Friday, November 30, 2007

running outside in freaking cold

Yesterday's run was pretty good, though it was outside in -10 weather, with a wind that dropped the wind chill to -20 or so. This was the nice route on top of the hill south of the Canoe club. The view is worth the chill.

7 min warm up
4 x 5r/3w
8 cool down

Running on snow is a bit different, and I think I strained my right Achillies tendon a bit, or landed on my right heel more than I should have. It was a bit sore at the end of the workout, and is a bit sore even now.

No workout Thursday evening; I think I was in bed by 8:30.

The swim in the fast pool this morning was great! There were at least 4 people swimming faster than me, and a couple of others about the same speed. You have no idea how nice that feels. Especially when you can keep up for a little bit.

500 m easy warm up. Really easy.
50 m back stroke (gack what a mess)
10 x 50 m in 50 seconds, on 1:15 start.
50 m kick
3 x 100 m done "pretty" then 100 m flat out, which is 95 seconds. 45 s/ 50 s split.
50 m breast
250 m cool down
Total 2000 m.
Then some pool pilates.

Oh, and that number? 248.

Tonight's plan calls for a 60 min spin session. We'll see. The weather is supposed to be so crappy I might do it on Sat instead.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

another no drill swim

Today was a quickie; in the pool and powered through 1000 m in 18:58. My split was 500 m in 564 seconds (9:24), so I didn't slow down too much in the second half.

No geezers! This is a personal best for me though not much of an improvement. I was sort of hoping for a bit of a breakthrough to get down to about 18:30. I felt strong, but not as smooth as I would like. Maybe next time.

Then 15 min in the dive tank doing pool pilates. I'm sure looking forward to my massage tonight.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Shite spin session

I did wimp out and go to the Talisman Centre to run indoors. $11 for one time adult admission!!! Eek! Won't be doing that too often. But it is a nice facility. The run went fine, aside from forgetting how my stop watch works, and buggering up my time near the beginning. So I warmed up for a short while, ran for a while, then got stopwatch going again and settled into 4 min run, 2 min walk, done 5 times, and a short-ish cool down session. I've not a clue in the world how far I went. It felt ok.

Running on a track is sure boring. Well, for brief seconds it wasn't, but we won't get into that.

Weather and traffic here is horrible today, so I got the spin plan for tonight and decided to ride it at home. So much for good intentions. I got on the bike and felt comfortable enough, but could not maintain a cadence at all. Any cadence, any gear. Normally I settle down and can maintain 85 and not even look at the computer. Tonight I'd check, thinking I was ok, and it would be 80, or 90, or something. And certainly not steady. Then I was looking at my heart rate monitor, and noticing I was breathing WAY harder than usual for a given heartrate. Then I noticed I was back to pedalling up and down rather than around and around, and the more I tried to fix it, the worse it got. Then I noticed my bike making a funny noise. It's done that before, every once in a while and I didn't worry about it. Tonight I couldn't stop worrying about it, and was trying to figure out what it was. Of course that made the cadence issue even worse. I got through the one legged drill ok, but bailed out shortly after. I need to practice doing better to get better; practicing doing worse isn't going to do me any good at all.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Drills?! We don't need no steenkin drills!

Back to the geezer pool, and I couldn't face keeping count to do drills. I just wanted to swim. So I did.
2000 m 39:10.
The first few laps were ok, then it all fell apart and I struggled for another 10 or 15 laps having to work to keep on a 50 m in a minute pace. Somehow I managed to get my groove back, and I settled into a nice strong and even stroke, reaching forward, then rolling and pulling. My 1000 m time was probably about 19:50, so the second 1000 m was way faster than the first.

That went great till the attack of the geezers. My empty lane started filling up with a few laps to go. One chick had the nerve to push off in my lane just where I was turning. She was keeping up for a few strokes, then I squeezed her into the ropes and she moved into another lane. Then the idiot who likes swimming against traffic showed up, but I didn't get a chance to line him up and take a run at him. Still, it was a good swim.

Yoga in the evening had some balance poses. Tree pose (standing straight on one leg, the other sole flat against the straight leg as high as it goes) only works for trees because they have roots, dammit! I can't describe the other pose, but I was better at it.

It's Fricking cold out there tonight, and who knows what the temperature will be at 6:30 am tomorrow when I start my run. Maybe I'll wimp out, pay the big bucks, and run inside at the Talisman Centre. I've been meaning to check it out because my city facility pass expires the first week of December. I have to keep in mind that at the Talisman Center I'm likely to be the geezer!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

First Brick, if I've got the slang right

Today was the first day I looked at the IGP™ with a bit of trepidation. It called for 60 min spin and a 15 min run. This after a good night's sleep that came after a yoga class that was advertised as a "Stress-Buster". NOT! Some of it was, I have to admit I nearly fell asleep twice. The only thing keeping me awake was the gentle snores of someone who beat me to it. But some of it was nearly brutal.

So I puttered around getting everything ready, and did a bit of stretching before the ride. Then I started, and it went like this.
10 min: easy warm up
10 min: one leg drills, 30 seconds alt left and right with a minute in between, and cheating at the end to sneak in another left
10 min: shift into 1 harder gear
1 min at 85, then 1 min at 100
shift into 1 harder gear again
1 min at 85, then 1 min at 100
shift into 1 harder gear again
1 min at 85, then 1 min at 100 then back down 2 gears and spin at 85
10 min repeat the one legged drill as before
10 min progressive drill again, only this time after the hard one, go up one gear, 1 min 85, then 1 min 100, then up another gear and do another 1 min at 85 then 1 min at 100. This got me up to 50 minutes with a minimum of moving around on the bike, and the last 10 min were tough, even though it was an easy spin, concentrating on smoothness. My hands were pretty good, and my butt mostly pretty good, but the back of my arms was the sore part of the ride. The yoga downward dog really takes it out of me.

Off the bike, change, and out the door in 2 min 30 seconds.
Ran 15 minutes, then walked another 8 to cool down. It just so happens, completely by accident, that the loop I ran walked is nearly exactly 3 Km. The 15 min run took me 2.3 Km. If you do the math, just as a baseline, you end up with 9.2 Km/hr, or 6:30/Km pace. Considering that a few weeks ago anything more than running for the bus would do me in, I'm really pleased. My heartrate was high 130's, low 140's for the run, and breathing felt good. Quads felt fine, calves are a bit heavy.

Totals for the week
Swim 2.5 hr
Bike 3 hr
Run 1.75
Total 7.25, plus if you care to count it, 3 hrs yoga.

Friday, November 23, 2007

A great start today!

I was a little tired after my spin session last night, didn't go to sleep right away, and actually had to be woken by the alarm clock this morning.

The swim at the fast pool was great!
500 m warmup 10 min
10 x 50 m aiming for 50 seconds, never slower than 53, on 1:15 start. (25 min)
100 m junk laps, kick or breast stroke
250 m swimming with one arm alternating every 25 m, with no pansy floats or aids.
250 m cool down
2100 m in 50 min altogether, then 10 min in dive tank for pool pilates.

The intervals went really well, concentrating on smooth strong strokes. The last interval was 45 seconds, which is just about top speed for me. On the cool down I tried swimming by force of mind, pretending that my arms were just windmilling in the water breeze. That was fun.

249. That number is great news. Yahoo!

Oh, and the sunrise slowly lighting up the mountains was gorgeous today.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Great new run route, and lonely spin

There was still a bit of snow on the ground this morning, so I wanted a route where I could see the path. So much for down beside the canal. I parked up on top of the ridge beside the Canoe Club, then started walking south on the path. Partway along there's a road that crosses over top of Deerfoot that leads to the Inglewood Golf Club. My first thought was to take it down to the canal path and keep heading south, since that part of the path is flat and reasonably well lit. But where the road turns right, there's a locked gravel access road for the canal, and there were lots of people and dog prints along it. I thought what the heck, why not?

It turns out that road goes back up hill and along south way above Deerfoot. You get an absolutely stunning view of the city, including downtown. I ran all the way down to a cellphone tower, then it was time to turn around and retrace my steps back to the car. I spent half the time enjoying the view of the city, and the other half of the time looking at the pre-dawn sky. I'm sure going to do this route again!

Something that's new to me, but will be old hat to all you runners, is that I noticed I was carrying tension in my legs. A few steps and I managed to get rid of it, and in the process run smoother. A minute later I noticed tension in my shoulders and upper back, and managed to get rid of that as well. Later during the run, I was starting to slow down as my bod was thinking "3 min, time to walk", and I told it to keep going and pick up the pace, and it did. For much of the run portion I was breathing deeply and evenly, with no gasping, and could still talk. I haven't run this fast since high school! Yeah Susi, I can hear the smug "told ya so."

7 minutes warmup walking briskly
4 x 5 min run 3 min walk
8 min cool down walk
45 minutes total, and I'm guessing from Google Maps, about 5.5 Km.

Busy day at work, then zoomed straight to the Library for my volunteer stint helping to teach computer courses to run into a brand new project we couldn't get going. Then home to grab a quick small bite of food.

Then, evening spin in my basement! I tell you, it doesn't get anymore more exciting than this. The IGP™ called for a 45 min ride. I really couldn't face doing one legged drills, though I know I need them. I wanted to sit and pedal the entire time. Well, I didn't quite make it; I started feeling uncomfortable on the bike at 40 min and shifting around. But throughout the spin, there was a number of times where all my weight was on my butt and the spin was really happening. Every time it did, my cadence picked up by about 5 rpm or so.

10 min warm up easy spin at 85 rpm
shift into 1 harder gear
1 min at 85, then 1 min at 100
shift into 1 harder gear again
1 min at 85, then 1 min at 100
shift into 1 harder gear again
1 min at 85, then 1 min at 100, and about here my HR topped 140 so I decided not to go another gear
Then back to easy gear again and spin 4 minutes to bring heart rate down
Do it all again on 20, and again on 30.
on 40 go into an easier gear yet and easy spin for 5 min to to relax the legs.

45 min run, 45 min bike.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

swim day at the slow pool

My body has been conditioned to treat exercise as a wake up call, since almost all my swimming is done in the early morning, and almost all my riding has been during the warm part of the day. Now I've got spin class in the evening, and my poor brain and bod doesn't quite know what to think. I found it difficult to relax and go to sleep.

Getting up wasn't the problem but actually getting out of bed was a struggle. The blankets, you see, had a good grip on me and weren't letting go. I'd got them all warmed up and they weren't going to give up without a struggle. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. What did the trick was to think of the pool, and how nice it would feel to be in the water again.

500 m warmup, 10 min
5 x 100 m in 100 seconds, on 150 second start. (not quite as quick as Greg but I'm pleased.)
500 m easy and relaxed, 10 min 30 seconds.
15 min pool pilates.

Total 45 minutes.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cold run then hot spin

I'm still getting used to this whole running thing, and it's gradually getting colder out. This morning was about -13 C, but I went and ran anyway, and had a good time. The sky was just beginning to light up in a pre-dawn sort of way. The stars were still out, just barely, but hard to see because of the city and traffic lights.

Today's route I think I will call the Susi route. The first one who can tell me why it's named that gets one of my special mint chocolate chip cookies. If it's Susi herself, I guess I'll have to come up with something else.

I parked at Bow Water's Canoe Club, walked under 17th Ave, up and over the bridge across the canal, then onto the path on that side. From there, I ran south along the path, underneath Deerfoot Trail, past the road leading to the Inglewood Golf Club, and some distance past that. Then back to the car. No idea at all how far that is.

I tried putting a map in here, but it didn't work right. I'll figure it out sooner or later. If you know Calgary at all and want to play with Google maps, this is just east of where Blackfoot crosses Deerfoot and turns into 17th Ave. You can see the roof of the Bow Water's Canoe Club as an orange dot, and the path shows up pretty good.

7 min warmup walk
5x 4 min run, 2 min walk
7 min cool down.

Total 45 min.

Looking forward to spin class tonight, details at 11.

The details are, warm up, spin faster, spin slower, and do that a bunch of times, spin one legged altogether too many times for altogether too long, spin slower in a big gear, spin faster in an easy gear, then do it some more, spin really really fast, then slower, then cool down. About the 50 minute mark I was beginning to think the end result of eating the bike would be less painful than sitting and spinning some more, but I stuck it out for 1.25 hours, pedaling most of the way.

This really is getting better. I can spin with the right leg for almost a minute now, but the left is weaker. The round and round is smoother. And Susi's goodies were excellent. You. Guys!!! She gave Greg some excellent cookies, and he was very nice to share. Yummy. Now I have a sugar rush going to keep me awake.

Yes, it's really snowing out. I'm glad tomorrow is a swim day. If the idiot drivers in Calgary let me get to the pool.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I sideswiped a geezer!

Swim today
500 m brisk warm up (9:25)
50 m kick
50 m backstroke
250 m 5 x 50 m 45-50 second, on 1:15 start.
50 m kick
50 m breastroke
250 m trying to minimize number of strokes per length, between 15-18.
50 m kick
50 m backstroke
250 m easy cool down (5 min)

1550 m total in a bit under 45 min overall, then did a few min pool pilates.

The pool was warm today, but I was determined. Grrrr. There was a young guy swimming in my lane when I started, or rather, I should say he was slowly waving his flukes looking for a beach. I passed him a couple times and he very graciously moved to the next lane. The geezers left me alone for a while, then one of them tried to swim down the lane I was swimming up. (The fast lane is a pair of lanes together, and they've arranged you swim up the middle, and back along the lane ropes.) I saw him coming, and aimed to graze him. I'm fairly sure my elbow was about an inch from his eyes, and I could have ripped off his very baggy shorts. I thought about it, but decided not to. Then basically my shoulder and ribs pushed him over and my forearm pushed one leg into the other and messed up his kick. Oddly enough, I didn't see him anymore, and I was really left alone. Gotta love it.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Who'd have thought that lying down could be hard work?

Yoga last night at the Harmony Yoga Studio. This was a relaxation class with some meditation. We did some basic poses, just to get warmed up. I don't know any of the names for these poses, so I either have to make like dance class and say "the one that goes like this", or pass on the whole deal and leave it up to your imagination.

For the last third of the class we were to lie on our backs, with a bolster under our knees and a blanket for our head if we wanted, and could wrap ourselves in blankets if we wished. We did some breathing exercises, then just lay there quietly, breathing to ourselves. That was fine for a bit, then my tailbone and hips started hurting. I was thinking I should have put a blanket under them too, bearing in mind that I was on 1 thin and 1 thick yoga mat. So I somehow suspect my mind was't where the yoga teacher wanted it. And I just spent a moment fondling my back where you can feel the back of the hip bones, and there isn't anywhere near as much flab there as there used to be. That's good I guess.

I was so tired going into the class I was a bit worried about falling asleep, and I had seriously contemplated a nap before class. At the end of it I was awake, but had no trouble going to sleep when we got home.

After a very relaxing Saturday morning reading the paper, I got dressed for a spin session. I suppose I could have cycled outside, but it was cloudy and not very warm. Plus, I wanted to pay attention to my cadence and heart rate, and not have to worry about traffic.

15 min warmup at 85 rpm
10 min of 30 seconds one leg, both for 1 min, 30 seconds other leg, 1 min both. (Left leg needs work!)
5 min recovery at 85 rpm
10 min at 100 rpm, still in a fairly easy gear. HR was low 130's throughout. Very little or no bouncing.
5 min recovery at 85 rpm
1 min at 110 rpm (little or no bouncing)
2 min recovery
1 min at 110 to 115 (with not much bouncing)
2 min recovery
1 min at 115 to 120 (just a little bouncing) HR just got over 140 as I was finishing, and my butt started complaining big time.
8 min cool down

60 min total, with about 10 minutes of stretching afterward. Legs feel great, the heaviness in my calves is gone now. I was fine up to about the 50 minute mark, but then couldn't get comfey on my bike. I guess my butt had had enough. My hands were ok.

Tomorrow is going to be a rest day for me, in preparation for starting the IGP. (IronGregPlan)™(trademark symbol) So the weekly summary, bearing in mind I was out of town.

Swim .3 hr
Bike 1.75 hr
Run 1.1 hr
Total 3.1 hr (not counting an hour of yoga, cause I wasn't sweating and breathing hard)

Last week was cut a bit short, and I didn't post the totals for it.
Swim 2.25 hr
Bike 1.5 hr
Run 1.2
Yoga 1.25 (hey, I was sweating and breathing hard so I'm gonna count it!)
Total 6.25 hr

Friday, November 16, 2007

tired this am

Woke up with a heart rate of 55 or 57 bpm, which is a bit high for me. Once I got out of bed my calves felt very heavy. I guess I didn't stretch enough after yesterday's workouts.

The swim was slow and easy today, 1 Km in 21 minutes. My heart rate after that was only 108, so it was a washout as far as aerobic conditioning is concerned. But it felt really good to stretch out and feel the water on my bod. Then into the dive tank for a bit of pool pilates, then into the hot tub to let the jets pound on calves and hip flexor muscles.

252. Eeek, there's that number again.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

4 minute run and 45 min spin

I'm on a bit of a different schedule this week, but I'm getting back on the fitness bus. Today was a run day.

10 min warm up
8 x 4 min run 2 min walk
8 min cool down, for an hour and 6 min total, over a route that is 7.8 Km long. This takes me down into Fish Creek Park, and it's quite dark.

Temp was just below zero, calm, and the paths were in pretty good shape. This run felt great. Once I warmed up and reminded myself of what running is like, I found I had no trouble going the 4 min, and once went almost 4:30 before I looked at my watch again. If anything, I wanted to run further.

My only difficulty is looking at my watch to know when it's time to start or stop running. Right now I'm pushing up my sleeve, then hitting the light button on my watch, then trying to read it. I don't know what I'm going to do when I finally have to wear mittens or gloves. Is there some runners secret here that I'm missing?

I had thought of taking my shoes to Ottawa to run in between various social obligations, but I'm glad I didn't. There really wasn't time. However, things went smoothly. In spite of the circumstances, it was nice to see everybody again.

It was time to get back on the bike and have an easy spin session. My thought was mainly to build some time practicing a light foot on the pedals and remind my butt that this bike thing is going to keep on happening. Yes, I checked the trainer setup to be sure everything was appropriately tight. Just in case.

10 min warm up at 85 rpm in a nice easy gear to see where my heart rate would stabalize.
4 x 2 min at 100 rpm (same gear) then 2 min at 85 rpm, concentrating on not bouncing.
4 min easy spin at 85-90 rpm, concentrating on light feet and going around.
2 x 1 min at 110 rpm then 2 min at 85 rpm.
4 min 90-95 rpm, concentrating on light feet and going around.
5 min easy cool down

45 min total.
For whatever reason, I felt it in my calves the most. Thinking about the longer run than usual, I decided to cut back on the bike tonight. Future days with run and bike will see shorter runs and longer bike time.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

That's much better

The swim today was much more like what I think of as normal. The total was 3000 m in 59 min in 59:39. The first 1000 m went by so fast I didn't look at my watch for that split, but it was probably about 19:20. The other splits were:
1500 m 29:24 (almost a minute faster than last Wed, with much less effort.)
2000 m 39:30

After the swim I went into the dive tank and did a bit of pool pilates.

The last three laps was where I slowed down because my elbows were starting to hurt. Up till then the lap splits were pretty well bang on a minute, except for some fast laps at the beginning. I didn't keep track of heart rate, but I was pushing a bit so I was breathing a bit harder than normal towards the end. Not so hard I was gasping, but hard enough I was expanding my lungs fully. There were a few times I got some water instead of air, but that wasn't catastrophic, it just made me really eager to make the next breath really good. I was concentrating on getting in a long strong smooth pull with elbows up throughout the swim, with a nice easy kick.

The next lane had a coached group going, with 4 quite fast women sharing the lane. One of them had a breast stroke that was almost as fast as my freestyle. Trying to keep up with them occasionally made for some fast laps, but also made for some choppy water when they were practicing dolphin kick.

I'm really pleased by this time. It's the first time I've done 3 K in under 1 hour in many years. The other times I've gone this distance I was a hair over, and had to sprint the last few laps to get there. Today didn't have a sprint at the end. I suspect I could have swum another 1000 m, but it wouldn't have been under, or even on, 1 hour 20 minutes, and my arms would have been hurting units.

That wouldn't have been good for the plane ride this afternoon. Linda I are going back to Ontario today to attend her Mom's funeral on Monday. This isn't particularly a surprise. She's been ill for some time, and the last several weeks have had been a pretty abrupt decline. Linda was able to spend several months with her earlier this year, and has had time to prepare for this. She's doing fine and gives her thanks for those who have called to express their sympathies. She's sorry that she can't cheer on Susi during the run on Sunday, as am I. It's a bummer to miss yoga and spin class, but these things happen.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Schedule disruption

I'll be out of town attending a funeral on Monday, so my schedule is all messed up till Wed. More news then.

So much for clean running shoes...

Sigh. I was running a bit late today, and didn't feel like looking at my watch to manage the run 3 walk 2 thing. So I decided to just run for a bit, and walk for a bit, as I felt like it. I don't even want to speculate how long I ran vs walked. But when I was showering after I remember thinking that it seemed pretty easy, and I could have gone longer, ect. That's progress of a sort, I guess.

On the way back from the run I thought I'd take a bit of a shortcut. Off the path. I can categorically state that the ground isn't yet frozen, and I found a mucky bit. And there's horrible little burrs all over my shoe laces. Nobody (and she knows who she is) never told me there'd be days like this, but I should have figured it out for myself.

If I'm feeling ambitious at home tonight, I'll climb on the bike and spin for a while. The other thing is to try to track down a missing running sock. I bought 3 pairs, and probably really should get more. One sock is AWOL, probably burrowed into a t shirt or cavorting with my wife's socks. This whole sock thing has thrown me a bit. You see, till now I've had two kinds of socks. White and black. Each are identical, and I can pick them out without having to open my eyes. When one wears out I throw it away, and periodically buy more of the identical socks. Now I have a third kind, running socks, that also happen to be white, and life is complicated again. Sigh.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

There's a line dance called the Achey Breaky

And that's how I felt during my swim this morning. Not, I think from spin class last night. This was in my mid-back and shoulders especially on the left side, hurting when I tried to breathe deeply. So I figured I'd do a nice easy relaxing swim. I haven't felt so bad during a swim since forever. I was slow slow slow, flailing around in the water like the geezers in the next lane. At about the 23 minute mark it came together for a while, then started falling apart again just at the end of the 30 minutes. The 1500 m took 30 min 10 seconds. I'm almost ashamed to say that.

In the evening I had a meeting with Greg to get started on the coaching thing. He's got the info he needs to come up with the plan to get me through the Chinook Half next June. Up to now I've done workouts based on how I felt when I started, with no overall plan. I'm really excited to see that there is a way to set up workouts so as to learn and practice certain skills, then use them to build endurance and strength, and get rest, all in an organized fashion. For me it's easier to do something when you know how it leads toward an overall goal.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Attacked by a yogurt container

Tuesday's are the big exercise day of the week lately. Maybe that will change once I'm on a formal program with Greg, but a morning run, and a spin class are big for me. Plus the unforseen adventure with yogurt. No kidding. Some of you may need to be warned about the hazards of blowing hot coffee out of nostrils.

The run was essentially a repeat of last Thursday. My thinking was that spin class was rumoured to be a 20 minute time trial. I'd never done one of those and had no idea what to expect. I seriously asked if I should bring a bucket. So I figured go easy on the running this week, and pick it up next week. I did 7 minutes warmup walk, 6 x 3 min run/2 min walk, and another 7 minutes or so cool down. I can't really do much longer without arriving at work after 8 am. This was on the path on the top of the hill just south of the Bow Waters Canoe Club. You get quite a nice view of the city from there, and the dawn sky was beautiful. Yes, yes, I'm getting to the yogurt. Patience.

It's not a good idea for me to eat right before exercise, so typically I have some fruit and juice for breakfast, then head off to swim or run. That's not enough to keep me going till lunch, so I've started taking some granola. You can't really eat that dry, so I started taking these small yogurt containers to mix with the granola. I've opened a million of these foil topped containers without untoward incident, sometimes under adverse circumstances we need not go into now. So today, I peel back the foil, and fwooof, a spray of yogurt ends up on the desk, my hands, my sweater, and one tiny spot on my glasses. I'm just a bit keyed up these days, what with a new job and wanting to make a good impression, and all the cobwebs being blown out of my brain with exercise. So I twitched backward in my chair, and came within a hairsbreadth of toppling over my gym bag that hadn't been tucked under my desk yet. (I was hungry, so SUE me!) and if I'd fallen over it and tried to recover, odds were even I'd have banged my head on the office window, or trying to avoid that, crash through it and topple out of a second story window, probably with the chair coming after me. If I lived the ambulance attendants would probably pee all over me cause they'd be laughing so hard. But it all worked out ok, I used a kleenex to mop up, and carried on. I don't think anyone else in the office even knew. How little they know what they got themselves into when they hired me.

At one point, via MSM, Susi was filling me in on what could be expected this evening, and from there we got onto fluid management, and what's the worst that could happen overdoing it during the time trial. Given the incident with the yogurt, you can't be totally surprised when my version of what's the worst that could happen ended up with an electrical fire.

But spin class was good, once I figured out why my computer cadence wasn't working. Somehow the two tiny wires had become disconnected. I'll maybe have to redo how I've got them routed. The idea for this was to spin consistently for 20 minutes at the max pace you can maintain. I've never done this before so I had no idea how hard to push. I settled for maintaining 90 rpm in a middle gear on the small chain ring, and keep heart rate just below my aerobic max. That worked out pretty well. Just at the end I was beginning to feel a bit of a burn in my calves. There was also some of the famous one legged pedalling drills to help us warm up. I still can't go a minute with those yet.

I'm also getting more comfy on the bike, and getting better at spinning. Practice practice practice!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Swim and 1st Yoga

250 m warmup, fairly brisk
50 m one arm alt 25 m right and 25 m left
50 m breastroke
50 m one arm alt r and left
500 m 10 x 50 m in 50 seconds on 1:15 start
100 m one arm alt r and left
50 m kick
100 m cool down
1150 m total, 30 min altogether

15 min pool pilates

For most of the swim I was sharing with the other fast guy at the slow pool. He started shortly after I did, and between us we punted a slow guy out of our lane. Let me tell you how slow these other people are. The next fastest guy after my buddy pushed off the wall next to me just as I'm about to start a 1 arm drill. I passed him. Quickly.

I'm really not sure about the one arm drill. Sure it builds strength, or it should, but it's also a much choppier stroke. Let's see how it goes for a while, and watch for any bad stroke habits creeping in.

Swim felt great today. But then, for me, there's no such thing as a bad day in the pool. (Come on, you know who, we're waiting to see the swim details in your blog. :-) ) I was thinking about Susi's sadistic swim drill instructor during the breast stoke. My kick is pathetic, and a few sessions with her might teach me what I should be doing. Or drown me.

I got signed up for yoga classes; my massage therapist says this should be really good for me. And so it was. Lots of Warrior pose, and some variants of that. To my astonishment there were people in the class much less flexible than I am. I guess all the pool work is paying off. I think I'm going to like it.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The first lonely spin workout in the basement

These weather people are getting good. Sure enough, it snowed last night.

Timing is tight today, but I wanted to slip in a short workout on the bike, mainly to try one legged pedaling. Warm up 10 min at 80 to 85 rpm. Then 3 sets of 30 seconds pedaling with one leg, 1 minute with both at 85, 30 seconds with the other leg, 1 minute with both. Then in a fairly easy gear, trying to concentrate on going round and round instead of up and down, 5 minutes at 85 - 90 rpm, then up to 100 rpm for 5 minutes, then back to 85 for 5 minutes as a cool down. My legs and hands are ok, but my sit bones are protesting a bit. This added up to about 30 minutes.

Weekly hourly summary:
2.3 Swim
3.0 Bike
1.4 Run

6.7 hours total.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The last semi-nice day for a ride

Once I had the bike computer installed, then noticed it was sunny and above zero, how could I not want to go for a ride? Life, as always, is more complicated than that. Normally I'd have waited till a bit later in the day so it would be as warm as possible. But it was supposed to get windier throughout the day, cumulating in snow tonight, and my wife's sister was flying in about noon. My first thought was to get home from the airport in good time and head out on the bike. Well, it being Air Canada and all, the flight was delayed. It also got nicer, faster, than I thought it would.

About mid-morning we figured I'd have time for a nice ride, if not terribly long, if I left that moment. The window was about an hour and 45 minutes max, for both the airport and how long I figured my butt would last. Dress and prep and zoom!

At first I thought I'd over dressed; within 5 min I was warm. Then I got into the wind and cooled down quickly. Slowed down quickly too. My thought was to ride for 45 minutes from the house on 22X heading west, turn around and come home. Well, my goodness. There I was, pedalling downhill, and not even going 25 Kph.

The mountains were gorgeous! The view going west on 22X varies from damn good to spectacular, and I had time to appreciate it. By the half way point my butt was getting sore again. Turning around all of a sudden it got way easier. There I was at near 40 Kph on the flats. Turning north on 37 st I saw a couple of guys getting ready for a ride, and I waved at them. A few minutes later I saw a strung out pack of about 8 people out for a ride, just as the day was getting to its nicest. I had a brief fantasy about having left at the same time, and joining them, and being able to keep up. My bike might be fast, but I'm not yet.

Here's the numbers. 29 K ride in 1 hr 15 minutes, for average 23 Kph, and an average cadence of 77 according to spiffy new bike computer. Now if only I can figure out how to start the timing NOW, and end it NOW, so average numbers are accurate. I wasn't wearing my heart monitor, so I don't know that, but it seemed like I was breathing harder than I normally do on a bike.

Who knows when I'll get to ride outside again? With Calgary's chinook winds it could happen any time.

Bike Photos

I was up early and installed the bike computer today. Here's the promised photos. It's kind of hard to take a photo of a bike because the camera tends to focus on whatever it is behind the bike. And yes, those are wine bottles. And yes, there's more than what shows up in the photos.

Hmmm, blogger doesn't seem to want to accept photos this am. So I'll cheat, and put them on my other website. Got to bike photos for the photos, or to Keith's Homepage for the home page, which has a link to the bike photos, and other non-fitness ramblings. The photos are fairly big, and might require you to resize your browser windowto get the full glory. I'm sorry if you have a dial up connection; the file size is fairly large because I was excited about getting the pictures and didn't reset my camera.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Good Swim

My last several swim days have been fairly easy, so I decided to push a little harder today.
500 m warm up at a fairly brisk pace, 9 min 31 seconds.
50 m kick
50 m breast stroke
250 m drill, 5 x 50 m freestyle pulling hard, mostly 16 strokes per 25 m on 1:15 start.
50 m kick
50 m breast stroke
50 m back stroke (And yes, there was a minor backflushing, but more body rotation mitigates the effect.) (And no, we won't even talk about the affair the ropes and my thumb were having.)
500 m drill 10 x 50 m in 50 seconds, on 1:15 start. (some were a bit slower.)
100 m easy cooldown.
Total is 1600 m if I've done the math right.

Then I did 15 minutes of pool pilates in the dive tank. This has really improved core strength and flexibility. One example for you to contemplate. Hold onto the edge of the pool with your arms straight, and toes touching the side, feet together. Sort of like a full push up position, only your body is vertical. Leaving arms where they are, and not lifting body up, or letting it sink, move your toes outward along the wall, and upward. Hang onto pool edge. Slowly slide toes along pool wall, lifting them higher and further apart, using core muscles. Tuck butt under and continue pushing. Stop when you have gone as far as you can, then slowly lower them.

When I started doing them the furthest up my toes could go was mumblety feet below the water line. Today, my toes go less than 11 inches from the surface. I know this because about 11 inches down there is a band of black tiles that stick out a bit from the rest of the wall. I can get my toes well above that band. Maybe soon I'll be able to get them out of the water.

Today's swim was in the fast pool, as I think of it. At various times there were people in the next lane swimming at about my speed or even faster. That's great for encouragement. I feel about the same about swimming as Greg does about biking. I didn't really want to get out of the pool, but it was getting crowded and I had to get to work.

Those that have read this far get a bonus tidbit of information. When I checked my heart rate first thing this morning, I got 49 bpm. I didn't believe that so I waited a few minutes and did it again. This time I got 45. That's certainly the lowest I've ever seen it, but bear in mind I was waking up in a position where all I had to do to see the clock was to open my eyes, and I could already feel my heart rate without having to move my hands. Lastly, a number for future reference. 255. Never mind. Move along, nothing to see here. Situation is under control.

I'm not sure about weekend plans. I'd like to get on the bike tonight and do some one legged drills. Tomorrow is supposed to be a nice day. Hopefully nice enough to go for an actual bike ride. And maybe, if I'm feeling really, really ambitious, a short easy run after the bike ride. If I do that I figure I'll have earned my Wheaties for the day.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Canal Run

Who would ever have believed that a path along a canal would be so hilly? The path goes up and down along the hillside, not just along beside the canal like I thought. This would be a really interesting run in the daylight, since you'd be able to see the WID canal headwaters, right where it ties into the Bow river. There was one idiot riding his bike without a light, on a path I could barely see at a slow running pace. I didn't hear any screams, so I guess he knew where he was going.

I parked at the Bow Waters Canoe club. 7 minutes warmup walk, 6 x 3 min run/2 min walk, and another 7 minutes or so cool down. This took me north, across the pedestrian bridge at Memorial, back down to the canal weir on the Bow (do NOT go swimming there unless you're tired of life!) and back again.

It was really interesting to vary my pace on the hills. For some reason, going up seems easier mechanically if harder on the lungs, and going down harder mechanically and easier on the lungs. Maybe I just need a lesson on downhill running. It wasn't what I'd call a peaceful run. Traffic noise from Deerfoot is quite loud, especially the indignant honks. But you're protected from the wind for most of it, and there's lots of branching routes. I think I'll have to run there again.

I could also park in the East part of Inglewood, and go running through the bird sanctuary, or along the Bow. Just because there's a park right behind the pool where I shower afterward doesn't mean I have to run there.

The verdict on running - so far so good. Which will be an astonishment to the people who used to listen to me saying that people running any further than for the bus were nuts.