Friday, February 29, 2008

The famous weight loss chart

Here it is! The light blue line is an idealized weight loss of 1 pound per week. The darker line is my actual loss, starting from early November till this morning. It's a bit small, and I supposed if I futzed with it I could get it bigger and clearer, but it's good enough. Faithful readers will know the current number, and from there can figure out where I started from.

The actual process. Copy the chart into Visio of all things, and save as a PNG, then insert it just like any other image.

recovery from rundownitude

Last night was supposed to be a 45 minute spin. The way it worked out instead was to go to the home and garden show. I haven't been to one of these in a while. There's way more hucksters flogging swiffle mops, and cookware, and gawdknowswhat. And hot tubs for crying out loud. There were a zillion of them there. And NOT ONE OF THEM had a BBCB in it. That's Beautiful Bikini Clad Babe for those who haven't had their morning coffee yet. Don't these people realize what a selling feature that would be? Sheesh. So lots of walking. Does that count? My heart rate was under 120.....

Anyway we didn't eat any of the very expensive foodlikesubstances there, and stopped off at a neighbourhood pub we've been meaning to try. Not bad. At home I was reading mail and relaxing for a minute and fell asleep in the chair. When I woke up a few minutes later, I took it as a hint and went to bed. So no spin.

This morning's swim was a tough slog to start.
500 m in over 10 minutes. Everything ached. Sloppy stroke.
10 x 50 m in 50 seconds on 1:15 start. Nice and relaxing, and things started to come together, but I was still tired.
50 m in 42 seconds, just because. This wasn't totally all out, but was essentially my top smooth speed, kind of the equivilent of spinning without bouncing.

10 or 15 minutes core in the dive tank.

Overall I'm only going to call it 30 minutes.

The number is a heavy 238 or a light 239, depending on how you look at it. I guess the cookies during my Brown Paper exercise caught up to me. And while I was doing that I found out my morning drive to work was going to be hell. They closed Deerfoot N between 16th and 32 to investigate a pedestrian being struck by a car. WTF is a pedestrian doing on Deerfoot?? Then I heard there was an accident on the ramp from Deerfoot North to 16th. I went way east and up 52nd then through the Sundridge commercial area to get to work. Then there was a car that had a front wheel fall off 52nd northbound near Memorial. So if your Calgary buddies that work in the NE are a little cranky this morning, cut them some slack.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

slow'neasy swim

I slept quite well, and felt pretty good getting out of bed, so I hit the pool.

1500 m 30, smooth and easy.

Now that I'm at work, my back is starting to tighten up. Good thing I'll be standing most of the day. I hope. I'll be doing the bear thing, you know, rubbing up against door frames to work and massage my back muscles.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Slow (no ish about it!) spin

I felt pretty good after the run this morning, but was getting more tired by the afternoon, and my upper back started tightening up. By the time spin class started I knew I was going to have a problem. Even during the warmup my legs didn't want to go very fast, or work very hard, and my lungs didn't want to breath too deeply at all. It will be no surprise to hear that it was all downhill from there.

Kyle hosted a good workout, but I simply wasn't up for it. For what was planned to be a fairly hard workout by my standards, my heartrate didn't get above 120. I stopped after 1.5 hours on the bike. It wasn't a bonk situation, it was more like a battery slowly running down. What with this supposed to be a recovery week, and my big effort on the weekend (and dammit I'm still proud of that!) and a having a big day at work tomorrow where I'm leading our organization through a process review and I need to be sharp, I decided not to tough it out.

In fact, I'm going to see how my back feels tomorrow morning, and I might not swim, even. Which is saying a lot for me because I really like my swim. I'm keeping an eye on the long term goal, to improve my fitness and NOT injure myself doing it. I think I pushed up against my current limits on Sunday. At my advanced age, one needs to be cautious about pushing the limits.

Slow-ish run

For reasons too complicated to explain, I ended up running exactly the same route as on the weekend. Much slower though! It was supposed to be 40 to 45 min 6R 1W. My legs were still a bit tired from the weekend, but willing. I did some stretching before and after, but really, I should probably do more.

5 min warmup brisk walk
5 x 6R/1W
5 min cool down walk
Total 45 min, all while keeping the heart rate at or under 120.

For most of the run my heart rate wasn't an issue, since my legs didn't really want to run any faster. A couple of times I noticed it creeping up on me and slowed down again. It was a nice morning for a run, but I'm glad I'd seen all the ice on the weekend. There was a spot that looked like sidewalk, but was in fact ice. I took a couple of quick steps and did a slide, then kept on going.

I'm going straight to spin class, but I'm not gonna rush. The plan is to get there in time to set up and change, and be on the bike for 10 or 15 minutes before the session. Details later....

Monday, February 25, 2008

Slow-ish swim

I felt pretty good this morning, considering the big effort yesterday, but I was glad it was a light swim. The IGP™ called for 45 min, and I only made it if you count some stretching and massage in the hot tub.

1000 m 19:30, nice and easy. For a while I had a guy in my lane chasing me and that's the only reason it was this fast.
20 minutes core and flexibility in the dive tank
5 minutes in the hot tub massaging and stretching legs more, some semi-reflexology.

At the end of the day, as I'm puttering around getting ready for the am run and evening spin, with 3 meals to go to work routine tomorrow, I'm noticing the slightest of twinges on the inside of my right knee, where the big thigh tendon comes along. That's about the best I can do, since my anatomy stopped at "the hip bone is connected to the thigh bone." A good night's sleep, and a light run tomorrow should be fine.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


There's so much I want to say. I used to say that I always celebrated life's little triumphs, because if I didn't, who else would? That was before starting to hang out with the tri community. I've never met a group of people so willing to see, understand, and celebrate when other people succeed. You have no idea how much that messes with the brain of an old cynic like me.

I have to tip my hat to my coach, Iron Greg. What an awesome performance in the heat! I'm sure looking forward to hearing the details. I only wish it had been on TV so we could watch it live. I'm sure the camera would have been on Susi a bit too, if she was the loudest (and certainly the cutest) spectator.

What am I celebrating today, you ask? The IGP™ called for a 90 minute spin in zone 2, 5 and 5 upper and lower, followed by a 20 to 30 minute run.

I cued up the ipod. Yes, I know I'm dating myself here. Sparks, Rush, Art of Noise, and Cheap Trick Live in Budokan (one of the best live rock and roll albums EVER!) and I was off.
10 min warm up
5 x 30 sec min high (but smooth) rpm with 90 seconds rest
10 x 5 min upper zone then 5 min lower zone.
5 x 30 sec min high (but smooth) rpm with 90 seconds rest
5 min cool down
Total 2.25 hr.

Most of the 30 second high rpm was about 115, nice and steady, with some bursts up to 120.

The harder 5 minute sets alternated between 90 rpm in an easy gear, and 60 rpm in a hard gear. This was the first time I've been on the bike where it was easier to keep going, than to stop. I've had this swimming a few times. It's such a cool feeling. While I notice the time going by, I was doing so good, and the bike was so smooth, I didn't even notice 90 min. Nothing hurt, which after last Thursday where everything hurt, was really nice. Coming up on 2 hours I kind of woke up and figured I had a run, so I'd better wind it up. I could easily have kept going for quite a while longer.

3 minute transition

I decided to hell with the 120 bpm speed limit, and just run with what my legs and lungs said was comfortable. Here are the kilometer breakdowns. Bear in mind I've forgotten exactly where the milestones are, since it was measured in my car. I've been meaning to do it on my bike and note it more exactly.
1 7:16 125 avg HR (this was a slow start as I eased into it.)
2 5:46 146 avg HR (I thought this was the quickest K, and distance is right to within 50 m or so.)
3 5:41 147 avg HR (Distance is probably within 50 m of being right.)
4 5:23 150 avg HR (I'm sure I pressed the button too soon, since this is much too fast.)
5 7:04 156 avg HR (I had slowed down a bit, but not this much. Two 6:15 K's are much more likely. I was slower at the end.)

Total time 31 min 9 seconds!!!!!!
Overall average HR 144, peak 164 (!), min 99 bpm.
For the young and fleet of foot among you, this is a relaxing, zone 2 pace you could keep up forever. But for me, a guy coming close to the age and treachery T shirt, a guy recovering from total blobitude, it is just eFfing incredible! My goal when starting to learn to run last September was to be able average a 6 minute K, and build the endurance to keep it up. Well, I'm only a whisker off that pace. I don't need to learn to run faster, just keep it up, and learn to lower the heart rate a bit. I am thrilled!

Overall, I think I pushed the limits there a bit, both in terms of heart rate and leg strength. I was never gasping for breath, but got close a couple times. My legs felt strong throughout. There was a bit of tugging at the hams, but for the first time my quads were noticing. Maybe my stride has changed. I walked about 5 minutes after to bring my heart rate down, then did some yoga, and had a nice lukewarm shower.

Now that I'm sitting and working on my blog, I can feel the slightest bit of a burn in my quads. My watch also says I burned 677 calories during the run. Which were promptly consumed after the shower with a delicious but not too big cinamon bun from Cobb Bakery and a chocolate chip cookie. I take my cookie QC duties seriously, I tell you.

Total for the week.
Swim 1.5 (Monday swim moved to the previous sunday and counted there.)
Bike 5.25 hr
Run 2.25 hr
Total 9 hours, which is right on the IGP™ for the week.

Friday, February 22, 2008

slow swim, but great number!

I dragged my sorry butt out of bed this morning to face an IGP 60 minute swim. Normally that's a good thing, but I was tired going into the pool. I decided no intervals, although this pool has a pace clock I can see. No sprints, no pushing, just a nice easy swim.

2000 m 41:30, which is slow. My arms felt like overdone spaghetti. Smooth enough and a nice stroke, but just slow and didn't feel strong. No idea about heartbeat, but breathing was regular and deep, with no straining.
20 minutes core and flexibility in the dive tank.

I'm doing the snoopy dance here about the weekly number. 238! And that's in spite of my wife buying a humungous Bernard Callebeau chocolate heart with 42 dark choco goodies inside, and my pigging out on my fair share, plus my favourite cookies calling for my attention, and a big fish and chip dinner last night.

I'm looking forward to watching Greg tonight. Go Greg Go!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

First Hour run, tough ride

The IGP™ called for 50-55 minutes 6R/2W. It was such a beautiful morning, and I hate complicated math when I run. 7 intervals would be 56 minutes, but then I'd have the turn around at 23 min, in the middle of a walk period. Ick. I decided to do 8 and make it 64, since I was going to try to keep the heart rate under 120.

8 x 6R 2W with stretching before and after. Heart rate averaged 116. For the first 45 minutes or so I steamed along at just under 120, then it gradually rose to mid-120s at the same pace. Slowing down to get it under 120 took me to a clumsy walking pace. Plus I was getting hungry. I started at 8th Ave and took 31 minutes to run to where 32nd Ave crosses Nose Creek, and 30 min to run back. If you believe Google maps that's about 7.2 km.

It was still fairly cold, about -6 or 7. I don't know what I'm going to do when it gets warm. I probably won't be able to run at all. Dawn came about half way through, and I got to listen to all the birds wake up. Nice.

The evening spin session was brutal. I havn't been this uncomfortable on the bike in a long time. Everything hurt, hands, arms, feet, butt, and even my legs were muttering complaints just loud enough that I didn't quite have to notice. The IGP™ called for 60 minutes, and I just made it, and not 2 seconds longer. I'd been hoping to go for 1.5 hr.

10 min warm up
10 min one leg drill, with a 30 second set of steadily rising rpm
5 x 5 min work, 2 min easy
5 min cooldown.

I struggled throughout having trouble maintaining an even spin. One set I easily got heart rate past 120 and had to back down, one other one I nailed it, and the rest I struggled to get past 110. Legs were tired. As soon as I finish my blog and check the Malaysia news, I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tired swim

The spin class last night really took it out of me, and I didn't get the sleep I'd like to have had. So the swim at FOMC wasn't the best in the world, but it was ok.

500 m 10 min, and having to work a little to do this
200 m one arm, alternating at 25 m
100 m breathing every 5 strokes
200 m stroke mechanics.
2 x 50 m nearly all out sprints, 45 seconds each

25 minute swim, 20 min in dive tank working on core and flexibility. Still somewhat creaky from spin. Maybe I should have stretched more after. Today I was regretting the hot tub was full.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I witnessed the birth of a rumour!

We all, well, two of my readers in particular, know what scamps the Tuesday spin class people are. The main topic of conversation was, of course, Greg and Susi's trip. I put it that way deliberately. People were all excited about if anyone had heard any news. I shared the news from the blog so far, and told people how to find it. People were talking about how spots were open for Kona in Greg's age group and just how far under 10 hours he'd be. When the race started, with much counting on fingers about time difference and calculating his finish time. One person is holding a party, and people were calculating how many drinks they could get in before Greg's finish. One person was saying they had been searching to find out Greg's race number, but couldn't find it. Some asked if he didn't have a race number, how could he be in the race, and why would he go to Malaysia? And with Susi? The rumour quickly started that all this training was just a cover up, that the trip to Malaysia was a long planned, elaborate elopment. None of us really believe it of course. Really, we don't. They're such scamps. I just happen to know, since I've known Susi a long time now, that she's secretly been studying effective BDD techniques for when Mr Right comes in range. That's Bonk, Drag, Domesticate. If that's really what's happening, Greg doesn't stand a chance. He just THINKS he's there to race. No, really, none of us believe any of this. Don't kill the messenger.

Oh, and we had a spin session too, in between all the chat, with guest coach Kyle. Yeah, almost forgot with all the chat. Kyle of 4:16 Sylvan half tri fame. There was semi-serious discussion if Greg's beautiful new shop floor would get baptised. Kyle really put us through our paces, wanting us to be really, really pleased to see Greg again.

2 sets of one leg drills. He strongly hinted that we shouldn't drape our feet over our trainers, but let them dangle for a better workout. (oof)
Lots of time at high cadence. He proposed 3 min above 120, 3 min off. For several sets. All without bouncing of course. I backed this down to about 110 to 115 since that's as fast as I can go without bouncing.
We did two 6 minute sets where we pedaled for max out put at 70 rpm for 30 seconds, then 90 rpm, and again and again, and if that wasn't enough, into the easiest gear for the last 30 seconds STANDING!. Then another 4 minute set of the same. In the end I stopped changing gears, and left it in the hardest, still going for 70 and 90 rpm. (There was lots of rubber all over the floor after.)
At the very end we did another pair of 3 minute high cadence spins.
I had a long warmup, mostly in zone 2, and was on the bike a total of 2 hrs 5 minutes.

Out of all of it, my heart rate peaked at 145, and I had a lot of trouble getting it past 130. My lungs were doing fine, but my legs were getting tired. All in all, an excellent workout. I'm sure glad that wasn't my first, or the floor would have been baptised for sure.

in Blog withdrawl

The IGP™ called for 45 minute 5/1 today. I decided to go with the 120 bpm speed limit again, just to see where it would go. Today, oddly enough, I didn't seem to be going much, if any slower than usual. I ran a slightly different route so I can't compare directly to other runs. Leave that for Thursday morning.

The run itself was excellent. I was mostly under 120 or so, with one blip up to 130 when I chugged up a small hill at the same pace, then brought it back down to 122 while still running. What was really cool is that sunrise happened during the run, so I could actually see my watch without angling it toward a light or turning on the internal light.

Stretching to start, with a minute walking briskly
7 x 5R/1W with a few minutes cool down walking after, then more stretching.
45 minutes total.

Today I ran south of 8th Ave, toward the Bow River. I was thinking of running along the river toward the zoo, but they've got it blocked off for some reason. Oh well. Ran back to the car, then a little further, and back again.

I am in serious blog withdrawl here. In spite of adding some new blogs to follow, only Julie updated hers. Susi and Greg have an excuse, and I recall Kelly saying she was off to Deadmonton this weekend, but I'm wondering what everybody else was up to?

Here comes spin class!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A new first for me!

Today is the first day I have swum, biked, and ran. And I did it all before noon to, if that gets me any more brownie points.

Normally Sunday is my bike and run day, but since tomorrow is a stat holiday, my pool is closed. So I moved up the swim to today, figuring that a rest day before, and a rest day after, AND being careful during the workout would make it all good. Greg has been having us work out in zone 2 recently, so I carried that over to the whole workout. For me that works out to a heart rate between 102 and 120. The enterprising and mathematically adept of you will be able to figure out my age. Oh well, sooner or later it's going to be in race results for all to see, and besides, age ain't nuthing but a number.

1000 m 20:50. This is significantly slower than my usual pace, but heart rate was about 115 or a little more. I walked through a running shower, dried off, put on bike workout gear (except for shoes), and drove home.

Put on shoes and gloves, and got on the Bike
10 min warm up
6 x 5 at upper zone 2, 5 at lower zone 2
5 min cooldown
Total 1.25 hr. My thought was to pedal between 80 and 90 rpm, and adjust gearing to get the desired heart rate. This got a bit strange on me. I ended up gradually working up to harder gears, and I ended up having to actually pedal to keep my heart rate over 100. Typically less than minute after finishing a work set, getting some water, swabbing my head, and my heart rate was dropping below 100.

3:45 transition

The plan said to run for 20 minutes. I wanted to try to keep my heat rate under 120 and see what happens. Normally I run at 135 to 145 heartrate. I'm sure Jenna and Kelly will sympathize with me here. It's downright unnatural to run so much slower than what you know you can. Especially when you run as slow as I do. I think Kelly mentioned a 10:50 mile as being slow, and I can't do that at any heart rate yet.

Still, I was good for about 15 min, then heart rate crept up into the 120's and stayed there so I walked 30 seconds or so. That lasted another 15 min or so, and I walked briefly again. Then, I just had to, I ran at a comfortable pace for just a few minutes, which turned out to be 135 heartrate, then dialed it back, and heart rate dropped to mid 120's, and stayed there till the end of the run. That turned out to be 5Km in 40:30.

And I guess what's important about this, is that I could go do it all again! Well, except that the pool isn't open for lane swim. And I don't have a clean pair of bike shorts. And my favourite running jacket is all damp and icky now. The only muscles that complained were my hip flexors, especially the left, which is the real reason I walked. There was a ton of ice on the sidewalks and roads, so I was being very careful where I put my feet.

Weekly totals
Swim 2.58 hr
Bike 4.58 hr
Run 1.35 hr
Total 8.5 hrs

Friday, February 15, 2008

Short intense swim

500 m warmup 9:06 (yahoo!)
10 x 50 m in 45 seconds, on 1:30 start
250 m 5 min cool down
15 min sloooooowwwwww core and flexibility in the dive tank.

Played with my stroke a bit during the warmup, rolling a little more and looking for muscles that weren't contributing to the pull. The intervals drove my heart rate up into the 150's, which is about the highest it's ever been during a swim. But it used to be I could only do 4 or 5 of these, now I got to 10 before my arms started to get sloppy.

240. Oh, and my resting heart rate this morning was 48 bpm. Never seen it that low.

Now read my next post so you understand the poll.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Best spin session yet, I think

Remember the spiffy new shorts I mentioned buying? That must be it.

I skipped my run this morning. We got well above zero day before yesterday, then on Wed it got slightly below zero with lots of sloppy snow. Wed afternoon it warmed up again, and overnight it froze again. I had every reason to believe my regular route would have lots of ice on it, and made the executive decision that running in the dark on an icy bike path wasn't the smartest thing in the world to do. For whatever reason I couldn't face running indoors at the Talisman centre.

The IGP™ called for a 45 min spin tonight, so I decided to go a little longer to make up for the no run this morning. On Tuesday we some long sets keeping the heart rate high end of zone 2 in a big gear, with low cadence. So this evening I decided to aim for the same heart rate, but in a high cadence easy gear. After a bit of experimenting with the ipod so I wasn't getting tangled up in the wire, and some classic Pink Floyd cued up (A Momentary Lapse of Reason and Dark Side of the Moon), I got at it.

10 min warmup
25 min set at 95 rpm with heart rate about 115 to 118
4 x 5 min work 2 min easy, same rpm
2 min fooling around at 105+ rpm, but not letting heart rate get above 115
10 cool down, with an accidental interlude of about 60 seconds work.
15 min yoga after

Total 1.5 hr

It strikes me that reading the above has my readers wondering WTF?? And I was too, since my heart rate was doing some odd things throughout.

The first set. My thought was to settle in at 115 heart rate or so, at 95 rpm or so, and maintain it for as long as I could. 20 minutes later my left hamstring started complaining a little. So at 25 I slowed down, and gave it a couple minutes rest, then fired up again. The five minute sets seemed all my leg was willing to do, though the last one could have been longer, I'm pretty sure.

Every time throughout the ride that I concentrated on spinning rather than plugging, my heart rate dropped 3-5 beats, usually almost immediately. Throughout the 5 minute sets my heartrate never got above 110. I was tempted to go to a higher gear, but decided to stay light and easy and not over work the left ham. During the cooldown, my heart rate dropped into the mid 80's, even though I was still at 75 rpm or so. I started thinking about spinning again, and concentrating on my form, and all of a sudden I noticed I was back at 90 rpm for over a minute and my heart rate hadn't even got back up to 110. I reminded myself this was the cool down, not the workout. It was well under 90 when I got off the bike 5 minutes later.

The yoga was mostly leg stretches, nice and easy, some warrior and downward dog poses. I got into corpse pose and looked at my watch. 61!!! I actually checked using my fingers, and that was right. 3 minutes of corpse and I was 52. I've never seen my heart rate that low while I'm actually awake, let alone so soon after a workout.

So what do you think, the new shorts, the Pink Floyd, or all the workouts finally having a conditioning effect on my bod? Try the poll.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A sloppy enchilada in Calgary

The weather and roads, that is. One thing I like about Calgary is that you never quite know what you're going to get. It helps support the Andy Kelp theory of life, "every day is another chance to overcome the unexpected." Quick, a prize for the first one who can tell me who Andy Kelp is, and why that's so funny.

The swim today was at the Geezer Pool. Power is out at FOMC. Fortunately I knew that before I started driving there.
500 m 9:27 warmup, feeling a little tired and creaky at the start.
10 x 1000 m on 2:30 start, aiming for 1:50 per interval. The first was 1:40 seconds, and the last couple were 1:47 or so. Most in the middle were about 1:45 or so, which is a pleasing surprise. Heart rate at the end was mid 140's, and dropped to just under 100 in a minute.
10 minutes of core and flexibility in the dive tank.
Total 45 min.

Somebody made the mistake of wandering into my lane, and I swam right over him, her or it, and kept on going. Next thing I noticed was that the only other person that was sharing the dual lane with me has moved waaaaay over to the far side instead of thrashing up and down the middle. Good. Mess up MY intervals will you?! More practice for the open water start.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tues part 2

Spin Class! I was looking forward to this. I got really organized last night to put my bike in the car, and all my bike stuff. To say nothing of getting organized for a run in the morning. AND taking breakfast, lunch (roast lamb and veggies, I'll have you know) and supper (more lamb and corn).

We did a bit of one leg drill, then settled down into 4 long sets of low heartrate, low cadence, fairly high gear. My heartrate was around 115-120 throughout, which is where Greg wanted it. Plus a few minutes of cool down.

Total is 1 hr 50 minutes, and I could have gone longer. I finally clued in that I was the only one there riding with cycling gloves on. I'm not sure why nobody else does. Maybe it's just one more thing to deal in a race day full of things to deal with. So I'm starting to get used to riding without them. Afterward I bought a spiffy new pair of Speed Theory cycling shorts. I was getting sick of doing laundry that often.

Tues part 1

Whahoo! The IGP called for 45 4/1 today. I started with a bunch of stretching, and rather than do a walk for 5 min to warm up like normal (read, like when it's been so frigging cold!) I started with a slow run. Really slow. Like about the same speed I normally walk at, just a different gait. Then I picked up.

9 x 4R 1W, with another minute and a half walk on to the end to get back to the car. Turnaround point was at 24:30, so the run back was significantly faster than the run out. Which isn't a surprise given the warmup. I started at 8th ave and Deerfoot, and ran along the bike path to where it comes close to the 32 Ave connecter as it turns north, right by the MD of Rocky View building.

I was in my training zone for 29 minutes, avg hr 122, peak 139, min 71, and my watch says I burned 731 calories. I don't believe that last number btw.

It felt really good. I varied my pace a bit at one point by leaning forward and running faster. I think that's where my heart rate peaked. There was one 4 minute chunk where I was in the groove and running well. I noted where that stopped and started, and checked it out on Google Maps. That says it was about 650 m, which is almost at my goal pace. Now I just have to go a smidgeon faster, and do it for another 20.5 K. No prob, right Greg?

At the end my calves were a good tired. I stretched more, then at the pool got lucky and got the good shower and let that beat on my legs for a while.

Bring on the spin class!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Monday, Monday

I'm sure glad today was a swim day and not a run day. My massage therapist worked me over good, and I slept really well. Getting up was tough. The comparison I made was to a calm pond. The water on top only looks nice. But there's a layer of filth and corruption in the mud, and the only way to clean it up is to stir real good. I feel like my muscles have been stirred real good. I'm sure as the muscles settle down again, they will be better than before. Hopefully before run day tomorrow. At least it's warmer out.

1500 m 29 minutes.
15 min core and flexibility in the dive tank.
Not the best swim ever, but not bad. I goofed a couple times on pressing the button for split times so I won't include those numbers this time. And who wants to read that kind minutia anyway? Besides, I was distracted. Two other guys in the lane this am, one of whom I have to push just a bit to stay ahead of. Both took a lot of space at the end of the lanes when they were resting. One guy tried moving at the last second to make more room, and just about ended up getting a kidney removed. Both are a bit of a thrash when it comes to swimming. Can you say "bow wave"? I thought you could.

And did I say that I signed up for the Chinook Half? I'm so excited by that. I was looking at the times for my age group. Last year there was 25 people in my age group. The median time is around 6 hours. The slowest guy was 7:47:51. So there's my target, I don't want to be the slowest person in my age group. But really, my goal is to finish without having to crawl across the finish line.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Appropriate day for the Hypothermic Half

And no, I wasn't in it. However, my friends Sean and Lori were and I met them at the finish line. Lori was just over 2 hours and Sean a few minutes behind her. People had frost built up on their eyebrows and eyelashes, their hats and jacets, and most of them steamed gently after completing the race. It was effing cold. The first guy I saw crossed the finish line about 1:20 looking like he'd been out for a morning stroll. The first woman was about 1:30.

After that I went home for my own workout in my nice warm basement; only an hour on the spin trainer.
10 min warm up.
40 min at 85-90 rpm, with gears getting harder periodically. At 30 minutes into the workout I was at mid 130's, cycling on the big chainring and with only 3 harder gears left. This felt strong and consistent. There were only a few minutes where the pace faltered, like when I was getting a drink. Breathing was in control, and I was just beginning to feel the burn in my legs.
10 min cooldown, 90 rpm in a very easy gear.

1 hr total.

Then a 3 minute transition, and out into the cold again. I ran around the block, which is 3Km in exactly 21 minutes. My heart rate was high 140's for most of it. The peak was 156, average 139. I started slow and easy and picked up the pace throughout. I'm really pleased. No problems with my legs at all. My massage therapist is here, and I'm looking forward to a longer than normal massage.

The big news for me is that I actually signed up for the Chinook Half! Credit card and all.

Overall, my hours this week.
Swim 1.6hrs
Bike 3.4 hrs
Run 1.75 hrs
Total 6.75 hrs

Friday, February 8, 2008

uncoordinated swim

Back into the deep freeze again. I was thinking of doing intervals at the pool today, but I wasn't a dozen strokes into it when I realized this wasn't going to be a good swim. Nothing was obviously wrong, but my stroke felt weak and not smooth. Shortly after I got in, the pool got really busy.

250 m 4:40 warmup
5 x 50 m in 40 - 45 seconds, though the last was a bit slower.
500 m 10 min
Then into the dive tank. After that I was thinking about going back into the pool for some more laps, but it was a zoo. There were 3 people in every lane, with an unholy mixture of fast and slow, freestyle, attempts at freestyle, and the breast stroke heresy.

20 min swim, 25 min core and flexibility.

The number this week is 241. Last week I was slightly on the light side of that, today I'm slightly on the heavier side.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Nice morning for a run

The IGP™ called for 45 min 4/1 this morning. Since I'd mixed it up a bit on Tuesday, I thought I'd do what the Tuesday plan had called for.
5 min warmup
6x 5R 1W
5 min cooldown

46 Min total.
In fact I got back to the car a few minutes early, and spent the time draped over a gate stretching. My legs felt good. I started off the run gradually, and settled into a nice groove by the second set. The fourth and fifth sets felt strong and I pushed a little there, with my heart rate going into the low 140's. Recovery over the walking minute is usually about 20 bpm. The last set was a bit tough, as my legs were getting tired. So it worked out to be just about the right amount for a workout.

The sky was just beginning to light up as I was running back to the car. Very nice. Just before that I saw what I think of as the UFO bike. This person has multi flashing strobe lights on their head, a head lamp, and a couple more strobes around the seat, and some reflectors on the wheels that shine toward the front. It's quite the sight.

I had some Shiatsu and acupuncture done this afternoon. That felt great. There's still some tightness and muscle soreness at the back of the knee, but I'm told that the workouts are good providing I don't over do it, stretching, keeping it warm, and getting plenty of liquids and rest are the best thing for it. We won't even talk about what he said about my neck and upper back being all scrunched from my hunching over the keyboard and trying to type faster. Work is going by in a blur. I'm sure that if I hadn't started the workout program before starting at IMS, I'd be keeled over by now.

The IGP™ called for a 45 min spin tonight.
20 min warmup, gradually building to 90 rpm or so
10 x 30 second effort, 1:30 recovery
5 min cooldown, plus some stretching

Total 45 min.
The 30 seconds effort was high rpm in a medium gear, something I could spin but not have to force, and yet not so easy that it's easy to get jerky. The first couple were just under 110 rpm or so, most of the rest were between 110 and 120, there was one about 130, and the last about 110. The idea was to engage the core, concentrate on smooth spinning, with no muscle jerking, and no bouncing. By and large it worked out pretty well, though I was bouncing at 130.

All in all a day I'm happy with. I'm looking forward to a nice swim with some intervals at the fast pool tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

longer swim good pace

Holy Hannah FOMC was busy this am. I went out to my usual lanes, and between the two there was 5 people swimming. Happily, one guy moved over and I shared with one other person until one of the regulars joined. I swim just a bit faster than both, and they're really good about sharing.

There were some other people there swimming much quicker than normal, doing intervals or something, or maybe they've been sandbagging. That encouraged me to keep up the pace, or try to. The goal was to swim for 30 minutes and see how far I got.

1550 m in 29:46 if I've counted right.
1:41, 1:54, 1:55, 1:56, 1:53, (500 m 9:22) 1:54, 1:55, 1:54, 1:58, 1:57 (1000 m 19:02) 1:55, 1:58, 1:58, 1:58, 1:55 (1500 m 28:46) + 1 minute for the last 50 m. Overall that works out to about 57.5 seconds per 50 m.

Considering I had no expectations whatever about this, I'm very pleased. My 1K time is only 14 seconds off my fastest time. It's clear the last half of the swim was sliding toward my relaxed 1 min 50 m pace but overall it's a very consistent swim for me. My stroke felt strong and steady.

And it's WARM here today!! Well, not everybody would think -2 is warm, but compared to the deep freeze of the last little while, it's practically shorts and T shirt weather.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Back in the groove

Today was the day to find out if I was getting back on the fitness bus, or was going to be a weenie. The weather page said it was -17 this morning, and even though the Feb IGP™ hasn't arrived (hint hint) it was the usual day for a morning run. My legs have been feeling pretty good, so out into the cold it was. I dropped my wife at work, and parked under 8th ave where it goes over Deerfoot. That's a nice fairly flat path.

5 min warmup brisk walk
6 x 4R 1W
not quite 5 min cooldown, and some stretches beside the car.

It took a little while to get back in the groove. There was one point where I think I was unconciously running faster, and and I started to get this odd muscle flicker in my calf. So I slowed down for a bit, and chugged along till the turnaround just north of the Fox Hollow Golf Dome. The run back didn't take quite as long as out.

The spin class tonight was fun. Lots of people were there, and we got to check out the new store. Very nice! The floor looks great when it's clean but it shows every spec of water, sweat, mud, ect. Greg had us putting mats under our bikes. I'm not sure why, more water and crud gets tracked in from the outside than we sweat off during the ride.

We did a bit of one leg drill, then started the main set of 4 x 10 min at a low heartrate, medium cadence, fairly big gear. For me then ended up being about 80 to 85 rpm at about 115 to 120 heart rate. The last one was tough and I had a bit of trouble getting into the groove again. During the cool down I was trying to spin a bit faster for a minute, and found it really hard. Greg did a bit of showing off, going to max power for 20 seconds. I thought the bearings on his spin trainer were going to explode.

My total ride ended up being 1 hr 40 min.

Monday, February 4, 2008

questions from my faithful fans

Yes, I picked up the pace a little in the last 100 m, but it wasn't a sprint or anything. I could have turned around and kept going if I wanted. Although it wouldn't have been at the same pace. I'm trying to teach myself to swim a consistent 1:50 for 100 m. That gets me down to about an 18:30 K, or 37 min 2 K. That's respectable for a half tri. Even if I can't keep up with swim demons J and K.

Hmmm, I'm not so far off that time now. Maybe what I should do is try 55 second 50 m laps and see how long I can keep it up. And hope that nobody gets in my way.

The watch and heart monitor I use is from Timex. It's the 30 lap model. The hardest part about the whole thing was teaching myself to push the button during the turn. Normally I only put one hand on the wall, tuck my feet, turn and push. The other arm trails behind ready to lead the way. So now I had to figure out how to get both hands together. And remember to push the button every other lap, for 100 m split times.

I've never had any problems with the heart rate monitor, biking, running, or swimming. The only reason I got a new one is that the idiot who replaced the watch battery didn't seal the watch up properly. You can't buy just the watch part. I like this one, once I got used to the buttons. If I'm wearing the heart rate, the review lets me look at minimum, maximum, and average heart rates for the whole workout, and it gives the average heart rate for each lap, the lap time, and the cumulative time for that lap. Not as fancy as the Garmin, but way cheaper.

1000 m new personal best!

Just when I was thinking I was on a bit of a plateau with swimming, along came today.

1000 m 18:48

This is the fastest I've done 1000 m since some time in my late 20's. My heart rate at the end was 144 which is also the highest it's been after a swim in a long time, but I didn't think I was actually working that hard. My stroke felt strong and smooth, and it wasn't until half way through I realized I was on track for a fast time.

100 m times were: 1:42, 1:50, 1:53, 1:55, 1:56 (500 m 9:18) 1:56, 1:54, 1:55, 1:54, 1:49.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

First Sunday bike run in a couple of weeks

That felt great!

I was a bit apprehensive about the bike and run. My legs have been feeling better, but there's been odd twinges every now and then. So I decided on a short moderate effort workout today.

20 minute progressive warmup on the bike, topping out at a little over 100 rpm
10 x 2 min hard-ish then 2 relax
5 min cooldown

Change into run clothing for a 3 Km run walk.
2R 1W
3R 1W
3 x 4R 1W
3 min walking cooldown
20 min stretching

So, 1 hr on the bike, 25 min run.

The two minute effort on the bike was an alteration of 100-105 rpm in an easy gear, and about 80 rpm in a hard gear. Overall they started easy, and got harder throughout. However, let's not be mistaken in thinking I was sweating a bucket here; there was a bit but I didn't really need a towel. I don't think my heartrate ever got above 125 during the ride, and my breathing was always easy and steady. It wasn't about lungs and heart, it was about legs. They felt good, though during the higher rpm intervals, it's like the left calf was a bit flabbier and bouncing a bit more than the right. An odd feeling. The hams felt pretty good though I could feel some twinges there, especially on the left leg.

The run went really well, mostly about 130, and never over 135 heartrate. No twinges, aches or other complaints from my legs. It wasn't until the last set that my stride settled into a groove again. Most of the run felt a little bouncy, though I was trying to keep my stride smooth and light. I had guessed it was between -10 and -15 out and the weather people said -13. Positively balmy compared to the last little while. It was nice to be out running again.

During the strech I got an excellent click from the area in my back my massage therapist always works on. After my shower I rubbed most of my legs with Tiger Balm, and I'm feeling the heat now

Weekly totals
Swim 1 hr
Bike 1.5 hr
Run .35
Total 2.85

I'm thinking next week I should be able to get into my normal schedule for workouts, though I'll probably still dial back on intensity, and see how I feel.

Friday, February 1, 2008

A fine swim

Today was the first regular swim workout for about a week. It's still dialed back a bit from my usual Friday routine.

1000 m 19 min exactly, at a strong effort. For a while I was on track for about 18:45 or so, with a 500 m time of 9:20, but there were a few slow laps in the last half where I lost focus. Then about 20 minutes in the dive tank working on core and flexibility.

I was feeling pretty good after the spin last night, though I didn't get as much sleep as I would have liked. I've been paying more attention to my legs in the last little while, and it's like they don't quite know what to think. The calves are ok, but the part I notice most is the hams, down low behind the knee. This morning the sore part is the hip flexors. Well, not sore, that isn't the right word. A bit tired perhaps.

And in the nice surprise department, 241. I was expecting to be up a bit, what with essentially not working out last week or so. So to be the same from last week is quite acceptable.

I've been feeling like I've been on a bit of a plateau again for swimming for the last while, but with the good progress in running and biking I've not worried about it. Having the rest is going to be a good thing, provided I don't overdo it as I get back into the routine. Oddly enough, I've missed the workouts a bit. Infected, yes, that was the word.