Tuesday, March 31, 2009

In the market

Looking for a new MTB for A. We hit up a couple of shops this weekend and I'm busy checking out craigslist as well. It might be more fun looking at bikes for her than it is for me. Her favorite ride from the weekend was an '08 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR COMP, we'll see...

Monday - Rest day - went to the gym early for an easy spin, stretching and foam roller time

- AM lift (arms) / swim (500, 10x50 drill, 1x100, 4x50, 2x100, 200) 1,700.

#1 competition for my AG in XTERRA was at the gym this morning. Haven't seen him since the airport in Reno. Cool to chat briefly in the pool.

Weekend Brick Workouts

Saturday: 200m warm up + (50,100,150,200,250,300 and then back down) = 2300m swim, quick transition at home and then on the bike.
6 mile road ride to SoMo, and then 18 miles on the trail, 6 miles home = 30 mile ride

Saturday night A and I rode our bikes to a friend's house (2 miles total) and walked to dinner (4.5 miles total) for great drinks and Mexican food. Perfect recovery food.

Sunday: 50 minute trainer ride, 6 mile run w/A

Saturday's workout was excellent and I can tell such a difference this season over last season. I may not finish any higher up the ranks in races this year, but I feel stronger and more confident. Saturday was the first day I rode my new race bike for 09 that I have been working on this spring. It was SO FAST and the most responsive bike I have ever ridden. I can't wait to spend more time on this beast!

Sunday I skipped out on my 3 x bike/run workout and rode an easy 50min on the trainer and then ran with A. The weather is so nice right now and I'm not at a level where a training plan is more important than an opportunity to run with A.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Track

That's my relationship with track workouts. Mentally I love a track workout more than any other kind of workout because it is so easily quantifiable and very straightforward. Physically I hate track workouts because they are brutal (but I secretly love this).

One of the main reasons I decided to get into triathlon in 2008 was to overcome chronic knee pain from a past injury (torn PCL and meniscus). I was playing competitive ultimate frisbee and it got to the point where I was in significant pain every day. I finally decided that I was too young to live that way and gave up playing ultimate for the 2008 season. I had the choice to go under the knife for exploratory surgery, but I decided to take up triathlon for a year hoping that the multi sport lifestyle would help my recovery and build some new strength. It has been a great experience so far (year one has turned into year two), but running on the track still brings back the pain that has otherwise been absent for the past year and a half. Bummer.

I am so fortunate to have a gym, pool, and track at work. So sweet. Today's punishment will be repeated on Thursdays for the next three weeks.


60 min pm trainer ride - tough mentally and physically


1.5 mile warm up
4x600 (400 level 5, 200 level 4) complete recovery after each set and on a 5 point scale where 5 is 100%.
1.5 mile cool down

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

You teach how you were taught

One of the most interesting things I learned working on my MEd was that no matter how many hours of classroom instruction, practicum, or student teaching a future teacher endures the way he or she teaches is ultimately defined by the way they were taught. Not exactly inspiring words for the future educators of America.

While my time in the classroom was relatively short before jumping to the administrative side of the house, I can vouch for the fact that one starts off following all the principals of instruction they were taught, but quickly comes draw on their own experience as a student. I'd like to think we draw from the powerful and talented teachers in our past, but I know this isn't always the case.

How is this relevant to training? What's relevant is that even though I've been taught proper form for stroke, stride, body position, and weight lifting it is always a struggle to avoid falling back on the way I was "taught" or learned prior to becoming an "adult". When the alarm goes off early in the morning and I drag myself to the gym for a strength session I find myself all too often performing the same exercises I learned in college and not the best practice I've recently been taught.

Athletes are no different from teachers. We are taught best practice, but without supervision and attention to our own methods, we are all too likely to fall back on our familiar past instead of pushing ourselves to remain dedicated to the present. This is why we do drills, work with coaches, and consult with other athletes. This week, despite the fatigue, despite the early mornings, despite challenges, I am working to remain focused on best practice and make THAT the new familiar.

Wednesday - AM gym workout arms/light legs/core, PM bike 1hr trainer workout

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I need coffee

Everyday last week I had coffee in the morning. Why I decided to cut back this week I have no idea, but so far it has been brutal. No headaches or anything, but I am dragging. Anyone that knows me will vouch for the mania that sets in when I hit the java juice and I could use some of that energy these days. It could also be my first full week of work in quite a while...

Monday - skipped my leg strength session to work in the yard and on my race bike after work
Tuesday - lift chest / 1,600m swim (2x200, 2x200IM/400free)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Finding motivation in week 8

Last week (week 7)was a rest week and I managed to stay fairly busy:
Monday - make-up run
Tuesday - gym workout
Wednesday - gym & short swim
Thursday - 4.5hr ride in Sedona
Friday - rest
Saturday - rest
Sunday - rest

Those last three days are misleading as we had some of our best friends in town visiting from Seattle and we were plenty busy - eating, drinking, and relaxing poolside. Yes, the temperatures in Phoenix reached the 90s which meant plenty of time in the sunshine drinking margaritas and other cool beverages. I miss them already.

After our friends left for 40 and rainy Seattle, I got to work on my race bike for the 2009 season. I'm pretty excited about it and even more excited that the build is coming mainly from existing bikes and parts around the house. It was sad to see the SS loose some of her better looking parts, but it's for a good cause and staying in the family. This also means there are some bikes and parts going up for sale...a sad and all too true part of bike ownership.

Week 8 is going to be a killer (especially this weekend) and I'm having a hard time getting back in the groove. I ate and drank too much and am left feeling lethargic. Today's workout is an easy run and leg routine which should be a nice transition from the complete inactivity of the last three days. My goal is to finish the "new" race bike in time for this weekend's big ride and brick workout.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Day in Red Rock Country

Spent all day Thursday riding in Sedona, AZ. Simply amazing.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

No rest for the weary

Week 7 of my '09 XTERRA season is underway and it is supposed to be about active recovery and rest. Too bad that's not happening.

Monday - make up run from Sunday 4.5 miles - I set a super tough pace for this run
Tuesday - AM gym trip lift chest/back
Wednesday - AM gym, arms / 1x200, 1x400 swim - 600m total

Sounds like an easy week so far right? Wrong. We've had guests in town since Sunday and it has been fabulous to hang out eating and drinking with them, but it means staying up late, eating crap, and not being well rested. The last half of this week gets even crazier as I'm taking Thursday and Friday off work to spend more time with friends. Probably hit the gym for some total body work on Thursday and then the trails for a mellow MTB ride. Friday-Sunday is all pool time with a couple chill hikes thrown in for good measure.

I'm starting to get excited about racing on my bike and have decided to make a number of changes and upgrades to my new race bike for this season. Stay tuned...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Weekend update

It felt like I was the only one not racing this weekend. Cooper killed it in his first 1/2 marathon (headbutt!) and JW and Zippy are always racing and throwing down in SoCal. It was supposed to be a big training weekend for me and I came up a little short, but overall pleased with how it went down.

Saturday - up early and at the pool before 8:00 am. 2,200m (400, 6x50 drill, 8x100, 6x50, 2x100, 200).

I went straight from the pool to the trail head at SoMo and rode out'n'back on the Desert Classic Trail ~ 20 miles. It had been too long since I rode the entire thing and I forgot what sweet and empty singletrack there is once you get 6 or 7 miles in on the trail. I was just cruising for most of it, but started to have some weird ghost shifting around mile 12, and miles 8-11 just sucked. False flats really piss me off, except when I ride them the other way and realize I was actually climbing.

65 degrees and sunny - CarTalk on tap
never looks as steep in pictures
Largest municipal park in the USA
Stopped for some Filibertos lunch on the way home and then enjoyed it poolside with A in the sunshine. My relaxation was cut short by a trip to Lowes (new grill - Thanks Pam and Stan!) and some new Yucca for the side yard. I spent the entire afternoon/evening digging out tree stumps till my hands were blistered and my back was cramping.
Every one of those planters had a stump

I look like this cause my back is cramping and it weighs a ton
I took a power nap around 8:00pm and then hit Max and Ted's dive bar in Chandler, AZ for a Karaoke for a friend's birthday. The only draft beer came by the pitcher, so I had my own and a little JD and Coke for good measure, sang a little Johnny Cash, and called it day.

Sunday - up early for some house cleaning before hosting out of town friends for brunch. Great visit and then out for more landscaping supplies. More work in the yard and installed a new rug. A and I had a 6.5 mile run on the calendar for Sunday, but we just couldn't find the energy so we filed our taxes instead.

I'm going to get the 6.5 in today, but I'm tired!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

New Kicks

My New Kicks
I had Monday-Thursday off work this week and I put the time to good use. My training has been ramping up the past couple of weeks and next week is a much needed rest week. Before I get there I have a couple big workouts this weekend and this past week was full of hard work - just not in the office.

Monday and Tuesday I did no formal training but cleared out our whole side yard of trees and gravel. I lifted cinder blocks, painted the eves of the house, painted the back porch pillars, and shoveled more rock and dirt than anyone should ever have to do on a day off. I used all of this in place of formal training these days which should have been a rest day and a leg workout.

Wednesday I was back to yard work but I also I hit the pool with A when she got home from work and swam a hard and fast ladder with 30sec rest between sets (50,100,200,300,400,400,300,200,100,50) 2,100 total. I paid close attention to my stroke and form after a couple emails this week with a friend about form and technique (I do roll my entire body and play catchup with with my arms).

Thursday I did my part for the economy. I bought a secret weapon for this season (not revealing this yet) and I also bought new shoes. I've never bought running shoes from a running store, I've always been a discount, sale, side of the road kind of shoe buyer. Thursday that changed when I visited Sole Sports. Jen talked with me about my running, videotaped me running on a treadmill, and then brought me shoes based on what she saw on film. I was able to try the shoes out on their treadmill and outside. They even brought me water between my intervals. I had an excellent experience and will definitely be back. A big thanks to Jen and Katie!

I am really pleased with the Gel-DS trainer 14, by far the lightest shoe I have ever run in before. Part of me wanted to wait and get the new Caveman shoe, But I'm super happy with the shoes I bought and my experience at Sole Sports. Today I had my first extended run in the new kicks and it was awesome just floating along.

Friday: 4 miles then 4 x 200 on the track and a 400 cool down. Feeling fast!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It all adds up

Saturday's ride left me wiped. I'm not so sure it wasn't the training last week (week 5 ) that led to the ride taking it out of me, but I slept most of Sat. afternoon and didn't go for the trail run I had scheduled. I had a supervisor tell me once that a true professional knows when to break the rules and I think this is so true in training, but we call it listening to your body. Sometimes a workout needs to go and a nap happens in its place.

Sunday I hit the pool with A for a couples workout. I love these workouts and love that we enjoy doing this type of thing together. 2,000m for me, 1,600m for her. Mine was 200 free, 200 pull, 200 pull + paddles, 200 w/paddles, 200 free and then 10x100 with 30 sec rest, 50 all out / 50 easy.

Monday was a rest day, but I was up at 6:00 am and hit the yard where I dug out plants, chopped trees, and shoveled gravel for 10 hours. I feel more shelled today than I have in a long time, but it is back to the yard again today. Painting the exterior of the house up and down the ladder is substituting my legs/core for today.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Fantasy Island North Singletrack
This morning John and I rode FINS out in the Estrella Mountains in Phoenix's west valley. This is some of the purest desert singletrack I've ridden out here and is still around thanks to the stalled housing development of the area. We spent three hours riding various loops and chatting up some locals on the trails. Most of it was rolling singletrack, but the the Northstar trail is a DH run with multiple jumps and some serious exposure. Great morning of riding.

Came home and was going to hit the pool but was wiped from the ride and ate some lunch and hit the sack. I've been training hard this week and my body needed the rest. I laid down and was out cold. I may try and make it up tomorrow.

John climbing like a goat
views abound
base of jump
bike enjoys the view
Wednesday: lift chest/back, 1,300m swim
Thursday: lift arms, 20 mile ride (rode the bike home from work - awesome!)
Friday: left legs / core
Saturday: 3hr mtb ride

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Back to Nashville

Longer post with pictures will be up later today... The short version is that I left Friday AM for Nashville to spend the weekend back home with friends and family. I managed to get in some decent training for traveling and trying to be social, oh and because it was freezing and snowing while I was home.

Thursday: Skipped out on the run and caught up on work before leaving town. Great turnout for the wheelchair basketball event on campus.
Friday: ran 4 miles with A in our old neighborhood back in Nashville
Saturday: 1,200m in the Vanderbilt pool, pool plymetrics, light lifting and abs (great to workout with bb again. I can't imagine how fit we'd be if we were still able to workout together for year 2. Water plyos are so good and I forget what a nice pool Vandy has.)
Sunday: rest - great time with Friends and family
Monday: Little sis extraordinaire is a trainer for a local gym so A and I paid her a visit at work. Some time on the elliptical and bike before hitting the weights and functional strength routine with sis. Good stuff.
Tuesday: Back in AZ where it's 80+ degrees. Got out for a 4 mile run during lunch. Almost getting too hot to run at lunch already.