Saturday, July 3, 2010

Ironman Coeur d'Alene: run training- who needs it?

Alright folks- sorry for the radio silence. At some point I started focusing on nothing but the race and everything else just sort of fell by the wayside. I thought you all might get a kick out of the events leading up to the big day, as well as the actual race report, so without further delay...

First off, United Airlines, I hate you. And I mean from the bottom of my heart, despise your business practices right up there with big oil, hope you go bankrupt, hate you. Allow me to elaborate: After getting to the airport several hours early the Wed before the race, meeting up with our travel partners, checking luggage, getting coffee and sitting right next to the gate, 10 min prior to boarding time I see one person say something to someone else, a bunch of people start whispering, then everyone rush up to the gate agent. Not good as this could only mean one thing. Yup. Flight canceled. Having been through this before, I knew that line wasn't going anywhere fast. All 5 of our group immediately get on the phone with customer service. Making a very long story short, one of us gets re-booked on a 4-leg ridiculous journey that winds up stranding him in Denver overnight, getting to CdA Thursday. The other 4 of us, after literally hours on the phone (no Miss Customer Service Lady, I can't wait until Fri night. What? I know I was originally booked to go through Chicago, but I don't need to go there, just get me to Spokane. What? NO. I don't care about Chicago. Pretend I was never flying through there. Spokane is the destination. What? FORGET F-ING CHICAGO!!!) had to abandon our checked baggage to fate, leave Reagan National, drive to Dulles, stand in 2 more lines and beg someone to actually re-issue our tickets. The upshot is we had to re-book to Seattle, and then purchase commuter flights on Alaska Airlines to actually get to Spokane. (Alaska Airlines, you and your free wine are ok in my book!). So... instead of being there in time for lunch, we spent half the day in limbo and rolled into CdA around midnight with none of our checked luggage. Anticipating the luggage debacle, I had all of my tri-stuff, to include wetsuit, cycling shoes, helmet, pedals, etc, with me. I'm smart that way. I did not have clean underwear (sorry mom), toiletries, or anything warmer than a t-shirt.

Thursday: In the morning I was up with the sun around 4am, wandered around town taking some pictures of a beautiful sunrise, and waited for the coffee shop to open for my daily cappuccino.  After  the rest of the slackers in our group woke up, we walked the 3 blocks down to the swim (yup, we were staying a whopping 3 blocks from the swim, transition, Ironman village, and the finishers chute was literally right in front of our door. Money.)  For anyone who is curious, 58 degree water is not as warm as you think. We suited up (for me: full-sleeve wetsuit, neoprene hood, and yes, booties) and hopped in. There really is nothing like the sensation you get when water starts leaking in through the zipper, filling the suit. After feeling my nuts retract into my stomach, I swam for about 30 min. The water was actually quite pleasant once my face went numb and the wetsuit started doing its job. Afterward we went back home and relaxed a bit, Chris miraculously arrived from his 4-leg journey and somehow found my bag at the airport. We all went and wandered around the IM village until registration opened up, picked up our bikes from Tri-bike Transport, and then drove the bike course. As an aside, i did this race in 2006 before they re-vamped the bike course. In this case, the definition of re-vamped should read "made a whole lot harder". If memory serves, there were 25 climbs, some of which turned out to be "granny-gear-out-of-the-seat". The course designers also did a great job of negating the benefits of the downhills by conveniently placing hairpin turns right at the bottom, before the next uphill. Well done, Ironman. Well done.

Friday: Another swim in the morning. The water appeared to be colder than the day prior, and a SW wind was blowing steadily at about 15mph. The result of this was a pretty good chop, along with some swells in the water. Yesterday excluded, I had not swam in open water, or in a wetsuit, since 2007. Yup, 3 years. So this turned out to be some good sighting practice. After the swim, we took it easy for a few hours and then did a short bike to make sure everything was working as advertised, and again spent the remainder of the day not doing much else.

Saturday: The day before the day. Not much to do here but do some final gear checks, top off the fuel tank, and watch 2500 type-A personalities freak the hell out.

Sunday: Up at 0330 to get breakfast in at 0400. Grabbed gear bags, wife, and coffee, and headed to the start.

Swim: 2 loops, counter-clockwise, beach start. Liz and I positioned ourselves in the middle of the pack, towards the back.  We lost Chris and Tony on the beach, which was OK because they needed to be up with the speedy swimmers anyway. The original plan was to start on the right side of the pack, and then drift into the race line. We should have made more of an effort to get there. The cannon went off at 0700, I said a silent prayer that my foot would hold up, and watched our 2500 best friends became our 2500 worst enemies.  It's amazing how similar an Ironman swim is to driving in traffic. Everyone but you is an a$$hole. A quick hug and kiss, and Liz and I hit the water trying to make sure we didn't hit each other as we drifted into the sea of black, neoprene clad jackasses.  Had we started a bit more to the right we would have had some more time to let the pack thin out as we drifted into line, but instead we were right in the middle of the scrum. Oh well. I was actually swimming fairly well, catching quite a bit of draft until we came to the first turn.  The turn went from South to East, and put us smack into the rising sun, unable to see or sight. This wouldn't have been a problem if people kept swimming, but the large majority began to breast-stroke to try and sight, which caused a massive pile-up of bodies that took several minutes to sort out. This was compounded by the large number of what I assume were first timers, or just people uncomfortable in the water, who began freaking out when they couldn't move forward. I personally saw 2 people lose it and make a bee-line for the kayaks. Eventually the madness ended and we made the turn towards shore. I came out of the water on the first lap in 42 min. Through the timing mat and back in for lap two, this time taking a wide line, sacrificing the draft for clear water. The second lap was nondescript,  with the exception of a 10 min long series of significant swells that made me wonder if I was in the ocean, or if a sea monster was somehow swimming underneath me, playing with me as an orca does to a seal.  Fortunately I didn't get eaten, and came out with a total time of 1:29. Not my best, but I'll take it.

T1- Uneventful. The last time I did this race, I was in such a hurry to get on the bike that I didn't get nearly enough sunscreen on my back and wound up with the worst sunburn of my life (4 years later and you can still see the scars). I didn't make that mistake again and took the time to have myself frosted like a cake.

Bike: 2 loops. My favorite part of the race. After strapping on my HR monitor and heading out of transition, I rode easy for about 5 minutes waiting for my HR to come down. At 15 min I took my first salt-stick tab and waited another 15 minutes to ensure my HR had stabilized (in the 140's) and had my first gel. I went on like this throughout the bike, alternating gel (I use e-Gel) and salt tabs every 15 min.  This nutrition strategy worked perfectly for the duration. At about mile 20ish, heading out of town towards the hills I passed Andy Potts coming back from his first lap, followed by (i think) Luke Bell a few minutes later. I made the mental note that I would really prefer not to get lapped by any of the pro's, who were now roughly 20 miles behind me. The climbs began about 10 miles later. I really must have a blazingly fast setup on the bike (S-Works Transition w/Zipp 808s. Note that I said the bike was blazingly fast, not me :). On the downhills, tucked into my little aero position, I was passing tons of people, including much larger guys riding disks who were pedaling away. I think this is the part of the bike where I was most efficient- I've always been a pretty good descender and unlike most I didn't balk at the speeds (I think I topped out at 47mph), or the turns at the bottoms. Now if only I were equally as good on the climbs :) I caught up to Liz, who was about 9 min ahead of me out of the water, around mile 30ish, right at the beginning of the climbs. I slowed to chat w/her for a few min and then kept on going. Amazing how she is always smiling.  Somewhere on this loop I passed Tony going the opposite direction, who was well ahead and looking strong. Into the second lap I caught up to Chris around mile 60, who was 30 min ahead of me out of the water. I had put some sweet potatoes into my special needs, and grabbed them as I exchanged my gel flasks (I froze the flasks the night before, but they were still hot and nasty by the time I got to them. Oh well...) The sweet potatoes were a mistake- I knew at this point of the race I would be craving solid food, which is why i brought them. I only ate a few pieces to see how they would sit in my stomach, which was not well. 5 min after eating them my stomach let me know it was unhappy. I discarded the rest and 5 min later I was fine. On lap number 2 the hills really took their toll- the heat was building and I saw a number of people walking the really tough ones. My gels were hot, and getting tougher to swallow.  That said, all in all the bike went well- I evenly split my times and never let my HR get out of control (130s while descending, 140s while riding, 150s and 160s while climbing) and had very little cardiac drift. The only real issue I had was my lower back, which required 2 brief stops (30 sec or so), around miles 50 and 90, to stretch out. That and I need to learn how to relieve while riding- so far it just isn't happening.  I finished in 6:24 (6:18 on my computer, accounting for relief stops and back stretching.) Considering the relative difficulty of this course and how fresh I felt going into the run, I was exceedingly happy.

T2: Nondescript, except I couldn't figure out why some guy at bike-in insisted I leave my bike with him and he would rack it. Chalk it up to a little IM delirium :). Changed my shoes, re-applied sunscreen, and off I went.

Run: 2 laps. The first mile or so was a bit painful as I waited for my legs to come back, which they did. Once they did I was running quite easily until about mile 4, sipping some coke and water at each aid station. As I left town, and along with it the shade, I immediately began to feel the effects of the direct sun. This was a learning point for me- I could still drink the coke and water, but could no longer stomach swallowing pills.  Something similar happened in 2006, but exponentially worse then. And then it began to fall apart. It started as a slight burning sensation in my foot, which gradually got worse. Around mile 5 I decided to try a 8/2 run walk and assess how it went. Before I got to mile 6 I had already changed to a 5/5 run/walk, and by mile 7 it was all walk. As I went up the steep hill at the turn-around I felt a "pop" that was so distinctive I could have sworn I actually heard it. Not good. When I made the turn to go downhill I took my first step and almost fell over. I limped my way downhill until I got on the flats and tried to run again. It wasn't happening. From here I just started walking (more of a speed-limp, actually). I figured out that if my foot struck perfectly flat from side-to-side, it was ok. But if it was rolled either right or left it hurt like hell. Somewhere along the march back to town I ran into Liz (who was dealing w/her own HR/nausea issues) as she was heading out to the turnaround, and we chatted for a few min. At this point I was mentally checked out. I was literally looking for a medical tent to get some treatment and turn my chip in. My foot was killing me, and the prospect of walking another 16 miles didn't exactly appeal to my pride. Then, somewhere after my chat w/Liz, it dawned on me that I have never DNF'd in my life. The thought of doing that, while I was still able to walk (and honestly, with the exception of my foot, I felt fine) did not sit well. I resigned myself to walk as best as I could until I either finished or was pulled from the course. I was averaging just over 13 min miles, and at this point I was still on track to equal my time from 2006. And then the miracle happened. Around mile 17 I realized my foot, while still painful, was fairly numb. It hurt to walk, so why not give running one more shot?  I took a few steps, paying attention to keeping my foot perfectly centered, and it hurt, but no more than walking. If I let it roll a little left or right it felt like someone hit it with a hammer. So I just kept on running, afraid that if I stopped I wouldn't be able to start again. About every 10th stride I would mis-step, sending a shot of pain through my foot and into my leg. But it was now bearable (ostensibly because it had gone mostly numb :) At some point I realized I was down on salt, and miraculously the chicken soup came out. Good lord that tasted like heaven. I wound up running the last 9 miles in just over 94 minutes. Now for some humor- As I was coming down the street leading to the finishers chute I noticed a girl about 20 yards ahead of me, who I was gaining on. Not wanting to ruin her finishers picture, I slowed my pace to give her a nice gap. Then some other girl goes sprinting by me, which, in my somewhat delirious state really pissed me off. So I turned on whatever jets I had left and wound up flying past both of them to become that idiot who goes sprinting down the finishers chute to a 14+ hour IM. Heh.

Total time 14:10

Other mentions:

Phil- 9:40ish (Kona Slot!)
Tony- 10:45 (not bad for an old guy!)
Chris- 14:30ish (not bad for a really old guy!)
Liz- 15:41 (considering she finished an IM marathon in a perpetual state of tachycardia- damn!)

Parting note: As I stood on the beach before the start, I remember thinking to myself that I am probably one of maybe 10 or 20 people out here (if that many?) who trained using an entirely different method than the traditional LSD protocol. On top of that, I'm fairly certain I was the only person out there dumb enough to try this with a broken foot. Now don't misinterpret me when I say this, but compared to 4 years ago when I did this race and followed a "traditional plan" to the letter, this was easy. I'll say it again, don't misunderstand me. There were moments on the run that just plain sucked. A LOT. But I put in less than half the training volume than '06, never spent more than 2(ish) hours on the bike, HADN'T RUN IN 6 MONTHS, and still did better than I did in 2006, all on a broken foot. Given the splits I had when I was actually running, if my foot held together for the entire run I would have posted a fairly respectable time.  Not to mention that 3 days later I felt completely recovered, minus the foot pain. I should also state that this is not a case of consistent LSD training in the years leading up to the race being enhanced by strength training, and I am not built like an endurance athlete. From 2007-2009, including all of my time in Iraq, I did almost no aerobic training, save for a little running. Draw your own conclusions, but I know what works for me.

Left to right- Me, Liz, Chris, Tony

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

45 min TT- Bike

When in doubt, head to Hains Point. First test ride on the race setup- Zipp 808's and new Sidi's. Covered either a little more than 5 1/2 laps, averaging right around 24 mph, or 6 1/2 laps averaging 27mph. Like an idiot, I forgot to mount a magnet on my rear 808, so I had to do the math and I lost count.  Assuming it was 24mph, I was actually hoping to get another mph or so, but there was a fairly stiff wind on the back straight, so I'll be happy with it. If it was 27mph, I'm ecstatic.

My foot held up fine with the new shoes, and I love the sound of those wheels. All in all, a pretty good ride.

I need sleep

T-19 days. For those of you who don't know (which is probably all of you), in addition to this little IM thing, the wife and I are in the process of prepping a condo for sale (dealing with tenants, playing general contractor, cleaning and fixing like there is no tomorrrow), trying to sell a boat, going to school (finished my last paper for the year a little after midnight last night- giddyup), reserve duty, packing for a trip to Italy (leave tomorrow but haven't actually packed anything yet. mental note- find passports today), and need to have our bikes and bags dropped off for shipping by TBT before we leave tomorrow. Oh, and somewhere in here we actually have to work. It's been a bit crazy lately, to say the least.

So with that, here's whats going on:

I had reserve duty this past weekend out of state, and I couldn't bring my bike. I did find a 50m pool though, so that was awesome. DC also opened up the outdoor 50m pool at HP last weekend. All of a sudden it feels like I can actually swim. Swam 1000m (not yards) on Sat, and then did my 4x400m in 8:02, 8:17, 8:17, my last one was cut short when they pulled us out for thunder- it wound up being 200m in just over 4min.

Yesterday I had 5x5 back squats. My foot has been acting up, so I kept it light- all 5 sets at 185#.

Lots of "stuff going on with the bike as I try and figure out a comfortable set-up. Using only water and gel, and with water points every 10 miles on the course I really don't need to carry bottle cages beyond my aero bottle. I think I am going to opt for gel flasks (1 on the bike, 2 on me, refresh at special needs), so really, as long as I can come up with a satisfactory way to carry my spare tubular/CO2/razor blade, I can take the rear bottle holder off. Still working on it...

On Sunday I had my cleats mounted to my new Sidi's and a final bike fitting to correct any imbalances. The shoes feel great and I'm praying they are more friendly to my foot. I had a Zipp emergency yesterday- after having my tires re-glued I took off my DA 12-25 cassette to replace with my SRAM 11-23. When I did, I noticed that the DA had put some pretty significant grooves into the freewheel, enough so that the SRAM wouldn't mount. After a quick trip to the bike shop (I get a little nervous working on race wheels) and a lot of filing and banging w/a plastic mallet, the problem was solved. Brought it home, mounted it up, cleaned and adjusted the bike, and will get it out for a test ride this afternoon.

And then I will nap (after packing and eating, of course).

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Too much to remember

I've had a lot of workouts the past week- too many to recall for this post. Yesterday I swapped my workouts for a 2+ hour bike to re-check my nutrition plan. It was good news and bad news. First, the situation:

-Afternoon ride, starting about 5 pm
-Ensured my diet was at least "acceptable" for 24 hours prior
-90 deg and humid at the start
-15 min ride to Hains Point to warm up
-HR to be kept below 130 whenever possible, and never exceeding 135

Starting at 30 min I consumed 1 eGel every 30 min (300 cal/hr), and starting at 45 min I took one saltstick cap every 30 min. I drank right at 24 oz of water per/hr. The good news is this worked just about perfectly. I was a touch hungry after about 45 min, but that went away after my next gel. As for the heat, I think a little more water (28oz/hr) would have been appropriate. Right on cue at 1:30 I needed to take a leak. I suspect last time around (as Max suggested) I started from a caloric deficit and went downhill from there. For the ride I averaged just over 20mph with an avg HR of 128, which made me pretty happy. So, that's the good news.

The bad news is that my foot was killing me. It started to burn (uncomfortable but managable) at about 45 min, and by 1:30 it was downright flippin' painful. I think this might be due to the inordinate amount of time I have spent barefoot recently, even though it didn't bother me at the time.

Other notes- I'm digging my bike setup. I've added my aerobottle and behind the seat cages. For the race I may get rid of my downtube cage as the two cages on the back will be plenty to refill my aero bottle from (water stations every 10 miles). The only thing I'm not digging is the bento box I'm using to carry my gels. I might switch over to a couple of flasks. My 808's are getting glued and are set to be picked up tonight. I'll put them on for a few test rides over the next week or so. While at the shop I'm also going to try on some new cycling shoes. I've been using Specialized tri-vents for years, but I think the metatarsal button is assisting in the aggravation of my foot. I'm thinking I may go back to Sidi, which I love.

Ariel- good luck getting into CdA or another race!

Anyway, that's it for now...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday bike

5 min on, 2 off, 4X. Rode down to Hains Point as a warm up, and set in. Avg speeds:

1) 23.8mph
2) 24.9
3) 25.2
4) 24.7

Overall I can't complain with the effort- traffic was fairly light, and I was only held up a bit on my 2nd and 4th laps. Rode back along the mall to take advantage of the first nice afternoon/evening we've had in a while.

I have noticed that my legs have been more fatigued than usual the past week or so. They don't have their usual spring in them when I'm walking up steps, and I'm almost always just a bit sore. Gonna have to take a look at my diet and see what gives. As long as it's not the coffee... :-)

Sunday's WOD

2X through: 50 step-ups, 40 lunges, 30 sit-ups, 20 push-ups, 10 dips. Total time of 10:20, including transition from the "functional training area" to the dip machine (about 50 ft), and having to screw around with the pin on the machine so as to negate the "assist".

Missed my swim yesterday, but will try to make it up at some point this week. Bike (weather permitting) tonight.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Longish ride

Drove down to Quantico w/the wife and a couple friends to get away from the DC traffic and ride. This place really is a cyclists heaven- good roads, respectful drivers, and once you get away from mainside, almost no traffic. The intent was to test my foot over an extended(ish) ride, as well as get a feel for my nutrition plan. Overall we rode about 50 miles in 2.5 hours over rolling terrain with a few fairly significant climbs/descents. I had pretty decent ride, with the exception of a little residual chafing issue left over from the previous days intervals. I wasn't really sure what to expect since I gave myself a good thrashing 14 hours earlier during the intervals. The good news is that my foot felt fine. I'm feeling a little less confident in the nutrition at the moment. Using the 70-75% of 165+10 as my max hr, I did a good job of keeping my bpm below the 132ish mark, only exceeding it on the climbs. During the time on the bike I consumed an eGel and salt-stick cap every 30 min (separated by about 15 min so I wasn't overloading my stomach all at once) for a total of 300 cal/hr, and about 20-24 oz of water per hour.  For most of the ride I had a a little of a "empty", almost burning feeling in my stomach. Not sure how else to describe it, but by the end of the 2.5 hours I was craving some solid food. Given that nutrition was my limiting factor the first time I went to CdA, I'm a little concerned.

Also, dropped my Zipp 808's off at the shop to get re-glued, and have them pre-stretch, glue, and prep my spare. Need to clean the bike, pick up my cork brake pads (for the carbon rims), and get a bracket for my aero-bottle since my awesome cycling wife wont give up the other one. I heart cycling gear :-)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Bike Intervals

3 mi, rest 1 min, 6 mi, rest 2 min, 9 mi, rest 3 min, 12 mi.

Rode down to Hains Point as my warm up (~ 3 mi). The wind picked up noticeably throughout the ride, as well as the tour bus traffic. As I'm sure you've noticed, I have a litany of issues that annoy me and tour buses are near the top. They drop their passengers off and then park at the Point for hours with their engines idling (which is illegal), and they often pull out of their spaces with no warning. They drive slower than many of us cycle, and ride in the middle of the 2-lane road due to the tree branches on the sides. I had a moment with one of them today where he was driving very slowly and moved to the right, so I started to pass on the left, and what he was actually doing was swinging wide to make a left turn. As he turned into me I had enough run off to get out of his way. When he finally noticed me in his mirror he clearly didn't care. If I wasn't in the middle of my 12 mi interval he would have lost a mirror. It might be time to start carrying a cement filled water bottle.

3 mi- 7:40 (23.48 mph)
6 mi- 15:50 (22.74 mph)
(eGel and 1 salt stick cap)
9 mi- 24:30 (22.04 mph)
(eGel and salt stick cap)
12mi- 34:20 (20.97)
(salt stick cap)

It was fairly hot out today, around 85ish with matching humidity. I saw a max HR of 165, which is interesting because that is 10 full beats faster than I got during Cindy. I've also started adding my race nutrition in to test out the plan. I drank about 35 oz of water during the ride, and I think that might have been a bit on the light side. Here I am 1.5 hours later and feeling a bit dehydrated. Nice easy spin home along the Mall (~4.5 miles) for a total ride of 37.5mi.

4 hour ride tomorrow morning to continue nutrition testing, as well as make sure my foot can handle the stress. 37 days and counting...

Even Moose doesn't like being up this early

Fridays are rough. I attend a seminar on Thurs night, and then have a standing meeting Fri morning at 8am which I can only prep for the morning of, because I have to leave early Thurs to make it to the seminar on time. So... fast forward to 4:59am this morning as I was standing outside the door waiting for the gym to open to get in workout #1. 21burpees, row 500m, 15 burpees, row 500m, 9 burpees, row 500m. The last 500m row my legs felt like jello. I assume this is a good thing. Finished in 7:59. At the office at 6:30, and all set for the meeting by 7:30 with a full 30 min to spare. I rock.

Ride tonight.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My wife is super hot.

While thinking about a title for today's post, she suggested this one. Not being an idiot, I realized that it wasn't really a "suggestion".  Plus, she kinda is :)

Last night I had a 800yd swim. I realized shortly after starting that I did not drink enough water during the day, and was more sore than usual from the last couple of workouts. I wound up finishing in 13:55 (which is really not a bad time for me), but I feel like I could have done better.

This morning I had a 200m row, 1 min rest, x10. I finally took the time to program the ERG, which made doing the workout mentally easy (not trying to look at my running stopwatch and remember rest periods, as well as count the intervals). Finished in a total of 16:30 (avg'd 1:42ish per 200).

Thought for the day: if you think your Jammers are getting a bit see through and nearing time for replacement, they probably are. (I'm talking about you, heavyset hairy guy in lane 3).

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

No one remembers the 80's? Seriously people...

Since no-one ventured a guess yesterday: "Four in the Morning", by Night Ranger. My new morning theme song.

This morning: 500m row, 50 KB swings (20#), 500m row, 40KB swings, 500m row, 30KB swings, 500m row. Total time 14:10 (taking into account I had to move to another room to do the KB swings)

Swim tonight.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

4 in the morning, it came without a warning, everybody's got a place to be...

Can anyone name the song in the Title? Hint- 1980's.

Last night- 45 min bike TT on the trainer due to the rain. Fortunately I have the Tour of California TiVo'ing, so it's almost like I have someone to ride with.

This morning- Cindy (5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 squats, AMRAP in 20 min). 14 rounds. Stupid non-kippable ergo pull-up bar.

So last night I was having a race day nutrition/strategy chat w/Max. In doing so I realized I haven't worn a HRM in a long time, so I decided to see where my HR wound up on both the bike and during Cindy. During the TT I got up into the 160's, and the most I saw w/Cindy was 155. Crazy- I was expecting higher numbers. Apparently Cindy doesn't excite me the way she used to. Oh well...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Busy weekend

Sat- Deadlift 1/2 bodyweight 30X, then 1000m row for time (3:34)

Sun- Swim 8x100 on 4 min rest. Times: 1:27, 1:22, 1:23, 1:23, 1:25, 1:23, 1:25, 1:27.  Immediately after the swim I pedaled over to the gym for workout #2: 21 KB swings (35#), 42 situps, 84 squats, 2X, for time. Total time 7:05 (I think it would have been a bit faster, but there was a little extra transition time as my gym is not exactly set up for this)

I think I ate something on Sun morning that didn't agree with me, so the entire Sun workout almost didn't happen. That said, I'm happy with the swim times- pretty sure I've never gone quite this fast before. Inside 5 weeks to race day- nerves are starting to build...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

1000yd swim

Went straight from work to the pool to try and get there before closing. Made it just in time. Finished in 17:45. Not sure why but this just felt slow. But, tomorrow is another day...

Row, Tabata, Coffee, and Moose

Last night- 10k row. Felt a little better than the day before, but still not completely 100%. Warmed up by gradually building for the first 5 min, and finished in 41:23. Meh.

This morning- First, let me just say that 0430 just comes way to early. This feeling is only exascerbated (sp?) when the grinder part of the coffee maker gets all wonky, forcing you to unclog it with your eyes only partially open. Warmed up with 5 min on the ERG (oddly enough, no one had used it since I left it last night :)Then, Tabata of box jumps, push ups, lunges, and sit ups. 8 min of glorious pain.

Afterwards I took Moose to the park to throw the ball a bit before leaving for work. I'm not sure if he appreciates the effort I go through to ensure he has a good romp before I have to leave him, or if he is just pissed at me for getting him up before the sun? I'll just assume he is appreciative. While 0430 does come wayyyy to early, there is something to be said for getting to the office at 7am and leaving by 3pm.

Swim later this afternoon

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Fran did not go well

Started with a 5 min warm-up on the ERG, and then found my spot by the stupid ergo-pull up bar with a 95lb straight bar. I don't know if it has been my lackluster sleeping the last few days, going too long without food, not being hydrated enough, or some combination of the 3. Halfway through the first set of 21 pull-ups I knew it wasn't going to be a good performance. Finished my first round of pull-ups/thrusters in 3:45 and was extremely light-headed, almost falling over. Stopped the watch, drank some water, and sat down for a few minutes before continuing. Never started the watch again, just did the remaining sets in as long as it took- probably a grand total of 20-25 min.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Saturday Recap

Had to get my 20kTT in early on Sat to head up to spend the rest of the weekend w/my wife, mother, and daughter in NJ. Hopped on the bike and headed out to Haines Point. Holy wind, batman! Of course, the way the point is set up, you get the full brunt of the wind when you are heading into it, and only half the benefit when you have it at your back. *sigh*. There were times when I was pushing 30mph plus with the wind, and 17 or 18 going into it. Grr. Wound up finishing in 34:55.

Another 20kTT this afternoon, followed by Fran. This should be fun...

Friday, May 7, 2010

ERG (excruciating rowing getup)

21 situps/500m row, 18 situps/500m row... 3 situps/500m row. Total time 17:36.  Followed up by an awesome post-workout massage courtesy of Emily Jacobs. Note to all my other friends, if you are not in massage therapy school and in need of friends to practice on, you should be.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


I was lucky enough to be right next to skinny-white-weightbelt & backwards hat wearing-plateslammer-guy this morning. Such a pleasant sound at 5am. 5 sets of 3 max deadlifts. Warmed up for 5 min on the ERG, did one set of 5x135, one of 5x205, and then did my 5 max sets at 255. And now... coffee!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Swim Swap

Missed my swim on Sun, so I swapped today's 500yds for 4x400yds. I rested 2 min between sets and tried to stay within the proscribed 4 seconds, but I came out with some weird times: 6:50, 7:11, 7:16, 7:20. The 6:50 was blazingly fast for me, but I swum my little heart out on the others and couldn't seem to keep pace. That said, it was definitely 100% effort...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Miss me?

So, it's been a few weeks. A new role at work combined with training, school, and Reserve duty has me busy from morning until night and is SERIOUSLY cutting into my social networking. Without trying to re-cap every workout, the big news is that this past weekend I had to take my physical fitness test for the Corps. Normally it's just another day, but since my foot is still broken and I haven't ran in several months, I was more than a little concerned about aggravating it 7 weeks out from the race. So... good news: while I can still very definitely "feel" the break when running, there was no pain and it held up just fine- although I did adjust my gait to run heel-toe (gasp!) Finished the 3 mile run in 21:45 (7:15/mi), and although it's not my best time, I really can't complain. Knocked out the 20 pull-ups, and then the 100 crunches in about 90 sec.  I took a few hours off and then did a 1 hr TT on the bike to get my hydration requirements. In one hour in 85 deg heat I covered a little over 20 miles in hilly Quantico, and lost a total of 3.5 lbs through sweating (need to do the calculations and take into account the sodium in my eGels to get a better grasp on my fueling strategy). And with that... back to work!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The tourists are gone!!!!!

Lots of workouts, but no time to blog. Started on a new project at work and it seems like I'm busy from 5am-11pm without a break. To recap the week so far- lots of miles on the bike and lots of dodging cars (avg'd 21ish for my 80k),  was almost run over by the Russian President's motorcade, got to the pool with 15 minutes until closing, stripped, jumped in, no warm up and forgot to start my watch, and still got my 800yds in before they threw me out. I'll be in Mobile, AL for the next 4 days so I may be silent again until next Mon.

Almost forgot- had the worst saddle sore of my life which FINALLY "released" this morning. Ahhhhh.....

Friday, April 9, 2010

100 pull-ups for time

Went to the wifes xfit gym for the first time this morning. It was gloriously decrepit. Word is they are about to tear down the building and relocate- holes in the wall, falling ceiling tiles, exposed wiring- in short, it was awesome. Used the free-swinging pull up bars (also a first). Made it through the first 25 or so in about 90 seconds, the next 25 over about 5 minutes and by the time I hit 55 (kipping up until this point) I had to switch to a band to assist. My arms and back were shot. Finished in a total time of 18:08. Giddyup.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Afternoon swim

Counted my ride to the gym along w 3x50 as my warm up. Main set of 800yds- felt a little sluggish at first, but finished fairly strong in a time of 14:11, or 1:46 per 100. Not my best, but I'll take it.

Also, allergies are kicking my ass. I really hate cherry blossom time :)

Sit-ups v. crunches?

250 sit-ups for time. I did these at the gym, where I just discovered they don't have a bar to hook your feet under. Crazy. I took a 75# barbell and laid it across my feet to keep me in place. Not really thinking about it I started doing these in the same style as the standard Marine Corps PFT crunch. In retrospect this may have been a mistake. I made it through the first 100 in just under 2 min. The next 150 took over 10 min, for a total time of 12:44.  Oops.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

More bike :)

Supposed to have a 20min bike TT this morning. Opted to ride w/some friends and see if it covered the workout. I should mention that, of the group that showed up, they are all pretty speedy. Meaning, they are a whole lot faster than I. Ridiculously so. In total, I rode for about  1:15, including about 25 min of commuting to and from Haines Point. I did 2.5 big laps of the Point with the total working ride being about 13 miles. Not entirely sure how it all worked out, but the average cruising/paceline speed was around 23-4ish and during the 3 sprints of about .5 mile each I saw 32mph, 29mph, and 31mph. I was definitely feeling last nights squats- yowza. 250 situps for time tonight.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Back from spring break w/the daugther and wife, and I really hate tourists.

Lots of working out over spring break, although I was a bit off plan having to substitute workouts and didn't record most of them. But, today:

Bike: 1 min effort, 30 sec rest, repeat 20X. Averaged right at 21mph.

7 back squats, 5 rounds coming up shortly. ETA: 185#, 185#, 205#, 225#, 245#. Should have gone heavier earlier. Probably could have done more at the end, but w/no spotter I erred on the side of not collapsing w/ 245# on my back.

*rant warning*

What the hell is it with the tourists that are in DC for the cherry blossoms this year? Look, I'll put up with your need to step out in front of me while biking/running, your inability to navigate a admittedly confusing city by car, your inability to navigate an extremely easy to use metro system, your obvious personal indifference to diet/exercise that has led to your state of near-morbid obesity, and your general obliviousness, but what I will not put up with is the amount of trash/littering you have left all over the National Mall and the Monuments. I just finished my ride this morning at Haines Point and rode back home along the Mall to catch a glimpse of the sun rising over the Capitol. The place looks like the picture of the farmer's field after Woodstock just ended- WTF?! There are trash cans all over the place- use them. If they are full, carry your empty big gulp to the next one. You are not too good to hang on to a candy wrapper until you find a somewhere to discard it. I swear to God the next person I see drop something on the ground is going to get it thrown back into their face, possibly followed shortly by my fist. If they look under 18 and are waddling along w/their parents, dad better look out. Have a little respect for your environment- it really isn't that hard.

Friday, March 26, 2010

holy hell that hurt

500m row, 3 min rest, repeat 8 times. This was more brutal than I expected (noticing a theme here). Averaged around 1:43 for the first couple sets, slowing down to 1:52 for the last. Not even the sweet melodies of Rammstein could coax any more effort out of me at the end.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


21 push-ups/ 21 squats/ 500m row, 15 push-ups/ 15 squats/ 500m row, 9 push-ups/ 9 squats/ 500m row. Total time 8:41.

Monday, March 22, 2010

What does HCR, a Ferrari, and cycling and swimming have in common?

Well... me actually (And Mrs. Me. Liz rode w/me on Sat). Moved a bunch of workouts around to accommodate the beautiful weather/scheduling. I rode on both Sat (38 miles) and Sun (45 miles). Sat turned out to be a group ride w/the my corporate "team". Was actually surprised that I was one of the 3 people pulling for the majority of the ride. I guess some of this trainer stuff is paying off early in the season. Sunday I went out on my own to do the 3 miles, rest a min, 6 miles, rest 2 min, 9 miles, rest 3 min, 12 miles. Started off fairly well after a 5 mile warm up to get to my route. Avg'd about 22mph for the first 3 and 6. I went to grab a drink after the 6 mile pull and realized I has unknowingly launched my one bottle of nutrition (I had 2 bottles of water, 1 of concentrated Accelerade, and a back-up gel). Oops. Downed my gel, stretched my back out (having the familiar early season holy-hell-the-aero-position-takes-a-while-to-get-used-to back spasms), and took off on the 9 mile pull which included the Great Falls hill. Yowza. Somewhere around here a yuppy in his new Ferrari almost ran me over. Seriously, if you're gonna drop 150k on a car, splurge for driving lessons. (I also saw a pristine 80's Lamborghini Countach on a Sunday drive- the car of my teenage dreams :) Anywho, I stopped after 9 to stretch again and strip off my base layer shirt, and set off on my 12 miler. About 3 miles in I saw my bottle of Accelerade sitting in the dirt on the side of the road (in the sun, of course). Stopped, cleaned it off as best I could, and drank from the sweet fountain of warm, sticky goodness. It was a little too late though- I ran out of juice at about mile 9 and spent the last 3 in a state of total bonk-ness. Before that I was chugging along at a steady 21ish, which I thought was pretty good for this early in the season. 

So... I finished the workout portion of the ride and leisurely rode home across the National Mall. Leisurely until I ran into the Immigration protests, followed by the Health Care Reform protests. At least 100k people out there. Wow- in the 5 years I've been in DC, I've never seen anger like this. Not just activism, but downright anger. The driveway into the Capitol bldg was lined 10 deep with protesters screaming at the representatives as they arrived. Crazy.
Finally, I swam this morning. 250, 5x50, repeat 3 times. I was fairly consistent the entire time. Each 250 was right at 4:20, and my 50's were all within a sec of :45. Not bad for a slow swimmer.

Finally finally... shoulder press 5 sets of 3. Warmed up w/45#, 65#, 95#, then the 5 sets at 115#.

Friday, March 19, 2010

100 days and counting...

I just looked at the ticker and noticed I'm at the 100 day mark until CdA. All of a sudden it just got a whole lot closer. Today's workout: Row 200/ 21 sit-ups, Row 200/18 sit-ups, decreasing the sit-ups by 3 until you get to 0 and row a final 200. I thought this was one of the easier workouts, although my core was more fatigued than I expected at the start. Doing the sit-ups on the hard floor next to the ERG's didn't feel so good either. But... finished in 12:50.

Riding outside tomorrow- can't wait!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Saturday's workout today

I had a bike today and a lift/row on Sat. Since the weather is supposed to be abso-bleepin-lutely beautiful on Sat, I swapped them. So today was deadlift 1/2 bodyweight 30 times and row 1k for time. 1/2 my bodyweight is somewhere around 90-95 lbs (I used 95)- 30 deadlifts in 1:05, and then the 1k row in 3:42, for a total time of 4:47.  And now, I drink coffee!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I actually passed someone in the pool.

Good swim this morning. As someone who has always been a middle-of-the-pack swimmer, I think I lucked out and wound up in a lane with 2 people much slower than me. It does a lot to boost your confidence when you actually pass someone. Anywho, 1000yd TT in 18:55.

Monday, March 15, 2010

And just like that: cha-ching!

Not sure if I was fueled by my desire to prove that a little fracture in my foot can't stop me, my hatred for Chuck Bass, my excitement over the return of Michael Shumacher to F1, or if this Crossfit thing really works, but I had a great ride. Did my 20K TT on the trainer over 3 min faster than last week. And my HR was a full 10 bpm higher throughout the ride, topping out around 182. Finished in 39:42. Take that, Mr. Foot Fracture.

And the Dr. says... no running.

Well, actually that's not what he said. He said I can run, but it will prevent the fracture in my foot from healing... and that I should start w/3-5 miles per week and increase by no more than 10% week over week... and it would be up to me to manage the pain with Tylenol (apparently anti-inflammatories (sp), such as Motrin or cortisone shots will slow down the healing process in the bone).  We agreed this is not exactly the most appealing of prospects, nor would this strategy do much to get me to the finish line. This was the opinion he said he would give to a "normal", non-training kind of person. Knowing that I go to him because he is a sports medicine guy he didn't actually suggest that I follow this, but noted that whatever I decide to do running-wise between now and the race would be effectively be limited by my own pain management strategy, and that we could fix it for good after the season ends. So, after discussing w/Max, we're gonna give this a go with no running between now and race day. Anyone out there curious to see if an Ironman can be effectively completed without any run training? I am (and honestly, I feel pretty good about it).

Thursday, March 11, 2010

As usual, Moose figured it out

Bike 1mile, rest 1 minute, 15X. This did not go as planned. First, the forecast called for rain, so while it was still dark outside I hopped on the trainer. As the sun rose it turned out to be a beautiful near 60 degree morning. Oops. Anywho, after my warm-up I made it through about 6 of the 15 sets and had to call the quits. There was just nothing in my legs. Couldn't quite understand it, and then, after a brief conversation w/Moose I understood. Last night the spousal unit wasn't feeling well- coughing and sneezing. I woke up with itchy eyes and a scratchy throat (but didn't think anything of it). Then, as I was conversing w/Moose I realized his eyes were a bit runny too. Eureka! The massive amounts of moisture from the melting show plus this sudden warm up have led to a mini-bloom of plants and grasses around here. Looks like allergies have come out of no-where. Hydration, vitamin C, and avoiding any kind of refined carbs and I should be good in a day or so.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Morning swim

700 yd swim this morning. Same 2x50 warm-up and 1x50 cool-down (always seems I'm pressed for time in the a.m.) Finished in 12:52- about 17 sec slower than last time. Not too concerned about the speed, as I'm feeling a bit more fatigued and only have one leg available to push off the wall. Crazily, I was the first person in my lane, and when I got out there were only 2 others. Must have been a fire sale at Macy's...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

At least I can still ride

20K TT. Good stuff. 10 min warm up followed by the 20K. Maintained a fairly steady high 140's HR for the first 10K, and then high 150's for the 2nd. Managed to get up into the high 160's for my final min push. I felt good about this one- definitely didn't have much left at the end. Finished in 42:48.

The Foot of Woe

Foot is still jacked. I went out to do my 13.1 mi run last night and was fine through about mile 3. Then I started to feel that familiar burning sensation somewhere inside the hoof. By mile 4 it was pretty pronounced, and by mile 5 it downright hurt and the change in my gait was making my knee hurt as well. By the time I got to the top of Capitol Hill (mile 5.6 of the run) I called the quits and opted to save it for another day. Total time for the 5.6 was about 48min, roughly an 8:30 pace (including my 10 min warm-up mile, which put the remaining 4.6 closer to 8 min miles. Not too shabby for me). Earliest Dr. appointment I could get is next Monday morning. Until then, lots of ice and stretching. And biking and swimming and...

Friday, March 5, 2010

"Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son."

*ETA*- I was gently reminded that I should probably mention my lovely wife, who is also using a crossfit based IM plan, did the workout with me.  She said it was the best part of my day, and that I really enjoyed the together time. :-D

Animal House. One of the best movies of all time. Just thought I'd mention it.

Did my 4 x 5K intervals on the trainer yesterday as ordered. 5 min warm-up plus .3 cool down after each interval to make it a nice round number to start the next set from (I'm simple that way). Finished in 44:35.

Ever have that moment where you look at the workout and think to yourself "This one isn't so bad". Yeah, I'm learning to fear those moments. 400m run + 20 burpees, 4 rounds for time. Not so bad. Heh.  So, I slowly ran on my somewhat recovered foot down to The Mall (roughly 1.5 mi) as the warm up. Ran the first 400 in about 83 sec, did my 20 burpees, and went to run my next 400. Yeah, not quite as fast. No idea how fast it was, but it wasn't fast. On burpee #10 of the second set I began cursing all things x-fit. On the 3rd 400 I actually ran a bit with my eyes closed because it just seemed easier than keeping them open (might have saved 1/2 a calorie of energy there). On the 3rd set of burpees my legs felt like cement. The 4th run was excruciating and more of a shuffle. Not sure I even remember the last set of burpees. Total time 14:40. Walked up Capitol Hill and then slowly ran the mile back home as a cool down..

So... this was my first run since testing the foot a couple of days ago. I have no idea what to make of this. Clearly I can run on it without pain. It just doesn't feel right. Out of nowhere it will make an uncomfortable "click" inside, almost like a subluxation (sp) of some random bone I didn't even know I had, and then be fine again. Post run I was experiencing a burning sensation, almost like a sunburn, but from the inside of the foot. But it doesn't hurt- it just feels weird. Grr...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Swimming in the rain...

This was one of those mornings where it took every fiber of my being to climb out of bed, get dressed, and walk to the pool in 30 deg weather, overcast and spitting rain. And we were out of coffee. But I did. Slow day at the pool too- only had to circle swim w/3 other people in my lane while the lone water-walker (heh) had fully 1/3 of the pool to herself. Sigh. But... warmed up with 2 x 50 and set in for my prescribed 700yds. Finished in 12:35. Cooled down w/another 50 plus a walk to Perrigrine Coffee for what could possibly be the worlds best cappucino.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Spin, spun, spent

I really am a workout snob. Seriously- I need a support group. Since my foot still didn't feel up to it I opted for a spin class rather than the prescribed 45 min running TT. I've been to this class before, and the instructor is pretty good. But I can't stand watching people who know nothing about bike geometry, riding position, or what a focused workout really is, just hop on and spin at 130 rpm w/no resistance and their body bouncing all over the place. And the people who feel they need to talk out loud as if they are adding value. Seriously, old guy in the full length spandex and cotton socks- quiet please. I have no idea why I let this irk me, but apparently I do.

Anywho- it was an ass kicker of a workout. Warm-up, max effort 30 sec intervals at 80/90/100/105 rpm (same recovery time), same set at 60 secs, then 90 sec. Cool down and stretch. Broke the 500 watt barrier on most sets, so I consider that a win. Off to find some chamomile tea and calm down...

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The wind and the lion

Well, actually there was no lion (I just happen to love that movie), but there was a helluva lot of wind. Based on our weather forecast I moved a few things around and did Fri's 30K TT today. This would have been a great idea had I got out in the morning before the wind picked up, but my bike shop of choice doesn't open until 1pm on Sunday's. You'll recall (since I know you all hang on my every post) that I had a front derailleur issue, as well as realized I was given a generic set of rear gearing when I paid for SRAM Red. So... I was at the shop right at 1, and they promptly fixed the derailleur and found me a nice shiny new set of Red 11-23 gearing (also picked up Liz's new pedals and a new tub of chamois butter- the tingly kind ;-) From there I drove out to Haines Point to ACTUALLY RIDE OUTSIDE. If anyone here has run the Marine Corps Marathon, you're familiar with the Point. It's a nice 3.4ish mile loop with minimal traffic (other than cyclists, roller bladers, and runners). You can extend the loop by about 2 miles if you ride the back straight out to the Lincoln Memorial and back.

But I digress- I hopped on my bike for my warm-up lap and enjoyed actually riding on the road for once. This lasted for about a mile until I made the turn up the back straight and turned into the wind. Holy Schniekies! The front straight is relatively protected, but the back straight is open to the Potomac, and if there is any wind it tends to be a direct headwind. I went from a cool 20ish down to about 13-14, and it was gusty and increasing. On the bright side, my new gearing was smooth like buttah, but it wasn't doing much in the way of calming mother nature. I gave it a total of 12ish miles as the wind steadily increased (speeds varying between 12mph into the wind, and 26 without the headwind).  I was almost blown over twice, and I saw a smaller lady trying to come to a stop get completely knocked over on her nice shiny P2C (I stopped and talked to her- she was fine. Just a bruised ego). That's when I called the quits and headed home to finish my last 10K on the trainer. Blech. Total time 1:02.49.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


10 burpee's, 5 push-ups, row 500m, as many rounds as possible in 20 min. Since my gym isn't set up for this (no room next to the ERGs) I had to walk to an adjacent room for the burpee/push-up combo. Got through 5 complete rounds, plus the burpee/push-up part of round 6. I gave myself an extra 30 sec to account for the room transit (total time 20:30), but probably should have given a bigger cushion. Anywho, round 5 on the ERG (Excruciating Rower Getup?) was definitely the closest I've been to puking yet. Part of me kinda wants to let loose and freak out the people reading their books on the ellipticals. Is that so wrong?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The pool is finally open again

Actually, it probably re-opened last week but I was out of town. Apparently the news got out because there were 4 or 5 people per lane as soon as it opened at 0630. I do appreciate the need for the aqua-walker-aerobic-non-swimmer types to have some space, but do they really need to close off 3 lanes worth of real estate for 2 people? I'll never get that. Anywho... Warmed up with a 10min brisk walk to the pool and 2x50, and then set in. For a 1000yd TT.  1st 500 in 7:56, second in 9:11, for a total of 17:06. Not too bad, relatively speaking.

Fran tonight.

ETA- Damn. Fran (that evil b*tch) kicked my ass. Suspect it had to do with my lackluster diet today, combined with those ridiculous ergonomic pull-up handles that allow neither kipping nor adjusting hand position, but I had little to work with in the tank. Finished in 15:10.  

Monday, February 22, 2010

May have screwed this one up?

So, after almost a week of missed workouts due to convalescing child and travel, I jumped right back on the horse this morning. Read the workout last night (cycling)- Bike 1 mile, rest same time, bike 2 miles, rest same time, etc, up to 5 miles and then back down. A typical "ladder of pain" based on distance instead of time. My wifes alarm went off at 0445 for her x-fit class, and I began to marinate over the workout as I failed to fall back asleep waiting for my 0530 wake-up. Lets see... 20mph on the trainer (optimistically), a total of 30 miles for the workout = 1.5 hours, plus that same time in rest = 3 hours, plus warm-up and cool-down = 3.5 hours... no friggin way this was going to happen before work, and not even my combined TiVo'd Olympic coverage and Jersey Shore repeats could help me make it through 3.5 hours on the trainer without the serious contemplation of, well, some not very nice things. Snookie would have most definitely wound up with another black eye. So during the 45 minutes of sleep I lost waiting for my alarm I convinced myself this must be a typo, or at the very least a misplaced weekend workout (my ability to justify things in that pseudo-awake state is truly impressive), and opted to replace the miles with minutes in order to fit it in before work. I wound up with a nice excruciating 60 min main set, but still feel like I cheated myself out of the other 2.5 hours.

Incidentally, my front deraillure slipped down and would not allow me to ride in the big ring. Not wanting to get out of the workout zone I made a quick fix without re-positioning the cable and screwing around w/the limit screws. Normally I would permanently fix this myself post-workout, but as I was down there I noticed another issue. When I bought the bike it came w/full SRAM Red, to include the rear cassette. I had the dealer swap the cassette to the gearing I liked, and just realized they replaced it with a generic brand, which may explain some of my mis-shifting. Not for nothing, but given the cost of Red, I'm going back and making an issue of it. And while they are re-swapping out the cassette, they can tune up and re-torque the bike. Dammit :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Reality can be a bitch sometimes.

40k TT. 10 min warm-up, and then set in for the ride. My HR gradually creeped up, from 140ish to 150ish @ 10k (where I also had an e-gel) to the 160's around 30k, and finally finished in the mid-170's. Total time 1:25:13.

Thought for the day: I absolutely love the winter Olympics.  From the time I was able to walk I've been skiing, and for someone who is from the East coast, I was pretty damned good back in the days of Bill Johnson and the Mahre brothers. I still jokingly blame my failure to make the US team on my parents for not sending me to a downhill training camp I wanted to attend at Whistler-Blackcomb when I was in my early teens. (You reading this mom and dad :-) I Tivo'd the opening ceremonies to use on the trainer this morning, so I didn't know about the Georgian luge athlete who died on the course yesterday until I was riding. It was a very sobering moment for me, and is still resonating hours after the 10 min spot on NBC's coverage.  Knowing what I (we) go through as pure amateurs to realize my (our) goals and thinking about what he must have gone through to be recognized as one of the worlds best- watching him crash and his life end in a split second was heartbreaking. I'm not a religious person, but if I was my prayers would be going out to his family, friends, and team.

Friday, February 12, 2010


300 squats for time. As usual- ouch! Cranked through the first 100 in 1:45, then had to take a few second break each 50 to try not to collapse and grab a swig of water. Total time 6:23.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snowmageddon, SnOMG, Snowpocalypse, or whatever else you want to call it.

Apologies to all- I haven't had a chance to see what anyone else has been up to before I'm writing this, so forgive me if I'm re-stating the obvious about how much this weather does not foster training. At least not here in DC where I'm not sure if the local gov't can distinguish dealing with some snow from an all out invasion from outer space. Meaning whatever form of media you choose to watch/listen/read, there is only one story- how debilitating the snow is. Now don't get me wrong. I love this. Absolutely love it (and so do Liz and Moose). But, the pool is closed (I couldn't get there anyway), running outside is a non-starter (even if my foot was healed), and unfortunately my internet still works so I have been putting in 10+ hour workdays when the rest of my social circle is off sledding, drinking, or whathaveyou (I REALLY need a new job. Seriously). That said...

Today was 4 rounds of 25# kb swings (21x) and knee's to elbows (21x). The kb swings were no problem. The knees to elbows (k2e), on the other hand- yowza! I made it through the first round fairly intact, but the following 3 rounds were somewhat modified, in that I did them as best I could, but they weren't even close to what the video on th CF site looks like. Actually, it kind of turned into a hanging knee raise. Total time 12:59. I did drop a note in the suggestion box requesting my gym get an actual pull-up bar to augment to two "wide grip ergonomic things" they have attached to two of the universal stations. Those things suck.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Stairs, how I hate thee.

50 squats, 10 burpee's, 6X through. Total time 13:18. Had an entire confluence of head rush, leg fatigue, and nausea hit me all at once as soon as I finished. It was glorious.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I want some warm weather and early morning sun, dammit.

Before the day got away from me without getting either of my workouts in, I decided to switch my Wed routine w/Thurs. My wife has a swim sched for Thurs morning, and it's easier for both of us to get to the pool at 5 freakin' a.m. in this miserable weather when we have each other to bitch to. So, today was back squats x 7. Warmed up on the ERG for 5 min, and found my way to the squat rack. Worked my way up from a warm up set of 5x135#, to a second of 5x185#, and then started my reps. Did the first rep @ 235#, second and third at 255#, and then 4-7 at 265#. I feel like I could have gone higher, but since I had no spot and a questionable foot I played it safe.

Question for Max- traditionally I am a "ass to calf squatter". Meaning I'll go all the way down on the negative until my butt touches my calves (paying attention to knee position). In order to do this without falling over backwards I'll put a 35# plate flat behind each leg and rest my heels on it. I lift less weight this way, but feel as if I get a better workout through the full range of motion. Since starting w/crossfit I stopped doing this, and now stop the negative just before my knee's reach 90 deg (or as close as I can get without feeling like I'm going to go over backward). I tend to like the ass to calf method better, but am wondering what your guidance would be?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Quick one.

5k on the ERG in 20:29. Took a full 1:10 off my time last week. Giddyup.

Moose is home! For those who don't know, he was out at doggie boot camp for 4 weeks. Pic of the day. I call this "Running to Knowledge" Heh. (Library of Congress in the background):

Friday, January 29, 2010

So, the good news is...

... it's not broken. The bad news is... it was broken (probably related to my jump from the boat) but I didn't know it, has since healed, and now I've aggravated it. This after meeting w/the Doc (who is actually a pretty good guy), getting x-rays, an ultrasound, and some more poking and prodding. The good news is I can still swim and bike, just no running or impact producing movements for the next 2-3 weeks, and then we re-assess. I also have a PT regimen to do 3X per day. No meds though, so that's good. I suppose this means any of the x-fit related workouts are out (Max?), and I probably need to reconsider my choice of cycling shoe as well- I have the Specialized Tri-vents with the metatarsal button that will be pushing right into the painful spot.

Thanks for the good vibes folks...

Thought for the day: I spent a considerable amount of time searching for a MD who specializes in sports medicine, but who is also a general practitioner. I'm tired of going to Dr's who don't get it, and whose answer to everything is always "if it hurts, then don't do it". This line of reasoning just isn't acceptable to an athlete. So this was the second time I'd been to this particular practice (the first was for a physical about 6 months ago), and the first time there with any type of injury. I'm happy to say the Doc didn't even consider "stay off your feet and rest" tack, and approached the issue from the perspective I was hoping. Good job Doc, good job. It didn't hurt that there is a life size mural of Peyton Manning painted in the exam room. Go Colts!

Also, read the first paragraph. Heh. Beware the resolutionists

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I broke my f'in foot!

Well, actually I'm not sure if I broke it. Remember that clicking in my toe I was bitching about a few posts ago? No? Well then you should pay closer attention because I was, in fact, whining like a little girl. So here's the scoop and what I think happened. Months and months ago I was on my boat, and jumped down onto a wooden dock. It's possible that there was some alcohol involved, and that I landed all wonky on my right foot. So... I hobbled around for a few days until it felt better and didn't think about it again. Until now. So this clicking thing started in my toe a few weeks ago. Then, a few days ago when I was doing my 10k TT on the treadmill with the incline, it really started to hurt. And I mean hurt. The last 10 min of that run were excruciating. But even afterward I was fine walking around on it, until I got home and took my shoe off. I took one step forward and almost folded onto the ground. It got a little better over the next day, but every time I walk around without the support of a shoe it feels like I have a broken piece of glass at the base of the toe, where it connects to that jumble of bones in the forefoot. Very odd because when I am wearing a shoe it is barely noticeable. Anyway, I'm seeing the sports medicine witch-doctor guy tomorrow and will let you know what the diagnosis is.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

People are all looking at me because I'm walking funny.

Sorry Max- it's been too long. To bring my loyal readers up to date (both of you- hi mom and dad :-) Last Wed I woke up in the middle of the night w/a pretty significant fever which knocked me out until Sat. Not feeling entirely 100% I decided to test the waters with a little 20 mile bike ride. Honestly, it was also a gorgeously sunny, if not chilly, day outside and I REALLY needed to justify the exorbitant cost of a pair of Castelli cycling tights I bought in Nov but had yet to wear (they absolutely f-in rock, btw). Anyway- it turned out to be a great ride and my condition continued to improve. Not wanting to relapse I made the command decision to limit myself to 1 workout per day until today. So... Sun I hit the pool for my 6x100 on 4min rest. I was so proud of myself, consistently lapping between 1:26 and 1:30 per hundred. The last time I did something similar I was averaging around 1:50ish, and I was all "Crossfit rocks, yo". Then I realized it was time to crush my enthusiasm about my awesomeness and ask someone if the pool was short. They couldn't say definitively, but the general consensus is that, yes, it is short. Dammit. Oh well. Yesterday turned out to be a wash (damn you work, damn you).

Which brings me to today. A 10k TT, on the treadmill, at 5% incline. Lets see... a 10k flat should take me a ~45 min, add in the incline and... maybe 50-55min tops. Heh, I'm funny. So I included my warm-up in the run because of the gym's time limits on the 'mill, and began running a nice and slow10min pace, increasing 1% grade every 2 min. At 10 min I was at 5%, and had a slight feeling that I might not be running this thing as quickly as I initially thought. 10 min later I knew, just like a gov't timeline, my initial assessment was shall we say "optimistic".  At this point I'd like to pause and point out that a girl came in and took the 'mill to my right. She placed her cappuccino in the cup holder (not a coffee, but a foamy, frothy cappuccino), started walking, and made a phone call. At 6:45 am. Seriously? So, being the workout snob I am, this incensed me to no end. I was brought back to reality a minute later when I realized the 5% grade now felt like I was running up El Capitan. And so it went, until I finished in 1:03. And now here I sit, waiting for the inevitable cramps that will have my co-workers thinking I am going through some type of drug withdrawal, or possibly giving birth.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Finally I broke the treadmill :-)

This mornings workout- 20 box jumps, 20 squats, 20 push-ups, 20 sit-ups, run 1 mile. 2x through. The weather in DC was crappy this morning, spitting rain and 39 degrees. In order to do my best at avoiding pneumonia I opted for the gym and the dreaded 'mill. Like most people here (I suppose?) I don't have access to a dedicated crossfit facility, and my gym, while really a pretty decent facility, is not set up to facilitate what we are trying to do. The space where the have the boxes is on the 3rd floor, and all of the 'mills are on the 1st and 2nd floors. I was relieved to see they actually acquired some real iron "boxes", which means no more stacking aerobic steps and wedging them in place with 45lb plates.

So... I warmed up on a bike for 5 min (the ERG was taken) and went upstairs to get busy. I realized I had forgotten my watch, so I tried to time myself as best I could on the wall clock (amazing how pushing yourself 'till the verge of puking can make you forget what the clock said when you started). I did the 20/20/20/20 in exactly 2:20 both times, then ran a 7:28 and 6:46 respectively. Apparently I should have run harder on the first round. But... the highlight of the morning: On my second run I had to use a different treadmill than round one because, of course, someone was using it to walk while reading a book. So I hop on the next 'mill over and start up, increasing speed every 30 sec or so. As I closed in on a 6 min pace I realized it was out of balance and it started to vibrate pretty significantly. It was borderline safe, and my water bottle was close to being tossed out of the holder, which happened to be my self-determined threshold for stability- if the bottle got tossed I was going to hop off (I may be mildly crazy, but I have no desire to become a poster boy for treadmill safety). But... faulty equipment be damned- I had a workout to do. Then, as I crossed the 6 min pace and got into the 5's the foundering treadmill couldn't keep up and began flashing a warning message about how it couldn't maintain the pace. Secretly I was hoping it would have started smoking and burst into flames, because then I would be known as "the guy who runs so fast he smokes treadmills and bursts them into flames". But, no luck. I had to settle for my 6:46 and informing the girl at the desk that treadmill #34 is wounded, possibly mortally.

500m swim tonight (although this one may get OBE)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Rough couple of days...

So... after 3 States, 1,000 miles of driving, and one night of debaucherous drinking, I'm back in town and should have a schedule relatively uninterrupted by travel for the next several weeks. Workout #1 for the day was a leisurely 15k TT. There is no way I could remain sane for that long on the treadmill, so thank you thank you weather gods for providing a nice warm (if not damp) morning with temps in the low 30's. Suited up in my winter running gear and had my first run outside since before the holidays. Due to time constraints I had to work my warm-up into the first 10min of the run, and then did the best I could for the remainder. I stopped at about 30 min to down an e-Gel (Cherry Bomb- mmmmmmmm...). My route took me from Cap Hill down the Mall to the Lincoln Memorial, across the bridge into Arlington, and then back again. I shorted myself by about 1k and had to add a few loops around the WWII memorial to bring me back into line. All in all it was a good effort for me- avg'd HR was in the mid to high-150's, finishing in 1:24:50. This was the kind of morning when I just feel sad for all those people who live here but don't ever get to see the sun rise over the Capitol. It really is something.

Thought for the day: I had my first run with the Garmin 405. A significant improvement over my 301 as far as satellite acquisition, HR consistency, and size. The display is a bit harder to read in the early morning darkness, but that is strictly due to the size which I just said was a plus. Also, I found that I need to lock the bezel, otherwise I wind up changing the display screen without realizing it. Seems like it will be a great piece of gear as I spend more and more time outside.

ETA- 50 burpee's in 4:37. Ouch.

Also, link to today's run:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Click, click, click...

Today's sole workout- 5k run. It's still too cold outside for my little lungs to handle this type of effort, so it was off to the 'mill at the gym. During my warm-up I realized that I still have this "toe-click" thing going on. I also realized it was not in my ring-toe as previously reported, but in my middle toe. Of all the sports related injuries/issues I have had in my life, this is without a doubt the strangest. But I digress...

Following a 10 min w/u at about a 9:30 pace, I hopped off and stretched for a few minutes, and then let her rip (my version of ripping anyway). When it was all said and done I finished in 21:50. Comparing that to my 3 mile time of 22:30 in Nov, it's definitely a step in the right direction.

Monday, January 11, 2010

OMG, Snookie got into another fight!

So, for those who don't know, I am a Marine Corps reservist and just had a drilling weekend. As you might expect, the Corps is pretty athlete friendly. 3 hr lunches to get in a workout- no problem. Unfortunately it was not to be this weekend, hence the blogging gap and more importantly 2 missed workouts. But...

This morning came all too early. Liz was up at 0440 to make it to her CF class, and since I worked all weekend, I decided the luxury of an extra hour of sleep was well earned. So at 5:45ish I wandered downstairs with cycling shorts in hand, lathered up the nether region with chamois butter, and hopped on the trainer for my 12x 1mi intervals on 1min rest.  I warmed up for about 10 mins while searching for something to watch, and was relieved to find that TiVo had recorded 2 episodes of "Jersey Shore" (stop. right now. don't judge me). I knocked out the workout in 50:41 and then hobbled into the kitchen for coffee and recovery drink. (I heart good coffee).

Depending on the situation at the gym tonight, I may swap "Helen" for my missed ERG/push-up workout from yesterday.

Thought for the day: "Jersey Shore" is fantastic trainer fodder. Similar to a 100% effort workout, it just hurts to watch. I think that equates to extra calories burned, which means I really gave more than 100%. Also, I will no longer be telling people I grew up in Jersey. As far as everyone out there is concerned I grew up "just outside Princeton".

Friday, January 8, 2010

2 inches? Is that it?

So after much ballyhoo, we had a mere 2 inches of snow last night. It seems the grocery stores were not overrun, the National Guard was not called out, and the Federal and DC Gov't offices are open. Maybe, just maybe, sanity is breaking out in this town (although I hear Northern VA is on a 2 hr school delay, so maybe notsomuch).

1st workout done- 3-3-3-3-3 max deadlifts. 5 min warm up on the ERG (or is it erg?). Started w/135, then moved up to 225 and had to stay there for my 5 rounds. My lower back is still my limiting factor (thank you very much, Mr. guy-who-decided-120lbs-of-additional-gear-is-an-acceptable-combat-load-for-jumping-out-of-MRAPs-and-generally-running-around-Iraq). I definitely had more to give on this one, but I'm going to have to wait for my back to catch up with the rest of me.

Bike Tabata tonight, and possibly a swim this afternoon.

ETA- Swim done. A few 50's to warm up, and then an 800 in 13:30ish (possibly 14:20- I may have mis-counted laps and added an extra 50).

Thought for the day- When putting on compression socks, it is a good idea to not do it standing up.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Why do people avoid the gym on Thursdays?

It's a phenomenon I'll never understand, but very much appreciate. The gym-going masses of days past were non-existent.

Today's effort was what my HS track coach called "The Stairway to Heaven": 200-rest-400-rest-800-rest-800-rest-400-rest-200. Normally I'd try and find a track to do this, or at the very least strap on the Garmin and run laps around the reflecting pool at the National Mall, but since I have a hard time running outside when the temps are this low I headed to the treadmills again. Pretty straightforward overall- 10 min warm up,  6 min/mile pace through second 400, and then hit the limit on the 'mill (which I just found out is 12mph, or 5:00min/mi) for the last 200. I think I had more to give, but it was a little challenging trying to maintain the effort, play with the treadmill buttons and keep my balance. I can't be known as "the guy who fell off the treadmill". I'd much prefer to be known as "he who wields the hammer of the Gods" (heh- I like that. Gonna have to put that on a t-shirt someday).

In other news I definitely strained my left calf yesterday. It was very noticeable on todays run, but not a hindrance. I "think" it is causing me to unconsciously throw my gait off- my entire posterior chain is more tight than usual, and my left knee was a bit sore after the run. I'll make sure to keep moving/stretching throughout the day (as opposed to sitting at my desk for 8-10 hours) and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Also, the "ring toe" on my right foot is "clicking" when I run. Not painful, but really annoying. Anyone have any thoughts on that one?

And yes Haley, I got a new bike :-) Since the P3C fit Liz so well, I gave that to her and had to find something for me (I know. I'm a giver) :

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

And this is why you hydrate

Rough 12 hours. So last night was supposed to be a 10k TT. I realized going into it that my hydration level wasn't exactly where it should be, but hey, it's just a 10k, right? (mental note- set watch timer to remind me to drink while at work) Normally I would have done this outside, but running through rush hour traffic in the city, in the dark, with the wind chill in the single digits is just not fun for anyone. So... treadmill it was. I managed to beat the 6pm rush to the 'mills and warmed up a bit. The effort started out ok- ran the 1st mile at 8:00, then miles 2-4 at 7:30 (a pretty decent pace for me) and was getting ready to drop another 30 sec for the remainder. And thats where it started to go downhill. I felt a cramp coming on in my left calf, which gradually progressed to a pretty decent stab. This was oddly reminiscent and in the same calf as the "great calf tear of '06": while training for IMCdA the first time around I tore my calf by continuing to train when I knew I should have backed off (immediately after the holidays, too much partying, not enough sleep, dehydrated, etc). This necessitated 6 weeks of rehab on an elliptical. And I HATE the elliptical. So... after trying to run through it for 1/2 mile I decided to leave well enough alone and be satisfied with the thought that, had it not been for Mr. Calf Cramp, I would have put forth a really decent effort. Immediately after I did some serious stretching, and rolled out my legs on the foam roller (mental note #2- find the Trigger Point Massage Ball stuff I have stored somewhere and break it out). 

Fast-forward to this mornings workout of alternating 500m rows and kettlebell swings. I rolled out of bed at a leisurely 0530 and made it to the gym before 6. Unfortunately, both of the ERG's we have were in use, and the kettlebells are kept on a different floor. Rather than trying to fit my swings into the already crowded cardio room, or try and run back and forth hoping the ERG didn't get taken in my absence, I opted for some outside the box thinking (hey- I'm a consultant). I returned home to my own personal 26.5 lb kettlebell, and alternated the swings with 2min (about the time it takes me to row the 500) abdominal efforts on a Swiss ball.   Not a perfect substitute, but at least I feel like I got it in. 

800m swim tonight.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

And the New Year begins...

After 6 weeks of too much travel, too much unhealthy (albeit darned tasty) food, and working out in mediocrity, I've finally got my act together. I should mention that I am more than a little annoyed that my renewal coincides with the hordes of "resolutionists" who have descended upon my gym and are making it quite difficult to do anything other than compare my former haven to a Wal-Mart parking lot. But... I was there first, I've been doing this entirely too long, and I will not let the cost of my new bike go unjustified by allowing them to interfere with my desire to be better than they are. So...

This morning's wake up call came at 0440. This absurd hour was necessitated by last nights 7pm workout that almost didn't happen because there was quite literally nowhere to do deadlifts, and the 2 ERG's we have were taken. But, as mentioned above, I got it in. So I made it to the gym at 5am to do "Cindy" (5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 squats, as many times as possible in 20 min). I did a quick 5 min warm-up on the ERG and then found my little spot in the corner by my back-up pull-up bar (my primary bar was, of course, taken by a patron who was quite obviously using one of her xmas gift certificates for a personal training session). The difference between the two bars, since I know you are wondering, is the primary is a straight, normal pull-up bar, and the back-up has 2 handles off the back of a machine which are "ergonomically" set quite far apart necessitating a wide grip and allowing little variation. But... off I went. I managed to get 9 or 10 rounds in in the allotted time. The first 3 rounds were done in less than 3 minutes, and the remaining 6 or 7 (I lost count during one of my spells of light-headedness between rounds) took the other 17 min. Cooled down and stretched for another 10, and then hobbled the 1/2 block home for coffee and a shower.

10k for time later tonight.

Thought for the day- no matter how angry you get at the pull-up bar, some old school Metallica can make you angrier.