Sunday, February 25, 2007

Week 8

Three runs, three rides this week. Nothing impressive in terms of mileage, but the goal was consistency. Two full rest days in the mix (I doubled up Tuesday). Training zones were toward the lower end of things. The peak workout was today at 75-78% of max until the final 2 miles. I finished the effort at 93% of max, which is pretty solid in non-race conditions. My legs are feeling pretty strong right now.

The only negative right now is what seems to be a slight sinus infection on the right side. It was burning on Friday, but is doing okay now. It feels MUCH better when I'm working out, and my energy levels are good, so I don't think it will be too much of a problem.

The biggest change right now is a new saddle on my bike. It's made specifically for triathlons and time trials, and I can tell it will be better in the long run, but the first few rides on a new saddle are always uncomfortable. It's also kind of a funky looking saddle, but with extra padding for the "privates"...




Runs: 21
Mileage: 6.1/6.0/8.4
YTD Mileage: 154.75

Walks: 4
YTD Mileage: 11

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Here's a thought...

Competency tests for self-service checkout. I was stunned that in this day and age someone could look at the screen on one of these and be utterly baffled. Habla EspaƱol perhaps?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Week 7

I've been browsing last year's posts again, particularly those pertaining to training. On Feb. 18, 2006 I had amassed 131 miles on 16 runs. This year I've got different goals and have been working on different aspects of my running, so this year I have 134.25 miles on 18 runs. Hmm, not too different. I also see that at this point last year I was bemoaning the fact that I was only getting 2 runs a week average. Same this year. Only two runs again this week (4.25 on the indoor track at Brown and 10.8 miles today). Finally, on February 18, 2006 I ran my 10.8 mile loop as a time trial and finished around 1:08. Today I did the same loop and yes I ran it for time. However, I took a different approach. I didn't run a max. effort. I took the "restricter plate" approach; my best time while keeping my HR in the low 140s (~80-82.5% of max). I ran a ~1:10 and still had plenty of gas in the tank. Had I run a max effort I would have been close to the same time as last year, maybe even better.

Here's what I think these similarities are saying. While I am doing different things, especially during the mid-week runs, the frequency and total mileage numbers are saying (I think) that I'm pretty much doing all that my mind/body/schedule will allow. I have worked in a few trainer rides this year, but am not swimming, so that's a wash. While I'd like to have more time to do more and become faster, it is somewhat reassuring to know that I'm doing everything that is reasonably possible. Sure I may be beaten by people who did more, but being a good provider and Daddy comes with benefits more important than that elusive final win.

The final win, I almost forgot to mention it. That's my goal this year: an age group win. Maybe it won't be my last, but I haven't scored one since 2002 when I had two of them. Because of the age grading nature of triathlon, if I get one it might not be my last, but I want to approach the goal that way. Unlike previous years, I plan to really enjoy my wins (okay I enjoyed them in 2002 also). I am getting older and the preparation is a bit more difficult. Everything is now about quality workouts and avoiding ANYTHING that might cause a step backwards. When you are younger you can afford some garbage time. Your body heals more quickly. By middle age every step has to count if you are to stay competitive with the young'uns.

**Factoid: I think my max HR might now be below 180 bpm. During my final last 1/2 mile today, typically something run at 95% of max HR, I only hit ~168 bpm instead of the 172 I always used to hit. It's just one day so who knows, but I'm going to keep an eye on it. It doesn't mean anything good or bad really, it's just something that is. Oh, and I also did a 1'12" 400 on the indoor track. Nothing special except that the second 200 was 30" flat, the best I've run in years.**

Runs: 18
Mileage: 4.25/10.8
YTD Mileage: 134.25

Walks: 4
YTD Mileage: 11

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Two-on-One

Sure they're small, but they're quick, crafty, and there's two of them and only one of me. I've gone one-on-one, for multiple days in fact, and came out weary but not beaten. This was entirely different, however. They had the numbers...and they knew it! Lay back in a "prevent" defense, and they'd methodically find the seams in the coverage and take me apart. So I did the only thing I could do; I took the game to them.

They put up a good fight, Mia dodging to the left, Alexandra to the right. Mia yelling to put the ball in the basket, Alexandra screaming "SOCCER" as she kicked the black spotted soccer ball across the gym. But eventually even their boundless energy began to wane. Mia was the first to crack, and shortly thereafter Alexandra too hit the tumbling mats. Once I had them down, I was back in charge of the situation.

I prevailed today, but in the back of their minds (and mine) they know that time really is on their side. To prepare for our next go-round, I must continue to train. My stamina is my only hope.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Week 6

Took one day off this week, Tuesday (instead of the planned Sunday break). My ankle's ill'n. No pain, but it's really unstable right now; it rolls over just be looking funny at it. Nonetheless I got some speedwork in this week. 4x400m with 200m slow on Thursday. Times were: 1:18,1:20,1:19;1:16. The goal was to do all 4 in 1:20 so mission accomplished. Next stop 4x400 in 1:18 each time. Two weeks before I attempt that.

Yesterday I did the charity spin-a-thon. I've only been on my bike 3 times so far in 2007, so to sit it for 2 hours on Saturday was a literal p.i.a. I also road a 3 mile Compu-trainer (computerized bike trainer) TT. Not too good. It's time to show the bike a little more love.

Today I did my 10 loop pretty hard. 39:22 (it's hillier than the race course on Ocean drive). That's my benchmark time. I probably won't try again for 3 or 4 weeks (depends on our vacation schedule). I also might try a race in a few weeks time (run/x-c skiing/run). If so, no 10k until March sometime.

After the run I hit the trainer for 20 minutes. A lot of work to do, but it's a start. One positive about getting my butt kicked in the TT yesterday; I've got the fevah again!

Runs: 16
Mileage: 6.5/6.1
YTD Mileage: 119.2

Walks: 3
YTD Mileage: 8

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Educating the masses in the 21st Century

Perhaps I can teach a class on sending messages to large e-mail lists. Place people in the BCC field so I don’t get every response!!!! The alternate class can inform people of the existence of the 'Reply' button conveniently located to the left of 'Reply to All'.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Week 5

Nothing special this week. 5 miles on Tuesday (2 miles to Hope High track in Providence, 1 mile around track, 2 miles back). Lots of agility drills. 400m run at mile pace. Thursday was hill repeats up Angell street (4 trips). This week I felt the rhythm really coming back. It's not a matter of me being noticeably faster or the hard workouts being easier, rather it is a matter of the easy stuff becoming noticeably easier. I am getting more efficient. It's a good thing.

Today's run was another really cold run (15 degrees at the start). It was on the same course as week 3 (in Connecticut), run in the opposite direction. This time there was a lot of ice on the ground. The run was hard. I was really tired afterwards. Oh yeah, and I turned my damn right ankle again about 2 miles from home. It hurt like hell (I actually let out a yelp like a dog that had just been kicked!). It's kinda stiff and sore right now.

I'm ready to not run this next weekend. I'm helping out with the spin-a-thon on Saturday which means I'll be putting in an hour or two on my trainer, and then I'm taking Sunday off. I'll go out Tuesday and Thursday and then that'll be it for a four of days.

Runs: 14
Mileage: 5/6/13
YTD Mileage: 106.6

Walks: 3
YTD Mileage: 8