Wednesday, April 30, 2008

relapse

Started ok, then got slow, really fast. Gave up after 500 m. Into the dive tank for 20 minutes doing core and stretching. It was nice that one of the guys I see regular came over to ask if I was ok. He normally can't keep up. Gonna take a break for a day or two and recharge my batteries.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

run and bike day

IGP™ was 45-50 min 10/2. Did 4 sets, going a little less than 6K, nice and easy. Heartrate firmly under control. Back to the house at 5:20 for a nice bit of stretch and shower.

First outdoor ride with the spin class. By the numbers it was in the ballpark for me. Average speed just over 25Kph, and a little over an hour of riding. Heart rate a little high, but not grossly so. But emotionally, it wasn't a good ride. I pulled my bike out of the car, and the back tire was flat. So I screwed up something, probably pinched the tube when I changed to the road tire last night. Pumped it up again, but it was slowly going flat again. I was worried about it suddenly going flat on me, and of course at the worst possible moment. That does wonders for your concentration. It ended up ok, and I'll deal with it tomorrow. I was tired, and not focused on the ride. I could tell I was pounding the pedals up and down, and the more I tried to spin the worse it got. In the end, I packed it in early. They're probably still out there.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Swim back to normal

At first I thought it was a busy day at FOMC, but I soon realized I was sharing a lane with one other person, and she swims just about the speed I do. The annoying guy in baggy shorts that spends half the swim in the way at the end of the pool, and the other half in the way in the lane was in another lane. So life was good.

And what IS it with baggy long shorts?! Seemed like every guy in the pool but me and one other was wearing them. Don't they know how gross they look? None of them swim fast enough to notice the parachute effect, but one jumping into the pool looked like he was perilously close to exposing the junk, or at least that's how I interpret the crouch and hands to crotch.

For a couple laps I was wondering how it was going to turn out, but my shark buddy was hanging around watching. I figured there had to be a reason. I was still a bit clunky, but after about the 500 or 600 m point I'd got back into the groove. From there till the end of the swim I communed with my inner shark, enjoying the feel of going through the water at a reasonable pace again. Reasonable for me, of course, for J or K it would be unbearably slow, but THEIR inner sharks haven't come to visit me. I have to admit, my inner shark never claimed to be a speed champ. He's more about attitude, being smooth and easy, relaxed and laid back, yet simultaneously alert and hopeful about prey.

1500 m 29:22. That's still a bit off what I think of a normal pace for me, but given where I"ve been the last week or so, I'm happy.

Lots of people seem to have had a great race on Sat. Congrats to them! Maybe next year I'll be up for it. My buddy Graham (whom Susi and Sean know) is in the Police Pipe Band, and I wonder if he was there piping people up the hill. Susi, did any of the pipers wave their tassles at you?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Strong Sunday Spin

All during the crappy weather I wanted to be riding outside. And then when a pretty nice day comes along, I had a really strong urge for a disciplined workout in the basement. Plus other things going on made an outside ride a bit of a difficult thing. However, I was rewarded with an excellent spin session! It's much the same as last Sunday. (oh, and my massage therapist just came in, and said it had been really windy where I was planning to ride so maybe it's all just as well.)

10 min warmup
10 min one leg drill, with a 30 second acceleration
16 x 7 upper zone 2, 3 lower zone 2, alternating between high and low rpm
2:30 transition
24 min run
6 min strong walk to cool down and relax the legs
3:30 total, plus another 10 or 15 min stretching legs, plus another hour or so massage.

I'm pretty sure the top of zone two has shifted up about half a dozen bpm since I started formal training. This ride I pushed much harder to be for sure at the top of zone 2, and sometimes into the bottom of zone 3. For the low rpm sets, I was in the hardest 3 gears, and stood up for a good chunk of the 7 min set, standing longer as the ride continued. For the high rpm sets, I was trying to maintain a minimum of 95 rpm, and aiming for 100, and most of this was in the second or third easiest gears.

I felt strong and steady throughout the ride. My calves didn't bug me at all. Perhaps that's because I made a real effort to stay hydrated, drinking more than I normally do, and making up a batch of my energy drink. I was much better at staying focused on maintaining a particular rpm and keeping heart rate up. Plus the rocking tunes on the ipod!

The run went pretty good. I could feel my calves a little bit, not complaining, but beginning to compose a note of complaint. I slugged down the last of the energy drink during the run. My lets were doing what they told me was a typical pace for me, and they weren't far off once I looked at the stopwatch, but my heartbeat was way higher for that pace, another 10 bpm or so. I guess that's a consequence of running off the bike. I slowed down a little bit at the end of the first K, and got my heart rate down to about 127, but it was soon up again. During the 24 minute run I probably went a little under 3K.

Now that's it's a little after the workout, I can feel my legs being tired, and also core muscles. I could feel how much I was working them during the spin session to stay smooth. For some short bursts, I was up to 115 rpm or so just to give my legs a break and see if I could stay smooth.

Here's some numbers for IG:
Overall average hr 115
peak 137
min 67
total calories 2797 (so I have no shame about the banana smeared with peanut butter and nutella)
average hr during bike segment 114
average hr during transition 100
First K 8 m, average hr 127
Second K 7:27 average hr 130
last run segment, perhaps .75 K, 6 min, average heart rate 130
walk segment, 6 min, average hr 112.

Weekly total
Swim 1.25 hr, (not counting the Wed debacle)
Bike 5.8 hr
Run 2.75 hr
Total 9.8 (and if I'd known I'd be 12 minutes short of 10 hours, I'd have put the time in somewhere. Too late. Sigh.)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sat swim semi-ugg

I slept in today till 6:30. The Fast Pool had a crowd of people in the lobby waiting to get in, and Alex from spin class was there. We chatted a bit, then later shared a lane.

1K working hard to do it in 20 minutes
5 x 50 m, on 1:15, times ranging from 45 to 53 seconds.
500 m in 10 min.

They made that pool longer. It isn't just me. Alex says so too, and so did a couple of other people. I was breathing much harder for those times at those distances than I usually do. The first K was hard and I wasn't in the groove. My inner shark was puzzled. The intervals weren't much better. My inner shark started frowning, wondering what I've been up to lately. The last 500 had my inner shark frowning a little less, since I was swimming much smoother. But I could tell I was tired and a bit slow. The dive tank was full of floaties, with no room for me. boo.

Plus the idiot in the next lane, (not Alex) was doing this weird half breast, half freestyle stroke that took up a lane and a half. He hit me several times with various limbs, once almost in the face. My inner shark and I were in agreement. If he put that hand in my face again I was gonna bite hard then roll and twist. ARGH! As you might imagine, my inner shark hung around with an air of hopeful anticipation. I was going to talk to him (the guy, not my inner shark) about it, but decided I wasn't likely to see him again.

The scale of truth (and you thought I'd forgotten) has an interesting story. My number last week was 231. I step on this week, and slide the scale to 230. pointer down, 229, 228, 227, 226 when the pointer finally comes up. Holy crap! Then Alex on the treadmill says that I'm probably lighter than the scale, since someone has been screwing with it lately. So I put 80 pounds of weights on it, and the scale says they weigh 76 or so. hmmm. Weigh myself again. I guess today's "official" number is 230.

Not sure what it is with my calves. No matter if I'm swimming, biking or running, they seem to be the part that complains first. It might be a dehydration thing, since I'm trying to think about how much fluid I'm taking in near workouts. I really don't like the sloshing feeling if I've had too much. I'm not big on carrying a water bottle either, but maybe I just have to work out how to do it.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Fri schedule change

This has been a week for dragging my ass. Every week I think it can't get busier at work, then it does. The Tues spin class ran me down more than I realized. Thursday morning I looked out the window in the morning, saw more snow, saw how the wet last night was frozen in places, and thought about how my legs felt. Then I went back to bed till the regular 5:15 wakeup time. Thursday night I was at work at 7pm, with only a light lunch. I knew I didn't have the gas to spin, and I knew once I ate there was no way I was doing anything but go to bed. So I arbitrarily declared that my rest day this week was Thursday, and I'd push everything back a day.

My "Thursday" morning happened today. Since I don't drop Linda off at work on Fridays, I could run from home. I've ridden up 37th street path many times, but I've never run it. Somehow it seems flatter when running, but I'm not sure why.

6 x 12/1 for 76 minutes, almost exactly 9 Km, with a couple minutes of walking before and after. It turns out to be just under 5 K to get to the Glenmore path, and I didn't quite get to the turnoff. The first 43 minutes of the run was great! I had a nice even pace and felt strong with my heart rate nice and steady at the top of zone 2. The wind heading downhill to the reservoir was pretty brisk.

Then my left calf started getting twingy and crampish. I fiddled with my stride a bit, and stretched and rubbed it during the walk minute at 52. The rest of the run back was a bit of an ordeal. Both calves were complaining pretty hard by the time I got home. My stride changed from nice and smooth to something considerably more clumpy by the end.

Still it was a nice morning for a run, and even the last part was pretty much at the pace I'd set before. At 76 minutes I was within 10 steps of where I started timing my run.

The schedule didn't say so, but I figured a nice and easy spin would be just the thing for my legs. But talk about bored! I decided to try it without my ipod, and that hour took the best part of forever! It's easier when you're doing a series of drills, but the steady pedalling gives you nothing to pay attention to but how your butt feels. And the funny noises the bike, the trainer, and your shorts make as they rub against the saddle.

I'm very happy it's Friday. I'll go for what I hope is a nice swim tomorrow morning then settle into a domestic day around the house. Sunday is supposed to be nice, and if it's above 10 C I'm gonna ride outside!! If I get really organized I might head up to South Glenmore park to cheer on my buddies in the Police half marathon. Good luck with that everyone, and hope you have a great run!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

ugg.

Swam too much to call it a rest day, but I'm not going to dignify it by adding it to my workout totals. I didn't feel bad or tired or anything going into the pool, but in less than a length, I knew it wasn't going to be good.

I got through 250 m struggling to do it in 5 minutes. I was nearly out of breath. I could see that trying to continue that was going to be futile so I started some 50 m intervals. I can't see the pace clock, so I powered up and down the pool and looked at my watch. And I didn't believe the results. So I started my stopwatch, and pushed a little harder. Can you believe 49 seconds for what was a nearly all out effort????? I actually checked my pants to see if someone had fastened a parachute when I wasn't looking. I did a couple more just to see if the first couple were a fluke, and I got slower. It felt like I was swimming through warm yogurt. I did a couple more laps to cool down, then went over to the dive tank for about a half an hour of core and flexibility. Even that was tough going compared to Monday.

So I don't know what happened. I'm not upset. I guess puzzled more than anything, and more than willing to mark it off as a bad workout day. Even now I don't feel tired or weak. I guess it's one of those things that can be expected to happen from time to time!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Early run, upupupuphill spin

My wife has starting working a somewhat different schedule now, starting at 7am instead of 6:30. What I used to do was drop her off at work then do my workout. Well, now my workouts are getting longer, and I have less time. Even though I don't have to show up at any particular time at work I thought I'd try my run from home, before leaving for work.

I just happened to get up at 4:30, got dressed, and headed out for my run.

4 x 12/2 for 56 minutes, about 6.25 K, with a slow start to warm up.

I didn't wear my heart monitor, so I might not have pushed it as hard as I could have, but I was more concerned about paying attention to my footing than my pace. Most of my neighbours are pretty good about shoveling, but not all. Overall it went pretty well. I was in the groove for a while, but as soon as I thought about it, I feel out of the groove.

Spin this evening was going up a mountain in France, near Grenoble that makes Richter look like a baby. If I remember the numbers it's 15 K long and gains 1.8 K. We did it in 1 hour.

Total ride time of 1:50 or so, with warm up and cooldown. I was sweating a bucket, but my heart rate kept going down. My legs were getting tired so there probably wasn't as much effort. Toward the end my toes were getting cold, and they were cold all the way home, and are only warming up now.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A quiet swim at FOMC

For once, a quiet Monday at the pool, sharing the lane with only one other person.

Feeling lazy today, so only 1500 m in 29:50, then 15 minutes in the dive tank for core and flexibility work. I even watched Julie's link on how to do flip turns and tried a couple of them. No water in nose, but it's not fast or graceful. Still, the wonder of a dancing bear and all.

It's snowing lightly again. yuck. I am so done with snow. The run tomorrow morning probably isn't going to be much fun with the uncertain footing.

Oh, and Susi, both Colleen H and Lori D say hi!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Long Sunday Spin

I was a bit behind on the IGP™ this week, what with shorter rides Wed and Fri. Runs were good, though I didn't do a run off the bike today; too much snow.

10 min warmup
10 min one leg drill
14 x 7 upper zone 2, 3 lower zone 2, alternating between high and low rpm
20 min with some one leg drill then easy spin to cool down.

3 hr total. 1976 calories. The other numbers from my watch look really weird.


Mostly it went well, though I started getting fidgity on the bike at the 2.5 hour mark. I'd made up a batch of energy drink and that worked out pretty good. I use a touch less sea salt than the recipie calls for.

Some errands and puttering around the house, then a massage in a few minutes!

Weekly totals.
Swim 2.1 hr
Bike 4.75 hr
Run 2.2 hr
Total 9.0

Friday, April 18, 2008

A swim challenge

Today I wanted to do something a little different in the pool. I've had some slow-ish swims lately, and I wanted to pick up the pace a bit, get back into the groove, and have a longer swim. So I did it all at once.

My rules:
- Start at the red bottom of the pace clock, and start stopwatch.
- Swim as far as I can at a steady pace.
- Stop when the pace clock hand gets back down to the bottom again.
- No looking at the stopwatch.

The first K was fine, with about 15 seconds in hand. Then my pace started getting a little bit slower. As the clock hand crept toward the bottom I'd push harder and gain some time. This probably varied between 58 and 62 second 50 m laps. There was some fun to be had passing the girls in the lanes beside me. They swam slightly different speeds of slower, so there was always one to be chased and passed. My inner shark approved.

As things went on I started getting a little sloppier, and I had to pick up my effort significantly to maintain pace. I suspect my kick was getting weaker. My shark buddy tried to help for a while, but said I was a bit out of tune, and he couldn't do much.

The last little while was with just a few seconds in hand. I'd come to the end of the pool, look up, still ahead, and push on for another lap. Finally I was getting close to the end of my rope, and I looked at my watch to see 57:58, meaning I'd done 58 laps, and 100 more meters is 3 K. I said wahoo, and picked it up. I surged past the 2 girls one last time. My shark buddy showed up to cheer me on. Form was good, and I felt strong.

3000 m 59:50

I could have kept going I suppose, but I was getting tired, and things would have fallen apart pretty quick, I suspect. But I have to be pleased. It's been a while since I've swum that far at that pace.

The spin this evening was light and fast. I felt smooth right from the start and warmed up at 85 rpm. Picked it up to 100 fairly quickly, in the easiest gear. This got my heart rate up to upper zone 1 or so.

Then I played with some speed work, 30 seconds at the fastest pace I could maintain for 30 seconds without bouncing, then 90 seconds at 85 or 90 to relax again. That got my heart rate up to the top of zone 2, then back down into zone 1 during the easy part. Mostly the fast spin was +125 rpm, and once was 130 for nearly the entire 30 seconds without any bouncing!

I did 15 reps of that, and had some cool down. I had been thinking of going for an hour, but stopped at 45 minutes. My legs have had a heck of a week, what with the long ride on the weekend, two long runs, and a fairly brisk ride on Wednesday. I did some stretching after. Sunday will be a nice long ride, and we'll see about a run after with all the snow. It's beginning to build up on the sidewalks and streets now.

The number this morning is 231.

10 AM and the snow started!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Great Run!

My run went so well today! The IGP™ was for 60-70 minutes 11/1, so I decided that 5 sets would be good, for a total of 72 minutes. The weather was perfect, and towards the end I was only slightly overdressed. Lots of people on bikes were in shorts.

As you'll see from the map, I started running down the path, past the weir. I sort of thought the path continued past Blackfoot, but ended up crossing and heading back. I hoped the loop would come out about right. When I got to get to the half way point, which was on the south side of the Bow between the weir and railway bridge I didn't want to go back over the bridge at Blackfoot. So I kept going.

Up to the 50 minute mark I felt great! Heart rate was in the low 120's, except for a few strides now and then when I felt like it. At 50 I started getting tired. This was where the zoo road meets Memorial. I knew I didn't have much more to go, but also knew that I wouldn't quite get back to the car on 72 minutes. So I picked up the pace just a little. On my last 11 run, I started near the zoo, well before the turn to the Nose Creek path. I stepped up the pace to about 135 beats per minute, and pushed the legs a bit harder. I didn't quite get back to the car at 72 minutes, but it didn't take another whole minute to get back, so I didn't miss by much. The legs still felt good, and probably could have continued at the low heart rate pace, but I'm glad it wasn't any longer at the fast pace. (At what I think is a fast pace for me!) I did some stretching back the car. Throughout the day my legs have felt great.

I didn't have the semi-mythical runners high, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The best part was when I came around a corner in a little park in Inglewood. An older lady is standing there, and as soon as she sees me, she starts shouting. "Come on boy! You can do it! Come on, push! Get'r done!" I'm a little nonplussed, since I've never seen her before, and she's looking right at me. I take a few more steps, and then see this little dog near some bushes where I couldn't see it at first. Taking a dump. I grinned all the way back to the car.

Here's some numbers.
72 minutes
9.25 K overall
124 Average hr
142 peak hr
91 min hr
1127 calories
overall pace about 7.7 Kph
best pace 9.25 Kph, on the last 11 min run segment


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Lots of learnings today

This morning felt pretty good, but I knew I didn't have much gas in the tank. There's interesting stuff (to me, at least) happening at work, and when I got up in the night I couldn't really go back to sleep.

Still I dragged my tail to the pool. The IGP said an hour, but I didn't think I could swim that long.
2K 40.29. My first K was bang on 20 minutes, swimming a slow steady pace. None the less, I could feel my calves tightening up, and my kick, such as it is, going right to a total shambles. I could actually feel myself slow down, even though I was pushing my arms harder. Learning 1, my kick actually has some value.

Then 20 min core in the dive tank. This is coming along. I'm doing more reps, and I can bend further.

Then a busy day at work, looking outside once in a while hoping it would stay nice enough to ride outdoors. So it did, though just barely. For a while I thought I was over-dressed, then I got into the wind. I swear, I was into a big head wind the entire course. Which was, btw, up the 37 street path, around the reservoir and back again.

25.2 K total trip
1:04 total time
23.7 Kph average speed
79 average cadence
46 Kph max speed
123 average heart rate
144 max heart rate
72 min heart rate
985 calories

It was an exhilarating ride, but not what I'd call a comfortable one, not at that pace. There are a bazillion cougers out on the path, lurking in the most unexpected places. They travel in packs, taking up the pathway and more, waiting to come across some poor helpless prey. They don't move over. I'd never really noticed that some of the corners are actually kind of tight at +30 Kph. You have to really pay attention to the bumps. And idiots and their dogs. Still pisses me off. Estela wants to go faster than the pathway is really built for. Several learnings here.

My long time readers might remember my first trip to MEC to buy fitness clothing, and my comment that large wasn't large enough. Well, now it might be. One thing to keep in mind is that as you lose weight, things fit differently. There are two topics I want to explore here, and the squeemish might as well leave now.

Don't say I didn't warn you. There's a difference in the way tights and bike shorts are constructed. For such a short ride on a cool day, I didn't want to wear just shorts, and neither did I want to wear shorts and tights. So tights alone it was. I used to, umm, let us say, fill out these tights a lot more than I do now. Let us also say I hadn't fully appreciated how much more room there was for potential motion, especially in the seated position. I found I was sitting in a slightly different position, and was shifting around a little getting comfortable, when I hit some tree root bumps in the path. The end result was to bounce most of me, the vast majority of me, back along the saddle. Just a little way. Until a certain portion of anatomy stopped. Hung up, you might say. Fortunately, it ended up ok, but I was a bit more cautious about bumps, and will consider my bike clothing choices a bit more carefully.

Guddled. I've been rolling that word around in the back of my brain for a while. I suspect there will come a time when there are unflattering race photos of me, but at least I can promise this. There will be no white tri-suit. Ever. I promise. There, I knew you'd be grateful.

But that leads me to my second point about things fitting differently. Pants are not just looser, but they fit differently, and some areas become comparatively tighter than they were, and looser. And, well, there's no polite way to say this. The same happens with underwear. It has become looser too. Both sets of looser fabric start interacting in unpredictable ways. And with losing flab and building muscle, a certain pair of muscles are getting more defined. Leaving more room for guddle to occur in. Which has been happening more lately. At inconvenient times. At work at inconvenient times. On the Deerfoot one day, waiting for traffic, I was damn near tempted to get out of the car, do the required adjustments, and carry on. Yes, I suppose I need to go clothes shopping. Again. I hate shopping for clothes. At least I used to know what size to look for, and I don't even know that anymore. I'm not looking forward to it.

Yes, I know, I know. If I've got to have problems, this is a good problem to have. Tell me that when I'm standing in the line up for the ATM on one particular occasion, and see if you can emit your card afterwards.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Weird sort of run

Where to start? How about dragging my tired butt out of bed and finding that my left hip is still creaky? I started wondering if going for a run was all that smart, and if I'd really overdone it on the weekend. But after moving around the house a bit, I could feel things loosening up. The IPG called for 60 min 11/2. I decided that 5 sets was 65 minutes and that was a great goal. I was quite prepared to cut it short if there was actual pain.

I parked at FOMC, then started walking. That hurt a bit, but often when it's been like this in the past it gets better. Then I started running, really slow. Almost painfully slow, so after a couple minutes I picked the pace a bit. Oddly enough, running felt easier than walking, and didn't hurt as much. Soon I was running at about my regular pace, maybe a little bit slower. Going down the hill was easier than usual. I turned right to head toward the Bow River, and chugged along. I barely passed a girl walking fast with big strides. Things began to feel about normal. Lungs were good, heart rate was low.

Turned left at the river and started thinking about my turnaround time. It was supposed to be 32:30, but I was beginning to feel tired, and wasn't sure how long it would take to get back. I turned around at 31 minutes, just before the weir, and headed back. Into the wind. Uphill. Getting tired. Actually getting sore.

Then it got interesting. My buddy the inner shark came to visit for the first time ever running. He was interested in the whole process, and started giving advice on being smoother. Straighten up. Look ahead, not down. Keep those things you call legs moving evenly. Don't think about each step, let them do their thing. Don't look at your watch for a while, you've got a long way to go, and you're dialed into 120 bpm. Arms straight forward and back. Lean forward just a little. Keep your steps small. Just think about cruising along, relax, and the prey will come.

That got me through the turnaround, up the hill, and well into my last set. After that it was a matter of convincing my legs to keep going for just a few minutes more. And they did. I made it back to the car just after 63 minutes, and walked around the parking lot a little, then used the gym to stretch out for a few minutes.

I have to say I was a bit dubious about it, but it turned into a pretty good run. I didn't feel strong, and aside from sprinting to avoid a car aiming for me, was at a steady pace throughout. While I don't think I could have run much faster, if at all, and I know I couldn't have gone much further, I got it done.

I'm off tonight, swim and bike (hopefully outside) on Wed, run Thurs, swim and bike Friday, then a massage!

65 min total
7.4 Km according to mapmyride (FOMC to almost the weir and back)
40 min in zone 2 by my watch (<120bpm)
116 average heart rate
134 peak heart rate (dodging a car)
89 min heart rate
896 total calories

Monday, April 14, 2008

nice, semi-strong swim

My inner shark is back from vacation. Right from the first length, I felt smooth and fairly strong. I wasn't trying to swim hard or fast, just nice and steady in the groove. Toward the end I started to fade a bit, but I got in a solid 30 min swim. Excuse me, 30:18 for the pedants amoung you. No idea how far for sure since I wasn't watching lap times, but given my early pace it's probably 1500 m. Then another 15 min core and flexibility.

Going into the pool I'd felt a bit creaky, especially my left hip and knee, but it didn't bother me at all during the swim, and after was just fine. It's only toward the end of the afternoon that I started feeling creaky again. I'm going to try to get to bed early tonight, to get rested up for a longish (by my standards) run tomorrow morning.

Total 45 min.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

90K

What a perfect day for a ride! Couldn't ask for nicer, well, except for a constant tail wind. The IGP™ called for 90 to 105 6.5/3.5. Well, I'm sorry IG, but with such a nice day that went out the window. I hope you like what I did instead. Here's the numbers:
90K along the Chinook half course. My turn around was just past the turnoff to Bragg Creek.
3:45 total elapsed time, with first 45 K being 2:06 or so. I had to pee too badly to look at my watch.
24 Kph, Average Speed
78 Kph, Max speed
76 rpm, Average cadence
124 bpm, Average heartrate
146 bpm, Peak heartrate
3531 total calories

After a brief adventure involving house keys I won't go into here, I did a very short, very slow, semi-run. Normally I could walk faster. It was only about 8 minutes, but I figured after the ride my legs had every reason to not want to run.

My thought for the ride was to simply do it, without pushing too hard and no time goals in mind. I wanted to see the Chinook course hills first hand. For whatever reason I wasn't quite up for the The Road to Nepal. Some of them aren't as bad as I thought they'd be, but the last one up on the way out was brutal. It goes on forever, and the wind was right there the whole time. The wind on the way out overall was pretty strong. Coming back, of course it was very nice. Estela was a total champ, coping well with some gravel and a bit of cross wind sometimes.

In prep I'd had a good breakfast of granola with yogurt, nuts, and a banana. I was sure to hydrate while waiting for it to get nice, and getting Estela ready to go. I'd made up an energy drink the night before. Finished the last water bottle just as I got back to the house. After the run I had a banana with peanut butter and nutella, some oatmeal cookies and milk. A little later a small portion of roast pork with corn. Yum!

I got passed twice, and rode along for a while with another guy. On the way back I zoomed past a couple out of their first ride. He was dressed for it and had a nice bike, she was on a hybrid. Still, Estela and I felt very zoomy as we passed them. That's great for the ego, especially in the last hour of the ride. I was beginning to feel tired at the 3 hour mark, but hands and butt felt pretty good.

My legs feel pretty good now. I've done a bit of stretching, and I'll do a bit more. I'm planning to go for a gentle walk with my wife after supper settles down. The muscles at the base of my neck are what are actually the sorest, what with having to crank my head back to see where I'm going. I forgot my glasses lanyard, so they kept sliding down that crucial few mm. The test of how I feel will be for the swim tomorrow.

I am totally pumped about Chinook! I know I can do the swim, and now I know I can do the bike. What's more, I know that I could do the swim, then get on the bike for 90 K. Now comes what I knew all along would be the hard part, the 21 K run. IG has navigated me this far, and I have total confidence he will have me ready to go when the day comes.

Weekly totals
Swim 1.5 hr
Bike 6.35 hr
Run 2.0 hr
Total 9.85

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

My inner shark is on vacation

He sent me a postcard. It says, "wish you were here, buddy." He's at a specialty shark resort. It's got sand bars for them to bask on, with machines pumping oxygenated water past their gills, so they just loll in the sun, working on their tan, scratching themselves on the sand and posts with old studded winter tires mounted on them. Every now and then a protein cube floats by that they can snap up. Buff attractive sharks offer them shark treats. There are many servant species working on their teeth, polishing their fins. They get to hobnob, consort, cavort, and generally hang out with other sharks telling fish stories. They have occasional seminars on prey behaviour, so they can claim the trip on their expense accounts. He's having a good time.

2K 40:02, thrashing and splashing. It might as well have been an open water swim with all the people around me doing big kick drills, butterfly, and breast stroke. I was practically getting seasick on the waves and rolls.

The 233 number a couple weeks ago WASN'T an abberation after all. The 238 last week was. This week is 232.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

ez spin

Easy spin tonight, the idea is to be high cadence, zone 1. All this was in Estela's easiest gear.

10 min warmup
20 min at 100 rmp, heart rate under 100
5 min relax easier spin
10 min at 100 again
5 min relax
5 min at 100
5 min relax cool down
1 hour total.

Average heart rate 90
peak 104, for 6 seconds
min 65
calories 409

I was surprised how easy 100 rpm was, and how steady I could keep my upper body. 100 used to seem impossibly fast. During spin class on Tues I got up to 130 for 20 seconds, no bouncing.

So, nobody has said anything about coming for a ride on Sunday. All of you were distracted by a few snowflakes that are typical spring weather for Calgary. Who's in? Scroll down for the proposed route. I'm thinking a noon-ish departure, but I'm easy on that. This isn't going to be a mad race, just a nice easy ride with buddies, hoping I can keep up.

snowy run

Well, it wasn't snowing when I started. There was brutal snow when we left home, but at FOMC pool there was no snow at all. The roads weren't even wet. The plan called for 60 -65 10/1, so I started, feeling pretty sure I'd get snowed on at some point. No shit Sherlock!

It started snowing going down the hill, and by the time I got past the golf dome I couldn't see out of my glasses anymore. I got just past the electrical substation near 32nd, then back, still snowing like a banshee. By now I'm running in a cm of snow. I got back to the car, and in one hour there is maybe 5 cm on it. Shower and change and we're up to 7 or 8 cm. Drive to work. There's enough snow where I park that it's well up my shin. People coming in later are telling me that when they open their car door, it pushes aside snow. It's almost stopped now. I'd not be surprised if well over a foot of it has fallen. Susi is probably totally choked. Yet it's supposed to rain this afternoon and get up to 7, so it will probably be all gone by rush hour home.

In spite of the snow, and you have know that I believe that each day brings another chance to conquer the unexpected, and that there's no such thing as bad weather just poor clothing choices, I had a good run. I did the plan and went about 7.8 K in the 66 minutes, heart rate mostly zone 2, and ended up back exactly where I started, so my times were quite even. I managed to start and stop one 10 min segment at spots I could find again later on mapmyride, and it was 1.35 K in 10 min, which is 8 Kph, in upper zone 2. That is fabulous for me! I could have kept going for a while yet.

Total time 66 min.
27 min in zone 2, most of probably just out of zone 2.
avg heart rate 119
Peak heart rate 144, climbing the hill again, but I ran it all.
Min 93
Total calories, 948.

It supposed to be really nice in Calgary on the weekend. So I'm planning to do my Sunday ride on the road to Nepal. A nice little 73 K ride. Unless IG objects, of course. See the map below for the route I'm thinking about. Does anyone want to join me? One of my SEI buddies might come along. Let me know via comments, or phone my message machine at 281-9444.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Didn't have to wait long for the other shoe

meowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeow is how my day started, much too early. Amelia isn't normally that vocal. Sigh.

You'll be happy to know I double checked to make sure I was wearing swim gear before leaving the house. Still, I think I must have been wearing a parachute or something. I was still feeling tired going into the pool, so I figured I'd have a nice relaxing swim. I'm glad I knew I was going to be slow, and had made up my mind I didn't care what my time was.

1000 m 20:50
10 min core

I felt like an arthritic geezer. But it was ok since I was trying to stretch out and swim relaxed. At the end my heart rate was lower zone 2. What was interesting was the guy who joined the next lane part way through. At first I thought he was going the other way because all I saw was a trail of bubbles. Then he passed me. At first I thought I should pick it up and chase him, but decided not, and just as well. After my swim I was chatting with the lifeguard, and timed him. 50 m in 42 seconds arms only, steady, no breaks. whoosh.

High hopes for run tomorrow, going to bed early.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

So can I make today my time trial, please?

What a great swim this am!! At first I was disappointed to see 2 people in the fast lane, but then I soon realized they were motoring along. The other guy was swimming just a bit quicker than me. The other girl swims about the same speed but stops periodically.

So I put my game face on and joined in. The other guy was slowly gaining on me, but finished his workout before he caught up. I made some minor changes to my stroke, but mainly I was determined not to get passed. The first 100 m was 97 seconds without trying. At the 500 m mark in just over 9 minutes, I realized I had a really good thing going, and dug deep to keep it up. I think I faded a bit in laps 12-15 or so, but picked it up again for a strong finish. Oddly enough, I did not channel the shark.

1000 m in 18:38 for a new personal best since I started all this! I felt fast and strong. If I hadn't done a bit of a sprint in the last 50 m, I could have kept going for a little while anyway. Maybe not to a 28 min 1500, but who knows? This on the very next swim after a 19 minute K just about popped my lungs and I felt slow.

Bring on spin class!

On second thought, let's not. I felt blah getting on the bike, and felt pain throughout. Back in 2 spots, butt in all the spots, legs all over, arms, ect. Yuck. To be honest, I essentially dogged it the entire workout. I was on the bike for 1.6 hrs, but I don't know if I'm going to count it toward the weekly total.

Monday, April 7, 2008

So there I was, when suddenly

I realized I was standing in the lockeroom in my underwear. That part is ok, but I realized I was about to pick up my towel, walk through the shower, and go for my swim. Normally, you see, I put my swim suit on, so I have less changing to do when I get to the pool. You all know that trick. Well, it only works if you actually put your swim suit on. So I showered and went to work. No morning swim. boooo.

But all is not lost. I moved up tomorrow morning's run to tonight. The IGP™ says 45-50 10/2. I walked for a couple of minutes then started a slow run, and gradually picked it up. At first I had trouble running fast enough to get to the top of zone 2. Then I had a bit of trouble finding the right pace, but I settled in after a while. Zone 2 went out the window climbing the hill out of Fish Creek Park, but then, it goes out of zone 2 when I'm walking up that hill. I was tempted to do 5 sets, but I stuck to the plan.

4 x 10/2, which got me to the area marked transition at about 5.5 K, then walked another 15 minutes to get home. My run walk pace was just a hair over 7 Kph. Avg heart rate 119, peak 136, min 91, calories 689. My right calf was a bit tight and I stopped briefly to stretch it about half way through.

Here's the map. My run is counter clockwise on this map.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Gradually good sunday spin

I mused about riding outside. It's almost nice enough, but decided not so I could stay focused on the zone and cadence. This is the same workout as last Sunday. Just as well; it's snowing now. (Sorry Susi.)

10 min warmup
10 min 1 leg drill (30 sec R, 30 sec both, 30 sec L, 30 sec both, repeat 5 times.)
10 x 6.3/3.5 min upper and lower zone 2. Five sets hill climbing, 5 spin at +90 rpm. Just to mix things up did the first part of the hill sets standing up, and the first part of the fast sets by spinning fast and easy. Both of these went till my heart hit the top of zone 2, then I settled in for the rest of the workout.

The first hour sucked. I wasn't comfy on the bike, couldn't get dialed into a cadence, was breathing way harder and sweating way more than my heart rate indicated I should be. But then about 55 minute mark, things began to settle down. I could spin faster in the same gear, or push a bigger gear at the same heart rate. About 70 minutes into the workout I was doing good.

In zone 2 for 1:27
Avg heart rate 108
peak heart rate 126 (130 rpm for 20 seconds, very little bouncing!)
Min heart rate 75
total calories 1380. (I adjusted my weight down to 235 in the watch.)

Weekly totals
Swim 2 hr
Bike 4.5 hr
Run 2.6 hr
Total 9.1 hr

Friday, April 4, 2008

swim time trial

1K 19 min and some odd hunderedths.

That was after 250 m warmup, and before a bunch of laps afterward that I didn't count or time. To be honest, I'm somewhat disappointed. It was a solid effort and a pretty good swim overall, but nowhere near a personal best. I wonder if I goofed by doing a warmup, since normally I start timing from the very first lap. And it turns out my first warmup lap was 50 seconds for 50 m, when I was trying to swim slowly, nice and relaxed.

And the number. Sigh. 238. Yes. I thought the scale had been adjusted or something. I'm going to consider it a one week abberation, just like the 233 a couple of weeks ago. That seemed too low at the time, and this seems too high. Maybe my body is playing tricks on me. Must run, course at MRC today and tomorrow, which will make for a short weekend.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

slow'n steady run

Did I feel like running this morning? Actually, yes, I did. I'd tried a home made energy drink from a recipie I found in Impact magazine during my bike last Sunday, and it appear to work well. It tastes way better than Perpetuem. I wanted to try the same thing during a run and see what happened. Since the IGP™ called for 60 10/1, I thought today was a good time to start.

I parked in my normal place under 8th ave. Oh, and btw, the road from the zoo to this parking lot SUCKS SLOUGH WATER! Its not just potholed, it's mega-stockpot holed. I was driving at very very slowly and I was worried about bottoming out. They can't just fix the holes, I think they have to dig the whole road out and start over. I digress.

This time I ran south toward the zoo, and along Memorial almost to the 4th Ave flyover in 33 minutes, then back in 32. I checked on mapyourride, and it turns out to be 7.5 KM. My run quickly settled into a groove. Almost every time I checked my watch it said 121 or 123 bpm. The actual average for the hour was 120 bpm, with a peak of 133, and total calories of 1000.

I really enjoyed going past the zoo where Nose Creek joins the Bow. There's a zillion geese there, all arranging the day's plans and squabbling over breakfast. And of course, there's no traffic so it's quiet. As you get closer to downtown, it gets louder, and there are some odd sights. For instance, somebody has laced a pair of boots together and thrown them up in a tree. There's actually two pairs, one pair of boots, and one of sneakers. There has to be a sad story there somewhere, and I'll never know it.

The run felt great. I got back to the car at 65 min and walked around for another minute to bring the timing nice and even, then did some stretches. I'm pretty sure that if I'd had more to drink, and maybe a snack, I could have done it again. But I didn't and went off to shower and work.

Work was one of the most exciting mornings I've had trying to deal with 3 things mostly at once, that I could easily have devoted all my time to any one of them. Oh well, it was past noon before I realized. After work, I met my friend SD, who I used to work with at the same place as Susi. I eagerly sucked back a large beer and we had a very nice chat about things fitness, database, and other. Oh, and he says "hi Susi!"

I have to admit I wasn't so eager for the spin session tonight, and was seriously thinking of postponing it till Friday. I'd asked IG what "ez spin recovery and cadence focus" meant. Once I read the reply, I was in. How can I turn down a zone 1 easy pedal at 85 to 95 rpm? This was to help my legs recover, and I have to admit they felt better after the spin. It was actually a little tricky trying to maintain 90 rpm and keeping heart rate under 100. I could do it as long as I didn't get excited thinking about the swim tomorrow, or racing, or move around on the bike too much.

Oh yes, and I tried planking, but I don't want to talk about the results. Perhaps I drank too much before, but I was beginning to gurgle at the 45 second point of front plank and thought it best to bail out.

So 66 min run
45 min spin

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Wed swim

I had a lane to myself at FOMC today. Astonishing. At least it started out that way, then I got other people joining in. But they either kept up or got out of the way, which is nice. I wasn't trying to swim hard, or swim easy, just going at the pace that felt comfortable. As I was walking out to the car, into a beautiful sunny day, I realized I'd had a nice solid workout, and for a few steps, felt like going for a run. But that passed quickly.

2K 39:12.

The first 500 m was sluggish. When the others joined in I picked up the pace a bit. The first K was 19:20 or so, and 1.5K was 29:02. For a while I was on track for a sub 39 2K, but really slowed down in the last 500 m or so. I ended up thinking about my 1000 m time trial on Friday, and planning how to approach that, how much warm up to do, how fierce a lane Nazi to recruit to keep the riff raff out of my lane, wondering if I could get K or J here to swim in the next lane at a nice easy (for them) 18:30 pace, ect. So instead of channeling the shark, I got the frigging gerbil. That better not happen on Friday is all I can say!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The build begins

Last night IG encouraged me to run today, if I felt up to it. I wasn't so sure about it, and almost hoped there'd be major snow this morning, so I'd have an excuse not to run. No snow. So I ran.

Parked at FOMC and ran through the neighbourhood, down the hill, north along the path just past the golf dome, and back again. I was a bit tired at first, but settled into a nice easy pace. Kept the heart rate upper zone 2 throughout, and it peaked at only 134 chugging up the hill.

A very nice morning for a run, though just coming back to the pool was a bit cold with the wind. Tried to think about the running tips IG passed along, but didn't want to get too carried away. There's a time trial at the spin session tonight.

50 min 9/1 plus about 10 minutes stretching in the gym after. Looking it up later I figure it was about 6K. Nowhere near my fastest run, but that wasn't the point today.

And now, the spin session. K and I were the first ones on our bikes. I was almost too warmed up, if that's a concept. I was ready to go on the main set long before we got there. We did some one leg drill, though it was short enough I could keep up and finish the sets. Then into time trial. 20 minutes. I had trouble dialing into 90 rpm. I sort of varied between 88 or 93. With about 6 minutes left to go I changed into one harder gear and drove my heart rate into the mid 120's, and had to push my legs to finish.

A short session overall, 1.5 hrs this evening. I'll read some other blogs, slowly settle down and with any luck I'll get a good nights sleep.

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