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Saturday, January 31, 2009

13resolutions - 1 month update

Albert Einstein, who discovered that a tiny amount of mass is equal to a huge amount of energy, which explains why, as Einstein himself so eloquently put it in a famous 1939 speech to the Physics Department at Princeton, "You have to exercise for a week to work off the thigh fat from a single Snickers." ~Dave Barry, Dave Barry Turns 50
The NO-S DIET did not have the results that I had hoped for. I do not blame the diet. - 13resolutions. I will keep at it but I also get to start a new resolution tomorrow!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Lunch running

Good judgement is the result of experience, experience is the result of bad judgment. - Mark Twain
I had a nice 7.5 mile run at lunch today (58:40 - 7:49 min / mile). Nothing fast or blistering but a nice run in the cool weather. My training plan actually called for an easy 75 minute recovery bike ride. It is just hard to get some of these bike rides in during the week. I may ride the trainer tonight but that is not likely. I will probably just add the time to the Sunday ride if the weather is nice or jump on the trainer for an hour or so this weekend.

Easy week - great swim

The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it. - Woodrow Wilson (1856 - 1924)
I had a great swim at lunch yesterday. It was only 1500 yards but I am improving. Not fast by any means but improving. I'll take that any day. I warmed up for 250 yards and then did only one set of 1000 yards and then another 250 to cool down. I don't wear my glasses at the pool so it is hard to see the minutes on the clock (I only use the second hand anyway) but I am not sure how fast I swam the 1000 yards. I swam the distance in either 16:20 (1:38 / 100 yards) or 17:20 (1:43 / 100 yards). Either way that is a record any way you cut it. And on top of that it was easy. I was not trying to swim fast. I was 'feeling' the water rush over me and 'feeling' my hand and arm catch the water.

Swim lessons start next week and I have high hopes for the times dropping.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Running into work.

I ran into work this morning. The weather was a little brisk (39 degrees).

Ran 6 miles in 46:42 (7:47 min / mile pace)

Swim at lunch.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Coliseum again

My hill run consisted of the Coliseum stairs again. The times are noted below (pretty consistant):
Coliseum stairs
4:55
4:52
4:53
4:55
half lap 2:17
Still very challenging but I will need to either increase the number of laps or the duration of the laps (maybe a circle and a half around the coliseum would be one lap).

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Swim video

You know, the courts may not be working any more, but as long as everyone is videotaping everyone else, justice will be done. - Matt Groening (1954 - ), The Simpsons
I nailed the swim session yesterday a lunch. It was 2400 yards of a lot of easy / hard repeats. Good stuff.

Today was supposed to be an off day - these are hard for me. So I rode the bike into work for the first time this year. I am good at the commute during the spring and summer - not so much in the cold and dark. It is nearly 6 miles each way on a rails to trails (just happens to be in my backyard). Once the sun starts to come up around 6 AM I meet a group of guys on Tuesday and Thursday for an hour or so ride before work. I cannot wait.

So I got to work and did some strength training. I did not get much of that in last week due to the high volume of training.

At lunch I was going to do some light running but ran into a friend who had just come out of the pool. Another one of our friends was in the pool with an underwater camera. He was taking video of us swimming for a 'swim coach' to help identify our trouble spots. Pretty cool. I did end up getting an easy 2 mile run in plus a little strength training.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cold hills

Be careful that victories do not carry the seed of future defeats. - Ralph W. Sockman
I had a really good bike ride on Sunday. Only 40 miles but we got off the trace and hits some nice hills. No really, they were nice hills and I do not even have to put the disclaimer that they were nice for Mississippi. Sure they were not huge hills or small mountains and the hills did not have names but they were nice. Okay, they were nice for Mississippi.

It was about 50 degrees for the entire ride. I had my arm and leg covers on and I was under dressed. I should have worn a base layer and full finger gloves. My feet and hands were blocks of ice.

There was a good turn out - about 8 people. This was the first time in a couple of months that I have done the Sunday group ride without running at least 10 miles before hand. I was not really feeling any stronger but I was. During my pulls I dropped everyone - I did not really mean to but it happened. I was able to pull a little harder and pull a little longer. The exertion was the same but it was a little faster and I pulled a little further. As they say, "It is not how far you go. It is not how fast you go. It is only how far fast you go!"

Sunday, January 25, 2009

First brick of the season...

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. - Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)
Yesterday - I was proud of myself for getting on the trainer. I rode it for an hour. The time passes much quicker if I have a plan. I did a warm up for 10 minutes and then 20 x 1 minutes intervals with 1 minute rest then a 10 minute cool down. My trainer has a 'power' meter gauge. I believe it to be consistent and do not really care about the accuracy. So my warm up, rest intervals and cool down were at 160 watts and the intervals were at 260 watts. I prefer to spin at a high cadence so the times at 160 watts were at 90 - 100 RPM and the 260 watts were at 75 RPM. Take the power numbers with a grain of salt - they only relate to me on my trainer. Who knows 260 watts could really be 100 watts (or even 500 watts - dreaming). I really can't go much lower than that - this was supposed to help build leg strength. The time went by quick.

Just for fun I did an EASY, SLOW 3 mile run - the rain was light. This was the first 'BRICK' that I have done in a while. With the slow pace the brick was super easy and I felt strong - I could have ran much faster, much longer, and much harder - but I didn't.

Today - The rain has stopped so I will get to go on a longer bike ride, however, it is cool outside. I know, 48 degrees is not that cold - many people across the country would kill for that weather. But it is cool for here.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Swimming and Running -

Water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody. - Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

I had a good work out this morning. The swimming is coming easier. I followed the plan to the T. It had me do a lot of easy 300 yard sets with the 4th of the 6th laps at a hard pace. This require the next two laps to be at active recovery (also 10 x 100 yards with the first 25 yards hard the next 75 yards easy). This was a really good workout for me. I remember getting winded in races and not being able to settle down and 'catch' my breath. These drills really stressed the recovery from the hard exertion.

My times are getting faster with the same effort in the pool. I will be starting swim class next month and I am looking forward to getting the time down even more.

Last January my swim times for 100 yards (SLOW - self taught swimmer here) would have been very close to 2 minutes. Now at a comfortable pace they are low 1:40's!!! - that should shave quite a few minutes off of the 1.2 mile swim time in my up coming 1/2 ironman - that is huge to me!

I'm excited!

I had a good run at lunch. Some co-workers (Chad and Vic) and I did a 7 mile run in the sunshine (wonderful day) in just under an hour. I love nice group runs - the pace was a little fast - just a little - A nice end to the week - 3100 yard swim and 7 mile run - the weather will be nice tomorrow and I will get a good bike ride in - for the total as a week it has been good - one day was a little too hard and I knew when to call it ! I'm learning.

Don't make fun - but ballroom dancing tonight!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Working smart - harder than it looks

Everyone is a genius at least once a year. The real geniuses simply have their bright ideas closer together. -Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742 - 1799)
Yesterday only called for an hour bike ride. Hilly but most of the time spent in heart rate zone 1 / 2. In other words an easy workout just spinning along. NOT ENOUGH. So I did my entire workout plan and was done prior to the start of the work day. I still had my lunch hour to work out. As noted earlier I did the coliseum stadium stair run. This is some major intensity. It is a race against yourself as well as your cohorts. Tough workout so to speak. You have to 'bring it' and I'm good at bringing it. In fact, when I need to bring I just have to look outside. There it is sitting in the driveway. Tank full of gas and the engine doing that soft loping idle - just raring to go. In other words, when they say bring it - it is usually already brung.

Today's workout calls for a 45 minute swim and a 40 minute hill run. I like to swim at lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays because a group of experienced swimmers meet at that time. They are very encouraging and always offer helpful tips. It is improving my swim skills measurably.

So I got out of bed for the 40 minute hill run. Specifically it called for a zone 1 / 2 with 6 x 30 seconds hard hill charges. Quite a bit easier than the coliseum. I was glad that I had the extra 20 minutes and enjoyed my coffee in bed. Feeling good I got on the treadmill and programmed my benchmark settings - 40 minutes at MAX 8.5 MPH with MAX 12 slope. This would be harder than the run prescribed by the plan. I started out strong but remember, like the XFL, there is no downhill on the treadmill - only less up hill. The heart rate was staying low and steady and I was still feeling strong. When I got to the MAX 12 slope it was hard, just as it should be. The heart rate had been slowing climbing to right at LT level (about 174 beats per minute). The problem was that this level of exertion felt harder than it should. The problem was the the heart rate did not drop on the less up hill. The problem was that my legs were tired. The problem was that I was tired. So, being here before, I looked at the window. There was nothing in the driveway. I checked the street - still nothing. The hills said bring it but it was nowhere to be found. I called it a day at 20 minutes.

Maybe I should try to follow this training plan thing... Still looking forward to swimming at lunch.

On a side note I am down another two pounds - 162.0 - 13resolutions

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Coliseum stairs

I have climbed out of bed all week (yesterday and today) to exercise. I am trying to build a routine. I did an hour of bicycle hill climbs on the exercise bike at the gym. This was probably too easy. I read a book while I was doing it. I am still glad that I 'got it done' but I need to work on the intensity.

The intensity was brought at lunch. Another powerful workout with the gang. We ran the coliseum stairs and I brought my stop watch (actually heart rate monitor). When you have to compete in a measured amount of time it is much more demanding. With Chad close on my heals I clicked off four rounds (down - up - down - up all the way around the arena). All rounds were completed in 5 minutes or less with a 2 minute recovery walk in between. My times are noted below:

5:00
4:46
4:55
4:54

Next up were abs. A lot of Swiss ball crunches, bicycles and planks.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Swimming - looking for improvement.

I have stuck to the diet all day today without any trouble at all (the evenings are the problems). I got in the pool for about an hour at lunch and did a ton of 100's and 50's. I wore my jammer (not the drag board shorts) and felt pretty fast. It is hard to remember all of the different skills (feel the catch, high elbows, constant exhale, kick with your whole leg, etc).

I also signed up for Adult Swim lessons for next month. They will meet Tuesday and Thursday starting Feb 03. I am going to work on Stroke Development, Stroke Improvement and Stroke Refinement.

Time Trial - running

Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!

- Lewis Carroll, "Through the Looking Glass"

I followed the diet yesterday even though it was a holiday - I did not get the results that I wanted 13resolutions.

I took yesterday off as a complete rest day - I never do this. The training plan called for a 75 minute easy spin on the bike. I hate days like that - it is hard for me to do the easy stuff and I almost always go harder that I should. So I skipped it by justifying that the training plan did not call for a 4000 yard swim on Saturday and only an hour run (not the 1 1/2 hour run that I did) and only a 2 hour bike ride (not the 2 1/2 hour bike ride I did) on Sunday. So I took the holiday off and did some yard work. I put pine straw out in the flower beds and chopped on some stumps with the axe - and practiced axe throwing for fun - I was better in the fall. I also followed the diet pretty close.

This morning I did a 30 minute running time trial (TT). These are hard. They are mentally hard. They are physically hard. I woke up early and got to the gym by 6:30AM - no breakfast - just running on empty. I jumped on my treadmill - I always use the same one - and did an easy 10 minute warm up (real easy 10:00 minute / mile pace). At ten minutes I pushed up to a 7:00 minute / mile pace and held this for another ten minutes. This is were it gets hard. You take your average heart rate for the next 20 minutes. At the end you should feel like you have given everything. Not easy to do on a treadmill when you are not chasing someone or there are not wolves or bears chasing you. So twenty minutes into the run (10 warm up and 10 harder warm up) I pushed the pace to about a 6:27 minute / mile pace. I was able to carry this for about ten more minutes and then I had to back off just a little. I was, however, able to finish strong for the last five minutes and slowly, incrementally, increase the speed - by a tenth or two at a time. I finished running the last minute at a 6:00 minute / mile pace.

This was not my best time trial - my best was outside running to work last spring. The distances do not matter only the heart rates (but the working set of 30 minutes I covered 4.5 miles and 7.7 miles for the hour.) The last twenty minutes of the Time Trial I averaged 174 beats per minute (that is just about were I was last spring). Theoretically this should mean that I can carry that heart rate for about an hour without blowing up. Easier said than done. I will try this heart rate out in a tempo run some time in the near future.

Swimming at lunch.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Working the plan in hopes for some speed in the spring.

11 mile run in 1:32:07 (8:37 min / mile pace - I did stop and talk with someone briefly) - My volume has been high but I feel slow. I have a 30 minute run time trial on Tuesday.

The sun came out in the afternoon and I met up with the Sunday group ride. It was the biggest turn out that I have seen in a couple of months. We, including me, Mississippians are fair weather riders. I hear people talk of the unbearable cold - 40 degrees - and how it is impossible to get outside. It was not that long ago, when I lived in Indiana, that 40 degrees would be a heat wave. I remember weeks on end of sub-freezing temperatures. You would see people out and about in short sleeves and shorts if the temperature got above freezing.

But I digress - the group ride was a lot of fun even though there was one heck of a head wind going out. We made it to Sumrall in no where near record time. Even going down the hill to Sumrall was slow - probably about 4 - 5 MPH slower because of the wind in your face. This just meant that getting back to town would be fast.

I usually do not do long pulls but prefer short intense sessions. On one such pull I was easily (I say easily but I was pedaling my heart out) hitting 29 - 30 MPH. This is fast and furious and is so much fun. Taking the back roads back from Sumrall throws in a few hills and the day was perfect. Bright, sunny and the temperature with arm warmers was just right.

Cookies and beer for dinner - 13resolutions

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Still swimming -


I went to the gym today (Saturday) to do an hour run and a light swim (just because it was open and I could). Some how I decided to do the swim first. Because of the holiday on Monday the gym did not open today until 2PM. I got there right when they opened. There was a pool party just getting started but there was one lane marker still in place. I had it mostly to myself - there was a guy rehabing his knee and kind of walking around in the lane. Nice guy, he sucked to the side every time I swam by.

It was recommended that I start wearing my swim jammers again. That the regular trunks were acting like drag shorts and that I did not need the resistance. So I wore the jammers for the first time in months - Still Tight!

I felt fast in the water. I swam 250 yards (5 laps) in 4:00. 48 second average for 50 yards is fast for me. I was not going all out or anything - just kind of swimming. This is encouraging. Everything was clicking good in the water and the water was rough with the pool party. The diving board is near the lane that I was swimming in - there was a chop in the water.

I ended up swimming 4000 yards (80 laps). This is the furthest that I have ever swam in the pool (and I think ever - anywhere). My times are noted below (the first 8:42 set was because of a child in the lane - the second was because I was getting tired):

RI - 30 seconds rest after each set
250 yards - 4:00 (50 yard average 48.0 seconds)
250 yards - 4:06 (50 yard average 49.2 seconds)
500 yards - 8:18 (50 yard average 49.8 seconds)
500 yards - 8:22 (50 yard average 50.2 seconds)
500 yards - 8:23 (50 yard average 50.3 seconds)
500 yards - 8:26 (50 yard average 50.4 seconds)
500 yards - 8:42 (50 yard average 52.2 seconds)
500 yards - 8:29 (50 yard average 50.9 seconds)
500 yards - 8:42 (50 yard average 52.2 seconds)

Unfortunately the run did not go well. I hopped on the treadmill for the hour run and I just was not feeling it. My stomach hurt - from water and hunger. I only ran a mile (low 8 minutes) and called it a session.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Swimming - 9000 yards (for the week)

I completed all of my training plan this morning with the 7.5 mile run so lunch was dealer's choice. I guess I have really missed the pool so I grabbed a little more. The pool was empty except for Sam - the local fast guy. We chatted for a little bit and then swam some sets together. Sam consistantly smashes everyone in the swim - and by a large margin.

He was just swimming slow today. We warmed up with 500 yards and then 6 x 200 repeats with a 50 backstroke thrown inbetween.

It was a good 1950 yards. 9000 yards for the week is more than I swam in all of December.

Rise and Shine

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. - Herm Albright (1876 - 1944)


The seat on my trainer road bike has been giving me some trouble on rides of 45 minutes and more. No major discomfort but when I am on the trainer I am looking for any reason to jump off. So I swapped out the seat, the one with the big cut-out, for a normal seat. The bike was easier to ride in the same position and I could actually sit upright and churn away on the cranks. I rode the trainer for 45 minutes at an easy pace while reading a book. Not too bad. It will take a few more sessions on the trainer to see if the seat swap makes any difference.

I also got out of bed this morning in time to get to the gym for an hour of exercise. This is the first time that I have done this in months - since running, biking and swimming outside.

It is a lot harder to go to the gym in the morning than to go outside. My training plan only called for an hour of running at a moderate pace. I cruised along on the treadmill adjusting the pace as necessary and clocked 7.5 miles at just under an hour.

Even though it is not scheduled I think I will jump back in the pool for lunch.

As a side note: I am continuing to drop a little weight - just in time for the weekend - 13resolutions.

It seems too early in the year for a holiday but I'll take it - a three day weekend should be fun even though it is a little cold.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Swimming - 2 a days

I am down 5 pounds year to date: 13resolutions

I did get that trainer bike ride Time Trial in last night. Not the best workout but I am glad I did it. I warmed up for 3 miles (a little less than 10 minutes) and then did a 5 mile time trial. I tried to maintain my heart rate between 160 and 165 beats per minute. This is challenging but not too hard. I was dripping sweat by the time that I finished. I wrapped up with a 2 mile cool down. Nothing ground breaking but it was completed.

I had a 1 hour swimming session scheduled for today. An hour in the pool is difficult for me to complete. Not the the actually swimming but just the block of time. I was not successful in climbing out of bed early enough to get the hour swim. However, I am please that I decided to get up and do what I could. I put in 1500 yards this morning - 250 warm up, 10 x 100 work set and 250 cool down.

To complete the hour I got back in the pool at lunch. I just did 6 x 250 yards (with 30 seconds rest). I'm not fast but I am making progress. The times are noted below.

1. 4:15
2. 4:21
3. 4:19
4. 4:23
5. 4:23
6. 4:21

I also did strength training. ** Note to self - bench press after swimming is not the best idea. ** I'll be smarter next week. The training plan for tonight calls for an easy 45 minute bike.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Swimming and Stadium running

I got a good swim in yesterday at lunch. Nothing too taxing but a lot of drills. I warmed up with 250 yards and then did 20 x 50 yard repeats at 60 seconds. Every few reps I would do a different drill. The drills consisted of finger tip drags and catch-ups and swim golf (time of number of strokes equals your score - lower is better). Interesting, when I did the finger tip drag my time and stroke count decreased. The finger tip drill is intended to to keep your elbows high on the recovery which makes you rotate more on the stroke. I hit the weights for arms and abs after the swim. Did more of the catch-up drill to cool down.

I could not get out of bed this morning to do a bike time trial on the trainer. These time trials take so much physical and mental energy. I am going to try to get it in this evening. No promises.

At lunch I ran the stairs at the basketball coliseum - it was cold outside. These stairs are shorter than the football stadium. There was a lot less recovery going down the stairs. We 4 complete circles of the coliseum. After the stairs I did an extensive ab workout including Swiss ball crunches, bicycles and planks. This was in addition to the medicine ball sit ups.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Not quite jumping...

FYI - I was down 2.8 pounds since yesterday - the diet is getting back on track (13resolutions).

I went to the gym again last night to make up my cycling that I missed due to the (surprise) pool being back open. I got to the gym just after 5 PM. School started back up yesterday and the gym was packed. This is typical - all the students trying to lose the holiday weight or the freshmen 15 (I actually think it is more like 20 now a days).

The only exercise bike that was available was a recumbent that did not have all of the foot straps. I was in my cycling shorts so I was committed. Besides, I had brought a book with me and the session only called for 1 hour at low intensity.

Even reading the book and listening to fast techno music (podrunner) I was bored by about 30 minutes. I lasted until 45 minutes and then decided to mix it up. I jumped on a just available treadmill (the good thing about the new students at the gym is that they do not last long) to do a BRICK workout. I have not done a BRICK since, I'm guessing, before Thanksgiving. A BRICK is moving from one exercise to another with very little time in between - usually from biking to running. Your legs feel funny - like bricks.

It must have been the change of pace or the easy riding but the BRICK felt good. I started out at 8:30 min / miles for 2 minutes. Felt good. I went up to 8:00 min / miles for a couple of more minutes. I cranked up the music and I settled into a 7:03 / 6:53 min / mile pace for the rest of the 2 miles.

For an impromptu BRICK I was pleased with the sub-14 2 mile endeavor. It sure made the last 15 minutes pass quickly.

This morning I did not exactly jump out of bed but I did get going early. I was able to complete a slow 6 mile run at the gym in just under 48:00 minutes (about 8:00 min / mile). Getting the run out of the way will allow for me to get the swim in at lunch.

Ballroom dance class this evening.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Swimming again

Went to the gym today at lunch planning on spinning on the exercise bike. I noticed that the signs saying that the pool was closed were no longer up. Headed to the pool and it was indeed full water and in fact people were swimming. Rushed to the locker room and pulled on my swim trunks. I braced myself for cold water. Much to my surprise the water was perfect.

The swimming was hard. For the first 500 yards or so my arms, shoulders and back ached. It started to get a little better. I ended up doing 50 laps (2500 yards) and was proud of my effort.

I also saw that the gym is offering swim classes next month. Now, I won't drown or anything in the water but I can definitely use some improvement. They have the following class levels:

Level I - Elementary Aquatic Skills
Level II - Fundamental Aquatic Skills
Level III - Stroke Development
Level IV - Stroke Improvement
Level V - Stroke Refinement
Level VI - Swimming and Skill Proficiency

I think I will be somewhere in the Level IV or V. I'm pretty excited.

On a side note I will get the bike ride in this evening. It is just an hour of easy spinning. I brought a book.

Cold weather riding -

Sunday called for a 4 1/2 hour ride. I checked the outside temperature and it was 48 degrees. I was going to go on a 50 mile bike ride and meet up with the Sunday afternoon group for another 35 - 45 miles. I put on my arm warmers, leg warmers and shoe covers. I packed lots of calories for the ride.

I hit the trail and I was immediately aware of how cold I was. I should have worn something else to keep my core temperature up. I made it to Sumrall and my feet were blocks of ice. I was not having any fun. I thought that I would turn around and ride the trainer in the house for an hour and a half until the group ride formed. Once I got home, I did get on the trainer. I had a 20 mile route programed in with lots of intervals. I took off the arm and leg warmers and changed my jersey top. I put a long sleeve technical shirt on to limit the puddle of sweat that would form under the bike.

I only made it 30 minutes (about 10 miles). My body did warm up. I did start to sweat. My feet were still cold. On top of everything I was bored.

I jumped off of the trainer and into the bathtub. I took a hot bath to get my temperature back to normal. There was definitely a lack of motivation with the training this weekend. I was looking for any excuse to not put in the time. The weather did not help.

Looking back, I do not know if this makes a difference, but I have not had a training day off this year (11 days and counting). It is hard for me to take time off. I looked at my training plan and there are no scheduled days off until 01/28 although today only calls for an hour long bike ride.

I will just have to play it by ear.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Trail running

Once again, no swimming was done.

The training plan called for a hilly run today. It had rained much of the night and the ground was wet this morning. There was also a light mist coming down. I decided to head to the gym and do my hill work on the treadmill. I have established a base line with the 'alpine trail' on the treadmill. It is a challenging workout. However, there is never any down hill on the treadmill -only less up hill.

Got to the gym at about 9:00AM and it was closed. Completely dark in there. I had assumed that the gym would be open on the weekends even though classes are still not in session. Well, you know what happens when you assume - sometimes you are wrong.

Ran my errands and by the time I got home the sun had started to peek through the clouds. Put on some old trail running shoes (I need a good pair of trail running shoes - yeah, like I need more shoes) and decided to run the only hills that are nearby - the mountain bike trails. It was fun but I was soaking wet and muddy and grimy almost immediately.

After about 12 minutes I made it to the circuit that I like to mountain bike on. It is hilly with several switch backs but pretty short. I ran the first lap and timed the effort (4 minutes). I took a 60 second rest interval and repeated. This time I clocked in 30 seconds faster - I was now reacquainted with the route. Again and 8 seconds faster than the previous. I did this a couple more times. The rain started to pick up and my glasses were fogged up. I headed home and called it a day with about 5 miles delivered. I would like to get just a little bit of seat time on the bike trainer this evening. We will see.

Long bike ride for tomorrow (4 1/2 hours) .

Friday, January 9, 2009

Back to the routine.

First week back after the holidays is in the books. Tuesday there was a slip on the diet but the training has been in check and followed pretty close. Except there has been no swimming. The pool is still closed for the drain modification. I was also supposed to do a LT time trial run on Wednesday but I was under the weather. Instead I ran the football stadium steps albeit much slower than last year. Today I got in a five mile run.

I have a long run and a long ride (4.5 hours) planned for the weekend. I also hope to get out to a lake for an OWS in the wetsuit.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Stength training for the new year.

Hitting the weights for the first time in weeks is really killing me - so sore...

Getting back into the routine is enjoyable. Ran the stadium yesterday - the best hill repeats in Southern Mississippi by far - and the calves are killing me. Hit the push-up and chin-ups and my back is killing me. Hit the medicine ball and Swiss ball and my abs are killing me. I am sure that I will not be able to lift my arms tomorrow after the chest today.

Good times - but still missing the swim.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Still not swimming


Last month I read an article about many pools closing due to the need to modify the drains but I did not think that it would effect me - well it does. The pool will be closed for a least another week. I am still thinking about braving the open water swimming. I need to get a temperature reading from the lake and put the wetsuit on and just do it. I am sure the lake is much cooler that the usual 84 degrees of my closed indoor pool. I really have to start getting some time in the water.

Luckily, I always have a back up plan (meaning clothes in my locker at the gym). I did the alpine trail on the treadmill. This is still challenging to me. I only set the hill program for a max speed of 8 MPH with a max incline of 12 for 30 minutes. I did not have my heart rate monitor but it was a good workout. Next was a strength training session of back and abs. Also pretty tough after the holiday break.

Did an hour long cycling session on the trainer after work. The program called for a low cadence. Low for me is 70. I usually spin at right about 100. This was a tough session.

The diet is still in order!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Long Slow Distance and SORE

I have really enjoyed the holidays (I work at a university so I have been off for about 2 weeks) but I am ready to get back into my routine. With family visiting and travelling myself my training plan has really suffered. I went for two 3 mile runs earlier in the week and then jumped back on my training plan. Yesterday it called for a 2 1/2 hour run. This should not have been much of a problem. Trying to be smart I decided to do the run slow. I kept my heart rate in zone 1 and just trudged along. About 1 1/2 hours into the run it started to rain. Then thunder. Then lightening. I would normally not mind running in the rain - in fact some of my best runs have been in the rain. But at about the 2 hour mark the run got really hard. My right hamstring started to tighten up and my feet and ankles did not feel great. Soaking wet I must have weighed a couple of pounds more than normal. My shoes were heavy with water. Luckily no blisters or hot spots developed. I took some nutrition with me on this run - a power bar type thing and a gel. I consumed the bar at 1 hour and the gel 30 minutes later. I thought this might help and I did not bonk or anything.

I allowed myself to recover the entire rest of the day and I needed it. I took an ice bath (well cold water bath) in the jacuzzi bath tub to try and reduce the recovery time. There was no immediate relief. I was so sore. My legs were aching most of the evening. After a good nights sleep my body feels much better.

I would guess that I was sore because of the time off and jumping right back into a long run. Today calls for a 4 hour bike ride. My legs will be tired after this ride but they are never sore like after running long.

On a positive note - I am down 3.8 pounds and 2 body fat percentage for the new year - 13resolutions

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Holiday is over - back to the plan.

I can not wait for the gym to open back up after this long holiday break. Even though it is tough and I generally dread it - I have missed the swimming. I am excited about getting back into the pool. My training plan is only calling for swimming on Tuesday and Friday of the coming week but I think that I will have to supplement that with a few extra days. It might take a little time anyway to just work back up to the prior volume. I am sure that my upper body has atrophied some during the past couple of weeks.

The training plan calls for a 2 1/2 hour easy hill run for today. I will run in Heart Rate zones 1-2 - just long and steady. There are not many hills here in Southern Mississippi so it will just be along the rails-to-trails. I might be able to venture off the trace for a little hill work but it has been raining. The horse and mountain bike trails will be muddy - (read slippery, standing water, the fall down and get hurt slick kind of slick). There is a chance of more thunderstorms later in the day. This will be wet, hard day. I am actually looking forward to it!

Starting the third day and still doing well on the NO-S Diet: 13resolutions

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Rough start to New Year


I went to bed last night with a sore throat and woke up with an even worse one this morning. I was not able to make the Steam Whistle 12k race. It was a cold 35 degrees and the sore throat combined with a feverish headache and the race was just not meant to be.

In addition, I was just looking for an excuse to not perform well. Little to no exercise this holiday week. I have enjoy my sister and her family visiting but my schedule has been off.

We went to the zoo one morning. Also, exercise wise we did go kayaking the last two days as well as climbing the ROTC tower and ropes on campus.

I have started a new diet that I am chronicling on 13resolutions.