Sunday, June 22, 2014

This Past Week

Finally got back to a good week of workouts.  It's been a good month since I consistently got up before work to get in a workout.  That's key because doing triathlon training often requires two-a-day sessions.  With work and KC Corporate Challenge, my evenings have been hard to even get one session in.  This past week I've felt like my old self as the last four weeks I have not.

My focus this past week has been swimming as I'm signed up for the swim event this coming week!  200 yard freestyle and 50 yard freestyle.  I threw my name in that hat for the Freestyle Relay as well. Along with more practice jumping off the blocks, I started doing flip turns.  It's not graceful but I'm starting to get the hang of it.  I'm not sure if I will incorporate it on the 200 yard freestyle on Monday because (1) I still have a chance of ending up in the next lane post flip, (b) because it's new, it is still wearing me out a bit doing it, (iii) still not confident doing them.

So I will be reporting back next week about the swim meet and, frankly, all Corporate Challenge events I've participated in.

I mentioned in my last post that I wished the Johnson County Parks and Rec would give a little discount to the KC Corporate Challenge Triathlon/Duathlon participants a little discount to Shawnee Mission Park Triathlon.  Ask you and you shall receive!  They sent an email out this week with a $10 discount code.  Nice!  I wish I could participate but going to be in Boston on vacation that weekend.... so don't wish I could that bad!

I went to the gym on Saturday for my threshold run.  Decided to do it on the treadmill to focus on form a bit more.  Our YMCA just completed a 1.5 year renovation that added a lot more space and cardio equipment.  I was running on one of these fancy new treadmills at 6 minute pace, when 2.25 miles into my fast pace and it shut off.  I then hopped on a second fancy treadmill and .5 miles into it it shut off.  It's kind of hard to keep the heart rate up if you keep having to go to the front desk to tell them their treadmills suck tripped the circuit breaker.  I finished the fast pace portion of the run on the 1/9th mile indoor track.

Photo of the Week

This seems to be the permanent residence of my cycling shoes.  Since I've started mounting the bike with the shoes attached and then dismounting with them attached as well, they only time I remove them from the pedals is mid-ride at a traffic stop.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Week In Review

Last week saw a return to structured training, mostly.  With the end of Corporate Challenge Track, I was able to focus back on my training plan.  Because I was going to miss Masters Swim class Monday, I hit up the brand spanking new lap lane only pool at the YMCA.  It was awesome.  It was the perfect temp.  The old lap lane pool (which is still in use) is used for aerobics for those with arthritis, so they keep it a bit warmer than a normal lap lane pool.  I just did 2,500 yard long swim and it was great.  The deep end goes down 12 feet as that end has a diving board.

Tuesday I ended up with a rest day because of a concert I was attending (Ben Folds and the KC Symphony... quite awesome).  Since I had Wednesday off from work to take my nephew to the Royals game, I decided to make up for the missed day.  All before 9:30am I managed to go here:

and then here

Fancy new pool has flags and stuff
As I mentioned in my post from two years ago, my luck with track workouts hasn't been the best.  This theme continued.  As soon as I took that photo, I turned around and 60 high schoolers streamed out of the school.  BLERG!  Last time this happened, I scurried away but this time I asked the coach if I could hang for a bit and he obliged.  I really wanted to do this workout on a track instead of English Landing Park.  Technically, the intervals weren't by distance (they were timed) but I wanted to enjoy the track.  Fortunately I was done by the time the track team really started their workouts.

My pool workout went really really well too.  I was hitting some consistent paces that I never saw last year.

Watching the Royals sweep the Cleveland Indians!
After the Royals game, TKB and I went to Shawnee Mission Park so I could get some hill work in on the bike.  I did 5 loops of the park loop with an average over 20 mph for the 1 hour and 6 minutes.  Felt like I was in great shape for the upcoming KC Corporate Challenge Triathlon.

Thursday night was back at Masters Swim class.  Everything was going "swimmingly" until nearly the last of the final set.  I pushed off the wall and my left calf went rock hard.  I had to stop immediately, which was unfortunate as I was leading the lane.  Ducked out of peoples way and kept pulling on my foot to ease the cramp.  It took over a minute for it to relax.  I was done swimming. It was good timing because Coach Doug was pulling the cover off a diving block.  I hopped out and took a shot at diving off the block.  It went really really well.  No red chested beast look after about 5 practice dives.

Not bad considering my calf was still sore.  In fact, that cramp was so bad that it still hurts today, albeit slightly, but it still hurts.  I have never had it cramp up the bad before.  I was concerned it ripped a tendon!  Because of that, I took Friday off from any training to give it a chance to heal up.  I did have a triathlon on Sunday!

Saturday - Short Brick?
As I mentioned a few weeks ago (I think?), I got new cycling shoes.  These are more triathlon specific as they have one strap instead of 3 complicated ones.  I finally gave a shot at doing a "flying mount" on my bike.  I was unsure of how steady I would be with this.

To do this you have your shoes on your pedals and then, using rubber bands, tie them to your frame so they stay in place and level.  My left shoe/pedal would be in the 9 o'clock position and the right shoe/pedal in the 3 o'clock position (or 9 o'clock depending on if you are looking straight on).  You run your bike to the mount line and then step on the left pedal and coast a bit while flinging your right foot over the bike seat and placing it on the right shoe/pedal.  I attempted this briefly earlier in the week and felt very unstable with my left foot solely on the pedal.

To prepare, wearing my running shoes, I stood on the left pedal and rode my bike for about 30 feet.  I did this a couple times before attempting to fling my foot over the seat.  This helped give me a feel for the mount.  I then tried it barefoot with my shoes attached and it was so much more steady. I didn't put my feet in the shoes yet.  I just kept trying over and over.

Finally, I did it one last time but put my feet in my shoes and did a quick 5 mile ride... or so I thought!  With about 3/4 of a mile to go, I ran over something that blew my front tube.  Ugh.  While changing it, I blew my only spare tube airing it up with the CO2 cartridges.  Crap.  Fortunately another cyclist stopped by and offered a spare.  I graciously took it and managed to fix my front.  I then realized that whatever popped my front tire also got my rear tube.  I ended up just walking my bike the 3/4 of a mile home.

That cyclist had given me a tube in a box, which contained a receipt to a local bike shop.  So I went to the shop later that day and paid for a tube on his account.

KC Corporate Challenge Triathlon....
Cancelled due to weather.  It looked gloomy on the 10 day forecast and never changed.  Storms arrived in KC around 4:30am and it was called at 4:45am.  Poo.  The storms really weren't that bad but they made the right call.  If it was possible to delay the race by 2 hours, it would have been perfect but that wasn't in the cards considering all the permits and scheduling that went into it.

I'm not bitter about it.  I wasn't bitter about KC Triathlon being cancelled in 2013 (and I paid money out of my pocket for that).  I just feel bad for my Tri/Du team that had been training for it and couldn't race.  Many of them plan to sign up for SMP Triathlon in July.  It'd be nice if Parks and Rec gave them a little discount!  As of now, I don't plan to race SMP Tri.

Well, this was a bit more of a play-by-play than I usually do for my weekly review but had a lot of things going on that I felt were noteworthy.  This week I hope to stick with the plan a bit more.  The last month I've felt "off" from my training.  I'm finally getting back into the groove.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Weekly update...

A short update....

Within 15 minutes of publishing my last post, I had this text message conversation with our Track Corporate Challenge Coordinator, Rainy......

So I made a third trip out to Shawnee Mission North High School track to run the first leg of the distance medley, which was 800 meters for me (then 400, 400, 1200).  I joked around that I was doing a 700 meter run with a 100 meter baton throw.

Checkin deadline was 5:20pm so I was hoping we'd do our relay and I could immediately take off for Shawnee Mission Park to meet up with my Corporate Challenge Triathlon/Duathlon team for a swim, bike, run workout, which started at 6pm.  Unfortunately, we didn't start our heat until 6pm, so I missed half of the session.  Argh!  Well, I did my part and we ended up with 8th place earning a couple more points.

I had been suffering from weird stomach issues all week and they still hadn't subside.   I did manage pushing myself hard enough but not too hard, if you know what I mean.

On Saturday we did another High Five Station for Hospital Hill Run, which was a blast... a very, very wet blast.  Then after a very long nap (too long, actually), I managed a 7.5 mile run.  This morning I work up with sore and worn out legs.  This seemed odd to me since my 7.5 mile run, while a good pace, wasn't hard.  I felt like my post-High Five Station nap should have given them time to recover from standing around all morning.  My workout was a hard 1.5 hour bike then a hard 30 minute run (hard being bike intervals and 20 minutes of running in Heart Rate Zone 4... which is basically redlining).  While I felt like I was pushing hard, my heart rate barely hit Zone 3.  Legs just couldn't push hard enough, which was extremely frustrating.

I'm hoping the issue is they are still wiped from 3 nights at the track but at least the stomach issues are gone.  Speaking of issues, I installed my SPD-SL pedals on Wednesday and have been riding them.  I'm not going to call them a success yet but my neuroma discomfort has not bothered me as near much as before.  We'll see tomorrow when I wake up after my hard cycle session.

Well, the yard needs to be mowed before the sun disappears....  talk to you later!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Busy Couple Weeks

Here's a few photos of what I've been up to the last week and a half...

KC Corporate Challenge Bike Race
I got a nice PR for the 3 miles this year at the Kansas Speedway.  Thanks for the photo JoeVI.  Looks like I could be a bit tighter on the track but I had just passed someone so hadn't quite moved over yet.

KC Corporate Challenge Track - 1 Mile and 400 meters
Stepped up my game and did the 1 mile and 400 meter this year.  This was the first  400 meter for me.  They needed someone in my age group so I volunteered.  Good thing because I got an extra point for the team in the 400 meter but just missed any extra points on the mile.

I'll be writing up a blog post for all the corporate challenge events.  I may even try my hand at the swim meet this year.

Spectating at Gladstone Community Center Kids Triathlon
HOLY CRAP THIS WAS AWESOME!!!  Shane texted me Friday night to say that his son signed up for the kids triathlon the next day.  My masters class was at 7am before the triathlon at the facility. I usually don't attend because I usually do my long bike or run that morning.  I made the effort this day to watch Luke after.  It was absolutely amazing watching these kids ages 6 to 14.  Luke had to do 50 yard swim, 1.5 mile bike, and .25 mile run.  He did it like a pro!

Other Stuff
With Corporate Challenge going on, my evenings have been pretty jam packed.  I'm done for the week at track even tho they have two more nights. Tomorrow I'm organizing a Triathlon/Duathlon team workout at Shawnee Mission Park.  Along with a few late nights working, I was having some trouble sleeping last week.  Needless to say, my regularly structured training has taken some hits.

In addition to this, my foot neuroma is back.  I think this is tied to my increased cycling mileage.  I adjusted my cycling cleats back in January.  That didn't seem to work, so now I'm going back to the SPD-SL pedals I used previously to see if that helps.  I'm going with the Speedplays causing the issue.  I installed the pedals tonight (I bought a second pair for my triathlon bike and reinstalled the old ones on my road bike).

Sunday, June 1, 2014

High Five Station

Last April after the Boston Marathon bombings, TKB and I were talking about doing something to support the running community.  The upcoming weekend was the Garmin Marathon and we decided to go out and cheer on the runners.  We put out some feelers on Facebook and Karie and Dane showed up with us at 8am that Saturday morning.  It was a complete blast and the "KC High Five Station" was born!

The rest of 2013 did not see the High Five Station reassembled.  I was ramping up my ironman training; in addition, May and June turned out to be heavy race months.

This past April we re-ignited the flame.  We set out the same plan.  We met at the Frontier Park around mile 9 of the half and 15 & 22 of the full around 8am.  This time Kristen joined us for the High Five action!  I learned from last year that our music setup rather sucked.  I just played some tunes from my cell phone in my pocket.  This year I purchased a BIG Jambox.  It doesn't blow people away,  but considering we were in a residential area, that's probably a good thing.

Once all the crew had arrived, we were High Fiving liking there was no tomorrow.  Not too much longer, storms started to roll in.  This was the Garmin Marathon: In The Land Of Oz.  So it would only make sense for them to have thunderstorms rolling in for the event.  It started to mist, then sprinkle, then a full on downpour.  If runners were out there, then so were we.  We didn't experience it in our location, but this storm produced hail!

After about three hours, we threw in the towel for the day.  It was a blast being out there giving back.

We couldn't wait to do this again.  So much so that we met up the next day at mile 3 of The Trolley Run!  This day's crew was Karie, Dane, Ryann, TKB, and me.  It wasn't as long of a day (4 mile race versus a full marathon) but we probably gave out more high fives in that short amount of time.  We held out until the very last runner passed!

Team High Five

Even the little ones get and give some High Five action!

We decided to make an effort to do this at least once a month.  In May we met up again and cheered on runners at the Kansas City Corporate Challenge Half Marathon.  I had some co-workers running, so why not give them a nice cheering section!

Kristen slappin' skin during the KC Corporate "Olympics"
We seem to be perfecting this, so we are all set to cheer on runners at the Hospital Hill Run Half Marathon and 10k on June 7.

If you aren't running, come on out and help us serve up some High Fives!  To know more, keep an eye on our Facebook Page!