2005-03-31 Swim

2250 yards. warmup 200 3-pulls-and-roll, then 50 sprint, 100 fast, 200 medium, 300 slow, 400 very slow, 300 slow, 200 medium, 100 fast, 50 sprint. 150 cooldown (done as all breast). This being only 2050 yards, I had to do more. 6x25 butterfly, and some drills.

At one point tonight, I made a nice improvement in my catch. I can't explain exactly how/why it happened, but for a while I was really planting my hand firmly in the water. My stroke count dropped from 15 to 14 and I felt like I was going at least as fast, but with less effort. I didn't have a watch so I don't know have fast I was going (sidebar: I think I lost my watch when I rode the Duke Half IM course last week.) But I felt pretty good. Let's hope this is the start of some kind of breakthrough... I've needed it for a long time now!


2005-03-30 Bike Trainer

Bike trainer. 45 minutes. 16.2mph including warmup. Legs are a bit stiff from my run the other day (which, frankly, I'm surprised about... I was only off running for a week or so!)

Also did a ton of walking today while geocaching or walking to the bookstore. Something around 8 miles total.


2005-03-29 Swim

Swim. ~2700 yards. 200 warmup (free/breast mix). Main set was pretty straight-forward today: 100 back, 100 breast, 500/400/300/200/100 free, 200 3-pull-and-roll. 150 mix cooldown. This was only 2250 yards, and I was done in early, so I did some bonus laps. Did a few 25 butterfly's, and 100 each of catchup/fist/one arm drills. I'm not sure exactly how much distance I did extra, but it was probably 400ish.

Good workout, overall. I did some yoga stretches before I started, which really helped to keep my lower back loose. My flipturns were much smoother than normal today, but my shoulders were a bit tight.


2005-03-28 Run

Run. Fairly extended warmup/cooldown walk, then 38:17 run (probably right around 4 miles.) HR 148 avg.

Hadn't been running much lately, but felt pretty good. Going to stretch tonight to make sure my hips don't tighten up again.


2005-03-27 [A few days off]

Took a few days off before my final push to prep for my first race (six weeks from now). I did a bit of hiking while geocaching, and did some stretching, but didn't do any real workouts.

Starting Monday, I'm planning to hit things hard for a month, then do whatever I have to do to arrive at the White Lake Sprint in race shape.

I suspect I gained some weight over the last few days, but I would only need to lose a pound per week or so to hit my race weight in time.


2005-03-24 Swim

Swim. Jim was only @ class long enough to put up a workout and bolt. Only one other guy was there. I was bored senseless after about 5 minutes. But thankfully, I zoned out and the rest of the workout passed quickly. I finished the 2200 yards in 50 minutes or so. I forget the exact breakdown, but it was a mix of pull, swim, and pull w/ paddles. I only used the paddles for the first half of the workout. I think it was 200 warmup, 4x(50 kick, 100 pull w/paddles, 150 swim, 100 pull w/paddles, 50 kick), 200 cooldown.

I seem to have reached a plateau with my swimming, and I'm not sure what I need to do to break through to the next level. I know I need to get to the pool at least 3 times/week instead of only twice. But beyond that, I simply don't know. My distance-per-stroke is fine (more than fine, actually) but my overall speed is not good, and I keep having stomach problems. I think I'm going to make next month a "swim focus" month.


2005-03-23 Bike Trainer

Bike trainer. 45 minutes. ~16.0mph. Just enough to work up a solid sweat. Focused on having nice smooth pedal strokes the entire time.

Thinking about doing the Duke Half IM course again tomorrow, weather and willpower permitting.


2005-03-22 Swim

Swim practice. 100 swim, 100 pull warmup. Main set 2x(100 kick with board vertical, 150 kick with board horizontal, 200 swim, 100 back kick, 200 back swim, 300 swim), 150 cooldown. The main set was supposed to be all with fins except the 300 swim, but I took off the fins as soon as my shins had a good stretch. I don't like swimming with fins beyond that. The transition from fins to no-fins is always a shocker to me. Must... work... on... ankle... flexibility.


2005-03-21 Bike Trainer

Bike trainer. 33 minutes. Just wanted to loosen up the legs a bit after yesterday's ride.

I'm feeeling rather comfortable on Debra lately. A few months ago I bought some new shoes and a new saddle. Now every contact point between me and Debra is nice and soft. I wish I knew a decade ago just how important it is to have a good saddle/shoe settup!


2005-03-20 Brick

Blew off last night's planned trainer ride after Kevin invited me to play poker, drink beer, and eat junkfood.

But I redeemed myself today. Did a nice Geobrick. Rode the Duke Half Ironman bike course, then ran for 10 minutes or so, then grabbed a geocache. Combine a good a bike ride with 70 degree weather, low humidity, and a geocache, and the result is one damn fine day in MarkWorld.

Did the first hour of the ride easy, then kicked up the pace a bit. I felt like I was going to have stomach cramps if I went harder, so I ended up doing the second hour at a still somewhat easy pace. Somewhere just short of mile 40, I starting feeling better, and I was able to get some food and liquids in. Then I started to hammer. Did the last hour at over 20mph. Final stats were: 3.0 miles of warmup/cooldown, 53.33 miles @ 17.2mph avg, 3:04:59. Unsure of run time... probably 10 minutes. No HRM during any of this, but I would guess is was very low for the first two hours on the bike, and 135ish for the last hour.

One other note: I set a new speed record on Debra. 45.3mph sprinting down a steep hill. I strongly suspect I can hit 50mph with a good effort. Wheeeee!


2005-03-18 Bike Trainer

Bike Trainer. 45 minutes. 16.0mph average, including the warmup. Watched an episode of Angel during this workout, and had a towel over the cyclecomputer, so I don't know my intensity/HR/speed/etc. during the workout.

My right hip area is almost 100% again. I took the week off running to let it mend. I'm not sure if I did something specific during my last heavy run week, or if I have some kind of structural issue that I need to address. Doing Yoga/Pilates helps, but I'm not sure if it is as simple as lack of core strength or hip flexibility.

My diet has been a little bit better than normal lately. I'm eating for the right reasons (ie "fueling the better/faster/stronger/healthier Mark") instead of the wrong reasons (ie "got no dog/job/girl").


2005-03-17 Swim

Swim. 2550 yards. 200 warmup [swim/kick/pull/swim]. Main set 200 pull, 200 kick, 2x(300 swim, 100 pull, 300 swim, 100 kick, 100 drill), 150 cooldown.

Had no "water feel" today, but can't explain why. Felt like I was swimming in some kind of low-density water, where my hand would just slip and slide instead of grabbing the water. At one point Jim told me my right hand was open (fingers splayed instead of together.) This would make sense, but I didn't notice myself doing it, and nothing changed when I focused on having my fingers together and my palm nice and flat.


2005-03-16 Bike Trainer

Bike trainer. 60 minutes, avg. speed 15.9mph. Built speed through the workout. Wasn't wearing my heart rate monitor, but I took my pulse by hand a few times... it was more or less where I expected it to be.


2005-03-15 Swim

Swim practice. 2700 yards. Warmup 4x100 [swim/pull/kick/swim], Kick only [100 breast, 200 back, 300 free], 10x[50 sprint, 50 recover], full swim [100 breast, 200 back, 300 free], 100 breast/free cooldown.

Felt fine for most of the swim, but my form fell apart at the end.


2005-03-14 Bike Trainer

Bike Trainer, 60 minutes mod-hard, with lowish cadence. 16.2mph average. Solid enough workout. Nothing for the record books, but good enough for this point of the season.


2005-03-13 Yoga

Took the day off from aerobic work. Did 30 minutes of Yoga from the intermediate routine on Basic Yoga for Dummies. The hardest thing about following this DVD is trying not to think about how damn attractive the host (Sara Ivanhoe) is. I need to memorize the moves once and for all, then just do them on my own.


2005-03-12 Yoga/Pilates/Bike

Had a few good workouts today.

Started by going through my favorite Yoga DVD. 50 minutes of good yoga practice. I felt really solid doing the poses... breathing just right, and feeling the stretches just where I wanted.

Then I did the Pilates set that was on Suzanne's Pilates DVD. I wasn't as strong as I have been in the past, but I got a solid core workout, and really hit my hip flexors/glutes/hip adductors. I've been really tight in the hips the past few days. I think that happens when I run without doing my hip flexibility routines.

Then I decided to try and recreate my stomach problems from my cycling session the other day. I whipped up a batch of No Pudge Fudge Brownies, then hammered on the bike while the brownies were baking. Warmup, then 30 minutes of pure hammerfest on the bike. I couldn't recreate my stomach problem, but I did average 17.0mph! This includes the warmup, so I was really wailing. Last year I had a hammerfest where I averaged 17.0mph, but it wiped me out. This one left me feeling fired up.

I earned my No Pudge Fudge Brownies today, darnit.


2005-03-11 Run

Run. Split the run in two sections, with a geocache hunt in between. There is a geocache on Millbrook road, only a few hundred feet from the half-way point of my favorite run route, but I've been to it five or six times with no luck finding it. How frustrating!

No HRM on this run, but I tried to hold what felt like a moderate to moderate-slow pace. Final stats were: 19:54 to Shelley Lake, 18:46 around the Lake (with the geocaching break in the middle), and 20:11 home. 58:52 total.

My right hip has been a bit tight lately. This seems to happen a lot when I bump up my run volumes. I did some hip flexor streching yesterday, and it helped a bit.


2005-03-09 Bike Trainer

Bike trainer. 60 minutes. The plan was to go 30 minutes easy, 30 minutes hard. But during the first few minutes of my 30 hard minutes, my stomach totally seized. I'm not 100% sure why, but I suspect it was the food sitting in my stomach. Most of my rides recently have been several hours after my last meal. This one was less than an hour after my last meal. It might also have been my bike fit. Either way, I'm going to have to get this resolved. If I can't process food on the bike, any race longer than a sprint is going to be less than fun.


2005-03-08 Swim

Swim class. 2300 yards, 800 of which was kicking. It was an even mix of freestyle and backstroke. Overall, this was a fairly average workout.


2005-03-07 Mountainbrick

Mountainbrick. Did the west and south loops at Beaverdam (west loop to the intersection with south loop, then the south loop, then the rest of the west loop). Then I ran for 20 minutes on the inner loop. Felt really, really, really good today. I finally cleaned the rock garden section at the end of the south loop! It caught me by surprise (as it always does), but I powered through it just fine... mostly :-). I had to push myself off a tree at the end of the section. Faded a little bit at the end of the ride, and my legs took a few minutes to transition to running, but all of that is quite natural.

1:44 for the biking, average HR 134. 20 minutes of runnning, average HR 143. 2:04 total. Forgot my post-workout nutrition, so I hope I'm not totally wiped out tomorrow. I'm fussy about trying to get some carbs during the 40 minute window immediately following a workout.


2005-03-06 Run

Run on the usual route. No HRM to keep me in check this time, so of course I went out harder than I should have. Luckily I was strong today and never really slowed down. 56:09 total. 18:10 to Shelley Lake, 18:30 around the loop, 19:29 home. I would guess my HR was in upper zone 3, which is way too high. But screw it, I wanted to run faster today!


2005-03-05 Bike Trainer

Bike trainer. 60 minutes. Trainer-time should count double-time! I used to be able to tell myself that if I watched a movie, I simply reduced the problem of "sit on the bike trainer" to the more enjoyable problem of "watch a movie." But that trick isn't working any more. I wanted off the bike from 30 minutes into the workout. Nonetheless, I stuck it out for a full 60. HR avg was a nice low 127. Avg speed an equally low 15.1mph. I had easy 10 minute warmup/cooldown periods.


2005-03-04 Run

Run. The usual route. Kept HR as low as possible... 144 avg. 20:05 to Shelley Lake loop (got stuck for a good 0:45 crossing six forks), then 19:51 around the lake, and 20:51 home. 1:00:48 total, which is annoying because I would have been right at 1:00:00 without the delay on six forks. I want to get this loop under 1:00:00 for my slow pace.

I felt really sluggish for the first 30 minutes or so, but started to feel pretty good at the end.


2005-03-03 Swim Class

Swim class. 100 pull, 100 kick, 100 swim warmup. Main set 2x(200/150/100/50 kick w/fins, 300/200/100 swim w/fins). 150 cooldown. I took off my fins for the last 300 of the swim w/fins because the fins had rubbed my big toes raw.

I usually don't like swimming with fins because they make things SOOOO easy. But doing 2200 yards with them did bring to my attention a few important things. 1: I don't point my toes enough, and 2: My kick is too wide. My first regular swim sets after taking off the fins really made these two points clear. I should probably add some longer kick-with-fins sets from time to time.


2005-03-02 Run

Run... the new default route. 19:33 to Shelley Lake, 21:52 around the lake, 21:37 home. 1:03:02 total. The last time I ran, my total time was roughly the same, but I did an extra 5 minute stretch after the loop around Shelley Lake.

This time I managed to keep my HR down. 142 average, and never above 155. It felt weird running with my HR that low, but I felt as strong at the end as I did at the beginning.



Swim practice. 200 warmup, 600/500/400/300/200/100/50 (all free, all with 60 seconds rest between), 150 cooldown. 2500 total. Felt pretty good. Had to circle swim, which we haven't had to do in ages. Schools have apparently started swim season again.

Tummy hurt like hell after. I still don't know exactly why I'm swallowing air, but I have to stop it!