Thursday, December 31, 2009

3 hour bike, 30 min swim

I really wanted to get in all 3 hours on the bike consecutively today, but I was only able to get 2:25 in before I had to leave for work. I intended on doing 1 hours on the rollers before the sun came up, and then an additional 2 hours once I could get outside. However, it was cloudy and really didn't get light enough to ride safely before 7am. By the time I got dressed and out the door, I was only able to get in about an hour and 25 mins on the roads before it started snowing. A little dissapointing, but not too bad.

After work I got in a 30 minute easy swim to get some blood in my aching shoulders, and then went back home and got on the rollers for another 35 mins to get in the complete 3 hours because I'm anal like that.

Today was a good day. My foot is healing more and more and I was able to ride without it hurting at all. I also got to go to the physical therapist that works at the gym I work out of, and she was able to zap it with a lazer as well as give me some strength exercises to go along with it. I guess I'm starting to get a little older and need to concentrate on doing more strength training. I always thought that because of my background as a hockey and lacrosse player, not to mention bodybuilding for 5 years, I would never need to lift a weight again. Being a skinny endurance athlete has changed all that. Time to hit the weights again if I want to avoid stupid injuries like this one.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

1+hour continuous swim

Had a great "big swim day". Decided to forgo the many drills that have made my swimming kinda boring after the last few months and just swim. I'd say the best part about today was that it was just so damned easy! Doing drills is tough, especially when all you do is drills. The only real swimming I'd done these past couple months has been the intervals my swim coach has me do. Otherwise it's nothin' but drills, drills, and more drills!

I'm not sure how many yards I did because I lost count after the first 1000. Either way, it doesn't matter. I felt strong and efficient in the water and was actually disappointed to get out of the pool. Today I feel like I could have swum forever, if I'd only had that much time. I'm hoping tomorrow will be more of the same.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2 Hours of biking-not consecutive though...

Got up early and went for a bike ride today. Managed about 1 hour and 10 minutes before my hands were to cold to feel the handlebars. The weather here today is about 20 with a wind chill in the negatives. Fuckin' cold! (excuse my French)

In the afternoon I dressed even warmer and managed another hour before I, through 3 pairs of gloves, could again, not feel the handlebars.

Days like this are what I love about riding and training. It really is fun to test not only your limits of fitness, but also your pain tolerance for training in inclimate weather. The "perfect" days to me are too easy. I get motivated for them, but something about being in the elements makes it even easier to get out the door. Maybe I have a deathwish.

Interestingly, I've found that the shoes that I believe caused my injury in the first place, actually make it feel better. I wore my old Newtons around for the afternoon and felt absolutely no pain in my foot. I could even jog a little in them without feeling bad. Now, I'm not gonna go all crazy and try running in them again after I'm healed, but I just find it interesting that I temporarily can't run in anything else for the moment...I smell a conspiracy! :)

Up early to...

I'm up early to do... basically nothing. My foot is feeling very good these past days, but not ready to run yet. I did one of my little test jogs, and while very promising, I did get a bit of soreness in the bottom of the foot. I'm a little frustrated by this as it seems to be taking forever for it to heal. The good news, though, is that it IS getting better and it's almost healed. This time a couple of weeks ago, all I could do is limp around in the morning until it loosend up.

As I've said a million times before, the hardest part of all this has been the mental aspect. I feel like I've lost all my fitness, I'm fat, etc. In truth, this is probably the best thing that could've happened. My motivation was to high following my season and all I wanted to do was train. This level can't possibly be maintained all season, and surely I would have burned out (probably right before my first race of the season). This will leave me even more motivated to get back into serious training in the New Year, and my body and mind will thank me.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Rest Day, 40 min swim yesterday

Taking a rest day today. All the swimming this past 2 weeks has really played havoc on my upper body. To say my shoulders are sore is an understatement. The biproduct is, though, that I'm getting to be a pretty fast swimmer, and my butterfly is really coming along. I love the fact that I can actually swim another stroke. I was secretly jealous of all the other "good" swimmers at the pool that would do fly down the lane while I just kept on with my freestyle. Now I can show them who's boss! Ha!

Yesterday I did a 40 minute swim and it was really all I could muster. I didn't sleep well the night before and had a million and one post-holiday things to do. I still managed to get in some good time in my speedo, and felt strong in the water.

The foot is really coming along and it looks like, barring me doing anything stupid, it should be ready to go by January 1. This has been the most difficult time for me athletically. Having never had to deal with an injury that put me "out of the game" for more than a few days has taught me a lot of mental toughness. I always thought I had it, but this is tough. It's hard to have the discipline to rest when you want to move. You have to realize, though, that it's only rest that's going to bring you back to where you were and where you want to be. I feel strong physically and mentally, and I'm dying to go. It'll be nice to get back on the road again.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Swim 1 hour

I'd be lying if I said this was an intense workout. It was actually rather relaxing, as I got to swim with a good friend for a bit and chat inbetween sets. I'm not sure exactly what the yardage was here and I'm still not concerned. My technique is awesome right now and I'm concentrating on keeping it that way. I've been doing the wrong things for close to a year now, and mostly I want to fix in my head now the right way to do things. I'm faster than I've ever been and I'm really looking forward to being a beast in the water this season.

The injury to my foot is almost completely healed. It's difficult to fight the urge NOT to run or cycle right now, but I know it's a must. I'm so close to being able to have it at 100%, and I dont' want to do anything to mess that up. I haven't even done any of my little "test" jogs to the car the last couple of days and I really think that's helped more than almost anything. Also, staying off it as much as possible the last couple days surely has helped as well.

My diet has been nearly spot on with the exception of tonight. As I've mentioned before, I'm trying to go as "anti-inflamatory" as possible, limiting gluten, wheat, and other inflamatory foods as well. I think this is not only important to overall health and recovery from training, but I think it's speeding the recovery of my injury as well. All this might just be a mental thing, but if it works I have no problem with that. It's putting me in a better frame of mind, and as I've learned through this injury, having a positive mindset is more than half the battle.

The single sport focus this last week of swimming has been actually a nice reprieve. I was super motivated when I got injured, and this break from riding and runing has only made me hungrier. I want this so bad right now I can taste it. I've realized that resting is actually the most productive thing I can be doing right now. Grinding myself into the ground right now isn't going to do me any good. It's better to miss 2-3 weeks of riding and running than missing/and or having a terrible season because of something small that turned big because I didn't have the discipline to hold myself back. This experience has truly changed me as an athlete. The best lessons are surely the hardest to learn, and when you finally learn, you never forget.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Swim 45 mins

Another great swim today. Went pretty easy again. I'm really focusing on taking it easy in EVERYTHING I'm doing these days until the foot is recovered fully. The next two days will be ideal to be off my feet and resting.

Interestingly, while swimming yesterday, an activity that I thought would be the least likely to hurt myself doing, I slammed my heel on the pool deck while doing a flip turn. It's nothing bad, just a bruise, but it made me laugh. I just can't get out of my own way these days! Anyway, it's sore as hell, but nothing more than a little bump and bruise.

Taking off from training is very hard for me as I love everything about SBR, but just swimming isn't all that bad. I'm getting fast and learning other strokes. I'm actually not all that bad of a buterflyer! Crazy.

Ok, off to have a beer and watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Merry Christmas eve!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Swim 30 mins

Just an easy swim session today. My coach Kerri killed me yesterday with the butterfly, so I decided to chillax a bit today. Mainly focused on technique and a little bit of sprinting. I slammed the heel of my bad foot on the pool deck when doing a flip turn, so apparently even swimming can be dangerous! Luckily though, it's not in the same spot at the injury so I'm not worried. It's just a bit bruised.

I think I'm totally buying into resting for the rest of this month and resuming regular training (hopefully) in the beginning of January. I think this is needed and more important than training right now. If I'm not healthy now, there's no way I'm gonna be healthy when the season actually starts!

Also, for whatever it's worth, I'm thinking of expanding my horizons a bit this season and throwing in some single sport events. There's a big open water race I'd like to try (3 miles I believe), as well as some cycling races I'd like to take part in. Road racing never really appealed to me, but since riding a lot this season and up until my foot took me out, I've realized I have some talent on the bike. Then, after IM Louisville, I wanna try out racing some cyclocross. I planned on doing it this year, but I jumped into a late season Half Ironman and missed out on the start of the local series. Either way, it looks like a ton of fun! And then, maybe, just maybe, I'll do some mountain bike races. Something about long distance on a singlespeed sounds appealing to me! Anyway, all this stuff is waaay off, but nonetheless exciting to think about.

We'll see what the future holds.

Wonderful Suprise!!!

I woke up this morning to absolutely no pain in the foot whatsoever!!! I mean NO PAIN at all! Not from the first steps to the one's I've just taken to write this on the computor. I'm very excited!!! However, I have to maintain my composure and not do anything stupid like I have in the past. I'm still sticking to my original January 1st run deadline, and I'm not going to take a stride until then-not even as a test. Also, I'm still sticking with no cycling for the rest of the week, and only easy stuff on the trainer thereafter. I'm going to let this thing heal COMPLETELY before I put any stress whatsoever on it.

I'm just so excited that I'm healing. Yesterday I was scared of never being able to run again, and today is like an early Christmas present!!! So excited. Headed off to the pool.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Swim Lesson 1 hour

Had another great swim lesson with my coach Kerri. At the very least if this nagging in jury is going to sideline me from biking and running, I can become a pretty descent swimmer.

My freestyle is really coming along and I'm getting faster and faster. Learning the butterfly has really helped that out I think . I've said it before, but hiring Kerri as my coach has really been such a great investmet.

Also, I've started to change my diet back to more of what it used to be. During the middle of this past season I started getting sloppy. Because I'd never trained so much before in my life, I just devoured any calories put in front of me. This kept me fueled, but I think in the long run it's hurt me. I haven't had a problem with holding too much extra fat, but I believe my recovery could really be enhanced by making some slight changes.

First and foremost I need to eat more wholesome foods. My general diet consisted of energy drinks, coffee, cookies, protein, and carbs. No veggies and no fruits. I'm talkin NONE AT ALL! Bad news. Also, although my protein sources were good, my carb choices weren't. Mostly all breads, pastas, and sugars. Bagels, muffins, cookies, etc. While these may be fine for a long training day, they're horrible for the offseason. And the cookies... Well let's just say that I have no limits regarding chocolate chip cookies. I'll leave it at that.

So I've been doing some research on diets (more review than anything) and I'm going to try and make some important changes. First and foremost, veggies and fruits will be at a premium. I want most of my diet to consist of a great deal of these. Next, I'll continue to keep my same protein sources of fish and chicken, with the occasional beef mixed in there at times. And finally, it's "donesville" for the cookies. While I love them probably more than any other food, they're not doing anything good for me. All the simple carbs I was eating have their purpose when I'm training heavily, but for now, they're not important.

Lastly, I've decided to greatly reduce my gluten intake. I really feel that a major reason I've had trouble with this lingering foot issue has to do with the amount of inflamitory foods (i.e. simple sugars, breads, pastas) I take in. Combined with the big fat "zero" of anti-inflamitory foods I take in (i.e. fruits and veggies), I was really creating a constant environment of inflamation in my body. Therefore, when I hurt whatever soft tissue I hurt in my foot, I've only compounded the issue further by eating so poorly. While I don't think this will be the Magic Bullet that will solve all my issues, in my mind it can't hurt.

I'll keep updating my progress on this. So this week is no biking and no running. It's gonna suck, but I've got to get through with this injury and now is a better time than ever to take care of business.

Starting to get Frustrated

I'm really getting frustrated with my foot. I'm so motivated to train right now, and I can't because of this stupid injury. I'm still fit from cycling and swimming, but I'm really missing a big part of me from not running. The foot is to the point where it feels great every morning, but throughout the day I manage to "test" it in some way that winds up making it hurt by the end of the day. I almost want to get one of thos boots to wear throughout the day so I won't even be tempted to try anything.

I had a very tough night last night and I think I'm getting seriously depressed about it. I guess I'm just worried about never running again. This is the first real injury I've ever had, and I think I just don't know how to deal with it. I never realized just how mental this is.

Anyway, I'm going to try and work very hard to rest my foot. I have a swim today with my swim coach and I don't think that'll cause it any harm. I'm scheduled to bike quite a lot this week, but I honestly might throw that out the window if it's going to allow my foot to completely heal. In the past weeks I've been cycling with this injury, and it didn't hurt while I was (not much anyway), but I can't help but think that it may speed recovery to just stay off it as much as possible. Swimming without kicking too hard (which my swim coach says I do) might help me to just nip this thing in the bud. Besides, it's better to take a week away from cycling and running, than have to take a month or more off of everything because of a stupid nagging injury.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Rest Day

I'm taking another day completely off from any training. After yesterday's shoveling and laying around for the better part of the afternoon the foot feels amazing. I'm tempted to go for a short jog today but I'm gonna hold myself back. If there's one thing I don't want to do is hurt it just by testing it. I did that before and I really believe it gave me an additional week of hurt.

The only problem with staying off the foot is going stirrcrazy. I guess I need to sit down with a good book and a good movie and just relax. I am on my feet all day when I'm at work, so I guess any time when I'm off my feet will be good. Also, because of the Christmas week mixed in with all the snow that got dumped on us this weekend, the coming week should be rather slow. This will be great for my recovery, but horrible for my wallet.

Worst case scenerio today, I'll do some swim cord work. Other than that though it's gonna be fat ass laying around day when I'm not at work.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Rest Day (and shoveling snow)

Today was intended to be a complete day of rest, off my feet, but with the super large snowstorm we had last night into this morning, I had to get out and shovel for two hours. It was a super great core workout and I was careful not to put too much weight on my bad wheel. It's amazing what a little rest will do. Even as the day goes along it's feeling almost better by the minute. Nothing like a snowy day to sit in and watch football while laying on the couch.

In the coming weeks I think I'm going to try and play with my nutrition a little. I've never had a problem with excess weight gain after starting triathlon (my bodyfat in season is probably even a bit low at ~4-5%). In fact, I think at some times I have to gain some fat to help me train! I have a lot of muscle mass left over from my lacrosse and hockey days, so my main objective is just to get "light". I also have been reading the "Paleo Diet for Athletes" and would like to give it a go. My training volume is relatively light currently and in the coming weeks, so now would be a good idea to tweak and try new things.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

1 1/4 Hour Bike

Got up early to get out on the bike before the snow came. It was a windy and chilly 22 degrees when I started and warmed up to 26 by the time I was done. I wanted to get out early today and get the ride done in the morning so I could concentrate on staying off the foot for almost 3 full days. It's felt the best it has in a month these past few days and I want to keep that trend going. Lucho's blog sums up entirely what I should do. If great athletes can rest, then I sure can. Besides, there's no use in F'ing up my season now. I'm gonna rest this thing until it's back to normal.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Bike 2 hours

I wanted to get in as much riding as possible today since we have a "major snowstorm" headed out way with a "blizzard warning" as well. I put those two in quotes because you can only trust the weatherman so much. Anyway, the bike was all MAF and felt awesome. I really love riding, regardless of the temps. As long as you dress right, you're all good.

Average HR was 138 and average speed was "who the hell cares". I really could give a damn right now about how fast or how far I travel. The main point of this part of the season (especially with my running injury) is to make myself an aerobic animal. I neglected base last season and I think it hurt me. This year I'm buying into MAF whole heartedly and am being patient while it all happens.

This weekend will be interesting. Being that it's a rest week, it's easy to begin with. However, given that I'm hurt and there's a major possibility of snowfall, I'm going to try and spend as much time off my feet as possible. Maybe a swim tomorrow and chilling out with a good book in front of the fireplace all day on Sunday, followed by another rest day on Monday. I'm thinking this will really put the stamp on any discomfort I'm feeling with the foot. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed!

More Foot Goodness

The foot is feeling better almost by the minute. Sleeping with the sock on has really changed things in a big way. I don't have pain in the morning like I did before, and the scartissue that developed seems to be breaking up nicely. There are some great youtube vids from the TP Massage people that demonstrate all the exercises and movements you can use to get the most out of their products. Good stuff.

It's suppossed to snow here pretty heavily this weekend. I love running in snowstorms (or any kind of storm for that matter) so hopefully the foot will be ready for a short jog his Sunday. I'm not going to push it hough, but if it feels good, I might go out for a short test run.

Also, it'll be time to get back on the mountainbike in the snow soon. As much as I love it, I'll be disappointed not to be out on the roads. Oh well, soon enough they'll be clear again and I'll be able to go.

Today will be an easy 1:30-2 hour ride. Just really more of a mellow MAF ride than anything else. I'm very curious to see what my HR numbers will be like once I start running again. It'll be ineresting to see whether or not all the biking had an inlfluence on it or not. I'm thinking they'll be a little high from not using my run-specific muscles, but I don't think it'll take too long to get right back to where I was. Remember, the most important thing is long term health.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Swim-1 hour with swim coach

Had one of the best swims I've ever done today with Kerri my swim coach. This has been by far one of the best investments I've ever made. Even if I didn't learn anything from her (which is by no means the case!), it would still be worth having a set of expert eyes on me to tell me what I was doing wrong and how to fix it. She's truly invaluable to my swimming efforts right now.

We worked, as usual, a lot on my freestyle stroke, but added in some butterfly as well. Now I've never even attempted the fly before, much less known how to do it right. As she explained it to me, the most important thing, she said, was that it would give me a better "feel" for the water. That it definately did. After some successful "butterflying", I switched back to freestyle and it was like I'd been shot out of a cannon. The "feel" of the water was amazing, as well as my body position. I felt faster, smoother, and most of all, was having more fun than ever. I honestly thing the fun factor is one of the biggest roadblocks most people face. Most people, myself included, train what they have the most fun doing. I'd always loved running and riding my bike, but swimming was definatley in the "no-fun" zone. Today changed that, and I'm looking forward, now more than ever, to getting back in the water and having fun!

Tonight will be some more self massage on the foot and my calf as well as wearing my Strassburg sock again to sleep in. Hopefully tomorrow morning will bring more of the same pain-free feeling I woke up with.

Foot Still Feelin' Good

After losing a little mental focus last night-I ran the length of my street (about 0.1 mi) to test my foot, I realized that it still needs some rest. It's not any worse, and it's feeling good, but I need to be careful. This is the most delicate time, I believe in the recovery process. It feels good enough to walk on, and almost good enough to run on, but doing so would be disasterous.

I was given a strassburg sock by a friend to try out for the night and it worked wonders. I also rolled the hell out of my calf with my stick, foam roller, and TP Massage stuff. There is a giant not in it, and this (as Lucho pointed out) may be part of the reason for the bad plantart fasciatis (sp) that I have.

After a night with the sock on, I woke up to absolutely no tightness in the foot. Every morning has been a struggle for me in this regard and to have it feel normal once again is such a mental boost! We'll see how it goes. I have a swim to do later today, a Bike ride tomorrow, and a bike ride on Sunday. I'm planning to get out on the bike early Saturday so that I'll be done by 9am. Then, I'll take the rest of Saturday off, Sunday off (with perhaps a light swim in the morning), and Monday completely off again. My thinking is that by giving the foot almost 72 hours without sress, coupled with the rehab I've been doing (i.e. massage, etc.), I'll be just about good as new by early next week and perhaps begin jogging lightly on Tuesday morning. This would be ideal if it were to go all according to plan, but like Mike Tyson says, "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face." This injury has been my punch in the face.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bike 1:55

Rode all base today for about 2 hours. Had a really fun time and I love riding the road bike. HR average was about 138. Riding so much has really kept me sane while I deal with my foot injury. It's right on the brink of getting better, and I think after this week of reduced volume in all sports, I'll have a completely healed foot heading into the new year.

I loosely put the date of January 1st as my comeback date, but I'd like to thing that it'll be ready before than. Either way, I want it to be absolutely pain free for at least 5 days before I run. I put on a clunky pair of old trainers today and jogged around my living room without pain. The added support will help keep things good when I start up again. Lucho also gave me some good suggestions on stretching the calf and doing some deep tissue massage. He hit the nail right on the head when he said there may be a knot in the calf. I hadn't realized it, but after massaging the calf I found it right away.

I always thought I was indestructable, and I'm amazed at how quickly I deteriorated with just a couple little injuries. I'll have to remember in the future to be wary of any little "niggles" that come up. Had I dont that I may not be in the situation I currently find myself in.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

45 minute swim

Great swim today. I'm still riding my "high" from waking up this morning to minimal pain in my foot. All drills in the water today with a few 100's and 50's thrown in to test the drills out. Taking lessons and hiring a coach has given me the ability to sense where I am in the water and know exactly what I'm doing wrong and right. Also, I swam at the pool that my coach works at today, so I was able to get some free coaching:).

I feel much faster and more a ease in the water. I'm starting to really get a great feel for the water and I'm very happy with that.

Another funny thing is that I feel so "un-triathlete" without running. I'm missing a peice of the puzzle and it's bugging the hell out of me. I'm taking this morning's waking up without pain as a major victory back to being a triathlete. However, I am extremely greatful that it's only running that I can't do right now. If this is the worst thing that ever happens to me, I will have been extremely blessed. Besides, my swim and bike both need work! :0

Feeling great today!

I woke up to the smallest amount of pain I've had in the foot in about a week. Exactly a week ago, I woke up feeling the same way and went for a run-the last for a week. In all reality, I probably set my own recovery back by a week in doing that run. So today, I'm going the smart route. The foot feels pretty good, but I'm promising myself not to take ONE stride! Not one! I'm going to continue to rest the foot for at least another week, and then, only if it feels 100%, will I go for a short jog. My major goal is to be fresh and healthy in the new year. Honestly, all I want for Christmas is to go for a run!

On another note I'm concerned that there's a crack in the frame of my road bike. I know it's small peanuts, and the frame is totally covered by warranty for life (thanks Trek!), but I just hate not knowing for sure. It serisously gives me anxiety and I had a hard time falling asleep last night because of it! I'm nuts...I know.

Oh, and before I forget, I think one of the major reasons my foot feels better is because of these "toe sretcher" things I wore to bed last night. The pain has been mostly on the outside of my foot, in the soft tissue between the heel and the bone on he outside of the foot(that little knobby one on the outside). It's helped to "roll" that side of the foot using some of the TP Massage suff and a foam roller, but nothing's been a cure. So I wore these things (I think they're also called "YogaToes") to bed and woke up feeling prettygood. I did have to take them off midway through the night though as they were hurting the little toes on both feet. Anyway, give them a try if you have any of the same issues I do. I think you can get them at the pharmacy for under $10.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Rest Day

Rest day today. Going to do a little easy spinning if anything, but all in an easy gear and all on flats. I really want to rest my foot for the next two days and stay off it as much as possible. While cycling doesn't hurt it directly, I still think that not bearing any weigh at all will let the ligaments and whatever soft tissue that is injured heal all that much more. Tomorrow is a swim, so that should help as well.

My legs are tired from this past week of training. I did more cycling this past week than I've done in a while. And though it was all base effort, I think it still took it's toll. They're not sore, just tired.

Work-wise today is very easy. The "holiday cancellations" are on, so from now until Christmas I'll probably have a nice light schedule. This goes well with my training and rehab of the foot. I've set a goal date of no running until Jan. 1, so I hope things go well. Time and rest will tell.

Rest Day

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bike 4 Hours

Got out a little later than I wanted to today. I knew the weaher was suppossed to be rainy in the afernoon, so I wanted to get out as early as possible to get in my bike before the rain. I got up at 6, checked in with weather.com, and saw that the temperature was at 22 degrees, but it felt like 16 degrees. A little cool for my blood, so I decided to wait a couple of hours until it warmed up.

By the time I got out it was cold still, but not freezing. I don't know where they got the "feels like" temperature from, but it actually felt warmer as there was no wind. The last two days were miserably cold becuase of the wind but today was almost pleasant.

I got out for about 4 hours and only got caught in heavy rain for the last hour. The third hour was drizzly, and actually felt spring like. The temps warmed up to the 40's and I nearly took off my bulky cycling gloves.

I was very happy with the ride and am seeing a real difference in HR vs. speed. I don't have a power meter (that's my next big purchase) to measure power vs. HR (which I guess is ideal), but the difference in speed at the same HR is great. This little forced cycling focus is good for me I think. I have a funny feeling this may take me to another level as a runner. Also, it has me considering some cycling races in the spring.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bike 3 Hours

Had a pretty good bike session with Adam today. Base effort for 3 hours with a hell of a lot of climbing. My fancy-pants new bike computor's altimiter wasn't working today (had us below sealevel most of the time) so I can't be certain of the exact amount, but if I had to guess it would be in the 6-7k range. There isn't a ton of long climbing on Long Island, but we hit every hard climb in the area. A lot are upwards of 15% grades.
I'm in an ok place right now with my training. I'm unhappy because I can't run, but swimming and cycling more bring me joy. I was reading "How Lance Does It" again last night and focused a lot on a part that describes Lance's outlook. He is aware of the negatives, but doesn't focus on them. Its important to push through adversity and maintain a positive attitude always. I'm not the best at doing this yet, but I'm going to make it a priority.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Bike 2:11

Two hour bike ride today. Very Very chilly out there. Dressed perfecly for the weaher, but I could probably use some warmer socks. Hards were warm and I was just under the point at which I sweat. My biggest fear was sweating to much today and winding up being colder than I would normally have been. The temperature reading on my sweet new Bontrager NODE 2 bike computor held constant to 30 degrees. With the windchill though it felt more like 7 degrees.

The NODE 2 computor is great and offers basically all the fuctions my Garmin 305 does. However, I'm a bit pissed as the Altimiter didn't seem to be working. Yesterday I was getting great readings but today it was way off. At some points I had negative readings. It's dissapointing because I usually like to know how much climbing I've done in my rides and was excited to get an acurate readout. Today was especially tough with the climbs as well. Oh well. Most importantly I got my heartrate that averaged 138 bpm so all is not lost. I guess the climb total just feeds my ego anyway.

Tomorrow I'm going to ride for about 2:30-3 hours, followed by 3-4 hours on Sunday. It's all base so I don't think it'll be too much. I'll also try to keep the route flatter as the rides go longer to keep my HR down.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Swim Lesson, Bike

Went to my swim coach Kerri today and she absolutely killed me. I think I had my first taste of what a "real" swim workout is like. I always thought track workouts were tough, but damn can those swimmers get in some work! According to her I've improved even since last week. My sroke is better and my times show it. We worked a lot on my movement in the water and it's really obvious that I'm feeling much more balanced. We're actually going to work on some other strokes next week for me to get a better "feel" of the water. It's great now though because every time I go in the water I feel like I'm making improvement. Solid improvement. No longer to I feel like I'm wasting my time swimming lap after endless lap having no idea what I'm actually doing. Hiring her was some of the best money I've spent in triathlon by far.

Right afer the swim I went out for an easy bike. I intended on getting in 2 hours of base riding, but because we took a little extra time at the end of the swim session to work on some things, I was only able to get in about an hour and 15 mins. The extra time in the pool was definately worth any time I missed on the bike. Besides, I'll make up for it tomorrow and this weekend. Right now the priority is the swim and getting my foot back to where it needs to be.

As for the foot, things are going along smoothly. I didn't have any pain in it today, and wore shoes that allowed it not to be under pressure in anyway. I have funny shaped feet and not all shoes fit me comfortably. I've found that Nike Elites and the K-Swiss K-ona shoes work the best. The Lunar Glides are exacly the same as the Elites (IMO) so they fit equally well. Again, I'm resting this thing until it heals, so it might be a week or so before I run again. At first I was very concerned with losing my run fitness, but since running comes very naturally to me, I'm not too worried about it anymore. Besides, this gives me more time to focus on my bike and swim. It's depressing being injured, but you can't forget to focus on the positives. "Harness the good, block the bad. Harness, block. It goes around in a circle." (Happy Gilmore)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Swim 30 mins

Swam easy with drills for 30 mins today. Worked on form and technique 100% of the time. These sessions are extremely boring but I find if I keep my head in the game, I get a lot out of them. Before I got to the pool today, I almost psyched myself out. I did 200 yds to warm up and tried to fly through it fast. So much for a warmup... Anyway, got my head back straight and had a constructive workout. Tomorrow is another meeting with my swim coach for an hour. I'm sure I'll come away from it stronger yet.

The foot is slowly coming along. The run yesterday didn't really hurt it, but it's still not any better. I could run on it, but I'm sure it's not going to get any better doing so. I'm gonna give it another week or two or however long it takes to get back to normal.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Run, PM Swim

Got up early this morning to test out the foot. There's seriously nothing better than rolling out of bed at 4:45am and hitting the road by 5am for a run. The rest of the world is still in bed and things are eerily quiet. It's a very peaceful time to be outside. It's almost like you own the world at that time of morning.

Anyway, the run went OK. Nothing spectacular. The foot ached for the first 10 or 15 mins, but felt fine afterwards. It has gotten a bit tighter since the run which leads me to believe it needs more time. I only ran about 35 minutes, but that was enough to convince me to put my running shoes on the shelf for at least another week until I'm back to 100%. It's a tough decision and it kills me to have to make it, but in the end I need to be healthy. I'm not going to sacrifice my body for my ego.

P.M.
Swam for around 45 mins to an hour. Again abou 90% drills. I'm definately getting faster. I started letting other swimmers (that used to be faster than me) about a 10 yard head start. I'd then "race" them to the wall 25 yards away. Without fail I caught them every time. I'm very happy with my swimming now and am glad I'm becomming good at it not only because I need it for my season, but also because it'll help me to get to the pool more now that I'm gonna take another week off from running to let the foot heal. Good training day overall.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Rest Day

Today is a good day to figure out what the hell is going on in my life. After an eventful weekend full of car fires, riding my bike, swiming, and having my Jeep slammed into in a parking lot (no big damage other than a busted tail light), I'm trying to pick up the pieces. Oh yeah, and there was a sinkhole in my front yard yesterday that had to be filled in. Great cross training but it's left me with a super sore upper back and shoulders. Funny how a little bit of something your body isn't used to will leave it aching like that.

I'm trying to figure out finances in a big way. I've come to realize (after the car fire) that all of the things that I'm in debt for don't mean anything to me. All the credit cards that I'm paying off I have practically nothing to show for. In other words, I didn't need the stuff I bought with them and I don't need it now either. I'm trying to lead a very very simple and basic life. I'm not into extravigant things. I'm not a "car guy". I'm not into fashion. I don't need a big house. I'm into the work I do and being happy.

I was reading an interesting blog yesterday (http://zenhabits.net/2009/11/how-to-want-very-little/) about how to want little. I'll let you read it if you're interested, but basically what I got from the article was not to be a slouch and not care about anything. It's one thing to appreciate simplicity and embrace it because it leaves you a simple and non-complex life. It's another to do it because you're lazy and don't want the hassle involved with owning much. A few years ago I may have fallen into the lazy category, but now, after much sole searching and finding out more about myself, I can safely say I enjoy the simplicity that a basic life will give me.

So with all this going on, today will be a day to get things straight and go for that all-elusive number of "0 debt". If there's one thing I want, it's to be a "Simple kind of man".

Sunday, December 6, 2009

4 Hour Bike

This is a pic from the end of today's ride.


Nice time on the bike today. The weather was in the low 40's and the sun never really made that great of an appearance. I rode out with my buddy Adam and had a pretty good time. Despite being a little underdressed (toe warmers just don't cut it on a cold cloudy day), it was a really comfortable ride. Never got the HR up over 155 (with the exception of one or two climbs) and got in some great hill work toward the end. I really love base training and long rides.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Swim and Pics from the Car Fire











These are the "during" and "after" shots from the fire yesterday. Pretty gnarly stuff. It's funny but I didn't realize how much the whole ordeal took out of me until hours later. I was able to get out on the bike for a little bit shortly afterwards, but once I got home and settled I fell almost immediately asleep. Interesting how stress works like that.
Today was just a very easy 40 minute swim. About 90% of the time was spent doing drills and the other 10% was used up in practicing what I went over with my new swim coach this past Thursday. I'm very excited about the progress I've made as well as the progress I will make for the rest of the winter with my swim. It's not going to take me millions of laps, but rather discipline to get to where I need to be.
Tomorrow is a nice long ride and then a rest day Monday. The foot is really coming along and I think it'll be ready to run on by next week. This week has been super tough with not running. I've always had the choice of whether or not I want to train-it was never made for me, injury or not. This has been a real wakeup call. If not running for one week causes me this much stress and depression, I couldn't imagine what it would be like to have to go longer. I promise myself to never take another day of training for granted. It truly is a gift to be cherished and taken well care of.




Friday, December 4, 2009

Car Fire, Bike 1:20

Had a bit of an emergency today. Apparently when cars catch on fire, they tend to get very hot and aquire quite a bit of attention to put them out. The good 'ole kitchen fire extinguiser just don't cut it!
So I'm having a pretty good Friday. Saw some clients early, took care of a couple errands, and was really looking forward to taking a nice little mid day nap, getting on the bike for a couple hours, and heading over to the pool for a late afternoon swim. That was of course until my car decided to go up in flames.
A little background: I have (or had) a 2003 Ford Taurus. Nothing special, but it was nice for me. Leather seats, automatic start, 6 disc CD player, etc. Nice car. Probably too nice for me. I'm definately not a car guy and could definately care less what I drive. If it wasn't for the fact that I see a lot of clients at their homes, I wouldn't even bother having a car. Anyway, the car hasn't been started in a while as I've been using my father's old Jeep for the last few months. I advise you NOT to do this if you have a car laying around. So, I jumpstarted the car and it was left to run on its own for a bit to recharge the battery. The next thing I know, the car is up in flames, the tires are exploding, and I'm calling 911 from the house phone. Also, I'm running around trying to move other cars out of the driveway before they get caught up in the flames as well. It was bad enough losing one car and I'm definately not going to let the other two in the driveway go up too!
The rest of the story is kind of anticlimactic. The firetrucks came, the police report was filled out, and I spent much of the afternoon on the phone with insurance people.
After all the excitement was over, I managed to get in about an hour and twenty minutes on the bike. It was nice to get in some kind of training after all the stress of car fires and whatnot, The swim wasn't going to happen today, so I'll just fit it in tomorrow. This not-running crap is really getting on my nerves. It's like someone's cut the legs right out from underneath me.
Anyway, it was an eventful day and I'm just happy that the damage was confined to just my poor old car. Ah, we had such great memories together...
Oh, and I almost forgot!!! The best part of this whole thing was the that I was able to take a video of the entire thing! It should be attatched. Feel free to fast forward through it. It gets kinda exciting when the firemen show up! Also, I've attatched some "after" pics as well as a cool bamboo forest I found on my ride today. Enjoy!
video
Ok, so I'm having trouble with the "after" pictures and the bamboo forest uploading. I'll attatch those pics to my post tomorrow! Sorry to keep you in suspense!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Swim Lesson

Had my first meeting with my new swim coach today. It's great how much I actually knew about proper swimming. I guess it's always nice to have your learning reaffirmed by an expert. Also, it was wonderful having knowledgable eyes watching me from above and below the water. Generally we learned that I have a lot of funny little quirks that keep my stroke from being as efficient as it could be. The good news, though, is that there is a lot of improvement that I've made on my own. I attribute this mostly to Lucho and his suggesstion of doing only swim drills for an entire month. That, coupled with reading about swimming and watching great swimmers swim on YouTube really helped. Now it's time to iron out the wrinkles and I really believe I'm going to be able to do that with this coach.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Swim, Visit to the Doctor, 2 Hour Bike

Swam this morning. Felt really good and was glad I could do something that didn't stress my foot. I'm really excited about my first meeting with the new swim coach tomorrow. We blocked off two hours for our first meeting, so it should be quite an awakening.

After the swim, I went back to work and then to the doctor to see about my foot. My biggest fear was that it was skeletal-i.e. a stress fracture. Soft tissue stuff doesn't phase me unless it's a tear, as I'm pretty confident it'll heal with rest. But, just to be on the safe side I took the trip.

I could see that he wasn't much of a runner, or much of an exerciser either from his portly physique. In all fairness though, he was a very nice guy. After examining my foot, he said there was no fracture of any kind and to just not run for a month to heal the tendons that were irritated. He said I could swim and bike, as long as there was no pain. I grilled him on everything and he gave some satisfactory answers. Now, do I think it'll take a month for it to heal? Absolutely not. However, I do plan on giving it ample time to rest. I certianly don't plan on running for the rest of this week, and perhaps even next week as well. I want it to be SERIOUSLY pain free for at least 48 consecutive hours before I try to do anything on it. And even then, I only plan on doing shorter runs to strengthen it back up.

After the doctor, I went out on the bike for a 2 hour MAF ride. The foot and calf both felt great. I'm still very strong on the bike and had a great ride overall. All in all I don't think this injury will be a bad thing at all. I had a minor freak out this morning when I came to the realization that I might not be able to run for a week or two, but now that I've had the time to actually think about it a little, it's going to allow me to continue to focus on my swim as well as get in some good rides before the weather turns too bad to ride. I'm looking forward to running again, but in the meantime I'll make the most of what I have.

Time to Stop and Think

I ran yesterday when I probably shouldn't have. My foot is still tender, and because of that, I woke up again with a sore calf. This constant circle of injuty and hurt isn't going to stop unless I stop. I need to rest. I need to take care of myself and actually realize that 1 week of rest is better than 1 month or more of a layoff because of a real injury. I'm walking a fine line between just being sore and really hurting myself. It's time for a bit of a gut check here. I'm not superman and I'm not impervious to injury. This post is more of a reminder to myself than anything.

I'm not going to run again until everything is better. This is not the time of year to get injured. Not to mention, I can still bike and swim without a problem. Maybe I should work on my swim a bit more! :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Run 1 hour

Pretty productive day thusfar. I got my run in pretty early this morning, which I've gotten in the habit of doing. A lot of the people I work with have kids and, provided they exercise, get it done at insane hours of the morning. I always thought I would never be able to be a "morning workout person", but given my current relationship situation (single as a dollar bill), I'm able to get in bed by 8:30pm and up by 4:30am. This way, I might have and early client, but most days I can get in a training session by 7 or 8 the latest. I've found that I'm very fond especially of running in the early morning hours. It's great to see the wheels starting to turn and people getting out of their beds and into their work modes. Not to mention seeing the sun rise everymorning is very fullfilling.

Run today was all MAF. Nothing special, just an hour. My foot is still a bit sore, but I figured out that it's definately a soft tissue issue (haha, didn't mean for that to rhyme!). I broke out my TP Massage kit last night and rolled out my foot with the "footballer" tool that they have. It hurt like hell but soon enough the pain started to subside. It still hurts to land on it, and I had some wincing moments on my run, but all in all it's doable. I have another 75 minute run planned for tomorrow, so we'll see how it feels then. If it's still too tender to run, I'll swap tomorrow's workout for Thursday's swim and bike sessions, then make up the run on Thursday. The extra rest may do me good. Also, I'm glad I ran early this morning because it'll give me a full 24 hours before my next run. It's like having a complete "rest day" in between sessions.

I was suppossed to swim as well today but have decided not to. In all honesty I don't feel like swimming today, and would rather rest. Also, I just hired a swim coach that I meet with on Thursday. I'd like to go in to our first meeting as fresh as possible. I've noticed that the more I swim lately, the more bad habits creep in. I think a couple days out of the water won't kill me before she gets a hold of me! :)

I'm very excited to work with a coach for swimming. I don't know how long I'm going to be able to afford her, but it'll be nice to be able to get at least some work in with someone who actually knows what they're doing. If I'm gonna take this to the next level I'm gonna have to learn how to really swim.