Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Double workout day

Tuesdays have been double workout days for me lately. Spinning at home on my trainer in the morning for about 45 minutes and then going to my tri class run workout in the evening. It's a good combo since neither workout is very tough. After this morning's spin, my legs felt a little sore in strange places so I am considering putting my old saddle and pedals on the bike for this weekend's 100k and then worry about bike configuration later. It shouldn't be too hard to get them back in the right spot because the seat post didn't have to get moved. Even though my new saddle has less height than the old one, the pedal difference makes up for it.

Tonight's run class was good. One mile easy warmup - I always go out too hard and end up in heart rate zone 3 and i did it again tonight. Then some drills, focusing on different aspects of the steps we take during the run. Some sprinting drills that reminded me of soccer practice as a kid. Then a medium-hard mile and a cooldown mile (more like medium for me). All followed by stretching and a painful abdominal workout.

I'm swamped at work and have a lot to do before 9am tomorrow, so I may end up having to drive to work even though it's supposed to be my first day as a bike commuter for the spring... Gotta go get things done!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Shopping

I hate shopping! I spent so much time this weekend shopping for bike gear. Driving from one shop to another, trying things on, etc, etc. Yesterday was supposed to be a brick workout, but taxes came first and then I had to rush to REI to use the 20% off coupon before it expired. I bought new road bike shoes, but had to drive to an REI over 30 miles away to get my size, and now I think the shoes might actually be too big, so I may have to redo all that shopping. I have replacements in mind already though. So yesterday's workout got scrapped for those tedious things.

Today's workout plan included a 50 mile bike ride. (My office observed Cesar Chavez day today.) Today's ride got scrapped due to shopping taking all day. Today was the last day of the bike sales in town, so I went looking for a new bike. I decided to look at new road bikes instead of a tri bike, since road bikes are a lot more versatile, and I'm not really looking to win the ironman, so maybe a more comfortable ride will be better for me. I test rode a lot, so at least I got some riding in. I found a bike I like a lot, and now just need to decide if I want to spring for a new bike, or if I want to spend money on my current setup to improve the fit. (It's slightly too long for me.) The salesperson agreed to extend the sale through the rest of the week for me so I'd have time to mull it over. It would be nice to have a bike that fits me from the start. My current bike is a Trek 1000, 54cm, and it's a bit too long for me. I bought it because of the 10 or so bikes that the St Thomas bike shop had, it seemed to fit. I seem to recall the rest were all larger, so it was the right bike for then. I'm thinking a carbon frame would be nice though. I did get the new saddle and the new pedals installed on the bike. (that's how I decided the shoes might be too big.)

It's really stressful to have missed so many workouts lately. I think once I have my gear, it'll be really nice not to have to spend so many hours shopping! When I was training for my half ironman, I didn't spend much time searching for the perfect gear even though cycling was a new sport to me. Once the bike shop closed (right after I bought my bike) there was nowhere to buy any triathlon items on island. I suppose I did have to do shopping when in the states, but the time was limited.

I still need a wetsuit and aerobars. Will probably go to REI for aerobars due to their amazing return policy.

Plan for the next week:
Tues: AM bike ride on the trainer; PM run at the park
Wed: Ride bike to/from work (~ 30-40 min workout each way)
Thur: AM run 4-5 miles
Fri - bike to/from work OR ride bike halfway (drive to a park and ride from there) and/or swim (will decide based on energy level, need to make sure i'm ready for saturday's workout)
Sat - Party Pardee 100km bike ride
Sun - run 7-8 miles
Mon - rest or swim

Saturday, March 28, 2009

swim clinic and new gear

Today was a beautiful day in Sacramento. I went for a 6 mile run starting at 9:45am and it actually got a bit too warm near the end. It took me 68 minutes, which is an okay pace for me (11:20 min per mile) but since it was supposed to be an easy run I probably should've slowed down a tinsy bit more. It's nice to worry about running too fast for a change though.

Right after the run, I came home, had a quick PB & honey sandwich and then headed to a swim clinic, that was a part of the triathlon training class I signed up for (Nov-Apr). It was pretty fun. We did some Total Immersion style drills, which are boring, but helpful to improve my stroke. It's tough having a coach tell me to change my stroke after so many years! I don't place my right hand in the water properly, for example. I just gently set it down. So I'm working on that, as well as increasing my body rotation. The fun part of the class was that we practiced mass swim starts. If you've never seen a triathlon swim start, this Clif bar ad on YouTube will give you a good idea of how you should practice for one. We also practiced drafting, which I'd never found helpful, but now I think I'll be more likely to try it (although it does feel like cheating). Finally, we did a 500 meter time trial. (Actually, I'm not sure if it was meters or yards, I should check that.) My time was 9:24, which is perfectly fine by me since I've only swam 4 times this year!

I also went to Bicycles Plus to check out their 25% off sale. I bought a new saddle - went with the Specialized Jett, a short step down from the one I was looking at, but it was actually 40% off so I couldn't pass it up. Will put it on the bike tomorrow before a test ride. Got new bike shorts too, the very helpful and knowledgable woman who helped me said the ones I've been using are made for 1-2 hour rides, and that a better short will be really nice on my long rides this year. No new shoes yet. Maybe tomorrow.

Friday, March 27, 2009

IT band and sick puppy

Yesterday I was able to leave work on time and got excited about doing a brief 3 mile run, but then I realized that my IT band had been bothering me all day and I thought I should go home and ice it after a long walk with the puppy. The evening didn't turn out quite as planned. While I was at my neighbor's for about 5 minutes, Sierra snagged my pill box that had a week's worth of asthma meds and vitamins and iron supplements and ate most of the contents. That led to me running around to get stuff to make her throw it back up, which didn't quite work. We ended up staying up late because I wanted to observe her and make sure she was okay. She was fine until she got sick around 2:30am but then seemed fine after that. so that's good, but neither of us got much sleep. I really like to get at least 8 hours, but I prefer 9 hours when I'm actually training properly. I had plenty of time to ice my IT band though. I'm going to start icing it twice a day like I'm supposed to. I'm just not very good at sitting in one place that long most days.

After work I'm going to try to swap my pedals for the new LOOK pedals I got. I'd been using an SPD system for my mountain bike shoes, but it's time to upgrade. I still need to buy road bike shoes but haven't found the perfect pair yet. (Well, found the perfect pair but am looking for something more reasonably priced.) My dad loaned me his old road bike shoes though, so I can at least use those for now.

This weekend may be the weekend to buy lots of the gear I need. The local bike shops are having big sales (25% off), and the tax rate increases by 1% on April 1. Things I'm in the market for:
  • wetsuit (never needed one before! this is one of my biggest worries since I have no idea what I will like or dislike in a wetsuit)
  • road bike shoes - carbon sole please
  • saddle (strongly considering the Specialized Ruby Gel)
  • aerobars
  • tri bike (this really belongs on my Wish List)
  • new bike gloves - mine are bit wornout, but i'm happy to get the same pair again, if i can figure out what they are
  • new bike shorts - ditto
  • new swim suit(s) - ditto

I don't need any running gear right now, probably because I ran this winter. It would be nice to have a second pair of shoes so I can alternate the use of them. They're on order for me. :)

Since my IT band is a bit annoying, I'm going to skip any serious hill workouts this weekend and save that for the April 4 100k bike ride. Will do my run in the morning tomorrow before the swim, then probably stop by a bike shop or two after the swim and continue my quest for the perfect gear.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Baby steps

I'm making progress on switching to morning workouts. No, I didn't do another one this morning. But I did just change my hours at work for the month of April to 9:00-5:30. That lets me wake up at 6am and get a good workout in before heading to work. I'm also going to start commuting by bicycle next month. I plan to ride 4x per week to work. One of those days I'll probably just ride halfway - I'll drive to the park that's halfway between work and home, and ride my bike from there. That way I will have enough energy for running, since I can't get by on bike training alone! My bike commute isn't very far - about 7.5 miles each way - but since I took the winter off, I may need a month or so to get used to it again.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Another rest day

My training schedule has been all messed up for a few weeks and it continued today with another rest day. I'm not doing a good job of balancing puppy + self. I just feel guilty leaving her in her crate all day while I'm at work and then adding extra time to that by doing a workout away from home. But yesterday I joined my training buddy at the park after work for a 5 mile run. (She's doing IM FL too!) We kept a good pace and that was my second workout of the day. So I'm trying not to beat myself up for not biking or running today. I did at least take Sierra out for a slightly longer walk than usual.

Tonight I went to the Sac Tri Club kick off party which was at a local bike shop. The shop offered us 20% off and, sadly, I couldn't find anything to buy. The shop was a lot smaller than I expected and didn't carry any of the gear I like. (Pearl Izumi and Specialized, most notably.) I knew I'd be missing a workout opportunity by going to the party but I felt like it was important to meet some of the people that I'll see at races all year, and find more people to train with!

I'm in the market for road bike shoes. I've been using mountain bike shoes ever since I started riding, since that was when we were living in the VI and I knew I'd be walking up some of the hills there. But now I'm ready to upgrade. My feet are too big though so I'm having difficulty finding shoes that fit me. Lots of the local bike shops are having sales this weekend though so I will buy some by the end of the long weekend! (My office observes Cesar Chavez day on Monday.) I have new pedals - I went for the LOOK Keo Sprint pedals. Almost got talked into buying the Carbon ones but I think for my level of performance, I'd just be paying $80 extra to lose an extra ounce (literally just 1 oz) of weight in the pedals, and honestly I should just eat less!

Tuesday's morning workout kept me energized all day. As I've said before, I need to switch to AM workouts. I've cancelled my downtown parking permit as of the end of the month so I will be commuting by bicycle starting next week! That'll get me started on morning workouts!

Plan for the next few days:
Thursday: ??? (this is why my training has gone downhill. failure to plan = planning to fail!) I might have to work late, but if I don't, I'd like to say that I'll go for a run, but realistically, I'll feel guilty about ditching the puppy right after I get home, so I'll probably end up taking her to the dog park and running around with her there.
Friday: ??? bike on the trainer for 45 min before work??
Saturday: Run 5-7 miles; Swim clinic at noon.
Sunday: Bike 50-60 miles. [plus do taxes and sketch out training plan for the next few weeks.]
Monday: Bike 15-30 miles and/or swim and/or weights. Really need to get back into doing weights regularly.

Upcoming events:
April 4: Party Pardee 100k bike ride
April 11: Ice Breaker open water swim (maybe I should start swimming soon, eh?)
April 17: Ice Breaker sprint triathlon
April 26: Chico Mildflower 100k bike ride
May 2: Napa Vintage 1/2 Iron triathlon (not registered, still just a maybe, there are a lot of events that weekend so I'm having commitment issues)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Love morning workouts!

So I skipped last night's trainer ride because once again the afternoon laziness/fatigue/indifference set in. But I got up early for a change and hopped on the trainer for 45 minutes this morning. Doesn't really make up for a 90 min workout, but I'm doing a group run this afternoon (the only afternoon workout I like, once I'm there), and today's morning workout was really just to get myself back into doing morning workouts. I think I'm there. If I can be doing them 3x per week by next week I'll be happy. Off to walk the puppy for 30 minutes before heading to work.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Finally Started It!

Ever since I registered for Ironman Florida '09 back in November '08, I thought I should write a blog about this journey. Mostly for myself - to be able to reflect back on it and see how my training went along the way - but also to keep my friends and family in the loop, if they're interested. But I kept putting off starting the blog because I felt like the first post should be about why I signed up, and that might take some explaining to do. So for now, I'm just going to post about the present, and maybe I'll catch up with the past some day.

My training seems to have hit a speed bump in the last week or two. I ran the Shamrock'n Half Marathon in West Sacramento on March 15 as part of my 30th birthday celebration. It was a PR for me - 2:20:58. (10:45 min mile pace). My goal was 2:30 so I was pretty happy with this. But I haven't gone running since! It's been 8 days now. And to back track more, on March 8 I rode 50 miles on my bike with my friend and until Saturday I hadn't been on my bike since then.

Part of it has been that I've been the sole provider for the puppy for the last 2 weeks. But part of it has been laziness too. Nothing's stopping me from hopping on my bike trainer at home with the puppy, except the laziness. I blame.. well, not sure what I blame. But it has something to do with trying to do afternoon workouts. I do much better with morning workouts, but I just haven't changed my sleep habits to start doing morning workouts. Afternoon workouts, well, all day I think of reasons not to do them. Morning workouts - alarm goes off and I'm out of bed and out the door to swim, bike, or run. I plan to change to morning workouts very soon. Maybe later this week. Part of the problem is also that I signed up for a triathlon training class. The winter portion had some great speed workouts that really improved my running technique and speed. But the weekday workouts start at 6pm, which is when I like to be eating dinner. Tomorrow I plan to go to the 6pm running session and do about 5 miles at the park with my fellow classmates. So that's my excuse to not run today. But tonight I plan to hop on my trainer and ride for 2 episodes of a tv show which will be about 90 minutes total. Hopefully I can bear it that long. The trainer is a bit boring.

Lunch break is over, more later!