Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Swim, Run

Tough day today. Not physically, but mentally for sure. I'm travelling this coming Friday, and I believe because of the stress I get from travel, and making sure I get everything done that needs to be done before my trip, I struggled to be motivated for training today. If based completely on percieved effort, I would have bagged the day. But, because all the numbers were where they were suppossed to be (pace, HR, etc.), I decided to just suck it up and get it done. This is one of the few times I've truly been thankful to have so many "gadgets" involved in my training:). I usually leave the numbers to my coach, but today it was nice to see that all the "crap feeling" was just in my head and doesn't mean that my fitness is necessarily being compromised. There are going to be good days and bad days. Luckily, for me, the good ones far outweigh the bad ones:)

Tomorrow is back in the pool and on the bike. While recently I've had trouble getting psyched up for runs, I never have a problem getting out on the bike. And even swimming has been a bunch of fun lately. The weather is suppossed to be terrific as well, so I'm hoping that will have an positive effect on me too! We'll see!:)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Funny how things change...

Just going through some old pics and came across this old headshot from my acting/modeling days. Amazing how life changes in so many ways. A few years back I was persuing an acting and modeling career in New York City. I was doing the whole casting call, audition circut and having a blast doing it. I really had some great experiences, met some great people, and got to live some of the "glamor life" for a little bit:). I even got to hang out on the set of a tv show I was filming with James Cameron for a night! Nothing like standing out on a street corner for 6 hours in the middle of Los Angeles with a super famous director while people run around you with cameras! In case you forgot who James Cameron is, he directed that Titanic movie and most recently Avatar-he's kind of a big deal:). Anyway, I was just having some fun reminiscing about those times. Honestly feels like a lifetime ago and not just a few years. Maybe I'll pursue it again one of these days...

Great weekend...

Had a great weekend of training. I was too tired from yesterday to post anything last night, but I'm feeling back to normal again now, so that's good:).

Got in a good bike and a spectacular run yesterday afternoon. I spent the majority of the morning and early afternoon working in the yard, moving leaves, rocks, weeds, and dirt from across the yard to the woods. It was a lot of hard work and definitely took a toll on my training later in the day.

On the bike I had nothing to start with. The session really didn't call for much of an effort, just mainly and endurance-based ride with some strengthwork mixed in, so that worked in my favor. By the end I wouldn't say I was re-energized, but I certainly had a bit more energy. Nonetheless, I wanted to do ANYTHING but go out for the run planned. I HTFU'd and got out anyway.

Run was nothing short of excellent. You know you're legs are getting to where they should be when you're tired and you "fast" pace of a month ago is now a jog:). Happy days!

Today has been mostly a rest day with the exception of some strengthwork. Though I love nothing more than being out riding, running, and swimming, it's nice not to have a workout in those three disciplines hanging over my head. I'm always excited to train, but today it was nice to just sort of lay back and chill out for a bit. Spent some time with Lucky and got some cleaning done. Good day all around! Tomorrow it's back to work for a swim and bike. This week will hopefully fly by as I'll be away for a bit starting Friday. Can't wait for that!!!!!!! :) :) :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bike, Brick Run

Great day of training. Working with power on the bike is like a whole new ballgame. I'm enjoying every second of it. I'm still learning a bit, and it's taking time to get the hang of what different watts feel like (i.e. 250 vs. 350), but it certainly made my ride go by quickly today.

It was a beautiful sunny day today. A bit windy, but I've actually come to like the wind-not the type that knocks you off your bike from the side of a mountain, but gusts of 30mph don't really bother me much anymore...I must be getting stronger:).

The run was the run. It hurt. Had to get right into it after the bike and my legs, as always, felt heavy even though I ran strong. I tend to run fast off the bike, and I think I'm getting good at being a "tired" runner. Seems like that'll be a good thing being that I'm a triathlete and all:).

I played a bit with nutrition on the bike today. In the past I've always sort of winged it. I'm not one to measure out every calorie I take in, but I'm starting to see the value in a bit of planning on that regard. I think I hit the nail on the head as far as nutrition is concerned, but I think hydration still leaves something to be desired. Carrying only one bottle on a hot day like today probably wasn't a good idea. I did stop for a Coke at a gas station, but I think the High Fructose Corn Syrup in that made my stomach do some funny things once I got to the run. I got the same type of abdominal cramps as the other day on my longer run. Although I ran faster today, I don't believe the issue is pace-driven. It's definately a nutrition thing I've gotta figure out.

Tomorrow is a bit more of the same. A bike and run to end the week strong. I'm really excited about quite a few things right now...more on those to come!:) I've gotta keep my 2 readers on the edge of their seats!!! Hahaha:)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bike Test!!!

So I've finally entered into the future with a new PowerTap power meter. And it's not good enough just to have it on my bike, but I actually have to use the damn thing! After a little bit of frustration to getting going with it, I managed to finally get to work out on the roads today.

I'm convinced that the "P" and the "T" in PowerTap stand for Painful Tourture. This hurt. Funny thing is that I have no ideas if the numbers are good or if they're bad. I was told to give my best effort and that's what I did. I'm not a numbers guy, so I'll leave that to the people who are. I'm kinda like a horse, I just do what I'm told:). That's what we hire coaches for:)

Have to say that between running too hard yesterday and working hard on the bike today I'm kinda shelled. Nothing that a good night's sleep won't fix, but tired nonetheless. I'll sleep well tonight for sure.

Tomorrow is back on the bike with some all new training numbers to follow. Looking forward to being occupied by numbers for my long ride tomorrow instead of abscently staring off down the road when I ride:).

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Swim, Run

Another swim and run today.

Great, but hard swim today. Any time you're lucky enough to have a coach on the pool deck and you're scheduled for hard intervals, you know you're gonna get your money's worth. It was tough, but in a great way. Not to mention the fact that if you're stroke starts to get sloppy, you have somebody to kick your butt back into gear:).

For the run I felt great. No silly cramps today (and no chocolate covered strawberries either!). However, I have to be a bit more disciplined as I ran a little too hard when I was suppossed to take it easier. It was only 15-20 seconds faster than the intended pace, but over distance that kinda adds up. I get carried away sometimes and it'll hurt me in the long run. The easy days will be too hard and the hard days won't be hard enough. I'm trying though!!!:)

Tomorrow is a tough day on the bike. Nothing long, but just hard. Kinda scared about it:). I think I get more nervous the night before big workout days than I do before races...well, maybe I get nervous for both:) hahaha! Anyway, it's gonna be a chance to use my new power meter and set up some numbers from which to base future workouts on. The weather is supposed to be crap, so I'm crossing my fingers that the rain will hold out! I only need 90 minutes!!!!:)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Swim, Run, Power Meter!!!!!

Exciting day today. Had some ups and downs, but mostly ups!:) Got a great swim in this afternoon. It was endurance based and one of the longer swims that I've done all year. My swimming is really becoming so much better it baffles me. I'm so excited to get in the water for my first triathlon of the year I can hardley wait. What was a huge limiting factor for me in the past has become something that I no longer have to worry so much about. It's taken some hard work, but I'm happy with the direction it's headed.

Funny thing about the swim came at the end. When I was cooling down, my leg cramped up aweful! One of those cramps that wakes you up in the middle of the night practically in tears! And during the "cool down" no less! Had to stand on the wall for 10 minutes until it worked it's way out. The girl in the lane next to me asked if I needed help. Keep in mind she was all of about 4 feet 11 inches. Defintitely would have looked funny if this tiny girl was helping me get out of the pool so I declined with a smile:).

A few hours after the swim, and after I was done with work I headed out for a run. Nothing big, just an easy, longish (at least for me at this point with my injury) run. Should have been simple. Well, at about 45 minutes in, my stomach decided to go against me. Let's just say that I left for the run wearing gloves and came home without them. If that doesn't make it clear enough, imagine a bathroom break, just without the bathroom. Yeah, not one of my finer moments. So anyway, after all was taken care of on that end, I started runnning again, only to get one of the worst abdominal cramps I've ever had. Usually these things just work themselves out, but this one was with me for the rest of my run. Had to stop at least half a dozen times, and by the end of the run, I was stopping ever 100 meters. What should have been a 90 minute run without stops was made into a 2 hour death march. And the ironic thing was that my legs felt fantastic almost the entire time. Must have been the few chocolate covered strawberries I ate beforehand...won't make that mistake again!!!

And the most exciting event of the day....I FINALLY got a power meter for my bike!!!! Really excited about this one and very thankful to the guys at Campus Bicycles(more on that in a minute). I'm excited to train with power because I really believe with the right guidence (and I've certainly got that) I'll be able to take my cycling to the next level. Although I was happy with my results this past weekend, I'm still certain I could have gone faster if I'd been training with a power meter. I'm intruiged by the "absoluteness" of power-the fact that it "is what it is". Nothing effects it except for what you're putting into the pedals. It'll be a blast to see how strong (or weak:) ) I am!

So the thankful for Campus Bicycles part....
My local shop, Campu Bicycles, have been great in hooking me up the last couple years. They've got the best mechanics on Long Island as far as I'm concerned, and really work with you to help in any way they can...and I mean ANY way. So, as I went in to pick up my power meter today, somehow I wound up locking my keys in the car-haven't done this in years! Luckily enough, being the great mechanic that he is, my buddy Nelson found a way to "break" into my car and save me from having to cancel an important appointment. I didn't ask any questions, but boy did he get in the car with ease...Hmmm..... hahaha! So thanks Campus Bikes, where you can not only get some great bike gear, but get you're car broken into for free!!! hahaha, all kidding aside, thanks guys for the help! Saved me in more ways than one!

So that was my day. Little up, little down, but that's the way it is. Looking forward tomorrow to another good swim (hosted by coach Kerry), and a long run. This will be the longest run I've done in quite a while so I'm a bit nervous about it. Haven't had any problems with injury or anything else, but it's always in the back of my mind. It'll be interesting to test the waters. Fingers crossed!!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Swim, Bike

What a busy, busy day! I've been moving since 6am and it's now after 9:30pm! Over 15 hours straight! Sometimes I wonder how I'm still standing by the end of the day, but it's always days like this that pump me up more than anything. I just keep going, going, going and never get tired. Guess it's better to be busy than sitting around all day. Actually, I don't think I'm physically able to sit for more than a few mins at a time:) Guess that's why I like triathlon so much-there's always something new to do when you're done with one thing-swim, bike, run, repeat:).

So today was back to business as usual with swim and bike workouts. I'm really happy with where my fitness is right now, and that was evident as I wasn't even the tiniest bit sore from the hard effort in the race I gave on Sunday. It could be in part due to the fact that I was diligent about my recovery, but in all honesty I've never felt so good after a race-short one or long one.

Swim session was all about drill and technique work. I like these technique sessions because they're really the meat of my swimming. I'm gaining fitness through the longer workouts, but because swimming is such a weakness for me, it helps me to remember exactly how I'm suppossed to be swimming. Like they say, if you wanna run fast-run; if you wanna bike fast-bike; if you wanna swim fast-get a coach!

The bike was mostly endurance based with some hard intervals at the end. These were fun as always and any time I get to spend outside is a plus. It was truly a delightful ride on a chilly but awesome day. There really aren't too many things I like more than riding my bike on a sunny day. Just awesome!

In between work and training I managed to take Lucky out for a bit. I know everyone is partial to their own pet, but I absolutely have the world's best pup! She's always happy, always up for adventure, and loyal to a fault! She just goes with the flow and always seems to have a smile on her face. I'm such a lucky dog owner:) hahaha

So life is good, training is going great, and things are moving along nicely:) Not much else to report! Tomorrow should be a fun day with another swim and then a run session. It's suppossed to rain hard for the next couple of days which works out great as I have two run sessions planned. I LOVE running in bad weather-especially pouring rain and thunder. Just the sound of the rain and the thunder makes me wanna run. Maybe its a subconcious thing, as in "get the hell away from the lighting before your dumb ass gets struck!":). I don't know, but whatever it is, it motivates me:)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Carl Hart Mother's Day Duathlon Race Report

Gonna keep this brief as I hate writing these things. Here goes:

Race is a 2 mile run, 10.5 mile bike, 2 mile run. Short and painful. I was able to win overall last year, so this put a lot of pressure on me to perform good again this year. I had a lot of anxiety going into the day because of this. I've never had to defend a title before, so even though this is really more like a "B" (or even "C") race for me, it was still important.

One word for the day was "WINDY"! Forty to Fifty (that's right, 40 to 50!!!) mph wind gusts were going to make not only the bike tough, but the day rather cold on the whole (hahaha, I said "cold on the whole!"). Don't really mind it though as everyone has to deal with the same stuff and I actually don't mind cycling in the wind.

Start: The gun goes off and I immediately took the lead. I knew that there was a very strong cyclist in the pack, and that if I wanted to win I'd have to establish my position at the beginning. Also, I feel like in these races when you get out to an early lead you put some fear in your fellow competitors. Guys afterward came up to me and said they thought I'd either run away with the race or blow up. Either way, I made them think:). Though I had lead the majority of the first run, one of the relay teams runner's caught up to me going into transition-must be nice to run knowing you're gonna have a half hour break before you have to run again:) Seriously though, the kid was a great runner!

As I got to transition, my trusty TTX was right were I had left it, minus one thing-my freakin' helmet!!! Seems those 40-50 mph wind gusts had blown the damn thing halfway across the transition area and I had to spend about a minute finding it! Not to mention as I pulled my bike off the rack, my already clipped in cycling shoe decided to eject and I had to go back and pick it up. Must have looked like I was having a triathlon yard sale in transition! So, after picking up all my stuff and getting my sh*t together, I got out on the bike. So much for "establishing a lead" on the first run! By the time I got out on the bike the guy who had come in behind me to T1 was now ahead of me. I wound up catching him though, and lead for a while until the "good cyclist" caught me. I wasn't suprised as I knew it was only a matter of time before he would. He didn't pass me too fast, but still got up on me by a bit. I knew if I could keep him in sight, I'd catch him up on the run. Was able to keep him in my sights and got off the bike only about 45 seconds down on him.

The second run felt great. Transition went well (thank God!) and legs felt springy. The spectators were also great as they yelled "catch him!" and "you got 'em! he's only 30 seconds up!" as I ran out of transition. I was running well and wound up catching him a little less than a mile into the run. Came into the finish first and was happy with a hard fought win.

Two things I was really happy with today other than the win. One, and this is kinda funny, but here goes-is that I was able to beat who I beat. Not that I thought he was better than me, but because he was wearing the No.1 bib. Being that I won this race last year, I thought I should have rightfully worn that bib. I realize this isn't Kona (not even close!), but c'mon, if the returning champ comes to race again, at least give the dude the no.1 bib! This guy was wearing my bib and there was no way he was gonna win with it on if I was in the race-I would have run through a brick wall if that's what it took. Secondly, it was nice to get a win in front of my folks. This was the first race they've come to watch me compete in, and I'm glad I could give them a good show! No one yelled louder than my mom when I ran down the finishing shute, screaming "That's my son!" when I crossed the finish line. Very cool:).

So now that this race is ticked off the list, it'll be nice to devote some solid weeks of training to focusing on Rev3 in June. This is definitely an "A" race and I wanna put together a solid race there. I did this race last year and had a ton of troubles on the run. With my swimming finally getting good and my bike and run stronger than they've been in the past, I think this should be a good experience. Looking forward to it!:)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Run, Easy Day

Easy run today. It's incredible that even my easy runs are still "fast" considering where I was a month ago. I've put a lot of hard work in so I guess that's to be expected.

Otherwise not much going on today. Work wasn't all too busy, and the day generally went by without incident. Good thing I guess:).

Tomorrow is another day to relax before racing on Sunday. I'm expecting to do well on Sunday but we'll see what happens. As long as I give my best effort I'll be happy. Should be a good day!:)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Swim, Bike

Great day of training. Swam really hard and long and biked really hard and short. Quality, quality, quality.

The difference in where I am now as compared to last year at this time is unbelieveable. I'm so incredibly happy with my progress and delighted with every moment of training. It's kind of like that "live to train" mentality, but in a healthy way. I'm feeling fit and motivated, but being careful not to overdo things. It's easy to get carried away when you're feeling like superman in all your training sessions.

First race of the season this year is on Sunday and I'm just about ready to go. I've been nervous about this race for a couple weeks, but now that things are coming together strongly in training, I'm more confident that I'll have a good day. Really no need to be nervous as it's not even a "B" race on my calendar, but I'm a headcase sometimes so I'll just have to deal with it:).

Tomorrow is just a light jog with a strength session in the afternoon. My ankle's been doing just "O.K." today so again, I'll keep an eye on it. I'm not quite sure if it's coming from riding or running right now. Whatever the case, it gets sore after training and then goes back to normal shortly after. I'll baby it and make sure it's good so it doesn't become a problem later on.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Swim, Run

Things felt "back to normal" today for some reason. I'm not sure why, but I just kinda had that feeling as I was training today.

Swim was endurance based. Really crushed it. I'm expecting a lot from my swim this year. I'm not saying I'm going to be leading out of the water, but I'll definately be in a much better spot coming out of the water so I can do some damage with my bike. Everything for me thus far has improved so much it's really exciting. I'm becoming a "real" traithlete and not just a dude that likes to swim bike and run a lot:).

The run too was endurance based. I'm shocked at how fast "endurance" pace is for me know. For example, I ran 12 miles today in a time that would have just about put me at my one time PR for a stand alone half marathon. Best part was that it was ridiculously easy and I truly had to hold myself back from going too fast. Had I simply just run for the hell of it (without my trusty Garmin), I would have without a doubt beaten my PR time. Not to mention this is only after about 4 weeks of run training after the 3 month layoff I had.

I'd say that the most important thing in consideration to my training right now is the fact that it just feels good. I'm not tired. I'm not overstressed. And most importantly I'm not over fatigued. I'm hitting that sweetspot where I'm pushing my body every day, and it's absorbing the hard work. I'm very excited to see where this will take me this season.

One last thing about today was that I got to try out a new pair of Zoot compression socks. I've experimented with compression apparel for a while now (and managed to get a few nice things from the good people at Skins-thanks guys!), but this was the first pair of proper "sox" that I've had. In a word, was I was impressed. I've never worn compression sox before (only sleeves), and there's definately something to these. I had been trying to get my hands on a pair from CEP for a while (just missed meeting a brand rep the other day), but the Zoot's were my second choice. As I see it, both companies have the same idea about their compression sox. They're sized on calf circumference and not on foot size. Makes more sense to me as they are "compression" garments and different people have different sized body parts. I have skinny legs and big feet while I'm sure there are plenty of people with small feet and big calfs. Anyway, this made the difference to me and that's why I like them.

I don't know if I'll race with them (for sure nothing short), but I definately see the value in training with them. They look goofy, but what the hell, I don't care. If they help me to improve and protect me against injury that's all I need. If you're on the fence about compression stuff I'd say get a pair. And if they're too expensive, just try to track down a brand rep from either company and beg for free stuff-not saying I did anything like that:).

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Swim, Bike

Got in some quality work again today. It's amazing how the body adapts to training and how good and powerful you feel when you truly begin to get fit. So, in other words, things are really coming together. My bike is getting faster, my run is coming along, and I can finally swim. I actually ENJOY swimming! How crazy is that!

Anyway, not much is new other than my first race of the season is this week. I've been having a bit of discomfort with my ankle lately, so I'll have to keep an eye on that. Otherwise all systems are go and it should turn out to be a good day. I'm much further along in my fitness at this point this year, so it'll be interesting to see what I can do on Sunday. Mainly, I'm looking to beat my time from last year. If I win again, that's great, but you never know who shows up on race day. My luck Matty Reed will be toeing the line next to me:). Being that it's the first race of the year though, I'll be happy with a solid outing. The real fireworks start on June 6th up in Connecticut at the Quassy Rev3 race. Other than Timberman, this has got to be my favorite race. They really put together a quality product and I look forward to competing in more of the Rev3 series in the future.

For tomorrow I've got a nice long swim on tap with a long run planned for the afternoon. I'm gonna be careful to make sure my ankle doesn't get worse, so if things start to go south I'll bag the run early. No need to push things now.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Swim, Bike, Run (Yesterday) Strength, Swim-Today

Got off to a tough start yesterday. My allergies have really been a tough obstacle lately and it seems like every Sunday I wake up with a migrane. Last Sunday it floored me, but this Sunday it was just more of an annoyance. Took some medicine, hardened up, and got out to work...literally.

Did yardwork all morning-more specifically moving lots of rock and gravel. By the time I was done, I'd not only gotten a bunch done, but gotten in a nice "extra" strength session for my troubles.

On the bike I worked a bit on strength and some on endurance. Wasn't a terribly long ride, but a lot of quality strengthwork. Amazingly before this year I was never able to push a big gear. Actually, I just didn't know that I was suppossed to in order to go faster:). Working on it this year has changed me as a rider for the better. The bike is now a super strength for me and I'm happy that it is!

The run was a different story. Whereas I was excited to get going on the bike, I was less than thrilled to get out for my run. I probably waited a little too long in the day to start, but after I got going it wasn't that bad. The legs were tired and I felt like a baby deer trying to run fast at times, but I finished the final session of the day strong and feeling good.

Today is more of a rest day than anything else. It's been raining a bunch today so that makes things easier:). Still I managed to get a nice easy swim (more floating around for 20 minutes than anything) in and will do another strength session after work this evening.

I'm very happy with where my training is right now. Where I had been feeling shelled weeks ago has turned into strength and speed. With my first race of the season this weekend I'm feeling cool and confident. With another solid week of training leading into this Sunday, I should be all set for a good result:).

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Long Bike, Run

Good day at the office today. Worked hard on truly pacing my ride. I have a tendancy to ride hard all the time and I've been trying to take things a bit easier and save for the run. Worked out well today.

For the run Iwent out hard and stayed fast-probably too fast for what was planned, but it felt good:). I worked the hills quite a lot and I'm getting quite good at 'em again. Gotta actually work on my downhill running as I'm losing a little time I feel on that. Ups are good, downs are bad...need work:).

Gonna head to bed early tonight and get back at it tomorrow. Sunday starts with a swim, bike in the middle of the day, and track session at night. Fun day!!!

Yesterday, Bike

Great day on the bike yesterday. Things are really moving faaaast:). I'm way ahead of where I was this time last year and I'm itching to race. I didn't concentrate too much on making up my race schedule this season because I really didn't know what I wanted to do. I got the major events covered and kind of hoped the rest would fall into place-which it pretty much has.

My first race is in a little over a week and I'm terrified. It's a duathlon I won this last season, and probably shouldn't be worrying about it, but I'm just scared to death. Maybe I'm putting too much pressure on myself, but I'm not sure how I'll react if I don't win again. I've never had to "defend" a title (if you even want to call it that! It's not like it's freakin' Kona or something:) ), so this is all new territory for me. My swim coach gave me the suggesstion to just try and beat my time last year. If I concentrate on that, I'll hopefully be able to not only calm myself down, but also win again as well. We'll see.

I am, though, looking forward BIG TIME to my first triathlon of the season! The Rev3 tri in Connecticut will be my season opener. Last year I had a terrible run...well actually it was more of a shuffle. I didn't train enough and went into the race with a cocky attitude that wound up kicking me in the ass. This year, I've respected the training, and worked hard to come back this year strong. I know more than I did last year and I think that will serve me well next month.

Today is a long ride followed by a run. Gonna be a beautiful day and I'm excited to get out on the bike!