Sunday, January 26, 2014

Training Update for January 20 - January 26

My annoying cold is out of the system and back to full training this week.   Unfortunately I haven't been able to make it back to Masters Swim class due to various reasons (can't make it this coming week either), but I put in 5,400 yards still.  I also attended a spin class led by a coworker, Kevin (who will be doing Chicago Triathlon with us this year!).

Swim: 5,400 yards / 1:45
Bike: 37.35 / 3:14  (excludes Spin class mileage.. didn't have a way to track)
Run: 31.50 / 4:05
Strength: 2 Sessions / 2 Hours

Total: 72 miles / 11 Hours

Running seems to be on track again.  I did a 5 mile marathon pace run this week and stayed around 7:11 minute miles while a heart rate of 150.  This is spot on where I want to be.  These were flat treadmill miles, so you have to take it with a grain of salt.  Today I did 15 miles at 7:37 average pace with an average HR of 153, aided by some actual elevation gain.  I'm still feeling good about this.  My foot held up really well too.

Dishwasher Run
Saturday TKB and I decided to finally upgrade our dishwasher.  Off to the "local" furniture and appliance store.  We found one that met our needs (and mostly our budget) and took advantage of the free delivery, which was to be on Sunday.  By the time we got home on Saturday, I was exhausted.  So instead of removing the old dishwasher so that the delivery guys could haul it away, I went to sleep.  6:30am alarm so I could get my 15 miler in was waiting for me instead, so off to bed.

I eventually got out the door by 7:30am.  I did one of my favorite loops that takes me through Parkville, out to Argosy Casino then back up to 64th street through the Line Creek trail.  About mile 10, I get a phone call.  It's the delivery guys and they will be at our house between 9am to 11am.  It was 8:45 at the time!  Crap!!  I still needed to disconnect our old dishwasher!  I called TKB and asked her to do her best and took off.  Long runs are suppose to be low zone (heart rate) but so much for that.  Unfortunately, 75% of the 700 feet of elevation gain planned on this route was yet to come.

I took off and kept my pace pretty much the same for the rest of the trip but killed my heart rate considering the hills.  Just as I was getting near the final turn into my neighborhood, I saw the delivery truck leave!!  Dang it!!

When I got home, the new dishwasher was sitting in the kitchen the old dishwasher was about 95% of the way disconnected.  TKB did an awesome job getting it out but had issue with the water hookup.  So close!

I got the new one installed with few issues.  As you can see, it comes with a laser beam!  It's so quiet that they have this light on so you can tell if it is running

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Training Update

Training took a hiccup this week as I started inexplicably coughing Wednesday night.  So much so that I slept in the other room so as to not bother TKB.  I did my swim Thursday morning (had a work meeting Thursday night so I had to skip Masters Swim class).  Then as the day got started I could tell something was going fisticuffs with my immune system.

I decided to head things off Thursday morning at work by starting the Vitamin C drip, so I walked down to the local drug store to pickup some Airborne.  I picked up the kind that you just suck on and it slowly dissolves... or so I thought.  I plopped it in my mouth and the effervescent fizz started foaming Vitamin C.  Slightly awkward yet refreshing.  I checked plenty of windows on the way back to the office to make sure I didn't look like a rabid software developer.  Apparently I picked up the kind you put in 4 - 6 oz of water and then drink.

I ended up leaving work at noon after a meeting.  I slept until 5:30pm when lovely TKB took care of me with some soup.  Temp was over 100 degrees by the time I went to sleep for the final time that night.

I stayed home Friday to rest up even though the temp had returned to normal.  Saturday I felt about 80% and resumed training.  

Sunday was a 14 mile run and the last test of my neuroma foot issue.  While I can generally tell it's there, it is the 12+ milers that cause pains.  I did 15 miles the weekend before but was slower than my normal pace, so I kept it moving during this 14 miler.  I'm happy to say that I didn't notice any issues at all.  Time to call the podiatrist and let him know how it is progressing.

Swim: 5,400 Yards
Bike: 37.84 Miles
Run: 21.88 Miles
Strength: 2 Hours

62.79 Miles / 9:10 Hours

I ended up missing a bike and run.

I'm still about 85% - 90%  Luckily I have one more day off from work to relax and maybe top off at 100%.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Swimming With The Masters

Masters Swim 'Training Center" - Gladstone Community Center

Three years ago when I started participating in Corporate Challenge events, specifically the triathlon event, I first met Doug Hayden who is a masters swimming coach that worked at my company.  He was doing the swim leg of our corporate team.  As you may expect, he was also the coordinator for our company's swim team.  After the triathlon, Doug asked me to swim on the company team but I wasn't confident in doing it.

The next year I saw Doug at the corporate challenge track events and told him I had planned to take his class in the off season.  It was because I was eyeing my first ironman for that following year and I was also heading off any questions about participating on our team that year.

Sadly, I didn't join the class (and missed out an ironman podium by 5 minutes).

Now that I've done a 140.6, I'm done finding the next longer distance race to do (I'm not doing a double ironman event).  I need to start focusing on getting faster at the distance I enjoy... which, coincidentally, is suddenly the ironman distance.

If I plan to get faster, then time to work on my weaknesses.  So I showed up for my first class on Saturday!  My timing was rather poor considering it was the fourth of January.  Read: apparent New Years Resolutionist.

I showed up at 6:45am and chatted with Kristen (who has appeared on various blog posts here) waiting for the center to open.  Doug soon showed up and told us something I was pretty excited about, we were doing threshold testing.  This gives a good baseline of ability so we can see how we improve over time.  We did 3 x 300 yards and averaged the time to get our 100 yard time and then add 10 seconds.  My average was 1:35, so the threshold is 1:45.  Kinda cool, especially since I couldn't believe I could do a 1:35 pace, let alone 3 x 300 yards at that average.  Having other people in the lane helps!

First day and 3,400 yards done!  I talked with Coach Doug afterwards and he gave me some hints.

I have attended Monday and Thursday's (tonight) sessions as well.  Unfortunately, those classes are at 7:30pm and will be hard to attend because every other Thursday night I have a conference call for work and Monday I do my strength training with Sam at 4:30pm.  So it may be hard to drop 4,000 yards after shredding my arms "pumping the iron".  Naturally, Saturday's I prefer to swim/bike in the morning so swimming will be hard to throw in the mix without killing my entire Saturday.

So my goal is to do 2 sessions a week but naturally I'll want to attend all the sessions, if to just knock the demeanor of being a New Years Resolutionists.

The sessions are 90 minutes long, so we are hitting some pretty high distance.  In fact, on Monday we did 3,600 yards.  I had never hit that distance in a single training session during my ironman training.

Well, hopefully I can keep this up and see some great results!

Thanks for reading!!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year Musings

Just putting some thoughts together when I should probably be focusing on work work...

"Giving Back"
Every year I say I'm going to volunteer at a race and it never seems to fit in my training schedule (world's worst excuse).  At least last year we did our "High 5 Station" at the Garmin Marathon and had a complete blast.  This year, I'm going one step forward and volunteered to be the Kansas City Corporate Challenge Triathlon/Duathlon coordinator for my company.  This means begging and pleading people to participate in probably one of the more challenging events.  I've participated in this triathlon in 2011, 2012 (the only triathlon I did that year), and 2013.

Foot Issue
I've mentioned in the past problems with my left foot, but never elaborated.  Back in June I noticed during bike rides more than 20 miles I had a "hot spot" on the ball of my left foot between my big toe and the next toe (pointy toe?).  It never hurt but was definitely annoying.  I actually did mention it back in August in this post.  During a 20 mile run back in November, I ended up calling TKB after 15 miles because it hurt like crazy.  Normally I can rub on it for a bit and it is fine.  Not this time.

I talked to the doctor in my annual "well man's exam" in December.  He suggested some metatarsal pads to provide more cushion.  I went to a local running store and they installed them.  I later adjusted them because I was stupid.  If they are there to provide more cushion, shouldn't they be under the ball of my foot (no, they aren't.. that's one of the worst things to do)?  Not stupid enough?  I then went for a 10 mile run on them and then a 5 mile treadmill run the next day.  Two days later, that spot hurt like crazy.

The next week I got a referral to meet a podiatrist who is also a local triathlete.  When I finally met him on December 26, he did an x-ray and ultrasound of my foot and diagnosed it as a neuroma.  We talked about what caused it and we quickly pinpointed my cycling shoes. When I bought my triathlon bike in February, I went from SPD cleats to SpeedPlays.  The Doc suggested I look at the cleat placement and move them away from the balls of my feet. Oh... and he gave me a cortisone shot to help loosen up the neuroma.

The Doc explained that I may have a painful reaction from the shot but it only impacts 1 of 50 people.  Well, my friend Jill got a cortisone shot recently and feel free to read her experience about it in this post (seriously, go read it and read the entire post. It includes her report of spectating my ironman!).  She was amazed that it took her 7 months to get her cortisone shot when it took me about 5 minutes of saying "wah" and some ultrasound goo on my foot.  For the record, I never experience that pain.

I finally got around to adjusting my cycling cleat.  Sure enough... my left foot's cycling cleat was adjusted as far under the ball of my foot as possible while my right cleat was adjusted in the middle.  I moved them all away from the ball of my foot.

Unfortunately I won't be doing another long run for a few weeks, so I won't know for a while.  I can't say it's feeling any better yet but it doesn't usually flare up lately until I do a long run.

*sniffle sniffle*
I've been fighting off a sinus cold lately.  It's been pretty annoying.  It first hit me before Christmas and then again a few days later (had to take Friday off from work) and again on New Year's Eve.  Basically, any day I had off the last two weeks I've been laid up with this stupid cold.  Before it really hit me on New Year's Eve, I did manage a 5 mile run outside in the 50 degree temperature. I averaged 7:48 pace in my aerobic zone so I'm feeling pretty good that the reduced training since October is still keeping me with a good base for the upcoming season.

Ticket to Boston
Speaking of the upcoming season, I'm going to try a Boston Qualify (BQ) attempt again.  In November, I did manage this run:

My average heart rate was at the top of my aerobic range, if not pushing my anaerobic threshold.  That's not quite BQ (it's a 3:15 marathon and I need 3:08-ish) but I felt that had I been in a race with a pace group, it would have happened.  (Note: that was also my coldest run ever at 12 degrees).

I'm targeting Garmin Marathon in April (the site of last year's "High 5 Station").  For the record, I loathe training for endurance events during the winter.

Swimming with the Masters!
I'm not a New Year's Resolution type of person but I do have a goal to improve my swimming.  So I'm finally taking the plunge and joining a Master's Swimming class.  Assuming this cold doesn't hit me again, I'm going on Saturday.  I talked with the coach over the past weekend, suckered another coworker to join me, and mentioned it to a few other people (to make me accountable) and now I'm telling my three blog readers to make me even more accountable!  I'll report back on Monday!

Enough musing for now.  Thanks for reading!!