Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Track Night 7/27/10

Tonight's track night felt like a breakthrough performance for me on a night that was not quite as hot as normal, though definitely a very humid, steamy night. I ran a set of 1600 - 1200 - 600 - 300 on a school track, with 2 - 3 minutes of recovery jogging between each set. All running was to stay below lactate threshold heart rate. My surprise was an 8:09 1600 meters (mile), a speed I likely have not seen around 20 years, and afterwards I maintained a steady 9 min/mile pace through the balance of the running part of the workout.

I certainly consider this workout to be showing me a breakthrough after I have been at a training plateau for a good while.

I celebrated with a small serving of lowfat frozen yogurt and granola at Orange Leaf .

Coming up tomorrow are 2400 yard swim and 60 minute bike workouts.

Longhorn IM 70.3 Countdown...82 days to go!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

ORR Group Bike Ride

Today was my first group ride with OutRival Racing, actually it was ORR's first group ride that I am aware of period. In any case it was also my first group training ride as well. Yes, I have been training this long on my bike just riding solo!

We covered about 28.64 miles in 1:45, for a speed of almost 16.4 mph, which included slowing and waiting for traffic along the route. Today's ride was scheduled to be part of a recovery week for me and this ride worked out well for me. I did ride at a faster speed than I usually go, partly due to our route getting me out of the normal traffic I experience where I go on my own and partly due to the effect of other riders setting a pace that I do not drop down unintentionally. While I was inexperienced in group riding I did enjoy the camaraderie of other riders and look forward to future group training rides. While I was somewhat afraid of being well in the back of the pack, I actually finished closer to the front than the back of the group...so maybe I am a bit better of a rider than I had envisioned myself to be.

In addition, last night was the first get together for the the IM Texas Hometown Athletes Facebook group, meeting at The Goose's Acre in The Woodlands. While I thought I would either skip this or just pop in for a short bit, I hung around for quite awhile talking with many other triathletes who are also registered for IM Texas, some of whom came up from the other side of Houston. So I send out a bit of thanks to Coach Michelle for prodding me to attend.

Next up for me later tonight is a time trial swim workout...

Meanwhile I am 12 weeks out from the Longhorn Triathlon/Ironman 70.3 Austin and 43 weeks out from Ironman Texas with lots of training to be done before each of them.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Track Night 7/20/10

Tuesday night means an hour at the track with OutRival Racing. Tonight's weather was warm and humid, though not hot due to some rains and cloud cover earlier in the day.

Tonight's workout (after an extended warm up period) was a 2 mile time trial, which I ran in 17:48 at a fairly steady pace throughout as each half mile split was within 6 seconds of the average pace. I ran this same run about a month ago and was 9 seconds faster but with a higher heart rate.

Overall, I'd have been happier to have beaten the previous time (just my competitive nature, I guess!), however I have to be happy to repeat a workout with an average pace under 9 minute miles.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Rolling Right Along

Let me start by saying that it is just under 13 weeks until the Longhorn Triathlon (aka Ironman 70.3 Austin) and 44 weeks until Ironman Texas. Sure, I have other events before and between these...an August sprint tri, a September Olympic distance tri, one or two half marathons over the winter months....but these are the two events that are dictating my training schedule.

Of late it seems that my various schedules are dictating my days, instead of me dictating my own schedule. Work moves along on a recurring monthly schedule, with no major problems coming up right now things just keep moving along steadily from month to month. My home life is on a similar schedule, with 2 young adult daughters (19 and 21) they are somewhat independent in their lives, and my wife is spending lots of extra time with her father while he heals up from his injury and surgery from April...he is healing and making steady progress, he is now able to walk with assistance from a walker, and should walk normally again in time. While I miss having my wife around all the time, I know her father needs her more right now.

Without any significant events sticking out in the short term, time just seems to be passing steadily, though I know better than to wish for something interesting to come up as "interesting" is often more bad than good, and for now everything is OK here. The lack of anything big going on virtually guarantees me the time I want for training with little to no interruption, which is good considering the volume of my training that has recently shifted to early morning hours.

This relative bit of quiet will work for now, certainly there will be something interesting pop up in my life eventually which will make me yearn back for these quieter times.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Rolling into July

I am heading into July with some renewed energy, some of it quite literal as I am getting my diet back on track (it's amazing how addictive junk food can be sometimes, as I will sometimes eat it knowing full well that it is bad for me and will slow me down!). Fortunately, when I can finally get it out of my diet, the inertia of getting on track makes it easier to stay on track. Also, I seem to have adapted to my new training schedule (the quite literal doubling of my training time--and then some). Plus it helps to see the light at the end of the tunnel for my father-in-law getting his health back. He's still a low way from regaining his full abilities, but he is getting around at work with assistance and continues to progress his recovery...though I still need to expect to keep helping out with his company for another couple of months, it helps to know things are getting better. Finally, I am inspired by the recent progress of friends like Rae who have fought through their plateaus.

As I was was ending June, I was feeling tired and worn down and not seeing the progress I had made. It was only after fully taking stock of what I actually accomplished during the month--plus seeing the comments left by several of you--that inspired me by showing me how good June really was for me (as I mentioned in the training details I posted previously).

As I have headed full steam through early July I am feeling like I am still picking up momentum for what I can accomplish during the second half of 2010--and feel like I will be able to meet some very healthy expectations for some solid PRs by year's end.

Ironically, when I was starting this post I had intended to partly gripe about the summer weather, where I am outside in 80+ degree and 80%+ humidity, which is normal for summer mornings in south Texas, but in the end I felt so much more upbeat that I had no interest in complaining.

Friday, July 2, 2010

June 2010

June closes with both highs and lows, fortunately a lot more on the high side than the low side.

First the bad news, I gained 2.6 pounds during the month. I’m sure my increased training had something to do with an increased appetite, but many time my dietary choices were horrible with far too many excuses for sweet items being used. I’m going to be working on this during the month.

Next for the good news, of which there is a bunch this month. My total swim/bike/run miles were 276.5 miles this month, which easily eclipses anything I have done previously, and is at 1210.1 miles for the year (which, by the way, would have gotten me to the distance between home and Disney World in early June). Last month’s individual mile distances were 55.3 miles running, 213.7 miles on the bike (which does include a mileage estimate for spinning classes) and 7.5 miles swimming. This running total is my second highest monthly mileage for the year and the bike and swim miles are the highest for the year for each (and a close second highest month ever for the bike and highest month ever for swimming mileage!). With all this increased training I am feeling great, tired at times, but otherwise great. It’s been tough at times to figure out the best way to fit in workouts to my day, something which has been hampered by finding out several weeks ago that the gym local to my office was closing on June 30th, but I will make due.

Why the big increase? Well, I started working with a coach who is putting a plan together with me to meet my goals to get ready for my best performance at Ironman 70.3 Austin (Longhorn Triathlon) in October, and I am with her training group where I love the social interaction along with the training.

I feel I have already started to see the advances of my new training with the big 15:02 PR time at the recent Y Freedom Tri. Certainly, I was already prepared for a big PR for the day with everything I had already done to prepare myself but starting with a coached group at the start of June. However, on the run portion I felt stronger than I have ever felt on the run portion of any triathlon, pausing only to walk for short periods at water stations on the course. I have no events planned until another sprint triathlon in August, but I am really looking forward to that event already to see how much farther I can progress.

My biggest high point this month was registering for Ironman Texas. I had been thinking of doing an Ironman event in 2011, possibly Ironman Wisconsin and combining it with a trip to visit some of my wife’s family in the state. However, in the span of about 6 weeks the rumors I was hearing became an actual event, and an opportunity that I did not want to let get by me, as I become one of the very first to register as the website opened last week.

While last month wasn't perfect, I'll take it and try to do better this month! I know I'll be continuing to put in more time than I previously did training, and if I can couple that to a better diet, I'll be coming out so far ahead later this year.