Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Mon/Tues/Wed

The Best Pizza in the World! If you go, get the Fromage a Trois.

I took Monday off for recovery from last week's efforts. It was nice. After work, Grace and I went to Petsmart and got food for her bunny (Angel). We cleaned her cage and got her set up with new bedding. Afterwards, the family made sugar cookies and decorated them.

Tuesday began early with a 6:30 AM swim of 3,750 yards. When I went outside to drive to the pool, Albuquerque was covered with a light snow that iced over. The freeway was pretty dicey. The kids' school was canceled. The entire day was overcast and windy. I feel for the Astana cycling team here in town for their training camp. I read a report that they were out training this icy morning, as well.

After work I did some more speed drills on the rollers. While riding, I put in my 2006 Het Volk DVD--a Belguim early spring classic road race. I was interesting how much Belguim reminded me of Boise. Minus the pave (cobble stone roads), this race looked like Beacon Light Road in February. I've been missing Boise alot lately, and I still cannot believe I'm not living there anymore. I can't wait to come back in early June...we're going to hit up Flying Pie and Cafe de Paris.

Monday began with another early morning swim. This time I added 5X100 yard intervals with 30 seconds rest in between. My buddy Silvio (former Brazilian olympic alternate) was quick to point out that I need to start the interval at the same time each set, so if I slow down, I get less of a rest. Whatever!

At lunch I did a PNM (my employer) provided yoga course. This is a great perk. The one downside is our male instructor is very hands-on and we do the class in a conference room in our building. Sometimes, the instructor will assist us with poses; to the untrained eye, this may appear strange or obscene. I'm terrified one of my coworkers is going to look into the conference room and misconstrue what is taking place. For this very reason, I don't go too regularly, but I figured a good stretch would help my legs for my run tonight.

After work, I tried again to do a short run. Immediately the pain in my thigh started up. I decided to push through and run, at a low speed, for a half-hour. The pain never abated. So, I did a little research, and I honestly think I might have a femural stress fracture--all my symptoms are similar to what I'm reading. Prognosis: 4-6 weeks no running. That's probably not a bad thing because that gives me a little time to focus on my road racing and swimming. I'm thinking swimming won't conflict with road racing like running would anyways.

Tomorrow I'm meeting up with Al, Levi, Chris, and Klodi for an ascent up Sandia--wish me luck!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Weekend Summary

Saturday began early with a 7:30 AM swim for an hour at Del Norte Sports & Wellness. I was feeling the accumulation of all the week's swimming and my body was getting tired. Right after swimming, I jumped into my car and drove to the team meeting spot for the group right. Once I got there, I quickly changed into my cycling clothes. It was still brisk outside, so I had to layer. About 20 or so people showed up. We rode north to Bernillilo, Algodones, and San Felipe Casino (Nearly Santa Fe). We came back via Rio Rancho and Corrales up Tramway and back to the original meeting spot where my car is parked. It ended up being 80 miles and 4.5 hours. There were some points when the tempo was hard, and I tried to spend as much time pulling as my legs allowed. It was a good ride!

Afterwards I grabbed a Dos Hermanos Breakfast Burrito. These things are huge--about as big as Hulk Hogan's Bicep. They're packed with potatoes, cheese, scrambled eggs, thick bacon, and green chili. I'm guessing somewhere north of 1000 calories. Not the healthiest thing to eat, but I was hungry. All in all, I think I've consumed 135 of these over the last 6 years; I've got the punch cards to prove it. I'm saving my punch cards because after 10, you get a T-shirt; and after 15, you get a hat. If you wear the clothing articles while ordering, you get a free coke--Bonus!

Afterwards, I came home and decided it was that time of year when you break out the Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Extended Version) to veg out to with the kids. The kids love Lord of the Rings. As soon as I started it up, Ethan dressed up in his hobbit costume and started vanquishing his imaginary Ork foe with his toy sword. It's also great because Mia and grace snuggle up with me--Grace had her rabbit in hand, as well. Elise is too old for Lord of the Rings and went downstairs to watch Hannah Montana--Well Excuse Us!

Sunday started with 9:00 AM church (the worst time of all). Afterwards, I jumped on my bike and rode 3 hours tempo around the city. I got done just before the clouds opened up and started to pour. I fired up some more Lord of the Rings with the kids while Tanya got her hair done at her sister's. For dinner, we went to my little brother's place for a red chili burrito dinner. He made his spicy salsa--that I went to town on.

Week Training Summary
18 Hours total Training Time
5.5 Hours Swimming/13,000 yards or 520 lengths of the pool
12 hours cycling for 205 miles
.5 hours donkey trotting for 2 miles

P.S. I shaved my goatee off. I was tired of picking community hair out of it after swimming. Disgusting!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Friday - Let the Weekend Begin!


This is me pre-facial hair!

I took Thursday off and did the taxes. Hopefully I won't have to file taxes in two different states for a long time!

Friday, started early with a 6:30AM swim. I swam 3,750 yards in an hour-and-a-half. Some Grey Panther lady jumped in my lane while I was in the middle of a set. We nearly butted heads, but I was able avoid the collision with my dolphin-like reflexes. Thank you Flipper!

Swimming is weird in that it makes your whole body tired rather than being sore in your shoulders. I spent the whole day exhausted from my swim. What's more, someone invited me to a 2 hour meeting discussing accounting capitalization policy--something akin to tax code or computer programming language. I'm not sure why I was invited and I wanted to leave the whole time. Thank goodness for mobile texting; I got someone to call me, and I acted like it was an important call and dashed out of room like the muffin man.

After work, I met Tanya and the kids at the gym. She did her classes, and I tried to run. I started with lots of stretching and using the foam roller to massage my IT band (Thanks Anon). Then I proceeded to fire up the treadmill. That lasted a whole 5 minutes. My left Hip Flexor is trashed, which throws my running gate off resulting in a right knee/IT band issues. I opted to walk for 30 minutes, because that didn't hurt. This was a tough thing to do because the lady on the treadmill next to me was pushing a 7 Min./Mile pace, and I wanted push the same pace. I wanted to fire it up, instead I'm doing the donkey trot to get the legs right. Sometimes, the spirit is willing but the body is weak! Random Lady, you take this round, but, next time, be ready!

I grabbed Elise from the childcare and we made an impromptu trip to Dairy Queen to hang out a bit. I've needed to spend some one-on-one time with Elise for awhile. I got the small chocolate lovers Blizzard and she got Brownie Sunday. She's a really good kid who has a lot of responsibility because she's the oldest. I know this responsibility being the oldest of 7 kids. She deals with the pressure better than I did as my siblings can attest.

The rest of the night was low-key. I got ready for tomorrow and iced my legs. The kids watched Napoleon Dynomite--Our goal as parents is simple: make sure each of our kids memorize Napoleon Dynomite word-for-word. If we do this, we've done our part.

Christmas Wish


Santa: And what do you want young man for Christmas?
Ethan: Santa, what I really want is a TAZER to keep my dad away from me!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Base 3/Week 1


This is Mia holding some road bike wheels I'm selling on Ebay. Mia was born the day the womens olympic road race was held. Mia is a ball of fury! Her blue eyes will hypnotize you long enough for her to steel your gum and lip gloss. Mia will be on the front of a Weaties box one day.

Well this week has been a bit more hectic than usual. That's why my blog has been bone dry.

Sunday night Tanya flew out with her grandparents and sister to attend a funeral. This left me alone with the 4 monsters for a day. Fortunatly, it was MLK day and I had it off along with the kids. Before Tanya left, she made arraingments for the kids to spend the morning in childcare while I rode. So, after an early morning getting the kids ready and dropping them off, I joined a small group for ride up north. Once again the wind was 10-15 mph from the south. So, on the way out we averaged speed in excess of 27 mph. On the way back, it was a really hard effort the keep the group rolling along at 18MPH. It was a little warmer than it's been in the past; that was nice. The ride was 3.5 hours and roughly 60 miles. I could still feel my IT Band in my right knee bugging me a bit. I'm going to have to work on that.

Immediately after the ride, I took the kids swimming. Fortunately for me, Mia's the only who doesn't know how to swim, so I can focus my energy on her while the other kids do thier own thing--with in reason of course.

Afterwards we came home and did house chores, homework, and went to bed!

Tanya got back 1:00 AM in the morning.

The next day I rushed off to work. I had a big meeting with a VP and SRVP to discuss year-end budget to actual activity. The kids went to school. Tanya went to work. After work I swam 3,750 yards in 1.5 hours. I'm starting a new thing where I swim 3 days a week in the AM for 1.5 hours each and Saturday morning 1 hour. I was able to swim 40 laps consecutively with stopping--making progress.

After swimming, I met Tanya and the kids and Tanya's brother's place for dinner--we had Range Cafe takeout: the best Chimichanga's ever. About 8:30, my workout caught up to me and I crashed. I brought the kids home, while Tanya visited her mother and sister in the hospital--Shay's newborn has RSV and has been hospitalized.

When I got home, I opened the back door to let Shane in. Our whole backyard was flooded. The hose was running full blast. I tryed to turned the spigot off, but it was busted. The neigbor's backyard was flooded too. It was a mess. The only thing I could do was shut the water main off until a plummer could fix the spigot.

Turns out, when Ethan fed Shane this morning, he tried to use the hose. It didn't work (because the water in the hose was frozen). He left the valve open and when the ice in the hose thawed, it blew the spigot valve out and was running all day. I love having kids!

Since our hose didn't have water, I got up early this morning and did another 1.5 hour swim before work. A plummer came and fixed the valve. I helped Tanya with Grace's friends birthday party at the pool. Then I came home and rode my trainer for 1.5 hours doing 6X5 minute tempo efforts in Zone 4 with 2 minutes of recovery in between. It was a good workout and I'm trashed. I'm going to bed now

Sunday, January 20, 2008

And The Verdict Is...


So, as you can tell, we ended up getting Grace a bunny. If you can't tell, she's holding it in the blanket. It's black and white and named "Angel". This was probably the best $75 I spent. After work on Friday, I took the three girls and hit all the pet shops in town. Ethan was spending the night at his friend's house, and Tanya was at the gym working out. After the fourth petshop, we found one in town the sells bunnies. She had a choice between this one and a 9lb black floppy ear male rabbit. It didn't take her long. We bought a $50 bunny starter kit that came with cage, water bottle, food, food bowl, and bedding. The rabbit was $25. Grace has been really happy with her new friend. One thing Grace is finding out quickly is rabbits have sharp claws--her hands are all scratched up; thus, the blanket!

Friday I swam 2,500 yards at lunch. Saturday, I woke up early and swam 2,500 yards with these new swim paddles I got that are supposed to build strength and form. THen I jointed the NMVS group ride at 9:00AM. It was very cold, again! My feet haven't really recovered from the marathon and my circulation was very bad. They froze the whole time.

The only people that showed up were people that really wanted to hammer. We rode out to San Felipe Casino north of Algodones. We fought a headwind the entire way back to Albuquerque. I was pushing a big gear much longer than I should have and my knees were killing me at the end. This is a classic example of not doing the right thing for training--I should have pushed a smaller gear with a higher cadence fostering blood flow and recovery. Instead, I hammered with the hammerheads! I'll be paying for this one for awhile.

After wards, I came home and took a brief nap. We spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning the house getting it ready for Grace's family B-day party.

The party went well, with the exception of Grace's Sugar Grandma who's currently in the hospital fighting bronchial complications.

Tanya's flying out Sunday afternoon to attend the funeral of her grandfather's sister, Ruth. She was suffering with complications due to kidney failure. It's going to be a whirlwind trip that will have Tanya flying back here Monday 11PM.

Well now that I've gotten the marathon out of my system, I'm going to start focusing a bit more on my cycling. I plan to race all the races locally culminating with the Tour of the Gila and possibly the Iron Horse in Durango, CO. During this time, I'll limit my running to 2-3 hours Max, and will still spend alot of time swimming. It's too hard to run and race bikes competitively. During our ride yesterday, we had a brief climb, and I got dropped. Sure, I'm not fully recovered. But, it's not pleasant getting dropped all the time during races, so I'll need to scale back the running. This isn't an easy decision because I think I have the most room to improve in my running portion of the IronMan. Oh well, I'll have from June until the IronMan in November (7 months). That's the plan for now at least.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Getting It Back

Wednesday I did yoga; it was tough trying to maintain some of the poses. Buy our PNM sponsored instructor was sensitive to the fact that I just recently finished a marathon, so he went easy on me. After work, I swam 3000 yards. Surprisingly, the swimming wasn't at all impacted by the marathon. Good to know for future reference.

Thursday was my first day back on the bike. I rode the rollers inside because I didn't want to deal with the 20 degree temps. I just rode for an hour and tried to maintain a cadence of 90+ RPMS. This was a challenge. Every once in a while, I'd try to stand to stretch out my legs, and my legs would just collapse. My quads haven't completely recovered. At the half-way point I had to take a breather for a minute to let my legs recover. I'm hopeful I'll be good for Saturday because I have a 3 hour group ride planned.

Interestingly enough, the marathon was just as tough on me mentally as it was physically. It took a good 3 days for my mind to engage at work. I was so worked that I just starred at the computer screen in a stupor. I think next time I do a marathon, I'll give myself some recovery time rather than just jumping in the car right after and driving home to start work early the next morning. It would be nice if they scheduled marathons on Saturdays rather than Sundays; however, there are only a handful of marathons on Saturday--the only one I'm aware of that's a Boston Qualifier is St. George, UT.

Speaking of the Boston marathon, Lance Armstrong will be participating in the "Boston" this year with his qualifying time in the "New York" of 2:43. Not too bad for lycra clad bike jockey!

This weekend we're celebrating my daughter, Grace's, 6th birthday. We've decided to get her something living primarily because she's having a hard time making friends at school. She really misses her friends in Boise. Maybe this will help her get over that. We've narrowed down the "living thing" to either a bunny or a puppy. If it's a puppy, it won't be a Mastiff because we don't have $2,500 set aside for a dog at the moment. I'm leaning towards something that can provide protection because of the rash of robberies I've been hearing about lately. Maybe it'll just be a bunny so we can defer the dog issue until later. We'll see.

I'm off to the pool now.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Still Recovering


It's Tuesday and I'm still recovering from the marathon. It looks like I'm going to lose one toenail. Today's the first day the toe has began to have normal feeling sensations. Otherwise, my legs are still really sore. Yesterday, I spent time in the hot tub, used the foam roller, had a steady diet of Ibuprofin, and got a Ben Gay muscle rub. It's getting better but slowly.

Tomorrow, I plan on doing yoga and swimming. I'm going to slowly ease back into it.

My feet are really swollen too. For all the activities I've done in my life, this is by far the most traumatic on my body. It's getting tiresome walking like a penguin.

Probably the hardest part of the recovery is I can't physically move on, so I keep reliving the marathon trying to figure out how I could have gone faster. I think if I can work it in to my training for the IronMan, I'd like to break the sub 3 hour mark. Tucson's probably the best course for this because it's all down hill. Many people use this event to qualify for Boston. We'll see!

I've been fundraising to build up a tri-bike. I've sold some things on Ebay, and plan on listing some more things tonight. The right bike is crucial for optimal time on the bike leg of the event. Unlike a traditional road bike, a tri bike has a very different geometry allowing you to ride in an aerodynamic position. A regular road bike will work; however, riding in an aero position will buy you 2-3 MPH and more comfort. This translates in to a time savings of 30 minutes and a fresher start of the run. During the Redman Half Ironman, I rode my regular road bike and tried to ride the entire race in the drops (lower part of handlebars); it wasn't very comfortable--especially on my lower back. So, I'm hoping to remedy that with a different bike. I've posted a picture of my dream tribike.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

PF Changs Rock N' Roll Marathon in the Books!

Sorry about the hiatus, I've been out-of-pocket as far as computer access goes. I just got back from the PF Chang's Rock N' Roll Marathon in Phoenix. I finished with a time of 3:26, which I'm happy with considering it's my first marathon. I made some freshman mistakes, but nothing that cost me too much. One thing I learned about a marathon is the strategy is as follows: RUN UNTIL YOUR MUSCLES FAIL, AND RUN SOME MORE!

This was very different than any cycling event I've ever done. In cycling, there are very hard efforts/surges that will drive your heart rate through the roof. If you don't follow, you'll get gapped and game over! In some cases, there are so many surges by multiple team members (who are sacrificing themselves for a team mate), that, unless you're really fit, you get dropped by the peloton. It's generally a race of attrition until the final sprint. For me, the marathon was very different. I basically ran at a reasonable pace and, ultimately, my muscles failed me (at mile 22.5 to be precise). After that, it was do what ever you can to get to the finish the run--you're driven by gut.

It was a good learning experience for me. The marathon had 11,000+ people, and I finished somewhere near 490Th. I was ~100th in my age category--I'm not sure how many there were in my age category. The official results have not been released, so some of this may not be 100% accurate.

I'm going to take a nice epsom salt bath now. It's going to be a few days before I can start training again.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Third Week Blues


I don't know if it's because this is the third week of my monthly training cycle and just before recovery work, or because I've been working long hours at work, or what, But I'm tired!
Wednesday I got away from work during lunch and swam for an hour. Swimming's getting better. I worked until after 7:00PM and came home and rode my rollers while Tanya and I watched a video that we, ultimately, shut off because it was so bad. I won't comment of the movie; but it only lasted 20 minutes. We were very disappointed because one of our favorite actors from Arrested Development was on it.

Today, I swam again during lunch for another hour. I swam 2500 yards and was able string 30 consecutive lengths together without stopping. I little progress.

When I planned this week, my plan was to get away early today and put in a 3 hour ride; because of my work load that didn't happen. I ended up coming home around 7PM again. Tanya was off doing the piano lesson thing with the kids (every Thursday night is piano lesson night). So, I decided to do a workout triathaletes affectionately call a "brick". A brick workout is when you string two events together back-to-back with a quick transition. I rode the trainer for an hour doing big ring intesity; after wich, I immediately changed and jumped on the treadmill for a half hour. Nothing too strenous, but it's good to get your body used to the shock of different events.

It's strange the thoughts going through my head thinking about doing my first marathon this weekend. I feel like the first time I did a road race. Lots of self-doubt and second guessing my ability to finish. It looks like there's too many things going on this weekend for Tanya to join me, so I'm going solo. That's fine. My only concern is I'm too sore to drive home--that's what ibuprofins for...right!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Gearing Up For The Weekend


Well I haven't completely committed to the marathon yet, but I'm getting myself geared up for it if I decide to do so.

I've been backing off any impact activities (i.e. longer/Intense runs and weight lifting) to get my legs ready. You can't just stop training though, you need your legs to be supple. It's a balancing act.

This morning before work, I rode the rollers for an hour and did speed drills. I find riding the rollers really helps my knees and ligaments recover from a long run. I kept the intensity down As well.

Tanya had to be at work early this morning, so I had bus duty with the three oldest. It was fairly cold and the bus was running late. I saw them off and went to work. PNM's 2008 budget intensity is starting to peak again. I'm thinking after this week, the budget should be done and we can shift gears to other work tasks we've been putting off in the interim.

After work, I swam 2500 yards at Midtown Sports and Wellness. My stroke is really starting to come back. I did kick turns the entire 100 laps and started to feel a bit of my glide come back. Generally, I start off with 10 laps freestyle, do some sort of freestyle drill for 10 laps and go back to 10 laps freestyle. I follow this iteration until I hit 100 laps. Over the next month, my goal is to string as many laps together without stopping in between until I can, ultimately, swim 100 laps without stopping. For me this will be a milestone; however, this will be a boring task. Lap swimming ad nauseum can be dull, so once I hit this milestone I'll transition to swimming with the Masters.

There are 2 masters groups here in town. One that swims at the Academy natatorium Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for 2 hours. Another that meets at UNM and swims all days of the week (except Sunday) for 1 hour. Both groups start at 5:30 AM. I can see an upside to each group, but the most challenging aspect is getting up at 5:30 AM. My 2 fitness weaknesses are my sleeping and eating habits, both of which will do you in if not tempered. Sleep is very important because this is when your body does most of its recovering. This is why I posted the picture of Shane (my dog) above because he's a perfect role model for sleep. I know some professional endurance athletes that sleep 10 hours a day. Based on my everyday demands, this isn't pragmatic. So, I shoot for 8 hours a night. Realistically, that translates into 7 hours. With this standard, getting up in time for swimming the Masters means being in bed by 9 PM. This will take some discipline.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Sunday - Last Day of Week 2/Base 2


Today was a low key day; I woke up and went to church with the family. Our church schedule shifted from 1PM to 9AM. I'm not as fond of this schedule because I like to get my work outs in early in the morning. This will force me to train in the afternoon, which isn't pleasant in the peak heat of the summer.

It rained all day today making going outside undesirable. So, I jumped on the treadmill and ran 16 miles in 2.5 hours. Good times. I think I'm ready for a marathon though.

The weeks training summary is as follows:
Total actual training hours: 18
Time on bike: 9.15 Hours
Miles on Bike: 155
Time Running: 4.5 Hours
Miles Running: 29
Time Swimming: 3.75
Yards Swimming: 8,600
Other: (weights) ~1
Weight: 160 Lbs
BOdy Fat: 7.8%

Next Week will vary depending on whether I do the Marathon in Arizona.

All said, I'm taking Monday off to give myself a day of recovery. One more week and it's recovery week. Yipee.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Late Saturday

After staying up so late last night trying to register for Rock N' ROll Marathon in Arizona, I slept in later than I was planning. I finally got to the pool around 9:30 AM. Unfortunately the grey panthers had taken over most of the pool for water aerobics leaving two lanes for lap swimming. I was in the end lane sharing with another fellow swimmer. The other lane seemed to be the ladies lane. After a bit of swimming, the water aerobics class ended and the other lanes became available. Ultimately, I swam 2500 yards and am starting to show better form.

From there I rushed up to High Point Sports and Wellness (Their pool is barely 20 yards so I swim at either Midtown or Del NOrte) and changed in my car to begin my bike ride. I always worry when I change in my car that people might think I'm some weirdo, so I change in the back where the windows are tinted. Even so, people might get the wrong idea: just trying to develop my transition skills.

Today, in spite of being overcast, was much warmer than it's been in a long time. I think we even hit 50 degrees. I dispensed with the thermal jacket and gloves and got away with a wind vest and gloves. I plugged in the ipod and commenced my ride.

Today called for a quick city loop lasting about an hour (including a climb up Tramway) and 5X5 minute big ring power climbs up Ellena Gallegos--this is the same workout I did last Sunday.

Anyways, I proceeded to ride as planned. The city loop went fine, the climb up Tramway was good. The first few sets up Ellena went well too.

In between my climbing sets, I would spin really easy on Tramway recovering from the climb. This lets me start each interval ready to put out the requisite effort. Anyways, as I was recovering between my 3rd and 4th set, some guy on a bike passed me and yelled at me for listening to my Ipod while riding. At first this caught me off guard; I didn't even know the guy. So, I quickly caught up to him and asked him to repeat himself, which he did so in more terse terms. I don't know if it was my pride or what, but this really got me upset. Again, he stood up and accelerated. It was apparent this person didn't spend much time on a bike because the 2 accelerations he just made nearly wiped him out. I think because he passed me (while I was recovering from my interval) that he felt he was stronger than me on the bike and could get away with harassing me. I stood up and caught back up to him, and started to harass him about his mullet hairdo and being short (It looked like he may have been 5 foot 4 inches at most). He tried to accelerate away from me, but I responded in kind. Again, I harassed him, and again he tried to get away only to see me right there with him. This iteration took place a few more times, and I could see he was exhausted. He had that look in his eyes when you dunk someone in the pool too many times and they grow afraid they aren't going have enough energy to swim to the side of the pool. My temper cooled down and I let him go his way and returned to my interval. I looked back at him one last time as he was riding away, and his head was hanging low. It looks like I wasn't the only one doing intervals that day. Perhaps he'll think twice about telling absolute strangers what to do.

I finished my ride with 40 miles and nearly 3 hours of riding (lots of altitude pick up).

I came home and hung out with my family for the rest of the day. I'm pretty tired, and my body is getting sore. I'm one workout away from finishing the week--hopefully I'll have the energy and sticktoitness to finish.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Thursday/Friday

I took Thursday off to give my body a little recovery. I think it helped. Sometimes it's hard to tell. At any rate, after work Tanya and I hung out with the kids then watched a video. It was a low-key day.

Friday, I ran for an hour at lunch (easy six miles); I'm still feeling the pain in my left calf, which makes me think I might have torn something. Injuries like these aren't terribly bad in isolation; however, your body will compensate for the strain by tweaking its gait while running, which will lead to additional injuries. It's sort of a slippery slope. Other times, you can train through the injuries and they, ultimately, get better and go away. It's very judgemental on how to manage. My problem is I'm too motivated to meet my week's goals rather than back off and let my body sort its self out. I've never really dealt with a muscle strain like this before.

From my previous experience, Deciding whether to train or back off usually arises with the onset of a virus or infection. In the earlier years of training, I'd try to train through the infection, which ultimately lead to more complicated sinus infection and a few weeks off the bike rather than a few days. I'd be hopped up on anti-biotics and lose a lot of fitness. Since then, I've learn my lesson. Right now, I'm treading on new ground.

After running, I did a few exercises with weights to improve my strength in my quads and core. If I haven't said it before, I'll say it again--I hate lifting weights. I only do it because everything I read says it helps. Whatever!

Work this week was really low-key because people still were out on vacation. After work, I went to the gym where Tanya was doing her back-to-back kick-boxing and dance classes--you'll have to ask her. I decided to swim for another hour.

Afterwards, Tanya, the kids, and I met my brother-in-law and family at Dions for dinner. Dan and I then went to the $1 movies and watched a movies. It was fun.

When I got home, I spent a few hours trying to register for the PF Changs Rock 'N Roll Marathon in Arizona. Today is the last day to register. I am very superstitios about event registration. I don't like to register until the last minute; I don't want to financially obligate myself until I have a pretty good idea that I can participate. It seems like the sooner you register for an event, the more likely you're going to get sick, have a family emergency, a work crisis, or whatever else that will prohibit your participation. And, you've just wasted your money. I wait until the last minute even if it costs me a little more.

For some reason, the registration website wasn't working. After multiple tries and being up until 12:30 AM, I sent the race organization an email explaining my prediciment. I'll call on Monday and try to get it sorted out. If not, perhaps it's fate that I can't participate.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Why Would Any One Want To Do This?

Wednesday - Swim/Run

Today I swam 2,500 yards at lunch. The form is coming, and I was able start the kick turns again. After I get to a point that I can do kick turns throughout the swim interval, I'll start swimming with the Masters. I'm not too excited about getting up at 5:00 AM though.

The one thing that drives me nuts about swimming is I'm having breathing related anxiety attacks. I guess I'm used to breathing anytime while I bike or run. That doesn't translate while swimming. Once my heart rate goes up, the anxiety starts up. I'm hoping over time this will get better. I hope...

After work, I ran 7 miles on the treadmill. I spent the first half hour at a range between 7-8, then I backed it down to 6.5 the last half hour. It's been a few days since running, so I was feeling it. I've been having some issues with my left calf and right knee. I'm hoping taking a day of rest will make things a bit better.

I'm back at work and running the zombie schedule again. Everyone seems to be coming down with something in the house, so I'm hopped up on Vitaman C and Echenacia.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Years Day - RESOLUTION RIDE

I'm not sure when it started, but Albuquerque has a tradition called the Resolution Ride. On the first day of the year, people meet at the lobo statue at UNM at 9:00 AM and proceed to ride 100 miles south via Los Lunas and Highway 6. There have been variable "Resolution Rides" but this is the original. I'm not sure why it's called the "Resolution Ride"; perhaps this is one of many New Year's Resolution local cyclists aspire to fulfull.

I have a different take on the ride. Generally, the conditions are so miserable due to gusty wind, cold climes, remote location, and a semi-dangerous course (along I-40 for nearly 30 miles) that the ride truly tests the resolve of each of its participants. Today was no exception.

I left the house at 8:30 AM and it was windy and 17 degrees. The forecasted high of the day was in the low 30's--yipee! By the time I arrived at UNM, my toes were froze, and I was bundled well. At 9:00 AM sharp, there was two of us waiting: Rob Mion and myself. Slowly but surely, 10 more foolish souls trickled in to the Lobo. We left UNM at 9:18 AM and headed south. The sun wasn't nearly radiant enough because the only thing keeping us warm was the heat from our aerobic efforts. I wanted to be at the front and put in a big effort just to warm myself up, which I did. After a few minutes in the front, one of our fellow riders proceeded to give me a tongue lashing for going too hard. Sorry.

As we arrived in Los Lunas, six of the riders turned back leaving only six of us to fend against the elements: Rob Mion, Roy Sturm, Dan Kelley, Mike Slattery, Dave LaPell, and myself. Poor Mike Slattery had just returned from sunny Hawaii the day before to join us in such miserable conditions--now that's hardcore.

After a brief food break in Los Lunas we began the trek along Highway 6. We traded pulls and formed a pace line and ultimately made our way the I-40 and back to Albuquerque.

We rolled up to UNM at 3:30. Along the way, we had 2 flats, and few potty breaks, and another food break at ROute 66 Casino (the gas station, not the slots). Ultimately, our resolve was tested, and we passed with flying colors.

From UNM I rode home and finished the day with 115 miles. I won't say how long it took because the ride wasn't about the time but the miles.

Once at home, I zonked out and rested. I'm not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow; although, I'm glat for the holidays to be over so I can get my diet back in check.

Monday's Activities - New Year's Eve Day

I slept in a bit Monday morning and rested a bit from my previous week. Tanya was already at the gym, and she took Mia and Ethan with her. I met up with her around 10:30 and lifted weights for a half hour than swam for an hour. My swimming form is starting to come back; I've been doing drills, which have helped. Today, was the first time my back felt well enough to do kick turns. One of the things I've been reading recommends I get comfortable breathing on both sides and goes further and says when lap swimming, I need to breathe every third stroke. I've been doing this, but it has been hard because I'm holding my breath longer, which makes doing kick turns that much harder. Oh well, over time I'll be OK.

Afterwards, I ran around running errands getting ready tomorrow's Resolution Ride--more on this later. After this, I took the kids and headed back to the in-laws for the New Year's Eve festivities. It was about 4:00 PM about when I got there. People trickled in all the was until 9:00 PM. This was a bit frustrating waiting for 5 hours for the party to start. At any rate, we played some games, watched time-delayed festivities at Times Square until midnight MOuntain Time and came home. I was in bed by 1:00 AM.

Did you make any New Year's Resolutions? I have my obvious one: IronMan Florida-among other events. But, I have yet thought about other resolutions for the year. More to come.