Thursday, April 29, 2010

Delivery #5,402

I got another package in the mail today!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Rock and Roll

The past week has been pretty perfect as far as workouts have been concerned. I'm hitting my targets with (very little) time to spare and feeling good while doing it. If you don't follow my workout log on Twitter, you might want to check it out - the numbers I'm posting are fairly aggressive! On top of that, my past few runs have felt incredibly smooth, and my form in the pool is coming back after missing those weeks due to illness and injury.

This weekend was the climax of a crash cycle that ends on Thursday. My sister's coming to visit, so I'm going to give myself a few rest days before my final two pre-race weeks. The triathlon is now less than a month away. I am psyched.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sun Day

Yesterday was awesome. In fact, nearly every waking hour of this past weekend was awesome. On Saturday, I spent most of my day on the bike - stopping only once or twice to refill my water bottle - and managed to sneak a run in as well. On Sunday, I set out early again - 7 AM or so - for a sixty-miler, got back, swapped shoes, ran a 10K, and then rode down to the pool. I did some light reading, swam 4,000 yards, read some more, and then met friends in the park, where I proceeded to relax and drink beer until 7 PM.

I should probably mention: there was not a cloud in the sky all day, very little wind, and the temperature was in the mid-70's. A perfect day, and I was outside for just about all of it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Setback #2 - Illness

No, I haven't forgotten about this blog. Unfortunately, bad luck comes in fits and spurts. Just as I was getting back into my usual routine after that back injury, I got walloped - literally knocked off my feet - by one of the worst colds I can remember having. My throat was scratchy on Friday morning, my shoulders were achy on Saturday morning, and that should have been enough for me to forego my usual Saturday morning ride. But I didn't.

I went out and almost died. It was an easy 25-30 miles north thanks to another strong tailwind... and then an absolutely awful 25-30 miles back. I was wheezing so bad - I could barely breath. I couldn't push my heartrate up above 110 without hacking up a lung... it was terrible. Blah.

I got home and got into bed, where I stayed until this morning. Add three more days of total inactivity to the previous total. I'm now weeks behind where I had been in mid-March, and I'm only weeks away from my first Half Ironman in mid-May. Needless to say, I'm going to have to be very smart and very strict about my workouts between now and then.

Another disappointing side-effect of this cold: I wasn't able to run the half-marathon I'd been training for. I got up and hoped I could fake my body out by loading up on cold meds and sudafed... but no dice. It was chilly, windy, and rainy - not good conditions for someone already suffering. Better luck next time, I suppose.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Returning to Routine

It's been business as (mostly) usual here in San Francisco - I'm getting back into my normal routine after missing over a week of swim practice. Fortunately, my back is feeling a lot better and I was able to log some solid yardage on Wednesday afternoon.

This weekend, I'm participating in the US Half Marathon - a race that starts not more than a mile from my apartment, travels over the Golden Gate Bridge and back. It should be a good time, though I'm not expecting a whole lot. I've been pushing my legs to adapt to a more frequent running schedule (four runs per week instead of three) and the prospect of Sunday rain means tomorrow's long ride needs to be even longer. There's no doubt in my mind that when I take the start on Sunday, my legs are already going to be sore.

After this weekend, I hope to be fully back into routine - 20,000 yards per week, 170-200 miles per week riding, and 20-25 miles per week running - until the Half Iron in late May. (One exception - my sister's coming out for a visit in three weeks. I'm going to conveniently schedule some downtime then.)

Fingers crossed that the injury bug stays away!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Most. Miserable. Ride. Ever.

I set out early yesterday, hoping to get 50 miles under my belt by 11 AM and a long run out of the way by 12:30. Unfortunately, that's not how things worked out. It was cool, slightly overcast and very windy (20+ miles per hour from the south) when I left the city. The fist half of the ride was due north and more than pleasant thanks to the extreme tailwind. As soon as I turned around, though, everything changed.

Slightly overcast became extremely overcast and angry clouds began to open up - sprinkling at first, but quickly building into a full-on downpour. The fact that I was twenty five miles due north of home only made things worse. As can be expected, that awesome tailwind turned into an incredibly demoralizing headwind - and rain went from vertical to horizontal in no time.

It wasn't long before my clothes were soaked through, and I don't care how many thermal layers you have on - once they're wet, they're useless. The temperature dropped into the high 40's. The wind, gusting up to 35 miles-per-hour, cut through everything I had on. I lost feeling in my fingers and toes. The rain stung my face. It was awful.

After about 90 miles of that chilly hell, struggling (HR 170+) to maintain a 14-mph average, I was home. I couldn't move my fingers - I had to thumb my jersey zipper down and slither our of the sleeves. I don't even remember how I got my shoes off. I woke up in my bed two hours later wearing two pairs of socks, gloves, a winter hat, a hoodie and sweatpants.

I was mostly out-of-commission for the rest of the day. Needless to say, the experience was unpleasant. Fortunately, the story ends well!

The rain continued until dinner time and I was slightly disgruntled at having missed another run... but evening came and the world started to dry up. Feeling better and lacking anything to occupy my time besides Easter candy, I threw my running shoes on and hit the pavement for an 8.5-mile night run. The temperature at 8:30 PM must have been ten degrees warmer (if not moreso) than it had been when I left the house that morning, and the wind was virtually nonexistent. That nasty storm appeared to have blown through. I couldn't have been happier.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Back in Action

I took Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off and my back condition seemed to steadily improve with rest. Unfortunately, rest is f---ing boring! You'd be amazed at just how much I am able to accomplish at work when I don't spend 4+ hours each day training (or thinking about training). Anyway, today, I just couldn't take it any more - it was time for me to saddle up and get back to it. So I did.

Riding actually doesn't bother my back very much, so long as I stay in the saddle and keep my core active. It's the twisting and rotating (and use of my lats) that really kills me in the pool - I'm going to give myself another day or two before I (gingerly) try to get back into the water.

Anyway, I managed an 88-miler with some pretty intense segments in the first 40 miles. Good weather, favorable winds, good stuff. Then I had the shop take another quick look at the placement of my cleats before swapping my bike shoes for sneakers and logging a 4.5 mile run.

Running actually does hurt my back a little bit - my upper body definitely isn't as stable on foot as it is in the saddle. I might take it easy there for the next few days, too... but I've gotta do what it takes to be ready for the half-marathon I'm signed up to run next Sunday.