Friday, January 30, 2009

Day 4

The state of Arizona continues its budget hearings and the amount cut from higher education continues to grow. The big news is furlough days - mandatory time without pay.

The weather has gotten a little warmer again, back to the low 70s. Yesterday I had scheduled a 45 minute trainer workout after work, but couldn't wait that long to blow off some steam. I was able to get out of the office over my lunch hour and run 3.5 in the noontime sunshine. I'm sooo glad I keep a set of running clothes and shoes in my desk at work.

Day 4:
3.5 run
45 indoor trainer ride
10 minutes on the foam roller

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

When water isn't enough...

Day 3 of my XTERRA training and my first structured swim workout. I was craving a good swim workout and had been looking forward to this morning since the end of last week. Unfortunately this morning was a far cry from what I had been anticipating.

Last night was my second restless night unable to sleep thanks to the joys of reading about the future of my job in the paper everyday and spending my working hours in meetings talking about scenarios that leave me unemployed. It was cold and dark when I woke up feeling like hell, but still motivated to get my ass to the pool. I arrived at the pool only to find all the lanes packed (never happened before) except the 3/4 length "lane" that ends prematurely at a set of steps. I got to work warming up in this lane and immediately felt ill. I couldn't breathe, I felt slow, and was worrying.

I finally got a lane for my first set (15 x 50 on 40"). Yea, not happening. I made the first two and then had to drop to 45". I made the next 3 and then had to drop to 60" for the last 10 in order to finish all of them. Worse was that I was thinking about Zippy's post from the other day about effort. I don't know what the hell happened but the last thing I needed was to feel like a slow oaf in the pool - my one place of refuge.

I slogged through some worthless laps after the main set still having a hard time breathing. WTF? I got to work and got an email/call from a friend with more bad news on the job front. Trying to stay positive but it's rough when even water isn't enough.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Day 2

- 43 minute run

- Myrtl Routine

Day 1

Monday was day 1 of my 2009 XTERRA season. It wasn't very exciting workout wise. Over the weekend I did rig up my newest training tool. I bought a huge sheet of dry erase board at Home Depot and tacked it up on the wall. I've got all the workouts for the week written out and this is already making training more fun.

Future as an unemployed pro triathlete is looking more likely after budget meetings today....

Day 1:
10 min trainer ride to warm up
3x the following
20 pushups
10 bicep curls (25#)
20 bosu pushups
10 power strap curls
5 power strap rows
10 sec cross hang

Sunday, January 25, 2009

New bike - New trail

This weekend has been very relaxing, which is a good thing right now. With the future of my job totally up in the air it was nice to have my aunt in town from Nashville and my riding buddy John in town from Nashville too. I've been easy on the training this weekend as I spend time with family and friends. My XTERRA season officially kicks off Monday and I am PUMPED.

Saturday John and I hit the Hawes Rd. system for some of the Valley's best riding. It was also the perfect set of trails to run my new bike through its paces. WOW. Not only did we find some new trails (thank you to whoever put in the work to create those), but the new bike is beyond incredible. I was able to drop John for the first time ever on one DH section. I never thought that would happen. Great weather continues out here - sunny and mid 70's.

Hawes Rd.

Looking out at McDowells

my mug

John enjoys the view

Friday, January 23, 2009

Going Pro

That's right, if I loose my job I'm just going to declare myself a pro triathlete, beg for sponsors, and spend my days training and racing like never before. It almost doesn't sound too bad. Watch out!

Read this -

Then go here -

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Under the sea

Today could use some humor. Yesterday it was all over the local news that my job at the university, as well as those of my coworkers, are in serious jeopardy and I could soon be unemployed. While this bodes extremely well for my training and future as a competitive triathlete, it makes the day-to-day challenges of a new semester more difficult.

The humor for today is that when I was in the 4th grade my parents enrolled me in a theatre camp. That year the production was the Disney hit The Little Mermaid. I played Sebastian. Yes, the crustacean. This was a horrible experience.

During my swim this morning I kept thinking how much better everything was underwater, which inevitably led me to the the words in Under the Sea, which I will never be able to forget as long as I live. Despite the song, I did have a great workout.

Thursday AM swim:
200m warmup
250m (25 butterfly sprint/25 easy free)
250m pull
250m (25 butterfly sprint/25 easy free)
250m pull
100m cool down
1300m total

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Post 1/2 marathon thoughts

I enjoyed the race experience this past Sunday and it fired me up, but not for anymore 1/2 or full marathons. What fired me up was that the race showed me that a 1/2 Ironman is possible, and is something that I would be excited to train for and compete in. I'm still focusing on XTERRA, cause it's way more fun that way, but that October 1/2 IM is becoming a bigger part of my year.

Recovery from the race has been going well. I owe a lot of that to having an indoor bike trainer and the foam roller and stick. Icing in the pool out back is also huge. Today is the first day I'm feeling pretty close to 80% again.

I got out on the MTB Monday for an easy 8 mile ride. It was my first ride on my new bike that I'd been working on all fall/winter. Monday was the first opportunity I had to ride it on the trails and I wasn't about to let some tired legs keep me from riding. I'm pumped about the new ride, but have lots of adjustments to make - lever heights, shock sag, seat height. I'm sure some people dream of live-in chefs, masseuses, and maids, but I would kill for a live-in mechanic.

This is an easy week with some trainer rides and easy swims. John comes in town for some sweet riding this weekend and then my season officially kicks off on Monday. I can't wait!

Sunday - 1.5 mile warmup + 13.1 1/2 marathon
Monday - 8 mile MTB
Tuesday - 1200m swim / 20 min trainer ride

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Mission accomplished. A sub 2:00 1/2 marathon. This race with A was a blast. We had an early morning, but then just a short drive up the road to the new light rail station and rode the rail all the way to downtown Phoenix. We did have to take a mid-ride break so A could use the bathroom prior to the port-a-potty lines. Good thing cause she never would have made it waiting in those lines.
One we arrived downtown we had a nice 1 mile run to the start line that was a good warm-up. When the gun went off we quickly found our stride and space to run and shed layers at mile 2. Highs in the upper 70's today. Home to ice-bath in the pool and them some Filibertos. Full report later after the Cardinals game. What a day already!


post race pictures at home
that's a cold pool

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Tomorrow morning is the P.F. Chang's Rock'n'Roll 1/2 Marathon. I've picked up my race packet, laid out my clothes, and am getting ready for the race. This is so much chiller than a triathlon it blows me away. I'm not nearly as anxious as usual and am just looking forward to having a good time out there. A and I are running together and just aiming for a time under 2:00hr. Forecast is for a high of 77 degrees and sunny!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

And the appetite to prove it

I've been eating all day and I'm famished. I'm officially back from the off-season. I wish I had time to count calories and plan meals to correspond with workouts and schedules, but that enters the realm of crazy talk. Besides, if I found more hours in the day I'd rather do more Yoga or hang out with friends so planning meals is not a priority, but I do need to come up with a better plan to make sure I'm getting enough to eat...

1/11 - 1,200m swim, Starbucks run on the way home and relaxed poolside with coffee and the paper

1/12 - 4 mile run during lunch, took the new bike into the shop after work, played around on the blast straps

1/13 - 1,200m swim (200, 4 X (100 pull/100 swim), 5 x 25 sprint/25 easy w/5 sec rest, 100 cool down.

Tonight will be my first night of Ultimate practice here in Phoenix . Big local tournament coming up in a few weeks. I'm still not planning on playing competitive Ultimate this year, but I do miss it.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Getting Closer

Only one week left of 1/2 marathon training before I get back to 100% XTERRA. This week I hit the pool two mornings... and loved it. I'm beggining to think the off-season isn't all it's cracked up to be. The quick training update:

1/7 - 5 mile run
1/8 - 1,000m swim (200 warm up, 700 drill, 100 cool down) / personal training 1hr core
1/9 - rest
1/10 - 6.5 mile run, functional strength training

Hoping to get in a swim and a solid MTB ride on Sunday. I also have some work to do on my new bike which is still not finished. Gotta find some time. It won't happen today, because today is all about the TENNESSEE TITANS!!!

Strength training

My sister, the strength and conditioning certified queen of pain, has been educating me for some time on the benefits of functional strength training. The idea of using body weight exercises and alternative strength workouts has taken some getting used to. I enjoy the classic dumbell and weight room exercises. There is something soothing (and easy?) about this type of workout. Total body functional strength is hard, and therefore takes some getting used to.

For Christmas this year I was fortunate to receive some awesome gifts. My sister hooked me up with some blast straps and A got me some rock rings. I finally got these installed in the home gym and bought a training tire for the roadbike to go on the indoor trainer. These new items to go along with the Bosu , stick, and foam roller make for a pretty complete home gym. I'm excited to have this new option for working out at the house.
the setup

blast straps and rock rings

how Elsie works out

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

1st swim of 2009

It started last night with the all too familiar packing of multiple bags, bagging up food, and setting out clothes and breakfast for an early morning start to the day. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited about the systematic process of preparing the night before for a solid day of training.

With A in her first week at a new job, where she has to be up stupid early, it made it easier for me to make the change to a training time wake-up. I grabbed my bags and jumped in the car for a quick commute to my local 24hr Fitness. I'm not proud to be joining the ranks of those who have resolutions to attempt, but the place wasn't as bad as I feared.

It was my first time swimming in a saltwater pool, and I give it a thumbs up. The subtle saltwater taste was almost pleasant and it's nice to not carry the chlorine stench and itch around with me all day. Of course the gym is a different story. It scared me the number of people who wake up before 6:00 am and put on gold chains and cologne to go workout. I wonder if they set their accessories out the night before?

Monday I had a sore throat all day and it was no different this morning so I kept it easy in my first swim since September. Wow! I did take some time off from the pool. My stroke felt butter smooth and I couldn't help but give a silent thank you to my parents for enrolling me in competitive swimming at the age of 5. My endurance and strength were a different story. Funny how running does so little for one's lats and triceps.

I've got personal training today during lunch and that will be my second rude awakening of 2009. I'm walking the fine line between an exciting start to 2009 and avoiding an early season sickness. I always look forward to the off-season, but I think being in-season is way more fun.

Swim: 200 warm up, 4 x 200 building, 200 cool down - 1200m total

Monday, January 5, 2009

Quick update

1/2 - 10 mile run in Prescott Granite Dells @ 6,000 ft (Ouch)
1/3 - rest
1/4 - resistance training
1/5 - 3.5 mile run

Installed my new home gym equipment on Sunday and am super pumped to get started on some new functional strength workouts. Tonight I'm going to swing by the 24hr fitness and sign up for a membership. I'm hoping the place isn't crawling with New Year resolutionites. I need to get back in the water and the outdoor pool at work won't open for a while yet so this is the next best option. At least I hope it is since the 24hr is less than a mile from the house.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2009 Race Schedule

2009 has arrived, and with it my tentative race schedule for the new year (check it out on the right). I'm excited about the events I've scheduled and even more excited about what may be added along the way. My time line for competition and training is falling into place perfectly, and I can't wait to get back to structured training and racing.

So here's the plan: starting January 5th I end my singlesport running focus and begin hitting the bike and the pool (YES!) with more regularity. I'm racing the PF Chang's Rock'n'Roll Arizona 1/2 Marathon (my first 1/2) on January 18, 2009. I'm going to take the following week for some active recovery and mental prep for a new season of XTERRA.

On January 26, 2009 I begin a 14 week XTERRA focused training plan that I've been working on this holiday season. I'm excited to build on the endurance base that I built in 2008 and bring new technique and knowledge to my training in 2009.

May 2009 will be all about racing. Two XTERRA races and one 12hr MTB race. In june I will take time to rest before begining work on some longer distances in preparation for my first half Ironman. July will bring one more XTERRA, back where it all started for me in Nashville, TN at the XTERRA Lock 4 Blast.

I'm hoping to add some MTB races and epic adventures along the way, like a rim to rim speed hike of the Grand Canyon and some long days on all the new trails I'm discovering here in Prescott, AZ. Functional strength training will be a larger part of my plan in 2009 as I have some great coaching and tools with which to build a more sustained strength program. A big thanks to my sister for that.

Thanks for reading and have a great 2009!