Monday, March 31, 2008

Another first!

Boy, life as a tri-wannabe is just full of firsts. Who knew?

Swim this morning was in a quiet pool of overheated water at FOMC. Gack. I felt slow. I was going to do 2K, but hauled out at 1K, and did some core work. Then I felt a bit guilty at walking by an empty lane so I popped in for some quick intervals to remind myself that I can in fact swim faster. Well, a little bit faster.

1K 19:39
15 min core
4 x 50 m on 1:15. First was 40 seconds, then 44, and the last 2 at 45 seconds. It's surprisingly hard to look at a watch rather than a pace clock for the times.
Let's be charitable and call it 40 minutes.

And the first? Today is the first day ever I've actually run with someone, and, and, chatted. It's fun. The lucky participant in such a momentous event? Why, IG himself. The idea was to see if there's something weird or perverted with how I'm running, or anything that needs fixing before I build bad habits. Amazing enough, there doesn't seem to be. Just to continue on with what I'm doing.

We did a 5 K loop in north Glenmore park in 35 min, then a bit more just for fun to bring it up to a little over 40 minutes. We started off nice and easy for me, upper zone 2, then pushed a bit harder to see how upper zone 3 feels. Used to be a minute at 140 bpm was enough to make me stop. I spent quite a bit of time mid 130's still mostly able to talk. I'm still not light on my feet, not by any stretch of the imagination. Picture a somewhat tired elephant trying to break into a trot on nice flat ground. But much better than when I started, when the word picture was " Picture a very tired elephant trying to break into a trot in swamp and you've got about the right idea."

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Solid Sunday spin workout

It snowed here last night. Maybe 4 or 5 cm. IG and I had planned to get together at noon to run, but what with work issues for him, and it snowing when we talked, we decided to put it off.

10 min warmup
10 min 1 leg drill (30 sec R, 30 sec both, 30 sec L, 30 sec both, repeat 5 times.)
10 x 6.3/3.5 min upper and lower zone 2. Five sets hill climbing, 5 spin at +90 rpm. Just to mix things up did the first part of the hill sets standing up, and the first part of the fast sets by spinning at 120. Both of these went till my heart hit the top of zone 2, then I settled in for the rest of the workout.

2:40 transition
2 K easy run, 16:12, heart rate mostly in the low 120's. Just a little splashy, but not as bad as I thought it would be.

Overall a great workout. I felt strong and comfy on the bike, and could have gone on much longer. As the sets continued, I found I could work in higher gears, or higher rpm, at the same heart rate. It seems I can now spin at 120 or so, for about 20 seconds, without bouncing. That's a major improvement for me. Used to be about 110 and my butt was all over the seat like a jackhammer.

Weekly totals
Swim 2.16 hr
Bike 4.75 hr
Run 1.25 hr
Total 8.16

Friday, March 28, 2008

Light'n fast spin

Only an hour! A mere 60 minutes was all the IGP™ called for. It called for it last night, it's true, but then if we all did exactly what IG said, and never any different, he'd have no reason to read our blogs and would pine away from boredom. Poor IG. So really, we're doing him a favour, aren't we?

10 min warmup
20 min at +90 rpm, easy gear, mid zone 2.
3 min easy pedal
9 x 1 min +100 rpm smooth, 1 min easy pedal 75-80 rpm. Essentially this oscillated my heart rate from the bottom to top of zone 2 for me.
9 min cooldown

And then, the dreaded planking. I tried the Susi trick of watching the stopwatch. Sorry Susi, all I proved was that time can slow down enough to see the bars change on the hundredths place on my watch.
Front 1:10
Each side 45 seconds each.
I'm a long way from the exclusive 3 minute company.

Swimming toward the re-taste zone

In the pool at 5:30 or so, feeling pretty good. There was an open lane closest to the lap clock so I took it over and made it mine. I was swimming next to M, who is steady as a rock, back and forth, a little slower than me. She swims 4K every day. I like swimming near her because I have to be doing everything right to pass her. If I settle in behind her for 50 m or so, I've got my breath and timing back.

1K 19:30, easy, relaxed, working on stroke mechanics, rolling a bit, going for long and smooth.
8 x 100 m all between 100 and 105 seconds, on a 2:30 start. End of the 8th was getting sloppy, and I could read the warning signs for the retaste zone. I started 9 anyway, but at about 35 m my arms fell off, and I started getting a cramp in hams and in arch of my foot, and the fine print on the warning sign was getting easy to read. After a few stretches and getting my heart and breathing under control again, I did 200 m of junk swimming to cool down. A bit of one arm, backstroke and slow front crawl.

20 minutes core and flexibility in the dive tank.

Total 1 hour.
Overall pretty good. Going to try to spin tonight, if I can gnaw free of the desk chains in good time....

Oh, and that number is 235.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thursday surprise

Zoom, that's what the day did today. From the minute I got into work after my run, till we all bailed out for a going away party, it was zoom. Even over lunch I didn't get time to update my blog. Now it's 8:45, and those who know my workout sched will be expecting me to post about a run this am and a spin this evening. Surprise!

Run was 60 min R8/W2, with heart rate about 120. The average heart rate over the run was 117, peak 129, min 95, 868 calories. The run was pretty good, smooth at the beginning, and a little clunckier at the end as I was getting tired. Map my ride says 7.4 Km. Parked at the zoo for the first time, but probably won't do that again.

After work I got where I was meeting my wife after her Pilates class, and was early enough to have a nap. For a while. Work called, and I ended up driving back to the office, and trying to Fedex stuff out to Vancouver. After that was all over we went for dinner at our favourite restaurant, then home. Ugggg. My bag is packed for the morning swim and I can hear bed calling me.

Susi put me in contact with someone organizing a swim evaluation, and I sent them a nice email. Thanks Susi!. Though I suspect I know what the evaluation will say. Mostly a nice stroke, weak kick, slow as a toad, but don't get in his way. I will try to channel the shark during the evaluation, and let you all know how it turns out.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

ordinary swim

Was tired going into swim this am. Didn't really get into it till about lap 15, when it came together for a a few lengths of nice stroke. Otherwise, sloppy, splashy, and slow. Not that I intended to be fast, but it's nice. No channeling the shark today. Sorry.

1000 m 19:32.
10 min core and flexibility workout. Wanted to do more but had lots waiting for me at work, and that turned out to be worse than expected. must run.....

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tues spin session

Long warm up. One leg drill. 2 x 25 min mixed set. Kind of fun actually. I think I've got it right.
1 min build
2 min at over 100 rpm (We are assured this is the only downhill in coachland.)
3 min hill climb
4 min 15 @90 15@120
5 min time trial
4 min 15 @90 15@120
3 min hill climb
2 min at over 100 rpm
1 min big finish.

5 minute easy, then do it all over again.

For me, 1.75 hr.

After more than 2.5 hours on the bike on the weekend, my butt didn't hurt at all, but tonight about the 1:20 minute or so, I stopped being comfortable on the bike.

An amusing morning swim

Yesterday was a rest day after a big workout weekend. Today the pool was quiet, so I settled in for a nice medium length swim, nice and easy and relaxed. I mainly worked on stroke mechanics, concentrating on moving smoothly through the water, becoming one with it, rather than powering through it. See below for lap times and further commentary.

2K 39:21
1:47, 1:58, 1:59, 2:00, 1:57 (500m 9:43)
Nice and easy start, relaxed and stretching. (The shark emerges from his torpor and thinks about breakfast.)
1:59, 1:59, 1:59, 2:00, 2:00 (1K 19:40) Finding a pace and settling in. (The shark checks out his favourite places.)
1:59, 1:59, 2:00, 1:55, 2:00 (1.5K 2:34)Enjoying an empty pool. (The shark cruises along in a hopeful way.)
1:58, 1:58, 1:59, 1:56, 1:55 (2K 39:21) Some idiot with lots of toys joins my lane, but is smart enough to swim on his side. Even with fins on, I swim faster than he does. (The shark senses his prey, and after a brief, all too brief chase, catches and gobbles the prey so neatly that not one drop of blood escapes. The shark hits the hot tub for a beer, eyes a CYT, but decides he doesn't need desert so early in the morning.) All is calm.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Riding the road to Nepal

Wow. That's all I can say. So many firsts. Here's the numbers, just to get them out of the way.
51.89 K total trip
2:40 trip time
19.43 KpH, average speed
67 rpm, average cadence
82.0 Kph, max speed (WHHOOOOOO-EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
126 bpm, average heart rate
149 bpm, peak heart rate
86 bpm, minimum heart rate
2695 calories.
The first half was 1:26, and the return was 1:10. I rode out of our neighbourhood, down 37th street to 22X, then south on 773 to 549 or whatever it's called that goes from Millarville to Okotoks, then turned around and took the same route back. Since Jenna asked so nice, I tried to put the map here. After getting thoroughly pissed off I've given up on trying to embed the map in my blog. No matter what I did, I was just getting a blank space. But if you go to
you should be able to view it just fine. I hope. Or, had another idea later, here's a screen shot of it.

It was supposed to be nice, but it started off overcast and cold. By noon or so it had warmed up a bit, so I decided to dress and leave. I wore a bit more this time. Two pair of socks, my tights, a fleece jacket between my shirt and wind jacket. That was just about right. The ride south was into the wind the entire time. Mostly it affected going downhill, and the only consolation was that it would help me up them on the way home. But there were a few uphills where I had the hill and the wind. That's no fun. You spend forever going up, and the down takes mere seconds.

There are some serious hills on this route. Serious. Hills. I didn't time myself or do anything fancy. I didn't want to know. I just wanted to get out there and get back under my own steam. This was harder by far than any spin workout. There were several times where I looked up to see lots of hill left and me in the granniest gear. There's no choice but to dig in and keep going, and going and going. But I didn't visit the retaste zone, and I'm surprised my heart rate was as low as it was. My calves sent several stiff Notes of Complaint, but kept going. Serious snack after getting back, two bananas with alternating smears of peanut butter or Nutella, with a glass of milk. Once I finish my shower, I get onto the massage table.

Longest ride by far to date.
Fastest I've ever gone on a bike. Estela was rock solid and willing to go faster. Turns out about 100 rpm in the top gear is about 60 Kmh.
First time riding this route.
First time trying Perpetuem. Not bad, but the flavour doesn't do anything for me at all. I ended up usually having some of it, then having some water. I think I'll try something else rather than buying a big jar of it.

Weekly totals
Swim 1.8 hr
Bike 6.16 hr
Run 1.75 hr
Total 9.75 (And I'm done my IGP™ for the month.)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sat Swim

The pool was closed yesterday. The plan all along had been to swim and ride today, then rest tomorrow. But I went for a ride yesterday, and want to go tomorrow. Such are the adjustments of life.

I told the Vulcan tri people I could swim 500m in 7-9 minutes. That's because I have done 9:20 or so as the first half of a K, and figured I could take 20 seconds off that if I didn't have to swim any further and the excitement of race day and all. Well, it's almost true. The 500 K this morning was 9:04, with a somewhat sloppy stroke. I think with IG herding me along, I'll be under the 9 min mark by June. I was happy I wasn't sharing a lane with Jenna or Kelly, since my 108 second 100's would be getting my tail kicked and toes tickled.

I did another 500 K easy, thinking about stroke mechanics, then did another 20 minutes of core work in the dive tank.
Total .66 hr swim.

The scale of truth gave me an astonishing number today. I'd been stuck at a slightly heavy 237 for a couple weeks, and this week I'm 233! I got picky with the scale, and it's actually 233.2. No wonder these jeans are falling off my butt. A year ago I couldn't get into them at all, too much gut and fat thighs. Now, they're getting to be too baggy to wear in public. Gotta love that!

We decided to get some goodies for breakfast from Cob's Bread. I'm having a cinamon bun, blueberry danish, and a chocolate croissant. And coffee. Well, maybe not all the goodies all at once. Well, maybe...

Friday, March 21, 2008

Estela's first real road trip

I had a nice long chat with my bike during our ride today, and discovered her name is Estela. She was very happy to be free of the spin trainer and out on the open road. She wanted to go!

When I got home Thursday night I was totally bagged. I didn't even think about doing the IGP™ spin sesssion. We barbequed up some buffalo burgers with spicy Havarti cheese. mmmmm. I did some cat lap time, then went to bed. After a nice long lie in, and an easy morning, I putter downstairs to get ready for the planned Saturday ride. Once that was done I looked outside and it was gorgeous. Still a little cool, about 7 C. Since I didn't spin last night, I decided to catch up on that one, and do another ride on Sunday, when it's supposed to be even nicer.

Saddled up, and we were off. I rode out 22X to the 22 turn off going south, and back home again in 1:35. Here's some numbers for IG and the curious of you.
38.6 K total trip
1:35 trip time
24.15 KpH, average speed
88 rpm, average cadence
62.26, max speed
125 bpm, average heart rate
139 bpm, peak heart rate
83 bpm, minimum heart rate (and we can all guess when that was)
1592 calories.

My thought was to have a nice easy ride, concentrating mainly on not getting run over. After that was keeping cadence up and pedalling nice and smooth. Speed, distance, and trip time were all a distant second. I wanted to see how the bike felt on the road, and how it was different than the spin trainer. She's very responsive, climbs hills like a dream, and was rock solid at 60 Kph. I think it's going to be a while before I fully grow into her, and take her to her limits.

The ride was excellent. There was a pretty stiff cross wind the entire time on 22X, and it was pretty cool, so I was slightly under dressed. I probably should have worn tights rather than shorts, and maybe some gloves with fingers. The only part of me that was a bit cold was fingers and toes. At the end I was a bit more tired than I thought I'd be, so I'm glad I didn't try to go further. I don't know if that's fallout from being tired, or coping with real wind resistance.

The fooling around I do when I'm not working out.

JustSayHi - Science Quiz

Thursday, March 20, 2008

My thought processes

I suspect this might be an entertaining blog in ways that I can't even imagine. So there I am this morning getting ready to leave the house. My normal routine is to pack my bag the night before, and lay out everything I'll need. That way I wake up, get dressed in what's to hand, and that tells me if I'm running or swimming.

Last night was a late night at work, but the deployment went well, and all appears good this am. But I didn't do much last night other than empty the bag, eat supper, and go to bed.

So there I am this morning wandering around wondering what the heck is going on and who turned the lights on so early. I could see running stuff AND swimming stuff. I'd looked at the IGP last night, but didn't remember what it said. Eventually I figured out it was Thursday, so therefore a run. That told me what to put in the bag, and what to wear. I looked at the IGP again.

As I was pulling into the parking lot underneath 8th Ave where I normally go, I realized two things. For once, my driving autopilot took me where I wanted to go (and I've heard from my wife this morning so I know I dropped her at work), and that I had not the slightest idea in the world what the IGP was for the run. None whatever.

Since I couldn't remember, and I knew that IG is a guy, there had to be some logic involved, and I ought to be able to recreate it, or at least get close. I remembered on Tuesday it was 45 min 8/1. I also knew that we had talked about slowly increasing the run times, and that after a late night at the office, getting back into it pronto wasn't my first priority. I also knew that my Thursday runs include a 2 min walk. So 8 minutes run, and 2 min walk was what I decided on. That having the great advantage of making the math easy. I normally run for about 45 minutes, but decided to go for an hour. This makes the math easy, and isn't too big a step. (I'd sort of thought about 90 minutes, but instantly flashed on IG looking very dubious, so went for 60.)

60 min R8/W2, with some stretching after.
Average heart rate was 118, peak 133, min 85, 882 calories.

The run felt really good. It was mostly in the low 120's, but I noticed that when I thought about the upcoming races, the heart rate tended to go up. So I thought calming thoughts, and churned along, slow and steady, as the sun rose. Going up the hills is where the heart rate picked up.

Just going into my last run segment, I was thinking about running without worrying about the heart rate. But then I thought about IG's plans. If he wanted me to be doing other stuff at this point, he'd have said so. So therefore the quickest way to my goals is to be doing what he said, which is building the base. So I finished up nice and steady.

I turned around at 32nd at the 29:30 mark (I didn't want to cross the road for a measly 30 seconds), and got back to the car at 58 minutes, so I continued past for the last walk segment.

This weekend looks like nice weather! My plan is to get the trainer tire off the bike on Friday, and get all the goodies I bought last week loaded up. Sat I'll do a swim in the morning, then about mid day head out for a ride. The IGP for Sunday says bike 100 to 110, 6 min upper zone 2, 4 min lower zone 2. I'm not sure how that will translate into riding outside, what with hills, traffic, and general outsideness.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Fast company in the pool for once

I went into the pooling thinking I'd do a nice easy long swim today. The pool wasn't too full, so I hopped into a lane where someone was getting out. I started at a nice relaxed pace, then notice my lane-mate was slowly gaining on me. Couldn't have that! So I picked up the pace a bit. She followed, but didn't try to pass. When another girl joined us, it turned out all of us were about the same speed.

2K, 39:49. Lap times were:
1:50, 1:59, 1:56, 1:54, 1:57, 2:03, 2:02, 2:00, 2:02, 2:01 (500 m 19:46)
2:00, 2:01, 2:02, 1:57, 2:02, 2:02, 1:59, 1:58, 2:00, 1:59

That's probably the most consistent lap times ever for me. My legs feel fine, but mostly they just trailed behind today.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

4 lap spin session

You'll know what kind of day I had at work when I say I was looking forward to the spin session tonight so I could relax and take it easy, one thing at a time. Constant gogogo ZOOM! I normally try to eat about 4pm in prep for spin session, but that didn't happen till 5, and I knew I was eating too fast, and I didn't get enough to drink this afternoon. I was hoping it would all turn out right, and it did.

The IGP™ tonight started with some one leg drill. I actually survived a minute each, well above 60 rpm, though I was going clunk at the top. The next two on each leg were only mumblety seconds. Then we started the main set, a 4 lap race course, 15 minutes each lap. This is another course in coachland, since there's only uphill and flats. He mixed it up for us a bit to keep it fun, with an all out sprint in the last minute. I got up to 100 rpm in the hardest gear for about 30 seconds, then slowly faded a bit, and had to drop a gear or two to maintain 100.

Total 2 hours, with all but a few minutes under 120 bpm.

Saturday is looking nice, so I'm planning an outdoor ride, hopefully a couple of hours. I even (gasp) bought a perpetuem package to try on the ride, and see what happens. There must be cheaper ways to buy it than a single serving package.

Dawn runs are fun!

What a great morning for a run! Not too cold, not too warm. No ice on the path. The IGP called for 45 minutes 8/1. That makes the math easy, once I thought it out in advance, and that's exactly what I ran.

I settled into the groove again, and ran just about 120 HR, mostly under, but slightly above on a couple hills. There were a couple times where I actually had to speed up a little bit to get the heart rate back up again, but it didn't seem like I was running slowly. In fact, I thought I set a really good pace for myself.

I started at 8th ave, and ran well north of the golf dome, to the south end of the City yard, and back again. Mostly my stride was good, taking short frequent steps, and trying to pretend the ground is really hot. It's still a little choppy though; I suspect I could do some work on my foot strike. IG and I are planning to do a run together, and we'll see what he says.

But the magical part is that for about 4 strides near the end of the run, when I was getting a little bit tired, it all flowed. My body just floated along as my feet padded along underneath, not really working, not feeling any impact at all. If running was always like that nobody would be driving cars!

My legs feel great, though I haven't been able to touch my toes for a while. Massage on Friday might help. Looks like Friday will be the rest day since the pool will be closed.

Monday, March 17, 2008


My alarm clock and I have a deal. I rarely use it, but it doesn't feel neglected because every once in a while it gets to scare the crap out of me. Today was one of those mornings. Last night was quite a bit later than normal, and I was getting a really sound sleep. Complete with x-rated dreams, even. It started with me riding my bike on the road to Nepal, and passing a SYT riding a horse beside the road. We exchange compliments "nice bike!" "nice horse!", and, well, there isn't much more I can say about it in a family blog.

FOMC pool was crowded again today. I don't know what it is about Mondays recently, but it's been really crowded. We were 4 to a lane again today. The two other fast girls were in a lane with a baggy shorts guy that with fins, can't quite keep up to me. They weren't having much fun dodging him. In our lane the other people swam at ok speeds, except for when they did something other than front crawl.

I even forgot to start my stopwatch, so at 100 m I looked at my watch and saw a bunch of zeros. So I started it, but then I'm busy playing dodge-em with the other people, and forgot to click it for laps. So the upshot is that I'm not even sure how long I swam, or how far I went.

about 20 minutes, probably 1K
15 minutes core work
Call it 30 minutes total

Oh, and I hope you noticed I signed up for the Vulcan Tri! I'm told it's lots of fun, though now I have a goal. I told them I could swim 500 m in 7-9 minutes. My best time for 500 m is 9:22 or so, but that's as the front end of a whole K. I'm guessing that if I don't have more to swim I can take a second or so off of each lap. Hope to see lots of you there.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Peaceful Sunday Brick

I actually slept in a bit this morning, which is very unusual for me. After a peaceful morning and some quality cat lap time, I got myself started on today's brick.

10 min warmup
10 x 6/4 (upper zone 2/lower zone 2)
10 min cooldown down doing some pedal control work.
3.5 minute transition
20 min, run about 2.5 K, trying to keep heart rate under 120, and mostly failing miserably with it wanting to settle in at mid 120's.
Toal 2 hr, 20 minutes

The ride went really well. I did some more experimenting with gear choices trying to get and keep my heart rate as close to 120 as possible. The idea was to do half the upper zone using an easy gear at about 90 rpm, and half in a hard gear, about 55-60 rpm.

When I started the spin it was gloomy and snowing lightly, so I laid out clothes accordingly. When I got upstairs for my run I had to squint into the sunlight. The streets and sidewalks were mostly melted, though with the wind it was still a chilly day. Must putter about, we've got guests for dinner tonight. No, let me rephrase that. We have guests coming, and we're going to feed them dinner. They tend to be night owls so I hope I'm not dragging my butt too much tomorrow.

Weekly totals
Swim 1.9 hr
Bike 4.75 hr
Run 2.33 hr
Total 9.0 hr

Friday, March 14, 2008

Short, semi-intense swim

For someone who isn't sleeping all that well this week, it sure was difficult dragging my butt out of bed this morning. I got to the pool on time, and was fortunate to get into a lane with a guy that swims just about exactly as fast as I do. I swim neater though. Fricking goggles! I think it's time to get new ones. I'd tightened the strap a little while ago and it's been good, but today it was leak city. Very distracting.

250 m warmup. tired warmup. Stopped to clear out googles 3x. Reassessed plan to swim 2K aiming for personal best.
5 x 100 m on 2:30 start. Cleared out goggles between every interval.
250 m cooldown. tired cooldown.

The intervals were 95, 100, 100, 103, and 105 seconds each. Heartrate 140 or so at the end. Into the dive tank for 15 minutes of tired core and flexibility work. Lets call it 30 minutes overall.

The scale of truth said a light 237 again. It's odd, last week I was surprised to see it that low, and this week, I'm surprised to see it that high. I was feeling skinnier.

Home for breakfast, then all day in a business process and workflow modelling class at MRC. That happens again tomorrow. It will make for a very short weekend.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Can someone explain this to me please?

Last weekend I read about Amber's 2 hour spin above 100 rpm.

That totally impressed me, so tonight I decided to try a mini version of that, within the IGP™ calling for a 60-70 minute spin. I knew I'd burn out pretty quick if I tried to maintain 100 rpm, but figured I could maintain 85-90 for a while. The next challenge was to stay upper zone 2, which for me tops out at 120 bpm.
10 min warmup gradually finding a gear to get me to target rpm and heart rate.
30 minutes, almost entirly at target rpm (more about heart rate in a minute.) My image was a long straight stretch into a headwind, trying to stay tucked in and smooth.
10 min slow oscillations from very slow <50 rpm to max smooth rpm ~120 and back
10 min cooldown.
Total 60 minutes, plus some yoga, and core. See plank times later.

Here's what I want explained. Once I got dialed in, I was at about 88 rpm pretty steady, with my heart rate pretty steady at 118 plus or minus a couple beats, and it was like that for 20 minutes. Then, at the 30 minute mark, or 20 minutes into my set, my heart rate dropped like a rock. Within a minute it was down to 110, then stayed around 112 or so for the last 10 minutes of my set. Same rpm, same effort, same postion. WFT? If I hadn't been watching the monitor I'd have figured something had gone wrong. About the same time I stopped sweating as much. I didn't know whether to gear up and drive the heart rate back up or what. In the end I decided to stay in the same gear, same rpm, and watch to see what happened. Which was pretty much nothing. In the end I stopped the set because my calves where starting to get a bit twitchy and feeling precrampish. I mostly ignored a strong case of tingly butt, stayed focussed on watching heart rate and rpm, and tried to spin smooth.

The other odd thing was during the cool down, I was actually starting to get a bit of a chill, which has never happened before. By this time, sitting up and pedalling easy, about 75 or 80 rpm, my heart rate was mid-80's.

Front 61 seconds
Left 42 seconds
Right 38 seconds

I found a running pace!

It was just lying there, nobody was using it, honest!

The IGP called for 45 6/2 this am, but I got all confused, (draws curtains in confession booth) and ran 40 7/2. Walked for two minutes warm up, and cool down, and did some stretches after.
4 x 7/2

What's exciting about this is that for the first time I actually settled into a comfortable pace AND kept my heart rate between 119 and 122 for almost all the run segments. I don't really have a clue how fast I was running, but I got from 8th ave to well north of the golf dome along the Nose Creek path. I felt like I could continue at that pace for a while longer, and for a few strides I stretched out and ran up a little hill. That only pushed the heart to 129, then I settled back into that pace again, my heart rate dropped back down to where it had been. My legs felt great afterward, ready to do it again if I had to. I'm really quite pleased.

And it was a beautiful morning for a run. Not cold, but at the last second I grabbed my hat thinking I could put it in a pocket if it was too warm, and it turned out just right. Always a bit tricky with how much to wear at this time of year.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

tired swim that turned out good

The IGP called for 45 minute swim this am. I was tired from the spin last night, and didn't sleep well. Well, the first part of the night was good sleep, then woke up to deal with bio-pressures, then never got back to sleep. My brain revved up thinking about work stuff, thinking about the Chinook tri and getting ready for it, going through the procedure to change a tire (remembering to loosen the little valve stem first), thinking about transition details, thinking about the road to Nepal and other outdoor rides I want to do, ect, ect, ect. At least I wasn't thrashing around like a wounded water buffalo to the point where my wife kicks me out of bed.

I digress, back to the workout.
30:24, I think maybe 1550 m, but I wasn't keeping track. It started slowish, but picked up, and for a while it seemed like I was getting big handfuls of water, and having a nice strong stroke. Then 15 minutes core work.

But the real story started when I was in the dive tank. You have to know the girl I was sharing the lane with is a good swimmer. She was already working out when I got there, doing pull bouys and paddles, alternating with fins and flutter board. I passed her a couple of times, she passed me. She's really good about sharing, and we were both having a great workout.

So after I leave for the dive tank, I next see her standing there in the middle of the lane having a heated discussion with some guy. This jerk started swimming in the wrong direction, and ran into her. Like ran right into her, not just stopping short or brushing by due to last second change of direction. Long conversation in the middle of the pool. Then they drag in the lifeguard for more conversation at the end of the lane. She starts swimming again, and this jerk is ragging on the lifeguard. For a long time. He simply will not let it go.

The hot tub consensus was 3 zip that this guy was wrong, and was making a total ass of himself. When leaving the pool I saw him complaining to the pool foreman. She was not amused. Talk about making a federal case of it! Did he go there to swim or to ruin everybody else's day? All I can say is that he should be glad he didn't try to join the lane with me still swimming there. Talk about getting your day ruined. Grrrr.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tues Part 2, or, IG tried to kill us

The spin session started out like usual, with some warmups and one leg drills. For a while I was getting better at those, but I seem to have regressed lately. Or maybe I had a premonition about what the night would bring, and wanted to save something for later.

Then later arrived.
3 sets of 18 minutes with some diabolical stuff in there. Short time trials, hill climbs, (though I noted there weren't any downhills on this 3 lap course), speed sets, all going one into the next, with only a couple minutes in between sets. I'm glad it was over when it was, cause I was over.

I think somewhere along the way, my heart and lungs have made major strides, and left my legs behind. There I am pedaling away on sort of tired legs, barely able to get my heart rate out of zone two. Yet I'm on the big chainring and sometimes over 100 rpm. I didn't get past 120 or so till the last bit where I maintained 100 rpm and got up into the 3 rd hardest gear. I still couldn't hear my trainer though, what with all the heavy breathing and other trainers. I was on the bike for 1:50, but for math purposes I'll call it 1.75 hrs.

I bought a bunch of stuff for the bike, a new tire for the outside ride, spare tube, tire irons (made of plastic of course), a co2 cartridge, a little bag for under the saddle to put it all into and other stuff besides. So first nice day when I'm not in the office, or when I've got time in the evening, I'm so out on the road! I can hear Nepal calling me!

Say, how would people like to pick a weekend in a few weeks when it's nicer, do the road to Nepal in the afternoon, maybe do a short brick from our place, then settle in to sample the wine cellar? If people feel the need, we have a guest shower, and you could change afterward.

Tues part 1

The IGP called for 50-60 minutes 7/1. I wasn't looking forward to the complicated math that entails, but carried on.
3 minutes brisk walking, then into it.
3 minutes cool down.

*Explanation of stuff is somewhat difficult. I thought I was keeping track and running 7 and walking 1, but when I got to the end, it didn't come out where expected. In any case, I ran for about 7 minutes most of the time, and walked 1 most of the time, and somehow it added up to 54 minutes. So I either ran too long, or not long enough, or something. I was trying to keep my heart rate in zone 2, and the average over the hour was 120, but I peaked at 135, and spent a lot of time at the mid-120's. My watch says I burned 908 calories. Is that possible?

Overall it felt pretty good, mostly a steady stride and nothing hurt.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Road to Nepal update/wish list

Thanks qtlibrarian for the link to map my ride. I found a link in to the Road to Nepal, giving elevation and everything. I didn't quite take that route on the weekend, so I don't know what the pavement is like on the return stretch.

I did a quicky 5 K ride around the neighbourhood to figure out where the kilometre-stones are, so I can press the lap button at the right time. What a beautiful afternoon. Pity I was in the office.

And Julie, you're making us all drool with this talk of not having to share a lane. Sigh.

My tri wish list:
my own 25 m indoor pool.
I'll settle for a lane to myself to swim in.
New tire and tire changing tools and other necessary spares.
watt meter (it just sounds sooo frickin pro to say I trained at 250 watt pace for an hour last night.)
wetsuit that fits right, being big and tall, but slowly getting smaller
find the sunscreen that comes in stick form
to be worthy of getting an Orbea Ordu tri-bike (
to survive the road to Nepal in its several variations

Crowded Swim

The FOMC pool didn't have any more cars in the parking lot than normal, but my good gracious. All the pools were full! I was shocked to see 3 people each in the fast lanes, and pissed to see one person doing a kick drill in one, and another doing slow breast stroke in the other. (And yes, he had 8 foot long arms, each.)

So I joined the lane that had the faster people in it, channeled Jenna really hard and tried to encourage the others to move to a more appropriate lane. I was back and forth, going at nearly top speed, passing where I could, touching toes a few times to remind people I was there, waiting for them. Nobody left. Sigh.

There are days I want there to be a swim lane Nazi, enforcing speeds and making people swim in the appropriate lane for the appropriate stroke. I want there to be a breast stroke lane, and about 8 people could be in it at once. I want there to be a kick lane, and about 16 people could be in it. I want there to be a giant hook that drags people by the neck out of the fast lane if they aren't keeping up and not being considerate about it. Just like the fairgrounds have a horizontal line that says "you must be this tall to go on this ride", I want to see a sign, "you must swim 50 m in less than a minute to swim in this lane." And it isn't like I think I should be the only one in the fast lane. I'll happily seed myself in the medium lane at Talisman, if I know that's what it is, or what the standard is for the fast lane.

1000 m 18:49. On one hand, if there hadn't been anybody else in the lane to get in my way, I could have swum it faster. On the other hand, without anyone there to pass or pull away from, it might have been a slower swim. On the gripping hand, what I had really wanted to do was 3 lengths easy, and one all out. Hard to do that when you're sharing a lane. Oh well, it was a good swim.

20 minutes core and flexibility work in the dive tank. This has really come a long way since I started. It used to be I could hardly get my toes out of the water doing a straight leg lift. Now I can get ankles and part of shins out. It used to be that in a sit pose trying to move legs around to the side, I could get to about 45 degrees, now I can get almost to the wall. The sit pose where I draw expanding then contracting circles with my toes, it used to be going around 3 times was enough, now I go around lots, and get my toes out of the water, and the circles are really big. I even do figure 8's sometimes.I was thinking about planks, and was working on some of the side ab muscles.

I'm going to hustle out of work this afternoon and try to get in an outside ride on my hybrid. Soooo nice today, it's supposed to be into the teens.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sunday Brick

The IGP™ called for 95 to 105 min spin (6/4 upper/lower zone 2) then 15 to 20 min run.

10 min warmup
10 min one leg drill (ugh)
8 x 6 upper zone 2, 4 lower.
5 min cool down.
1.75 hr

The upper zone work was alternating between 90 rpm easy gear, and 60 rpm hard gear, except for the last two where I was over 100 rpm in the easist or second easiest gear. And still under 120 bpm! The ride felt good, wrists and butt a little tingley, but not too bad. I think my back tire is beginning to show some white, meaning I think I've nearly worn through the rubber. Time to get a good road tire, and maybe a trainer tire too.

just over a 3 minute transition, then 2 K in 15 min, with heart rate still under 120, except for the last minute or so. Overall a nice workout. If I'm feeling good this afternoon I'll take my hybrid outside and have some fun. I've been meaning to map out my 5 K route to know more precisely where the kilometer marks are.

Afterward I did some stretching and core work. Yes, including plank. (oof) Legs feel good.

Weekly hours.
Swim 2.5 hr
Bike 4.4 hr
Run .85 hr
Total 7.75 hr

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Road to Nepal

So as long as my dentist isn't having fun with me, here's the poop on The Road to Nepal.

The road starts at the intersection of highway 22x and 37st SW. There's a big cellphone tower there, and an informal parking lot between the east and westbound lanes. It's 7.6 Km from my house.

Start by going south. The road is newly paved and nice. There's a few hills but nothing too major, good warmups I think.
At 4.8 Km, turn right. There's a stop sign, and the good pavement goes this way.
at 6.5 Km turn left. This is not marked but the pavement goes this way. This part is flat, but when you turn you can see the first hill.
7.2 K get settled in and start climbing, long and steady, then near the top it gets steeper. 2.3 Km worth of hill, then down.
10.6 K start climing again, a steep hill for 800 m, then down.
13.2 K start climing again for 500 m, then down.
14.7 K up yet again for 600 m.
Then a long downhill and up a bit to come to 549 at 18 K. If you're macho, you can turn around and do it the other way.
If not, turn right.
29.6 K and you're at hwy 22 at the Millarville track turnoff. There's a good shoulder going north.
42.5 K or so and you're at 22x turning right.
at 49 K the good shoulder stops.
54.1 K gets you back to 37 street, and if that's where you parked, lucky you.

Once Susi gets tuned up for the road, she could ride south, past Bragg, go east past the Millarville track, go north on the road to come out on 22x, and then back home. That'd be a great ride.

I saw 4 people struggling up the hills while I was checking it out (in the car!!!), but didn't recognize any of the bikes. Nice road bikes, but they were head down and pedaling hard. Great day for a ride, sunny and warm.

Friday, March 7, 2008

The biking dentist

I actually ran into my dentists office, as he held the door. No, I'm not kidding.

But that was after a nice relaxing swim.
2K 39:57 Nice and easy sharing a lane with M. She's a long and steady swimmer that swims just a little slower than me, so I'll pass her every 15 laps or so. But she stops to put on, or take off swim toys, so I hardly ever have to pass her. Our lane was calm. Big time shit happening in other lanes though. Lots of people with fins. A super fast dude (his breast stroke is a bit faster than my usual front crawl) trying to share the lane with a couple of other idiots. People in another lane, one with fins thrashing and churning but going nowhere. You know it's slow when they're doing front crawl, with fins, and I blow past them. One guy that seemed unable to complete a length without standing up. A big discussion in one lane that didn't sound fun. Busy day, but all is good.

Then 15 min core in the dive tank. Thinking about the plank muscles. They're still a bit sore this am!

On to the dentist. Turns out he's going into the Chinook Tri as the bike leg as part of a team. He lives not far from me and told me about several great rides south and west of Calgary. I'll have to try "The Road to Nepal". I've driven it, major roller coaster hills, and it has new pavement! Suggested we go riding sometime. How cool is that?

Oh, and the number. I forgot, even though it's good news. A slightly light 237, and that's in spite of 6 chocolate chip cookies I had to celebrate surviving the plank ordeal.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Spin, and (gack) plank news

I got my copy of the IGP™ late last night. It all looks do-able, which I suppose is good. But that's not how I was going to start this blog. It was going to start "This is Keith's wife Linda, and I've got a bone to pick with Susi and you other girls that egged him on. He tried doing this plank thingie, and he just broke in the middle. He let out a pitiful squeak and spilled his guts all over a nice carpet in the basement. Good thing it didn't get on the books. I always feared he'd come to a bad end over a girl, but I always thought sex would be involved. There was enough grunting, though. You girls ought to be ashamed of yourselves, talking a poor innocent geezer into such things!"

However, even I can't keep a straight face through that. So, spin news.
10 min warm up.
5 x 30 seconds smooth acceleration to about max smooth rpm, about 115 to 120, then 90 seconds easy.
2 sets, 3 minutes hard, 2 easy. The hard started off on the big chainring easy cog, then into a harder gear every 30 seconds while maintaining 90 rpm. (spin trainer going WHIRRRRR)
5 x 2 hard 2 easy. This was in a medium cog, hard on big chainring, easy on small, all at 90 rpm.
10 min cooldown.

Total 60 minutes. I was thinking I'd try some shorter more intense sets to see if I could get my heartate up into the 140's, zone 4 for a brief period. I didn't really work at it, but it's clear my lungs and heart are stronger than my legs right now.

Then on to those planks. I had Linda watch me to make sure I was nice and straight, and not drooping. Linda really liked the abs on the guy in that video. She watched the video several times so that she could make sure I was doing it right!
30 seconds front plank
21 seconds left side
23 seconds right side
73 seconds wondering if I was gonna hurl.

Oh, and just for Julie, I tried a chinup. I can't do one either. This felt like a nice solid workout, but not overdoing it, sweating a bucket. Then leftover Indian food from the Clay Oven last night, and sweat some more. They do the best food, and their Naan bread is to die for.

Cautious run

After the Monday night adventures with voting and trying to run after, I was a bit cautious about it this morning. The IGP called for 45 minutes 6/2. I really wasn't sure how it would work out, but I had faith.

5 min walk, gradually picking up speed.
4 x R6 W2
a couple more minutes walk to get back to the car, then a few minutes of stretching.
Total 40 minutes

The runs started slow. It felt like someone had taped a weight on the back of my leg just above the knee. But all went well as I gradually increased speed. My thought was to run at what my legs felt comfortable with, which soon worked out to a heart rate in the mid 120's. I went from 8th Ave north along Nose Creek Path to the Golf Dome and back.

I paid a lot of attention to how my legs felt, thinking about where I was carrying tension and trying to get rid of it. Thinking about balance and keeping stride even and light. For a while I tried the breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth, but that felt stupid so I stopped.

Afterward, my legs felt sort of weird. There was a simultaneous "what, are we done already?" and "That was ok but we're glad it's done." I sort of suspect I could have gone further, but I'd really rather not find out the hard way. The last couple weekends I've pushed the running beyond what was called for the in the IGP, and that might be why they're feeling somewhere between tired and sore. So I'll dial the runs back and behave myself.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Happy swim

Sorry Jenna, in order to tell the story of this mornings swim, I have to start with a dentist appt. I have one on Friday, you see. This is all routine, my teeth are pretty good, and my hygienist is wonderful, even if she does give me shit about staining from coffee and wine. Anyway, they had left a couple of messages on the phone reminding me, which is nice. And did I say they have a really cool office not far from where I live? My wife reminded me this morning about going, and getting the teeth polished up, and mentioned it's a good thing I don't smile when I swim, cause I'd frighten the other swimmers with my shark impression. That put me in a good mood.

So I got in the pool this am ready for a nice workout. Pardon me if I go on a bit about the stroke and stuff. I'm in the mood to write, and I'm staying late at the office tonight, so I can start a little late this morning.

2000 m in 38:49. Not a personal best, but a time I'me very happy with because my stroke was good, and my heartrate at the end was a nice low 135 or so.

A few minutes of core work in the dive tank, but we'll call it 45 min overall to keep the math simple.

I've decided that blueberry pomegranite yogurt on my granola doesn't go with this coffee very well. If that's the worst part of my day, that will be good. Today the water was slippery on my body, and yet I could get a grip on it with my hands and arms. I was working on reaching forward, catching the water, then sliding my forearm to the vertical, thinking about it almost as a lever to pry myself forward, and my body just sliding along. Then a nice long steady pull, but not cupping the water and swooshing through, but rather using it as an anchor to move myself forward. I was getting some good roll too at least some of the time. I only wish there had been someone to video it. I'd love to see a video of me swimming.

It was nice that there was a couple of girls in the next lane swimming just about the same speed. So I could chase one (yeah, I know how that sounds, but we're in a public pool here,suppress your imagination, and you know who I'm talkin'bout! :-) ) and over several laps catch up, then set my sights on the next one. They're strong swimmers, with nice strokes and a good pace.

I also had a request to explain how a pace clock and a stopwatch can tell you how many laps you've gone. Easy, for my poor men brain. All I have to do is remember if I'm swimming faster than 1 min per 50 m, or slower. Lets start by assuming that is exactly the pace you swim. Then the number of minutes you swim will be exactly equal to the number of laps.

Now lets assume you're just a little bit slower. Start with the hand you can see easiest and remember where it is. The bottom of the clock works for me. Start your watch, and start your swim. At the end of the first lap, the clock will be slightly past the bottom, and you're watch will read 1:02, for example, and you've swum 1 lap or 50 m. So you continue at that pace for a while. At 500 m your watch will read 10:20, and the pace clock will be a third of the way around. At 1000 m, your watch will read 20:40, and the clock will be 2/3rds of the way around. The only trick to this is to remember than when the clock arm you've been watching passes the bottom of the clock again, as it will at about 1500 m, your time on the watch is now 31:00, and the laps you've swum is the number of minutes MINUS one.

If, like me, you can swim about that much faster than a minute, the same logic works, only right from the beginning, you've swum one MORE lap than the number of minutes on your watch. So if you're swimming 50 m in 58 seconds on average, your 1000 m time will be 19:20. At some point, the clock arm will pass the bottom of the clock again, and all you have to remember is that you've swum 2 MORE laps than minutes on your stopwatch. But that doesn't happen all that often yet. Simple, yes? Much better than trying to remember a number for a long time, then the next one, in the face of all the competing thoughts there are to be thunk.

Legs are feeling good, though throughout the spin last night it felt like someone had taped some fishing weights to the back of my legs. They were in a sort of pre-cramp stage, which is sort of odd.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Good solid bike on tired legs

Greg is back! Time trial night, but a short workout. We did a few one leg drills, a couple 3 minute warm ups for time trial, then settled in for a 20 minute ride. I was a gear harder than the last time we did this, kept the cadence about the same, 90 rpm. Last time my heart rate was up between 135 and 140. Now, in a harder gear, remember, it was between 115 and 120. I guess this training is having an effect after all. I had just one spot where I was figetty on the bike, and once that passed I was good.

I have to admit I was a bit worried about my legs. The hams and calves have that pre-cramp feel, so I wanted to stay smooth. I might have been able to get through the trial in a tougher gear or two, but then again, maybe not.

1:40 ride.

Monday, March 3, 2008

So-so swim

Don't think I'm blaming the goggles, but I could not get the right one to stay sealed. I spent most of the swim with water sloshing around, getting into my right eye. It's amazing how distracting that is.

My massage therapist found this massive lump of tightness in my left mid back. That's always a "crunchy" spot, as she puts it, but this was way worse than normal. Maybe that's why things hurt so much last week. Out of desperation I've started mousing with my right hand again.

1000 m in 20:11. Icky-poo. Sloppy, uncoordinated, weak, feeble, and decrepit.

25 minutes of core and flexibility in the dive tank.

Total 45 minutes.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Tingly butt

There, I knew that would get your attention. Technically, at the moment I'm free of the IGP™. So I could do anything I wanted!! But I'm sure IG will have been thinking about our plans, and will get them sent out to all of us as soon as he's home

10 min warmup, feeling the tingly butt as I got comfey on the bike. For a while I thought it might be bad, but then it got ok. Wrists were a bit sore, but overall it was ok.
5 x 30 seconds smooth and fast, 90 seconds recovery. Concentrating on smooth, I ended up at not quite 120 or so with no bouncing. I guess that core work is paying off.
6 x 5 hard at top zone 2, 5 easy bottom of zone 2, alternating between easy gear high rpm, and harder gear slow rpm.
10 min cool down with a couple of high speed smooth spins tossed in for good measure.

Only odd thing is that every now and this I got this odd noise like my rear gears changed by half a gear or so. Nothing appeared to be moving, just some funny clicks, and I could feel it on the pedals. But that's balanced by a good thing! I got onto the drops for some reason, which I normally don't. The reason I don't is the feeling of thighs thwhaping the molson's muscle isn't very nice. I can still feel it happening, but it's not like my tummy is being pummeled.

short transition (didn't time it today.)
Nice and easy run. I tried to keep my heart rate under 120, but it seemed to settle in at the mid-120's.
About 4 Km in 35 minutes.
5 minutes walking cooldown

The weather out is beautiful! Such a nice day for a run. I had to dial it back for fear of getting carried away and going much too hard. I suppose if I was really on the ball I could dig out the hybrid and go for a fun ride.

Then about a half hour of yoga, write the blog, nice shower, and hang around waiting for my massage therapist to show up.
2 hours workout.

Weekly total
Swim 1.75 hr
Bike 3 hr
Run 1.25 hr
Total 6 hr