Posts Tagged HOT

A Weekend Workout

It felt really nice to wake up in my own bed on Saturday morning! Friday night ended up being a pretty late night with my flight delays, and then Curtis had trouble getting to the airport to pick me up because of construction on the road. We didn’t end up getting home till around 11:30 PM and we stayed up for awhile watching Inception with his dad who was in town for the night. I love the feeling of getting into my own bed after being away for a while. There’s something about it that just makes me really feel like I’m home.

Needless to say, I didn’t want to get out of bed on Saturday morning! Curtis and I decided to go out for a late breakfast, which was really more of an early lunch. He was planning to go into work for a few hours afterward and since we didn’t want to drive two cars, we decided to just take one and I would run home from his office after I had digested. His office is only about 3 miles away from our house, so usually it’s a nice short run. Yesterday, it was incredibly hot and the trail has zero shade along it, so it wasn’t the best conditions for running only a half hour after a meal, but I made it. 🙂 It took me a long time to cool off once I got home – I spent about 30 minutes lying in the hallway under the ceiling fan to cool down.

Later that day, I met Curtis at the gym to lift. I did Workout A of NROLW Stage 5, which took me about an hour and fifteen minutes including my warm-up. My warm-ups consist of 5 repetitions of squat to stand, 5 repetitions of lateral lunges on each leg, 5 repetitions of reverse lunges with twist and overhead reach on each leg and 5 repetitions of the inchworm exercise. After my usual warm-up, I did a specific warm-up for my one-armed dumbbell snatches. I did 5 reps each arm at 12.5 pounds, then 3 reps each arm at 20 pounds, and 1 rep each arm at 22.5 pounds. Then I jumped right into my workout:

A. One-armed dumbbell snatch – 3 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 25 lbs DBs

B1. Dumbbell single-leg Romanian deadlift – 3 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 37.5 lbs DBs

B2. Barbell bent-over row – 3 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 90 lbs BB

C1. Dumbbell single-arm overhead squat – 3 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 15 lbs and 30 lbs DBs

C2. Dumbbell incline bench press – 3 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 27.5 lbs DBs

D1. Plank – 3 sets of 90s with 120s rest @ BW

D2. Reverse wood chop – 3 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 27.5 lbs/27.5 lbs/17.5 lbs

Body Weight Matrix – 2 sets of 24 squats, 12 lunges each leg, 12 jump lunges each leg and 24 jump squats with twice as much rest as work time

First Start: 1:03:50     First End: 1:07:20     Total: 3:30

Second Start: 1:14:20     Second End: 1:17:49     Total: 3:29

The last time I did this workout, I was sore for about four days afterward! That’s pretty unusual for me, but I think it was from doing the Body Weight Matrix after not doing it for awhile. This time, I increased weights on everything and I don’t feel overly sore, so I guess I adapted pretty well. The only change I’ve made is decreasing the weights on the Reverse wood chop on the third set. I have been unable to keep good form and straight arms at the weights I’ve been using. As a result, I haven’t been using my core as much as my arms, so by decreasing the weights I am able to use proper form. I’ll slowly work my way back up, but for now 17.5 lbs was about as heavy as I could handle with good form.

My plan for the week is to lift on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to catch up to where I expected to be by next week. I might also try to add some endurance work as well.

Have a great week!

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Boring blogs

My posts have been pretty boring of late.  I’ve been writing nothing but a blow by blow account of each training exercise I do, and I know it can’t be terribly exciting reading.  I’m going to try and start blogging about the experience more than the facts and stats, although I must admit, it is a whole lot easier to do the usual.  I’ll still record my workouts, but it will be a much shorter and quicker review and any tech-y info I’ve got for the session.  For today, I did a 4 mile run mapped out on Gmaps pedometer.  It was pretty hot, but cloudy so no blaring sun the whole time, which was a nice treat.

Stats…

Duration: 42.54 (10:43 pace)

Average heart rate: 174

Maximum heart rate: 188

Calories: 492

Today was supposed to be a biking day, but I have dinner plans tonight and I just didn’t want to bike.  I don’t know why lately, but I’ve not been wanting to do anything other than run.  There was a time when I absolutely loathed running, and now I can’t get enough!  I’ve been looking into some possible running races after the tri and in the spring.  There’s a 5K the weekend after the tri at my high school that I’d like to do.  I was reading up about it today, and apparently it draws a pretty interesting crowd of elite runners from Kenya.  This year will be the 10th anniversary of the first race…I don’t think I even knew about it when I was in high school, but apparently it’s a pretty big deal.  I might just sign up even if I don’t feel up to running it a week after the Oly.  It benefits the program in place there for mentally challenged students to help them through a mainstream high school.  The other race I’m considering is the Charlottesville half marathon in April.  It’s supposed to be a beautiful and really challenging course.  And I try to take every opportunity I can to get down to my alma mater!

I love multi-sport, but I really feel the need to mix it up a little bit and try some new things.  I’ve gotten a little bored with my training schedule lately, particularly the long bike rides as I mentioned before.  I think a big problem is that I just don’t like to ride by myself because with the higher mileage, I end up so far from home and alone.  I love riding with Curtis on the weekends, but he doesn’t usually get home early enough on weekdays to ride with me before it gets dark.  Especially now that the days are getting shorter again.  (Side note- I am SO excited for fall and cooler weather to come!!).  I’m beginning to wonder if I have the mental determination to stick with training long enough to do an Ironman, which is my eventual goal.  I guess I’ll just take it one stepping stone at a time and see how things go.  Speaking of goals and stepping stones, I don’t think I’ve ever shared my long-term racing goals, so here they are:

1. Complete an Olympic distance triathlon in Fall 2009

2. Complete a half marathon in Spring 2010

3. Complete a half Ironman in Fall 2010

4. Complete a marathon in Fall 2011

5. Complete an Ironman in 2012

I’m not trying to rush things on distance progressions, clearly!  I do eventually want to complete an Ironman, and I think three years gives me plenty of time to attain that goal.

What are your long term fitness goals?

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Lake Swim, Bike, Run

I haven’t gotten around to look at any information on training with heart rate zones yet.  But that hasn’t stopped me from training!  I had  a fantastic weekend, for training and just for fun too.  On Friday after work, I swam 3500 yards right after work.  I made up the workout, which included a ton of pulling with a pull buoy and a fair amount of kicking too.  I also worked in all the other strokes as well, so that was pretty fun.  I forgot my heart rate monitor at home, so I don’t have any workout stats, but I felt like I was working fairly hard nonetheless.

Later in the evening, in the pouring rain, we drove down to Curtis’s dad’s lake cottage.  What a gorgeous place!  We got up fairly early on Saturday morning and went for a very humid run.  I did a total of 70 minutes, but that was broken up with a bathroom break in the middle.  I actually felt really good during the second half of the run.  It’s amazing to me how far I’ve come with running just since the beginning of this year!  I never would have thought I’d consider myself a runner, but I kind of do. 🙂 Stats for the run (paused during the break):

Duration: 1:13:02

Average heart rate: 165

Max heart rate: 185

Calories: 763

Early in the afternoon, storm clouds started rolling in and we started hearing thunder in the distance.   There were torrential downpours until 4 or 5, so we spent the time inside hanging out and visiting.  After the rain finally stopped, we headed down to the beach area of the lake to go for a swim.  I made up an imaginary course of about 700 meters, I’m guessing.  I sighted on a white boat with a blue awning and then a flagpole with an American flag and the third sighting was on the dock.  Curtis swam with me, and did about half the distance and waited for me back at the dock with his cousins and sister.

Duration: 12:06

Average heart rate: 153

Max heart rate: 165

Calories: 110

I felt pretty good in the water, and I’m glad I got a little open water practice in, even if it was only a short swim.  I did learn that I only need to be sighting about once every 9-12 strokes to stay in a straight line.  Hopefully I’ll get in a little more open water practice before the tri.  Nation’s should have pretty good sight-lines, the finish is sighted on the Washington Monument!

The rest of the evening was pretty relaxing, we had a cookout for dinner and then afterwards went to meet the family’s new horse.  We didn’t stay at the barn long though, it was already dark so just long enough to get him settled in.

Sunday morning, Curtis and I got up and got our bikes ready for our 2.5 hour ride.  Since it had rained on our bikes all the way down and they had gotten rained on Saturday, they needed a little TLC.  Curtis also had to change his tube on his rear tire again.  Last week, I picked up some chain lube at the LBS, it’s called Rock N Roll, and it’s actually a combination cleaner and lubricant in one.  Wow, it did wonders for my bike.  All I did was dry the chain off, and remove as much of the excess water from the rain as possible.  Then, turned my bike upside down to rest it on its handlebars and saddle and applied a steady stream of the liquid to the chain while back pedaling.  After the whole chain was lubricated, I continued to backpedal the tires for several seconds.  Then I removed the excess liquid from the chain, and voila! as good as new!  I followed this procedure for the first time last week, and could not believe how much smoother my ride felt.  I will definitely be using this product again in the future and regularly to keep my chain in good condition.  I would highly recommend it.

When we finally left for our ride, it was about 8:00AM.  We rode out on the main road for about 10 miles then another highway for about 7 more miles before turning back.  The course was mostly rolling throughout with a few bigger hills.  We also had a couple encounters with some dogs, two sets actually.  They chased us, which believe me, is a fabulous incentive to pedal harder.  We managed to out-pedal them and continued on our way.  It was an absolutely gorgeous morning for a ride, but we were both a little sore from the run the day before and were having a bit of trouble pushing through.  We made it though!

Duration: 2:24:27

Distance: 35.23 miles

Average speed: 14.6 mph

Max speed: 31.1 mph

Average heart rate: 146

Max heart rate: 176

Calories: 1228

Wowza, that’s a lot of calories burned first thing in the morning.  I had a half bagel and cashew butter before we left then another when we got back.  It lasted awhile, but I wish I had brought some sort of snack for the ride.  Unfortunately, I hadn’t brought anything from home and there wasn’t anything easy to bring from the lake house.  I think that for the rest of my long rides I really need to bring some type of snack.

After our bike ride we went on another ride- a horse-back ride!  Curtis’s step-mom has several horses at a barn nearby the lake house, and we took out a few of the horses for a ride around the grounds.  I road River, a beautiful bay boy.  I am by no means a good rider, but I do love to take advantage of opportunities to ride, when I can.  I really enjoy it.

After our ride, and very busy weekend, we headed back home for my grandmother’s birthday party at my parents’ house.  And after that we had a meeting with a volunteer with the dog rescue organization so she could check out our house and determine whether we’d be approved to adopt through them.  We found out today that we’re approved!  Now, to find our dog!  Hopefully we’ll get to meet some soon.

Today, I went to Mom’s for some weight lifting after work, as usual.  We did Stage 1, workout A, week 4:

A. Squats – 2 sets of 12 @ 80lbs

B1. Push-ups – 2 sets of 12 real push-ups @ BW

B2. Seated row – 2 sets of 12 @ 70lbs (I lowered the weight on this because I felt like I was sacrificing form to increased weight)

C1. Step-ups – 2 sets of 12 @ 22.5lbs dumbbells

C2. Prone jackknife – 2 sets of 10 @ BW

I’m feeling quite tired from my very busy weekend, and I’m afraid I might be starting to overdo it a little bit.  So, I’m going to take tomorrow off completely.  I had a swim planned, but I’m just going to let that go this week.  I think I need the rest.

Have a great week!

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BRICK & LTHR Test

This afternoon, I did NOT want to go for my bike ride.  For some reason, I really just felt like running, but I decided to suck it up and go anyways, especially since it was only supposed to be an hour and a half ride.  While I was getting my bike ready (more on this in a later post), I had the brilliant idea to follow Joe Friel’s exercise for determining lactate threshold heart rate (LTHR), and subsequently training zones for my riding.  As soon as I got on my bike I was so glad I had taken the time to do a little maintenance and give it a little TLC.  Wow, it is riding so much better now! With the exception of my front derailleur, which was acting up late in the ride, but I think I can fix it.

I went on my usual route, which I was hoping would not be too problematic with waiting at various lights and road crossings.  I managed to get through the worst of them during my 10 minute warm-up period, thankfully.  After 10 minutes, I pushed it and built up to riding as fast as I could and sustain for 30 minutes.  After 10 minutes of the test, I reset my HRM for the remaining 20 minutes.  What a great ride out it was!  After I finished the test, I stopped to drink some water and turn around and head back toward home.  I also checked my computer and saw that my average speed was 16.1 mph!  I was really pleased, it showed that I definitely was riding faster than my normal plodding along pace.  I did not worry about speed at all on the way back, I wanted to save some strength in my legs for a run, but I still finished with an overall average speed of 14.5 mph.  Not too shabby!  Stats for the ride:

Duration of ride time: 1:24:29

Distance: 20.45 miles

Average speed: 14.5 mph

Max speed: 30.6 mph

When I got back to the house, I took a quick bathroom break, changed shorts and had a quick snack of 3 small dates.  It was much longer than a normal transition, but my legs still felt like jelly when I started running.  After about 8 minutes I got my rhythm back.  Although it was about 90 F, the run wasn’t too bad because there was a nice cool breeze flowing.  A few minutes after I got my legs back I got a side stitch.  It wasn’t too bad, but it was bad enough to make me want to stop and make it go away.  I’d like to say that I continued to run through the pain, but I can’t.  At 16 minutes I stopped and walked for about 20 seconds before I motivated myself to start running again.  I ran the rest of the workout (42 minutes) and then walked to cool down for about 16 minutes or so.

I spent some time really stretching out well when I got home.  My muscles have felt really tight lately, especially in my lower back and shoulders, so I wanted to loosen up a bit while they were still warm.  I really would like to figure out a time to work some yoga into my training plan, I think that’s the one thing I’m missing!

My heart rate stats are broken up into 4 segments of today’s workout.  The first three are on the bike and the fourth is the run and cool-down.

Stats #1: Bike warm-up and first 10 minutes of LTHR test

Duration: 20:03

Average heart rate: 155

Max heart rate: 176

Calories: 188

Stats #2: Second 20 minutes of LTHR test (the part that counts!)

Duration: 20:01

Average heart rate: 177

Max heart rate: 187

Calories: 239

Stats #4: Remaining bike ride

Duration: 49:35

Average heart rate: 162

Max heart rate: 182

Calories: 505

Stats #5: Run and cool-down walk

Duration: 58:00

Average heart rate: 160

Max heart rate: 184

Calories: 587

Which means…drum roll, please!  That my LTHR for cycling is estimated to be 177 beats per minute.  This means that my workout zones (following from the Triathlete’s Training Bible) are as follows:

Zone 1 (Recovery): 116-145

Zone 2 (Extensive Endurance): 146-158

Zone 3 (Intensive Endurance): 159-165

Zone 4 (Subthreshold): 166-176

Zone 5A (Superthreshold): 177-180

Zone 5B (Anaerobic capacity): 181-186

Zone 5C (Power): 187-193

What does this all mean to me?  I’m not really sure yet.  I’ve tried to use some vague notion of zones in my training in the past, but never had a concrete number to follow.  I think this could really make me more disciplined over the long run, but for this next race I’m afraid it may be too late to start trying to incorporate this knowledge into my plan.  I’m not sure I have time right now to do more research and planning.  Unless I do it tonight, right now and figure everything out for the next few weeks.  I’ve been known to do things of that nature.  Guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

Good night!

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I’m on a Roll

I’ve been doing really well with this whole training thing.  Sunday was my first brick leading up to Nation’s, and I think it went pretty well.  I did a 21 mile ride followed by about 2 miles running.  The bike ride was quite a nice contrast to the incredibly hot run on Saturday.  I got up fairly early, around 7:00AM, and ate a small breakfast of dates and almond butter.  I really should have brought a snack with me for the ride, but I thought I’d be able to push it out.  I didn’t really think about the fact that I wouldn’t want to eat when I got back from the ride and was leaving for my run.  I should stop making excuses though, I know better than to go for over an hour without sustenance!  My ride was pretty slow, only about 14.2 mph on average, but I’m chalking it up (at least partially) to my legs being tired from the run.  Thankfully, it was fairly cool that early in the morning, and a lot of the trail was shaded.  It definitely had the feeling like it was going to be getting hotter, but it wasn’t yet!  Overall, it was a decent ride but not fantastic.  I did manage to get my running legs pretty quickly after getting off the bike, so that was good.  I just ran a couple loops around my neighborhood and added a bit extra to do as close to 2 miles as possible.  Then I took a nice 10 minute walk to cool down.

Today was a lifting day, so I headed over to Mom’s after work for some NROL4W action.  Here’s the workout:

A. Squats – 2 sets of 12 @ 70 lbs

B1. Push-ups – 2 sets of 12 real push-ups

B2. Seated Row – 2 sets of 12 @ 80 lbs

C1. Step-ups – 2 sets of 12 @ 17.5 lbs Dumbbells

C2. Prone jackknife – 2 sets of 12 @ BW

I increased all my weights today since there were 3 fewer reps per set, and I felt great on everything.  I was feeling really strong today, which was a nice change!  I haven’t been feeling great about my weight lifting skills lately, but I think I’m back in the groove now.  I’m really on a roll with my training!

I got in some more gym time after weight lifting too.  Curtis and I had planned a run with his dad because he was in town for work for the night.  As it turned out, he wanted to go to our gym and lift instead, so we headed over there to meet him.  While he hit the weights, Curtis and I did some running on the track to warm-up.  We also did a couple of sprint intervals before heading down to the free weights.  Since I had already lifted for the day, I decided to do some extra core work as I feel as though I’ve been lacking in that department with the NROL4W program.  I just did three different exercises at 2 sets each:

Plank – 1 set @ 2 minutes, 1 set @ 90 seconds

Leg lifts – 2 sets @ 1 minute

Russian twists – 2 sets @ 1 minute with 10 lbs medicine ball

After my core work, I spent some time stretching out really well.  I’ve been feeling pretty tight lately, and considering trying to work in some yoga I just haven’t yet figured out when I’ve got the extra time.  Might try it on Thursday.

Dinner tonight was a delicious meal of tequila lime chicken, which we marinated since last night, roasted baby red potatoes, and salad with romaine, grape tomatoes, cucumber, green onions and feta.  Deliciousness.  The chicken was so perfectly tender and juicy and so flavorful!  The recipe is from the Barefoot Contessa, and it’s the perfect summer meal.

Now, it’s off to read some blogs and get to bed!  Good night and have a great week!

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Long, Hot Run

I’m a little behind in my blogging!  Here’s a quick recap- Thursday I took the day off completely.  I had some friends over for dinner, so I decided that it should be my rest day and that I would do a workout on Friday instead.  So, after work on Friday, I took a short bike ride then went to the pool for my short swim of the week.  I must say, my bike ride was not very effective.  The first leg out was decent, but the second leg back home was pretty worthless.  I think I was so preoccupied with getting back to go swimming that I just couldn’t focus on the ride or enjoy it.  Swimming was a bit better, Curtis came with me, but unfortunately we couldn’t get in the same lane.  I scoped out the lane situation and there were spaces in three lanes, one with a woman swimming who was very much a “flailer” and kept stopping to walk across the lane, and two with moderately decent men swimming.  Swimming with the flailer was out of the question for me.  I get really frustrated in the pool when I have to swim with someone who’s all over the place.  I should have more patience, because I know that you have to start somewhere, but it’s hard for me to focus on my workout when I’m always worrying about being run into.  I ended up in a lane with a guy who was a pretty decent swimmer, but let me tell you what- he did not want me swimming in his lane.  I tried to be courteous and waited on the side for a couple laps to make sure he saw me so he would move over and share the lane.  (Circle swimming isn’t really encouraged or desirable for most people at this pool).  Finally, I gave up trying to be nice and just got in and started swimming.  Thankfully, he moved over to one side at that point.  Circle swimming wouldn’t have been too bad though, we were about the same speed.  I did about 1700-1900 yards.  I don’t now what the exact amount was, but it was a subset of a swimplan.com workout.  My swim was marginally better than my mediocre bike ride.  Oh well, tomorrow’s my chance to make it up.  I’m thinking tomorrow’s going to be a brick with an hour and a half ride followed by a short 2-3 mile run.

I’m not sure how my legs are going to hold up tomorrow, though.  I ran 7.2 miles today and it was extremely hot and sunny.  I didn’t get out of bed this morning till 8:30, which is quite late for me, and didn’t get out for my run till 10.  Curtis and I ran the same course, although he finished significantly faster than I did.  I managed to run the whole thing without any stops or walks other than at stop lights.  Neither my legs nor my lungs ever seemed to get tired, but I do have some very sore feet now.  I readjusted the laces not too long ago, and think I tightened them a bit too much.  I need to loosen them up a bit before my brick tomorrow.  By the time I got back, all I wanted was a big glass of ice water and a smoothie.  Lucky for me Curtis had a big glass of ice water and was starting a smoothie when I got back! 🙂  He’s so good to me!  He told me when he got back he took his temperature out of curiosity because he had been so hot, and it was 100 F!  He immediately jumped in a cold shower in an attempt to cool off.  I wasn’t nearly as hot when I got back, but I definitely was dehydrated.  I should have brought some water with me.  Not smart on my part.  I’m considering getting a camelbak or water belt or something of the sort for my long runs.  I’m not sure what I’d like though- I’m afraid I would like having the camelbak on my back all the time, but I’m not sure.

What type of system do you use for hydration during long runs?

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Weekend Workouts

I’m starting to feel a lot better about my training and the tri coming up.  My training has been more regular over the last week and I’m starting to feel like I’m not playing catch up quite as much as I had been.  I guess I didn’t lose as much of my base fitness as I thought I had.  Or maybe I’ve just done a good job of gaining it back.  Whatever it was, I’m glad to be back in the game!

Friday was a planned complete rest day.  I got home and felt like I should go do something anyways, but managed to convince myself to stick to the plan since I had done a pretty good job of getting in my workouts during the week.  Curtis and I had a “date” night and went out to a nearby seafood restaurant for some fresh fish.  We had a delicious dinner, starting with sushi as an appetizer.  Then seared ahi tuna with mushrooms and truffle sauce.  It was quite good.  Curtis had a whole flounder for his meal, with a really delicious cucumber salad on the side.  It was a very nice and relaxing evening.

The running club has a five mile run every Saturday morning (and a 10 miler on Sundays), so we decided to get up early to make it for the 8AM start.  Curtis had to drag me out of bed, because I woke up and decided I really didn’t want to go.  But we went, and I’m glad we did.  I started out running in the middle of a pack, but I was pretty much alone.  They all seemed to know each other and it was hard to find an opening to break into the conversation.  After a few minutes, they picked up the pace, faster than I wanted to push it.  So I fell back and met a really nice woman who has quite the running resume.  She has run numerous marathons and ultramarathons.  We ran together for the rest of the way together.  It was really nice because she’s been a member of the club for a number of years, so she could tell me a bit more about it and introduce me to a lot of the other people.  We did walk for a bit on a few hills, but ran the majority of the five miles.  I tried to not be the one to suggest dropping to a walk, I only asked to walk once.  The rest of the times, she was the one who decided when we would walk.  I think I’ll try it out again on Saturday and really try to run the whole five miles without stopping, even if it means I have to find someone new to run with.   The whole run took 53:11, so about a 10:30 pace.

After running, we met up with a bunch of the club members for breakfast at the town center nearby.  I had a very delicious bagel with veggie cream cheese.  Yum.  It was a nice break from my usual oatmeal for breakfast.  I don’t think we’d do the group breakfast on a regular basis, but it was nice to meet a few more people.

I did go to see a dog later on Saturday evening, and to see how she would do with my cat.  Unfortunately, it did not go well.  My poor kitty was not very happy about having to travel in her carrier and then get to a strange place to meet a big German Shepherd Dog.  Needless to say, she will not be my dog.  She definitely needs a cat-free home.

Having my workout done early in the day on Saturday was such a treat that  I decided to do it again on Sunday and go for my bike ride first thing in the morning.  I’ve found it’s easier to keep up with the training on the weekends if I commit to it first thing in the morning.  I did 34 miles in 2 hours and 19 minutes at an average 14.9mph pace.  Throughout the ride, I had a really hard time clipping in on my right pedal.  I’m not really sure what was wrong, at first I thought there might be something stuck in the pedal or in the cleat, but I checked mid-way through my ride and didn’t find anything.  I’m not sure what the problem was, but I hope it doesn’t happen again!

When I got back to the house, I was really happy to see that my average overall speed was a bit faster than my speed on the first leg of the ride (14.8mph).  It was a beautiful morning, if a little hot and humid.  I managed to keep up a good breeze to keep me cool throughout the ride.  By the time I was done, it was nearly 11AM and the sun was really beating down hard.  The rest of the day was pretty low key- Curtis and I wrote thank you notes for our wedding gifts and watched movies all day.

Today was my day for weight training with my mom.  We did NROL4W Stage 1, workout A:

A. Squats – 2 sets of 15 @ 60lbs

B1. Push-ups – 2 sets of 15 real push-ups

B2. Seated Row – 2 sets of 15 @ 70 lbs

C1. Step-ups – 2 sets of 15 @ 15lbs dumbbells

C2. Prone jackknife – 2 sets of 8

We’ve finally got our sessions worked out so that we are a lot more efficient about taking turns.  We had been trading off on each set, but that wasn’t very effective because it threw off our rest intervals.  It was also hard to constantly change the weights between my mom and me.  We haven’t figured out the perfect set-up yet, but we’re definitely making progress.

Tomorrow, I’m going to try and get to the pool in the morning to get a swim in before work.  We’ll see what happens.  I’m not very tired, but I’ll need to be asleep in a half hour in order to get enough sleep to get up on time.

Have a great week!

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When Life Gives You Lemons…

…make lemonade?

Hello from Ottawa!  It seems that everything is working against me these days when I’m trying to train!  When I first booked my hotel, I made sure that there was a workout room so I would be able to keep up with my training.  Tonight, after checking in and settling into my room, I headed down to check it out.  Well, it consists of an ancient elliptical-looking thing and a recumbent bike, along with a couple of mats on the floor and something with padding that I’ve never seen before.  Oh, and it was about 95ºF in there because it was attached to the pool/sauna room and not air conditioned.  I decided to risk it with the elliptical, because I wanted to run and felt like that would be closer to running than the bike.  As soon as I got on it, I began to worry it was going to fall apart at any moment.  I couldn’t deal with it, so I decided to try out the recumbent bike.  I got on and got off after about a minute.  I felt like I was in a workout funk.

After the failed attempt at using the “fitness center,” I decided that I would just go back to my air conditioned room and do body weight strength exercises instead.  All these metaphorical lemons led me to a decent BW workout that I’ll be able to use again.  (I borrowed the “body weight matrix” from the NROLW, but instead of resting did some upper body and core work in between sets).  Here’s the workout:

Body weight matrix: 24 squats, 12 lunges each leg, 12 jump lunges, and 24 jump squats

2 x Bench dips @ 15 reps

2 x Push-ups @ 10 reps

2 x Plank @ 90 seconds

2 x Leg lifts @ 15 reps

Repeat Body weight matrix

I’m actually pretty exhausted right now, so normally I would probably be able to do more.  But, I fell asleep on the plane and my eyes are very droopy, so I’m not on top of my game.   I’m glad there is no time change for this trip, and I’m hoping tomorrow is better.  Maybe someone will be able to point me to a good place to run outside while I’m here.  I’m pretty sure that I won’t be able to put up with a full workout in the “fitness center.”

I’m starting to get really worried that I won’t be ready for the Oly in September, especially with all these setbacks.  I think I’m going to have to increase the intensity quite a bit to play some catch-up.  I have to make sure I don’t over do it though, too much training and not enough recovery won’t help either!

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Ending on a good note

Finally!  Decent weather!  This evening was sunny, with no rain clouds in sight, so Curtis and I finally got to go for a bike ride outside.  It was quite hot and humid, but not too bad (bearable) with the wind on the bike.  We did 20.76 miles total in 1:30, with an average speed of about 13.x mph.  I’ll try to check on the exact numbers and update tomorrow, because I don’t remember them off the top of my head.  I dont want to go retrieve my cycling computer right now since it’s all the way downstairs in the garage, and I’m quite tired lying here in bed.  The ride was actually quite good, despite the heat and humidity.  I still found that I was going out too hard in the first half and killing my legs in the second half.  I really need to work on that.  I also fixed my cadence monitor, so I spent most of the ride watching that and realizing how much harder it is to keep it above 90 on a real bike versus the stationary bikes at the gym.  Having the cadence measure has also helped me realize that I’ve been trying to push too big a gear for extended periods of time.  I think that’s a major contributor to always killing my legs on the second half of a bike ride.  I think it’s going to be a really great tool to improving my cycling.

I should mention that I did workout yesterday too, I lifted for 45 minutes and rode the stationary bike for an hour.  I don’t remember my exact routine for the lifting, but I know the core work included a modified pilates bridge on a stability ball and bicycle crunches.  We also attempted to do the bicycle crunches on a bosu ball, and it was so hard!  Attempting to balance on my back and move my arms and legs at the same time is not one of my strengths!  We also did some horizontal wood choppers, prisoner squats + knee-up, more squats, lat pull down, row, press, wall sit, bench lunges, and bicep curls.  There may have been a few more things that I forgot, but you get the gist of it.  As usual a full body workout, and it was quite tough.  I worked out with a different group than I usually did today, but I have noticed across the board at all the different groups there are some people that just don’t push themselves.  I don’t get it.  Why waste the money and go through the motions if you’re not going to really push yourself to succeed?  Is it just for the bragging rights to say they worked out?  I can’t believe it when I see people changing to lighter weights than our trainer gives, when they can do the full weight.  Oh, well!  They’re only cheating themselves on a great workout!

I mentioned I also rode the stationary bike for an hour.  Nothing too exciting here, actually quite the opposite.  I was so bored!  I usually can do the machines for a long time without any entertainment other than people-watching, but yesterday was tough.  I barely managed to stay on for the full 60 minutes because I was so bored.  I’m so glad I have my own bike to ride outside and I can’t wait to get a trainer so I can ride in my own house and watch tv or something to keep myself occupied.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with my effort this week.  I’ve even kept up with my blogging!  The rest of the weekend is going to be spent moving…packing on Saturday and then taking all my stuff to the new place on Sunday.  I’ll be lifting lots of heavy boxes, but luckily I’ll have lots of help from my brothers and Curtis!

Happy weekend!

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BRICK

It was way too hot today for April!  It got up above 90°F and was sunny all day, so I waited till almost 7 before doing my brick.  I set up my shoes for running so I could “transition” on the front porch.  I rode about 14.2 miles in 1:01, but I think I went out too hard on the first half because I really had to work to keep up the pace on the second leg.  I felt a lot more comfortable riding today than I have before.  I’m really getting the hang of the cycling shoes and clipping out.  Clipping in is lagging a little bit, but I’m sure I’ll have it mastered soon.  I’m definitely more efficient with the clipless pedals, even if sometimes I still forget that I should pull up and push.  I think my heart rate was too high when I got off the bike, so I’m going to need to remember to spin a bit more and try and get it down during the race.  My transition was quick – definitely under 2 minutes, but all I did was take my helmet, gloves and shoes off and put on socks and running shoes.

I had a hard time starting out on the run, it was uphill and I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath.  My legs were okay though, which is good.  I didn’t have too much of the “jelly-legs” sensation.  Once I got into a rhythm I picked up the pace a bit and ran for 3.1 miles.  The whole workout was about 1:40.  Most importantly, after this workout I still feel quite confident about my performance next weekend.  I know that I can run the whole distance on tired legs, which is one thing that I was a little worried about.  I am ready!  I just keep repeating that to myself over and over.  I am ready.  I’m working on putting together my final race plan for the rest of the week and race day preparation, so look out for that tomorrow.

6 days left.

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