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


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.


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.



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


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.


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!

Good long weekend into first step back week.

May 30, Day 107

Weekend Workouts:

  • 74 min bike, 5 minutes Z1, 5 minutes Z2, 12 x (30 seconds Z5 uphill or simulated/90 seconds Z1), 35 minutes Z2, 5 minutes Z1
  • 1750y swim, 300 yd Z1, 1150 yd Z2, 300 yd Z1
  • 70 min run, 5 minutes in Z1, 60 minutes Z2, 5 minutes Z1

Today’s 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

img_0183.jpgHad a great weekend of workouts, really felt like I was crushing everything.  That’s a good feeling to have right now, but I shouldn’t get too cocky.  The training plan even says that the work should feel pretty easy right now.  Even still, I was thrilled to get out on my bike Sunday and do those hill repeats and feel strong throughout the whole thing.

Also, my bike tape got it’s first real test with me sweating, and it came out great.  It’s also ridiculously comfortable.  I’ll never use another brand.

This week is a “step back” week, which I will have every 3 weeks throughout this plan until I taper.  The idea is to push hard for two weeks, then give the body a bit of a break the third week.  Workouts during step back weeks tend to be either fewer, shorter, less intense, or a mix.  Often times it doesn’t really SEEM like a step back, but usually the mental break means as much as the physical.  It is funny though, when you catch yourself thinking “Nice!  ONLY 45 minutes of running with ONLY 5 Z4 repeats” and realize just how insane most people think you are.

Or like tomorrow, when for the first time in this plan I have a morning where I don’t have to get up early to get the first of 2 workouts done.  I only have a swim, so that’s a little bit of a break.  It’s the little things.  🙂

This morning I had another first for the entirety of this plan, which for those of you who read my mini-rant Wednesday may come as good news–I actually slept through the night.  No waking up multiple times unable to breathe.  I cannot even tell you what a relief that is, and I hope it lasts.


Tomorrow I signed up to give blood, probably for the last time until the IM.  It’s still early enough in the plan and it’s a day I only have a swim so it should be OK, but I really don’t want to screw around with it too much.  It has a way of sapping energy over several days, and we are just getting into the hot season.  Tonight’s run should be in the 80s, which is worst case in my estimate of how it will be in October when I finally hit the run course.  Good to get some of that training in.

Hope you all have a fantastic day.  Cheers!


Glad it’s Friday

May 26, Day 103

Yesterdays Workouts:

  • 60 min bike, 5 minutes Z1, 40 minutes Z2, 15 minutes Z3

Today’s Workouts:

  • 45 min run, Z1
  • 1750m swim, 300 yd Z1, 1150 yd Z2, 300 yd Z1


Wednesday I was able to get back in the pool for the first time in weeks.  It felt weird, but it was good to do since that’s really the best way for me to do speed work.  It’s hard in the open water to know when you’ve gone specific distances and rest.

It was also a bit weird because this guy in a speedo decided that, despite the fact only two lanes were in use and there were 5 open lanes between us, to get in the lane next to me.  It’s kinda like in the guy’s restroom when there are several urinals and you are at the end, and someone walks past 3 open ones to use the one next to you.  I mean, sure, there’s nothing WRONG with it….but it’s kinda like uh, why?


Yesterday’s bike was deceptively tough with 15 minutes of Z3 at the end and no cool-down.  I battled through the early part of the Z2 thinking no way, but I was able to hold Z3 all 15 minutes.  That was a confidence boost, and a needed one.  Three bikes on consecutive mornings seems to be the way this plan goes, so it will be an adjustment since he makes the hard one on the third day.  Good training though.

Today’s run was pleasant at Z1.  This is one of those workouts that is deceptively effective because you don’t always need speed, sometimes you need to just log some time while you recover from the hard work.  Keeping it in Z1 allows me to be running for 45 minutes while saving my energy for later work.

Need to hit the pool tonight again because it is closed for Memorial Day.  Speaking of that, hope everyone has a great long weekend.  Cheers!

Unexpected challenges

May 24, Day 101

Yesterdays Workouts:

  • 55 min bike, 5 minutes in Z1, 45 minutes Z2, 5 minutes Z1
  • 39 min run, 5 minutes Z1, 5 minutes Z2, 8 x (1 minute Z4/2 minutes Z1) 5 minutes Z1

Today’s Workouts:

  • 60 min bike, 15 minutes in Z1, 35 minutes Z2, 10 minutes Z1
  • 1500m swim, 250 yd Z1, 500 yd Z3, 500 yd Z2, 250 yd Z1


It’s difficult in any effort like this to anticipate all the things you’ll have to deal with to make it all happen.  Sure, you can see the plan in advance and map it out on the calendar and it looks great months out before you start.  Then life happens and the calendar fills up with things you didn’t plan on but knew could happen.  So, you juggle and move things around and try to ignore the anxiety that crops up when you do stuff like that.

Then other stuff happens and everything goes out of whack.

I had the start of this all planned out.  With everything happening (graduations, birthdays, events, work, visits, taking care of other people’s pets, pool closures, weather etc) around this time in May I knew it was going to be challenging to start my plan now, but start it now I had to do.  For the most part I’ve managed to stay on top of that with some creative and flexible scheduling, proactive when I can be, reactive when I must.  Thing about it is, I knew all that was either going to happen in advance or likely to happen so I was mentally prepared for it.

But I wasn’t prepared for when my allergies kicked into high gear.  Normally they are fairly mild if I avoid doing too much in the grass but for the past 10 days or so they have been horrible.  I think it has to do with the rainstorms causing a sudden bloom.  I wake up several times a night trying to breath, which obviously does not lead to great sleep or great workouts.  Two nights ago I woke up at 3am with a sinus headache so extreme I couldn’t stay lying down.  I ended up balling my fist into my temple and laying on that because it seemed to help.  Allergy meds help, but they also affect my energy and mood and not always in positive ways.

Not getting good sleep and having trouble breathing properly was definitely not in the plan.

Of course, this can lead to tough workouts where I am more tired before, during and after than I think I should be.  Those cause anxieties that I know, no matter how carefully I explain them, nobody is going to understand.

See, most people who asks how training is going either 1) is doing it just to be polite and really doesn’t want a long answer and/or 2) wants to hear the positive stuff.   I know that.  I get that.  Those who are really interested in my well-being I can tell this stuff to, but how do I make people understand how stressful this can be?  If you have never run a marathon for example, you can IMAGINE what it’s like but you don’t really KNOW.  You haven’t had to train specifically for that event for several months, you haven’t had to run it, and you haven’t experienced how hard those last miles can be.

I know all that, and I know I have to do 114.4 miles before I start mine.  It scares the hell out of me that I’m this tired now.  Every time I move a workout or miss a workout it feeds the anxiety that I won’t be fully prepared to deal with this thing.  Every time I have a bad workout it chips away at my confidence a little bit that I can really do this.  You can put on a brave front and try to keep your mind right if things are going well.  If you’re mentally and physically exhausted, it’s challenging to say the least.

Of course, folks not going through that just see you’re cranky.  🙂

I will see this rough patch through because getting this done is important to me.  Hopefully the allergies will pass, things will calm down, and I can string a few good days together to get my confidence back.  Meanwhile, one day at a time.





Week 1 in the books, 21 to go

May 22, Day 99

Yesterdays Workout:

  • 1500m swim, open water/wetsuit practice
  • 60 min run, 5min Z1, 50min Z2, 5min Z1


What a whirlwind weekend.

I covered Saturday, well, Saturday, but yesterday was a doozy.  Got up well before 7am Sunday to get that 60 minute run in.  Weather was wonderful.  I am going to miss these 40 degree mornings to run in.  Unlike the rest of the week with thunderstorms and tornado warnings, Sunday was completely calm and clear.  Inspired by the cool air and wonderful morning, I felt great on this run and had to reel myself in to stay within the zones.  One thing at a time.  We all have workouts that suck, so workouts where you just feel invincible are nice to counterbalance that.

Then it was a hurried clean-up and change to have birthday breakfast out with my dad, who turned 76.  In all we had 9 members of the family come out and it was a great chance to spend some time with him before we got into the next celebration of the day.

But first things first.  After breakfast settled a bit it was time to hit the lake and get in a swim.  The water was very cold to start but again, clear and calm conditions.  Luckily there weren’t any boats for this swim to really dodge, and again, I felt great in the water. Wonderful workout.

By the time we got home from THAT, it was noon and time to clean up and get ready for graduation for my older son.  We got him out the door and then headed out a short time later.  The graduation was at the university basketball stadium, and I think it was about a class of 400 from my count.  Before the ceremony I jokingly predicted the cliches we would hear at the commencement, and considered what a fun drinking game it would be to drink every time I heard one of my predictions come true.  Probably a good thing I didn’t actually do it, because I would have drained the flask.

All kidding aside, it was a really proud moment for me and as I watched my son I thought back to when he was born and how quickly time flies.  That’s yet another reason it’s important I get this IM done now and not put it off any longer–time goes quick and someday I may not be able to do it.  Or I may not even be here.  Who knows the future?


The birthday boy, the graduate, and me photobombing them.

After graduation he came home with us and had a short celebration where he got graduation gifts and ate a dessert of his choice.  By far the best picture of the graduate came from this.


After that, he took off to celebrate with friends, and we got some chinese takeout out of pure exhaustion.  Frankly eating out twice in a day is bad for my plan, but sometimes life happens and you just have to roll with it.  By the time dinner was done, my tank was empty and I was ready to go to bed.  I made myself stay up until my normal bedtime though, because thats a trap for me–yeah, I may get to sleep at 8, but I’ll wake up unable to sleep anymore at 3:30am.

All in all, great day but a hectic one.  Today is great day for a mental and physical rest.  Looking forward to stepping into week 2 tomorrow.  Cheers!



Anchors and Adjustments

May 20, Day 97

Yesterdays Workout:

  • 1750m swim, CANCELLED due to pool closed/unsafe weather
  • 40 min run, Z1

Today’s Workouts:

  • 73 min bike, 5 minutes Z1, 10 minutes Z2, 6 x (1 minute Z5 uphill or simulated/2 minutes Z1), 40 minutes Z2, 5 minutes Z1

Lots and lot of things to juggle the past several days and the next several.  It can be challenging to fit workouts in, but luckily everyone is very understanding of what I am trying to do.  It still requires some creative planning to get everything worked in.

Tomorrow, for example, is both my fathers birthday and my eldest son’s graduation.  Dad is having a birthday breakfast at 9, and we have the afternoon at the graduation ceremony and “unspecified” activities for afterwards.  Of course, I have 2 workouts to get in and no pool. So, the plan is to get up early and get my hour-long run in before breakfast, go to breakfast and let it settle, then head out to the lake around 10:30-11, get the swim done (hopefully with no fishhooks) and then head home and clean-up in time for graduation.

My son, the graduate:

If it sounds like I need the workweek to recover from my weekends, you aren’t far off.  It’s only going to get more interesting too, as some of the Sundays on this plan require 8 hours of workouts.  I must really, really want this:


Actually, yeah.  Yeah I do.

Yesterday I tried to take Scully, my mini-aussie, with me for a run.  I don’t know what it is, she runs with the wife just fine, but with me she wants to follow, not run alongside.  This means Im constantly holding the leash to keep it from tangling in my feet.  Which is fine, I can deal with that, but whats hard is when she becomes a bit of an anchor while I’m trudging uphill.  As a result, my Z1 run felt like I was working harder than I should be, while going slower than I needed too.  Sigh.  Sometimes she’s stubborn like that.  I guess she didn’t WANT to get up early and run.

Actually, maybe she’s smarter than I am.  Hmmm.

Also, she has one annoying habit I need to figure out how to train her out of: she wants to chase the squirrels.  While I’m on the other end of the leash.  So sometimes suddenly my hips get yanked sideways as she takes off towards a tree with a squirrel under it.


This is so my dog.

What was really surreal though was as we were running under an overpass, there was a HUGE raccoon just sitting there on the sidewalk.  We went around it and the raccoon could not care less we were there.  Interestingly, Scully never moved an inch towards it.  Smart girl.  That would have been interesting.

Today’s bike was good.  I had planned to do it outdoors, but slick streets coupled with bad allergies convinced us otherwise.  I was able to really focus on the 6 Z5 intervals though, so that was good.  Here’s hoping I have enough legs to get through tomorrow.

Probably won’t post tomorrow with everything else happening, but I should be back Monday.  Cheers!