Friday, February 27, 2009

A toothy update, (no gross pics)

Reaction was mixed to the original set of pics of my teeth. The ones taken after my crash and before the dentist, and the comparison shots after the dentist. One squeemish person who shall remain nameless nearly screamed out the windows, and probably still has nightmares about them. A few others were EEEWWWWW! Others were pretty interested, one even blew up the pictures out of professional interest.

So, none of that today. All they did was pried off the temporary filling, pulled out the wad of medicine, checked out the hole, dried things a bit, squirted a tiny dab of ultra-pure Portland cement into it, topped it up with whatever they normally use for that, and put on the permanent cap. No anesthetic needed, no muss, no fuss. I snoozed.

I snoozed because this was after a hard swim. At Canyon Meadows. The smell of the drains nearly made me chunder right there in the shower room. But the pool was nearly empty. I had a lane to myself. Warmed up. Did some drill. Settled into 15 x 50 m hard intervals on 1:15. During the drills a couple guys showed up and took over the next lane. They swam just a little faster than I did during the intervals. My inner shark woke up with a start. He'd dozed off during the drill. I started pushing really hard to keep up with them. I started the intervals at 50 seconds. The encouragement of my inner shark drove that down to 46 to 48 seconds each. I was pretty tired at the end. Did some more drill. The golf scores are doing really well. Did 79 twice, 80, and 82. Cooled down. Did some backstroke. That was 1 hour, then .25 hr in the dive tank working on core. Used to be that when I hung on the side of the tank, with just the tips of my fingers over the lip, and my legs out at 90 degrees to the wall, then tried to rotate them around to each side in turn, I used to be able to only go about 45 degrees. Now I can just touch the wall with the side of my foot.

The number is a slightly heavy 224. Maybe I should have taken all the change, my phone, and my wallet out of my pockets.

Went for a short run this afternoon. I missed the warmest part of the day, and it was starting to freeze up again. Ran 40 minutes steady. Didn't wear my heart monitor. Ran hard enough that I was still breathing easily, but not gasping or panting. I could have talked, at least a bit. Did a bit of stretching and a 5 min walk to warm up. Did 5 min walk to cool down and 30 minutes, yes THIRTY Greg, stretching. Felt good.

Now I'm drinking a Chilean Malbac red wine that is just coming into it's own. mmmmm. Waiting for the lamb roast to come out of the oven. Gonna be gooooood.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Time trial night.

The swim seems like a long time ago this morning. I was eager to get into the water, so I think the rest and stretching yesterday did me good.

Warmup, sharing the lane with another really considerate swimmer.
Drill. My inner shark is really disappointed in drill. Especially since there was slow prey in the next lane to stalk.
Lots of drill. The only part he likes is the golf score. I broke 80 for the first time! The other scores were 81, 83, and 83. Or something like that. Math gets complicated when you're O2 deprived. Throughout the drill the people in the next lane would push off just ahead of me, or my lane buddy would just be coming in. And I'd let them go. My shark wanted to chase them, and pass them. I wanted to get through the drill because it will help me be a stronger swimmer. I think it's already working.
3 x 200 m intervals on 4:30, most were done in 3:45 or so. I probably could have pushed harder, but I'm still figuring out these intervals. I was concentrating on stroke, trying to be smooth and efficient. This was ok for my inner shark, he cruised along and grooved. By now the pool was almost empty. I was having fun pushing off, and trying to go deeper and longer before surfacing for a stroke. He was explaining that you have to surface smoothly, otherwise you'll startle the prey. In all .75 hr swim, .25 hr core work.

Busy day. You non-geeks out there can skip this paragraph. My ISP called me yesterday to ask if I wanted to buy a new DSL cable modem. He says the one I have now is an antique, built with real metal for a chassis, and actual copper wiring. The new one is a bit faster on upload, but no other real difference. I've been with this ISP before they were really an ISP. They used to be a dial up BBS. So after a bit of back and forth, they allowed as how I was a really good customer, and new customers were being lured with a free modem if they sign a year's contract. Since I don't have any intention of switching, this was a good deal. And my monthly service fee goes down $15 or so. Can't go wrong there!s Picked up the new modem this afternoon, and will install probably this weekend. I should have asked him to check my account. I have to be one of their longest term clients, since I was getting email through them back in the late 80's.

Spin class was the dreaded time trial. Katie lead us through a warm up, easy one leg drill, a few short trials to make sure we got the right gear, and were getting into the groove. Then she whipped us on! We pedaled and pedaled our brains out for 20 minutes. Oddly enough, the time went really quick. I found a nice gear where I could maintain 90 rpm, with a heart rate peaking about 130 bpm, which is top of zone 2 for me. My legs are tired, and the last minute was a bit of a struggle.
Cool down, and a little bit of stretching. 1.5 hr. I remember the first time trial I did, a year and some months ago. I think I was in the same gear, but on the small chain ring, and that damn near killed me. There has been progress, and that's good.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I have listened to my body

As regular readers will have noted, I have a bit of extra time on my hands, and I've pushed the training volume up. The extra is swimming and biking, not running. It's gone really well, even though I knew it was a big step up in activity. I knew I'd have to dial it back at some point, and was curious where that would be. The first hint about fatigue was switching my rest day from Saturday to Friday last week.

Then there was last night's bike. I got the program from Katie (thanks!) and was all set, even a little bit early. I wasn't really keen to be on the bike, though. Normally my internal thermostat and furnace keeps me at a steady temperature. But after my nap yesterday afternoon, it was sweater on, sweater off, the rest of the day. From the evidence, it's pretty clear my brain was still napping, or lost out in the snow having wandered off while I was running. Once I got on the bike and warmed up, I figured I'd be good to go. I've had days like that before.

Except, not. After 15 min, my legs are still barely going around. The bike computer says 75 rpm. I try pushing up to 85 and my legs aren't doing it. I'm not even in a hard gear by mistake. I'm getting all sorts of little sharp aches and pinpricks in my calves and feet. I'm set up just beside the colourful exercise mat, with the ball, roller thingie, and other toys. Right where they are easy to see.

I'm thinking about what I'm doing on the bike, and how it feels. My body is making it clear that it's really not up to this, tonight. So I paused, sat up, and pictured myself doing some yoga instead. What did my various parts think of that idea? They liked it a lot. I may be slow, but I'm not stupid.

I yogaed. I stretched. I rollered. I massaged sore muscles. I twisted. I even walked the Downward Dog! It all felt WONDERFUL! I was happy. My body parts were happy. It's clear that I haven't been stretching enough. Nowhere near enough. That was 45 minutes or so. I'll do another session today before trying anything else. I'm thinking of catching up on the bike workout, but there's a Time Trial on Thursday. Maybe I'm best off with the rest and change of pace. Yes, now that I write that, I think so.

Besides. It's still snowing. And cold out. A perfect day for hibernating. And Kelsey, some pics of flowers would be nice, actually. To remind us that spring is out there, somewhere, and might come here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

more snow. Uggh.

Swim was nice and easy this morning. No drill, just swim 1500 m, 30 min, slow and steady. Kept my 100 m splits, just for fun, to see if I'm swimming a steady pace. The fastest was 1:50, the slowest was 2:03, and most were clustered around the 2 min mark. So I guess that was steady. Worked on stroke throughout. I can tell I'm spending much less effort to swim at these speeds than I used to. Heard a traffic report while there, so I wasn't in a hurry to leave. Hung out in the dive tank doing some stretching, and more in the hot tub, but I'm not going to count it.

The weather is the Rolo shits today. Most of the major roads heading downtown were a parking lot during rush hour. Even so, we got lucky and it didn't snow as much as they said it might. Ran at lunch time, just around the neighbourhood. I didn't wear a watch, since it's cold enough that I didn't want to unwrap to read it. About .75 hour, nice and easy with some strides. These were done on the shoveled sidewalks where I could trust the footing a bit. Here's what I looked like after the run. I still have to learn to get the head angle right so you don't get the flash lit tour of my nostrils. And that's water condensed on my mustache! Not, well, not what you thought it was.



Katie sent me the bike workout for tonight. It's a gooder. Warm up, one leg drill, then into a multi-faceted main set, timed to the minute, ascending a pyramid of stuff, then descending a different pyramid. Maybe I'll listen to some Alan Parsons during it. The plan is to spin from home. I'm pretty sure I mentioned the roads are crap. More details in a bit when I'm done.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Held off updating

Swam this am. Long swim.
Warmed up. Did drills. Did some more drills.
400 m swim
more drills
more swim, lost track of time, not sure how far. Several laps in here felt super! It's like I wasn't putting anything into it, and I was speeding along as fast as ever.
Golf score 82 to 85, with the last one 80!
Cool down swim, and by then the lane was empty. 1 hr.
Core workout in dive tank, .25 hr.

I was thinking about doing an easy bike spin this afternoon, but got tied up in other stuff. Then I was hoping to meet a buddy tonight, but that didn't work out. But it's nice to rest. Tomorrow is a big day.

Did a bit of rollering, as I think of it. After my run tomorrow, with strides, I'll plan to spend a bunch of time on the roller. Maybe even before the run too.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The roller thingie is sooo gooood

The bike was good. Made up my energy drink in advance so I could refrigerate it, and put a banana in my bento box.
Warmed up.
5 x one leg drill set.
5 min easy
5 min 15/15
5 min easy
8 x 7/3 aerobic
5 min cool down. 2.25 hours altogether

4 min transition.

30 min run, nice and easy, almost exactly 4 K. Nice day for a run, but a cold brisk wind out of the east made things a little cool. Footing is a bit tricky with all the ice and snow in the process of melting.

Afterward stretched, and tried out the new roller thingie Linda got. Did my calves, hams, quads, and a bit of the hip flexors and IT band. It's so good, rollering it back and forth. I wish I'd bought it a long time ago.

Weekly totals
Swim 3.25 hr
Bike 6.83 hr
Run 4 hr
Total 14 hrs

Saturday, February 21, 2009

45's. And the slacker sock showed up.

Everything was 45 today. I turned yesterday into my rest day. I got out of bed, and didn't even think about going swimming. I hadn't slept well. I was still worked up from the super heavy duty workout and was thinking about some personal stuff. When I actually got up I felt tired, mentally and physically. So I rested.

Today was better. Swam at Canyon meadows for 45 minutes before it turned into a total zoo. I woke up just a bit too late to go to Glenmore, but that's the last time I make that mistake. Did some drill, golfs 85 and 86. Did 4 x 100 on the 2:15. The first three were right on 100 seconds though things were falling apart at the end. The last one was a bit of a shambles. I got a breath of water and that turned it into 115 seconds.

Shared the lane very nicely with another lady that swam only slightly slower than me. Both of us did some drill, and she did a bit of breast stroke but it all worked out well. Then a really slow lady joined us, but the two of us ran her off real quick. Both of us touched her feet because we lapped her that fast, and she was smart enough to move to the other lane.

I got a new number, 225!

Later went for a easy 45 minute run around the neighbourhood. Nice and easy, I doubt my heart rate was ever out of zone two. The run felt good, trying for smooth and gentle. Did lots of stretching after.

Linda found a package that has a roller, and a half roller, and a stretchy band. The dvd shows some exercises. I watched that during my 45 minute easy spin, then tried some after. Oh my goodness, my IT band and hip flexors can sure feel it! I'll have to do that more.

Linda was ironing sheets while I rode, and she discovered one of my socks tucked into the corner of a fitted sheet. Ever since I bought the socks, more than a year ago, I've always had an odd number of socks. Since about the day after I bought them. One has been AWOL all this time. The other socks are happy to see it show up and take it's share of foot time.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The last of the MAP bike done

Swim this am was a bit ho-hum. Wasn't really in the mood. Did a bit of drill, but mainly worked on trying to swim from my core. Let's call it .5 hr in the pool, and another .25 hr in the dive tank.

Planned lunch carefully so I would be good and digested by the time spin session came around. Greg promised a big time workout and I didn't want to embarrass myself. Had a good solid 2 hour nap this afternoon, snoozing in the sun with Amelia the cat.

Warmed up. Heart rate all over the place, but mostly low.
One leg drill, then 15/15. Heart rate still low.
MAP sessions. Two sessions, 6 x 2 min hard, two min easy pedal. Did the first one in one gear too hard, and quickly fixed that for the rest. Very tired legs at the end. Glad they're done. Greg swears that we will look back one day when we're riding outside, and be happy we did these. Maybe so.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Reference run

Swim today was pretty good.
Warmup
Drills
6x 250m. Most of these done in 4:30 to 4:40. Arms were getting tired at the end. The rest was 30 to 45 seconds, whatever kept the timing easy. Mostly felt strong and smooth. 45 min in the pool and 15 core.

Breakfast with my buddy Lori D after, getting caught up on professional and fitness stuff. Lots of fun and good to see her again.

Ran about lunch time. A long one. 6 x 15/1, trying to stay all aerobic. Did an out and back, see the map. It turned out to be almost exactly 13 K, and I got back to the starting point with about 15 seconds walking in hand. So technically, it was a negative split, but I worked a lot harder on the way back. The out was pretty steady about 130 bpm, and the way back was closer to 140. Tracked my running cadence and was always between 85 and 90.



Walked 10 min before and after as warm up and cool down, and did lots of stretches. 2 hrs. I'm pretty pleased. Nice and steady. If you do the math it turns out to be just over 8.1 Kph or 7:23 per K. That's really slow for lots of you, but a good pace for me at that heart rate.

Legs felt pretty good after, and did a bit of stretching for hams and achilles and calves during the rest of the afternoon. It was a beautiful day for a run.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Not an Enya bike today

No, it was much harder than that. I brought on the (whispers) Neil Diamond. hahahahaha Susi, gotcha! Of course I didn't. This was a tough one because I couldn't hit spin class tonight, and Greg hadn't let me know what the workout was, so I had to make one up that I hope was hard enough that I won't be ashamed to go back to class. So I dug out the heavy duty rock and roll. Cheap Trick, Queen, Led Zepplin, Rush, Pink Floyd. And others.

But the day started with a slightly creaky swim. Warm up, two sets of drills, a bit of cooldown, then some core work, for a total of just barely 45 min. The drills are beginning to feel a bit more natural, which probably means I'm learning how to cheat. .75 hr altogether.

Bike. Warmed up 15 min. Did some one leg drill, but no accelerations. Did 6 min 15/15 (90-120), then into the dreaded MAP main set. Broke it into 3 smaller sets.
6 x 1 min on 2 min easy. Then, right into the next set on the 2 min easy.
6 x 1.5 min on, 2 min easy, then 5 min easy at the end of the set.
6 x 2 min on, 2 min easy.
10 min cool down, plus some stretching. 2 hrs on bike.

Pushed hard, trying to keep intervals over 100, and some were over 105. Drove my heart rate up to about 75% of max, which is pretty good for me on the bike. Legs were a bit tired at the end, but I wasn't feeling the burn like I was last week. Not sure why. I'm fairly sure I was working harder.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Toes up

Short little run during the warmest part of the day. 45 min slow easy run, with 5 min walking to warm up, and 10 to cool down, plus lots of stretching. The one where you lie on your back, legs straight up, using a yoga strap to help keep things stable was the best.

No swim today, pools are closed, and I wasn't going to shell out the big bucks to swim at Talisman. To say nothing of wanting to sleep in today. Not much else on the go, other than puttering around the house.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

+15

No, this post isn't about Calgary's +15 system, though it's actually pretty interesting. For the non-Calgaryians, this is a system where you can walk from building to building throughout most of downtown without having to go outside. The enclosed pedestrian bridges are about 15 feet up, and some are double or even triple height. It's a great way to get a walk during the winter.

Today's brick started with a 20 min warmup. I was still a bit tired, and I could feel my calves being a bit heavy. Wanted to warm up thoroughly.
5 x 1 min r leg, 30 sec both, 1 min l leg, 30 sec both, 15 sec acceleration with 45 easy.
5 min easy pedal
10 min 15/15
5 min easy pedal
12 x 7/3 aerobic. Found a gear where about 95 rpm would drive my heart rate up to the top of zone 2. By the third one, heart rate was only going to mid zone two, so I upped it to 100 rpm or so. That lasted an hour. The third last was a bit of a struggle, and I couldn't maintain the 100 anymore, and settled back to 95. Heart rate was higher than I liked. By now my legs were getting tired, and my butt was beginning to hurt. Second last was between 90 and 95, and the last was just barely on 90. 3 hours. I was happy to get off Estela. That's the longest ride since last summer. Except for the last couple sets, I felt strong and comfortable. It took a bit of doing to stay on, but I figured that last half hour was worth several individual 1 hour rides at least.

3:15 transition, mainly to dry off.

32:30 to run around what we call the long block, about 4.1 K. Nice and easy, but trying to keep a quick turnover. I found my running legs quite quickly, and had a nice run, top of zone 2, bottom of zone 3. Only about -10 C out, sunny and clear. Never even thought of dropping back to a walk. Feet and legs felt really good, and I could have kept going for a while longer. Walked another 10 minutes to cool down. Stretched a bit. Snacked. Stretched more. Showered. Stretched. Relaxed a bit with feet up, then ate a real meal (Waldorf salad, if you're wondering), and stretched a bit more.

Weekly Totals
Swim 4.5 hrs
Bike 7.75 hrs
Run 3.25 hrs
Total 15.5 hrs (!!!) Can you tell I'm thrilled?
This is the first time I've spent this much time working out, and that includes race day weeks last year. I feel great! Most of the workouts have been solid. In particular, today's bike was getting close to my current limits. I'm feeling really positive about the training, and how things are going. I was on the bike drops for a bit and was happy to notice there was hardly any belly flab bouncing off my thighs.

Was thinking of Julie during the run, and hoping she's enjoying camp. Here's a package of blogger love going her way! Drop by her blog and tell her you're thinking of her. She'll like that.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Lair of the Two-Tonned Tusked Carnivore



I have often wondered what our world looks like to our pets. Mainly cats and dogs, since that's what I've got the most experience with, and they're pretty bright, as far as critters go. Studies have shown that dogs in particular are especially good at reading human emotions, better than some humans. Dogs are pack animals, and want to fit in. From my understanding, at least half of the 'dog training' really should be called 'human training'.

Cats are a different story entirely. I've lived with cats most of my life. I don't really believe they are domesticated. I believe they carefully consider the tradeoffs between living with humans and living on their own, and somewhat reluctantly choose the humans. It's those opposable thumbs that open cans of tuna. The humans that think they chose the cat, and are in charge of the situation are fooling themselves. (The married men that think that are doubly fooling themselves.)

The only cat living here now is Amelia, though a succession of cats have graced this house. Like me, Amelia isn't particularly photogenic, though she's a beautiful tuxedo kitty. She picked us up at the SPCA, though I have to say she was pretty dubious about the whole process. I think her previous humans weren't very good. They left her a very twitchy kitty. As soon as she hears car doors slam outside, she's up and heading for the basement. Even when we come home, she's left her kitty condo in the front window, and is half way to the back. We'd like to believe that she knows it's us and she's going to get fed, but no. The way she scampers off, you can tell she seriously believes the two-tonned tusked carnivores have arrived to eat her.

In all her life here, the garage door has never opened and had anyone but us appear through the door. Yet she is poised for flight. Once people come, she's gone for a while. Eventually she comes up and socializes, but is still skittish around most people. Her favourite person in the whole world is Linda's sister Kelly, who's come to visit a few times. (She lives near Ottawa.) Even before she's in the door, Amelia is all over her. Amelia will try to get into the suitcase to leave with her. We feel a little hurt, actually.

We're good humans. After our previous kitty (Nefertitti) went to the catnip fields, we thought Amelia would be lonely, so we brought home another cat. That was Bernard. They sort of got along a little, at first, but things went downhill. Eventually it got to the point we had to keep them separated. We helped Bernard interview for the head cat position in the home of a friend of ours, and that's where he lives now. It took years for Amelia to relax again.

Amelia has the finest of windows to look out of, and a good selection of cat toys. We regularly animate her favourite piece of string for her to pounce on. She often has a choice of laps, since we're big readers, but does she hop on right away? NOT! She looks, and peers, and hops up so tentatively that we wonder what she thinks is there. At least as soon as we fire up the DVD player, she's in the media room waiting for us, and settles in there.

We don't know what she thinks of us going away on vaction, or away during the day. The nice lady that comes to visit while we're gone leaves enthusiastic notes about how affectionate Amelia is. But every now and then, she just sits and looks at us. I can tell, she's reconsidering those opposable thumbs, and balancing that off against the human breath she seems to hate. She doesn't mind being picked up, but she hates, just HATES, having her face near our face. She'll squirm and drape and wriggle.

Every now and then, and we're coming due, a horrible noise happens, and most of the fur that she has carefully draped over all the furniture is sucked away. She glares through this process. You can just tell she's thinking how much work she went through to put all those hairs just so. And now it has to be done again. Humans! They're so darned inconsiderate.

She won't even come into the basement while I'm on the spin trainer. I don't think she likes the noise it makes. I don't spin perfectly, so there is a Whir Whir Whir, and I'm pretty sure she thinks it's some large creature breathing. My singing along to the music, if there is any going, doesn't help. She sure isn't coming to rescue me if she thinks I'm being eaten.

Cats often stare at things humans can't see. And Amelia's behaviour sometimes makes us wonder what else we're sharing the house with. Amelia often appears to believe that there is something here, or just arriving, that will eat her. Or violate her private bits with a tusk, or something worse. She doesn't seem to have much faith in our ability to make sure nothing bad will happen, in spite of at least 8 years of nothing worse than vet visits happening to her. Or maybe it's us, or she thinks we've been taken over by horrible space aliens that yearn to give her probes you know where.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Tired arm swim

I was a slacker this morning again. I admit it. The MAPs from last night used me up like the kleenex I've been going through lately. So I slept in, and only slid my tired butt into the water at 6:05 this morning. There are people that have already been in and done their workout. (The pool opens 5:30, and sometimes a bit earlier.)

250 m warmup.
1 set of drill.
5 x 50 m intervals, on 1:15 start, mostly taking 50 seconds, though the last one was a bit longer.
Another set of drill. ugg. Arms falling off.
150 m cool down, trying to swim pretty. Not doing very well. Overall golf scores were 82, 85, and 90. For the last one I was trying to minimize the number of strokes, and wasn't worried about time. 40 minutes in the pool, and 20 minutes in the dive tank working on core. More ugg. My core is tired, thank you very much.

Pool didn't have may people in it, but buddy in the next lane swam like a football player trying to go through the line. Crappy, splashy stroke. And just as I was leaving my lane, a guy got in. He probably thought he was doing front crawl, but I've seen lots of breast strokers with narrower arms.

And the number. I haven't been there for a while, and so I haven't looked at the number lately. 226. I'm now getting down into weight territory that I haven't been since the early 80's. woohoo!

Tune in later for news of the spin session. It's snowing again, and I don't have to leave the house for the rest of the day.

Spin session, 1 hour, nice and easy. Decided to try watching a movie, and picked Mr. and Mrs. Smith. I like the tango that is the theme of the movie. The spin went by quick. Stretched while watching more of the movie. Legs feel good. Not up to doing the tango, but still.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Apres swim, apres run, and now apres MAP bike

I was looking at the rest of the schedule for today, and was thinking about the week so far. Maybe I think too much, but this morning sure looked like a day for an easier swim. So I dogged it.

Completely and totally. Easy swim.
Only 2000 m in just under 41 minutes. Thought about stroke mechanics, roll, reach, catch. Pushing to thigh. Trying to feel the water. Good luck with lane partners. Most of the time was with a guy that swam slightly faster than me, then the breastroker that joined me was good about letting me pass. Then 20 minutes core work in the dive tank.

Nibbled a bit when I got home. The run today was supposed to have strides. I had to look them up on the internet to remind myself of what they were. Ran 45 minutes, mostly easy, with walk to warm up and cool down. Ran easy for 16 minutes before starting first stride. Basically ran pretty hard for 30 seconds, then easy for 150 seconds. Did that six times, then my ankle and foot started complaining a little, so I backed off and ran easy.

Stretched after and massaged feet. They liked that.

Was the first one to get to spin class and helped move clothes racks out of the way. Got on the bike in good time, and started to warm up. One leg drill. 15/15. Then the dreaded MAP sets. Erp. It was much better than Tuesday. I got to the point where the quads were starting to burn, and I was just beginning to fade at the end of the set. The heart rate never got above 140, and dropped back nicely during the rest sets. Was on the bike just over 2 hours. Legs are tired.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

morning swim and run

Back into the pool again, this time trying to be a bit more disciplined about my warm up.
250 m warmup
50 m each of kick, front scull, ab scull, one arm, front pull, fist, golf. Times 3. Golf scores 80, 85, 87.
100 m intervals with 30 sec rest, times 3. Two were 105 seconds, last was 108 or so.

1600 m altogether, just a hair over 45 minutes. Another 15 min in the dive tank on core work.

Home, snacked, dressed for -15 C or so, and headed out for a run. It was brilliant, clear and crisp. Well, maybe just a bit beyond crisp on the way out, as I was going into the wind. The mountains were sharp and huge. The path wasn't in great shape because of the snow yesterday. Did I mention we got about a cm of snow? Coming back with the wind was nice, ended up unzipping and pulling my hood off. Did 6 x 10/1, nice and aerobic, but no heart rate monitor. What with warm up, run, cool down, and a bit of stretching, we'll call this 1.25 hr, even though it was actually a bit longer. If I get ambitious tonight while Linda's at yoga, I might do more stretching. Or I might go to bed.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

MAPs vs sludgy blood

My swim this am was much better than yesterday; a good solid workout.

1000 m warmup, nice and easy 19:35
600 m various drills. My golf scores were 85 and 87.
150 m cool down.
.75 hr in the pool. Then 15 min core work in the dive tank.

I hadn't meant to do so much swimming, but I got in a groove, had a nice stroke going, and lapped the two people sharing a lane a couple of times each. My inner shark buddy showed up for a bit, cruising along, so we hung out. Oddly enough, it was very relaxing and it didn't seem like I was working that hard. My arm feels much better, and my stroke feels stronger. The drills just about did me in though. I was hoping to do 3 sets, but my arms weren't having it. Maybe I should have only done 500 m warmup, but I was well past then before I thought of it.

Then for spin session tonight, I just wasn't in the mood. After the swim, my day turned into a disorganized hodgepodge of back and forth, forgetting stuff, and generally shambling around like a half slaughtered ox. Took a long time on the bike to get warmed up. Like, until the second last MAP interval, when my legs finally woke up. Up till then I was in an easier gear than last week, but could barely push to 100 rpm, and was breathing way too hard for my heart rate. The one leg drill was a mess; I sure hope nobody was watching. The 15/15's were a failure, in that I never got to the 110 rpm goal, not even once. My legs stopped at 105 or so. Abs and core were really tired. 1.75 hr altogether.

If that spin workout is money in the bank, then I'd damn well better be getting a good rate of interest on it!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Getting back to regularly scheduled programming.

Please do not adjust your set. We have been having technical difficulties. The coffee drinkers were very disappointed once they realized the gurgles were *not* the sign coffee was ready, and got a little unruly. The car load of kleenex arrived in good time, as did the special garbage pickup.

My swim this morning was pretty pathetic, but I was happy to be in the pool again. It's like I've forgotten how to swim in 4 days, and my arm was thinking it was still broke. Only a half hour in the water.

Late morning I went out for a half hour, easy run. This went better than the swim, but my feet wanted to go far faster than my lungs or heart were ready for. I kept it nice and slow, experimenting with different gaits, just for fun. I was really happy to be outside again in the fresh air, able to breath again.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

What's your theme song?

Yes, I'm still sick. Better, but not better enough to do anything involving deep breathing. A slow walk is about all I'm good for at the moment. I'm a bit disappointed since I'd hoped to have a big week on the bike and in the pool. But the rest will do me good. If you listen to Cohen's "Everybody Knows" you have a good idea of what my voice sounds like now. I actually like that sound, but I hate everything else that goes along with it.

I've had lots of music from the infamous ipod playing recently. One of the ones I discovered, almost by accident, was Sarah Vaughan singing 'Whatever Lola wants'. It's a slow, sultry (with a capital S) rhumba. You could also Argentine Tango to it as well, and you girls are going to like what happens about the 2:53 mark. You can hear the original here. It isn't what you'd think of an inspirational, drive you to the finish kind of song. Yet I had it going through my mind during one bike session. It made me dig deep, reminding me of my goals. Plus I had a bit of fun playing with the lyrics. There's a bike in our group named Lola, after all, and some names scan very well in place of Lola.

If you look at the movies, any self respecting movie that is, the hero has a theme song. It plays when he or she rises over adversity, conquers all odds, and comes out on top for a triumphal finish. (Yes, I'm gagging a little as I wrote that.) The theme from Rocky is a well known one. (note to self, I suppose I should see the movie first before talking about it.) I'm a big fan of the Raiders of the Lost Ark theme song. (the trouble with writing about music is trying to hear a song in your head when you've got the ipod plugged in playing something else. k.d. lang singing Halleluhah, at the moment, if you must know.) I don't care for some of her music, but she has an incredible voice. James Bond probably has the coolest, best known theme song, but then I'm probably missing some really obvious ones.

But what about you? If you aren't the hero in the movie of your life, then who the heck is? What music is your sound track when the going gets tough? When you're feeling good and things are going your way? When you're worried about how something is going to come out? When you're dealing with bad news? What's the one song that other people probably don't know about that you wish you could see their faces when they listen to it?

At one spin session, my co-spinees were talking about music that got them going. I was lost. I didn't even know the names, let alone have any idea what the music sounded like. There's days I think I'm long down the geezer road, since I have no idea what music is happening now. Yet I keep finding great music, and then find out it's been around for a long time. Makes me wonder where I was then.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Home sick

No swim. Likely no bike tonight unless going back to bed brings about a remarkable improvement. It's a good thing there are no coffee fanatics hanging around me. The noises I'm producing would have them holding out their cups in a hopeful way, wandering around trying to find the fresh coffee. Bed is calling me.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Running outdoors in shorts and tech shirt

Which has been nothing but a dream here for months. First things first. This has been a big workout week so far. I was dragging my tail into the pool. Still I got a good swim in, once I pushed the really slow breastroker into another lane. Another busy day there today.

Don't know what it is, but I've got major chlorine face today. Throat has a tickle in it, and my face feels like it's still in the pool. And that's after a shower. And later, now that I've had the run and another real shower, I've still got it.

250 m warmup
two sets of drill, trying for better form and pushing a little harder. My arms were tired at the end of this.
Then some steady swim, moderately fast, trying for good form. 40 minutes overall. Then 20 minutes in the dive tank for more core. I actually went back into the pool and cranked out a few more lengths. 1 hr altogether.

Today is so nice out I ran in shorts and a tech shirt. Long sleeved, but still. It felt great. Stretched lightly, walked 5 minutes to warm up, then ran 60 minutes non-stop. This was up the pathway to Glenmore, and back again. Susi never would have made it. There was a ton of dogs. It was practically a doggy convention. Walked a little longer coming back to cool down, and was actually feeling a little cool coming back into the house. Stretched, ate lunch.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

semi-solid burps

The resolutionistas have arrived in force at FOMC. I don't hardly recognize anyone there. The lane I usually swim in had two fast people in it, and the rest of the pool was full of floaties. Just behind me I recognized a new person that I didn't want to share a lane in. I made an instant decision. I would join the fast swimmers and try to keep up. There's always another day for drills.

Brisk 500 m warm up to get dialed in. The guy in my lane swims slightly faster than me, and I swim slightly quicker than the girl. Settled into hard 100 m, on 2:30 start. Most of these are done in about 105 to 108 seconds, so I'm pretty consistent. Did 8 sets, trying to remember everything about a good stroke that I covered with Greg. By the end of the last one my arms are falling off and my time dropped to 1:10. I passed the girl a couple of times. The guy slowed down and was doing some drill. He was taking really long slow strokes, like about 12 to complete 25 m. 30 min swimming.

Then into the dive tank for 30 min of core. Abs are really feeling it. (no semi-solid burps yet, patience.)

It was nice today, so I put some chicken in a ginger chili marinade, then BBQ'd it this afternoon. My timing was perfect. Linda got off the bus just as i was about to put the buns on to toast. Yummy with spicy Havarti cheese! So we ate about 5:15. I was already packed up for spin class. (This is foreshadowing.)

What I didn't know, or had forgotten was that tonight was MAPs. I don't know what that stands for, other than Mad-Ass Pedaling. Or Mighty Abject Puking. Long warm up with Katie and Leslie. One leg drill with accelerations. Then I think something else, I forget what though. Then into the MAPs. It means pedal 100+rpm in a gear where your heart doesn't quite explode by the end of the set. We did 1 min on, 2 min easy, six times. Then some rest, and 1.5 min on, with 2 min rest, times 5. I wasn't quite regretting the chicken burger, but was pretty clear on the concept that waiting till Linda gets home to eat is just a little to late on MAP nights. The second last one, I sat up, and had to burp before getting some water in. Out happens before in. Let's just say I got a little more than I bargained for. I'm glad I had my water bottle in hand.

That was a very solid 2 hour workout. I had a long coold own, but I can still feel it in my legs, even after a little bit of stretching. Greg said that tonight was only 13 minutes of real work, and in a few weeks we'll up up to twice that. I'd better push dinner back at least an hour and a half.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Da drill, Boss, da drill!

250 m warmup
Drill was 50 m each forward figure 8 scull, tricep scull push, kick, forward pull, one arm, fist. I don't know what anybody else calls these.
Did that 4 times, with an extra 50 fast front crawl tossed in to convince someone else they didn't belong in that lane.
3 x 100 m interval on 2:30, each done in under 2 min. Next time I'll shorten the time.
Total time was 45 min, for 1800 m, which seems fast for doing drills. Maybe I miscounted. Then another 15 minutes core work in the dive tank.

This evening hopped on Estela for an hour easy spin. Oddly enough, my butt hurt more after this than it did after the long ride on Sunday.

Oh, and Amelia does not like rice crackers.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The math and the aftermath

We had a party for Mel and Shannon last night. A good time was had by all. Photos were taken. I don't think anymore needs to be said. I was astonished to find some sushi left over in the fridge this morning. After that I had my real breakfast, using some of the left over fruit. Doesn't this look good? Even better, I made the glass bowl.



Once I got out of bed I shambled around getting ready for my workout. It took a while. I made my energy drink but didn't do it early enough so it was still a bit warm.

Warmed up 15 min. There was an interesting bit where I was pedaling madly trying to get the rpm up, and it's like it was stuck at 80. Turned out to be looking at the average cadence, not the actual cadence.
25 min of one leg and acceleration drill.
11 times 6/4. Found a gear on the big ring at 85 to 90 rpm, where my heart rate was at the top of zone two, nice and steady. The 4 min easy pedal was in the same gear on the small ring, at 90 rpm or so. Still working my arm in the rest periods, pretending I'm bouncing a ball. Total 2.5 hrs.

4 min transition to dry off, change, grab a cookie and head out. It was just a little below zero, but nice out. Chugged along the roads and bike path for 30 min. My wife was saying she saw a guy on a nice road bike, out on the roads. That's fine as long as the drivers are paying attention. If they aren't, there is nowhere to go. Nowhere at all.

Here's some photos from the run. This is what crossing the roads look like now. This is way, way better than it was.


This is what many of the sidewalks look like, and this is better than it has been.


Here's a side street that the City doesn't plow. This is pretty good now. People have been getting high centred on ruts like this.


Once you've made your way past the sidewalks and streets, and get out to the bike path, you are rewarded with this view. The mountains aren't particularly clear and sharp here, but you get the idea.


And when you didn't believe me about the bike paths being in good shape, here's the evidence.


Weekly totals
swim 1.5 hr
bike 4.25 hr
run 2 hr
Total 7.75 hr for a nice easy week. Next week will be bigger.

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