Taking a moment for perspective

June 21, Day 129

Yesterdays Workouts:

45 min run, 5 minutes Z1, 10 minutes Z2, 5 x (2 minute Z4/2 minutes Z1) 10 minutes Z2, 5 minutes Z1
40 min bike, 5 minutes in Z1, 30 minutes Z2, 5 minutes Z1

Today’s Workout:

1750 swim, 500 yd Z1, 5 x (100 yd Z3/15″ rest) 250 yd Z1, 5 x (50 yd Z4/20″ rest) 250 yd Z1


IMG_0230So much of this journey is a grind.  It’s obvious, it’s expected.  It’s a very long road to get to Louisville and you aren’t going to finish an IM by taking shortcuts.  That means stuff like yesterday’s run are part of it.  It was 94 degrees when I got out to do the run, and with 5 Z4 repeats in that heat?  Did not manage to hit Z4 for all 5 repeats.  Just too hot.  I did the best I could with what I could do.  Sometimes it is what it is.

That can be frustrating, and if I focus on the frustrations of the journey too much it will drive me nuts.  This is a life experience after all.  It should be one with GOOD experiences.  This post will not talk any more about the grind but instead focus on something cool I never would have seen if I wasn’t doing this.

So Sunday I got up before dawn to do my run.  I was awake, I didn’t want to deal with the heat for a 90 minute 10 miler, and I just felt motivated to do it.  I decided to go ahead and take a selfie of myself before I set out, and demonstrated my complete lack of selfie skill in doing so.

IMG_0216

This….was not supposed to be a body shot.

After failing that effort I set out into the cool(ish) morning air.  I chose a route that goes along the outskirts of town to start, away from too many buildings or streetlights.  That allowed me to enjoy some of the most beautiful morning views of a sunrise I’ve ever seen.  Here’s a shot close to my house.

IMG_0219

Here’s one about a mile away.  As you can see, the sun has come up a BIT more.

IMG_0224

Here’s one as I ran by the K-State football stadium.  The sunrise reflecting in those windows was breathtaking.

IMG_0227

Here’s the last one I took, just before i turned into the city and away from the sunrise.

IMG_0228

This is the sort of stuff that can go unappreciated if you look at the grind too much.  For whatever reason I was feeling philosophical and spiritual Sunday morning and just really enjoyed this morning.  If I wasn’t doing this training, I would have missed it asleep in bed.

What a shame that would have been.

Cheers!

A first time experience

June 17, Day 125

Yesterdays Workouts:

40 min run, Z1
1600y swim, 300 Z1, 1000 Z2, 300 Z1

Today’s Workout:

105 min bike, 5 minutes in Z1, 85 minutes Z2, 15 minutes Z3


So, yeah, that bike today?  Not a typo. It is specifically designed to put the hardest work at the very end to simulate high intensities while in a fatigued state.

My workout plan is trolling me, because I was already in a fatigued state after this week.

IMG_0350

I got Thursdays bike and Wednesdays swim done fine, but the intervals left me exhausted. I actually took a short nap at lunch.  Thankfully Friday’s run was at recovery intensity and that helped.  Last nights swim though I seriously considered skipping and just doing Sunday. Then I realized the pool is closed on the weekends.  All the weekends. All summer.  I guess that’s the fallout from not enough lifeguards. That, folks, is a serious hurdle.  I have Sunday swims all summer long, and Sunday is a big day for recreational use out at the lake.  Fish hooks abound.

One more thing to overcome I guess.

Last night at the pool I had a seriously fun time people watching. No really, it’s kinda boring and what else can you do but notice people around you? There was the 40 something in the Stars and Stripes bikini who spent at least 10 minutes tucking her pigtails into her swim cap before she got in the water.  There was the woman with her boyfriend who left her eyeglasses on while swimming laps. And then here was the young guy next to me playing “beat the swimmer”.

Ive mentioned this before, when someone casual waits for a swimmer to hit the wall then takes off like a banshee for one pool length to try and beat them. It’s an ego thing or something, only this guy could not do it.  He tried 3 times waiting for me to come to the wall and taking off at exactly the same time.  Then he tried a few more times, giving himself a little head start. Then a little more.  Then a little more.  It never worked, because he just wasn’t a very experienced swimmer.

After maybe 6 attempts though, he did something I’ve never seen. I was in lane 6, he in lane 5. He got out of the pool, went down to lane one, and got back in over there.

Dude, it’s ok.  Nothing to be ashamed of.  I’ve been swimming 2-3x a week for years.

IMG_0351

Todays bike will be later than normal because I am at one of the wife’s events again.  I should enjoy this bike, I think it’s the last one I do on this plan sub 2 hours on a weekend. 10 miler running tomorrow morning to follow.  Glutton for punishment that I am, looking forward to it.

Happy Fathers Day to all the Dads. Cheers!

Ebbing, not flowing atm

June 14, Day 122

Yesterdays Workouts:

  • 45 min run, 5 minutes Z1, 5 minutes Z2, 10 x (1 minute Z5 uphill/2 minutes Z1) 5 minutes Z1
  • 50 min bike, 5 minutes in Z1, 40 minutes Z2, 5 minutes Z1

Today’s Workouts:

  • 50 min bike, 5 minutes in Z1, 40 minutes Z2, 5 minutes Z1
  • 1750 swim, 500 yd Z1, 5 x (100 yd Z3/15″ rest) 250 yd Z1, 10 x (25 yd Z5/10″ rest) 250 yd Z1

IMG_0215.JPG

You may remember how all last week I kept saying how great I felt, how on point my workouts were, how everything was going smoothly.

Yeah.  I need to learn to keep my mouth shut.

It has been hot as I mentioned, and that is making things challenging enough.  However, the way training has stacked up this week isn’t helping.  My first workout contained 10 hill repeats at max effort, one minute each, 2 minutes rest.  I decided to do that one in the morning because it was going to be over 90 by the time I got off work.  Which is never a good thing to run in, especially with 85% humidity.

When I got outside yesterday morning, my first thought was “Seriously?”.  It was already 75 with a temperature index of 82.  There wasn’t a breath of cool air in the breeze either. I gutted it out and did all 10 repeats but it sucked the life out of me, to the point I had a hard time focusing during the day.

Last night I did my bike and then a second one this morning less than 12 hours later.  I felt OK while doing those but when I got to work, every time I moved I let out an involuntary groan of discomfort.  My legs do not want to move, at all, and I am exhausted enough to just want to take a nap.

2BA16F7000000578-3209433-image-a-42_1440455755773

Pretty much me, except at a desk and not so contented looking.

Tonight’s swim has 10 max effort sprints in it also.  And tomorrow’s bike is the one with the intervals. It’s not getting any easier.  But then, it’s not going to be any easier in Louisville, so suck it up I shall.

Today was snack attack at work, and I let myself have a cookie.  Probably not a good idea, but I don’t care at this point lol.

Here’s hoping I make it to the weekend without being caught asleep at my desk and still being able to climb stairs.  Hope your weeks are going well.  Cheers!

The heat is on!

June 9, Day 117

Weekend Workouts:

  • 89 min bike, 5 minutes Z1, 15 minutes Z2, 8 x (1 minute Z5 uphill or simulated/2 minutes Z1), 45 minutes Z2, 5 minutes Z1
  • 80 min run, 5 minutes in Z1, 70 minutes Z2, 5 minutes Z1
  • 1850y swim, 250 yd Z1, 400 yd Z3, 120″ rest, 200 yd Z3, 120″ rest, 1000 yd Z1

IMG_0214

On to month #2 of the full plan!  I know the distance is going to start ramping up steadily, so I will hold off on declaring too much victory yet, but so far everything has been really solid.  I’m exactly where I think I should be, which probably indicates I don’t understand where I should be more than anything, but you take what you can get.

Friday’s swim, once again, was great.  I’m pushing through the 1000y with no rest just fine, even after 2 hard sets.  This is good because quite frankly it’s my plan to swim Z1 the whole race.  I cannot waste any energy in the water.  Too much other stuff to do.

Saturday it got hot.  Weather was headed to 90 degrees with high humidity.  I went out and got my bike done quickly so as to avoid the worst of it, but still faced 15-20 mph winds most of the bike.  That bike was again hill repeats, but for a full minute and then 2 minutes rest.  I’ve got plenty of power in the legs so far and the hill repeats were no problem.  The problem came at the end of the ride, when I was coming down the home stretch of the final loop.  Suddenly the wind got really, really bad and my allergies started getting the best of me.  They’d been uncomfortable but contained basically the whole ride to that point, but at that point my nose began running freely and my eyes were watering to the point I had to actually close one while riding.  I’m so sweaty at that point I can’t really even wipe them, so it was pretty miserable that last 10 minutes.

iStock_000021125550_Medium

Remember to put tissues in your race bag for the race: got it.

Sunday’s run I actually remembered to take fluids and a salt tablet with me.  I was going to run later in the morning, but at 5:30AM it was already hot and going to get hotter.  I decided to just get up and get it done.  Everything went pretty smooth, except one of my bottles fell  out of my nutrition belt almost immediately and I didn’t notice it was gone until later.  Happily, it was there on the sidewalk near my house still when I got back so I didn’t lose it.

On the way out I saw this thing that looked like a cat on the trail.  Come closer, and it’s an opossum–apparently a really fat one—dead center on the trail.  Get closer still, and I realize there’s probably 6-8 babies staring at me from momma’s back.  She is dead center of the trail and not moving.  It was a little unnerving, because I didn’t have room on the trail to give her more than a couple feet as I went by, but she didn’t do anything but watch.

opossum1

Pretty close to what I saw–cute!

Damned cute in retrospect, but I was almost sure I was gonna get bit.

But I didn’t!  And that’s a good thing.  Rabies not what I want to deal with right now.  Not when everything is going fairly smoothly.  Hope you all had a great, productive weekend and are beating the heat.  Cheers!

 

The Tens Digit is Scary

June 8, Day 116

Yesterdays Workouts:

  • 40 min bike, 5 minutes in Z1, 30 minutes Z2, 5 minutes Z1
  • 1750y swim, 500 yd Z1, 5 x (100 yd Z3/15″ rest) 250 yd Z1, 5 x (50 yd Z4/20″ rest) 250 yd Z1

Today’s Workout:

  • 60 min bike, 5 minutes Z1, 5 minutes Z2, 4 x (5 minutes Z3/3 minutes Z1) 13 minutes Z2, 5 minutes Z1

IMG_0192

I ‘ve been doing this training so long it’s like a way of life.  The event is over 4 months away, and it feels like it’s still sort of in my imagination.  Like it’s not really happening.

And then I had to change the 10s digit on my sign and it’s suddenly like it’s coming way too fast.

I keep this sign on my wall as a reminder to myself to eat right, stay on task, and kind of envision the end goal.  It’s important to enjoy the journey, but it helps keep me focused to remember what the journey is for.  Plus it’s a fun conversation piece and keeps my whiteboard from being really, really dull.

But mostly it’s just kinda there.  I change the last digit every day and think “one day closer” but don’t really think about it all that much.  But somehow today when I had to erase the “3” along with the “0” it caused a flash of minor panic.  Like “whoa, this is just around the corner!”  It’s funny psychologically how even though it’s the same amount of time passing since I last updated the sign (1 day) it FEELS like a bigger milestone.

Cognitive-Distortions-1

I has them

I was really worried headed into this week because I was still pretty wiped out from last week on Monday, but my body has responded just fine.  Workouts have been really good for the most part with the exception of a couple faux pas on my part setting them up.  For example, on Tuesday I was running 1 min hard and 2 min easy for 6 intervals, which I set up on my training app to tell me when to go hard and when to dial back.  However, when I set it up I must have been not paying attention because I set the rest intervals for 2 SECONDS rather than 2 minutes.  I was more than a little shocked at my app when it demanded I go hard again almost immediately after telling me to slow down.

say-what

Anyway, besides stuff like that it’s been an outstanding week.  I hope all of you are doing great.  Cheers!

Dumber with Age

June 2, Day 110

Weekend Workouts:

  • 92 min bike, 10 minutes Z1, 10 minutes Z2, 3 x (2.5 minutes Z4/5 minutes Z1) 55 minutes Z2, 5 minutes Z1
  • 60 min run, 10 minutes Z1, 10 minutes Z2, 20 minutes Z3, 10 minutes Z2, 10 minutes Z1
  • 1850y swim, 250 yd Z1, 400 yd Z3, 120″ rest, 200 yd Z3, 120″ rest, 1000 yd Z1

IMG_0189

I think you’re supposed to become wiser as you age.  At least, so all the societal norms seem to say.  I seem determined to buck that trend.

First of all, I had a great swim.  I nailed all the intervals and felt great.  I am almost to the point I am worried about peaking too early on the swim, because everything has been fantastic so far and it’s my weakest event.  However, I’ll take it.  I’m sure I’ll reach a rough spot there.

Saturday’s run was challenging.  First of all, 20 minutes in Z3 is a good stretch and a solid workout at any point.  But I saw early in the morning that it was going to be hot, so I put it off until late in the morning on purpose to get heat practice in.  This was actually a really good idea on the surface.  However, I failed to respect the run and as a result, faded out after the 20 min stretch.  You see, I already know I have trouble with the heat.  Yet, I went ahead and ran in it anyway without:

  • Taking any fluids
  • Taking any nutrition
  • Taking any sodium tablets or electrolytes of any kind

This on top of having given blood that week?  No wonder I wiped out in the last 15 minutes.

4606582

Unfortunately it had a cascading effect the rest of the weekend.  Saturday’s struggles led to dead legs on Sunday while trying to do my speed intervals at Z4.  I got them done, I always do on the bike, but it took so much out of me that I was pretty much dead the rest of the day.  I had a short swim scheduled for Sunday evening but cancelled it.

While soaking and trying to recover from that run my dog was hanging out near the tub, so I got her to bathe after I was done.  Might as well get something useful done.  Rather than show a picture of my sweaty grossness, here’s one of her after bath time:

Lesson learned I hope.  TRAIN PROPERLY FOR THE HEAT.  It should be in the 90s much of this week so I’ll have another shot tomorrow to see if I learned anything.

Anything at all.

Cheers!

 

Long days

June 2, Day 110

Yesterdays Workouts:

  • 60 min bike, 5 minutes Z1, 15 minutes Z2, 20 minutes Z3, 15 minutes Z2, 5 minutes Z1
  • 30 min run, Z1

Today’s Workout:

  • 1850y swim, 250 yd Z1, 400 yd Z3, 120″ rest, 200 yd Z3, 120″ rest, 1000 yd Z1

img_0184.jpg

Yesterday was one of those days that challenge your resolve to train.

It’s honestly hard enough as it is, with 10+ workouts every week.  Add in wrapping those around work and most days I start by 5 am and don’t finish until after 6.  Yesterday however, was not most days.  I had a 1 day conference to attend in Kansas City, which is 2 hours away.  That started at 8AM and ended at 4PM.  So yesterday I was going to be out of town from 6AM to 6PM.

On a double workout day.  Yuck.

To accomplish my needed work, I got up at 4 and did the run, got back, and got ready to meet everyone else headed to the conference so I could catch the carpool at 6AM.  2 hours on the road later, spent the day at the conference.  This is one of those where there is very little moving about, you just sit in a single room and listen to people talk all day.

If you’ve never done it, it’s actually more tiring than it sounds.

At 4PM we were all mentally exhausted and got back in the suburban to head back to Manhattan.  By the time we got back to the parking lot and I got home, it was after 6PM.  And I still had a ride to do.

yaf98jyht9knxh99rc7p

It sounded like a great idea in the morning to do the easy workout then, but man, it sounded like the worst idea ever by the time I got dressed and on the bike trainer about quarter to 7PM.  The long, long day was really wearing on me by that point, and this hard ride was compounded by giving blood the day before.  I got it done, but man, that was hard!

Today I only have the swim, which I will do tonight.  It’s a TT component swim, so it won’t be easy, but I am hoping the 24 hours of rest will make up for it.

It’s going to be a hot weekend, so great time to get some of that heat work in.  Hope you all have a great one.  Cheers!