Archive for December, 2009

It’s Official!

I am registered for Ironman 70.3 Timberman 2010.  And I’m totally freaking out!  There’s no way out now (barring major injury or illness) because the registration fee is quite the investment.  Quite a step up from $50 sprint races, but understandable given the enormous undertaking to put on such an event.  I have been reading various race reports from years past and it sounds like I’m going to really need to put in some good hilly miles on the bike.  With my early season focus on running, I am hoping to have a fantastic base to be able to back off the run and switch to focusing on cycling in April.  My Christmas present of a brand new Cycleops trainer (thanks Curtis!) is going to really help me to put more time in the saddle.  I am just going to have to figure out a way to set it up to simulate hills.  Prop my front wheel off floor-level perhaps?  I’m afraid I’ll tip over, but something must be done.  The trail I do most of my training on is not very hilly, so I’m also going to have to find somewhere to ride with some decent climbs.

I think I’ll be ok on the run with my early season base, and most of my running routes are fairly hilly.  My only concern is that my knee and feet hold up.  I’m going to be drastically increasing mileage over past running training, and I don’t know how my legs will hold up.  I definitely need to get fitted for new shoes asap.  My current Asics are just not holding up for runs over 2 miles anymore.  My arches feel like they are going to break in half following longer runs.  I’m wondering if there is a better shoe for my feet out there, or if these shoes are just too worn.  I have no idea how many miles they have on them, and I can’t remember when I bought them, which is probably a bad sign.  For the next year, I’m going to use the trackers (see my sidebar!) to show my cummulative distances in each sport.  This will help me keep track of my run miles to make sure I don’t overdo it on the next pair of shoes.  I am VERY curious to see what my totals end up at the end of the year, and see how many pairs of running shoes I go through in the process! 😉  I think I’m going to take my Christmas money up to the local running store and have them do a gait analysis and all that jazz.  I also need to pick up some new socks and some sort of hydration system.

The swim shouldn’t be a problem, unless conditions are bad.  I’m hoping I get a bit more open water swim time this year than I have in the past.  I will definitely have some time in the ocean at the outer banks this summer, but I want to fit in some lake time as well.  Regardless, I already know I can complete the distance, so I’m not too worried about training for the swim leg.

I think the biggest new thing that I’m going to need to focus on during training for the HIM is nutrition.  I haven’t put too much thought or effort into for short course distances, as it is not crucial for the amount of time they take.  At the HIM distance, nutrition and hydration are going to be key on the day of the race, so I am going to have to figure out what works for me and start practicing with the items that will be available on race day.  I really liked the Clif shot blocks during Nations, so I’m going to start practicing with those as well.
Next step is to figure out where to stay and how I’m going to get up there.  I think it’s about an 8-9 hour drive from home, and I can’t decide whether that’s preferable or the relatively short flight and shipping my bike option.  I’ve probably got a little time, though I imagine things fill up fairly early for the weekend.

My training today went ok, I did stage 3 workout A from NROLW.  That body weight matrix is tough!  When I got to the gym, there were probably 20ish people (all men) in the free weights area.  It is a big area, but I don’t think I’ve ever tried to lift when it was that packed.  It was a bit of testosterone overload.  Unfortunately, the gym does not have 22.5 lbs dumbbells (at least not available), and the only thing close that I could find were 20 lbs.  So, I ended up going a little lighter than I intended today.  I would have liked to try the 25 lbs dumbbells, but unfortunately they were taken.  I wish more women would learn that there gym time would be much better spent lifting (and lifting HEAVY), because it just kills me that I was there for an hour and did not see a single other woman lifting.  Not one.  In fact, the only women that even got remotely close to the free weights were trainers.  Working out at mom’s house has made me forget how testosterone-heavy the gym weight area can be.  Here’s the workout:

A. One-armed dumbbell snatch – 3 sets of 6 @ 20 lbs DBs with 105s RI
B1. Dumbbell single-leg Romanian deadlift – 3 sets of 6 @ 20 lbs DBs with 105s RI
B2. Barbell bent-over row – 3 sets of 6 @ 75 lbs BB (first set was 85 lbs) with 105s RI
C1. Dumbbell single-arm overhead squat – 3 sets of 6 @ 12 & 20 lbs DBs with 105s RI
C2. Dumbbell incline bench press – 3 sets of 6 @ 20 lbs DBs with 105s RI
D1. Plank – 3 sets of 90s @ BW with 105S RI (2nd set was only 60 s)
D2. Reverse wood chop – 3 sets of 6 @ 25 lbs DBs with 105s RI
Body weight matrix – 2 x [24 squats, 12 lunges (each leg), 12 lunge jumps (each leg), 24 squat jumps] with RI 2x amount of time taken on first set

Heart rate stats:
Duration – 1:07:05
Average Heart Rate – 147
Max Heart Rate – 190
Calories – 562

Tomorrow is a running day.  The weather is supposed to be terrible (snowy and rainy), so I think I’m going to be stuck on the treadmill again.



New Year, New Goals

I made it to the gym tonight!  I spent about 80 minutes on the treadmill running 7.37 miles (odd distance, I know).  I think this is my farthest run to date!  I did the workout in my training plan, which was 3 miles followed by 3 x [2:00, 2:30] aerobic intervals (with the same amount of rest in between) and finished up with another 2 miles.  Here’s what I think I did, broken down in time increments:

0:00-5:00 – 5.0 mph

5:00-10:00 – 5.2 mph

10:00-15:00 – 5.5 mph

15:00-25:00 – 6.0 mph

25:00 – 32:30 – 5.2 mph

32:30-34:30 – 6.5 mph

34:30-36:30 – 5.2 mph

36:30-39:00 – 6.2 mph

39:00-41:30 – 5.2 mph

41:30-43:30 – 6.5 mph

43:30-45:30 – 5.2 mph

45:30-48:00 – 6.2 mph

48:00-50:30 – 5.0 mph

50:30-52:30 – 6.2 mph

52:30-54:30 – 5.0 mph

54:30-57:00 – 6.2 mph

57:00 – 80:?? – 5.0 mph

I don’t have heart rate data because I started my watch late and then left it running after I was done with my workout.  Also, I’m not sure how accurate the above intervals are, but they’re somewhat of any idea of what I did.  Now that that’s out of the way, on to my actual topic for today…Goal Setting

Usually I don’t make New Years resolutions.  They’ve always seemed so vague or unattainable to me (but maybe that’s just me!).  I do find it amusing to people watch at the gym through January and February and experience the noticeable dropoff of attendance around the beginning of March.  Is that because the weather is getting warmer or because of failed resolutions?  I digresss…

I do like goal-setting, though, and I think it may be helpful for me to set some goals for my training and fitness for the coming year.  I think I’ve talked about “SMART” goals before, but it’s been awhile so let’s revisit.

S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Realistic
T – Timely

As one of the criteria is “timely,” I think that it will make more sense to have a few overarching year-long goals and many smaller monthly goals.  So, my first goal for the year is to set monthly goals and check-in on them here on the last day of each month.  🙂  I know a lot of you do this already, and it seems like a really great way to hold yourself accountable to keep up with your goals.  In this post, I’m going to focus on my year goals, and I’ll do another post on my month goals on Thursday or Friday. (<- That’s a goal too!)

Since this is a “triathlon training blog,” I can’t go on without developing some triathlon specific training goals.  I have a loosely conceptualized plan to complete an Ironman in 2012, and the first step of that is to finish a half-Ironman in 2010.  I’ve tentatively chosen Ironman 70.3 Timberman (due to the very compelling Amy), as I mentioned in my previous post.  It’s in August, which is a little earlier in the season than I had originally planned, but I definitely think it is doable.  I’m hoping that by not waiting till September as I did in 2009, I won’t hit that training burnout that I will inevitably encounter sometime in the fall.  In addition to the 70.3, I also want to complete at least 2 sprint or Olympic distance tris that are part of the Virginia Triathlon Series (VTS).

My major focus this year will be running.  Of the three sports, I have the greatest room for improvement in my running (followed closely by cycling with swimming a distant third).  I have gotten my endurance to the point where running 5-6 miles in a workout is no longer a distant dream, but a common occurance.  Now, I want to increase my mileage and be more diligent about speedwork (although this is secondary to improving endurance).  To attain running prowess, I aim to complete a half-marathon this spring (Charlottesville Half-Marathon in April) and complete at least one training run of 20 miles by the end of the year.  Hopefully, this will put me well on my way to completing a full marathon in 2011 (stage 2 of doing an Ironman in 2012).

As I mentioned, I have dealt with training burnout in the fall in the past.  I want to try and avoid that this year by keeping things interesting and ensuring to get adequate rest and recovery.  I have access to a number of workout classes at my gym that I’ve always wanted to try but never have.  This year, I want to try at least one workout class for a month.  This could be yoga or spinning or something else.  I just feel it’s time to try something new to break swim, bike, run, rinse and repeat cycle!

I’m hoping that these goals are all attainable.  I think they are, but I am drastically changing my life schedule this year starting in a couple of weeks.  I’ve decided to go back to school part-time and will begin taking classes 1/19.  My longterm career goal is to become a veterinarian, and in an effort to make my application more attractive, I’m going to take some upper level Biology and Chemistry classes that I did not have the space in my undergrad schedule to take.  My engineering degree has served me well, but I feel that if I don’t change something I’m going to get stuck in a rut and never be accepted to vet school.  I’m taking two classes and a lab and working part-time.  This move may make me even busier than I am now, but I’m hoping I can still make time for everything I aim to do.

What are your goals and resolutions for the new year?

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I really need to end these “I’m a bad blogger” posts!  Clearly, I’ve lapsed in my blogging and unfortunately, I’ve let training go by the wayside as well.  With the holidays and wintry weather, I have found it difficult to find the time to do either.  This week (today!) is the beginning of a new season for me though.  I’ve updated my “Training Plan” page with my tentative training schedule for the next eight months, including all the races I am considering.  The only definite (already registered) race is the Charlottesville Half-Marathon, but I’m hoping to register for my other “A” race, the Ironman 70.3 Timberman, later this week.

I’ve got a run planned for tomorrow after work.  My plan is to meet Curtis at the gym after he gets off, so I have time to get home and walk the dog and such beforehand.  I should really take her running, but it gets dark early and even on walks, I am constantly finding ice patches that almost knock me off my feet and I know it would be even worse running!  So, the treadmill it is!

Tonight I had a weight-lifting session with my mom.  We did Stage 3 workout B from NROLW.  Here it is:

A. Barbell Romanian deadlift / bent-over row – 3 sets of 6 @ 85 lbs barbell with 105 s RI

B1. Partial single-leg squat – 3 sets of 6 @ BW with 105 s RI

B2. Wide-grip lat pulldown – 3 sets of 6 @ 70 lbs with 105 s RI

C1. Prone cobra (home gym substitute for back extension) – 3 sets of 90 seconds @ BW with 105 s RI

C2. YTWL – 3 sets of 6 @ 8 lbs dumbbells with 105 s RI

D1. Swiss-ball crunch (long-arm variation) – 3 sets of 6 @ 10 lbs with 105 s RI

D2. Hip Flexion (incline reverse crunch) – 3 sets of 6 @ BW with 105 s RI

D3. Lateral flexion (Swiss-ball side crunch) – 3 sets of 6 @ BW with 105 s RI

Heart Rate Stats:

Duration – 1:00:55

Max Heart Rate – 163

Average Heart Rate – 116

Calories – 325

I increased weight for the Barbell Romanian deadlift / bent-over row combo and WOW, 85 lbs was HEAVY.  I managed to finish it, but I think I’ll stay here for the next B workout.  I think there is only one more week of this stage, so only one more time doing this workout.  I’m excited to try something new.  I’ve only been managing one day a week of weights lately, but I’m hoping to add the second day starting this Wednesday.

I’m going to try and be better about blogging in the new year.  Sometimes I just really find it hard to find the time to write a coherent and half-way interesting post.  I also want to put some more time and effort into commenting on other blogs.  I have a number in my Google Reader, which I read religiously, but I rarely comment anymore.  I think partially this is due to the fact that I read on my phone a lot of the time and it’s rather tedious for me to write comments on it.  Does anyone have any tips for how to find time for blogging activities?  How do you balance reading/commenting and writing?

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As promised…

The NROLW stage 3 A workout is hard.  It’s also long, taking about an hour to finish.  And to add insult to injury, at the end of the lifting portion, you have to do the killer body-weight matrix!  Anyways, enough whining…here’s the workout.

A. One-armed dumbbell snatch – 3 sets of 6 @ 20 lbs dumbbells with 105 s RI

B1. Dumbbell single-leg Romanian deadlift – 3 sets of 6 @ 20 lbs dumbbells with 105 s RI

B2. Barbell bent-over row – 3 sets of 6 @ 65 lbs barbell with 105 s RI

C1. Dumbbell single-arm overhead squat – 3 sets of 6 @ 10 and 22.5 lbs dumbbells with 105 s RI

C2. Dumbbell incline bench press – 3 sets of 6 @ 22.5 lbs dumbbells with 105 s RI

D1. Plank – 3 sets of 90 s @ BW with 105 s RI

D2. Reverse wood chop (home variation) – 3 sets of 6 @ 22.5 lbs dumbbells with 105 s RI

Body-weight matrix – 2 sets with time x 2 RI

24 squats

12 lunges (each leg)

12 lunge jumps (each leg)

24 squat jumps

Whew!  It’s making me tired just writing it out!  My shoulders, quads and hammies are a bit sore today, probably as a result of the incline bench presses and the BW matrix, respectively.  I should be able to increase weight on all the A and B exercises, so next time I’m going to go for 22.5 lbs dumbbells for A and B1, and at least 75 lbs barbell for the bent-over row.  Since it’s only 6 reps per set, I think I should be able to push harder.  Maybe I should even go for the 25 lbs DBs for the incline bench press.  That’s kind of scary.  I don’t know what my limiter is there, but for some reason, I have a really hard time with the shoulder press-type exercises.  I think I’m very slowly making progress, but it’s difficult for me to gauge how much my strength has improved.  Tomorrow’s workout should be quite a bit “easier”, as a lot of it is body-weight exercises.


Duration -1:02:15

Calories – 439

Max Heart Rate – 190

Average Heart Rate – 133

I should mention that both Stage 2 and Stage 3 B workouts call for HIIT (high intensity interval training) after completing the weight portion, but I haven’t been doing this.  In part, during Stage 2, I was avoiding impact exercise while my knee was giving me problems.  And now, since I’m doing a running program that does include some interval training (though not as intense), I haven’t felt the need to do the extra HIIT.

Instead, I’m running four days a week (or trying to!).  Today was the first workout of week three of the half-marathon training plan that I am following.  It called for 2 miles run followed by aerobic intervals – 2 x [1:00, 1:30, 2:00], then another 2 miles run.  I took Tara out, and both of us were a tad sluggish, so we did not do the workout as written.  We did our initial two miles (with a few stops for Tara), then did the aerobic intervals, with 1:00 recovery walks in between.  The intervals lasted till about the 3 mile mark, so I ran to the 4 mile mark then from 4 miles back to home, we walked.  We did a total of 5.2 miles running and walking.  Here are the stats.

Duration -1:13:21

Calories – 647

Max Heart Rate – 195

Average Heart Rate – 154

Tomorrow’s another lifting day.  Perhaps I’ll do a little HIIT on a stationary bike for something different. 🙂

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Keep on keeping on!

Happy (very) belated Thanksgiving!  Let’s see where I left off….]

Last Wednesday was a rest day.  I think I spent the evening getting ready for our trip to see Curtis’s family for Thanksgiving.  This mostly involved doing a lot of laundry.

Thanksgiving morning, Curtis and I took Tara for about a  run, 4 miles plus 4 gentle pick-ups.  I think I have heart rate stats somewhere…

Duration – 1:26:12

Calories – 775

Max heart rate – 193

Average heart rate – 151

Then we made the drive down 95 with the rest of the east coast.  Fun times.  Then we ate lots of food- Thanksgiving dinner times two.  We had one with his mom’s family and one with his dad’s family.  I did pretty well with portion sizes, despite his grandmother’s best efforts to pile dessert on my plate!

On Friday, I took Tara for a 50 minute walk, as it was really supposed to be my “rest” day.  Then we went geocaching for about 2 hours.  Unfortunately, we only found one of the caches we were searching for.  Not a very successful trip!

Saturday ended up  being a true rest day, we just drove back home and didn’t really do any physical activity whatsoever.

Sunday I took Tara out to meet up with some friends with their dogs, and we did about an hour long hike and let the pups run.

I must admit, my walks, runs, and hikes with Tara are very refreshing from my normal training grind, and I don’t feel like I’ve lost much if any fitness at all.

Yesterday, I did Stage 3 workout A of NROL4W.  I’ll update later with the actual workout.  Tonight I took Tara for a 5.2 mile run/walk.  I have heart rate stats, but I’ll update them later also.

Sorry for the disjointed post, I wanted to get caught up to start the new month.

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