Saturday, June 05, 2010

technical swim

Swim 2400m open water at Barton Springs
[49 min]
This swim had a few elements that made it a dress rehearsal for both the Danskin Sprint Triathlon (tomorrow) and IM CDA. Danskin is not a wetsuit swim and I needed to test out my tri race outfit to make sure it would not slow me down to swim in it. I'm happy to report that it was perfect and had no negative effect on my speed.  If anything, I was faster than usual today. My form was right on.

I started the swim with a jumping in start (no water temp acclimation).
- 400m sprint- 800m steady
- Get out and do 10 burpees
- 800m moderate/steady
- Get out and do 10 burpees
- 400m hard

This allowed me to simulate:
1) the frigid cold water in Idaho and abrupt beach start
2) the initial open water sprint in any triathlon
3) dropping back to a strong and steady pace after the initial craziness of the start
4) the short beach run in the middle of the Ironman swim (the hardest part of the burpees was the mild disorientation and dizziness when going from water to land)
5) getting back into the water after the beach run and going at a hard effort to get back into my stroke rhythm

Next up: Went to the running store to get a new pair of shoes - dropped some big dough on a new pair of  Asics Gel Nimbus. Then, Danskin Triathlon Expo and bike check-in. Huge long line for race numbers and then traffic jam to get out to the race site. Arg. That all took 3 times as long as I will spend actually racing. Whatever. I am racing in the elite wave as number 2 and there is no number 1... that's a first for me.  Now I definitely have to bring it.

Friday, June 04, 2010

right place at the right time

Run 18 miles
10mi@1:26 (8:35/mile), 5mi@38:18 (7:36/mile), 3mi@26:30 (8:50/mile)
[2:31 total]
The goal was to run the middle section slightly faster. Mission accomplished. This was a decent run but it got tough at the end. I went into this run feeling sore from Crossfit. I have gotten to the point where sore muscles are just something to work through during a cardio workout, not a reason to change or not do it. The main effect of this seemed to be that I got crampy and more sore than usual when the fatigue started to set in in the last 3 miles. Of course, this may have also been due to slight dehydration and being low on calories... I didn't feel very thirsty because it was cloudy and I wasn't sweating too much but I know I could have drank more. I had 2 1/2 gels and this may not have been enough. Of all things, my feet hurt the worst. That reminded me that it really is time to make the trek to Rogue to get a new pair of running shoes. Ok, as I write this I am realizing that perhaps there were a lot of controlables that I could have done better on. That said, it was still a decent run.

I watched some Gilbert's Gazelles running form videos for inspiration yesterday ... I used this long run to practice what I saw by paying close attention to quick foot turnover and picking up my knees a bit more than normal. It is always interesting to me that as much as I know about running, there is always a ton more to learn. Learning new technique makes it fresh and new all over again.

I am lucky to be in this place...
I am at the end of a hard 5 month training block and I am at the peak of my fitness. I am not sick or injured. I have not gained weight. I learned how to do my race nutrition. I made myself stick with my training schedule workouts every day even if I didn't feel like doing that particular workout. I have done long repeats, short repeats, lots of repeats of all intensities. I have eaten well and taken care of myself so I would recover. I am confident in my training and I am mentally strong. Things are going smoothly. I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to do Ironman Coeur d'Alene coming from this positive place.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

you gotta dream and you gotta start

Swim 3500m, open water at Quarry Lake
3x750m, 8x100m@1:32-1:36, 8x50m@45-46sec
Last night I discovered that the buoys set up by the pier in Quarry Lake are exactly 25m apart, and there are 4 of them. This means that you can do laps of 50m and 100m straight with no turns! I can't believe it took me this long to realize this, because it is an absolutely perfect setup for long course training. My target Ironman 100m pace is 1:40 and I was well under that on my repeats this morning. Swimming with no turns is definitely harder than in the pool, but now I have the perfect place to practice. Score!

This song has been on my headphones a lot lately. You can dream and hope for anything but you aren't going to get it unless you get over your fear and start. And you will never accomplish amazing things if you don't dream.  What if "Marshall Mathers never picked up a pen?"...

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

swimming with heart

Strength Session
30 deadlifts@95 lbs
30 push press@45lbs
40 box step ups@24"
40 situps
20 squats
20 pullups
3 x 30 sec plank (15 sec rec)

Swim 2800m
[51 min, open water at Quarry lake]
3 x 750m @ 13:02, 12:40, 12:33 (30 sec rest treading water)

As I go into the last month of training (Ironman is 27 days away!), it is time to get down to the mental preparations. My head is what will make the difference between a decent performance and a great one.

I just finished reading this inspiring book: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. A young shepherd travels across the desert from Spain to the Pyramids in Egypt in search of treasure. The story is his journey of following his heart with courage to realize his dreams. The story is timeless and spiritual and it resonates with my journey to Ironman. It has reminded me that each workout I do is a step along the journey and that I need to stay in each moment and to listen to my heart. Overcoming adversity creates satisfaction and creates the self-learning that accompanies the journey. The alchemist reminded the boy that "the darkest hour of night comes just before dawn" and one needs to push through without giving up. This is exactly how I should be thinking about the Ironman run - it is the last and hardest part of a 5 month journey. Success is dependent on staying with my heart and focusing on my dreams until I cross that finish line.

I incorporated some of this into my swim workout today. I swam my first 750m repeat at a comfortable pace not particularly focused on anything. The pace came out to be nothing special. I swam the second 750m thinking about having good form and pushing myself. This one came out to tie my Ironman swim PR pace (1:07). For the third one I focused on good form AND I thought about following my heart to achieve my goals and to be my best self. This one hit my goal Ironman swim pace (1:05). What I learned here is that only when my body, heart, and mind come together in perfect harmony, can I push myself to greater heights. If I want to swim a 1:05, I need to be focusing in this way.

Monday, May 31, 2010

memorial day cook out

Bike 85 miles, Run 1.8 miles
[Bike 5:27, Run 14:55]
2 x Mansfield Dam/Spicewood loop, 1 x Cuernavaca loop = lots of hills all day
Start temp: 70 degrees at 6am, End temp: 93 degrees at noon
Nutrition:  6 bottles of water (120 oz), 6 scoops EFS electrolyte (600 cal), 1000 calories of Larabar, fig bars, raisins, almonds.

Honestly I was not looking forward to this ride. I would have rather slept in and eaten pancakes on this day off. It took me some serious mental prep to get my mind around it. I went in strong and positive. Just get the work done. I only have one more long ride after this. Then I don't have to ride long in the heat ever again if I don't want to.

It was very pleasant when I started, cool with the sun just coming up. By 9 it was starting to heat up, and by 10 it was an oven out there. Having a breeze from riding kept it bearable, but there were a few large hills that I couldn't get any wind because I was going so slow. These were pretty much miserable and there was nothing to do but keep pedaling and know I would get a breeze soon. My nutrition worked fine other than my water being lukewarm at the end and not very appealing to drink. I'd say that successful nutrition in 90 degrees alone made the day a success. In the past, I would have gotten it wrong and ended up a cooked dehydrated mess on the pavement. Today I was merely hot at the end, probably unavoidable.

It seemed very hard at the beginning when I wasn't warmed up, harder than it should. I knew my legs were sore from the Crossfit, but were they THAT sore? My average speed was only about 14.5mph and I was working hard. It took me until mile 20 to realize that I had been riding with my front brake rubbing the tire. The minute I adjusted it, things got a lot easier. A whole lot easier, and my speed went up. I did some of the hardest hills with that on. Sweet :( Ok, so that was a learning experience. I definitely need to have a bike mechanical checklist for race day.

Brick run - I forced myself to do it. It would have been so easy to be done after the ride. The training plan said to do 30 minutes, but in the heat, my only goal was to run long enough to get the biking stiffness out and 15 minutes was enough.  After riding the triathlon bike today, my lower back was sore during the run and my hip flexors weren't too happy either. Good data point. Is there anything I can do at this point to make the run a little more comfortable? Perhaps some extra core work so I stay strong?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

weekend recap

Run 6 miles with 3x1 mile repeats
[mile splits: 7:06, 7:09, 7:10, total time: 48 min]
Decent mile splits. I had to work for these.

Crossfit SCARS workout
30 kettlebell swing, 25#
400m run
20 box step up, 24"
200m run
20 front squats (i did air squats)
100m run
10 wall ball, 10#
100m run
 20 clean and jerk, 45#
200m run
10 pullups, 10 burpees
400m run
[time: 22:03]
I joined the Saturday morning Crossfit TRIBE group with Bonita, Jon, and my brother Brad down at Austin High School. It's been weeks since I have done a real Crossfit workout. This was a long one and it reminded me how good these are for Ironman mental training. The weighted movements combined with cardio get me into my zone 5 discomfort zone very quickly, while reminding me that I can go there and it's ok. Each movement goes by and you are onto the next one, much like the Ironman day. You focus on what you are doing in the moment, do your best at it, and then move on to the next the exercise (or the next section of the course).

It was Brad's first Crossfit workout and it was tough in the heat but he was a great sport and made it through. I think there is a chance he might get hooked on Crossfit....

Bike 37 miles
Steady riding on road bike, rolling hills, done in mid-day heat
90 degrees with 60% humidity
In these brutal conditions I found that I need 20oz of water with one scoop EFS electrolytes every 45 minutes. I felt decent while keeping a steady stream of that going down, but only had two bottles with me so the last part of the ride got really unpleasant. Riding in this type of heat scares me because I get so hot and it is really imperative to have enough water. This was more of a heat acclimation ride than anything else. I pushed myself to stay steady and keep a good average speed, but I rode fairly close to home, doing laps on a partially shaded road. I am pleasantly sore from Crossfit yesterday and it felt good to loosen up my hips by biking.

Crossfit 1/3 Jeremy
21-15-9 (one round, full jeremy is three rounds)
Overhead squats (i used pvc pipe, aiming for good form on a full squat)