Friday, February 29, 2008

That's A Workout

Thursday during lunch I hit the weights – hard. I’m really trying to push before my rest week next week. Thursday after work it was 5 miles of tempo work on the track, before a nasty blister developed and I decided to shut it down. I moved off the track and inside to lead 45 minutes of pool plyometrics for the Vanderbilt Ultimate Team. Being responsible for their strength and conditioning this season, it was great to mix it up their workout and get everyone in the pool. I wish I had a camera to show what leading 25+ college athletes through a pool workout looked like. We finished the workout with some fun relays, but after all the running and pool plyos my calf cramped up something nasty during the last relay (water running) and I had to finish on one leg. One of our Vanderbilt Ultimate players is also on the Vanderbilt Water Polo team and invited those of us who were still up for it down to the deep end of the pool for a scrimmage. Those guys are tough. I avoided anymore cramping, but my training partner Chris wasn’t so lucky - plenty of strong swimmers to pull him to the side. I spent the rest of the night trying to get enough food and fluids into my system before a great night of sleep in recovery tights. Thank god.

Total on the day:
1 hour of weights
5 miles on the track
45 minutes of plyometrics in the pool
45 minutes of water polo (against the professionals)
That’s a workout!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Two New Races!!

I’ve added two new races (in one weekend) to my 2008 race schedule. The Columbia Cycling Club is hosting a 15K trail run on Saturday March 29, 2008 and the 13th Annual Chickasaw Trace Classic 30k MTB race on Sunday March 30, 2008. I haven’t decided which category to race on Sunday – gears vs. no gears. I’m leaning towards the singlespeed, just because it is just so much damn fun, but I should probably put those hours in on the new race bike. These two events will be the final weekend of my Endurance Stage and will be followed by a week of active rest, so the timing couldn’t be any better. Chickasaw is also one of my favorite trails in the area, particularly for the 29er. I’m hoping to be strong enough and have enough endurance for these races so that they won’t be too much in too short a period of time. I’m already thinking of the ice bath and recovery tights that will be following each of these races. The races are a much needed pick-me-up with all the cold weather and early morning training I’ve been doing. This year is going to be great!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Home Turf

I spent the better part of the weekend clearing dead trees and brush while enjoying the damp, cold, and ever threatening rain shower. With all the local trails closed because of the wet weather I got to thinking about my own backyard playground that I could ride/run even in bad weather. There isn’t a lot of space, so it would necessitate plenty of loops, but there are trees, elevation changes, rock, and dirt. The work started out fast and fun, but quickly turned frustrating. It is one thing to envision your own trail, but quite another to make it happen all on your own. It may take a while but I hope to have my own training ground built up (probably in time for the nice weather to return).
Training Update:
Thursday: 1,300 swim, plyometric workout
Friday: Strength
Saturday: 2,000m swim
Sunday: rest
Monday: 1 hr MTB before work, 3 mile run during lunch

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Training Update

Friday: weights
Saturday: 2 hr Ultimate scrimmage (no subs), 1,300m swim, 1 hr on the trainer
Sunday: 5 mile run
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 3.5 mile trail run (hill repeats)
Saturday was a brutal training day. Enough Vanderbilt Ultimate alumni were in town for the Florida Vanderbilt basketball game that we scrimmaged the current ultimate team on Saturday morning before the basketball game. The relics prevailed (13-9?) with a poor turnout in numbers from the current team. It is always fun to take off the coaching hat and be a player, matching up against my players in a real game. After the ~ 2 hr scrimmage it was into the pool for 1,300 meters. I was helping Chris with his stroke after finishing my workout when the first cramp hit, left hamstring, and thankfully we were in a shallow lane so I could hobble over to the stairs to stretch. The 1hr session on the indoor bike was brutal, as we rode what felt like all hills while trying to keep hammering. Never getting that occasional downhill coast is brutal, but with poor weather and trail conditions outside I’ve been limited to brutal indoor spins. Sunday’s weather was rain and gusting winds, a slopping wet 5 miles on the road. Monday I wore tights like a real man and enjoyed the recovery. Tuesday’s run was a tough one as I was still feeling the weekend. Up before sunrise, I was the only one on the trail and enjoyed the snowfall, but not the hill repeats. First time I’ve taken out the GPS, which really helped me keep the pace up.

New Bike

After weeks months of waiting for a nice sunny day to setup the work stand outside and wrench in the sunshine, I finally accepted that I don’t live in the southwest and it wasn’t going to happen. The rain, gloom, and cold weather show no sign of relenting anytime soon. This mean that my new GF Cobia that has been hanging in the garage collecting dust hasn’t seen a ride or any work since late fall. With a busy work, training, and coaching schedule I haven’t found the time, or the energy, to setup in the garage and do what needs to be done. That all changed this weekend when the wife graciously suggested I bring the work inside and slave away on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Check out the new slideshow with before, during, and after photos. While pretty handy, there is some work best left to your local bike shop, so thanks to Travis and the guys at Biker’s Choice for putting the finishing touches on my sweet new ride. All I need now is for some of the trails to open!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

On the trail again

I got a good 60 minute trail run in at Lock 4 this morning before work. This was the first time I have tried hitting the trail before work and it worked out beautifully. I’d guess I ran about 6.5 miles including the same loop that is part of the XTERRA Lock 4 Blast held here in July. The temperature was 22 degrees when I started, so the only sounds on the trail came from a family of white-tail deer that I kept looking at me like I was crazy. The first 10 minutes were brutal as I tried to adjust to the cold. I kept thinking about racers like James Walsh who live and train in San Diego. I can’t even imagine. On one loop down by the transition area, I spent some time reciting some words of inspiration for this upcoming season of racing, come July I’m willing to bet those words pay off big. It was strange to pound away the miles by foot instead of by bike. This was probably only the 3rd time I’ve run out at Lock 4 including last year’s race. That is definitely about to change. After the run it was off to work at the college, a quick shower, and change of clothes at the gym - in my office by 7:59. Not too shabby. Happy Valentines Day, the wife and I are off to Indian food and The Frist Museum.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Sunday was supposed to be a day spent on the mountain bike and in the pool, but it didn’t quite work out that way. I called to make sure the trails were open, got the OK, and then headed out the door. I arrived to find the trails closed because a body had been discovered. It was a bummer of a car trip back home, especially since the sun was shining for the second day in a row. I decided to ride to the pool and do an 800m swim for time. I was loose from the ride over to the pool and after a light warm-up got down to it. I never pushed too hard, but tried to maintain a comfortable pace and not take advantage of the flip turns. A time of 12:34, with over two months of training still to go before my first race, is looking good. When the weather warms up I’d love to get out for an open water trial and see how my time compares. This week I move into my aerobic stage and in looking at the week’s workouts it is going to be a jump in intensity.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

A different kind of recovery

Tornados and thunderstorms swept through much of the south on Tuesday night. West and Middle Tennessee were particularly hard hit, bringing back painful memories of the April 2006 tornado that touched down at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, TN. I spent that day in April of 2006 helping students to safety and reuniting family members after the storm. It was a day that I would rather forget. Tuesday night I was in my own basement, instead of my college office, but I didn’t feel any safer. My immediate friends and family are all safe and the college was spared from any major damage, but the surrounding area was not so lucky. There are currently 32 fatalities in Tennessee, but the number continues to rise. My XTERRA training calls for an easy recovery day tomorrow, with only some light lifting. I’ll be spending the day doing a different kind of recovery as I work with a team of volunteers from the college on tornado recovery. This fall I participated in Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training, and now I get to put this training to work. The training covered search and rescue, basic first aid and counseling, assessing structural integrity of homes and buildings, and proper emergency response to disasters. Here are some pictures from the 2006 storm.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Today I officially registered for my first XTERRA race of the 2008 season, XTERRA Ft. Yargo in Georgia. I’m looking forward to this race more than any of the others, with the exception of my local Lock 4 blast. It will be the first test of how my XTERRA specific training has prepared me for the start of the season and hopefully I’ll achieve my goal of reaching the podium in my age group and finishing with one of the top OA swim times. Now that I’m three weeks into my first training block I spent some time looking at last year’s race results to get fired up about my first race of 2008. I’ve adapted well to my early morning cardio workouts and lunchtime weight lifting. Thursdays are still the one day that I break from the training plan by adding the Vanderbilt strength and conditioning practice that I lead on these nights. Three solid workouts, plus yoga, makes for a long day.