Monday, November 30, 2009

Post camp stuff

Oddly enough I didn't sleep particularly well through the camp, and even last night wasn't good. Once I woke up about 4 am I couldn't go back to sleep. I have high hopes for tonight though.

Met Julie and Tessa for breakfast. Julie had a meeting with her coach, so we went to the Nellies just across the street. We were there for about 2 hours laughing and talking and drinking coffee. Good times.

At home I shambled around getting up the ambition to get on the bike, and finally made it by late morning. At this point the sky is clear and sunny, and its a typical crisp fall day. My thought was to do the bike, core, then run some errands. Part way through Linda called to ask me to pick up something for her. About that time I could see that it had been getting darker out. Then I started seeing some snow. I finished up the bike to see a nice snow flurry happening and the sky totally overcast. I figured that was going to get worse before it got better, so I zipped through the shower and headed out. It wasn't too bad at all, though gradually getting worse.

When I got home I was ready for a nap, and settled in with Amelia the cat for a while. I woke up at one point, looked outside, and couldn't see anything at all. Not even the neighbours house across the street. Total whiteout, just as rush hour was starting. Peachy. I'm sure glad I wasn't out in it. Linda said later that it was much worse here than it was in downtown.

The bike was 1.75 hours, and I trimmed the cool down by a few minutes. Lots of cadence work. It was slow getting started, with it taking 10 minutes before I hit 80 rpm. For a while a set of muscles on the outside of my thighs were jiggling like a big layer of flab. That felt really weird, but it went away after a while. I had to stay focussed on the workout, and push to get through it on tired legs. They felt good getting off the bike.

The evening core was about 45 minutes, including some gentle stretching and lying there with my feet in the air. All of it except plank was good. (Where have you heard this before?) I can plank a minute and then things fall apart pretty quick.

I had to download a program called VLC to be able to view the movie files from the camp, but that all worked out well. There was a ton of still photos as well, and here's one of me surfacing for air while giving the 'live long and prosper sign'.

Sara's swim and run camp Sunday

While our American friends were eating themselves into oblivion, and the football fans were working themselves into an emotional lather, us hardcore tri junkies were at the pool. In fact, two of us, me and another guy, were in the water 20 minutes EARLY. We chose to defy the fat and mouthy City foreman at the pool that told us she deigned to let us use the steam room or hot tub, but our lanes wouldn't open till 8:30. Bah. I say bah.

Sara and Clint led us through some dryland drills for review, then Sara lined us up for our swim lanes. I followed Jenna. Our lane was swimming 50's on 1 minute, or most of our lane was. A few people thought that was a bit brisk for a warm up, but Jenna kept going with me then Tisha in hot pursuit. Not sure what the other lane was doing but there sure was a lot of splashing.

I was working on my catch and pull, then Carrie gave me a tip. That worked really well, changing my position in the water. Same effort and I was nearly eating Jenna's toes, which are very cute, btw. Then we got started with flip turns. I have been officially told that I do them well enough to be doing them all the time.

We were in the water only an hour, then down to Carrie's place for breakfast, talks, and run video analysis. I was all ready to hide my eyes, and crawl under the sofa when I came up on the video but it wasn't that bad. I'm still leading with my chin, my arms are too low and I don't move them enough, my hips drop. That's what I remember right now, though I have some notes in my bag.

Then we set out for a nice 90 minute run. I haven't run that long since 70.3 in August, and don't forget the hard run yesterday on the track. True to my expectations I was the slowest in the pack. We ran from near the Talisman Centre down the Elbow River pathway. I've ridden this many times, but never run it. I got to the water treatment plant and back, which is 12.7 K. My main goal was to keep a steady pace and stay aerobic. I kept my heart rate at 130± 2 or 3 bpm the entire time, except going up Sandy Beach hill, and evenly split the run. My form was starting to get sloppy about the 1:10 mark, but I don't think I slowed down much. Some of the rest of the campers can really run!

We got our CD's of video and photo, which I haven't looked at yet. Why? I came home after the hugs and goodbyes, showered, and went straight to some friends for dinner. The football game was on in the background. There's lots I don't understand about football. The Riders led the entire game, then with no time on the clock, they let the other team keep trying to kick field goals till they got one. Shouldn't the game be over when the clock is done? I'm just asking.

Today my legs don't feel too bad. I banged my heels a bit during one of the flip turns and with all the running, my lower calves are a bit sore. I'll do some stretching a bit later, and do a good spin warmup on the bike, then more stretching. But first the important stuff. Breakfast with Julie and Tessa.

Weekly Summary
Swim 3.5 hrs
Bike 3.5 hrs
Run 3.0 hrs
Walk 1.5 hrs
Core 3.0 hrs
Total 14.5 hrs

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sara's swim and run camp Fri & Sat

Friday night traffic was a living hell. There was a bit of rain/snow, and the temperature dropped to just below zero. You couldn't get a better slippery surface on the roads if you used a zamboni. It took me 45 minutes to make a 20 minute drive, and I got lucky. Crowchild trail north turned into a parking lot at 33rd, but I just managed to escape and wiggle up the side streets to Killarney pool. Even so, I saw two accidents, and there were a zillion more around the rest of the city. It didn't help this is Grey Cup weekend in Canada, and the big game is in Calgary. (For American's, think Superbowl, only bigger, relatively speaking.)

I was surprised at how murky the water was. It looked fine looking down at it, but when you look through it to the other end of the pool, you couldn't see the other end. On the video playback (small TV) people appeared out of the murk about 2 body lengths out, so you could only see a couple strokes. I dig too deep, and my hands wiggle around.

When we weren't swimming we were doing some dryland exercises and stretching. My traps are really really tight. I was shown some exercises to work on that.

Traffic was still really bad. People trying to get out onto 17th were going to be waiting a while. I saw the cop lights and went back out the way I came. We have an early start in the morning.

I have now seen high quality video of me swimming. It's isn't quite cover your eyes bad. I have a page full of notes of things to correct. Perhaps, once I get the DVD, and I master the technical expertise required, AND I get suitable bribes (cookies, wine, good chocolate...) I might clip out the sections with me, and put them on my blog, so everybody can see just how bad it is. It wouldn't be fair to just put the whole thing up. Some of the people on it have their own blogs (Julie, Jenna, and Tisha that I know about) and if they want to put their thrashing bodies on the internet they can do so themselves. Coach gets to come over, take a sedative, and watch the whole thing.

We warmed up 1200 m various stuff. It wasn't so long ago that if I swam that much it was a good workout. Then 2 x 200 m intervals. Then 4 x 100. Then 6 x 50. Somewhere in there we got filmed, I think after the 100's. In between we did some easy 50's. Cool down. At one point I was tickling Julie's toes, trying to make her laugh while swimming. Another point during the 50's I was trying to keep up with Jenna. Geez can she swim! I treasure Clint's comment "You pull good water for an age grouper." That was before he saw the video footage.

The video commentary was excellent. Excellent! Lots of tips on what people are doing wrong, and how to correct it. Also pointing out what people are doing right, which is important too. It is astonishing to see what your body is *really* doing, as compared to what you *think* you are doing. I'm a convert. If you're a swimmer, and want to improve, go get yourself videoed.

We had a mid day break, and met back at Mount Royal College. We did a warm up K or so. Then were filmed from both sides, front and back. Then Sara led us through some drills, swinging arms, jogging on the spot, and lean on someone to build up a head of steam and burst out of the starting gate. Then we ran 4 x 4 laps, with one lap easy between each set. At 221 m per lap, that's about 4.4 K at what was supposed to be our 10 K race pace. I didn't time myself. It's sure boring running around and around and around. I had to count laps on my fingers for fear I'd forget. I need to do a bit more stretching, and my feet hurt a little bit. I did this in my indoor shoes, which are really a miled out set of outdoor shoes that were washed, and should only be used for gym stuff.

We haven't seen the run video coverage yet. I think I'll sneak a stiff drink into my water bottle to prepare myself for how bad it's likely to be, and to console myself after. Back in the pool bright and early tomorrow.

We've had just about a full time photo/videographer clicking away, and they say everything will be on the DVD. So I haven't taken any photos myself.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Last pre camp workout

Yoga last night was good. Very good. My legs feel great.

A two hour spin today. Lots of cadence pyramids and one leg in warm up, then lots and lots of cadence stuff in the main set. All was good.

Core was between 15 and 30 minutes of goodness, well, except for plank. I did some of it, the first front and side set, though I cheated on my right arm a bit. For the second set I didn't even get that far, and left well enough alone. All the rest of it was good.

I'm looking forward to the swim and run camp, and hope the video isn't too embarrassing. It will be nice to see Jenna and Julie again, and meet the other campers. I may even know some of them, but probably not.

I got my computer back, and the backup worked. (snoopy dance of joy happening here!) About the only thing I'm missing is a few sent emails between the 10th and today, none of which are of earth shaking importance. The few document updates I did are still in mind and have been done again, or are on a USB drive. The moral of the story is, back up your data!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Inner sharks always use their core

Today one of the errands was to hit Coop for a few odds and ends. Naturally, ELF had blogged about her grocery issues. That was going through my mind as I was dodging the geezers though I didn't have it quite as bad as she did. No stalkers, for one thing. I eyed one woman methodically examining every single one of the broccoli stalks. Good thing I didn't need any. Without a cart I managed to fake out another geezer. She thought I was going for the fruit cups, and I managed to get the cherry tomatoes without incident. Two old dears were having a conversation in front of the milk. The two of them, and their two carts formed a long line, but not quite long enough. I was beginning to think of the potential solutions considered by the Cameron Philips character played by Summer Glau, but things got better around the meat counter.

Without entirely meaning to I ended up having a super run today. I wanted to try out the new tights and gloves, and wanted to have a run that was a bit faster than my comfortable pace. Walked 15 minutes to warm up, then started my 8K route. I called the weather perfectly, cool and a bit windy, maybe 0 C. Started easy and found my stride very quickly, within a few hundred meters. Even better, my inner shark showed up. He explained how sharks do everything from their core, especially swimming and biting. We had a nice chat.

I could feel my core working, but wasn't having to pay much attention to my legs until the very end. They felt light and strong. I thought about my posture, and played with my lean a bit. Mainly I ran at the pace where my lungs were just staying on top of things. No panting or gasping, but deep, even breaths. I would have had to time my words carefully, especially towards the end. My legs could have run faster, and I didn't wear a heart rate monitor. If I'd put a time to it, I'd say I was aiming for a 6:30/K pace.

What made it easy to feel my core was where the front waist of the tights goes. It's right at the natural fold when I'm touching my toes, and is maybe a cm lower than other tights I've worn. So there was a small patch of skin that was feeling shirt instead of pants, which changed how my core felt. The legs were snug on my thighs, and fit really well. MEC didn't have any in Large tall, and I think that would have been the perfect fit. These are a few mm short in the legs. They don't seem to want to slide down, which was my second biggest concern. The biggest was plumbers crack, and there's none of that by a healthy margin. There is extra material for the seat.

The route goes down the 37 st path and through Fish Creek. Not many people out. I was feeling really good here, running steady, fixing little things as my inner shark pointed them out. Keeping my back straight, shoulders relaxed, elbows back, chin down, all that sort of stuff. Even then I could tell I was having a good run. Coming back up 24th St is a big hill and I slowed down there a bit, but tried to keep my feet moving fast by taking little steps. Just behind the Safeway is a yellow pole that is darn close to 6K. I looked at my watch then, expecting to see 37 to 38 minutes elapsed. It was 36:06, which is what I'd thought of up till now as race pace or nearly so. Yet I knew I could be running faster if I had to.

From there it's mostly path running along the berm, with lots of uphill. That got a bit tougher, and had to push my legs. I wanted to try to maintain the same pace, and also maintain the smooth stride, and relaxed feel I'd had so far. That was a bit of a struggle, and I could begin to feel it in my legs. My shark encouraged me by telling me how they mostly view themselves as the centre of the world around them, and the world brings stuff to them. That they stay aware of everything around them, and let their desires bring them lunch. They keep things smooth and even, doing everything from the core. They don't think about pushing harder to go faster; they desire the world to move a bit faster and it does. That helped relax my legs and find my stride again about the 7 K mark. Finished the 8K in 48:30. It wasn't so long ago that 8K in an hour damn near killed me. Today was a mostly relaxed run. I could have run longer at a slightly slower pace. I'm super pleased!

I walked another 15 minutes home, and stretched for another 15 minutes or so. Pigeon pose felt soooooo good! My legs feel fine this afternoon, no burn, no stiffness, just a little bit tired. My lungs can feel it a bit, I think I expanded them a little.

Yoga tonight has to be better than last week.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Delayed gratification

My buddy Jenna posted an interesting video on her blog . Some comments came up pretty quick, and I have to admit I was a bit surprised. I kind of figured all you ironpeople would be champs at delayed gratification. Here we all are, putting in hundreds of hours a year into training. Time that we could be drinking wine, eating cookies, hanging out with friends, chasing the opposite sex.

What for? There seems to be as many reasons as there are people. But what they all have in common is we've picked a long term goal, and almost every day we choose to train for several hours rather than do the infinity of other activities that are calling our name. It seems we value the ironman experience so much that we rearrange our lives, our families lives, in many ways to achieve that goal.

What makes it harder is that the results of that goal are mostly intangible. Sure, we're very fit in comparison to the general population, which is good for our health and extends our lives. But if fitness was the goal, we could spend a lot less time at it and still get good results. We don't get paid for it. A large segment of the population thinks we're nuts actually. We typically don't make the news, and the only reason anyone else knows about our results is that we tell them. For some of us, the "reward" is to do it again, in a time and place that is really hot, humid, and windy.

Some other activities simply must be done, or we'd get hungry pretty soon, and shortly after we'd be wandering around naked and smelly. Not good company. We all struggle to find the time for the various activities in our lives. Sometimes we give in, willingly or otherwise. We eat the marshmallow, or sleep in, or skip that workout to go to a party. Or do laundry. Nobody told me about laundry before starting this training.

I guess what I'm saying is that most of us seem to be able to demonstrate the ability to delay our gratification. Most of us can choose to eat that marshmallow, or not. Maybe we're only one marshmallow worth of hungry, and getting two in a little while means nothing. But some people can't seem to ever delay their gratification. Not at all, not for any payback. It's like they think the future isn't going to happen, and depending on how short sighted they are, "the future" might be a time less than an hour from now. There is one description word these people have in common, and it's poor. The rare exceptions are those who inherited wealth, and they haven't worked through it all yet.

There are other causes of poverty, and once you're in it's hard to get out. The ones that escape all demonstrate the ability to delay gratification. There might be other factors as well. I can point to the bankrupt pro athletes. They have more money than most of us can dream about, and access to people to help them manage it. Or some people that win the lottery. They should be set for life. They can afford advice. But no, some of them spend it all, (admittedly, there are some thefts and investment failures in there too) and in a year or two have nothing. It boggles my mind.

I don't know if we can teach how to delay gratification to people that can't do it. If we could, it seems like a good idea, and would be good for those people, and good for society in general. But I admit it starts verging into social conditioning and raising nightmares about Skinner's rats and Pavlov's dogs. At what point do we start over riding choices that people have made? Even if they aren't really a choice, but fallout from what some people call a mental illness?

The sound track for today's workout was post Pink Floyd Roger Waters. Very nice. Got on the bike promptly, warmed up. Lots of cadence work, some of it pretty high speed. It was a very sweaty workout for me, even though most of it was aerobic and I was in control of my breathing. At one point my glasses were so covered with sweat trails I could barely see the bike computer or watch. That was 90 minutes.

Then the core, 30 minutes. That all went well, except for the plank. Plank and me are not friends these days. Today was straight arms, front and sides. I can't do the right side for more than few seconds before the arm collapses. Sigh. Lots of work to be done there.

I've got some errands to do in a little bit, and I'll be meeting Susi at MEC. Kelsey put me onto the tights, so I'll look for those. Maybe some winter gloves or mitts. I look like a old bag guy when I run, all mismatched stuff. A Big Rock toque or a City of Calgary cap, an Oil and Gas jacket or one from a big bank. Most of it is too big. But I have it, most of it was free, it works well enough, and mostly I don't care what I look like when I'm training.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Nice swim and walk

Today was a peaceful day at FOMC. There was a long hard swim on the books, and I'm glad I essentially had a lane to myself. Lots of warm up, then into the main set. That started with a 400 m swim, but I lost count and given the time I'm pretty sure it was 500. Worked hard on thinking about keeping my stroke even and smooth. Then some intervals, getting shorter, and harder, with less rest between them. My arms were beginning to start falling off by the time I got to the 100m sets, but I was stronger than I thought I'd be. Most of them were about 105 seconds, and one of them was 100 seconds on the nose! I was really pleased with that, once I could breathe well enough to appreciate it. Cool down. That was an hour altogether, not counting chatting to my buddy Deb that I see once in a while. I haven't seen her since Chinook, having missed her at IMC.

Then 30 minutes of core including 10 minutes deep water running without the sissy float belt. That felt really good. Chatted with my lifeguard buddy for a while. Later in the afternoon I was out for a 45 minute brisk walk around the neighbourhood while it was still nice.

KK, this Katie is the coach leading the Sunday am spin, run, and core sessions I'm attending. I'm in awe of her, really. She's about half my weight, I'm guessing, and could totally kick my ass.

Julie, I wasn't planning on going to the restaurant before the swim session. Swimming in the evening is going to be tough enough, so I'll want to control when, what, and how much I eat as much as I can. I'll see you at the pool!

Glaven, s'up?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Technically, *last* week was the rest week

Though this week felt like the rest week because I skipped so many workouts.

Saturday was a nice day, but on the advice of my coach I didn't try to make up Thursday. Instead, Linda and I went for a nice walk down through Fish Creek. Not many people there so it was peaceful and quiet. Just a nice fall day for a 1.25 hr walk.

Sunday is Katie's brick session. Two hours spin, lots of cadence stuff, a bit of one leg drill, some hill climbing, and a bit of leg pulling. Katie is cute when she blushes. I was feeling a bit twitchy on the bike, not my normal reasonably fluid spin. Today 120 rpm was hard, and I was bouncing a bit. More oddly, I was getting these muscle twitches at the wrong times. Almost like the muscles are willing to help out, but just not terribly well coordinated.

Running wasn't bad, but not good either. Only 20 minutes, not clump clump clump, but not smooth and light. Kept it slow and easy. Core was only 30 pushups, but after the initial 10 I was back on my knees again. I weenied out of the plank stuff and did some other stretches and core work instead. That was 20 minutes or so, with tropical muffins after.

Not really a good week at all. I think I was fighting off some bug or another, and I'm feeling much better now. The guy at the Apple store nodded as I told the story of woe, and said there wasn't anything he could do that I hadn't already tried. The hard drive has been slowly failing, and it's easier to replace it than fuss with the old one. Especially since I have a fairly recent backup. Yay! I'll get back my computer with a new hard drive and the latest OS installed, and all I have to do is import the data from the latest backup, which by all accounts works very well. I should be able to get the computer on Tuesday. Crossing fingers for luck.

Weekly Summary
Swim 1.25 hrs
Bike 3.5 hrs
Run 1.9 hrs
Walk 2.5 hrs
Core 1.8 hrs
Total 10.95 hrs, and I suppose I can round that to 11 hours.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Swim time trial

I'm glad I went to bed early last night. Slept like a rock. Feeling much better today.

Last time I tried a 1000m swim time trial I think I choked or something. That was Friday April 4, 2008, when I swam 19 minutes almost exactly and it damn near killed me. A couple days later, almost without intending to, I swam 18:38. Since then I've broken one arm and pulled or strained some muscles in the other arm. You can imagine that I've been fairly cautious about pulling hard.

I had no idea what to expect today, given the week I've had so far. It didn't help that with one thing and another I had to do it at Canyon Meadows. The initial signs were not good. I walked into the locker room to see that all the big lockers we could put our own locks on have had the locking mechanism removed. I got lucky to find one of the few remaining coin operated ones. I found out later that a couple days ago someone snuck in with a bolt cutter and got 3 wallets.

This pool has had the next door high school kids in pretty often, and the lifeguard confirmed they'd be starting at 7am. It was 6:30 so I hustled my butt over to an empty lane and got started. I didn't have time to do the full warm up, swim, and cool down, but I did warm up 300 m. Then, should I be like Jenna and tease you all by saying I had a good swim? No, I'll share the number. 18:44, which I'm pretty darn pleased with. Pacing was fairly even, though I started a bit strong, and ended strong. In control of my breathing and my stroke, and nowhere near puking at the end. I didn't look at my watch at 500 m so I don't know if the second half was faster or not. I was at the top end of my steady pace, and could have gone on, though I'm not sure for how much further.

I did some cool down before the kids showed up, and stretched my legs a bit. I also snuck into the dive tank for some water running, maybe 5 minutes, and a bit of stretching, before the kids took it over. Went upstairs for that number. 228 again. I sure seem to be consistent. Walked 35 minutes home, changed, and headed out for my run.

Walked briskly, then broke into a reallyreallyeasy jog 10 minutes to get to the Anderson crosswalk. From there I ran 25 and some seconds north, almost to the reservoir, and back. There's some small hills along the way. Oddly enough, coming back into a strong wind was a bit faster, maybe 30 seconds or so, than going out. This was about 7K in 50:30, running easy on tired legs. This is about the same pace as the Wed run, but it felt harder. I didn't really care about pace or heart rate. I let my lungs and legs negotiate a pace that felt comfortable. Walked easy a little over 10 minutes back.

I'm glad Susi wasn't with me, though. It was a doggie convention out there today. I ignore dogs when I'm running, unless they bark at me, or I think they're going to bite me. It was a nice morning for a run, cool and clear. I spent part of it thinking about running stuff, posture, how my feet were landing, keeping my shoulders relaxed, trying to find my core, and that sort of stuff. The other part was almost mindless happiness. I was happy to be out running, enjoying the scenery, enjoying the feel of my body moving and the wind on my face. I didn't have a big foolish grin or anything, so maybe it was more contentment than happiness. Snack, stretched and rollered when I got home. Showered, ate a real lunch, and had a quiet early afternoon. Now for some errands and stuff.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday night

This has been quite the week so far. Better than not having a week at all, I suppose, but I'd rather not do this again any time soon.

For Wed morning, I doubled checked my gear, and did what was supposed to have happened on Monday. I parked under 8th St again, for the first time since July this year. Back then, it took 27 minutes easy to get to 32nd St, today was 25 and a few seconds, taking it really, really easy. Walked 10 minutes to warm up, then started with an easy run, trying for light feet and a quick turnover. It was pretty cold, maybe -5C, and I'd wondered if I'd under dressed. But I warmed up soon and settled into a nice pace. There were bits of micro-climate; for a while I was almost warm, then going past the golf dome the temperature dropped quite a bit. Coming back I was beginning to get tired, but was firm about keeping the pace till the 16th Ave bridges, then I settled back into a slow jog back to the car. 49 minutes up and back. Walked another 5 minutes to cool down, and stretched a bit. My legs are a bit tired, but I'm really happy with this run.

Then to FOMC. Started off sharing a lane with Backstrokegirl. I see her lots. She does about half and half front crawl and backstroke. Though she swims a bit slower than I usually do, she's really good about sharing. There was a really fast guy in the next lane, and I didn't feel like trying to keep up. He left part way through, and she moved over. Then it gets complicated. A couple really slow swimmers joined my lane, so I moved over. Fast guy had disappeared, and there was another guy exactly as fast as I was, and someone else. We did circles happily. Then a couple other people joined us. By then me and the other fast guy had figured ourselves out, and he adopted my intervals, and we took turns leading. (I hope that's not cheating.) The rest of the lane had the wit to get out of the way, though the guy with fins was startled that we caught up to him. Only thing of note is that I cramped my hams really bad doing breaststroke during cool down. Ouch. Otherwise the 45 minutes of swim was good. Another 15 minutes of careful core.

From that good start the day descended into shite. I was still considering trying to catch up on the core I missed on Tues. Did some rollering and gentle stretches in between fighting with my computer. I think the stress of the computer issues wasn't helping me to relax. By booting from the original disks I managed to repair some issues with the hard drive, and some permissions problems. I managed to get it up again, but I knew things weren't totally right. I started to change for the core, then realized I was really cranky, my legs were tired, my arms still hurt, and I simply wasn't in the mood. Napped a little, but it didn't help. Started trying to install a software update.

Yoga was a horror show. I'd like to know what sick sadist decided that tree posed needed a bend. I can barely do tree at the best of times. The bend is right out. I got a bit of a hamstring cramp trying. Nothing else went well. The teacher is really good, and I like her, but that was not my night for yoga.

Came home to the update still happening. Very slowly. Left it overnight. Can you believe it was STILL running in the morning, 97% complete and only 1 hr 43 minutes to go. Over breakfast it crept up to almost 2 hours. After dropping off Linda and then going back to bed for a snooze, it was over 3 hours. I pulled the plug on that, and went to reinstall the original OS, while archiving my old stuff. That failed after the first several attempts. Then I tried to scrub the whole hard drive, and the computer spat out the disk even before I could boot. I gave up and called Apple. They say there's a hardware problem, and of course I can't run the diagnostics anymore. I have to bring it in for them to look at so it's all packaged up. Computers are such fun. This is the first problem I've ever had with a Mac in more than 15 years of constant use. The astute among you are asking how I'm posting this. My faithful old cube is still running, 8 years on. It's what I use to display my workout plans, or play workout DVDs. Hooked it up to the internet again, and Bob's your uncle.

In the meantime I was supposed to do a spin and core session today. I napped after doing some errands instead. Linda thinks I'm fighting off a bug, since it's extremely rare for me to need this much sleep, and I'm dragging myself around like a horse on the way to the glue factory. You can bet I'm chowing down on the multi-vitamins, Echanicea, Vitamin D, with lots of orange juice. I'll be going to bed early tonight too.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A day so shite I went back to bed

Not today, Monday. I realized last thing Sunday night that if I got organized I could do my run first, then do my swim. Somewhere I once read that swimming after a run was a good thing. Then while driving downtown to drop Linda off, dressed ready to run, I realized I'd forgotten to put my swim shorts in the bag. Normally I wear them under my jeans. Grrr.

After dropping Linda off I went home, changed to go swimming and went to Canyon Meadows. Which was kid central again. Grrrrrrrrr. This time they had trusted some of the little hooligans with stopwatches, and they were timing each other for 25 m races. Guess how big the waves were. The pool staff screwed up, though. At 8 half the pool turns into a floatie class. So they put the kids in the other half, and they ended at 8. So us lap swimmers had to switch. First I knew of this was after the lane rope savagely attacked me, and obese people started getting into my lane. Grrrrrrrrrrr!

I popped up, and the kids were gone, so I moved over some lanes. Even before then I had been attacked by breast strokers. Other than me and the kids, every other person was doing breast stroke. Mr. 8foot wide, Mr. Prettybutslow, Ms. Friggingslow were all impacting (one literally) me. Yes, I ran into someone. He just swam up my lane assuming we would know he'd joined us, and switch to swimming in a circle. GRRRRRRRR!!!!!! I was polite. Just barely. Then when we switched lanes the breast strokers spaced themselves out over all the available lanes. I gave up. I hung out in the dive tank briefly, just long enough to let the kids get out of the locker room. What swimming I did was barely ok, but I'm not going to count it. What got done didn't even begin to resemble the plan. My inner shark is totally disgusted.

I got back home to computer problems, and while dealing with that had to cope with an urgent invoice email from work. More stress. Eventually I got those situations stable. While getting ready for a run I realized that not only wasn't I in the mood for a run, my legs were feeling very wishy washy, I was tired in spite of a good night's sleep, and in an overall generally shitty mood. Rather than potentially hurt myself by trying to push myself to run, I went back to bed.

My reasoning was that maybe starting the day over again would help me feel better. Three hours later I woke up again to deal with a scheduled phone call about a potential contract. I don't think I was incoherent, but you never know. The afternoon and early evening was spent struggling with a really, really slow computer. Something was eating CPU cycles, and I don't know what. Eventually I turned it off, and left it off overnight, and all was good this am. I still don't know why, so I'm going to have to poke around some more.

All in all, a very unhappy frustrating day, and I was thoroughly glad when I went to bed early. I even slept well, which is a nice surprise.

Tuesday was much better, even though I spent the day in the office. I managed to organize myself to take two lunches so I could hop on my bike as soon as I got home. Warmed up, one leg drill, some super fast cadence, then a main set of cadence work, then more super fast spin, then cool down. That was just over 90 minutes. The super fast was 2 minutes at over 120 rpm, no bouncing allowed. That got tough towards the end so I made sure to have some good tunes for that. The core workout has the dread plank and push ups in them, and being honest, I can't face them tonight. I'll do them tomorrow instead.

For some reason I'm finding evening workouts much tougher than I used to. I don't think I've made a single core session in the evening, except for the yoga classes. Maybe I'm spoiled by working out in the mornings.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

This core stuff sure is hard on my arms

Missed blogging about Friday. I guess I'm getting old and senile, with entire days dropping out on me. I did the core work that was scheduled for Thursday, then did a very nice run around the neighbourhood. It was a perfect crisp fall day. This was supposed to be an easier run, and I timed the 5K loop at exactly 35 minutes, breathing easy, nice running stride. So it seems now that a 6 minute K is quite fast, and a 7 minute K is a nice relaxed pace. That's improvement, but doesn't leave much space for "progressive builds".

I was crushed by the pool staff when I tried to go in for a swim. They had a school group using the entire pool. Darn kids! How long can it take to tie a concrete block to their feet and throw them in?? Oh wait, I guess fishing them out again after takes more time. So I missed my swim, and I wasn't about to go on Saturday. The pool turns into a zoo shortly after opening. There's a couple Sat regulars I don't want to swim with.

I want to live in a house that has a 25 m pool in the basement. The only problem is that such homes are usually so big you need a GPS to find the fridge, and they usually come with a ride on vacuum cleaner. At the best of times I have trouble with normal sized vacuum cleaners and can only imagine what would happen with a bigger one. The cats would live in terror. But to be able to go for a swim any time? Without having to put up with the floaties that show up to the public pools? I'd guess in short order I'd be the most popular person in the triathlon community.

The spin with Katie today featured pumpkin muffins. The only problem is that the core session killed my arms so that I could barely get the muffins to my face. I seriously contemplated peeling it on the store counter, then eating it off the paper like a dog chowing down on breakfast. Then it occurred to me that the store staff might not want to use their counter after that, so I was good and ate it like a normal person, only I should count that time as additional core workout.

The spin was good, very good. Just a few minutes under 2 hours, with lots of cadence work. Lots. I sweated a puddle onto the dusty floor. The wind was howling, but most of us went for a run anyways. Heading west was tough, but coming home again was very nice. That was 29 minutes, since back was faster than out.

Then the dreaded core. We started with 50 pushups. That's right. Five Zero. At least they weren't all in a row. Let's see, I think it was sets of 5, 7, 8, 10, 8, 7, 5 and we could rest while our partner did theirs. My partner got lots of rest. Consider that my pushup record is 11 without stopping. So this morning probably tripled my lifetime push up count. Part way through the 8 set on the way up, I gave up and started doing them from my knees. Even so, on the last ones I had to rest in the middle, then finish. Yes, I felt like a weenie. Then there was an eternity of plank, in 3 sets. I'm told my butt is well on the way to downward dog, but that's because my arms were trashed. I kind of cheated through the last 75 second plank. So that was front plank. Just to keep us balanced, or to maintain her standing in coachland, Katie put us through some side plank, same times as the front. That did me in. Everybody else in class is doing side plank, AND waving their upper leg in the air. Some of them are ALSO touching their hips to the mat. I collapsed in a heap and whimpered to myself. I'm glad my partner didn't laugh at me. You think I'm kidding, but I was having difficulty getting my water bottle or muffin up to my mouth. Even now, hours later, I can still feel my arms complaining. I guess since I'm still alive it will only make me stronger.

Weekly Summary
Swim .75 hrs
Bike 5.0 hrs
Run 1.5 hrs
Walk 1.0 hrs
Core 2.0 hrs
Total 10.25 hrs.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The brutality

No, not of my coach. She's tough as nails and is helping me get that way too.

The brutal task today was removing wine labels. You see, when you make your own wine you end up investing in glass bottles. I've got about 450 bottles. Once you've drunk the wine, you need to make sure the bottle is clean, inside and out. After all, I like to give away some of my wine and it's just not the same if there is a new label stuck on top of an old label, or horrors, old labels.

The general rule is that the easier the label goes on, the harder it is to get off, though there are some exceptions. The nice ones are like the Australian Verdelho, a self adhesive plastic label that peels off nice. Most labels come off by soaking them in warm water for a little while. Some need a little bit of encouragement to peel off, but come reasonably clean.

Then there is the California Tempranillo. Soaking does nothing but maybe soften up the paper a little bit. I use a square toothed trowel normally used for cementing floor tile to get the worst of the paper off. That leaves the glue. I'm not sure what it is, but it could hold the world together come judgement day. Laundry detergent is good for most label glue residue, but it doesn't touch this. Bleach rolls off it. I have to dig out the Goo Gone and even that takes a bit of doing.

But even then I'm not done. At best it leaves a hazy greasy smear. That has to be scrubbed off with Comet or laundry detergent, or both. About half the time rinsing after that still leaves some faint residue where the water peels off first, leaving a faint indication of the diamond label. So scrub some more. Such is the downside of drinking wine.

That was the activity of my day. Coffee, the morning papers, and mentally cheering for buddies in the Clearwater 70.3 happened in the morning. This evening we're working our way through Rome, an HBO series that is really quite good, especially if you like lots of of people plotting against one another.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I had a Julie-ization

Wed was a beautiful day up here, sunny and cool. A perfect day for a run. Walked 10 minutes around the big green space across the road, and then started easy into my 5K loop. Started slow because it took a little while to find a stride. I never did get going as fast I was on the weekend, but that's ok, I think I pushed it just a bit too hard for a training run. 

My breathing was always good, and once I found a nice pace I relaxed into it for 10 minutes. Slowed down to an easy pace for the last 5 minutes, for a 30 minute run total. Walked another 10 minutes to cool down some more and almost ended up cooling down too much. The wind had picked up and the temperature dropped a bit.

No yoga in the evening. The class was cancelled for Remembrance Day. I always take some quiet time to think about just how good life is for most Canadians. If any country has won the lottery, it's Canada. We have one of the best places in the world to live. Yet in our short history, tens of thousands of people, most of them very young, have marched away and not come home. They are buried in cemeteries all around the world. We say they've served their country, but really, they've served us. And the people they liberated, or protected. The least we can do is recognize and appreciate what they did for us, and what the current crop of soldiers is doing right now. 

This evening after work I was really good about having a light snack, then heading downstairs for the bike. I ended up pouring a bucket of lube over the chain, or at least you'd think so given how much came off onto the newspaper I put down. But the chain is much quieter and the back gears don't sound like they're trying to change on me.

The ride was 1.75 hr tonight. Warm up, some cadence drills, then some one leg. The main set was some longer aerobic sets. There was a 5 minute set where I was to maintain 90+ rpm, and I decided to make sure by staying over 100 rpm on the small chainring mid cog. For a short while I was wondering if I'd picked too high a cadence or too hard a gear. Sweat was running into my eyes. I was starting to really work my lungs. My knees were beginning to complain as I was also trying to scrape the mud and stay smooth. At just the thought of going into one easier gear I realized I only had a few minutes to go, and I really could keep going at this pace. That if I didn't push myself I wouldn't improve. That if I never fail or risk failure, I'm not trying hard enough. That it's much better to have a bunch of training days where I push the envelop a bit further than I think I can, rather than trying to perform outside my envelop at IMC. The latter is a sure ticket to the med tent. I relaxed my legs, kept breathing, and found that my rpm actually picked up a bit more for the last minute.

Lots of my bike workouts over the last couple years have been all about hanging on and getting through it as best I could. There was lots of times I didn't hit the rpm targets, or the time targets, especially for one leg drill. Now my workouts are harder than ever and I can do them. In fact, I often feel like I could do more sets or go longer. Well, maybe not more of the one leg drill. So now that I know I can do them, I'm trying to do them better. When 120 rpm was way fast, it was all I could do to just do it. Now I can think about spinning smoothly, can feel the interplay of muscles in my legs, can feel the pressure of my heels in the shoes to know I'm scraping, can better control what my upper body is doing. I think I'm getting more out of the workouts. 

It's funny, when you start, 90 or 120 minutes seems like such a long time. But if you get on, and get going, it goes by really quick. Next thing you know it's cool down time. Life is good.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Back fat, sympathetic vibrations, and resonance revisted

Swam at FOMC for the first time in a while. It was very quiet. I shared a lane with a girl swimming almost exactly the same speed I was. Life is good. Warmup, drill, intervals, cool down, for 45 minutes. Flipturn practice for 15 minutes. Deep water core and running for 15 minutes, and that nearly did me in. I haven't done my deep water core for a while now because the dive tank has always been full, and I can sure tell.

Walked gently to and from my massage. She found a muscle in the outside of my left calf that I had previously been unaware of. Ouch. Iced it several times during the afternoon.

It took a bit of doing to get on my bike today. Lots of muscles are feeling really creaky after the massage yesterday, especially the left calf. Warmed up carefully. One leg drill, cadence drill, a pyramid aerobic set that had me wondering where time trial gear really is. Some really high speed spin while trying to keep the upper body still. It used to be that at about 120 rpm, everything started jiggling. Now the jiggle happens about 130 or so, but it's more selective. Mostly the fat at the top of my butt and lower back. However, once I'm past 140 rpm the resonance dies out and I'm smooth again. The only problem is that I can't maintain that for very long. If I'm not pedaling smoothly, at about 110 rpm, I get funny jiggles in my hams and calves. 90 minutes on the bike.

Core work, done carefully. Skipped the hamstring curls, since those muscles were feeling a bit crampish. 30 minutes. It's beautiful out, so once I run some errands I think I'll go for a nice walk.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

My bammy hurts

I never realized how easy I had it buying tights a couple years ago. MEC had some with a wind resistant layer on the front of the legs at a reasonable price. Large wasn't large enough, so an XL has lasted me 2 years of lots of running, and a bit of biking. Lots of running for me, anyways, for some of you it wouldn't even be a warmup.

Cut to this year. Can't find those tights. Tried several different kinds, and didn't like any of them. Trying on tights is a pain, and I should put it down as core exercise. Finally got down to two different kinds, both large. One pair was a bit too big and baggy while getting perilously close to looking like long underwear, and the other fit perfectly except for a brutally tight elastic waistband. It was so tight I could barely get it over my butt, and once there I couldn't breath. Even with the string all the way out. So, medium of one, and xl of the other. The medium didn't cover my butt, and the XL was slightly baggier than I prefer, especially around the lower calves, but the waist is ok. Snug, but I'm not going to go up to a xxl, thank you very much. Technically, these are skiers pants, so they should be good in the cold. Plus it gives me incentive to continue to work on losing more of the insulation hiding my six pack.

Katie's spin session went great. 2 hrs. Lots of cadence drills, and no one leg drill. Part way through I went through a brief time where my bammy was getting really tired. That's the area between my butt and my hams. Right now there is a bit of flab in there, and it gets shook around at higher rpm rates. I've really been concentrating on trying to get to an even spin, and that means using muscles that haven't been used as much. Like my butt and bammy. (I didn't come up with that name, Julie did.)

Then change and out for a 30 minute run along the Bow River. East this time. I got to 16th street, then turned around. At first I was staying with 3 other people from class. They were chatchatchat, and my heart rate and breathing were steadily going upupup. I backed off when I hit 156 bpm, and was starting to gasp. I settled in about 142 bpm, breathing well. My run wasn't as good as Wed, but I was feeling not too bad. A little tired, and not quite as smooth. But it was a beautiful day out, sunny and maybe 4 C or so. 

I've always hated going into mapmyrun to figure out how far I've gone. And yes, I'm too cheap to buy a Garmin just yet. Last night as I was playing around in Google Earth, I found a path drawing tool. This isn't fancy, but does what I want. Here's a screen shot of today's run.

At the very end I slowed down to an easy jog, and still made it back in 30 minutes. For me, a 5K run in 30 minutes is very fast, probably a bit faster than I should have gone. I'm feeling it a bit in my legs. Just a bit, but I've got a massage tomorrow, so all will be good, and next week is an easy week, so I'm told.

Then Chris led us through some core. Ooooooooooo. My core is sore. I didn't note the exact starting time, but I'm pretty sure this was 30 minutes. It felt like an eternity. There wasn't nearly enough lying on the mat in a sweaty heap breathing hard time for me. One of the girls from class came a little bit late, but rode through our run, and through our core. Maybe I should try that, but I somehow don't think I'd get away with it.

Oh, and the cupcakes this week were chocolate with real cherries inside. Very yummy. You guys don't know what you're missing!

The current book is "Filthy Lucre, Economics for people who hate capitalism", by Joseph Heath. He takes a look at some of the economic fallacies held by left AND right wing people. His writing is engaging and his examples are easy to follow. He does a good job explaining the underlying economic principles, then notes where or how they are wrong. It's pretty interesting considering that he pokes holes into something that was treated as gospel in my Macroeconomics course. It's brand new, uses some Canadian examples (Take THAT Jack Layton!) but mostly points out how people go along with faulty reasoning when they like the results. 

Weekly Summary
Swim 1.5 hr
Bike 5.0 hr
Run 1.75 hr
Walk 1.5 hr
Core 4.25 hr
Total 14.0 hrs

Friday, November 6, 2009

The title got changed because I pooped out

The title was going to be
I got back from the run and realized I was too pooped to safely ride to the pool and swim AND ride back. In the howling wind.

The day started with yoga. I somehow missed the first class of the session, so this is a make up class for me. The teacher said some of the poses were good hamstring stretches. I disagree; they nearly killed my calves. We used two chairs and some padding for a shoulder stand. It turns out I have very pointy shoulder bones with nothing there. I needed two blankets.

Walked 5 minutes then started my run mostly around Woodbine. It's my 8K route, but I knew I'd not get around it in the scheduled time. It's six K to a pole behind the Safeway so I figured I'd check the watch then. It took about 15 minutes running to find a stride that worked. Just as I settled in I got off the grass and had to run on the paved path. It was really gusty windy up on the berm, 50-60 Kph, with brief periods of complete calm. That's enough of a wind that it plays hell with your balance. Down in Fish Creek things were better, and that part of the run felt really good. I could feel myself running from the core again, but not as strong as on Wed. Overall I was trying for a nice pace, not too fast, not too slow, thinking about form. I hit the 6 K mark in 38:20 and kept going till the 45 minute mark, then walked 10 minutes home. That's about a 1o:15 mile pace which feels like I could keep it up for a while. 

Hit the roller for a few minutes on my calves and hams. Realized on the way back upstairs I was really in no shape to ride to the pool. Besides, I got an extra swim on Wed, so technically, I was done anyway, and didn't need to fight with the lunchtime crowd. One thing about paying a coach to produce a schedule is that it tells you when enough is enough. Waved the vacuum cleaner around, stalking the wild dust bunnies, and stretched up to do the tops of the door frame trim. Rollered a bit more. Somehow doing that has slipped away from me.

The week so far has been super runs, good solid bike workouts, and the swim is feeling stronger. The core is good compared to when I started, but overall this week its been a bit of a shambles towards the end of each workout.

Tomorrow is a rest day! I was looking at my bike shoe cleats, and I think the time has really come. There's almost no yellow left. I need new tights. I'd like to get a little applicator of some kind to apply chain lube sparingly to the chain. The container has a huge hole that dribbles lube everywhere. What do other people use? Any hints?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hard bike since it's so nice out

I was so tempted to ride outside. It's nice out. No, really, it's nice. Probably about 15 or 16 at the warmest part of the day. Still, I rode inside and gutted through the workout. In fact, I walked a half hour first, to get my blood going, since I knew there was lots of cadence stuff. 90 minutes on the bike.

The core was a bit of a shambles. I was tired from the bike, and maybe should have stopped for a rest and a snack. Not good form at all, and that's enough said about that. Half hour tops.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A super morning run!

One thing about a somewhat erratic work schedule is that you get to think about where and what works for today, rather than just the same routine over and over again. Today's workouts are a run and yoga. I had an appointment for a 9am blood donor clinic. I was going to meet my coach at Talisman to look at my swim.

Once I dropped Linda off I parked at Inglewood. I used to swim there regularly a couple of years ago now, and it was always quiet. Not many people swam there; the water is kind of warm, and the shallow end is really really shallow, as in I can easily touch the pool bottom while swimming freestyle. Today it was full of kids. Fortunately I wasn't there to swim. 

I walked out toward Blackfoot, and got on the path just near the Bow River. Right up to the very second I got to the path I was wondering if I wanted to run west toward downtown, or east toward the CPR yards. Seeing a glimpse of downtown through the trees made me go west. Calgary's downtown is pretty well oriented with streets NS and avenues EW. You get a nice skyline from a number of places. But some mornings the sun strikes the buildings with almost horizontal light. Today it was a bit orangey, with the clouds still dark behind the buildings. 

It was stunning running through the trees, along the path, beside the river, getting a constantly changing view of the buildings. The light from the sunrise, reflections off clouds and the ground, the changing texture of the clouds in the background, the reflections of the building and city lighting off the different colours of glass make for a remarkable set of images. I'm pretty familiar with the view, but one building looked strange. The building lights and sunrise shadows made it look like a pyramid. The new Encana Bow building is under construction. It's a semi circular shaped building. The inside curve is covered with white sheeting of some kind. The outside curve is not, which I hadn't known. I came around a corner and got the full impact of the building trusses near the top, and lots of really bright construction lights through the lower floors. It looked like diamonds being lit from below a black felt matrix.

My running was the total opposite of last Sunday. My feet felt light and bouncy. I felt great! For the first time I could feel myself running from my core, could feel my abs between my navel and ribs, twisting as my hips and shoulders twisted. This lasted a surprisingly long time, at several different paces. I was getting really good turnover, and the run felt smooth, easy, and relaxed. My breathing was always good, but I've no idea what my heart rate was.  I'm not sure how far or how fast, but I touched the Dean House porch, and headed back. I took a slightly different, shorter way back, so I ended up with a 10 minute warm up walk/run, 30 minutes of super good run, and 5 minutes slow run/walk cool down. This is one of the best runs I've had. I wish they could all be like that. No wonder runners try to drag other people into running.

Going back I was getting a great view of the sunrise. Not a big dramatic one like the sunrise pic I posted a little while ago, but very nice, in an orange pastel sort of way. At one point I was getting reflections of it off the Bow River. I almost stopped to watch it for a while, but it was fairly cool, -5C or so, and I didn't want to stand for too long. 

After a quick shower at the pool I went over to my fave breakfast place, The Galaxie Diner. Awesome as always. Then to donate blood for the 40th time! The actual donation took 5 minutes. They love the veins in my left arm. The rest of the rigamarole took about 45 minutes.

From there I should have gone to MEC to get a new pair of tights. Mine, that were once tight, are now loose, and I noticed one of the seams is starting to come apart, and some of the fabric is starting to show wear. But I didn't. Maybe on the weekend. I hung out at Talisman, and watched some fit people, and some people trying to get fit. I get a kick out of people watching, wondering what sort of a life has lead to them walking like that and showing that face to the world.

We swam in the new pool, which is a first for me. Overall, my swim is not bad, she says. It looks very relaxed, without a lot of extra splashing. My hands, especially the left, cross over centre. I've been rotating my head too much, and my kick is feeble. I've suspected the first, known the last, and the middle is new to me. Worked on fixing it, and drank a bit more water than normal. I tell you, it takes forever to kick 50 m, but it's nice to swim in a pool that long. It ended up being a regular work out, with lots of water running at the end. I'm going to call it a 45 minute swim, 15 minutes deep water running for core. We are both looking forward to seeing the video from the camp in a few weeks. That will reveal some more subtle details about my stroke. It puts me in mind of a guy that's been coached on his swim for years, and has been gradually improving. His blog talked about seeing some super-duper coach for some technique tips and was told "after a certain point, technique doesn't really matter anymore, you just have to put more effort into it." What with breaking one arm, and straining some muscles in the other, I haven't really gone to 100% effort in the pool for more than a year now. Maybe it's time to start working harder.

Then a bunch of work related stuff in the afternoon, and 1.25 hrs of yoga in the evening. All in all, a great day.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Evening workouts are brutal

I'm not much for working out in the evenings. I like to get them done early, but today I was in the office. Sitting most of the day. Sigh. Once home I BBQ'd some duck breasts and chicken thighs, then crawled onto my bike.

Warmed up, then lots of cadence and one leg stuff. Some short time trial gear work. Cool down. 90 minutes, or close enough. All good stuff, and was pleased to see that I could do 110 again. Well, the final bit of one leg at the end got a bit clunky. Then core. oof. First two sets went ok, except for the tricep dips sucking big time. The third set was a shambles. I'm calling it 30 minutes.

I learned my lesson last week about eating before the workout. This time I took a second lunch to work, and ate it during the afternoon break, then ate after the workout. The problem is that if I eat too soon before going to bed, I don't sleep well. But duck breast! BBQ'd in a yummy marinade of Linda's devising. I don't know what was in it, but it sure was good.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Swimming at the Y

The experiment today was to drop Linda off at work, park, swim, and see what time I got to work. It didn't actually matter when that happened, since I was doing stuff on my own today. It ended up taking nearly two hours overall to walk there, pay, change, (it's quite the maze they have there), swim for an hour, shower, shave, dress, and walk to the office. This is all within downtown Calgary. I could actually have done almost the entire trip indoors had I wanted, but it was nice out.

The pool is nice. If you start at the deep end like I did, the ledge is tiny. I got all screwed up because the pace clock at the deep end wasn't running, but it took a few minutes to figure how how everything was taking exact multiples of one minute. I don't know that I'll buy a membership, but the occasional drop in will be ok.

Shared a lane for a while. Lots of 100 m intervals, with increasing effort and decreasing rest times. That reaches it's limits pretty quick, but it felt good. 

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Dead legs

I totally missed writing about Thursday. Not sure why. 1.5 hr spin and 30 min core done. It was kind of tough doing the spin and core two days back to back.

The Sunday brick was brutal for me. My legs would not warm up. I was on the bike almost a half hour before the actual workout started, and my legs were still doing squares. I was getting all sorts of weird twitches and cramps throughout. What pissed me the most is that eventually I could pedal 108 rpm, or 113 rpm, but I could not do 110. My legs simply didn't want to do it at all, and they'd go faster or slower unless I watched them every second. Meanwhile, my bike is bouncing around the floor like it's on a pogo stick. 

About half way through the bike I started running out of gas. I nibbled a banana during the workout, but that didn't help. Or maybe it staved off complete collapse, I don't know. Even though I was in an easy gear, it just got harder and harder to hit the higher cadence. I was noticing that my legs were reverting to the old push push push model if I didn't watch and make them spin. You'd think by now the habit would be built, but I guess not.

I was on the bike a hair over 2 hours. It was a good workout, but I wasn't having a good time dealing with the leg rebellion. My shorts were doing weird wrinkle stuff they haven't ever done before. The cupcakes were good though. 

It was a beautiful day out there. Sunny and cool. First day of our regular time again, instead of the Daylight Savings time insanity. I hate changing our clocks, and every year it makes me want to move to Saskatchewan. It was windy though. We had planned on running east, but changed it to west along the river, so we'd get the wind at our backs during the run home.

The wind had molasses in it, I'm sure. I couldn't run anything faster than a slow trot. We were supposed to do 30 minutes, but I turned around early and made it 20. I didn't think I could do 30 without actual pain. It felt like how I ran a year ago, clump clump clump.

The core was very, very tough. The weird one was doing pushups with a Blazeman roll in between each. I don't think I got through the full time or numbers on any of the exercises without bailing, except the squats. They were ok.  I just felt weak and feeble. Not sure why.

Linda and I went for a walk around the neighbourhood later in the afternoon. It was still sunny, but the wind was picking up, and it was beginning to get cold. We started off at a brisk pace, but I ended up slowing down a bit because my legs were tightening up, instead of relaxing.

Weekly Summary
Swim 1.5 hr
Bike 5.0 hr
Run 1.5 hr
Walk .75 hr
Core 2.5 hr
Total 11.25 hr
That seems low, but I don't think I'm missing anything. Didn't walk much.