Saturday, January 28, 2006

biking hat makes the day

[1/28/06 Saturday]
Bike - 1:05, spin class - various terrain while attempting to stay in 65-75% heart rate zone
Run - 1 mile, 9:30
Abs (300), Lower body strength and hips

I know I am not supposed to be doing bike/run bricks right now, but I couldn't help doing a mini run after the bike. My legs and knee were feeling good... well, my knee was ever so slightly tight, but like I said, I couldn't help it. I feel like I am in great shape and it is hard to hold back sometimes.

I got a cute biking hat that keeps my hair out of my face. When I gave myself a haircut a few weeks ago, I cut it too short to put back, but it is still long enough to get hot. A biking hat is the kind of detail that can make all the difference in a workout.

The winter regulars are gradually starting to come back to the saturday morning spin class. Several of them are training for Ironman. I like training with others around that are strong athletes and I like feeling like part of a gym community.

Friday, January 27, 2006

shorts in january

[1/27/06 Friday]
Run - 2.3 miles, 20:40

I did today's run outside thanks to another 50 degree January day in Wisconsin. I even wore shorts. I ran the whole way with no knee pain and felt good.

[1/26/06 Thursday]
Swim - 2000yd, 39:08 - main set as 7 x 150 build w/ fastest split 2:15
Bike - 60 minute spin class
Abs (300, again!)

breakthrough discoveries

[1/25/06 Wednesday]
Swim - 2200m, 41:00
Run - 2.6 miles, 27:41
Abs (300), Hips

It was a great day for workout discoveries today.

1) I think I finally figured out how not to drop my elbow in my freestyle swim stroke. This is something I never really understood how to do before. I realized that I have been bending my arms too much on the catch phase of the stroke. If I keep my arm straighter and reach more as though I am trying to touch the bottom of the pool, I can generate noticeably more power. I have long arms and this allows me to take full advantage of them by pulling more water with each stroke.

2) If I run as part of a bike/run brick, my knee is going to hurt. If I run on days that I don't bike, I will be able to run without pain. I don't know why I was doing all those bricks for the past two weeks. It is not necessary at this point of the year, and it just puts extra stress on my knee.

3) Running slow is better than not running at all. I need to fight the urge to run at an 8 minute pace at all times. Going at a 10 minute pace right now seems to be ok for my knee.

4) My ab routine has been getting stale and too easy lately. The author of a book I have been reading on how to coach swimming says that he has his swimmers do a minimum of 300 sit-ups and 100 push ups each day. I am going to incorporate that strategy into my training, but gradually. Today I started with the 300. I like to do a variety of exercises that work different parts of the abs, so instead of just sit-ups I am going to do 300 reps of any combination of ab exercises. It was a challenge to get to 300, but I made it and felt the burn.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

kona, here i come

i just bought my ticket to hawaii... kona, here i come!
in february i am going to hawaii for 3 weeks to swim, bike, and run the Big Island, and do some sightseeing in Oahu. it can't hurt to test out the Ironman World Championships course now... even though I won't be participating for a long long time.

protein power banana bars

[1/24/06 Tuesday]
Swim - 3000m, 55:43 -
450 free, 100 kick, 450 pull, 6 x 25, 4 x 50, 400 pull, 2 x 200, 500 free, 14 x 25 as 2 easy, 3 B5, 2 B7, 3 B3, 3 B5, 2 easy

Here's a tidbit from issue 2 of my unpublished zine Trigirls:

Last issue included an article reviewing various commercial energy bars. It got me thinking, if I eat so many of these, couldn’t I come up with a few good homemade recipes and make them in mass quantities? For me, the perfect energy bar has lots of protein, is not overly sweet, has a moist texture, and contains no partially hydrogenated oils.

Protein Power Banana Bars

I came up with this recipe myself. I started with a basic recipe for banana bread and substituted whole-grain and higher protein alternative ingredients. The bars are dense and cake-like.

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup protein powder (chocolate is good)
about 4 ripe bananas
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup water (or adjust to get batter-like consistency)
mini chocolate chips (as many as you like, optional)

Mix together dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately, then combine them. Put in a greased pan (13 x 9). Bake for around 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool, cut in squares, and wrap each square in plastic wrap for portable individual treats. Makes 15 bars.

Monday, January 23, 2006

shred of hope

[1/23/06 Monday]
Rest Day

My knee feels better with an ace bandage on it. I am not limping at all today. This gives me a shred of hope.

[1/22/06 Sunday]
Swim - 3000yd, 58 min - Main set as 4 x 200, did some drills with hand paddles
Lower body weights, abs

I did the entire swim with a pull buoy to avoid any stress on my knee. Even swimming with a normal kick irritates it now. It is frustrating because for the past two months I have been taking it very easy, and still my knee is not recovered. This makes me cranky.

I attempted to do lower body weights without affecting my knee today. That was kind of challenging. I basically just did isolation exercises for everything except my quads and hamstrings. I walked one lap around the track bringing my knees up as high as possible on each step. That was great for my hip flexors which were feeling the burn by the end.

[1/21/06 Saturday]
Bike - 75 minutes - easy aerobic (indoor, spin class)
Run - 2.8 miles, 25 min - 2 x 1 miles @ 8:37, 8:47 with recovery
Weights (shoulders, arms), abs

This felt like the closest thing to a real workout I have done in a long time. 1:45 of good old biking and running, then weights to top it off and completely tire me out. It was a lot of fun. The only problem was that I started feeling my runner's knee about 10 minutes into the bike. Maybe I should have stopped right away when I felt it, but I kept going and just did high cadence spinning instead of the hills. I really wanted to run, so I did, but it got worse the more I did. As I was running, I was wondering how many weeks of no running would have to follow this workout. It is really hard to not run when all I want to do is run. I am jealous of people who can. Going only 2 miles at a time feels like nothing. After I am healed, I will be grateful for every normal run I can go on.