Sunday, June 27, 2010

Good to be back

Glad to be back to somewhat normal training. On the schedule for today was a open water swim, race pace bike session, and tempo brick run. As yesterday was really my first full day of being back to normal (and I only trained for an hour-easy spin), I didn't want to overdo things today with a bunch of hard sessions, only to put myself back in the "sick locker" again.

Anne and I got out on the bike somewhat early in the day and rode for about 3 and a half hours. The ride felt good, and at times I rode at race pace. Still, I resisted the temptation to just go for it and just enjoyed being back on my bike again after a week of being totally laid out. Funny part of the ride was getting caught up in a local century ride. While it was great to see so many riders out on the roads on a beautiful Sunday morning, it was a bit tough riding through so many of them on our way back home. Definitely had to say "on your left" quite a bit.:)

After the ride, Anne set off for an hour run and I took the Lucky for an easy 20 min jog. The legs felt terriffic and I really wanted to leave Lucky at home and get some more miles in, but again, in the interest of my health (as well as Anne's insistence that I not do anything stupid:) ), I called it a day after the 20 mins was up. My Anne's a smart girl so I'll listen to what she has to say:).

We're off now to grab some lunch and a couple nice chais before an evening open water swim. Should be a good rest of the day!:)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sick and Hating Every Second of it!!!!!!

Still sick. It's funny how your body will stop you dead in your tracks when it really wants to stop. There's a lot you can do to force things with your mind, but when the body wants to stop, it'll let you know.

When I was fighting, the obvious "stopper" was being knocked out. When your body (or head for that matter) took a hit that it couldn't absorb, you'd hit the mat fast. In my cast this week, I didn't make rest and recovery the priorities they should have been and I've been knocked to the mat in a similar fashion. I also don't think bragging to Anne that "I haven't been sick in years" helped the matter any:). Talk about a sure-fire way to jinx yourself!

In a situation such as this, you can choose to either be mad at the world and not learn anything, or you can accept the setback, learn from it, and become stronger as a result. I've chosen the second option. There are lessons here that I'm glad to have learned now, especially in my lead up to my first Ironman. Had this sickness occurred closer to the race, it may have spelled disaster in a number of different ways. Also, with learning comes humility. In the area where I felt indestructible (not "being sick for years") I've realized that although I might have a super strong immune system 99% of the time, I might still be vulnerable to illness-particularly when I don't make rest and recovery a priority.

So I'll take the little lessons I've learned from this episode and be a stronger athlete and person because of them. After all, what's the point of sport if you don't learn something about yourself in the process.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Don't be an ingrate, HYDRATE!!!

Great bike ride yesterday, followed by an easy jog (to test the ankle that's been giving me problems the last week), followed by a nightmare of heatstroke! The temps were high yesterday as was the humidity-recipe for bad things if you're not careful. Anyway, went out on the bike with Anne and didn't drink nearly enough (she did remind me to drink, but being the BONEHEAD I am, I didn't think I needed all that much). Of course, after getting back from the run, I got chills, sweats, and achy joints. Basically it feels like I got hit by a bus. I've got flu-like symptoms, nightsweats, and a bad stomach. Basically I'm miserable. If I didn't have Anne to take care of me while I'm recovering from my boneheadedness, I'd be in much worse shape:). Slowly I'm getting better, but it is surely not something I'll do ever again!!!

Until the heatstroke, I was having quite a good day. We'd slept in a bit and decided to get on the bikes first-the original plan was to get out to the beach and do an open water swim first, but sleep took priority over cold water:). So we got out on the bike and did what just about equated to an 75 mile loop. It was hot, sticky and looked like it could pour rain at any time. We rode some nice rolling roads and got back in about 4 hours. Good day in the books.

After the bike Anne set off on a longer run and I did an easy 15 minute jog. I've been frustrated this year with getting injured all the time from running. In over 20 years of athletic competition, I've never been sidelined with any sort of injury. I've played violent sports of every kind and even been a fighter. Never injured seriously enough to stop me from competing once. And now, within the last 8 months, I've had little things keep me from running at several different times. I'm beginning to think that I'm made of glass. In the end I believe I have to realize that I'm not getting any younger, and that it's perhaps time to take injury prevention into account. Stretching, weights, and the correct equipment all need to take priority.

So I'm hoping to get back into training tomorrow. I'm still feeling a bit ill, but I think after a good night's sleep and some medicine, I'll be hopefully back to normal. I certainly don't want this heatstroke to take me "out of the game" for more than a day.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Yesterday: double run day with a swim in the middle

Toughie yesterday. Ran early and ran in the afternoon, with a swim sandwhiched in between. Haven't been sleeping enough in the past few days so fatigue has begun to creep in a bit. Both runs were pretty easily paced, and although I was suppossed to go quite slow on the second, I couldn't keep the pace and wound up running slightly faster. The swim was just ok, but then again, it's not like I'm anything but an "ok" swimmer anyway...still working on that though:).

Today was suppossed to start with a swim, but after discussing it with Anne last night, I decided to skip it and get in an extra hour or so of sleep. Better to miss one workout to rest than get to every one feeling like crap. Got a bike this afternoon that should be fun, but the legs are still sore from the run yesterday. We'll see how it goes.

Otherwise things are rollin' along today. work, training, work, and then relaxing with Anne. Work-wise, the rest of the week is pretty tame so it'll be a great opportunity to chill out and get in some quality training and rest. Though this week has been busy, it's still been great to get back to the normal or "somewhat normal" swing of things. This should be a good, balanced weekend.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Busy Busy

Blogging has slipped a bit over the last couple weeks. Including my trip to Europe, this past month has been travel just about every weekend. Between running around in the UK, getting back to the States only to jump up to Connecticut to race, and then hopping down to Marlyand for my Anne's race it's been quite a long month of going from one place to another. I must say though, it has been a hell of a fun trip, not to mention being able to spend much of the time with Anne and getting in some terriffic training:).

This week has been back to the grind. Monday was a smack in the face with work, and it hasn't stopped. Running from appointment to appointment and fitting in training in between. It's a lot of time spent moving around during the day, but I don't think I'd want it any other way. It's times like this when I'm most productive and able to "conquer" each day. If there were only 28 hours in a day...

Also over the past week I've done a bunch of testing-swim, bike, and run. Cycling has remained fairly consistent, while running and swimming have seen some improvement. It's a slow process, but I'm happy to continue to improve. Have to admit that I hate testing (mainly because I'm afraid of slipping backward:) ), but it's a necessary evil.

So training-wise, the week started off with my final test on the bike Monday, and then a great tempo bike session followed by a VO2 run session. The run session was really the first of it's kind this year, and I'm happy to say that it was painfully pleasant. Up for today are a couple of runs as well as a swim in the midday with Anne. It'll be nice to have some company at the pool:).

The rest of the week is pretty steady with training, and thankfully no travel this weekend. Hopefully we'll be able to relax and catch up on some much needed rest. I think we both really need it:).

Monday, June 7, 2010

Rev3 Race Report

What a tough day that was!!! I did this race last year and it was equally as brutal. I'm not sure of specifics, but the swim is just about the only thing flat about this course. Brutal, brutal bike and run.

I have to say that I was satisfied with yesterday's effort, but motivated to do much better nonetheless. No one ever got better by being satisfied. In all fairness though, even if I did plan on racing about 20 mins faster than I did, I didn't take into account what this course is like. This is that race where you have to throw fast time expectations out the window and just conquer the course. The one that does that is the one that has a good race.

The swim was generally just like every swim I've done. I came out of the water 18th in my division, which was pretty good considering where I was this time last year. With a little more time in the pool and some good swim tactics, I think I'll continue to grow. I'll never be Andy Potts, but I do believe I have it in me to become a pretty decent swimmer. Just gotta keep working.

The bike wasn't bad-pacing wise. It was a hard course and it was crucial not to "punch the clown" on it. For some reason or another my Powertap wasn't working so I rode the course 'blind' so to speak. I'm reasonably sure I did a good job. Just kept it consistent and smooth. Discipline was the most important factor for me on the bike. In past races I'd had the tendancy to crush the bike. Also, working with my coach on nutrition planning paid off bigtime. It would have been nice to have a faster bike time, but I don't think I could have gone any faster without seriously compromising my run.

The run hurt...BAD! It's not that the run is unreasonably hilly, it's just that the bike AND the run are so hilly!!! I have to say though, that I felt reasonably good and pace it well. I don't think its the ideal run course for a guy as big as me, but nonetheless I did what I could and left it all on the course.

I'm not dissapointed with my performance yesterday, but I know there's a lot of room for improvement. It's motivating to see improvement (which there was yesterday), and I'm excited to get back into training for my next race in Rhode Island. I just have to wait for my legs to get back to normal:)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Rest Day

Spent most of the day, aside from work, getting ready for Rev3 this weekend. Got all my travel arrangements sorted, and made sure my bike is ready to race. I'm really looking forward to this race with a great feeling of calmness. My coach and I have gone over all the particulars in terms of pacing and nutrition and I have a pretty good grasp on where I'll finish and what I'm presently capable of. Spending more time this year paying attention to things like power, pace, and nutrition seem to have made a big difference in my confidence. Also, paying strict attention to my swimming and working with a specific swim coach has helped me to be much more comfortable in the water. If I'm not faster in the water, I'll surely use much less energy and come into T1 in a much better place than I have previously.

All in all I'm really excited about this first proper test of the season. I'll have a more important race later in the year, but for now this should be good!:)

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Back from an awesome trip across the pond...good things, good things:).

This weekend is the first real race of the season and I'm ready to rock and roll. The Rev 3 race in CT this weekend is an awesome event. I competed (well actually just COMpleted) last year and had a great time. I didn't finish where I wanted, but with all I've learned in this past year, along with some great guidence from my coach, I believe I'll have quite a good race this time around. Playing it a bit conservative on the bike and looking to have a strong run. Should be fun to see the improvement from last year to this year.

Otherwise things are really going great. I'm happier than I could imagine, and life is very good. It's going to be a great summer!:) :) :)