Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Last real workout before Canmore Oly

Strong bike ride this evening. IG wanted a tempo ride tonight. Only 3 intervals, 4 minutes ez between. Did a 20 min warmup, then my intervals, then a cool down, then lots and lots of stretching.

131 avg heart rate first interval
136 avg heart rate second
139 avg heart rate third

I felt a bit tired at the beginning, and took it easy for the warm up, trying to keep cadence up, but effort light. Once I got started on the intervals my legs felt strong, and the whole ride felt fast. The "cooldown" was actually still pretty brisk, since the sun had gone behind clouds. I went about 37 Km in 80 minutes out 22X and back. Average cadance was 86.

The hard part about this ride was the bugs! Ick! I had to brush myself off when I got home. At one point I'd thought it had started to rain, but no, just a cloud of bugs. Saw lots of other people out for a ride.

Monday, July 28, 2008

was more tired than I thought this am

My routine was totally normal today, right up to the point of opening the driver's side passenger door at FOMC pool to get my gym bag. And only then realizing that it isn't there, it's at home.

So here I am, no socks in unlaced shoes, jeans with swim suit underneath, a work shirt, two days worth of unshaven face, and my typical mad scientist hair on end look. Certainly NOT suitable for the office. No choices there, back into the car, home, quickie shower, and back to work. I was even on time since traffic was astonishingly light.

I'm not really sure how the swim would have gone today, but I regret missing it. I was just getting back into the workout groove, and had looked forward to working my shoulders a bit. They're a little stiff from the ride yesterday. Yoga tonight, which is likely to be tough sledding. Will try for a swim tomorrow.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

tired legs pushed hard

Once again a poor nights sleep. I'm not sure why. Certainly the beer has nothing to do with it. I actually went and slept in the other bedroom to spare Linda my acrobatic tosses and turns and thrashes and spasms and all the other stuff she says I do when I can't sleep. Still, I was up early to get ready for my ride.

It looked like another beautiful day and I was ready for another run at the Okotoks ride. Then I looked at the IGP™ and realized I only had to go 3 hrs max. I knew I'd never get there and back. So I decided to go 1.5 hr, then turn around. Within a couple minutes, that turned out to be the T end of highway 549 where you turn right to go to Okotoks.

First things first. It was cool as I was getting ready, so I put my arm warmers on. I haven't had a chance to wear them yet. I was putting the last things on Estela and getting ready to lock the door when I realized I was really warm. Sure, I was standing out of the wind and in the sun. So I walked out on to the drive way, to find the light cool breeze had warmed up. So off with the arm warmers, and on with the sunscreen.

As usual 20 minutes to the intersection of 37 st and 22X. I never really push this much and consider it a warm up. Then onto the good pavement. I didn't see any wildlife today, aside from a few ground squirrels. Last week it was all sorts of 4 legged critters going kaboink across the road. I got down to the end of the road at 1:12, which is lots faster than the last time (1:30). I turned left and began hoping none of my fillings were loose. Wow, is the pavement coarse! You can feel the difference in the pedaling. Made it to the T, and turned around. About then I finished my one energy drink, and decided to try swapping bottles from my behind the seat mount. Empty into jersey pocket. Full from behind seat to cage, empty from pocket to behind seat. No fuss, no muss.

For those keeping count, this means I can carry 4 bottles on my bike. The purists will decry the extra weight. The racers will say drinking that much means you need to stop and pee more often. Well, maybe they don't stop, but I would. I do not want to have to explain to anyone how I came to crash because I was trying to get tucked in again. And besides, I figure that carrying, or not carrying an extra kilo of water isn't going to make a difference to my time, and I might really want that water one ride.

Got back to the nice pavement again 50 minutes after leaving it. 20 minutes to the T, and 30 back. Saw a few cyclists on the road to Nepal, and two of them passed me right near the end. 60 minutes back up the road to home, as opposed to 1:10 last time I timed it. Of that, not quite 20 minutes back to the house.

I pushed fairly hard throughout, though my average speed doesn't really reflect that. My legs were tired, and I didn't think I was cycling particularly efficiently. There has been improvement though. These hills don't seem near so big now. When I got back I took Estela downstairs, popped on the new running shoes, and headed out for my run. Ugg, is what my legs had to say about that. I felt like I was back on the Chinook half course again. It was hot, and even though I was running slowly, my heart rate was way up. I walked a few times to bring it back down again.

As always for my faithful fans, here's some numbers.
68.75 K trip distance
3:03:39 trip time
22.5 KpH average speed
70 Average Cadence
84.5 Max speed

125 Average heart rate through bike and run
149 peak heart rate, almost certainly during the run, I didn't push THAT hard on the bike.
3300 calories
3:07 Transition
23:29 run time for 3 Km. I'm astonished it's that quick, it felt much slower. After about the 2K mark it started getting better.
128 Average heart rate during run, but lots of it was mid 130's.

Total time bike and run, 3:30. Walked a bit to cool down, which is a bit of a joke give the temperature outside then. Came in and stretched, showered, stretched, did some yoga (my total fave pose, and I think you can all guess which one that is!) then Linda massaged me a bit. Yumm!

I'm feeling a bit lethargic after the workout and suspect I pushed things about as far as they could go. Although I'm pleased with how it went, I didn't feel strong today. At almost any time I could have pulled off and gone for a nice nap. I'm tempted to do that now. It was a great day for a ride, with only a few moments of outright hot. The run was hot, and now it's looking pretty ominous and there's some thunder.

Total Weekly Time
Swim 1.0 hr
Bike 5.5 hr
Run 2.0 hr
Total 8.5 hr

Friday, July 25, 2008

flip (gurgle, snort, gasp, BONK!) turns

Updated with run.

Swim was shite this morning. I didn't sleep well last night, and wasn't really thrilled about the idea of getting up and working out. Did it anyway. That will teach me to listen to my body better.

When I got into the pool it felt like space aliens had sucked my brain and I couldn't remember how to deal with this wet stuff. Stroke was choppy and gross. And then my new goggles started leaking. I've always had a tough time sealing them, and once sealed I'm afraid to touch them till I'm done. Today I could not get them to seal! So they're going into the lost and found and I'll get another pair.

I did a few lengths, stopping to adjust goggles, hoping it would get better. Not! I struggled along for about 10 minutes. Slow. Breathing hard. Really hard. It's like I couldn't catch my breath. Plus, all sorts of things are hurting. Fingers, elbow, one knee for crying out loud, and my eyes figured it was battery acid slipping into the goggles. I haven't felt that way in a pool for a long time. I eventually gave up.

I had thought about doing some intervals, but then figured doing them when feeling this way was counter productive. Then I remembered a utube video about doing tumble turns, and decided to try. The first few actually weren't too bad. Then, more shite. I'd get over, then end upside down with my feet flailing around looking for the wall.

Then I got into a cycle where I'd get half way rolled over, basically with my head down, then my rotation would stop. And of course, since I'm head down, and my body is essentially vertical, I'd slide further underwater. What convinced me to give up for the day was actually banging my head on the bottom of the pool, in the deep end. 1.1 m of water, I believe. I'm flailing around trying to complete the movement, and BONK! At least there was no blood; I'd feel really bad if they would have had to clear the pool. I didn't think I was that deep. Good thing it was the deep end is all I can say. This is without mentioning the gasping, snorting, gurgling, and sinus backflushing that you all know about.

I wasn't quite ready to give up entirely, so I went into the dive tank for some core work. It was sure easy to tell it's been a while. oof. Struggled through, then I don't know how I did it, but I hit my funny bone on the lip of the pool while turning around. Enough was enough. I got out, hit the hot tub a bit, then onward to the rest of my day.

It's uncanny. IG seems to know just how much my legs will take, and builds the IGP™ around it. Tonight, for instance, he called for R 40-50, 15/1. I figured that three sets would be just perfect, and would get me most of the way around the loop down into Fish Creek. It was a beautiful evening for a run, sunny and warm, but not hot, with a nice breeze.

I did some light stretching, then walked a few minutes. My breathing was a bit heavy at first, but heart rate was low. Settled into a nice pace fairly quickly, though I still felt a little bit heavy and choppy. Heart rate generally settled into the mid 120's, at least until the climb out of Fish Creek. That peaked at 146, settled back to about 130 or so for the last 7 minutes, and with an overall average of 126. As planned, did three sets, and in the 47 minutes I went 7.9 Km. This was generally at a nice easy relaxed pace, trying to be steady, but not going hard.

At the end I was getting ready to stop. I could maybe have done one more set, but was happy enough to walk another 10 minutes home, with more stretching after. I was thinking about heart rates during the run. Just before the run I was sitting quietly, and noted my heart rate was 47 bpm. Last year, I could easily drive my heart rate into the 150's. For a very short while. The hill out of North Glenmore would do it. Now, it seems to top out mid 140's for even quite hard exertion. I'm not sure how hard I'd have to push myself to get into the 150's, but that's high end zone four for me, and not a place I want to visit often. Still, a minute of 140 bpm would just about knacker me, now I can stay there quite a while. That's called improvement, I guess.

I'm not going to count the swim this morning, and the run is .75 hr.

Shark Week!

Check it out!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hill repeats repeats repeats

I sure loved sleeping in this morning, and not having to fit in a workout before going to work. Makes it easy to get to work before 7am. Picked up Linda on the way home, Co-op for more fruit (man am I ever going through fruit now!) and got ready for ride.

I drove out to the bottom of Road to Nepal, then checked out what I thought was a big hill on the road to Okotoks. It's not so big as I thought. Then I doubled back, and headed south again. It turns out to be almost exactly 183 Km from my house to oh, say, Blairmore, going down Road to Nepal, down this road that comes out near Black Diamond. Only problem is that its a ford, and I'm not taking my car or Estela through it. Going via 22X and 22 adds about 20 Km.

Came back and parked near the bottom of the first hill heading north. This hill turns out to be exactly 1000 m long. It starts off easy, then gradually gets steeper and steeper, then it eases off, but you're only half way. It isn't as steep as the hill the other night, I don't think. I didn't even hit 80 K on the way down. booo.

I was up the hill 6 times before my legs told me they were tired of this game. I probably could have done a couple more, but not as hard, and I don't want to risk pulling anything in my calves. What with a bit of warm up and cool down it was 60 min. Here's the times and average heart rate up the hill. Peak was past 140 on each climb.
1 - 5:13, 132 (I think this was just a bit short of 1 K, there's no obvious marker at the top.
2 - 6:02, 130
3 - 6:05, 129
4 - 5:39, 134 (pushed really hard, stood up a bit)
5 - 5:43, 134 (pushed hard)
6 - 6:12, 132

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

At last! I found my running legs.

It turns out I accidently packed them away when I was getting ready for the Chinook half. I had to do without them that day, and I think they've been sulking ever since. I found them yesterday, dusted them off, gave them a bit of lube, and promised them a run this morning. They were quite anticipatory about it.

I was up a little (only a little) after 4am. Dressed, stretched a bit while nibbling Cliffs bar remnants and energy drink. Reviewed the IGP™ again, trying to remember the complicated instructions. Normally I run some, and walk a bit, and have lost track of that. Now IG has thrown in some hard as well. That's three things to keep track of. That's really hard at 4:20 in the morning. Still dark. Cool, humid, but no rain. Remembered my reflective vest, but forgot my cap.

The plan: R 40-45, 2 min EZ, 1 min hard, and 1 min walk. I seriously considered writing it on my hand, but with lots of effort didn't lose track. Warmed up some more with a brisk walk, then started my normal 5 K loop. Legs felt good running for the first time since before the Half. I was back to my normal pace, or even a little faster than that for the first K. For most of you reading this, that pace would be glacially slow, but I'm still new at this.

Here's the approximate times for the kiloposts:
1 - 6 min almost exactly. I'd love to run at this pace all the time.
2 - ~13 min mark
3 - 20 min almost exactly
4 - ~27 but I'm not really sure
5 - 34 min or so

Actually, now that I think about it, that's pretty good time for me. Walked another 5 minutes as cooldown after the last cycle. If I've done the math right, that's 9 repeats. Stretched about 10 minutes after, then a nice shower. My legs feel a bit tired, especially the left, but aren't aching and sore like they have been. I still can't touch my toes again, but I'm slowly getting closer.

I think I can finally say I'm fully recovered from the Half. Only took a month. But when I consider that if I'd tried this last year I'm sure it would have killed me, and it doesn't seem so bad. I sure hope that recovery after the Alberta Challenge Half doesn't take as long.

That's three really good workouts in a row!! Yahoo! Let's call this .75 hr.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tempo ride

I slithered out of work early today. Maybe being there at 6:45 and only taking a half hour for lunch has something to do with it. The intent was to get a tempo workout done before it started raining.

Got home, nibbled some Cliff bar bits, and got ready for the ride, and was on the road shortly after 5.
20 min, warmup down 37 st to 22X
4 x 10 min tempo then 5 min ez, head out and back along 22X
10 min cool down

What does tempo mean? I couldn't remember what it meant last time. So I interpreted this as meaning "pedal pretty darn hard, certainly faster than my usual pace." I wanted to keep cadence up and heart rate up in high 130's during tempo sections.

I made it out to just past where 22 South turns left, to the top of the hill where it turns into a 2 lane highway in almost exactly 45 minutes, and was back home at 92 minutes. Considering there was a bit of a headwind on the way back, and my legs were starting to get tired, that's pretty good. There and back was almost exactly 40 Km, for just a hair over 26 Kph average speed. Average cadence 84 rpm. That's a bit better than my usual pace on that road. And I didn't get rained on!

Total 90 min, plus some stretching after, and more stretching before bed.

Monday, July 21, 2008

First 1 hr swim in a long time

After feeling kind of down yesterday, I was in the mood for a nice long relaxing swim. There was hardly anyone in the pool, and my usual lane had only one other guy in it, and he's great to share a lane with. I started off by swimming most of the first length under water with a strong kick, then surfaced with an unusually smooth sharky stroke and breath. That got me in the groove. The water was a bit warm, and the pool seemed shorter than normal.

About two laps in I finally figured out why the inside of my right elbow has been hurting when I'm swimming. We all normally swim anti-clockwise laps, so it's very natural to grab the wall with my right hand for the turn. What I normally do is grab the lip with the tips of my fingers, and pull down and in. That helps me tuck my feet and and turn. Well, the other end of that muscle anchors to the inside of the elbow bone, and it's been giving me hell lately. So I was changing how I grab the ends, which means my turns weren't quite as smooth as usual. I suppose I'll have to learn tumble turns.

I settled into a nice strong steady pace, 19 or 20 strokes per length. Buddy went away, and another regular was in for a while, then she went away too. I was having a good time communing with my inner shark. I'd had a Cliffs bar that was left over from my aborted bike ride yesterday before the swim, so I had lots of energy. We were just going back and forth, hanging out, being smooth. He was telling shark jokes.

Like,
What is sharks favorite James Joyce novel? Finigan's Wake.

And,
What are sharks favourite creature from Star Wars? Jawas.

And,
Why do sharks make terrible lawyers? They're too nice!

And,
Which shark works in the construction industry? The Hammerhead.

And,
What do you get when you cross a shark with an opera singer? Something that eats up critics.

And,
Why do sharks live in salt water? Because pepper makes them sneeze.

I wasn't looking at my watch at all, so I have no idea the pace I was at, but I'm guess about 2 min/100, till about the 45 minute mark. I started slowing down a bit after the last person got out of the lane. I'd been chasing her a bit, wanting to lap her, but she kept being too considerate and stopping to let me by. At the 1 hour and 33 second mark I stopped, stretched a bit, and hopped out. I should have checked my heart rate. Breathing like that during a run would be about 115 to 120 bpm.

My kick felt strong, and I didn't get the temporary foot cramp that I usually get about the 50 min mark. I'm pleased with the swim, and found it relaxing, both mentally and physically. In between the jokes, my inner shark reminded me that even the best hunter sharks sometimes don't catch anything, and that it's important not to change the things that you know work. When things are going good, you go with the flow, and chomp lots of nice juicy seals. When things aren't going so good you relax, and stop trying so hard. Cruise along, the prey will come.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Warning, depressing reading ahead

Today started so well. It's a perfect day for a bike ride, and I had high hopes. Started with my fave breakfast, granola with 2 kinds of nuts and choco chips and banana added, with yogurt mixed in. Plus OJ. mmmmm. I'd made my energy drink the night before, and put it in the fridge. Cliffs bars were in the fridge overnight as well.

The plan was to ride down to Okotoks via the Road to Nepal and back. That's about 80 K, and I was thinking between 3.5 and 4 hours. Lots of hills, and I was looking forward to the big one on 549. Puttered around getting everything organized. Started off about 8. It was still a bit cool, but I knew the day would warm up quickly. All was going well.

Then things started going downhill while going downhill. I got a flat at about 60 Kph just before the turn off to the Leighton Centre. No bang, just a sudden thwap thwap thwap noise. I was actually kind of cheerful about it. This was my first flat out on the road. I was going to get a chance to use the CO2 thingie for the first time.

I pulled off, and I must say Estela handled very well with the flat. My thought was to go through everything in a calm, cool, collected way. (Cue quiet ominous music.) Took all the stuff out of my stuff bag, took my drinks out of the cages, made sure bento box was closed. Flipped Estela upside down, took off the back wheel, removed tube. (Cue the da-na, da-na, da-na shark music.) Checked the tire, nothing to indicate why I got a flat. Looked carefully and felt with fingers. Nothing, which is nervous-making. With the new tube lying in plain sight on the ground beside the wheel, I proceeded to install the tube I just took out. Put the wheel back on. Fix the chain guddle. And fill it with CO2. I'm just congratulating myself on a job well done and getting ready to start putting things away and get going again when I notice the tire doesn't look right. Poke it with a finger and it's softer than my belly used to be. Then I notice the new tube on the ground.

Grrr. Wheel off, tube out. More from curiousity than any real reason, I use the pump to pump it up. Can't find a leak, but it sure goes flat fast. Install new tube. Install wheel on bike. Fix chain guddle. Pump up with pump. (shark music gets louder.) I'm having a hell of a time with this. Eventually get it inflated, and I'm poking it with my thumb. It really isn't hard enough, so I go at it again with my pump. And the valve stem breaks off in my hand.

Grrrrrrrrrrrr. Fortunately, I'm carrying two tubes. I'm thanking whoever told me "Never just prepare for something going wrong, because it's never just one thing. Prepare for a bunch of things going wrong in sequence, pretty well all at once." Wheel off, tube out. Install new tube, double checking, (my second, and last) being careful of the dreaded pinch flat. I do not want to wake up Linda to ask her to come get me two rides in a row. Install wheel on bike. Fix chain guddle. What is it with me this am?? Never had chain guddle before, now 3x in a row. Pump up tire. Carefully. Really carefully. It's still not quite as hard as I'd like it to be, but I already know a new pump is on my shopping list along with a couple more tubes. Get Estela all put back together. Take a drink, nibble a piece of Cliffs bar.

At this point I've been playing around for more than 45 minutes. 3 different small groups of riders have stopped to see if I'm ok, and we chat for a few minutes about the day, the various planned rides, what a great ride the Road to Nepal is. Even one car stops to ask if I'm ok. I'm getting ready to head up the hill that I did the repeats on the other night, and wondering how my legs are going to do after having stiffened up again from not riding. I get back down into an appropriate gear and head up the hill. (The intensity of the shark music picks up.)

I'm a bit nervous, well, no, a lot nervous about the concept of riding all the way to Okotoks with no spare, on a tire that isn't as hard as I'd like it to be, not knowing what gave me the first flat, given the size of some of the hills, and the downhill speed potential. I'd been hoping to break 100 Kph on the one hill on 549. My calves are doing some funny twitchy stuff that I don't like. I was thinking about just going to the end of the road and turning around there. I'm about half way up the hill, settling in. My bike computer is showing me distance, so I go to switch it to show me cadence. And it resets itself into the initial set up mode. I nearly ripped it off the bike and threw it into the ditch.

All my enthusiasm and eagerness for the ride instantly disappeared. I just wanted to go home, and clean up. I turned around and plodded home. It's still a beautiful day, but there was a metaphorical rain cloud over my head. I saw a zillion riders out enjoying the day, singles and groups, having a great time. My only consolation is that I wasn't with someone else to ruin their ride. I took it easy up the hills, and coasted down them. Tried to reassure Estela that it wasn't her fault.

This is the worst I've felt about training since I started. I'm disappointed that I'm missing out on a great day for riding. I'm disappointed that I messed up so bad dealing with what should be a fairly simple issue. (I've lost count of the number of times I've changed the back wheel between training tire and outdoor tire.) I'm disappointed that I didn't have the mental stamina to simply carry on, knowing that the bike computer data would be worthless, and that as a training ride it wouldn't be worth much, but better than nothing. But I think about the consequences of a soft tire going down a big hill on rougher pavement, or getting another flat, and I'm pretty sure I did the right thing in bailing on the ride.

Still, I'm grumpy about it, and didn't do the run off the bike either. I want to associate running with feeling good. I'd be tempted to take out my frustrations by pushing too hard on the run, and that's the last thing I need right now. I'm disappointed that I know that even after going shopping, and installing stuff, I'm not going to go for a ride later today, and I'm not even sure why.

So once I got back to the house, I had a coffee, and a recovery cookie. Two cookies. Well, I suppose I should say three. If you must insist on saying that third cookie is really two cookies stuck together, I suppose it really is 4 cookies. I feel better now, especially having vented here. I've been making up a shopping list.
New tubes
New bike pump
new CO2 cartridges, and recycle old one. (It actually worked pretty slick.)
New wireless bike computer, not Sigma. Maybe my buddy JN from work wants the old one if he doesn't mind the periodic resets.

The training week ended up less than what I'd like to do, given the short bike ride today.
Swim 2 hr
Bike 1.5 hr
Run .5 hr
Total 4 hours.

I've got the Canmore Oly in 2 weeks. In fact, I should be just finishing it exactly 2 weeks from now. Right at the moment I'm regretting signing up for it. I'm not ready now, mentally or physically. Maybe it will all come together. I know perfectly well that attitude is important, and I'm just going through a temporary down cycle. I'll probably be fine for the event, and even if I'm not, it will be good practice if nothing else. But it's hard for me to have fun when I feel this way. At least it won't last long, and I'll be my normal self again tomorrow, or even later today.

Friday, July 18, 2008

First 2K swim in a month

The first K was good, just about exactly on 20 minutes. I kind of fell apart during the second K. I had a few laps where I really lost my concentration and slowed down. I could feel my kick not working quite as well. Time was a just short of respectable 40:33. Stretched after.

The number is back on the right track. 232.

I'm supposed to run tonight, but I'm not going to. I've already had a big glass of wine, and I'm actually feeling like going to bed. Calves are feeling sort of crampish, and it just started a cold rain. WHINE! If I'm up early tomorrow I'll run then. Bike on Sunday.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Hill, and a new land speed record for Estela!

The road to Nepal has many hills. I picked one for my hill repeats. It's not the longest, and maybe not the steepest, but it was convenient, and besides, it looked like it was raining further south. This one starts where the Leighton Centre turns off, and ends at 274th or so. The hill is actually about .8 K long, and I don't know how much elevation.

The first time up the hill was nice and easy, then I pushed harder. I think the fastest I made it up was 5:30, but I had to do complicated math in my head for that number, since I didn't do any lap time stuff on my watch. It might have been a faster or slower. Of course going down was way quicker. Way, way quicker.

I think I did 7 times up the hill and back down again, but it might only be 6 times. I lost count. We all know how my brain shuts down for higher functions while I exercise. Next week I'll do lap times for up and down, although I might try a couple hills further down. Mostly the legs felt good, though I got a couple twinges in my calves. The strong headwinds going up didn't bug me since I was looking for a work out, and made going down faster. I used the downhills to spin up past 130 rpm and loosen up the legs. I only rode 50 minutes, giving up when it started to rain, and get some gusty cross winds.

Overall, a pretty nice night for a ride. Just as I was done I saw a few more riders. I really enjoyed getting out and pushing my legs a bit. Worked a bunch on trying to spin up the hill.

I've been told that this post is incomplete. That there's more to the story. Sigh. The pressures I'm under here. Sheesh. This is how it goes. I have car keys with me, and attached house keys and stuff. It goes into the bento box. I come back to the car after my ride. Dig keys out of bento box. Open trunk. Drop keys back in bento box. (Note that it's cooling off, it's windy, it's starting to rain a bit, and I'm still coming down from the workout.) Take off front wheel. Put Estela in the trunk. Put front wheel in the trunk. Close trunk. Walk to driver's side door, reaching into my pocket for keys. Oops. Much bad language. Decide not to break a window. Walk to nearby house, borrowed phone. Linda laughs at me. She borrows neighbour's car and comes to get me. She is very suspicious that I have in fact fallen, strewed bits all over the road and broken my phone. Once she checks me over, opens the car, she shakes her head, and says "Only you!". I DON'T say "You married it!".

Here's some numbers:
22Kph overall average speed, which is pretty good, all things considered.
Average cadance was 70, again, higher than I thought it would be.
90.33 Kph max speed. Like I said, there was a pretty stiff wind, probably 35 Kph. I'm not sure which run generated that, since the fastest I actually saw on the computer was 89.5 Kph. I'm just thrilled to know I could have got a speeding ticket on a provincial secondary road.
155 max heart rate,
125 average heartrate.

Damn drafters!

Wed am swim was a good solid brisk swim. Shared the lane with one other person. While I was getting my goggles sealed, I timed him so I'd know to start just in front of him, or just behind him. He turned out to be swimming 50 m in 65 seconds or so. I swim faster than that, so I started just ahead of him.

After about 6 or 7 laps I caught up to him. He stopped, let me by one lap quicker than I thought he would. And then the bugger started right behind me, and stayed just about right on my toes. I picked up the pace a bit, and he stayed right there. He even touched me a few times. By accident. Not the deliberate, "I've caught up to you and want to pass" sort of way. I figured since he let me by, he didn't want to pass me. Just draft.

The last couple laps I really picked it up for a strong finish, and left him half a length back. I was breathing strong, but not panting. He kept on going which was fine. I timed him, and he went back to his 65 seconds again, as opposed to the 58 or 59 we were doing. I guess he didn't want me to lap him twice. Or he can keep up when he's pacing someone, but can't drive himself to that pace.

I'm pretty pleased, 1000m in 19:21, feeling strong, good stroke, pretty good kick. Pace was brisk, but not all out, since I was still thinking about stroke mechanics and body positioning. My inner shark gently approved, though he was tempting me to turn and chomp after the second time he touched me. Stretched a few minutes after, then into the dive tank for about 15 minutes for more core work. Total 45 minutes.

After work Linda I planned to walk around the block, then follow along with a yoga DVD. However her knee went sort of wonky during the walk, and thought yoga wasn't a good idea. I puttered about a bit, doing a bit more stretching, and went to bed fairly early.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A stretchy run

Or was it a runny stretch? I just had to get out for a run tonight. After the thunderstorms passed it warmed up and was a nice night. I figure the only way to find out if my legs had recovered enough to run, is to run. Gently of course.

Did some gentle warm up stretches, then walked about 5 minutes.
Ran 4 minutes, stretched for another couple minutes.
Ran 5 minutes, walked one.
Ran 9 minutes, walked one.
Ran 6 minutes, walked one, then stretched about 5 minutes.
Walked 5 minutes home, then stretched some more.

I felt really heavy and choppy. Thud thud thud. Right leg felt fine, left leg felt a bit weak and heavy. Running up hill isn't good. Toward the end of the 9 minute run, I was beginning to get back into the groove again, but I could feel my leg being tired. Plus, I was breathing harder than I thought I should be. How quickly we get out of shape again! I'll give my legs a few more days without running, and see how they do. More swimming and biking, and it's supposed to be nice for the rest of the week.

I got a note from the Canmore Oly people. Only 19 days to go. I'll have to start making lists and getting organized. If I don't do anything stupid, my legs should be ok. They said there's still a few spaces left. What about it Susi, are you up for an Oly? We can carpool....

swimming yoga

Now there's a concept, but it sort of works.

Monday was my first hard swim in a while. Started off at a nice pace, but then worked on long and strong strokes. About the half way point I start sprinting 25 m and using the other 75 m to recover, and did that to the end. Overall 1500 m in 30 min.

Stretched for a while afterward, thinking about some of the yoga poses we'd done last week. There's a "rock the baby in the cradle" one where you pick up your leg by the ankle and the theory is you cradle your shin in your arms like a baby and rock back and forth. It's supposed to "open your hips".

The stretching has been doing wonders for my legs. They're continuing to improve. I was thinking of running last night, but did yoga instead. That was good, even if one girl went to sleep and snored like a banshee. (And for the record, it wasn't Linda!)

This morning I was lying in bed seriously considering getting up and going for a run early. I woke up to rain, and was thinking, "I've run in the rain before, that's ok." A minute later the room got quite bright, and a few seconds after that there was a rumble of thunder. Then I thought, "I'm not going to run in a thunderstorm!" So I'll wait and see what the weather is like this afternoon. If it's really crappy I guess it's back onto the spin trainer.

I ended up not going for a bike ride on the weekend after all. We had guests for a lunch bbq, then after cleaning up, I had a nice nap. The evening was babysitting some roast lamb on the bbq spit, and bottling some wine.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Swimming Contemplation

Wed night was a nice meeting with IG, to eat BBQ chicken, check out the T shirt, and plan upcoming plans. I'm cleared to swim and bike all I want, but need to go easy on the running till my left hamstring is feeling 100%

Thursday was crappy weather. KS, my wonderful massage therapist came over. Let's just say there are lots of tender spots in the hamstrings and she worked me over pretty good. I whimpered a little, but it was a good hurt. Stretched after.

Friday I rode home from work all the way down the Bow to Fish Creek, and across. The formal path is still closed behind the cement plant, but if you stay on the east side of the Bow, there's a gravel road to follow to where the path starts up again. Just south of Deerfoot there's a bridge to get back on the right side of the Bow again. Pity they don't pave this chunk and make it the path. That avoids the hill up into, and down out of Diamond Cove. I averaged just over 22 Kph, and took just under 2 hours to get home. If I hadn't explored doggy central where the path dead ends I'd probably take 15 minutes off. Some stretching after.

Sat morning was 1500 m in 30:29, with more stretching after. This was the first swim since well before Chinook where I've kept track of time and distance. I was hoping to be right on 30 minutes, but didn't feel like pushing quite that hard. Sort of odd feeling to swim without a wetsuit, though I don't miss the extra shoulder resistance.

Lots to do around the house today. Must bottle wine, excavate desk, get caught up on laundry, prep for a bbq with friends here tomorrow, and lots more. If I get time I'll go for a ride this afternoon, or maybe tomorrow afternoon.

Oh, and I collected that number for the first time in a while. The month of taper, and recovery sure made themselves apparent. 234. And I didn't even get any bridge mixture out of it!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A semi-run, first after Chinook

Last Sat I tried to run off the bike and my legs were having none of it. None at all. My upper calves and bottom of the hamstrings have continued to be tight. Up till now I've mostly rested, but I've picked up on the stretching, and actually took a pill for muscle spasms, hoping that would help relax them. Yoga Monday evening really helped. I actually wished the class was longer because I was really getting into the one pose.

Today was the first run day. The rest of me wants to run, but my legs are still dubious about the whole darn thing. So I decided to ease into it. I stretched a bit after getting out of bed, not hard, well within range of motion, just to start the blood flowing. Things have relaxed someone, as my fingers can get about a foot closer to my toes than they have been for the last couple weeks. Dropped off Linda at work as usual, then drove to Renfrew. Walked 10 minutes briskly, then did about 5 minutes of stretching.

Took a deep breath and started a slow and easy run. Only for a minute or so, then stretched legs more. Ran a few minutes, and stretched more. They were feeling pretty good, so I did an easy 5 minutes, paying a lot of attention to how it felt. Did some more stretching, walked about 10 minutes back to the car, stretched more, then got ready for work myself. Nice morning for a run, actually, not too hot. I'd be surprised if I got up to mid-zone 2 for heart rate.

Legs weren't totally happy about the run, but they didn't complain too much either. Thursday is supposed to be a hill day on the bike, but if my massage therapist can come, I'll trade the bike for the table. No brainer there.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Need my blog fix!!!!

Come on guys!! I'm begging you here. Noon, and no news yet 'cept for Kelsey. I'm dying to know how you all did!

Swim this am was a slow and relaxing swim. 20 min maybe 1 K, water was really warm. Played with stroke a bit. Did lots of stretching at the end of the lane, then more in the hot tub.

Talked to one of my co-workers that does a lot of running. His guess is that there's nothing really wrong, or there'd be more pain. I think he was channeling IG when he keyed in on stretching, or the shortage thereof. Encouraged me to stretch more. Way more. First yoga class in a while tonight, more news if I survive.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

I have waffle butt.



Today was another beautiful day for a ride. You can see where I went on the map to the right. I guess everybody is up at GWN because I only saw a couple of other people out training. This is a route I've been wanting to do for a while, so I'm pleased I finally got to it, and my legs held out. The goal today was to keep my heart rate firmly in zone 2, and try to keep my feet light and smooth. Mostly it worked out. I was trying to keep my elbows and knees tucked in, and thinking about body position.

My right leg felt fine, though my left knee felt weak. No pain, no cramping, just weak and a bit wonky. It's like it was really stiff and didn't want to move quickly. There was no incentive here to push it hard. I had hoped that it would warm up as I continued, but it never really changed.

The ride was great! I finally got it through my head that these were training rides, and I didn't need to kill myself trying to make time. I stopped and stretched out my legs several times. It's a beautiful ride, and is where I'm thinking of taking Susi in a few weeks. I stopped at the Millarville General Store for more water and a banana.

Looking back on it, I can see that toward the end I was doing more coasting and less riding. After the first hour the average cadance was 79, and that gradually dropped. Of course, the road was getting hillier, and I was trying really hard to keep my heart rate down and my pedaling smooth. Of course, I felt like I had a headwind for most of the ride, but in fact the wind was pretty light so I don't think that was much of a factor. What was odd is that my average speed kept going up little by little.

I tried to run off the bike, honest. My left leg said a bunch of things not suitable to repeat in a family rated blog, and I stopped right away. No actual pain, in the shooting hurts a lot right now sense, but it was like a really strong ache and a really really strong message from the left leg that it wasn't ready for this. So I walked for about 10 minutes and stretched it some more. I'll be calling my massage therapist and let her have another go at it.

Linda was looking me over as I was getting into the shower. Ever since the ride with Susi, she's always been suspicious that I'll come home missing bits. Today she was looking for sunburn, didn't find any, and her only comment was, "You have waffle butt". I guess spending so long in the saddle I picked up the waffle pattern of the shorts padding.

114 K Trip distance
4:57:40 Bike time, 5:11:40 stopwatch time
23 Kph average speed
73 average cadance
77.5 max speed
122 average heart rate
149 peak heart rate
64 minimum
4638 calories.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Nice evening for a swim

We got into Lake Sundace, or Sundance Lake, whichever, through a friend of Kelsey's. Thanks Al!

I don't know about everybody else, but I had a good swim. Not the slightest idea how far I went, and if I guessed it would probably be too much. We swam about 50 minutes, and after I got my fricking goggles sealed, life was good. A tiny piece of my cap was under the goggle seal which buggers up the whole concept. I swam a longish loop around the lake anticlockwise, went up on the beach, then back in, and did a shorter loop. The water was nice, warm, and quite clean, all things considered. Tastes terrible, and even though I was trying not to, I ended up drinking some.

We all met up at the end, and practiced running up onto the beach and stripping off our wetsuits. Well, except for Kelsey, you'll have to ask her why she didn't!

My legs are feeling better, still some twinges in my left calf. I've been working on stretching it and massaging the tight bits. The plan is to go for a bike ride tomorrow, and see how that feels.

I smell like wetsuit. Even after a shower.

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