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Friday, March 30, 2007

I'm Baaaaaack

Good news, I'm back to feeling normal. I ended up having 3 days in a row off from exercise, and 1 day of (very) sub-par performance. But, as the week went on, I'm doing much better. Part of the reason is the fund raising I mentioned a couple weeks ago for Komen For the Cure. We set up a website here, managed to get some news coverage from our local NBC affiliate, and so far have raised over $2200!!!! The news also did a really good story on our friend Tonsa, so hopefully we helped with the "awareness" campaign. Initially we were thinking we'd raise at least $500, so we've gone WAY beyond that!!!

Today is our relay race. 12 people (+1 inspirational leader in Tonsa), 189 miles, about 27 hours. Updates coming tomorrow night as to how it went. Pictures, too. I"ll have K teach me how to drop pictures into this thing to add more life.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Down for the Count

Well, my throat has gotten the better of me the last few days. I don't know exactly what's going on, but I have some sort of sinus infection/sore throat/man I don't feel good kinda thing going on. I haven't been able to train since Wednesday. It's weird - my body doesn't know what to do. I feel crappy, but yet I have a ton of energy looking to go for a run. How does that happen at the same time?

So, for the first time EVER, I am skipping my brick workout today. After skipping a ride/run Thursday, and I'll also skip my swim this afternoon. And you know what? It's going to be okay. Next week is a recovery week on the bike, so I'll pick it up there and continue to build. Just keep telling yourself - it'll be fine - it'll be fine - it'll be fine....

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

This is Fun

I feel pretty good right now! I seemed to have turned the corner in my fitness. You see, I have been training in MarkAllen's low heartrate style for my last couple races (1/2IM's and IM). Once I got my aerobic threshold test a few weeks ago, I realized that I had been running above my AT for my entire athletic career. (side note - that career started at about age 28) So, my aerobic system was not very well developed at all. When I had to slow down into aerobic zones, I was running 10:20 - 10:40 min/miles. As a reference point, my "natural" pace is about 7:20-7:30. K has been quite fond of telling me how awkward I look running at that pace. I feel pretty awkward, too. Like I don't fit in my skin or something. But I stuck with it because I figured Mark knows a lot more than I do about what it takes to do an IM. I never really got fast before Wisconsin, but I was ready for the race. I did speed up during the speedwork phase, and dropped to about 9:00 or so per mile aerobic pace, but still never really felt "fast".

So, last night I had a tempo run. I did hilly terrain and stayed aerobic. 9:08/mile pace. It felt fantastic!! It has been dropping steadily over the last couple weeks, but this was amazing. About 1/2 the time was sub-9, the other half climbing hills at 10ish. I felt.... right. I felt like I was running with good form and not forcing it. Wow. I can't wait to start speed work!!! I am hopeful to get to 8:30/mile aerobically this time. Since I spent most of my running time in the past anaerobic, I know I can run hard in that realm. Now I'm finally getting to where I can run at a reasonable pace (for me). I know we're all different, but for me things are starting to come together.

That reminds me about our ride last weekend. One of the guys in our group is named Troy. He can cycle, um, let's just say better than the rest of us. I have a mantra to keep me going for the run at CDA, since it was absurdly obvious that Troy will be the first off the bike. "Catch Troy" "Catch Troy" "Catch Troy". :) Maybe that will help when walking sounds like a great alternative to running!

You know, this triathlon lifestyle is pretty amazing. We think about split times and improvements, and how in the world we're going to get out of bed that early... and it keeps us happy. What a perfect hobby.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Catching up

Okay, I'm not doing very well at keeping this blog updated regularly. I am going to try and be better about that. There is so much going on that I'm finding it hard to get everything done. We are now into week 7 of our 20 week Ironman training plan, so things are started to get more difficult. But, in a weird way, it's easier at the same time. How does that work? Well, I think it has to do with habit. After 6 weeks of the same basic schedule, you just kind-of get used to how things go. My basic plan:
M - Long Swim & Weights
T - Recovery Bike & Tempo/Speed Run
W - Tempo/Speed Swim & Weights
Th - Recovery Run & Tempo/Speed Bike
F - off. Yeah!
S - Long Bike/Brick & Recovery Swim
SU - Long Run

So, you get used to that. There have been a lot of interruptions and variations due to that thing called "life" this time, and that's just the way it has to be. I have only completed all of my workouts in a given week one time. I've missed one or two in 5 out of 6 weeks. Luckily, I went into this plan knowing that business is busy this time of year for me, and that it was likely that I would miss workouts. I considered switching to 8 workouts/week instead of 11, but I figured I could average 10. So why only do 8?

The good news is that I seem to be getting into pretty good shape. I think a lot of fitness somehow carried over from Wisconsin last year. I'm not sure how. I did everything I could to drink beer, um, I mean rest and recover, during the off-season.

Next weekend we will do the Ragnar Relay - a 12 person 187ish mile relay run over approximately 24-28 hours. Stay tuned for details on how that goes!!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Good News, Bad News, and a donation

The good news is that I am definitely getting faster in my aerobic zones!! The bad news is that I am unusually sore from it, and approaching a shin splint situation. I think everything will be okay, and our recent heat wave (sorry for those of you still freezing, but it's 80+) should slow me down a little. Today was/is my day off, and I am thankful for it. This weekend includes a 3hour ride + 30 minute run brick tomorrow, then 2500m swimming. Sunday greets me with a 1:50 run. Then - on to week 6!

As for the donation. The easiest way to describe what's going on is to read K's blog. If you have any interest in donating money in T's name, just let me know through comments or email and I will be glad to help you do that. I will let you know the final total raised by the end of the month. I think I like the numbers I think we're going to hit! And, no matter what, every bit helps. I think the coolest thing is that the race director donated T's entry fee to the cause. Way to go, Dan!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

A More Fun Topic

Okay, today we need a lighter topic. Let's talk about dogs. I would post more pictures, but it's easier just to look at K's blog - she's obsessed and is always posting pictures of them. If you look at today's entry you will find pictures of them passed out on top of mama. They're pretty cute, huh?!? Anyway, Baxter (the 4-legged red human) is a pretty smart little guy. I have been taking him to run on Tuesdays & Thursdays after work, and both days I ride the trainer in the morning. Side note - I can't wait for it to warm up a little bit and get outside for at least one of these rides!!. Sorry, back to the main topic. So, I get up earlier than K to start my ride and eventually she gets up. So, what does Baxter do? Starts wagging his tail and "being good". See, he thinks if he lays his ears back, looks really sweet and adorable, he will get what he wants. Mostly because that works on K every...single....time. :) And on me a lot. But it's when he sits up like this and starts swishing his tail back and forth that I know he thinks he's going running. And today, I had to disappoint him. He was crushed. He will run tomorrow, Thursday, and Sunday, though, so it'll be okay. The thing is, how does he know that the pattern is now bike am, run pm? He just knows it. I've been around dogs and I know they are not all this smart (Abby is one example, for sure!), but man. This guy is really, really smart. Like, we have to sneak our running shoes and clothes out if he doesn't get to go. What a great running buddy! If you read my IMWI race report, then you know that he helped get me through it. I guess I'm as disappointed not to run with him, as he is with me...

Sunday, March 4, 2007

This year is weird

What in the world is going on this year? The strangest, most bizarre things keep happening to us and our friends. I found out Thursday that we're going to have move out of our office at the end of the year. Yesterday our long ride was filled with such wind that K titled her blog "Toto, Where are you?". :) It was one of those rides that you just keep fighting and fighting and fighting the wind and never seem to get anywhere. All our lungs are just trashed this morning from allergies, dust, etc. Oh yeah, that's the other part. I don't know where in the world all that snot can come from! My word. It never stopped during the whole ride, or this morning's run. Then, last night, Sara (one of our training buddies) got hit on the freeway with a hit-and-run! Luckily, she's okay. But, man. And the weirdest, saddest part of this year is the "C" word. Cancer. 3 of my friends have been diagnosed already this year. Not to end this entry on a downer, but it's weighing heavily on my heart. Read K's blog for a long description of T's ordeal. And I'm encouraging my writer friend C to turn her experience into a book. I think she can help people get through it. This lady is so tough that she has the docs put the chemo needles in the side of her hand so she can interview people as they undergo treatment and take notes. I think we could all learn a lot about what life means from her. And how attitude really is everything.