Thursday, January 31, 2008

easy spin, almost just a warm up really

Back on the bike for the first time in over a week. I decided to take it slow and easy. The ride ended up being only 30 minutes long, mostly at 85 rpm or so, with some stretching after. Even so, I can sure feel my hip flexors and my legs feel a little tired overall. No need to push it just yet.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Another nice swim during my rest

The FOMC is in full swing, but the lanes I swim in are good.

1000 m 19 min almost exactly, at a medium to strong effort.

100 m times are are 1:44, 1:53, 1:55, 1:58, 1:56, 1:58, 1:56, 1:53, 1:53, 1:52. Nice and even, except for the first.

No spin last night. Firstly, I thought I'd been so organized to get all my bike stuff in the car Monday night, then found out first thing Tuesday there was no spin class. So I humped it all back out of the car. Along the way I noticed that one of the rubber feet for my spin trainer was missing. At the time I didn't think anything of it, I figured it was somewhere in the back seat of the car. It wasn't, and I can't find it anywhere in the house. So now I'm wondering if it fell off in the garage and I've kicked it to some obscure corner underneath something that likely is very cold.

Then, I was working on a Sudoku puzzle right after supper and notice I was having a hard time staying awake. I figured why fight it, my body must need the rest, so I was in bed about 8:30. Tell me again that thing with grown-ups being allowed to stay up as late as they like?

Monday, January 28, 2008

That's better

I feel much better about today's swim.
1000 m 19:36, nice and easy. I wasn't even breathing hard at the end.

The stroke felt good, and I was moving easily through the water. I was relaxed on my kick to continue to try to rest my calves and hams.

I managed to get a 3pm appointment today for some Shiatsu and acupuncture. That ought to be good.

If it's this frigging cold out tomorrow morning, there's no way I'm running outdoors. Yes, you win the "Neener neener, I'm not a weenie" contest, but are a big winner in the "I am stupid" contest, and a potential finalist in the Darwin awards. Not me.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Weekly totals

This week has had an almost complete break from workouts. Still, here's the weekly totals.

Swim 1.9 hrs
Bike 2 hrs
Run .25
Total 4.16

Legs are clearly liking the rest, and are feeling better. The plan is to swim Monday, evaluate running on Tues morning, and plan for a spin session on Tues.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

more catchup

So last everybody heard, I didn't do my Thursday morning run. I went for a nice walk at lunch time and had my left leg give me hell about that. What with a couple things the scheduled ride for Thursday night didn't happen, bed did.

Friday morning I zoomed off for my swim. I was thinking of doing a nice steady 3 K and see what sort of time that turned out to be. Well shit, so much for that idea. I packed it in at 1.5 K, after 30:33. The first K was barely ok at 19:52. For a while I decided to believe the pool staff had found this clear molassas, but it was pretty clear my stroke had totally fallen apart. For a while I had seriously begun to wonder if I'd forgotten how to swim. It never got any better, and in fact, the last few laps were probably the slowest ones I'd done since some time in 2006. No swim cap with shark fin. Sigh. I've seldom felt so tired getting out of the pool. Normally a swim energizes me and I feel great. Sometimes a bit tired if I've pushed it, but a good tired. This was a dog dragging it's tail tired.

The number was a bright spot though, a solid 241, even with missing out on some of the workouts.

I dashed off a quick note to Greg about the situation, and he suggested I take a few days off, relax, reflect on my progress, and let my calf heal. Sounds good to me. I've made a lot of progress very quickly for a mumblty year old bod, and it shouldn't be a surprise it wants a break. Next week I'll call the accupuncture guy that my wife goes to, and I've been to a few times. He's got solid steel fingers, and a bit of the electra-stim or whatever its called can't hurt. Meanwhile, everything in the bedroom smells of Tiger Balm.

I was in a Business Analyst course all day Friday and Saturday, and was cheered to find one of the people in my group is from Penticton, and has been volunteering at IMC for years and years. We had lunch with a couple of her buddies in the tri community, and it was great chatting with them! The one fellow did a Florida IM in an astonishing time, I think under 12 hours, essentially hopping on one leg like Terry Fox for a good part of it because the other had seized up.

Friday night was an Argentine Tango class, and that turned into a killer for my calf. Something about the lock steps we were doing had my right shin banging into my left calf, which didn't help, and the style of the dance has your weight forward, pulling on sore muscles. So I'll see how things go tonight. I'm cuing up Alien, some more wine, some cookies (oink!) and evaluate how I feel in the morning. If good and refereshed, I'll do the Sunday ride. If I'm still tired, I'll pass.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Wed swim was nice and relaxing. My thought was to concentrate on being long and strong, smooth and steady.
1 K just a hair under 19 min, but nice and easy.
20 min core and flexibility work in the dive tank.

In fact, if a couple of the people I was sharing the lane with hadn't got in the way near the end, and I had pushed it a bit more, I suspect I could have made a significant improvement in my personal best time for that distance. But that isn't what the swim was about. I was doing my best shark impression, how they look slow till you try to escape, then CHOMP! And yes, I was trying to visualize what a swim cap with a shark fin on the back would look like as I was going back and forth.

And don't get the idea that the people I was sharing the lane with were being bad. Not at all. They were going at a respectable pace, and were letting me by. There was only two occasions (once each) where I was slow the last few meters of a lap waiting for them to get to the end. They probably quite legitimately thought they could make it to the end before I got there, and I'm not going to bust their chops about it. Overall, the people I've been sharing lanes with at the FOMC pool have been excellent about sharing.

The massage last night was very nice. My therapist (may rose petals be scattered in her path) worked a long time on my legs. Oddly enough, my mid-back was surprisingly good. But she thinks I may have actually pulled or torn a bit of muscle in my calf. It's not bruised or obviously swollen, but she thinks the left is bigger than the right, and it's way tighter. Her thought is to dial back on the running a bit, since that's when I get the pain, and give things a chance to heal up. She also suggested that since I'm new to running, that I get someone to actually look at my stride. She thinks it's possible that my left leg is doing something my right isn't, that stresses the calf muscle differently.

So even though the IGP™ called for a 50 min 6r/2w session this morning, I didn't. Things are still sore this morning, and I can feel the pull during a normal walking stride. I think running right now, even very carefully, would be asking for it pretty please with sugar on top. It's supposed to be nice out at lunch time, so I'll go for a walk then. Tonight, back on the bike again! Sunday calls for bike then short run, and we'll see how things feel. Maybe run slowly, lightly, with more frequent walk breaks than usual.

And J, after Tuesday's long ride, my butt was fine. Honestly, I could have kept going, but there was Greg, looking at his watch, tapping his toes, holding the store keys.... NOT! No, I could have kept going, but people were getting off their bikes and starting to pack up. I think I've absorbed the lesson that just because I could eat something bigger than my head, I don't have to. And just because I could go longer or harder during a workout, doesn't mean I should.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Moderately Ludicrous

Yes, that was the word for the spin class tonight. Moderately Ludicrous. I guess you had to be there.

I managed to get there a bit early, though I was stupid about it. Traffic totally sucked. And it was only when I was almost there I realized I hadn't run in the morning, and if I'd been just a smidgeon more organized, I could have put the bike in the car this morning, and driven directly from work to spin class. That would have taken an hour of traffic out of my day. Oh well. It was nice to go home and talk to my wife though, so it was all worth while.

My faithful fans will know I've had a bit of an owie in my left calf, so I did a nice long warm up while other people were getting set up. Once IronGreg flogged us into action, we started with the usual one leg drills. Then we did some cadence pyramids. The two long sets of MAP 2 min then 2 min recovery. Then a nice long cooldown. I was on the bike 2 hr 10 min, my longest ride to date.

Overall the workout felt good. I was careful about my leg, and paying attention to how it behaved. The higher rpms where I start to get jerky is where it starts to hurt. Maybe I need a running lesson to see if I'm doing something wrong that is jarring or stressing the calf muscle.

I can hear the astute amoung you asking why I don't put the bike in the car anyway, even when I run. It's like this. Normally I park at the FOMC, and there is a sign on the door that says not to leave valuables in your car, even locked in the trunk. The last thing I want to see when I come back from my run is the car broken into and the bike gone.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Well, that didn't work out the way I hoped

The swim this morning was pretty good. I decided to break out of the 1:15 start mould.

250 m 4:40 warmup
20 x 50 m in 50 seconds on 1:10 start
250 m cooldown 4:50

1.5 k 33 min.
10 min core in dive tank.

Once I figured out how to keep track of a 1:10 start, things went well.

The run this evening didn't go as well. The idea was to warm up and run 5K as a benchmark to measure future progress. The warmup and first 2 K were just fine. Part way through the 3rd K, my left calf seized up. Not the cramp like I've had before. This was a bit lower down in the muscle, and was sore all over.
First K was 6:47 with average hr of 127
Second was 6:39 with average hr of 132
Third was 4:20 for as much as I did, average hr of 131.

I am beginning to think I actually have damaged it somehow. The muscle is fine for a while, but it always seems to be the first thing to give up.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Scouting the borders of Hurl Territory.

As we all know, Hurl Territory is a wild and untamed place. The terrain can be seductively easy, yet suddenly unmanagable. Things move on you, and you can't totally trust the landmarks. The problem is that the road to success skirts perilously close to the heartlands. Up to now I've been preparing myself, staying well away. Today I thought to push a little closer to see for myself what the edges of this fabled territory looks like.

The IGP™ called for an hour on the spin trainer, but no run. I missed last Thursday, so I thought I'd make up part of it today.
20 min warmup, gradually building to 100 rpm, then easing back for the last couple minutes
One leg drill
4 x 24 sec right leg, 25 sec both, 45 sec left leg, 45 sec both, 15 sec acceleration to 140rpm or so, 1:45 recovery
Main set
10 x 2 min hard, two min recovery
10 min cool down

Total 90 min

The goal during two min hard was to get my heartrate up into the 140's, which is solidly zone 4 for me. I tried different ways, hill climbing, fastest rpm without bouncing (just under 110), and once standing. The high rpm technique was best for driving the heart rate up. It wasn't so long ago that I would have bailed on the last two reps. My legs and core were beginning to feel the burn, my lungs were beginning to feel hollow, I could feel my face flushed more than usual, and the sweat was running off me more than it ever has. But I figured everything up to now just got me to where I could start to see the edge of Hurl, and thought, "I can't go from this to hurl in 8 minutes, can I?" As it turns out, I didn't. Maybe I should have done a few more. None the less, I'm happy. I'm edging up against my current physical limits and started exploring what it felt like. So far so good.

And besides, it snowed yesterday and the sidewalks are crap for running.

Weekly totals.
Swim 2.25 hrs
Bike 3.25 hrs
Run 1.29 hrs
Total 6.8 hrs

Friday, January 18, 2008

Friday swim intervals and number

The IGP™ for last night called for a 1 hour spin. Work ended up being a 12 hour non-stop day, which was the first of those in a while, and with any luck, the last. Guess what didn't get done yesterday. Sorry Greg. Tonight is our first Argentine Tango lesson, so I'll not be able to do it tonight, and Sat is the rest day I'm looking forward to.

Today was only a 45 min swim. I'd exchanged some email with a buddy of mine that used to be a swim coach (Susi, Jeff says hi!) and he encouraged me to get on the intervals if I want to do any of faster, further, longer, stronger, more efficient, fewer strokes per length or all that stuff. So, drill time this am.

250 m 4:30 warmup (54 s / 50 m)
5 x 50 m in 45 seconds, start on 1:15 (47 seconds on the last one)
250 m in 4:45 (57 s/50 m) concentrating on form and gliding through the water
10 x 50 m in 50 s, start on 1:15 (these are beginning to seem easy now)
250 m 5 min cool down
Total 1.5 Km 33 min

15 min core and flexibility workout in dive tank.

The adventure was swimming beside a gal who was imitating a seagull trying to take off using alternate wings, slowly. We whacked arms once, then I tried to time it so that didn't happen again. In the next lane a couple gals were doing a set of drills, and they were going pretty good. During the intervals I was trying to keep up with them, and not succeeding. Well, once, almost. This was a good workout, I can feel it in my lungs a bit, and lots in my arms.

IronGreg's Malaysia Ironman is coming up soon. Does anyone know if it's going to be televised? Sat 8am Malaysia time is Friday 5pm Calgary time. Is anyone up to host an all-nighter cheering on Greg? I've got dance class that night, and an all day course at Mount Royal College, so I don't know if I'm able to do all night. Maybe nap till 3 am then get up to watch him finish.

And the number? Almost but not quite 242.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Way better than Tuesday run

The IGP™ called for 40 min 5r 1.5w today, and Tuesday was 40 min 5r 2 w. Today the very same 5K was done in 37:45, compared to Tuesday's 41:32. There was no particular push to run fast. My legs felt much better and the run felt smoother. My hams weren't complaining at all, and I could feel all of my calves working, but no pulls or tugs or complaints there either. I'm pretty sure I could have done a couple more walk run cycles at this pace, but this is a lighter week for me, and I know I need the easier workout. From my experiences in other workouts, I get the feeling that this was one of the days it came together, and I could see a big improvement without feeling like I was working really hard. Much more efficient. But on this sort of thing I've found if I push harder, thinking I'll get even more improvement, it all tends to fall apart. So I just enjoyed the run today on a beautiful morning, about zero C, no wind. This can't last.

5 min warmup
4 x 5r 1.5 w
6:45 min cool down

Total 37:45
Avg HR 120, peak HR 143, min HR 78, calories 573 (I still don't know if I believe this or not).
Following are the average HR for each of the walk run cycles
WU 100
1 r 125 1 w 119
2 r 128 2 w 114
3 r 128 3 w 122
4 r 131 4 w 126
CD 108

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

quiet day at the fast pool

There were a ton of cars in the parking lot at the fast pool this morning, but hardly any of them were in the pool. I guess the weight and cardio room is attracting everybody. I don't mind.

After the big spin class I was a bit worried about going to sleep, but never mind. I slept like a rock, and woke with a bounce in my step. I decided to try to push the 1000 m swim and see how I do.

250 m warmup just under 5 min, though I really didn't time it.
1000 m 19:09
250 m easy cool down 5 min or so
15 min core and flexibility workout in the dive tank

The main set felt pretty good. I was hoping to be solidly under 19 min. Oh well, a 19 minute 1000 m used to knacker me, now it feels good. Does anyone care about the 100 m lap times? Too bad, you get them anyway. 1:45, 1:54, 1:56, 1:57, 1:58, (9:30 500 m) 1:55, 1:59, 1:57, 1:56, 1:53.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Big (up)hill spin class

IronGreg put us through the mill tonight.

Most of the class did a minute each leg on the one legged drills, though I pooped out about 45 or 50 second mark. Still, that's way better than a couple months ago when I could barely do 30 seconds. So we did that three times each leg. Then 3 sets of cadence drills. Then the big main set. 3 sets of 10 min uphill drill, cadence about 75 rpm, big gear, going to a bigger gear every two minutes. One of the sets had a bunch of standing time, which I haven't done much of. At least I didn't fall over. I ended up being on the bike 1.75 hours.

This felt pretty good. I could have gone longer, though I was trying to be careful of the hams. It's odd, they feel tight and tired, yet I could easily touch the floor in front of my toes. In fact, I can even bend a knuckle and touch it to the floor. I don't EVER remember being able to do that. I guess when you aren't trying to fold up a small child worth of gut it's much easier.

Windy run!!

I'd almost prefer running when it was -20 C. It was so windy I had to be careful of my footing and balance, and it was raw running into the wind.

Ran and walked 5 K exactly in 41:32.
5 min warm up
4 x 5r 2w.
8 min cool down

This all started at 5:30 or so, since Linda didn't need to be dropped off at work. I started with a twinge in my left knee, but it went away during the first run segment. The only time my calf complained was during a faster segment crossing a road in between traffic. Overall I kept it slow, with fairly low heart rate out of consideration for my tired legs, and with a thought towards the spin session tonight.

Monday, January 14, 2008

slow and easy swim

I was surprised to see the parking lot at FOMC so empty this morning. I guess the New Year's Resolution rush is over, but there might be a few more spasms of rectitude. Or maybe they're on vacation.

1500 m in 29:51
15 min pool pilates

total 45 min.

There were a few adventures along the way this morning. One came from my wedding ring flying off a few laps in and having to dive for it. Good thing the other people I was sharing the lane with weren't right behind me. I jammed it onto my right hand and carried on. My hands are tired and beat up from the weekend glassblowing course, to say nothing of being dry as a bone.

The other adventure was trying to click the lap button on my watch every hundred meters while turning. That's a bit trickier than it sounds when doing open turns. Today I tried clicking the button on the way into the turn. Maybe next time I'll try on the way out. And if that doesn't work, I guess I'll have to learn flip turns and breath some other time.

Stupid xl. I tried graphing the results to see how much I varied between laps. I ended up having to convert to seconds. XL kept changing the format on me no matter what format I select. I find xl is really stupid about dates and times in ways that annoy me. Anyways, the fasted lap was 1:51 and was the last, deliberately swum a little quicker to stay under the 30 min 1500 m pace. The slowest was 2 min 3 seconds or so.

I'm just beat this morning. I was seriously contemplating having a coffee to wake up, but then realized there was nothing I had to get done today that couldn't be done in my current fog. I could go for a napppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppp

Sunday, January 13, 2008

hot weekend, and totals

Yesterday was my rest day. I spent it on my feet all day, in a hot glass shop, sweating about half as much as I do during spin class.

Today is normally my big bike and run workout, and I try to time it so the run is during the nice part of the day. However, it was the second day of the glassblowing workingshop, and I KNEW that I wouldn't want to get on the bike when I got home. So I got up at the regular time (5:15), dragged my tired legs downstairs and got started. Fortunately I'd had the wit to lay everything out the night before.

10 min warmup, gradually getting to 85 rpm
8 min @ 90 rpm concentrating on spin, 2 min rest at about 80 rpm
10 x 30 second hard, 1.5 min recovery, gradually harder gears
2x 8 min @ 95 rpm (or so) to drive heart rate to about 130, 2 min recovery
15 x gradually building cadence to between 110 and 115 over 45 seconds, rest 1 min
10 min cool down
3:30 transition
20 min run 2.8 K or so.
5 min walk

120 total.

Overall the bike felt pretty strong. The idea behind the gradual cadence build is to slowly accelerate, staying in control till I started bouncing, trying to control the bounce, dial it back to fastest non-bouncing cadense for a few seconds, then back to rest pace.

It was a beautiful dawn run, felt strong for most of it, but started to tire at 2 K mark. My calf started to complain aright at the 20 min mark, when I was only going to run maybe 200 m more at most, so I started walking. Left side felt weaker, minor twinges till calf started, seemed like I was favouring left side and running with a bit of a limp. I'd begun to dream of getting around the whole block in 20 min, and if I keep my calf under control, I think I can.

Avg heart rate over whole work out 113, peak HR 144, min HR 69.
bike 109 avg hr
94 hr during trans
132 hr during run.

Weekly Summary
Swim 2.5 hrs
Bike 4.5 hrs
Run 2 hrs
Total 9 (though some of the decimals rounded up, so if you want to be picky you could say 8.75 and I wouldn't argue too hard. And I had to hop off my bike today for a whole minute to put the chain back on.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The end of a long week

As is usual the IGP called for a 60 minute swim.

500 m 9:45 warmup nice and easy
6 x 50 m in 45 sec on 1:15 start (working hard on the last one, and didn't quite make 45.)
200 m recover, thinking about stroke mechanics
500 m in 5 sets of 25 m hard 75 m easy.
250 m nice and easy to relax.

20 min core and flexibility work in dive tank
Total 1750 m about 40 min
Total 60 min.

I was so asleep when the alarm went off! I'm glad I had everything packed and ready to go because I was shambling around like a half slaughtered ox. The swim went really well, though I felt slow and tired and out of breath for what I was doing.

The big news is the result of going upstairs and facing the machine of truth. 243! I guess that's the result of non-holiday eating, and a big workout week. I've actually felt a little rolly-polly here the last couple days. I guess you never know. Last week I felt lighter and ended up staying the same. Today I felt heavy, and am down.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Complaints complaints complaints

IGP™ plan called for a 60-70 min spin tonight.

20 min warm up
20 min main set
10 min cool down

The main set was finding a gear at 90 rpm that gradually pushed my heart rate up to mid 130's or so, then back down a few gears and slow to about 80 rpm till heart rate recovered to 120 or so. I don't know how many times I did this.

I hadn't been on the bike more than few minutes when I started getting complaints. I quickly got the idea this wasn't going to be a fun ride. I never did get comfy on the bike, and never settled into a nice groove. My butt hurt the entire ride. It seemed like my right leg was doing all the work, and the left all the complaining. For a few minutes during the warm up and cool down I concentrated on light feet going round and around, but that only lasted a few minutes while I concentrated on it. Even my balance felt really unsteady, and it seemed like I was rocking from side to side a lot. At one point in the cool down it seemed like my knees were coming up around my ears, and my elbows were drooping to my ankles. Very strange. I'd hoped to grind it out to the hour mark, but at 50 minutes my legs and butt said enough. I did about 10 minutes of stretching, particularly the hams. Time for bed.

calibration run

The IGP called for 50 min 5 r 1.5 w this morning. I decided to wear the heart rate monitor and run normally, to get an idea of how my legs feel, how my lungs feel, and what my heart rate looks like. I'm still a bit cautious about pushing too hard. I don't like owies.

7 min warmup, including a bit of easy running.
6 x 5r 1.5 w fairly good pace, but not really pushing it
7 min cool down.

I started my watch after the warm up, and stopped it before the cool down, with each cycle being one lap.
Average heart rate 128
Peak HR 145
Min HR 107
total calories 682 (Not sure if I believe this or not. It said I burned 1300 calories during the long spin session Tues night.)
1 avg HR 124
2 avg HR 127
3 avg HR 125
4 avg HR 132
5 avg HR 128
6 avg HR 134
Most of the run portions the HR was mid 130's, and typically drops 20-25 beats during the first minute of walking.

I parked my car underneath 8th Ave where it crosses Deerfot, in the parking lot for Bottomlands Park. Honest. The run went north along the path right to the 32nd Ave connector where it crosses Nose Creek. About 7.2 Km altogether, and the run walk portion was 5.7 Km if you believe Google maps. The run walk portion was about 8.5 Km per hour.

Overall, I think it's fair to say that my legs are weaker than my lungs and heart at the moment. Most of the time I'm breathing comfortably, and my legs are saying they don't want to go faster. They only really warmed up and felt stronger for the last two r/w cycles, and I pushed a bit harder then, getting heart rate into low 140's during the run. It seems that just a little bit faster pushes the heart rate up pretty dramatically.

Nice morning for a run, only -10 C or so, and it started snowing lightly.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Easy swim

After the big spin session last night I wanted a nice relaxing swim. And got it! My legs were a bit tired, but nothing unexpected. I really am going to have to learn to go to sleep after the evening spin sessions.

I shared the lane with only one other person, and he and I stayed out of each other's way. Oddly enough, even though FOMC is much more crowded than it was before the new year, the lanes I swim in haven't changed. Life is good.

1000 m 19:15, nice and easy.
25 min pool pilates, working on core and flexibility.
Total 45 min.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

2 hour spin session

This was my first 2 hour spin on this bike. It's taken a while to get comfy on the bike for longer periods. I guess the little bit less padding on the saddle makes a big difference.

So lets see. I did a longer warm up than usual to calm myself down after the frazzled traffic. There's times I seriously believe that half the drivers in Calgary shouldn't be allowed on the road. Ever. Idiots.

One legged drills. A cadence pyramid. Two long sets of high intensity effort. Maybe some other stuff that I've forgotten. A hill climb in honour of one of the regulars who is off climbing a mountain. Not sure which one. Kilimanjaro and Aconcagua were the two names I heard, but nobody seemed quite sure. Maybe something else. Cool down.

It all went quite well. Hams felt a bit tight, but not as bad as this morning. Hands, arms, and butt felt pretty good. Well, except for the time I sat down at a bit of an angle and caught a fold of bike shorts on some sensitive flesh. Lots of great Cha-cha-cha music that made me want to get off the bike and dance. For a while I thought my spin trainer was acting up, but then I realized it was the vibrations from 5'2" of snoring happening right next to me. I wouldn't have thought someone could fall asleep on their bike, but she sure enough was trying!

Oh, and I can actually pedal with my hands on the dropped part of the handlebars without my legs pummeling and churning my gut. They still touch, but it's not a slap slap slap anymore. Yahoo!

slow cold run

I was just pulling into the FOMC parking lot when the radio guy said it was -17 C at the airport, which isn't all that far from where I was. That did not make it any easier to get out of the car.

Even before leaving the house this morning my legs felt tight. I did some stretches at home, and walked a bit extra for warm up. Still, my legs never warmed up for running. I wasn't cold, though my glasses were fogging up, and my moustache was growing walrus tusks. So I shuffled along, waiting for my legs to say they were ok with running faster, and they never did. The whole run felt like someone had taped a lead weight to the back of my legs, just below the knee. I could feel a slight version of the owie I got a couple weeks ago, so I kept it slow and easy. My lungs liked the break.

7 min warmup
6 x 4r 1w
5 min cooldown
total 42 min.

The route was along the Nose Creek path, but I didn't even get to the bridge. And yes, it got colder as I was going down the hill.

Looking forward to the spin session tonight!

Monday, January 7, 2008

swim lessons

For whatever reason, the FOMC pool was full of slow swimmers today. I hopped into a lane with one other lady in it, then realized she swam reaaaalllllllyyyyyyy slowly. When she stopped beside me and exchanged good mornings, I mentioned that I would be swimming a lot faster than her, and she might be more comfortable in another lane. She looked hurt, and said she was a fast swimmer and if I had to, I could go around her. Fine, I decided to show just how not-fast she was. I was still adjusting my googles. She pushed off, and got about half way down the pool when I started. I caught her at the turn. I swam 3 lengths in the time it took her to swim one. I passed her a couple more times. Then I saw her talking to a couple other ladies wanting to join my lane. Next thing I knew, there was 2 other swimmers, and the original was gone. These two swam considerably faster, as in it took me 5 or 6 laps to catch up to them again, and one of them was good about waiting at the end of the pool.

So I did a strong steady swim for 45 min 12 seconds. That's probably 2350 m, but maybe at best 2400 m. Since I can't see the pace clock in this pool I'll have to learn to count, or change my turn so I can click the lap button on my watch. That would probably be easier if I could do flip turns.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Sunday spin and run

Watch adventures first. The guy that put the battery in my old watch didn't seal it up properly, and of course, water got into the innards. I took it apart again, cleaned the corrosion off the new battery, carfully put it back together again, and golly gee, it works. Well, the light doesn't come on. And I'm afraid to put it in the water again. So I went shopping for a new watch/heart rate monitor. In a couple years, when this battery dies, I'll try to go to a place where they guarantee that it will still be waterproof after the battery replacement.

MEC has the Timex, a couple of other models I didn't like, and several Garmins. Of course you can't buy just the wrist part, you have to buy the chest part as well. Such is the price of living in a world of planned obsolesence. But I got the next model up from the Timex I had, so I can do laps now. AND BONUS! For the first hour, the seconds are big, so I can read them easily. How about that. It even works with the chest monitor I already had, so I've got an extra now. Maybe my wife might like to wear it during her walks, with my old watch, to see how hard she's working. As for the Garmin, if I really get into the running, or need the extra data to facilitate training, then I'll think about it more. But for now, I think it would be overkill, and there's other things I'd rather spend the money on.

On to the spin workout.
10 min warmup
10 min at 90 rpm usual easy gear for further warmup.
Then up onto the big chainring, smallest gear
8 x 1 min at 100 then 1 min at 85, then go up a gear each 2 minutes. 4 min recovery
5 x 30 sec at 100 rpm in hardest gear, 1.5 min easy gear recovery
6 min at 90 rpm moderate gear, 4 min recovery
10 x 30 sec at 110 rpm or so, 1.5 min recovery
10 min cool down
Total 90 min.

Heart rate peaked at just over 140 during the pyramid of harder gears, but my watch said the average HR for this entire period was 115. The spin at 110 was a bit cautious, but it felt more like a surging than a bounce. I was really concentrating on bike form, engaging my core, and spinning easily.

3 min transition, with some stretches for hams.

Started run off easy,
7:29 1st K avg HR 133
6:16 2nd K avg HR 140
6:23 3rd K avg HR 142
4:34 or so was 25 min avg HR 146, and I stopped running about the 3.75 K mark, though I need to verify exactly where the 3 and 4 Km markers are.
12 min walking cool down to complete 5 K loop.
Further stretches.

Overall it felt great! My calf didn't bother me at all. The bike session felt fairly strong, and I could have gone longer and harder, but I didn't want to over do it. The run was about right for intensity, since the IGP™ called for a 15-20 min run and I essentially started to poop out at 25.

Weekly totals
Swim 2 hrs
Bike 2.83 hrs
Run 2 hrs
Total 6.83 hrs

Puttering around the house, then massage!

Just to confirm, FOMC stands for Fat Old Men Club. There are some non-fat, non-old, non-men, of course, but that seems to be the single biggest group. I of course, am in transition, from fat to non-fat, from young to middle-aged, but decidedly still a men. Not changing that.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Sounds like a bleat, but it's not, really

It's not even 8am and it's an interesting day already. I'm glad I was on a bit of a different schedule today, and hadn't planned on swimming at The Fast Pool. But we did stop there on the way to work for my appointment with the scale of truth. More on that later. But they had closed the lane pool and dive tank, till the samples came back from the Calgary Health Region labs. I guess there was "an incident" last night or first thing this morning. Off to FOMC per the original plan. More on that later too.

Something that helps you understand this next bit is that I've put lots of thought into getting dressed in the morning. That's so I don't have to think about it in the morning. All my shirts go with all my pants. If it's in the closet it's pressed and clean. There are two kinds of socks, white and black, and I can tell the difference with my eyes closed. And have. Many times the gym bag is already packed the previous night. If I'm running or swimming in the morning I don't even shower. These days, getting dressed is something I don't pay much attention to. So imagine my surprise when I'm taking off my shirt at the pool, and my forearms are this mottled red rash looking stuff. No itch, no pain, no idea how this came about.

You also need to know I had a new battery put in my watch. Life was good. Started my swim, and 19 minutes later I tried to stop the stopwatch. I can tell you it's been 1 hour 31 minutes, and 49 seconds since I started the swim. I can't make it stop. Neither can I change to another function, or even turn on the light. I guess it didn't get sealed up quite right. Or something.

19 minutes on the nose, 1 Km
Some unknown time in the dive tank doing pool pilates.

There's a million people in FOMC this morning. And they were all lined up to get into the hot tub. Think of it, all you single girls. If you want to marry an elderly overweight guy so you can inherit all his money in a few years, this is the place to be. I kid you not. Thus the nickname.

And the fateful number that I went out of my way to get this morning? 246. I admit to a bit of disappointment, since I'd been feeling lighter, but as I think about it, I pigged out on New Year's Day at a party, and there was a chocolate ice cream dessert at the book club meeting the other day, AND I've been working out more lightly to give my legs a bit of a rest. All things considered though, to not go up at this time of year is an achievement. And looking more long term, 9 pounds in 9 weeks is a very reasonable pace to be shedding weight.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The horror of shopping

I did it. I'm proud of myself. The trip to the mall to buy pants is harder and much less nice than any of my workouts so far. But it turns out pants that fit have a 6 inch smaller waist than the pants I wore most of the time. Two pair of jeans; that will have to hold me till I figure out where my weight stabalizes. I'm still totally choked that I had to try on 3 pairs to find the size and style that was comfey. Oh, and a belt too.

The spin session was a lot of fun.
10 min warm up
7 min at 90 rpm then 3 min rest
7 min at 100 rpm then 3 min rest, both in my usual starting gear.
20 min at 90 rpm in a harder gear, heart rate was around 125 then entire time, then 3 min rest.
10 x 30 seconds on, 1.5 min off. The on portion was in the hardest gear doing at least 100 rpm.
10 min cool down

Total 80 min. This felt like a good solid workout.

A run by the dying watch battery

The parking lot was full at the FOMC this morning, but that was ok. The run plan was for 50 min r4 w1.5.

With warm up and cool down I worked out 51:26, running from FOMC (rhythms with bombk for those that care) to the bike path, down to almost Memorial Dr and back. I did this at a steady aerobic pace except for back up the hill, but always had my breathing under control. No problems with calves, though they're still the most tired part of my bod. So far so good.

The problem is that the light on my watch doesn't work well anymore, and along the path it's dark. Very dark. Sure, there's lots of light around, and mostly you can see the path quite well, but very little of it is enough to let me read my watch. The watch light used to stay bright for several seconds, but now lasts only a fraction of a second, goes to "too dim to read", then goes back to normal. I'm fairly good at timing without a watch, and I'm reasonably certain I ran more and walked less than the plan.

My next watch has got to have bigger seconds numbers, or I've got to start using the stopwatch on my ipod. I can read that. Gee, I wonder if I can persuade Steve Jobs to include a heart rate monitor function in an iPod?

I've decided to bite the bullet and do something tonight I hate doing. HATE!! That is shopping for pants. No matter the new ones will be several sizes smaller. I just hate the whole experience, and I don't much like current pants styles. Still, I'm enough smaller that a belt is the most important part of my wardrobe. And yes, I need a new belt too, no more holes in this one. I came to this realization that the last pair of pants that I bought, a few months ago, are now so big that they won't even stay on momentarily without a belt. Very amusing for my wife. But the scrunched up look around the waist isn't terribly attractive, and all my pants are doing that.

What just kills me about all this is that I've still got a bit of a roll, and in a few months these new pants will probably be too big as well. Sigh. The trials of getting fit. Still, I suppose this is a good problem to have.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Name contest

Before starting at IMS, I swam at Canyon Meadows pool (The Fast Pool). After starting I swam at Bob Bahan pool (The Geezer Pool). Then I realized that Renfrew was a bit more convenient and tried it. That's worked out pretty well, so I'm swimming there 2 times out of three in a week. However, till now, I didn't have a nickname for it. Well, now I do. It's the FOMC pool. You get a chance to guess what that stands for.

It being the first day that New Years fitness resolutions begin to crash and burn, the facility was full today. Oddly enough, the pool itself had about the usual number of people in it. However, it was really warm today. Hot. Swimming was slow. Well, one girl was doing butterfly, 25 m at a time. Better her than me.

250 m warmup 4:45
10 x 50 m in 50 seconds, on 1:15 start. (and had to work to keep this pace!)
250 m cooldown (nominally anyway) 4:40.

20 min pool pilates, fighting for space in the dive tank. I goofed and didn't do my spin workout, and have a book club meeting tonight, so I guess I'll do a longer spin on Thurs.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year's Day run

I'm still minded to be careful about my legs. It was about -15 C outside this morning, so I warmed up with some stretches inside first.
5 minute brisk walk to warm up.
7 x 4r/1w over a 5K course, trying to keep heart rate no higher than mid 130's.
5 min walk to cool down, then a few more gentle stretches.

The 5K actually took not quite 40 minutes, but I didn't start another run cycle on 35 minutes. This works out to an 8 min per K pace over all. The actual run walk segments worked out to 7:30 per K. The first couple run cycles were quite easy, with a short stride to continue warm up.

Overall it felt pretty good. I did get over 140 HR briefly as it felt natural to run a bit faster, and slowed down again, but while slowing down I had a bit of a cramp in my calf again, but not as bad. Once I slowed down it went away again, and it's been fine the rest of the day.