fit anything else into that mix, but not likely. Shoes will probably be the other one, I really needs some new running shoes (and work shoes.)
I will keep you guys posted over the weekend, and we shall see what happens!
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Well it is Wednesday. I stayed up a bit late last night, so I am kinda tired this morning. I believe that there will be a "cat nap" this afternoon. It was hot out last night for the Sandy Springs ride!!! It must have been high 80's/low 90's for that time of day, and I am sure that is why the whole group was not there last night. Someone also decided to bring their "A" game (more like their "A" equipment) to the ride. "Buddy" (I don't know his real name) came rolling in on a Cervelo P3 Carbon, with super light wheels (forget brand, I will have to remember). So with the swag that was on his bike, he probably spent upwards of $7000 on his bike. I hope that he can back it up. I do not plan on getting equipment that expensive until I actually start throwing medals and trophies up on the mantel.
I finished the ride in 1hr 38min 07 seconds. I can see that my average time is now dropping below 1hr 40 min, which is good. I got to Chastain Park loop at the end of the ride, and I was so close to quitting, and then something kept me going to finish. I am still employing the new tactic of using the old grandpa ring on steep hills, unless I deem the hill short enough to just push a bit harder up the hill
No stretching last night, that was a big mistake! I got a cramp when I was sitting down last night. Sleep was horrible last night. I went to bed @ 11:00p, and I think I got an hour or two of sleep max. Usually the problem was that the place is too hot, but I finally broke down last week and instead of running the A/C 3 times a day to save money, I put it on auto and just jacked up the thermostat while I am not home. I talked to Dad last night, and grandpa Jim is feeling better and should be back working the ranch in about 3 weeks. I will post that on my other blog,
Tonight is supposed to be running and swimming. My foot is feeling a bit better, so I might try out 10-15 minutes and we shall see what happens. First thing though is to make it through today and then go home to take a nap!
Monday, July 17, 2006
Well it seems that I am back in my old training grove and I love it. Normally Monday is my day off every week, although I do go and workout some weeks, and some weeks I do not. I was headed to the gym tonight, and for some reason my brain was like, "C'mon you really, really, really want to go swimming tonight, and put some laps in before you lift weights!"
The funny part was that sounded pretty good. So here is what happened. By the way I am going to plug my gym for free LA Fitness, I love them. Classes are free with your gym membership, and they also have everything inlcuding pool (important for triathletes!), racquetball, basketball, spin class (winter training), etc... Suprisingly they are cheaper than the "Y" in Atlanta, even with the initiation fee in the beginning, if you average it out in the long run (I have been going there for two years now).
50 M Sides (25M left, 25M right)
100 M warmup freestyle
10 X 100 M freestyle speed drills (averaging 45-50 seconds per 50M)
50 M breaststroke cool down
4 Sets Chest and Back (2 Chest and 2 Back)
7-10 minutes worth of stretching total, should have been more, but hey, at least I did some.
Foot is still bothering me, I am about to put ice and compression on it after I throw this load of white wash in the dryer, and then I am going to read some more of Robert Jordan's "The Dragon Reborn" (Book 3 in the wheel of time series).
It was a hot day in Atlanta, but I was inside most of the day and did not notice too much. When I was outside I was in the shade and my car was parked in the lower level of the parking lot, so it was in the shade as well. If I ever get a car with leather seats, I am going to have a job with covered parking, or I am going to have to figure something out, because I am not going to burn the begeesus out of me.
I have been reading August's issue of Triathlete Magazine, and I have been quite impressed with some of the articles, especially the piece on Peter Reid retiring. It also gives me hope, since I did start training much later in life than him, he did not really break out until age 26-27, which is where I am at right now. Needless to say that I am not ready to "break out" yet, but there is still hope.
Question: Do you guys enjoy the new training guides (12-16 week specific programs) or previous year's issues with the ongoing training programs week by week (4 weeks per issue)? Please post and let me know.
Talk to "y'all" later,
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Well, I hope that all of you see some of the newer features to my site for your reading pleasure, as well as actual links to the races I have done, and that I am planning to do.
Friday night I was out with some of my friends, and then I had to work on Saturday morning. For some reason I only got 3 and 1/2 hours of sleep, and I was still able to function just fine. that does not happen too often, but I like it when it does. Here was my workout on
50 meter sides (25 yds left side, 25 yds right side)
300 meter freestyle warmup
800 meter freestyle main set, 9:15 total (a bit slow, but I took a few weeks off)
50 x 5 speed splits, average 45-50 second splits
100 meter cool down
12.5 mile ride at Moderate pace (Silver Comet Trail - really flat!!!) 49min, 15 seconds
12.5 mile ride return ride, no time
I also have laid off of the bike for a bit, since the Peachtree Road Race on the 4th of July. This hiatus come from those previous two posts that dealt with my motivation issues, but I believe that I am back on track now. I missed a run this weekend, but that is due to the plantar fasciitis is still with me. I am about to go ice it for about a half hour and play some Rallysport 2 on my XBOX.
I have added some of the other bloggers sites to my blog with links, the ones that I have been reading more often lately.
Let's get this foot healed, and I am going to get a key week in with my swim and bike. Later,
Thursday, July 13, 2006
So I get home from work yesterday afternoon around 5:00pm. We close the bank @ 4:00pm, but I normally do not leave until close to five, so it was early for me yesterday. I did some laundry, checked my email, and then decided to take a nap around 6:15pm. I was supposed to go workout with Jackie at around 7:30pm. At 7:10, I get a call that wakes me up from a deep sleep. I answer the phone, and it is her, checking to see if I am on my way to the gym. Let me tell you, my head was all messed up! I did not know what day it was (I actually thought it wsa Thursday morning at 7:10am), I barely knew where I was at. So after I hung up, I got up, and began to get ready. I will take an excerpt from a movie to explain my situation at that time yesterday afternoon.
"How do you feel?" - Blade
"Like Hammered S*&t." - Whistler, Blade 2
My room in the apartment is on the afternoon side of the building, and the sun shines right on my bedroom window until around 8:20 in the evening (in the summer). So let's recap. I am tired, discombobulated, hot, sweaty, gunk in my eyes, etc... I should have NOT GONE TO SLEEP!!! I was such a dumbass! So I get to the gym, with my pre-existing condition, plantar fasciitis, and I did not feel like doing anything.
Jackie had been there for about 35 minutes already doing cardio, and so I told her to finish up and I would stretch out so we could work out (bi's and tri's). We get through three exercises, and between her working out for an hour and me being a slack ass, we quit for the evening, and went to eat dinner.
I have never gotten a verbal reaming about my training or workouts from anyone in my life except my best friend Matt when we were younger and I lived at home with my parents (we would go to the gym together all the time). Jackie basically took it upon herself to lay into me and call me things such as, "pansy, lazy, unmotivated, loser, etc..." And what made it worse was that she was calling me out. This is a person who I am training both as a personal trainer and a coach so that she can do her first traithlon next year. And she is calling ME out!
We talked about it a bit before she went home from dinner, and I agreed that i had been acting very unmotivated lately. I think it is due to some personal and financial issues that have arisen in the recent weeks, and that has put a drain on the rest of my life. Add to that the resurgence of my plantar fasciitis, and you have a person that really does not want to do much of anything.
.....And then we come to this morning. I got up at 6:45 WITHOUT hitting the snooze button even once. I hopped into the shower, and got ready for work. I did not feel tired, and I had a sort of confidence in me that I had not felt in some time. Work has been going well today! Hopefully last night was the turnaround. I will keep you posted to see how the rest of my day, with the workout, goes.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
I cannot believe this. It somehow only took me a "miraculous" (is that how you spell it?) 3 weeks to get rid of my Plantar Fasciitis after the Gulf Coast Triathlon (HIM), and now it is back again!!! I think it is due to the fact that I put in a pretty good leg workout the other day, and the last 3 sets were calf sets. The problem is that I only had 100lbs on the machine that I was using for the exercise, I ususally have 150-175 on there for the calf raises. I got to work this morning, and when I sat down and flexed my foot, the meat of my foot (just in front of the heel) was beginning to hurt, then I remembered that my posterior and anterior tibialis were huritng in my lower right leg the day before.
I cursed myself incessantly! How could this happen again, after all I have done to treat and stay off of my foot! And with 6.5 weeks until my next race, I cannot afford to have an injury that would possibly prevent me from competing for the podium! I guess it is back to treatment, rest and stretching!
Damn you, Damn you, Damn you, Plantar Fasciitis!
So.... I only have one (possibly two) more races before my 2006 season is over. I know that I have not been as active as some of you in your tri seasons, but this is only my second year, and my first began back in JUNE of last year. Actually that would only make it a year and a half, but who is counting, if not me? Looking at my small season for my second year, and the tons of training that I have done at my level, I have begun making a mental list of things I need to do, or purchase to improve my "game."
How did I come up with today's title? Well between thinking of things that I want (that actually happens year round, not just Christmas), and the fact that one of my Fraternity brother's friends is having a Christmas in July party this Friday, there you go. What have I come up with so far??? Here is a preliminary list... If you people out there have any input, please let me know.
1) No new bike next year, due to some financial diffuculty that I have run into recently (I was gunning for the Cervelo P2C ~ $3600) so I will have to improvise with the bike that I currently have.
a) Aerobars - I am really digging the profile design version that has the spring loaded pads that go up when you are not using them. That way when I am on group rides that do not require them, I will not have to worry about the pads getting in the way ~ $90.00
b) (Option, I will explain later) Computer for the bike. I feel that I am at the training level now where I need to know how fast I am going, exact distance, etc... on my bike. Can get as cheap as $30.00
c) Better "bag" setup. I have seen many triathletes with their rear bag setup, and let me tell you it is like fingerprints, everyone has their own style. I need to get a tube/CO2 cartridge setup, along with the few tools that I do have. ANY SUGGESSTIONS PLEASE LET ME KNOW IN THIS AREA!!! ~$???
d) Wheels - again, looking at the reasons I cannot buy a new bike under #1, I am limited in getting things like ZIPP wheels and such. I have been looking at some Bontrager wheels that are more aero and lighter than the stock wheels I have on my Bike ('05 Specialized Allez). ~$425
2) Other - Well I will just put everything else in here, since outside of the bike, it is just personal equipment and clothing.
a) I usually buy one new outfit every year. My Pearl Izumi Tri shorts are beginning to go, so I am going to need to get some new ones next year. I will probably get a new pair of those, as well as another tri shirt, different color, and some new socks. ~$100-150
b) My OWN team Jersey!!! I created a Jersey through the Sugoi company that has my company logo on it, and they are not opposed to the advertisement. The only problem is that I would have to buy 12 jerseys and it is going to cost at least 400 dollars. I really really want to do this, but I will have to wait until I get some bonus money or something. It would be cheaper to join a team, but there is really not a well put together team in the Atlanta area right now, except All3Sports, and I am not quite good enough yet to join.
c) HRM/Pace watch... - I am looking at either Garmin or Polar. Polar has been around longer and has more choices, but Garmin has the GPS tracking and such, so if you are going to spend the $300 plus on the Polar equipment, you might as well go with the Garmin instead. The only drawback is that it is much bigger on your arm than the comparable Polar models ~$300+
d) New Shoes! I am going to head to Fleet Feet Sports this time and have them electronically mold my foot, and then try out a shoe that fits my foot type well. I have decided to quit being a branded foot person. I dont care anymore what brand I wear, unless they are sponsoring me, and no one is at this time. ~$80-100
By the way, I have no problem with going to EBAY or Craigslist to find stuff. I am always in the mood for a deal if the equipment is in good condition.
Monday, July 10, 2006
So I am going back and looking @ Friday's post, and it seems really hard to find some motivation (by the way I am heading to the gym for swimming in about 20 minutes, so do not lose faith in me yet...). I am sure some of you have had the same problem, just to your own life's tune.
I dunno! I mean I am running some stuff throuh my head right now to get me pumped, such as, "I am gunning for 1st place this year in my PTC triathlon," or "This race coming up could help me to obtain a sponsorship," or even something as simple as "I want to improve my personal PR for this race this year."
Somehow, though, this is not helping as much as I would like. I have had some revelations and epiphanies over the last few weeks about my life in general, and I have found that there are going to be some much needed changes to adapt to the life that is going on around me. From sleep, work, social life, relationships, training, family, etc... I have realized what I will expect of myself to excel in all areas of my life. With respect to my triathlon lifestyle, I have laid down what I want to accomplish, and how I want to accomplish it, but for some reason I have had a large case of apathy for the last few weeks. This has become increasingly bothersome to me.
I would say that I am accomplishing 60 percent of my weekly training goals for the past few weeks, down from about 90-95%. The really sad thing is that, it would not take too much to meet and or exceed my goals if I would just do what I have set out to do in the first place. It makes me feel like I need a coach or something (this I cannot afford right now), but a coach is not my mother, and I am not 8 years old, so it still boils down to me.
I suppose then I might need to "reinvent the wheel," with respect to my triathlon training, and find a new sense of motivation to push myself to the level that I have set forth, and beyond. I have already begun rummaging through that brain of mine to find some ideas, and I think I have found some stuff that could help. The primary one being getting my friends, family, and anyone else who cares involved in my triathlon career. Up to this point, it has pretty much been myself, with the occasional help of a few others (Thank you Jackie, Matt, Kevin, and Charlie). Other than that, it is all about me, myself, and I. I want to get people involved, whether participating, volunteering, or just a rabid fan of the sport. I feel if I can get this done, there will be a greater sense of satisfaction that the ones close to me are REALLY interested in what I am doing, rather than me a)participating by myself, b)having to remind people that I was in an event yesterday/last week/last month/etc to let them know how I did, and c)having support in this great sporting event that I have allied myself to.
I think this was more for a personal pep rally than anything, but it is something I wanted to get off of my chest, and onto "paper," so that I could really think and analyze about what I need to do in my life to be motivated, and specifically motivated for this part of my life. We shall see what happens. Well it is Sprint night, so I am heading off to the pool to crank out 8-10 100M Sprints @ race pace as my main workout. Talk to y'all later.
Saturday, July 08, 2006
March - Florida's Great Escape Triathlon (Olympic Distance), this is qualifier for Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon, if you place top 2 in your age group.
- Wildman Orlando 3/19 (this is a backup for Florida's Great Escape)
- NY Bike Ride (have not gotten too much info, but you hit all the great spots in NY City
May - Gulf Coast Triathlon (Panama City Beach, FL - Half Ironman), Qualifier for Ironman Florida 70.3, Ironman Wisconson, and one other Ironman event! Will be my second year at this event.
- Ford Ironman 70.3 Florida, the week after Gulf Coast Triathlon.
July - Tri the Parks Series (Georgia - Richard B. Russell State Park - Olympic Distance)
- Peachtree Road Race (10K run), been doing it since 1994!
- Atlanta's Finest 5K, benefiting Atlanta Police Department
August - Peachtree City Triathlon (Sprint Distance), will be my third time in this event.
September - Subaru Tugaloo Triathlon (Olympic Distance), Sponsored by the Atlanta Multisport Association
October - South Carolina Half Ironman OR
- Nevada Triathlon at Lake Mead (Olympic Distance) OR
- Subaru Emerald Pointe Triathlon (Sprint Distance)
**I am leaning towards the South Carolina Half Ironman**
November - Atlanta Half Marathon/Marathon (on Thanksgiving morning, I think), I will probably only do the half marathon, qualifier for the Peachtree Road Race 2008.
December - Virginia Highland Christmas 5K (road race)
I might try to squeeze something in around Jan/Feb to prepare for the Great Escape Triathlon!
I know, I am addicted, but it is better than crack cocaine...
**Note** No Ironmans this year... I think I am going to wait until 2008! That way I can really build up on my HIM distance in 2007, plus work more intensively on my training.
If you guys have any neat events in your city or state, please let me know. Right now this schedule is flexible, since the majority of the events have not opened up for registration for the 2007 season.
Friday, July 07, 2006
It seems after looking at both the calendar and my training calendar, that I have seven weeks until race day, tomorrow. I will admit that I have been slacking a bit for the last three weeks, due to holidays and other special events. However, I do not think it is to my detriment. I am going to pick up the pace this weekend, scheduling of course around Sunday (important day for me).
The Peachtree City Triathlon is a Sprint-distance event, and it has been getting more and more popular. It actually sold out this year for the first time, and the race director has decided to let 100 more people in due to demand. I have not checked to see if I am on the race list yet, but I received my Active.com registration about a week before the inital cut off.
Where I think I will gain the most ground, as a percentage of time last year, would be in the swim, T1, and T2. Running I will probably shave off 2-3 minutes, and on the bike I am hoping to shave about 5 minutes. This would put me at about 1hr 9min, which is not quite good enough for 1st place last year (3rd place I think). Hence the reason I need to pick up the pace.
The swim portion I have improved a lot since last year. I was doing ok in the pool last year, but had never done any open water swimming. So my 8:00 pool turned into a 12:48 lake swim for the same distance. Now I actually have the swim down to about 8:00 in open water for the sprint distance (~400M). I also feel that I will do well on the bike, due to the fact there are many rolling hills throughout the course. I do AT LEAST one ride per week on a hilly course, so that (1) I get a different workout in, and (2) I will make it easier on courses that actually do have hills. When I competed in the event last year, I passed so many people that said, "Man, there are too many hills out here that are killing me!" I never had to gear down once on any of these hills, I just pedaled harder up them. It was kind of like doing my once a week power intervals on the bike. I still do not have aerobars on my road bike (I do not have a tri bike yet, money seems to be the issue on that one), and I think that might affect me by 1-2 minutes, which could get me into 1st.
The last thing I feel I need to focus on are my brick workouts. I never seem to do enough of them, or I do not do a large enough brick workout for it to really help my cause. At this time last year, it was my first triathlon, and I had just decided to begin competing in triathlons 8 weeks before hand. 1 year later, and just a bit wiser, I know the value of a brick workout, although I do not always do them for one reason or another.
I think that 1hr 5 min will win 1st place for my age group this year. That is an improvement of 19 minutes from last year's time. Is this possible, I think so, seeing as I feel I can improve my time to at least 15 minutes from last year's time. We shall see in 7 weeks from tomorrow. I will keep you posted on my progress.
Thursday, July 06, 2006
What is your favorite thing to do on the 4th of July? It seems to me that most people who actually have that day off begin by sleeping in (assuming they are not traveling to the lake or something). Well I just so happened to wake up at 5:30am to get ready for the Peachtree Road Race, my favorite 10K every year. I had picked up my Marta passes the night before, so I had that covered, and I got into my tri gear (I just have assimilated to those outfits, rather than having running shorts, swimming speedos, and biking gear. Just get a tri suit, and you have all 3 in one. Found a pair of "sprint" sugoi pants (really small, light pad, might as well not even have padding), and a top. Was on MARTA early enough so that there were not too many runners on there.
Had a homemade smoothie for breakfast, I will post the recepie, it is the bomb. I have it down to where you can buy $15 worth of smoothie stuff and you can make $50-60 dollars worth of smoothies as if you were going to go to Planet Smoothie or Smoothie King. Other than that, I decided against race nutrition, since I would be out there for less than an hour. I got off the Buckhead exit, and headed North up Peachtree St, just in time to see the wheelchair racers begin. I felt real sorry for one guy, who seemed to have fallen into a drainage area, and got a flat, 100m from the start. He had to concede, since he could not go any futher on that wheel (it was a mess)!
Went to the bathroom in one of the porta-johns, and then went to my time group (time group 6). We did not get started until sometime around 8:15-8:20.
I started off at about 9:00/mile pace, as this was a training run for me, not an actual race. The first three Miles (through buckhead) were really not all that bad, as for it is mostly downhill. As I went through the bar district, various establishments were handing out "rehydrated water" to willing participants. Hell, why wait to replenish your carbs after the race, while you can do it during the race, and they are handing the stuff out for free. By the way, Michelob Ultra was one of the major sponsors of the event.
When I got to the bottom of "cardiac hill", which was just past mile 3, I was around 26-27 min, so I decided to actually kick it in gear. For those of you who don't know (which is probably all of you, none of my lazy ass friends actually read my tri blog, since they get worn out just reading it), Cardiac Hill is a bitch. The worst of it is located just outside Piedmont Hospital and it is a two part hill that lasts almost a mile in length. It goes up moderate, then flattens out for about a hundred yards, and then goes up even more steep the second time, and teases you at then end. This area by far is where you see the most walkers. For a moment you might think that it is a walk-a-thon, but then you remember you are currently attempting to tackle this bitch!
I saw a few of the restaurant owners and their spouses who do business with our bank, and waived hello! Nice to see someone I actually know in a town of almost 5 millon people. One would think that I might see more than that.
When I finished, my calves were a bit sore, but overall I felt pretty good. I pushed myself, but I did not push so hard as to injure myself, being about 6 weeks out of another triathlon race, a sprint distance one at that. My final time was 51min and 48 sec. T-shirt looks good, but it is kind of a pea green, so I do not know what to think of that.
I will be updating my blog seriously this weekend, so incorporate more links, and add some bloggers that have similar tri websites so that I can be part of a group that you can just click through and see what all us tri geeks are up to.
Saturday, July 01, 2006
I guess I will give you the tip first, and the story later. The tip that I have learned to remember is that no matter how good you might be in one of your disciplines, you must keep up with it, just as if it was your worst.
For those of you who keep up with major road races, or have heard of the more popular ones, then you have probably heard of the Peachtree Road Race, the world's largest 10K run. Held every year in Atlanta on the fourth of July, 55,000 runners head from Lenox Mall in Buckhead to Piedmont Park in Midtown Atlanta. The president of the Atlanta banks (for Regions Bank) had an extra race number that he was not using, and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time, and he was nice enough to give me his number. Yes, give, not sell! So I am getting the coveted Peachtree Road Race t-shirt for free (pending finishing the race)!
So how does this fit in to Triathlons you say? Well, I have been kind of slacking (kind of, you are a lazy ass!) in the running area for my training. I have never been good enough to win road races or anything, but I have been good enough to feel that I could focus on biking and swimming more than my original disclipine. Running was my original passion, I have been doing the Peachtree almost every year since 1994. This definately did not help in the Gulf Coast Triathlon, since I have not done too many bricks, as well as the total distance. I have not completed a half marathon in a very long time.
I went out on Thursday evening and ran about 6 miles, just short of a 10K, and completed it in about 51 minutes. Not bad, I have done better. But the problem was that when I finished it, my legs were killing me! It felt as if it was the first time I had run in my life. There are no serious hills or anything where I ran (although there were some elevation changes), but it still felt as if I was a newbie, trying to complete a marathon or something.
I know obviously how to fix the problem, I just need to do it, rather than talking about it. I will still run the Peachtree on Tuesday, and I hope to see some of you out there drinking while I am running by. I will also probably run a sub 50 minute 10K, but it might not be pretty. We shall see what happens. I just know that if I am going to win 1st place at the Peachtree City Triathlon in August, I need to pick it up on all three disciplines, not just biking or swimming.