Sunday, June 28, 2009

Two solid days

Yesterday started with a 15 mile run. I headed up to the local track around 10AM, and the day was off to a promising start with few clouds in sight. I started with a 2.5 mile warm-up and my legs felt a bit more sluggish than normal, but not too bad. Once the warm-up was over, I got into a decent groove running at a very comfortable pace. My RPE started at about 7, and crept up to 8 by the end of the test. I felt more comfortable at the start of the test, too, as I could run a more natural stride. By the end of the test, as my pace slowed, I had to consciously slow myself down. If I had to guess, 160-165 bpm would be my self-selected HR where I am running at a moderately tough pace but not pushing the effort. As the test wore on, I had trouble keeping my HR down, possibly a result of the heat rising. By the end of the test, it was quite hot out - mid 80's but probably hotter on the track. As an indicator of the temperature, after the test, I took off my shoes and socks and ran a few laps around the faux-grass infield of the track, and I had to run on white or yellow painted lines because the green "grass" was too hot for my feet. Anyhow, data below:After the test, Stacey and I headed out for a 5 hour ride. We ended up using our road bikes and riding some up to Auburn hills, where we hopped on some gravel trails and we out to Lake Orion via Rochester. I didn't use the Powertap, but my HR was around 130-140 for the first three hours or so. After that, I let it drop a bit, perhaps down to 120.

I was a bit sore this morning, especially around the hips (muscle soreness, though). I though today's trainer ride would be tough. Our apartment was hot at the beginning of the ride despite the A/C set low and having a fan directly on me. I was breathing pretty deeply even during the inital 230 W set. Once that set was out of the way, though, I no longer noticed the heat and felt pretty good. My RPE was about 7 for the first two sets, and then 8 for the 5 x 4 min and 9 for the 10 x 2 min. My power output was pretty solid:

30 min:
138 bpm, 233 W, 83 rpm (really 85 rpm except for two breif periods standing...I would have liked a gear that lowered my rpm a bit without increasing my watts)

3 x 8 min:
1 - 139 bpm, 244 W, 84 rpm
2 - 141 bpm, 248 W, 84 rpm
3 - 142 bpm, 246 W, 84 rpm

5 x 4 min:
1 - 141 bpm, 259 W, 78 rpm
2 - 141 bpm, 263 W, 78 rpm
3 - 143 bpm, 261 W, 78 rpm
4 - 141 bpm, 265 W, 77 rpm
5 - 141 bpm, 264 W, 77 rpm
(interesting comparsion between this set and the precedding one...basically the same HR with 15-20 more W and 6-7 rpm less...the lower rpm feels better on the trainer, too)

10 x 2 min:
1 - 137 bpm, 272 W, 79 rpm
2 - 143 bpm, 287 W, 81 rpm
3 - 143 bpm, 288 W, 80 rpm
4 - 145 bpm, 293 W, 81 rpm
5 - 144 bpm, 294 W, 80 rpm
6 - 144 bpm, 289 W, 80 rpm
7 - 146 bpm, 288 W, 81 rpm
8 - 144 bpm, 286 W, 80 rpm
9 - 143 bpm, 280 W, 56 rpm (standing)
10 - 143 bpm, 294 W, 80 rpm
(one note about the HRs for the above set - my HR was continuing to rise througout the set and was typically 152-54 at the end of each set)

Now it's off for an easy 2.5 hour ride once again on the road bike.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Long time since last update

Since my last update, Stacey and I went up north for a weekend of riding. We left Thursday evening, stopping breifly in Cadallac for a 30 minute run along White Pine (?) trail. The trail appeared to have mile markers, and the interesting part was that the markers where we were running were in the high 80s and low 90s. Hmm...if the trail goes 90 miles south, I'd like to do a long ride on the cyclocross bike one weekend. Go from one end of the trail to the other on a Saturday, stay the night, and ride back the next day. Maybe post IMs this summer.

The riding is quite amazing up near Empire. One can head in any direction and be on pretty smooth and scenic roads. I think the worst road I was on all weekend would be as good as the best road near Birmingham. On a side note, I've discovered the best indicator of just how horrible Detroit and its suburbs are. No, I'm not referring to the nation-leading unemployment rate, nor am I referring to the nation's top or second highest (I can't remember which) obesity rate. You might think I'm referring to the highest murder rate, or the fact that about 1/3 of the city is vacant, but you'd be wrong. It's also not the fact that houses can be had for under $1,000 dollars in the city, nor is the impossibility of walking or biking anywhere except within two or three small downtown areas scattered throughout the suburbs. Here it is: Hour magazine, a semi-upscale publication consisting mostly of luxury goods ads and photos of "high-society" social events, named KID ROCK as Detroit's person of the year. Our person of the year is a one-hit wonder whose sole hit came 8 years or so ago? Is Kid Rock even a B-list celebrity outside of Detroit? You know when Kid Rock is your city's standard for human excellence, you are in trouble.

Anyhow, back to a discussion of the good part of the state. So I got in an 87 mile ride on Friday and followed it up with a 35 minute run. I felt great most of the ride and the whole run. I rode down through Frankfort, Benzonia, Beulah and maybe some other towns. I rode around the aptly-named Crystal lake, where I came oh-so-close to getting hit by a car. The driver was sitting idly in the shoulder with his flashers on for the two minutes or so that he was in my line of sight. I was riding at 25 or 26 mph on the flat, smooth road, and as I approached the car I took a quick glance behind me to make sure I could move to the center of the lane to pass the car, which was blocking the shoulder and a foot or two of the lane. I turn back around and, to my great surprise, the drive had pulled out into the two-lane road and was actually had his car perpendicular to the direction of travel - he was making a U-turn after sitting idly for at least the two minutes that I could see him and did not even look behind him. I slammed on the brakes, had my back tire skid out, let off the brakes so I could regain control, and began to brace myself for the impact with the vehicle. As I braced myself, I was also able to steer my bike to barely miss the back end of the car. I turned around a yelled a few choice, unprintable words at the driver, but otherwise continued riding on. An adrenaline spike left my shaking for several minutes afterwards, and it took a while to get back into a ryhthm riding.

Other than that incident, the traffic was very good (i.e., minimal). Far fewer cars passed than I'm used to, except when I inadvertently went off route and took a section of a main road, M-22, that was fairly highly traveled.

An interesting tower-esque modern home.

Saturday included 103 miles or so of riding. Stacey road with her dad, Ralph, just as she did Friday, and they took off a while before me. I timed things just right, and was able to catch them exactly when they reached a state park at the tip of Leelanau peninsula. We got in a couple quick photos and were on our way. The route home from that park is perhaps my favorite route I've ever done, or at least the last 30 miles or so are. There are winding hills that overlook lakes with great views. I took some of these pictures while riding (actually I was going uphill away from the lake, and I just pointed the camera over my shoulder without looking where I was shooting...the pictures turned out surprisingly good).
I actually stopped to take this picture:
And there were while riding (taken midway up a hill):

I stopped and got a Monster-brand energy drink around mile 75, and that thing was like an amazing drug. I could only drink about 80% of it, as it was quite massive, and I poured the remainder down the drain. I half expected it to melt the grating, so strong is the stuff. I felt full of energy afterwards, and was singing to myself for the rest of the ride.

I followed the ride up with a 45 minute run. I went that far because I wanted to run to the bottom of a large hill thinking I might catch Stacey and she and Ralph were finishing up the ride. The hill has a brutal reputation, but really isn't that tough. It's basically two miles long, with most of the hill being a pedestrian grade that I can big-ring up. However, toward the end, there are one or two steep sections, then a 12 or 15% gradient (I can't remember which, but it's marked on the road) for a hundred or two hundred yards. As luck would have it, Stacey and Ralph were at the bottom of the steep section just as I reached them, so I turned around and raced them uphill while running.

Stacey and I went for a short swim that evening in Lake Ann, where her parents were looking at property. A tiny town (one restaurant, a general store, and that's about it), but a nice lake. The house they're looking at is right on the lake and in nice proximity to a state park and to good riding. A cool place, indeed.

On Sunday it was just Stacey and I, and I got in about 56 miles while turning around every few miles for Stacey. I'd try to turn around right after a climb so I could re-do it, and I started the ride with a moderate to high effort level on each hill (~300 W or so). I felt good at the start, but at the end my legs were shot enough that I could only hit maybe 250 W, if that, on the hills. Another good route though, taking us around Glen Lake, Traverse Lake, and some others, up by an abandoned ski resort (Sugar Loaf Mountain or something like that) and through a few decent small towns.

The total for the weekend was a not too shabby >240 miles riding, plus a bit of running and just a smidgen of swimming.

This week included a few good swims, a short but intense ride, and a double run day (2:45 total). I'm feeling good with just one month to IMLP. My only doubt is my swimming, but even though my times in the pool aren't yet where I'd like them to be, I've got to remind myself I'm vastly improved over last year. I should be able to easily knock several minutes off my 1:12 swim, which I need to do to set me up for a spike-free ride that will put me in sight of the FOP much earlier than last year.

Oh, and my morning weight hasn't changed - 160 +/- 1 lbs.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Lots of swimming this week

Swimming each day except one, I believe, and I did a swim cord session that day. I had to swap Tuesday and Wednesday around. My times for the swim scheduled for Wed. but completed Tuesday were as follows:
T600 - 10:12 (split dead even 5:06 per 300m)
T400 - 6:50 (3:22 first 200m and 3:28 second 200m)
T200 - 3:20 ... I was pretty tired by this time.

Otherwise, the week went well. I crushed the secret workout with relative ease. Tomorrow Stacey and I are off to Empire, MI, near the Sleep Bear Dunes, for a weekend of good riding.

Hopefully the weather is cooperative and the water warms up. Should be fun, regardless.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Two hard rides

Yesterday I drove down to Northville and rode a few loops of Hines Drive (~35 miles per loop). I decided against heading the other direction toward Whitmore Lake because the weather was questionable and Hines Drive is likely much safer in the event of rain - cars actually expect cyclists to be on the road, and there's a shoulder the entire way. Since Stacey and I lived in Northville last year, Hines Drive was our go to route. Hines Drive is actually a park running through a whole bunch of adjacent cities, and whoever oversees its operation is even so kind as to close down a few mile stretch for a few hours each Saturday and Sunday so that only non-motorized vehicles are allowed. Usually that part of the park is fairly crowded, which is always pleasant.

Anyhow, I rode fairly hard, and probably started out a bit too hard. I was able to spend a lot of time at 24-25 mph at my moderately hard intensity, which is a nice improvement over last year. The handfull of lights don't help the average watts or power, though. Anyhow, I could have continued longer at the same effort or a higher effort, by my RPE was higher at the end of the ride than the beginning by a fair amount.

Averages: 21.2 mph, 141 bpm, 197 W, 77 RPM

Looking at the data, however, it appears that I rode around 225 W for the first hour and a half, dipped to maybe 210 W for an hour, and then picked it back up to 225 W until my cool down.

Oh, and I might have accidentally thrown out the new jacket Stacey gave me. My workout clothes drawer was getting pretty crowded, so a week or two ago I grabbed a few old race shirts that I never wear for one reason or another (hideous design, awkward sizing, low quality, and often all of the above). On a side note, race directions, please stop giving out t-shirts and jerseys. Also, please stop giving trophies for awards. I would much rather have, say, a Starbucks, Chipolte, Barnes and Noble or local tri shop gift card, even if only $5, for an award. Hell, I'd rather have a ten pack of Gu or some Cliff Bars, or anything else that I can actually put to use and not feel guilty for throwing it out. Anyhow, I threw out a few shirts since my bike-cleaning rag pile is pretty robust and Stacey had recently made a trip to Goodwill for to donate a bag of clothes. As I'm shifting through my drawer, I recall that. "Oh no, oh no, oh no," I repeated aloud to no one. I'll have Stacey look around for it too, so hopefully she has some Nacny Drew skills that I've yet to see that'll allow her to get to the bottom of the case of the missing cycling jacket.

I did an easy 40 minute run a few hours after the ride. My legs felt great, so I did a few brief pick-ups, but otherwise kept it easy. Uneventful, all in all.

I was dreading today's workout and procrastinated for two hours or so before I finally got aboard my bike. I was hoping to have a companion in suffering, but Stacey bailed to attend her sister-in-law's baby shower. Now that I think about it, I probably had the less painful afternoon.

I set up 6 water bottles, half with Infinit, two Powerbars, and three gels. I turned down the A/C to the low 60's and put a fan angled a few feet in front of me. I angled the TV and speakers, and figured out what to watch for three hours. I placed a folded towel across my aerbars to prevent sweat from crusting up my bike, though I should have had a second towel hand for later in the ride. I mentally prepared myself to suffer for a few hours.

The ride didn't start out too bad. During the warm-up, I picked the power up to >250 W a few times for 20 seconds or so at a time, and I felt ready to start. The first hour wasn't bad, maybe an RPE of 7.5/10. I notice that on the trainer I select a much lower cadence than on the road, perhaps as a result of different amounts of inertia. Finding a gear that put my around 77-79 rpm for 240 W felt easier than the 82-83 rpm that I'd need to get the same power in gear easier. On the road, though, I'd probably go around 85 rpm.

About the end of the first hour my RPE went up a bit to about 8. By an hour and a half in, my RPE went up to 8.5 and I had to start sitting-up occasionally. By two hours the RPE approached 9 and my position changes were more frequent. Had I stopped at two and a half hours, the work-out wouldn't have been nearly as tough, but the last half hour was a bit painful. I frequently shifting between sitting up and being in the aerobars, even standing pretty often, anything to try to find some still powerful muscles that I could utilize to keep the watts up. I tried shifting a gear easier and upping the cadence for a few minutes as a break from my grinding it out. With about 20 minutes to go I found a Green Day concert on TV and cranked the volume was up, which actually helped a bit. The RPE for the last half hour was 9.5. It was a solid effort.

Averages - 241 W, 149 bpm, 77 RPM.
My legs are a bit thrashed now, but I made an awesome recovery smoothie that'll repair 'em in no time. I went through the cupboards and refrigerator and threw everything that looked good into the blender. Ice, plain yogurt, a peach that had a squishy brown portion, a frozen berry medley, honey, some concentrated juice (OJ?) mix, dextrose, protein powder, and maybe another ingredient or two added up to a surprisingly tasty beverage.

Finally, morning weight - 162.0. Four pounds up from yesterday, but 158 was too low too quick.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Tough swim

Yesterday included a tough swim - 38 x 100m on 2:00, half of them pulling. The goal pace for pulling was 1:30, while the goal pace while not pulling was 1:33-35. I started pulling at 1:34. I was a bit disappointed to be missing the goal time by so much, but I would have had to work really hard to hit it, and didn't think I could maintain that effort throughout the set. To my surprise, when I started the first non-pulling set, my time was pretty much the same - 1:34 or so. After about twenty 100m's, I started to fade a bit. My time dropped to 1:40 by the 2/3 of the way through the set. Finally, at the end I dropped to 1:45.

I felt tired from swimming, but also felt likes I had a lack of energy. Looking at my diet, I would be surprised if it was due to a lack of carbs. I had a Larabar about 45 minutes before swimming, and that provides over 20g of carbs. I also always eat a lot of fruit, so a lack of carbs would be surprised. Nonetheless, I'm going to cut my times for which I drink sports drink. For everything over 1 hour I will have some sports drink, just to make sure the quality of my workouts doesn't suffer.

Morning weigh-in: Thursday - 160.5, Friday - 160.0, Saturday 158.0. I'd be surprised if my weight doesn't go back up, as a 2 pound drop is odd. Still, I've had to take my belt in a notch, though I was always midway between belt holes and opted for the larger size.

Now I'm off to Northville to ride to Whitmore Lake, then Dexter, then maybe Chelsea or maybe toward Jackson, and then back. It's not looking pretty out, but accuweather says no rain until 1pm. I'm bringing a newly obtained rain jacket (thanks Stacey!) just in case.

Friday, June 12, 2009

A few easy days

Post race I've had a few easy days . Yesterday included a moderately hard swim and an easy run. Starting with the run, I headed to the track for the soft surface. I went easy and ran ~8 min/mile at 125-130 bpm. I would have gone longer than a half hour, but it was a bit cold and rainy.

The swim did not feel great. I felt uncoordinated and choppy in the water. Not sure why, as I usually feel my best when swimming for a second day in a row. Oh well, hopefully I feel more fluid on today's swim.

Wednesday also included a swim and treadmill run. I ran for 30 minutes at a slow pace, and my legs felt good as far as I could tell, though fatigue is hard to judge when I am barely working.

I'm looking forward to Saturday's ride, and expect to be feeling 100% for it.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Race for Recovery

Yesterday Stacey and I drove down to Monroe, one-time home of General Custer, to go through the motions on the race course and to pick up our race packets. Do not take 696 when there is any traffic...too much construction. We weren't able to register due in part to delays caused by said construction, though also in part to me tuning up my bike. I felt okay on the run, great on the bike, and normal in the water. Lake Erie was quite choppy, and Stacey and I enjoyed that. It brought back memories of swimming at Ohio St. Beach in Chicago while we lived there. We'd go in even when the waves were 4 feet and we could barely get anywhere. The waves would bounce of the break-wall and create a random wave field. Fun!

Today Lake Erie was still choppy. Not as bad as yesterday, but not smooth by any means. Spotting during the swim was very difficult. A majority of my spotting attempts during an out and back section forming the first 1000 meters of the swim yielded no results, other than seeing that another wave was fast approaching when going out and fast passing when coming back in. On the way in, I recognized that some trees aligned nicely with the path of buoys, and used those to spot. Spotting was further complicated because I could rarely see more than one buoy. A few times I wondered whether an identified buoy was the next one along the course or a buoy on another part of the course, as all buoys were the same color.

I exited the water in 37 minutes (OUCH!), but looking at the posted results, it looked like everyone was slow. For reference, the fastest swim that I noticed with a quick glance at the results was 1:31/100m pace...not exactly blazing.

Onto the bike, I hammered for a mile or two to get away from a close crowd of riders. After settling into pace, some guy passed me. I sat behind him a legal distance (probably much more than a legal distance) for a mile or so and then popped the watts way up to make a pass. Shortly after, I slowed a bit due to some riders in front of me taking up a lot of our lane, only for one of the riders to pass the other on the right, and was passed back by the guy that passed me. He was moving >25 mph, so I figured I wouldn't spike my watts to pass him again. Instead, I'd sit a legal distance behind him and pass if he slowed. Sure enough, about 3 or 4 miles later, he sat up to take a drink, and I sped by. I looked back a few miles down the road and saw no sign of him.

I rode pretty hard and kept my HR around 160 bpm. Actually, that pace didn't feel hard for the first 35 miles or so. The course, by the way, is pancake flat, but is prone to wind. There's also enough chip-and-seal to make a dent in the average speed. One 2 mile or so section of road that racers traverse three times, while not chip sealed, has large cracks/bumps every 20 feet. It's pretty harsh riding on my aluminum bike, and my HR drops by 5 bpm once I leave that section.

The course also has lots of turns, which are the only opportunites to stop pedalling and to get out of the aero position for a moment. Each turn is visible in my power profile as a steep power drop.

By 40 or so miles I was started to feel my effort. That's an indication of good HIM pacing for me, it seems. By 5 miles left, the excitement of starting the run can help overcome fatigue.

I rode the course in 2:18 for an average speed of 24.3 mph. That's a bike-split PR for me by about 5 minutes. It also ended up being the fastest bike split in the race by almost 3 minutes, my quick scan of the results revealed. Avg. stats: 159 bpm, 246 W and 85 rpm (though more like 85-90 for most of the ride, with the average lowered due to cornering).

All the bike data:
Smoothed bike data:
My power is pretty even throughout, save for a high section at the start, followed by a low section where I followed behind the passer. It's tough to get a good read on what my normalized power would have been, but I'd guess around 250-255.

My legs were feeling a bit thrashed by the end of the ride, but I was interested to see how my placing would be by counting the numbers of bikes in transition. Instead, I was able to see all four guys that had beat me back because the first mile of the run is along the end of the bike course. The lead was 2/3 or 3/4 a mile into the run, following a 1/4 mile by a pair of guys, and then another 1/4 by a fourth guy. All right, I thought, time to run some people down.

I started the run hard. I thought I might be able to make up the deficit, but it would require running 6 or 7 minutes faster that the leader, and about 5 minutes faster than the others. (Their leads on me estimated above are based on my view from the bike, meaning I had to ride to transition, put on the running shoes, and head out, so add a bit more distance.) The run, by the way, is two loops of 6.5 miles each, of course.

Looking at my Garmin data, I headed out at a good clip, 5:30/mile or so when the ground was level. The run was flat save for a few small up and downs that nonetheless appear in my speed data. The run also includes a 1.5 mile out-and-back (i.e., 3/4 mile each way) begining 3 miles into the run, so I got a glimpse of the guys ahead of me. The leader was flying. Damn, not likely catching him, I thought. I appeared to be gaining some ground on the others, but it was tough to tell based on the comparison of their position relative to me between seeing them at the end of my ride and seeing them again on the run. By mile 4, I was getting some chest cramps and side stitches. I slowed down a bit so they'd subside. They quickly obliged, and I picked up the speed, but not back to my original pace. I had 9 miles to go and figured I could still come in second with steady need to make up all the time on loop 1.

Loop 1 time was 40:27. By the end of the first loop, my left foot was killing me. I had a rock or similar object in my shoe, so I stopped quickly, took the shoe off, emptied it out, then put it on and continued on. I did not, however, get the object out. Every step hurt, as the object pounded into the same exact spot on the bottom edge of my foot. Soon, another pain developed on the same foot. Now, I don't typically run 13.1 miles sockless, but I had such good luck with the two olympic races at the TTT (I wore socks for the half), that I thought I could get away with it. Live and learn. The pain didn't slow me, but it was an annoyance.

At the beginning of loop 2 I made a pass and moved into fourth place. By now, runners on their first loop were on the course. I headed out for the out-and-back section, now at mile 8 or so, and hoped to see some progess between the runners ahead of me. "What'd the third place guy look like?", I asked myself. His clothing was too generic, red and black just like seemingly every other guy out there. I think I saw him and was gaining ground. I had picked up the pace at the beginning of loop 2, and tried to pick it up again.

For the next 2 miles, I couldn't see the guy, even when I could see 1/3 mile or so up the course (no too many good views, as the course was through a generally wooded paved trail). Finally I saw him about 1-2 minutes up the road from me around mile 11.5. I picked up the pace a bit, or at least I tried to. I glanced at the Garmin and saw I was only going slightly under 6:30. Not fast enough. Finally, there's a second out and back near mile 12.5. He still had a 45 second lead and was moving. I wasn't going to catch him. I stopped and took off my shoes, as my left foot was killing me with each step of the chase. The right, I figured, should come off to so as not to through off my balance. I jogged the last 1/2 mile bare-foot on grass along the side of the trail.

Total run time: 1:22, or about 6:20 per mile (faster than the open-half I did a few weeks ago). Loop 1 average HR: 165 bpm, loop 2 average: 169 bpm. Third fastest run. I gained two minutes on loop 2, but that's close enough to even to indicate good pacing to me. Still, I couldn't believe I didn't catch more than one of the guys ahead of me. Gotta get that swim speed up still to be more competitive. Time and effort is all it'll take. Then my 4:20 finish time will be much closer to 4:10.

The winner, Brad Seng, popped out a 1:13 half. Fast...losing 9 minutes on the run was not expected. Dude is 40 years old, too.

I'm feeling a bit fatigued now, but that's too be expected. I'll see how the next few days go...shouldn't take too long to feel good again.

Oh, and this time Stacey finished with a smile, and was smiling when I saw her at the end of her first loop. She cut quite a bit of time off her HIM PR, and was very please with her race. Her run looked much improved from last year.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Gotta get off the trainer

My morning run went great - running felt effortless. Without thinking about it one way or the other, I did the run after taking in only a cup of coffee and a glass of water before heading out the door after waking up. It was only a 30 minute run, but I think the fact that I didn't feel low on sugar is a sign that my diet isn't negatively affecting my training.

I started the ride with a readiness test. Results:

3 minutes at 135 bpm - 223 W - 87 rpm
3 minutes at 150 bpm - 254 W - 88 rpm

A bit better than yesterday, but maybe not statistically significantly so.

I felt low on sugar about 20 minutes into the ride, so I slowed and had some OJ. A few minutes later I felt good again. But, the entire episode could have been mental, since the trainer is killing me right now. I've gotta get out to Stoney Creek more often on weekdays, even if that means an hour and a half in the car. Side note: the entire Detroit and metro Detroit area should have a no-driving day one weekend, similar to how Chicago shuts down LSD once a year (Portland has done similar things) - it would be the best day of the year. I would get to explore the whole area without the fear of death that accompanies most rides, and I'd probably even go downtown.

Morning weigh in for both yesterday and today - 160.5 lbs, the lowest I've been in a year or two. I'm glad to see no change between the days. Losing weight fast isn't good (or so I've been told), and a leveling-off strengthens my opinion that at least some of my lost weight is water.

Stacey is feeling pretty normal again and is down 3-4 pounds, though she dropped almost another pound today. She says she's going to start eating cereal again if her weight gets to low. I don't think it's going to keep dropping, at least so fast. If it takes another month, and she still feels good, then all should be well.

I'm looking forward to today's swim, even though it's not too tough looking. I feel like I haven't worked hard in a long, long time. My memory is short, though, because TTT was just two weeks ago. I desire regular confidence boosters, and two weeks feels like ancient history.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Almost healthy

First off, I didn't have to blow my nose too much today, and the sore throat is all but gone. I think tomorrow I will be back to 100%.

The 30 minute morning run went well. It was nice to get outside, as usual, and I felt fine.

In the evening, I skipped the FTP test, instead opting for 1:30 at a moderate effort. I started the ride with the readiness ramp-up test to get an estimate of how my body is doing, and the results were...

3 minutes at 136 bpm, 217 W, 86 rpm
3 minutes at 150 bpm, 251 W, 83 rpm

Last test (May 2nd):
First 3 min. effort: 136 bpm, 217 W, 86 rpm
Second 3 min. effort: 151 bpm, 255 W, 84 rpm

The test seems to indicate I'm basically healthy.

After that I cruised (well, cruised on the trainer) at 138 bpm and 207 W for 1:10 before doing some single leg drills and a cool down. I felt pretty good, though I'm really starting to get sick of the trainer, at least for unstructured efforts. Having good weather doesn't help.

Also, the diet modifications are going well. Stacey and I are on day 3 of full paleo, and we haven't had to modify it much because the workouts haven't been too tough yet. We made some home-made beef jerky to snack on, but I don't get the fully satiated feeling that I occasionally crave, or at least the feeling goes away quickly after meals. I'm often not hungry, but not full, and notice a desire for food if I'm not preoccupied doing something else. Stacey seems to notice a more drastic difference in feeling than I do. She felt tired on her run this morning and has been getting the no-blood-in-the-head feeling, to use the medical term, when standing up too quick. She probably ate a bit worse than I did, but not too bad.

Anyhow, my morning weight was 161 lbs, if I recall correctly. That's my lowest in quite sometime. Stacey is down a few pounds, too. My suspicion is that the lost weight is water (less glycogen storage = 2.5 that amount in water loss, I believe). If my weight continues to fall, that is probably not the case.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I'm still a bit sick. My nose has started running and I've got some pressure in the ol' noggin. Still, I don't feel too bad.

The goal for the swim was fifty 50m's on 50 seconds with paddles. I did the first one in about 40 seconds, then dropped to 44 seconds, then held 45-46 sec. for a few. After six or seven reps, I took an extra 10 sec rest. My time dropped again to the low 40s, then quickly went up. After 12 reps I took a minute rest because I was coming in around 48 sec.

I did another 12 reps with pretty much the same pattern of times as the first 12. After those 24 reps, I took a second minute of rest. Starting back up, my time only dropped to around 44 sec., then quickly went up to 48 or so. After almost 30 reps, I bagged it. Instead of finishing the set, I did a handful of 150m's pulling until the hour was up.

Being sick is frusterating and I want to ensure I'm healthy for the race this weekend. I decided to err on the side of taking it too easy instead of killing myself to do the last ~20 reps. Depending on how I feel tomorrow, I may do the scheduled FTP test or ride easy for the same amount of time.


Swim + easy ride

The swim included 8 x 125 pulling (25 of the 125 backstroke) and 8 x 50m on 50 sec. My times for the 50m's sucked - 44 sec., 46 sec., then 48 sec. for the rest. We'll see how today's swim (fifty 50m's on 50 sec., I believe) goes. I'm a bit sick, with an intermittent runny nose and barely noticeable sore throat. Still, maybe that effects the energy level.

The ride was very easy, kept the HR around 120...just zoned out and watched a few Episodes of Lost (still on season 1). What's in the hatch?

Also, I'm going to try to weigh myself each morning just to see if my improved diet is effecting my weight. Today was 163 lbs. I don't have that much fat that needs to come off, but I've got some unnecessary upper body muscle that has been hanging around since I quit lifting weights three or four years ago.