Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last Day of 2008

I've finally gotten back into the swing of training again. This morning at Masters, we swam 3,800 yards, which included 1600 yards of kicking drills. For all my cycling strength, I'm so slow at kicking. I was getting lapped.

A couple of days ago, I was able to run for 10 minutes on the treadmill. That was as long as I could tolerate before I started noticing some pain. I directly switched to the eliptical afterwards. I don't want to rush things and hurt myself again. I'll try to run for another 10 minutes again today. I can't wait until I can run without a care again.

Tomorrow is the annual Resolution Ride in which a handful of brave souls meet and ride >100 miles. Last year was miserably cold; the temps were in the 20s all day. This year it's looking to be nearly twice that. Winter riding is such a beast. You start out bundled up with everything you have, and, as the temps rise, you start to over heat and sweat; you start to shed layers. The quandry is you don't really have many places to stowe your layers; it's all got to be on your person. At the same time, you have to stowe food, your phone, your wallet, and any other extras. So, shedding layers isn't as easy as it sounds.

I just found out my wife is hosting a New Year's Eve party at house this year. Is it rude for one of the co-hosts to beg off and go to bed early? Maybe we can make it a New York New Year's Eve.

Happy New Years!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Strange Day!

Today, 12/26/2008, I came into work--I'd taken nearly a week-and-a-half off prior to Christmas because I was going to lose 84 hours of PTO. I just hung out for my time off. Anyway, I show up to work today, and there's not a soul in the whole building. I remember my boss telling me to come back the Friday after Christmas. Turns out today is a company holiday and Christmas Eve wasn't--DOH! I pulled a no show at work. I've never done that before. no one even called me. I guess that means my presense isn't necessary.

I've fallen off the blog wagon as of late because I've been in vacation/holiday mode. I'm not back to training regularly. I'm still in the preparation phase of training, which means I'm not supposed to exceed 12.5 hours. I've been doing a bit of everything these last couple of weeks. I've been a lot of circuit training with a class my wife goes to regularly. She likes it when I go so she can laugh at my lack of coordination. I've been hiking, and I even got out to do some nordic skiing. The other day I started jumping rope--UGH! Jumping rope is hard! I lasted 15 minutes and I was done. I'm officially swimming with the Academy Masters 4 times a week. This morning I swam 3,500 yards. It was a tough workout, but fun. I'm really enjoying it. I've also been riding a little bit. In previous years, when I get time off, I'm on the bike most of the time. It's like I'd use every available moment I had, to train and put in the miles. I'm trying to shift that way of thinking to manage my hours to a plan. The first thought I had when I realized today was a work holiday was...I can go out and ride. I'm already 10 hours into this week. I plan on swimming and riding Saturday, so a ride would put me over my 12.5 hour ceiling. I just have to tell myself, there will be 25 hour weeks in the near future, but not now--not this week. Many endurance athletes struggle with the discipline. More training isn't always better; sometimes you need a value to ramp up from. It's important to have the discipline to train when you don't want to to meet the week's goal, and it's important to back off when you've met the goal.

Speaking of training, last week was my first bike ride in nearly a month. I went out on the team ride. The pace was fairly fast, and, surprisingly, it wasn't a challenge to keep up. There were times when heading to the designated sprints when I would go to the front and drive the pace. I was surprised; I must have carried over some fitness with me, because I fully anticipated struggling to stay with the group.

Christmas was good. It was low-key, and that's the way I like it. I got some cool gifts--lots of gift cards, which are also my favorite. My wife gave me some tri bike shoes. The kids seemed very happy with their gifts. All around, it was a good time.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Little Bit of This and That

My training officially starts for next year on December 22nd. So, I'm just doing a little bit of this and that. I managed to swim 12,500 yards last week. I can still swim with no pain, and swimming technique fades too quick to not try to keep up with it. Saturday, I took the kids for a hike in the foothills to a small waterfall. I wanted to see how my knee would hold out on varied terrain. Everything went well, except little Mia stopped her fall by grabbing a cactus. After picking out the "Pockies" and wiping away her tears, we were on our way again. My knee felt fine, so the next day I decided to do another more challenging hike to continue to build the knee. The night before brought Albuquerque's second snow of the year and really cold weather. Saturday it was in the low 50s, and Sunday it was in the 30s. I hiked a trail I used to hike with my dogs when they were younger and a little more agile. It goes up 1.5 miles and gains 1362 feet of elevation. The trail was hardly visible because of the snow. If felt good just to get out and get some fresh crisp air. My knee felt good, and the trail was so steep I felt like I was doing continuous squats/lunges. The way down was also fairly intense with the snow covered rocks; there was lots of slipping. Today my legs are a bit sore from the hike and the knee is a bit stiff. But, I'm almost to the point when I can start running again. For sure, I'll ride this weekend if not before--that is unless it's too cold outside. Ethan and I picked up a new WW2 video game and have been playing it together alot. It drives him nuts when I beat him; I guess he'll need to put in some more P time on the GameCube to beat his daddy. Who's your daddy!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What Does Someone Do In The Offseason?

I've been doing a lot of sleeping, movie watching, errands, leaf raking, and planning lately. I've been going to bed nearly every night at 10pm and waking up at 7:30. Weekends I've been sleeping in until 8:30-9:00 am; it's great. For a zombie triathlete, sleep is a luxury. You take it when you can get it and go without to make the next workout. I've also rented every possible movie from RedBox possible. Last Sunday, Ethan was sick, so I made him watch the Mad Max trilogy; he didn't seem to like the movies as much as I did when I was a kid. I cleaned my car--something I've wanted to do since June. Now if I can get my Christmas shopping done and unpack our extra bedroom, I'll be all set.

I've been putting together my training plan for next year. I've posted my racing schedule below. There will probably be a few bike and running races thrown in to mix it up a bit. The big races are going to be Buffalo Springs 70.3(West Texas)/Lake Stevens 70.3 (Seattle, Washington)/ Austin 70.3 (Austin, Texas) with the effort trying to qualify for the 70.3 Championships in Clearwater, Florida, in November. I'm going to shorten the distances a bit to let my running legs get ready for the longer marathon distances. I'd like to presume my Kona campaign in 2010. Each of these 70.3 events do have a few Kona slots, but they're extremely competitive (more so than qualifying with a traditional IronMan). So I'm not taking myself out of the Kona game all together.

I have been swimming a lot these last couple of weeks. I don't want to start the Masters cold turkey and suffer. I have to say, my swimming has progressed quite a bit this last year, which makes me happy. Every few swim workouts, I've been doing 10X100 yards at 1:45 each. I consistently finish at 1:30 giving myself 15 seconds of rest between each. I'm not sure whether I should increase the volume of intervals (secretly I'd like to do 25 of these) or decrease the send off times. Either way, this would not have been something I could have done a year ago. Last year, I was struggling to consitently do flip turns. I'm excited to see what next year will bring. I'm optimisitic that the Masters will help me get to the next level.

I've been putting together my workout plans for the next year. My goal is start every workout with a specific workout task and work towards an ultimate objective. Towards the end of the season last year, I was more or less going through the motions. Ideally, I'd like to have a coach to put together my training plans and techniques--especially with running. But, I really have to pick and chose my options with the resource constraints I have. I feel like I have a lot of potential with this triathlon thing; I just wish I had all the tools necessary to get there as quickly as possible. If someone knows of any sponsorship/funding opportunities, let me know.

My knee is improving pretty well now. I've given it lots of rest and used the pool to rehab it a bit. I'm thinking by next week I can start riding the bike again and possibly start with the eliptical--crossing my fingers.

A couple of days ago Albuquerque got her first snow. Can I go back to Arizona for the winter? I don't look forward to long rides in the cold. It's miserable wearing multiple layers of clothes and your fingers and toes are freezing. You also build some bad habits while riding in the cold. Being bundled up, you get out of the habit of a strict drinking/eating regimine. Just 3 weeks ago, I was wearing a triathlon outfit for a 112 mile ride and wasn't the least bit cold.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Just Hanging Out For The Off-Season

This is Shane (our >200 lbs. Mastiff) and Bunny Honey (Our daughter Grace's pet bunny). They co-habitate the backyard. They are best buddies; they even share a bed. I've never seen a rabbit and a dog get along so well. The bunny even eats Shane's food. It's funny to watch them interact with each other.

I've been rehabbing my knee taking it easy. I went to the doctor on Tuesday and they gave me a cortizone shot in the knee--OUCH! That entire day after, my knee was killing me, but it's getting better now. The prognosis is a torn bursa on the inner knee. It should be good to go in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I've swam a couple of times. I got invited to swim with the Academy Masters Program that swims monday/wednesday/Friday/Saturday from 5:15AM to 6:45AM. The facility they swim in is the best; it's a legit natatorium. How can I say no?

I've been working on a little internet business project in the downtime. I figure it'll be a way to drum up some more cash for next season. We'll see...most of the time, these things don't amount to much.

Here's a final picture of me at the finish line in Tempe.