Thursday, January 29, 2009
We worked ourselves hard
The afternoon was a rush of getting some paperwork done, trying to get my internet connection back, doing dishes, bbq some chicken, chip some ice at the bottom of the driveway (I love making little channels to help drain the roadside lakes in spring), looking at the siding, and most importantly according to Amelia, animate her favourite bit of string for a while.
I'm not sure what the story was, but we each got a 2 minute slice of the session tonight to tell the others what to do. Traffic was horrible so I got there too late to join the hard core crowd on the stage. But now that I know it's cooler down on the other floor, maybe, just maybe, I'll be 'late' all the time. The only stipulation about our 2 minutes is that we couldn't choose a downhill coast.
The workout was a mix of a bunch of different stuff, including some sssssllllllloooooooooowwwwwww squats. Ouch. I think we worked ourselves harder than Greg does. I'd like to say that all the water on the floor was sweat, but no, there was a water bottle attack at one point. I was on the bike 1.75 hrs.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The siding is still on
More swim drill stuff, but a bit better organized this time.
warm up, 250 m, under 5 min, nice and relaxed
50 m each one arm, scull, push, fist, times 3 (600 m altogether)
4 x 50 m interval on 1:15, most of these were right on 50 seconds each.
50 m cool down, nice and easy.
Shared the lane with woman with a good stroke, except she lifts her head straight up to breath, which of course stops her dead in the water. Once I figured out I swam faster than her no matter what I was doing, I just ignored her and carried on. Next time I'll add some kick to the drill mix. This pool keeps the boards way off in an awkward corner, and I will have to get in the habit.
It feels interesting doing the different drills, using different muscles. You get a different feel for the water. I suspect I could have done another round of them, but I didn't want to push it too much. The intervals were solid, but not all out fast. I was trying to put together stroke elements, not necessarily go faster. A little over 30 min swimming, and another 15 in the dive tank doing core work.
Boring day at work. I was hoping I could escape early enough to go for a run during the afternoon, but it didn't work out that way. Picked up Linda and we went to a house showing for this super duper energy efficient, eco-friendly house. Very nice, if you happen to have 1.5 million to spare.
Once home I got ready and headed out. This time I looked at what I was supposed to do.
Walked to warm up, and started off run slowly. Almost instantly settled into a nice pace, with heart rate right where I was aiming for. Ran 6 x 12/1 up the 37 St path to where the path forks at South Glenmore park, and back. I didn't get quite back to my starting place. I was almost startled when I got back. The whole run passed really quickly. I didn't have to think about my legs at all. Average heart rate was right on 130. Walked to cool down. Total 1.5 hrs.
What was interesting was the HERDS of runners heading in the opposite direction. Both coming and going. Many small bunches of them, each with at least one person wearing a really bright head lamp. I was a bit choked at the one guy who kept looking right at me, and destroying my night vision. Don't understand why they need lights. There's all kinds of light from street lamps and city light reflected off the clouds.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Supposed to be spinning. Supposed.
Head home. Climb up onto the garage in the twilight, hammer in hand. Dodging the ice and snow still on the roof. Poke, prod, push, pull, pound, twist, encourage, and force. Not my idea of a fun time. Then down off the roof, which is always the tricky part of the whole operation. Did I mention the wind is still gusting 30 to 50 kph according to the weather channel? And that it's coming straight across, trying to blow me off the roof the entire time? Like I said, not fun. It's still not right, but I'm hoping it will stay put till Saturday, where I can at least go up in daylight. Some of the trim right up underneath the wainscotting doesn't seem to be fastened properly. Hmmmm, anyone know about siding that wants to show up to the party early?
The good news of the day is that my physio visit went really well. Aside from her trying to twist my arm off to prove to me it will still go straighter. Some of my newer readers have clued in that something happened to it. To recap, I fell off my bike last September, and cracked a bone in my elbow. Things have been coming along. For most things it's essentially business as usual. It's only painful when trying to go to the edge of the range of motion, or trying to do something too quickly. She measured, and my range of motion is almost back to normal. She also says that doing plank, and starting pushups is probably a good thing. Not the full military ones right away, but just doing what the arm will let me, and gradually pushing it. What fun.
So why didn't I take Estela out of the car, get set up, and do a spin? Good question. It's 7:30, and what with one thing and another, I'm ready for bed. I'm thinking about the swim tomorrow, and the long runzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzdrool.
Monday, January 26, 2009
First Drill bits
Warmed up a bit, maybe 200 m. Arms feeling weird, but settled in. Then a bunch of kick, fist, sculling drills, each several times. Did some short bits trying to put it all together concentrating on form. Counted strokes for some lengths, trying to minimize them. Did some short bits trying for speed and stroke. cool down. Didn't plan them, didn't write them down, just did each drill in turn.
Then into the dive tank for a core workout. 30 min swim, 15 core, .75 hr altogether.
For sure, my left arm is back to being the weak one again, for swimming anyway. What a weird feeling that is.
I belong to two book clubs. One meets once a month, usually in a coffee shop or restaurant, and it a bit stricter about being a book club. The other is on a somewhat more irregular schedule, and it depends on the book, but is more about social stuff than just the book. This one meets in a pub.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Warmed up, did some one leg drill and slow accelerations.
6 x 7/3 aeroboic (found out later it was supposed to be 6/4, oh well) Found a gear where I could dial into 90 rpm and try to keep the heart rate at 130 bpm, which is about top of zone 2.
more one leg drill and slow accelerations
2 hours exactly, then 4 min transition.
Hopped off the bike, dried off, dressed for -20 C or so, with a stiff wind and went 3K around the block in 20 min. Did a little bit of stretching, shower, and headed out again. It was only cold going into the wind. I was actually overdressed a bit.
Throughout the bike I focussed on my core, and by the end of it I was knackered. When I was pedaling smoothly, I could keep the heart rate good. When I started thinking about other stuff, and let my legs away from me, my heart rate went up. Very interesting. Pretty pleased with the workout. Tried the orangy flavoured GuO2 and it wasn't bad, but preferred my own mix.
Do people care about book clubs? We're now going to read The Path by Picoult, and The Shack, by William Young. I am not impressed so far with the treacle that has oozed out between the covers of the first. But that's what being in a book club is all about, reading things that you'd never pick out on your own. I've been surprised before.
I really have to get out more. We watched George Carlin's "It's bad for you" last night on DVD and we were chatting about it at the book club, then found out George Carlin died almost a year ago. Sigh. Just started reading The Rick Mercer Report, and am killing myself laughing. I don't watch television much, only when I'm on the road, and I've only see a few episodes of this, so it's all new to me.
Swim 1.75 hrs
Bike 5.5 hrs
Run 2.5 hrs
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Coach Greg, in the pool
Friday was a rest day, and a good thing too. My legs were still tired, and during dinner with friends my calves where really feeling grumpy. They are still sore this morning. My work life is going through some changes that I'll talk about once I get some more details, but I ended up working at home on the computer for a bunch of hours Friday afternoon. This room is cool at the best of times. I let myself get chilled, and that's never good for helping muscles relax. Have I mentioned Calgary is back in the deep freeze and it's somewhere between -20 and -30 C?
Greg suggested we get together to look at my swim stroke. He sees me on the bike twice a week at spin class. We ran together last year to make sure there wasn't anything horrible about my stride, and we'll do it again, but the main goal is simply to build my running conditioning. There's a long way to go. I've swum a lot over the years, long before I thought about triathlon. We knew from my swim times that I didn't need to do anything for the water last year; I could coast on existing skills. Now the time has come to examine and improve the swimming skills to get a little bit faster, but more importantly, spend less energy per distance, so I'm fresher for the bike.
Glenmore is between us, and I haven't been there for many years. The facility is nice, although the pool water is a little on the warm side. The biggest downside is that they only have the half lockers and only a few of them let you put on your own lock. On Saturday the lane swim only lasts 1.5 hours, so I'd need to get their promptly. Other things being equal, I'd rather swim there than at Canyon Meadows.
We took over one of the fast lanes. I swam. He looked, and didn't laugh. "Not baaaad" he says. Still, there are some things to fix. There always is. The major thing is that my reach crosses the centre line of my body, my left arm does a bit of an S stroke, and I need to roll a bit more on my non breathing strokes. It could have been much worse. We worked through some sculling drills, and he showed me how the one arm drill is supposed to look. Spent lots of time on the technicality of the stroke, tweaking little things. He gave me a great idea on tracking stroke efficiency. I need to work on drills more, and intervals with perfect stroke, and forget about swim times. Maybe once a month do a straight out swim and record the time for 500, 1000, 1500 and 2000 m. Lots for me to think about.
We were in the pool for 1.25 hrs, but a good chunk of that was talking, and waving our arms about. I wonder what the other pool patrons thought? A couple times people looked like they were going to join us, but then saw us swooshing up and down, and they went elsewhere. I probably swam 1000 m at most, but was working harder because I was thinking about my stroke, and trying different things. I'm going to say .75 hr workout, and didn't do any core work in the dive tank. Maybe I'll do some yoga later today.
Their scale is in the reception area. It said 230, though I was carrying lots of fluid I should have got rid of first. Then again, I have no idea how that scale is calibrated compared to the one I usually use. So I have no idea if I'm really, actually the same weight or what. But I think my waist is getting smaller, since I'm pulling my belt past the first hole, but not quite to the second. All in all, I'm pretty pleased.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
IG's war on sloth and gluttony, continued
Then spin class. Nice warm up. One leg drill 60, 75, and 90 seconds each leg. My left leg crapped out with 15 seconds or so to go on the last one. Then some 15/15's. That was the formal warm up. Then some hard hill climbing sets. Greg has been to coachland, where all the courses are uphill. Then he sprang a surprise on us between the sets. Squats! I've never done squats in my life. Holy Hannah!!! Then a nice long cool down.
1 hr 50 minutes. Legs are very tired. It was really hot up on the stage tonight, and I sweated a bucket. I really must remember to bring a banana or a snack in my bag for right after class. Tomorrow is a rest day. Swim with Greg on Sat.
It is officially cold and crappy out again, and it's started to snow. Roads are greasy. Saw a barely avoided major collision caused by someone running a red light. Scary stuff, since I was very close to the potential splatter zone.
The goodie list for Shannon and Mel's party is coming together. I will give tours of the wine cellar. I am seriously considering making the triple chocolate mousse cake, if I can find the recipe for it again. As I recall, you take ground up oreo cookie crusts with just enough chocolate sauce to hold them together and form the crust. Then comes a baked chocolate mousse layer. Then comes a different chocolate mousse layer that is refrigerated. Then a chocolate glaze. If you are a choco lover, it is to die for. One narrow slice is enough calories to fuel you through a 70.3 no problem at all.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I ran from afternoon to dusk
1- run safely, the sidewalks are mostly ice, and the bike path is mostly packed snow, with some bare pavement and a bit of ice.
2- Run at an even heart rate, varying my pace as required for hills. I was aiming for an aerobic pace, which for me is about 130 bpm.
3 - Run 10 walk 1.
It was brilliant afternoon when I started, and just above zero C, with little or no wind. Walked most of the way to 37th street with the last bit a very gentle run. Headed north along the path, and got almost to the boat launches at South Glenmore Park. Along the way the temperature dropped a bit, and on the way back a bit of a wind picked up. With the wind I'd guess it was -10 C or so, given the way my moustashe was freeezing up.
Didn't get back to my starting point at the end of the planned time, but I hadn't really expected to. It's mostly downhill going toward South Glenmore Park. I resisted the temptation to run faster to get there. Along the way the sky gradually darkened. The sunset wasn't as spectacular as yesterday's, but it was still pretty nice in that winter pastel Alberta sort of way.
My watch says my average heart rate was 126, and the peak was 135 bpm! During the one min walks it dropped from high 120's or low 130's to about 110 or so. This was exactly what I was hoping for.
My legs didn't quite live up to my hopes. I'm pleased they got me there and back, that's always good. But they never relaxed into the run pace. They wanted to go a little faster, or walk. The little bit faster would start driving my heart rate up, so I'd slow down again.
Walked and easy run for 10 min warmup
6 x 10/1
walk 20 min to cool down and stretch out my legs. The calves submitted a stiff note of protest right after the last run segment, and it took a few minutes to calm them down again. Once back to the house I ate something while browsing blogs, then went and stretched more. 1.5 hr.
Some of you are going to laugh. I was supposed to swim this morning. My autopilot got me up, dressed, fed, packed the swim bag, and out the door. It was only when I was nearly at the pool that I realized I didn't have a bathing suit. Sigh. That's the second time. Showered, and that's how I got an early start and early departure from work today.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Only a spin today
Now here's the odd thing, and I admit it doesn't make much sense to me. I was warming up in a gear harder than I normally do, at a higher rpm than I normally do, and could barely get my heart rate over 100. Throughout the workout I thought I was typically in a harder gear than normal and was maintaining cadence, yet I was having trouble getting my heart rate up to the top of zone 2. As soon as we went back to easy pedal, it plummeted back to under 100. Yet I don't think I was spinning any particularly more smoothly, and I didn't feel strong, and I certainly couldn't pedal fast tonight. Trying to get over 120 was brutal, and even maintaining that was tough. Yet my heart rate wasn't up. I guess my legs were tired.
The irritating thing was my shorts. I could not get comfey on the bike tonight. Squirmed around but couldn't make it better. It wasn't the normal sit bones thing. This was like the bike shorts chafing, which they've never done. The padding is a bit different than the other shorts that I wear more often. Maybe my butt has got used to them, and doesn't like these ones anymore. Pity, because the other ones have a couple small holes from the bike crash last year. Sigh. Maybe it's time to go shopping.
This was 1.75 hrs, a good solid workout.
A political note here, you can stop reading if that doesn't interest you.
I watched the inauguration today. I've spent most of the last 20 years building up a deep distaste for the American government, and the fascist (and yes, I know exactly what that word means) direction it's been taking. I believe that recent presidents and Bush in particular have betrayed their oaths of office, and betrayed the ideals of the country they were supposed to be leading. In fact, at the moment of the transition of power, America is not a free country. It is not governed by the rule of law, though there are still vestiges of it. Fundamental freedoms have been removed or restricted so strongly they aren't even a shadow of their former self. Americans have every reason to be ashamed of what their country has become. The difference between what America says, and what America does is making the rest of the world crazy.
And now we have this young man taking office and he has inspired the country like no president since JFK. I thought his inauguration speech was wonderful. I took a few minutes off work to watch the internet feed. Bush and Cheney should have been squirming in their chairs. The only way it could have been better is if he had snapped his fingers at a platoon of marines, and they dragged Bush and Cheney off to be waterboarded and put on trial. Well, maybe that's a little excessive, but the trial part isn't. But still, he hit that one out of the park. He has a night to celebrate something that so many people thought they would never see. And then tomorrow, I hope he starts kicking ass. Big time.
Canadian federal politicians, and doubly so for Prime Ministers are almost without exception, boring. Even by Canadian standards. Trudeau, and Diefenbaker are the only ones in recent memory that weren't. Well, Chretien was interesting only in the sense of watching a train wreck, and wondering when it would finally come off the rails. There was a certain fascination watching a man who couldn't really speak either of the official languages trying to communicate. The current Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, has been generally pragmatic and steady, with one monstrous exception, but nobody would call him charismatic. Just the opposite. So it will be interesting to see Harper and Obama meet. I hope they don't cancel each other out in a blinding flash.
Monday, January 19, 2009
500 m 9:50
1000 m 19:57 (with no sprint needed, this was a steady pace)
1500 m 30:10
I am really happy about this, since this gets me back to where I was before my arm issue. If anything, I'm a steadier swimmer now than I was, with more consistent lap times. I happened to note my 1250 time was right on 25 minutes, and it's only in the last 250 m that my stroke fell apart. Not just my arm, but my turn was getting sloppy, and my kick too. But this is major progress for me, getting back into the ballpark of where I was. Now lets see where I can go.
It's also a run night, with sidewalk nightmare icing from the warm day today. Even people that have been good about shoveling have the melt from their lawns running onto the sidewalk, and of course, freezing. I very carefully walked out to the bike path, with the last bit at a slow careful run. My theory was that the bike path, being in the sun for the warmest part of the day might have cleared off. No such luck. It was still pretty slippery.
So I ran very carefully. Inevitably that tightened up my legs, which were already tight to begin with. They were heavy and slow. Maybe they were still in the pool celebrating the great swim this morning. I did a few strides, trying for quick light steps. Don't read more into that than there is. You almost can't do anything else given the surface conditions. I'll call this 45 minutes, even though the warm up and cool down extended beyond the 35 minute run by more than 10 minutes. What was odd is that my heart rate monitor gave me numbers all over the map at first, and even when it settled down I didn't really believe them. At first, way too high, and then somewhat low given my breathing. Then again, I wasn't going that fast, maybe my breathing is what was out of whack.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Then onto the run. All I can say is that Katie's idea of an easy warm up run, nice and aerobic, is practically at my limits. Chris very graciously took it easy and stayed with me as I chugged along at the back of the pack. At one point we could see Katie in the lead, long legs stretched out, picking up and whirling the snow around in the wind of her passage. It was a beautiful day for a run, with lots of people out on the pathway. Which is a bit odd for me. Since I started running, during my outside runs if I see 2 or 3 serious runners, that's crowded. Today I saw that in in the first few minutes.
Then onto something I don't do enough of, core work. Katie set up some work out stations with various exercises. I broke into a cold sweat (everything up till now had been a hot sweat, which is something else entirely.) when I saw her put a sketch with the words 'Push ups' onto one of the mats. Oh dear. The other ones weren't too bad, though planking for 30 seconds just about did me in. I wimped out on the push ups and did the weenie ones from the knees, not toes. Even so, my elbow made some protesting noises. They all thought it was one of the fans rattling which was very nice of them, I must say. I did 3, very slowly. Then some stretching after.
It was an excellent workout, even if the run pushed me a little harder than I really should go just yet. I'll join them periodically, depending on how my schedule goes.
Kelly and other coffee fans might want to skip this para. My dental hygienist is wonderful, but always gives me shit about stain buildup, and says coffee and tea are just about the worst. (Let's not hear anything about red wine, that's crazy talk!) Plus, I just read an article that talks about the impact of caffeine and sleep. Well, I get crappy enough sleep all too often as it is. Lastly, work ran out of the good stuff and we're down to (shudder) Maxwell House, or something like. So starting tomorrow and for the rest of the week, ONE cup a day. Then the week after, no coffee during the work week, and one cup on the weekend. See how that feels.
Swim 2.0 hrs
Bike 4.5 hrs
Run 2.0 hrs
Total 8.5 hrs.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
what a zoo
They've been playing with the big lockers. Used to be only a couple needed a quarter, and all the rest were bring your own lock. Last week it was mostly quarter locks. This week, it's not possible to lock most of them at all. I wonder if someone ripped out the lock mechanism in a fit of rage. The shower room smells like they used a disinfectant that has passed it's expiry date. Gross.
There is one guy swimming in the pool when I get out there. Cue the foreboding music. He's swimming some bastardized half breast stroke in the fast lane. I get into the second and get started. More on that later. More swimmers join, and one walker, not in my lane. So far, there is one person in the next lane swimming faster than me. Another lady joins my lane, and swims almost exactly as fast as me, and another joins us later, and fits in beautifully. The three of us swoosh back and forth, at about 65 second 50 m laps, very happily. It's the only order in the pool.
In the other fast lane, more people join, and all I can say is that I'm glad they weren't screwing me up. Weird strokes, varying paces between slow and very slow, and fashion disaster swimsuits. Squabbles about sharing. One breast stroker actually has a reasonably nice stroke and if his arms and legs weren't 8 feet long, and he didn't splay them out all the way, life for those around him would be much better. In what should have been the medium lane, the walker got in the way of the fast swimmer. I cheered when the swimmer bashed the walker with her elbow, hopefully right in the kidney. In between intervals I'm looking at the mounds of swim toys along the edge of the tool. You think I'm kidding. I'm talking mounds. I've never seen so many toys.
There was a deep water running class ending and another starting, so there was herds of people wandering around like half slaughtered sheep. Standing looking like they want to join a lane. Or not. Standing in the way. One geezer was lying down on a towel near the end of the pool where people get in, and walk back and forth, and was feebly thrashing around like a turtle on it's back. If it hadn't been for the towel I'd have thought he was having a heart attack. What's with these people? Several of them came out of the locker room wrapped in a towel the size of France. One of them slowly got into the pool while taking the towel off, inch by inch. Sally Rand couldn't have done it better.
After my workout, I'm in the shower trying to hold my breath. Some Oriental men have this habit of spitting into the urinal, after making a huge production of the most disgusting noises a human body can emit. Now imagine 3 of them, in the shower, apparently holding a competition. I didn't even finish my shower. I figure I'm going to run once I get home and I'll shower then.
The number is right on 230. I should have weighed myself Friday morning; I felt thin and light. Today feels heavy and bloated. I was walking out to the car, and had yet another geezer attack. I'm at the exit door. A geezer is leaning up against it, growing roots to get the traction to push it open. I ended up going out another door. By now the parking lot is full. One person thought they'd be helpful letting me out. They stopped at the very last second, just noticing I was going to leave, and motioned me to back out. Except they were just enough forward that I couldn't back up. Neither could they, because they'd stopped so fast the person behind them nearly rear ended them. So I'm waving at them to keep moving, the guy at the back is laying on the horn, and the idiot geezer finally figure out he wasn't going to get my spot, and moved on. Me and the driver behind the geezer exchanged a shrug as we passed.
Not the best of starts to a Sat am. The next nearest pool is over in Acadia, and I've never liked swimming there. hmmmmm.
Oh yes, my actual swim, now that I'm over my indignation.
250 m warm up
50 m kick
5 x 100 m on 2:30. Mostly about 105 to 110 seconds each.
50 m kick
25 min smooth swim, not sure how far. Maybe 1200 m.
1 hour total 2K or so.
Now for my run. Even though it's going to warm up quite a bit today, I wanted to get while it was still below zero C. (yes, I can hear my American guests -"Pervert!) The thing to remember it doesn't all melt at once, melted can look really similar to not melted and partially melted is even more slippery. Plus, if it's still cold, my feet won't get wet. Anyway, ran down the path to Fish Creek and turned around at the parking lot. Made it most of the way back, nice and easy, and discovered that it's very difficult to run when there are large solids that want to do what comes naturally to most people. Fortunately, I was essentially done and not far from home. All's well that ends well, as the hobbits say. 30 minutes, with some strides trying for a quick turnover. At one point I felt like I was hardly moving as my feet churned along underneath me.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
swimming progress, biking uphill, Fri update
Swam 1000 K sharing the lane with one other fellow. Man could he swim! The only reason he only lapped me twice is that part way through he started doing some kick drill, and I think some breast stroke. I could keep up with that.
I tried Kelly's thumb to the thigh thing and it works different muscles. My arm got tired about 3/4 mark and I had to push to finish. Still improving. Down to 20:30. After I caught my breath I tried one hard 100 m. I didn't look at my watch at 50 m, but am guessing it was about 50 seconds. Faded badly in the last 25 m, to end with a time of 105 seconds. Maybe if I did it when I was fresh I'd break 100 seconds, but I'm not going to bet on it. 30 min overall.
Off to spin class! Except we didn't spin. The whole workout was uphill, uphill, uphill, and more uphill. Oops, missed an uphill. Throughout it all, I was pedaling reasonably strongly, but I wanted to nap! I wished I had aero bars on this bike so I could put my arms down, let my head droop and snooze. But I didn't. I pedaled. Did I say it was uphill?
Greg was telling us to imagine him on a couch, being towed behind our bikes. A couch with no rollie wheels. He wasn't riding, so he wandered around, putting people into harder gears. This was to make sure they got the full benefit of the workout. So he says. I think he's just making sure we aren't dogging it.
At one point I'm sweating a bucket. I hate it when the sweat runs down onto my glasses. In my basement I just shake my head, and a shower of sweat goes everywhere. I was *THAT* close to doing that, then realized Leslie is a foot and a half away on one side, and Katie the same distance on the other side, and would probably be upset if I shook my icky sweat on to their 'glow'. Or is it a 'glisten'? Whatever. 1.5 hrs.
Taking today as a rest day, and will swim and run Sat. I needed to sleep in a bit today, and scheduling made the swim a bit complicated anyway. Plus, I didn't want to describe a post sushi-fest run outcome. And no, normally I don't eat sushi twice a week, this is a bit unusual.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Even we don't have a word for that kind of snow.
Running in this stuff is like running in very soft sand. That is, not terribly productive if your goal is to go forward with a minimum use of energy. Calgary does not plow most residential streets. Ever. A city that averages 1.3 m of snow per year, NEVER plows most residential streets. Only the bus routes, and the major connector roads. Their written snow removal policy is four words long, "Wait for a chinook".
I don't know how much snow we've had since early December, but it's at least a foot. We've had a couple days where some of it melted, and the salt that's in the gravel started to work. The streets were a sloppy enchilada the last couple days. Now it's cold again, so all that water freezes in a nice thin film. Plus, it's snowing again. People are getting stuck on residential streets. The City's response is to put out radio ads to tell people not to call the City asking them to plow the streets. The phone responders are tired of telling people to go F themselves. Well, they don't say that exactly, but it's what they mean.
Some of the bike paths get plowed, (yes, really, go figure!) and they're a joy to run on. Some don't, but they're still hard packed, so with yak traks, they're pretty well a joy to run on. Well, in between the mounds from the various places that do get plowed. But when you cross streets, or run on the streets, and some of the sidewalks, well, it's like running in that very soft sand.
Tonights run was in a bunch of that, but I put a firm limit on the heart rate. 130 and I'd start to slow down. Ran 10 walked 1 for 6 reps. Mostly it was good. Did an out and back, and didn't quite get back to my starting place, but the last part is up hill, in that snowy sand. churn churn churn. Calves felt a little tired, so I'm glad I didn't push it.
Nice night for a run. Light snow, maybe -5 C, no wind to speak of. Could be much worse. Walked to warm up, and to cool down. Stretched after my run. Calling this 1.25 hrs.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
spin, then sushi
Warmed up, did one leg drill.
Started in big chainring, second biggest cog
1 min 100 rpm, 1 min 85, next bigger gear,
1 min 100 rpm, 1 min 85, next bigger gear
again, and again. Heart rate started about 100, ended up about 145. Somewhere in here started gushing sweat from every pore.
rested 2 min, then did that again, though I didn't quite maintain the 85's.
Easy pedal 5 min.
Then 10 at 85-90 rpm, trying to maintain top of zone 2, ended up being low 130's or so. The sweat wasn't just the occasional drip, it was a steady stream, constant drips off my head. Sweat was even running down my arms.
Then 10 min in a really easy gear, 90 rpm, letting heart rate settle.
Cool down another 10 min. That should all add up to 1.5 hours. A bit of stretching after, but probably not as much as I really should have done, but I wanted to get showered.
Had a few minutes to putter about, then left to meet Bev and Graham for sushi. Wonderful to see them again, since they live quite a bit out of town and don't get here often. The timing was perfect, met them outside just as they parked. Ate just the right amount, and had a really nice chocolate mousse cake for dessert. No shame. This is the sushi place in Willowpark. Very nice.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Only one resolutionista
Schedule is going to be all messed up this week. One of my good friends is coming into town and we want to go for dinner Tuesday night. Wed morning I'm giving a co-worker a ride to work, and will try to get into the pool mid morning. Friday after work I'm trying to get together with some friends I haven't seen for a while.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Linda says the nicest things.
This is just a small example of why I had to shovel out my garage. Now picture the entire wheel well full of this crap - that's happened a bunch of times.
Here's the bottom of the driveway as it's been for several weeks. The hole in the ridge is just big enough to get the car through, and it's high enough that the bottom of the car scrapes going over it, unless I'm really careful.
And here it is after about an hours work with a pick and shovel.
Now to business. My bike plan was 5/3, with 30 min run off bike. Friday I was supposed to do 30 min easy, but life got complicated before and after work, and a run didn't work for Sat. So here we go!
Warmed up, and did some one leg drill. I won't say this is getting easier, but at least my legs aren't falling off after 15 seconds anymore. Accelerations.
5 min fast, 2 min hard, 3 min easy pedal
5 min hard, 2 min fast, 3 min easy pedal
5 min fast, 2 min hard, 3 min easy pedal
5 min hard, 2 min fast, 3 min easy pedal
5 min fast, 2 min hard, 3 min easy pedal
5 min hard, 2 min fast, 3 min easy pedal
More one leg drill with accelerations.
A little bit of cool down, but not much, since I was going for a run.
Today is beautiful out, nice and warm, about 0 C I guess, since things are melting slightly. There's a brisk wind, and I was planning to run in some exposed areas (not *with* exposed areas - perverts!) so I took a minute to dry off a bit and put on fresh clothes.
I ran this route; it's about 7.75 Km. I needed to make up for the run I didn't do on Fri, so I went for an hour long route. There was a time not so long a go that even an all out effort running wouldn't get me around that route and back to the house in an hour. Today was nice and easy run, heart rate in mid zone 2 till the bottom of the hill. Lots of snow on the paths still, and the Yak Traks make the footing *much* more secure. (Thanks Julie!) But I had never realized how much running in snow is like running in soft sand. There were a few places where it was a real struggle to keep the momentum going.
Still, taking it easy, no last minute burst to make it under the wire, I got back home well under the hour, almost 2 minutes in hand, so I jogged slow a little bit more to make the hour, then walked a bit. As soon as I got in the house I snarfed a restorative Nutella peanut butter banana and cookie with milk. Still in my very sweaty workout gear, minus shoes and outside layers, of course.
Linda was also getting something out of the fridge, and says, "Do you know what you smell like?" I flashed on any number of disgusting things I've had to deal with, and was prepared for something witty like 'the child of rotten seaweed and a blocked u joint conceived in an uncleaned male locker room', and I was totally ready with "You married it!". But what does she actually say? "Fresh air. You brought in fresh air with you on your jersey." I was tempted to go for another run and bring more in. Instead I went downstairs and did a bunch of stretching.
121 bpm Avg heart rate over the whole period.
151 peak hr
1.75 hrs on the bike, at 114 bpm average (which seems a little bit low, but there were all those 3 min rests in there, and I don't need three min to get my heart rate back down into zone one again.
101 bpm during 4:23 transition
135 bpm average over 1 hr run. (Last half is *much* harder than the first half. Maybe I should run it in the other direction.)
swim 2.0 hrs
bike 5.25 hrs
run 3.0 hrs
Total 10.25 hrs
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Got my mojo back!
I wasn't sure how it would go today. My arm has been getting better, feeling stronger, little by little. There's still some range of motion issues, strength problems at the ends of the range of motion, and some rotation issues. Today I wanted to do some intervals, and push my arm a little. I figured go till my arm fell off, or I couldn't maintain the pace. Remember that the last time I did these, I got 5 done before I had to rest. My massage therapist is coming a little later today, so I figured if I over do it, she can help me out.
250 m warmup. At the end of this my arm was feeling a bit weak and hollow. Not a good sign. But I did it in exactly 5 min, which is the fastest I've done that for a while.
50 m kick
30 x 50 m, on 1:15 starts, most of them done in 55 seconds. (!!!!!) More on this in a minute.
50 m kick
100 m cool down
At the end of the warm up I was having serious doubts about how the intervals would go, but I decided to do them anyway and see how far I got. The first few weren't bad, then I started slowing down a little. Getting up to number 10 was a struggle, and I was getting close to a minute for the 50 m.
Now I need to tell you who I was sharing the lane with. Don't know his name, but he's an 11 time Ironman. IMC 4 times, Florida, Arizona, Wisconsin, Placid (I think). And he looked it. Brought some serious pool toys. I was prepared to be humble. I don't know if this was his easy day or what, but he didn't swim that much faster than me. And with the toys slowing him down we were well matched.
I got 10 done, and wondered if I should stop. My arm was hurting and my time was just on 59 seconds. Then my inner shark showed up as he pushed off a bit ahead of me. I caught him at the other end, then tried to push hard to pass. He picked up his pace. Yes, boys will be boys, and I know this infuriates some of you. But I was loving it! I went to do another that fast, and did. Me and my shark didn't want to look like weenies. I wasn't breathing as hard as I had been. My arm felt better. My stroke felt better. My turns were better, though I'm still doing open turns. I figured woohoo! The decision to keep on going was a no brainer.
All the rest of the intervals were 55 or 56 seconds, so I was getting 20 seconds of rest. My heart rate went down. My breathing relaxed. I relaxed. I cruised along. A 50 m lap was easy. My arms felt strong, and my kick was just right. My inner shark approved. This is the pace I want to swim at, and used to be able to do. Well, not for quite as long as I'd like to but that's the idea. Progress has happened. Nothing dramatic, no clicks or pops in my arm, just something kicked in. (Now to do it without the rest in between laps.)
As I ended the intervals the pool had been filling up with slow swimmers. At lap 30 my arm was starting to tire, but I was still maintaining the pace and could have gone on. There was a guy standing at the end of the pool looking like he wanted to join in. Told him if didn't mind waiting a few minutes for me to do a kick lap and 2 cooldown, the lane was his. So he piled his stuff next to mine, and started a bit of stretching. I realized just now if I'd done another lap, I'd have done 2 K total, such a nice round number.
I got out of the pool, and hit the dive tank for some core work. It was filling up too. The hot tub was full. Showered and got my number - a slightly heavy 230.
I call it a solid hour swim today, and I AM TOTALLY FRICKING THRILLED!!!!!!! It felt great. This was a HUGE step change! I feel great. I don't really need a coffee, but I'm drinking one anyway. I think I'll rampage around the house today. I'm in a tidying mood. Look out clutter. One of the things to do is shovel out my garage. There is so much glop on the bottom of the car, and it falls off when you park inside. The driveway is a mess. I have some photos I'll put up later.
Oh, and Linda and I went out for our mumblty anniversary dinner last night. The actual date was the 5th. We just had a really nice dinner, a nice chat about stuff, and went to Indigo to do book shopping. I got a polar bear calendar, Rick Mercer's book, and a book on Leonardo da Vinci. I'm still behind on my reading, but I'm trying to make time for it. So many books, so little time.
Lastly, I'm signed up for the Police Half! What was I thinking? I've never run a whole half marathon ever, and this one has people with guns enforcing the 2.5 hr cut off time. Eep! I was encouraged to call my coach, and have a meltdown over the phone, but I resisted. That's twice now. Hope you appreciate it IG....
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Sympathetic vibrations and resonance as applied to calves
So this morning, I'm sleeping like a rock and wake up at 5:14, 1 minute before the alarm goes off. I knew it would be fairly brisk out, and my brain is wondering if I really have time to do my run and get to work. Well, of course I did, the trick is how bad the traffic would be at that hour. Next thing I know, my feet have dragged my body out of bed, into my socks and tights, and I'm heading out of the bedroom. They let me pause long enough to find out what the IGP™ said I was supposed to do, and the next thing I knew I was out the door (at 5:30 Julie)(without coffee Kelly) and doing a warm up walk down the street.
Ran 6 x 10/1, nice and easy, high turnover footie rate, but not really running all that fast. Mid zone 2 for all the run segments. Down 37th st path toward Fish Creek, then through my neighbourhood and back again. Much of it on narrow, unshoveled paths. It was about -15C (nearly 0 F), the trees were all covered with hoar frost from the fog yesterday. No wind, except for the last 10 minutes or so. Very pretty. I made it back to within a few steps of my starting point as time ran out, so I was nice and steady. It felt really good, relaxed my legs. Could have gone on much longer if I had some nutrition. No twinges from anything. 1.25 hrs altogether.
The temperature dropped throughout the day, the wind picked up and there were some snow flurries. Traffic turned to crap. I heard about an accident near spin class that had traffic snarled, so I said the heck with it and headed home. A 25 min drive in no traffic, about 35 to 40 min drive home most days, turned into 1 hr and 40 min to get home. And it didn't even snow all that much. Grrrr.
Got set up and changed right away, and hopped on Estela so I could be morally with spin class. No idea what IG put them through, but here's what I did.
One leg drill
5 min hard, 2 min fast, 3 min easy
5 min fast, 2 min hard, 3 min easy
5 min hard, 2 min fast, 3 min easy
5 min fast, 2 min hard, 3 min easy
more one leg drill and some accelerations
Stretching after. Had some minor twinges in my left calf. I wasn't smooth tonight at all. Not even pear shaped, just square and jerky. My calves felt very jiggly especially the left. Anything much over 100 rpm was brutal. It's like they were bouncing up and down as I pedaled; not very comfey or smooth. Still, got'er done.
Loving the new bike computer so far. It's much more intuitive. The numbers are a little on the small side, but it gives you a ton of data if you want to look at it.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Still a quiet pool. Too quiet...
Didn't run, went to a book club meeting this evening, planning to run in the am. Installed the new V2C bike computer this evening. It seems to be working so far. Set up was easy, and controls seem intuitive. Now we'll find out how fiddly the magnet spacing is and how it copes with trainer vibration.
There was hardly anyone in the pool again. Where are all the resolutionistas?
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
You didn't think... Seriously?
Knowing I was in spin class?? Perverts.
I mean riding electronically naked. No bike computer, though Bow Cycle came through and I picked up the new one tonight before class. I'll install it tomorrow night. I forgot to put the heart rate band in my bag. I didn't even look at my stopwatch during the main set. I spent the entire class staring at Katie's feet, and listening to Greg, trying to keep up. It's really hard to time your cadence to someone else. You tend to start focussing on the one foot, and your circular motion goes all pear shaped.
The real title for tonight's post should be "Greg's war on sloth and gluttony." He worked us hard. One leg drill, then cadence changes. Lots of them. I tuned out the world and watched feet. Sometimes Chris's when Katie stood up, or Greg's if I couldn't get in time with the others. Get dialed into 80 rpm, then up to 110, or vise versa. Longer, shorter, easer, harder. Sweated a bucket. I got on the bike early. At the very last stages of the ride I got some twinges in my left calf, so I stayed on the bike a little longer spinning it out. Two hours and about a tenth of a second exactly.
Class was fun tonight, listening to the various adventures people got up to during their time off. Lots of people in class again, and we steamed up the windows. Fun, fun, fun.
Monday, January 5, 2009
Astonishment is an empty pool this morning!
"Some people have an inner child
Some people hear an inner voice
Some people have inner calm
Good for them!
But me I've got no choice
Some people have an inner cop
Some people hear an inner clown
But I've got me an Inner Shark
And it's hard to keep that Inner Shark calm!"
(Courtesy Christine Lavin)
Todays swim was still slow by my standards, but I'm feeling stronger, and cruised with my inner shark for a bit. I was trying to lengthen my stroke by reaching ahead, and working all the way to my thigh, and the roll and pull. Oddly enough the lengths that felt good still weren't fast particularly, but felt at home moving through the water in a way I haven't felt for a while. Since I wasn't paying attention to it, my kick was feeble. 1000 m ended up being 21:06, with my arm feeling fairly strong throughout. Time to get back to intervals I guess.
I even did an open turn right handed by accident once, and it didn't actually send shooting stars of pain up my arm through my eyes into my brain. So I carefully tried it several times for turns, when it worked out that way. As long as I'm careful, and don't really pull to tuck my feet, or push to finish the turn, it's ok. Still not strong or comfortable yet, but progression is happening.
Then into the dive tank for core work. This morning's workout is an honest half hour. This was actually the first morning where I could have done more in the pool, so maybe later this week I'll try to ramp up to 45 minutes.
This evening was a beautiful night for a run. Let me paint the picture here. It's dark; the sun went down an hour and a half before my run. There's a mostly clear sky, with about a half moon just bright enough to throw a shadow on the snow. It's warmed up considerably, being only -1 C or so, but that warm air is blowing in on a pretty strong wind, about 30 Kph. It's strong enough to blow the snow around, and there's some new drifts already.
Tonight's run instructions were to warm up, then change speeds every 2-3 min. Have fun in other words. My kind of workout. No looking at the watch, no tracking heart rate ad trying to run slower, no trying to figure out where I am on the run walk cycle. Walked then ran easy for not quite 10 minutes, out to Anderson and the 37th St pathway. Started the stopwatch so I'd know when to turn around, then ran a bunch of different paces. I changed speeds more often than every 2-3 minutes; it was probably more like every 30 seconds to a minute, depending. Ran fast to get my breathing almost to a gasp, ran slow, ran medium, tried different gaits, tried leaning forward to speed up, some longer bits, some shorter bits. About the only thing I didn't do was run hard downhill; the footing isn't that good. The slow recovery portions were just long enough to get my breathing back under control. Turned around at 21 min and some seconds, and got back to my starting place at 42 min and some seconds, then ran hard across 37th and up the hill for 45 min exactly. Walked briskly back to the house. Stripped off my shoes, hat and hoodie, then stretched for 15 min.
I'm really pleased at how it went. There were the faintest of twinges from my left calf; the first in a long while, so I paid calves special attention during the stretching. Once I shower and finish eating I'll stretch more. I'm going to call this a solid 1.25 hr workout.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Donald Westlake RIP
Sat was my rest day, and the first day without a workout in a while. Hung out, did some shopping, discovered Terminator, the Sarah Connor Chronicles, and watched the whole first season. Can't wait for season 2 to come out on DVD. Then for fun foolishness, watched Mamma Mia. I'm sorry Susi, I can still sing along to most of the music. And did. I have no shame.
It took a little while to get going today. I knew it would warm up to about -8 or -10 C this afternoon, so I was in no hurry to get to my brick. Once on the bike it took a while to warm up. My legs felt heavy and slow, especially the right one. I discovered this during one leg drill. Did way better with the left than the right, no idea why.
Then did 8 x 5/3, alternating between big gear hill climbing, and small gear speed work. No bike computer, so no idea about cadence. I did visit Bow Cycle yesterday, and ordered a new one. I did a bit of research on the iBike. Cool as it would be to report watts, I can't really justify spending that kind of money right now. And besides, they didn't have one at a cheaper price that only measures two digits, which is probably all I need. According to the heart rate monitor average hr was 110 on the bike. What with long warmup, main set, and cooldown, I was 100 min on the bike,or 1.66 hrs.
Then out into a nice sunny day for 20 min run after a 2:30 transition. Average hr for the run was 138, but every time I looked at it, it was in the mid 140's. The first few minutes of the run felt heavy and slow, but then picked up. Most of the time I felt bouncy and energetic, and could have continued at this pace for a while longer. I was just a bit slower a pace than what Julie dragged me through last week. Just a wee bit, probably not even 50 m.
It was a sad day for me to discover Donald Westlake died of a heart attack. John Dortmunder and Andrew Kelp are two of my favourite characters in the world and now there will be no more of their adventures. Go find Drowned Hopes. Oh, and as a hint, one of the chapters in that book overlaps a chapter in a book by a different author, telling the same scene from a different point of view. I nearly peed myself. John found himself in the most incredible situations and Westlake made it seems so real. Like being recruited by nuns to kidnap another nun back from her father and along the way runs into a mercenary army, or stealing a bank no really the whole bank, or accidently stealing a ruby the size of your fist, or breaking into the Watergate hotel, or so many others.
Go dig up, High Adventure, or, Dancing Aztecs. It might take a bit of doing now, but if they don't cure you of depression, there's no hope for you. He wrote lots of books under other names. There's one called The Axe, that gives advice on how to deal with a recession. Cold blooded advice. I think his particular genius was writing bar scenes with inane conversation from the regulars. Or, the opening from Dancing Aztecs. I just went to reread it, and came back with a smile. So will you.
And maybe,just maybe, some of the latest CD purchases will cheer up Susi - Alejandro Escovedo, Paco De Lucia, Colin James and the Little Big Band 3, Johnny Winter, and other stuff.
Swim 1.75 hr
Bike 4.91 hr
Run 1.1 hr
Total 7.75 hr
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Does Keith Rock or not?
Today's workout was 2 hrs even, with some excitement part way through. I started with a 15 minute warmup, then some one leg drill with accelerations. Then into Greg's #3 holiday workout. Just as it finished, the excitement happened. Between one look at cadence and the next, my bike computer put itself into setup mode. It's done this before on long rides, and the last time it was all I could do to keep from flinging it into the ditch. I didn't restrain myself this time. I threw it at the concrete floor as hard as I could. Several pieces popped off! It was very satisfying. Then a few minutes later, just as I finished the set, the ipod turned itself off. I got off the bike, deliberately stepped on the remains of the computer with my bike cleats, and restarted the ipod. Grrr.
The rest of the workout was a 7 min fast, 3 min easy times 3, then a cool down, and some stretching. I tried to keep the cadence up, but of course, no idea how well I did. My heart rate says I wasn't cheating, and it feels like a good solid 2 hr workout. Now I get to go shopping for a nicer, wireless bike computer, with the very strong preference that it not be a Sigma.
We're having a quiet day here otherwise. Reading, doing some iTunes shopping, watching some videos.