Friday, January 13, 2006

boot camp

Swim - 2500 yards, 46:32 - main set as 2 x 500 with negative split
Strength and Power workout (Monkey Bar Gym) - series of push up, overhead pull, and box step intervals
Ab workout with oblique focus

The boot camp workout at the Monkey Bar was a great way to exercise in a new way that my body was not used to. It was 30 minutes of fast paced intervals, going from station to station, working with a partner. Strength and cardio were worked together. This was my first time doing this class and I had heard how difficult this workout is, so I was kind of nervous that I wouldn't be able to keep up. I guess I am in better shape than I give myself credit for, because I had no trouble keeping up. I think this is exactly what I need to be doing more of to strengthen my body overall with motions that aren't necessarily triathlon-specific. They are the kind of exercises that would probably be useful to someone in any sport. I am not sore yet, but I'm wondering how I'll feel tomorrow.

I swam after the Monkey Bar workout. Sometimes I amaze myself at how I when I start out a workout somewhat tired, after I get going, I feel great and I forget that I am supposedly tired. That's how this swim was today. This was a longer swim for what I have been doing recently, and it felt easier than the one I did as the first workout of the day earlier this week.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

flying through the winter

Bike - 14 miles, 55:39 - 12 x 1 min alternating single leg drills
Run - about 2.5 miles, 24:50 - walk 4 min, run 15 min, walk 5:50

Today's ride was awesome. It was sunny and 50 degrees with a light wind. This is like spring, not like a typical January in Wisconsin where it is 0 degrees with icy roads. There were other bikers, runners, and walkers out. I took my gloves off for the second half of the ride because my hands were too hot. I did an out and back route from the UW campus through the arboretum and down seminole highway. The wind was at my back for the second half and I was really flying. With my new deluxe sunglasses, I felt like a real biker.

I know it is important to develop a smooth pedal stroke, and that the single leg drills are the best way to do it. I noticed right away that my stroke is not as even as it could be. It took me a few repetitions to get the feeling of the perfectly smooth round stroke with even pressure throughout. I can tell my hip flexors are working a lot harder to get that upstroke. This is something I am going to need to practice more because I had to think about it to do it. When my mind wandered off to the beautiful sunny day, I would lose the upstroke.

I had planned to run inside on the treadmill today, but how could I with the great weather? What a treat it is to do a bike/run brick outside in the winter. I ran past the Monona Terrace and looked out on the lake (now frozen) where the Ironman will be in September wondering if it would be safe to run the swim course...

new sunglasses

Swim - 2000yd with main set 6x200 build - 38:30

My upper body was feeling pretty sore today so this was a good recovery workout. I practiced some B5 and B7 breathing during repetitions 4 and 5 of the main set.

The highlight of the day was getting new sunglasses - Rudy Project Kerosene in matte black with racing red lenses. I tried on just about every pair of Rudy Project glasses in the store and this model worked the best. I have seen lots of good reviews about them from triathletes and bikers. The glasses fit so well to my face that it hardly feels like I have them on. Things look clearer with them on than without. I have never owned sunglasses this nice and have been wearing them around the house for fun.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

So Far So Good

[Workout 1/10/06]
Bike: 90 minutes with Fast Pedaling drill 9x[1 min work/1 min recover]
Run: Walk 4 min warm up, Run 12 min, Walk 6 min cool down
Weights: Chest, back, abs

January 1 was my first official day of training after several weeks of rest. Last year I started out too hard, got overuse injuries in my feet and arm, and spent the entire month of February trying to recover. It set me back from doing early season races that I wanted to do. I am going to be very careful this year to make sure that doesn't happen. My body is well-rested and I am eager to get back to training, so it is harder than it sounds. I am recovering from a moderate case of runner's knee that came on last September as I had just finished doing the Wright Stuff Century Ride and was training for the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon on October 2. I ended up limping through the last 8 miles of the marathon. I am doing physical therapy for it now, trying to strengthen my hips in order to take stress off my knee when running. My knee is finally feeling ok so that I am able to start running again. I am thrilled that I can run 1 mile 3 times per week.

I am being very cautious about rest and recovery and being good to my body. I am ten days into the season, and so far, so good.

What This Is All About

One forty point six is the number of miles in an Ironman triathlon. It is a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run. In that order, in one day, as fast as possible.

I am training for Ironman Wisconsin, September 10, 2006 and this is my training journal. I have been running for seven years, doing triathlons for two years, have done three marathons, a half ironman triathlon, and many shorter distance races. Before I started running, I had never exercised in my whole life. I ate poorly, was overweight, was unhappy in my body, and was dreadfully out of shape. I have completely transformed myself and my body through running and triathlons. I love getting outside to workout, and feeling strong. Confidence in what my body can do transfers to other parts of my life in ways that I didn't realize it would. The Ironman is as much a mental challenge as it is a physical one.

This will be my first Ironman. When I first watched an Ironman four years ago, it seemed like a crazy thing to do. I couldn't imagine being able to go that far in one day. At that point, I couldn't even imagine doing the swim bike or run distance alone in one day. It was inspiring to see that not only professional athletes, but also "normal" people were doing it. It made me think about what I could do, but I never thought it would be in the realm of possibility for me. As I look back on the past seven years, everything I have done has been leading up to this. I have consistently and gradually increased the distances that I am able to race. I started with the goal of being able to run one mile without walking, then progressed to do a 10K race, then did a half marathon the next year, and a full marathon the following year. Then I started doing sprint distance triathlons, then a half ironman the following year, and here I am this year looking the Ironman in the eye. I think if I can do an Ironman, I can probably do pretty much anything I set my mind to.

I am very determined, disciplined, and consistent. Other than some help with my swim technique, I have not had any help with my training. I put together my own training plans after reading everything I can get my hands on, and carefully studying my progress as I record my workouts. I know I will get myself to the Ironman finish line. I am hoping to do it in under 13 hours.