Saturday, May 13, 2006

workout overhead

[Saturday 5/13/06]

Run - 13 mi, 1:56 - ran Mad City Half Marathon course, moderate pace with some harder intervals
Strength workout - circuit style with 3 x 20 (cable curl, cable punch, cable pull, swimmer, lunges, plank on fit ball @ 40 sec, skater squat)

I knew starting out that my legs were in questionable condition to be running long today. I had to push through some unpleasant feelings in my legs towards the end. I forgot how hilly this course is. They added another major hill in place of a downhill from last year. Today's run was much slower than I intend to race. I am nervous about that since it was pretty challenging, but I hope that fresh legs off a taper and race day energy will help me out. Despite my worries, a few times while I was out there I thought about how grateful I am to be able to run long and how nice it is to just sink into my pace and listen to my music with nothing but the present moment.

post-workout routine:
- eat half a powerbar, finish water bottle
- take warm shower (it was freezing today!)
- eat two eggs and a bagel with peanut butter
- sleep for 30 minutes
- go to the gym and do strength workout
- do stretch routine
- sit in hot tub for 15 minutes while massaging legs and stretching more
- eat second half of powerbar (why do i buy these things? they are sickeningly sweet)
- go home and eat bowl of plain yogurt and cereal with two glasses of orange juice
- roll legs and back on foam roller
- lay around house and finally get on with the day ... this all took from 7-2:30

workout "overhead" can take all day.

Friday, May 12, 2006

easy brick

[Friday 5/12/06]

Bike - 60 min indoor - hill ladder workout: 3 min/5 min/7 min/5 min/3 min hard seated climb with 2 min recovery between each
Run - 1.5 mi, 12:09 - transition run immediately off the bike

This was an easy workout, but that was what it was supposed to be since I am getting ready for my long run tomorrow morning. I haven't done any transition runs in a while so it was nice to remember what they are like. My legs didn't feel tight or dead, and I could go at a good pace right away thanks to my hour warmup on the bike.

Something funny is going on in my left arm. I think I may have pulled something when I was doing pull ups on Tuesday. It hurts on my lat in the area just behind my armpit when I attempt to put my arm straight up. More importantly, that is also the position I use to pull with my swim stroke. I thought I was just very sore, but now I am not sure because my other arm is not sore the same way. Argh. Hopefully it will fix itself.


[Thursday 5/11/06]

Swim - 4000m, 1:26 - 50m pool, slow and steady long swim with even 1000m splits
Run - 3 mi, 26:35
Yoga - 60 min

Woo Hoo! I made it to 4000m! Ironman is 3800m and I feel like 4000m needs to be my bare minimum long swim at any given point in time. I had worked up to 4000 before going to Hawaii, but then after a three week break from any significant swimming, it took me a while to work back up. I tend to be overly cautious about increasing swim volume because I am doing some pretty intense upper body strength stuff right now and don't want to get injured.
6000m long swim here I come!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

david blaine and ironman

[Wednesday 5/10/06]

Swim - 3200m, 1:15 - 50m pool (300 free, 200 pull, 100 kick, 4 x 100 @ 1:32, 1:40, 1:41, 1:39 on 2 min, 200 pull, 8 x 50 @ 45-49 sec on 1:15, 200 pull, 8 x (25 @ 22 sec/25 easy) on 1:15, 200 pull, 8 x 50 B3/B5/B7/B9 on 50s, 200 kick, 200 pull cool)

Bike - 26.5 mi, 1:50 - on Horribly Hilly route in Blue Mounds area

The goal of my swim today was practicing at paces that I would like to do for the Lake Mills sprint triathlon. For a 6 minute 1/4 mile swim, the 100m pace is 1:30. That is what I attempted for the main set of this workout, but came up a bit short. I put this workout together myself and it was a good one. It helped me to know exactly where I am at with my short distance pacing. I have some work to do, but it doesn't seem totally unreasonable. The long course pool is helpful in preparing me for the lake swims where there will be no wall to push off of every 25m.

I biked a section of the Horribly Hilly route that I have never done before. I am practicing the 100K course in small manageable pieces and increasing my time out there for each ride. It continues to amaze me how strong I am on the hills this year, and this early in the season. Somehow I was able to do all the hills today, even the steep 2 mile Mounds Park Rd at the end of my ride, and still feel like I had some energy left at the end. I was breathing really hard and struggling to get air while still pushing the pedals around (did I mention I have a standard 53-39 gearing?), but I practiced relaxing my body and trying to calm down my breathing. For the long hills, I came up with a mental plan of attack before each one - I would eyeball random markers some distance in front of me like a certain tree or something, and at each marker I would start imagining myself as a different pro-triathlete climbing the hill. I mean, would any hill in Blue Mounds tire out Natasha Badmann or Peter Reid? I don't think so. It kept me going and gave me something to take my mind off my screaming legs and my breathing.

I watched David Blaine's Drowned Alive show on TV where he lived in a sphere of water for seven days and on the final day attempted to hold his breath for 9 minutes. (He only made it to seven minutes before they had to rescue him.) The show showed how he trained himself physically and mentally for it. His will and determination to get through extreme mental challenges like that has been inspiring to me. Triathlon is so much mental and learning how to feel comfortable in times of discomfort, just as David does in this and other stunts that he does. I suspect that his internal psychological reasons for having the need to do extreme things has much in common with the psychological motivations behind people doing Ironman. To generalize, I think it has a lot to do with a desire to conquer physical and mental pain through one's own choosing as a way to compensate and feel control over for serious pain that one has suffered elsewhere in life. Essentially they are alternative spiritual practices.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

all wound up

[Tuesday 5/9/06]

Run - 7.2 miles, 1:02 - warm up, 5 x 1 mile @ 7:30 w/ 0.3 mi recovery jog/walk, cool down
Strength workout - Power focus/Drop Sets - 3 x [9 Push Ups, 9 Pull Ups, 10 Side squats, 8-10 Ab throw-downs]

It was an amazing run this morning on the treadmill. It is nice to do a canned run like that every once in a while to tune up my pacing. I was able to hit the 7:30 pace for all 5 1 mile repeats. I thought about my breathing and relaxing into the pace. It was a challenging pace, but not that difficult to handle for 5 repeats. I could have done more. I wanted to nail this workout so I put it as the first one of the week after my rest day.

The strength workout was good too. I did as well as I could on the normal (non knee) pushups and assisted chin ups, though these are always hard. My massage therapist who is 6 feet tall commisserated with me the other day that it is always much harder for tall women to do pushups. The lever is longer and there is more weight to push.

I have been engaging in some retail therapy lately... I got a new polyester swimsuit, neoprene swim cap, deluxe sports bra, running top, large container of Sustained Energy, cushion inserts for my running shoes, water bottles. While I was at the bike shop I continued my research on improving my bike gearing situation. The options are a compact crank, a triple chainring, or a larger cassette. I have now decided that it will either be the compact crank or the larger cassette. I have to look on eBay for some good deals on those parts and check out the relative weights compared to what I have now with my Dura-Ace road setup.

[Monday 5/8/06]

I went in Lake Monona for the first time today. I am aware that this is slightly nuts. It was cloudy and in the upper 60's with the water temperature probably in the mid 50's. It was really cold!! I would like to get my body acclimated to the cold temperatures because I am going to do the Lake Mills sprint triathlon. My goal today was to stay in for 6 minutes. I tread water for 5 minutes and then swam for 3 minutes. It was so cold it hurt my hands and took my breath away when I put my face in. I can say that I began to get used to it though. By the end it wasn't quite as cold. I wonder if I was the first person this season to get in that lake from the Ironman Wisconsin swim start line. I was certainly the only one out there today.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

early IM bike loop practice

[Sunday 5/7/06]

Bike - 43 miles, 2:47, Ave Sp. 15.6 - rolling hills to hilly
One loop of WI Ironman course (2:33):
Verona to Mt Horeb - 53:18
Mt. Horeb to Cross Plains - 38:31
Cross Plains to Verona - 1:01

It was a beautiful morning to do this ride - cool and sunny. There were a surprising number of bikers already out on the course at 7am. My speed for the loop today puts me on track for a 7 hour Ironman bike split, which is the minimum I am aiming for. I went at a comfortable pace and my legs were not fresh to start after yesterday's run. I need to practice that last segment from Cross Plains to Verona more and I definitely need to get my nutrition down. I was below empty at the end of the ride today.

some good encouraging workouts

[Friday 5/5/06]

[Saturday 5/6/06]
Run - 12 miles, 1:53 - around Lake Monona @ comfortable pace
Swim - 2000yd, 36min (300 free, 300 pull, 8 x 125 as 25 kick/25 back/75 free build, 400 pull)
Strength workout (mostly upper body) - circuit style 2 x 15: pull ups, body rows, cable pull, push ups, down dog shoulder press, butterfly cable pull, hanging knee up, thinker, skater squat, side step, monster walk

Today's workouts were encouraging after all the mental trouble I have had this past week. The 12 mile run went really well and though it was the furthest I have run in a long time, it was not a big deal. I felt some soreness in both knees towards the end but it seemed to be more fatigue than injury. They bothered me more while running on a road that sloped down at the edge. I tried to stay on flat ground as much as possible. It is a relief for me to know that I am on track for a good half marathon performance at the end of this month. Now all I need to do is add an increasing number of long speed intervals into my runs.

I felt strong on the swim and it felt good to stretch out my legs and get the blood flowing again after the run... though it was kind of a bummer to go inside to the pool on a beautiful saturday afternoon. I stuck my hand in the lake this morning to test out the temperature and it seems just a little insane to attempt an open water swim when it is still pretty frigid.