Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Synchronized Swimmers - From Saturday Night Live

I was thinking about this Saturday Night Live skit today and just had to post it.  Martin Short is classic, while in training for the 1984 Olympics in Synchronized Swimming he says, "I don't swim."  Then follows it up seconds later with, "I'm not that stong a swimmer."  That pretty much sums up how I feel about me and swimming, I am not that strong a swimmer.

Monday, August 30, 2010

RR: Riverstock Triathlon (Olympic) - Award!!!!!

First off, the past few days have been very mellow with regard to training as my plan called for a mini-taper for my Olympic distance triathlon I did yesterday.  I was still training every day, but the sessions have been shorter and less intense leading up to my race.  Example:

Thursday:  One hour bike with with 5 x 1 min pick ups at 15 min
Friday:  40 min. run with 5 x 1 min pick ups at 10 min; 30 min easy swim
Saturday:  was suposed to do a :15 bike (bike check) and :20 easy run, actually played a soccer game with fellow coaches of my daughters soccer league

Now on to the race report....I decided to drive up to Sunbury, PA (2.5 hour drive) the day before the Riverstock Triathlon (Olympic distance) and camp out (tenting it).  I arrived at the race site around 5:45PM, signed in and then realized that I never actually reserved a camp site.  I spent the next hour trying to find one, eventually getting a spot about a half hour from the race site (whew!).  I set up the tent, which I borrowed from my neighbor, finished my dinner (pizza from "Unida Pizza", great name) and was beat...I think I fell asleep around 8:45PM.  It was not a good night of sleep as the air matress I was sleeping on lost some air slowly through the night, and I didn't have enough blankets.  Some wacky dreams didn't help either.

Race Morning
I woke up at 5:15AM, actually I was lying there awake for a while waiting for my alarm to go off and trying to stay warm.  I emerged from my tent and immediatlely noticed the fog, thick soupy fog.  After packing up camp, I made it down to the race site with plenty of time to set up in transition and take care of normal pre-race business.  There really wasn't time for a swim warm up because the fog was so bad, you couldn't see more than 20 feet in front of you.  So everyone just milled about in transition until the pre-race meeting.  One quirky thing, the DJ they hired never showed up so we didn't have music for the National Anthem. So the RD asked if someone could start us out in singing it....so one person started singing and them all together we all joined and sang it. Pretty neat and had everyone feeling good before hitting the water.

Swim  (1,500M)
The fog finally eased up a bit, but not a whole heck of a lot.  Regardless, the race director was determinted to start the race at 8AM and that is what we did.  The swim was wetsuit legal (thank God!) which meant I didn't fret at all, knowing that I just had to keep my arms moving and just try to swim straight.  It was pretty uneventful for the first 300m as we were swimming with the slight current, then we had to go about 200m perpendicular to it before turning upstream for about a 600m.  This was a bitch!  The current was a bit stronger than normal and just before making the turn back towards the start you had to do under a bridge where the current picked up quite a bit and made for some really slow going.  I pushed through it, bumped into a few people, and then made my way to the last couple turns.  All in all it was a good swim; I think I had my wetsuit a bit too low as my shoulders and neck were just a bit tight afterwards.  Swim time: 31:26

T1 - 1:36
I felt like it was a bit slow just because I had to get the wetsuit off and I opted to put on socks.  After looking over everyone else's times I realized that there were only a handful of people faster than me. 

Bike (24.07 miles)
Everything was going really well for the first five miles or so, then I had my first bit of uphill and I could feel it in my quads, the result of my Saturday soccer game.  I pushed through it and just kept my legs moving.  The course was a bit tough, pretty much all uphill for the first 12 miles but then some really great downhill portions where I hit 38 - 40 MPH.  I think if I drove the course ahead of time I could have let off the brakes a bit and gone a bit faster.  Duirng the bike I think I passed three people and was passed by two, but that was it for me seeing anyone out on the course.  I would have liked my bike time to of been faster, but it was a pretty tough course where I wasn't in aero for any solid length of time.  Bike time:  1:14:38 (19.35 MPH)

T2 - :42
I was pretty quick, but could have been quicker.  Shoes on, Garmin from bike to wrist, nutrition, visor and glasses.  Looking over the results, again, there were only a handful of people faster than I was in transition.

Run (6.2 miles)
Immediately my left hamstring felt tight, almost cramp-ish, and I was nervous that I didn't drink enough on the bike.  I eased off a bit from my 7:30/mile pace and just tried to find my right pace.  I passed one guy right away and then ran the next two miles or so with a guy named Jeff.  It was nice to finally have somene to chat with.  I opted to try and pick up the pace a bit for the last four-plus miles, so I said good-bye to Jeff and off I went.  Miles three and four were tough, pretty much a gradual incline through Northumberland, until the turnaround at the far end of town.  Then it was smooth sailing for the last couple miles as I was able to go from 7:47/mile pace down to 7:30's.  I felt really good and was eager to get to the finish line.  Once I entered back in to the park where the race finished, I was told that I was in 12th place overall and I was smiling BIG.  Run stats:  46:52 (7:33/mile)

Final Time:  2:35:13
Place Overall:  12th out of 92
Age Group:  1st out of 6 (not a very deep field)

The highlight of the day came during the awards ceremony when I learned that I won my age group and received a really cool award (see below).  It is an old "45" recorde on a wooden base. So cool and so happy that I actually won my Age Group for the first time EVER!!!!! Granted it wasn't a bit race but I am still proud.

Oh, and a really cool finishers medal (see below).

So, there you have it, the Riverstock Triathlon is in the books and it was a good race.  Next up is going to be the Hunterdon Half in October and then Ironman Arizona in November.  As for today, I am going to be resting my weary legs so that tomorrow I am ready to get back to training!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Running, , Biking, Swimming & Rock Climbing....and Crayola

Having a vacation from work is awesome.  Granted my vacation is really a stay-cation, but not being at work is the key.  I have had off since Monday and me and the family are making the most of our time together.  We have been doing quite a bit, doing our best to keep the girls busy and not bored.  Here is what has been going on:

Finally another day to "sleep in" until 7:00AM.  I forgot what it was like to sleep so "late".  Yeah, I am living it up.  Anyway, I decided that I should probably get my run in early and before the rains came, so I headed out around 9:00AM (my lovely wife and daughters headed out to go shopping...darn, I really would have liked to have gone with them).  I was still the tiniest bit sore from last weeks training but a nice hour run would get rid of that.  I felt pretty good and opted for a mostly uphill first half of the run so that I could cruise home on the back end.  I had to insert 5 x 1 minute pick-ups around 10 minutes in....actually ended up being 20 minutes in b/c I forgot.  The 20 minutes in actually worked better since it was all slight uphill grade which really made me work.  The end of the run was a nice cruise home where I was able to quicken my pace and bring my average run pace down below 8:00/mile.  Run stats:  7.53 miles, 1:00:03, 7:58/mile pace

Immediately after my run I needed to get my swim in because the rain was threatening, so off to Fanny Chapman I went.  Holy cow it was cold!  The air temp was around 69F and the water temp was maybe 75F...very different from what I have been swimming in lately.  Here is my swim workout:

2,700 yd = 500yd WU, 8 x 50yd drills, 200-300-400-500yd @45 sec, 400 CD 

I cut my swim short by about 300 yds because I was freezing and my head was feeling all wacky.  I thought it best for me to get out of the pool.  Quick note:  I did feel really go for the main set averaging 1:45/100yd for every single set.  Progress is being made.

After all of that it was a quick lunch then to go rock climbing with my oldest daughter at the Doylestown Rock Gym.  We had so much fun!  She was awesome at rock climbing, honestly, she was really, really good, and she just kept going and going.  I basically had to drag her out of the gym after and hour and 45 minutes.  I can't wait to go back there with her.

I was up at 6:30AM to get my BRICK work out in.  Bike was done in the basement on the trainer  (45 minutes) and the run immediately after on the roads of Buckingham (30 minutes).  Not much to report except that my run was very solid.  Negative splits and an average pace of 7:56/mile.  I am feeling really good off of the bike lately.  I hope it translates during my race this coming Sunday (Riverstock Triathlon - Olympic Distance).

After my workout we were on our way to the Crayola Factory in Easton, PA.  Yeah, not all that exciting and I don't even think my girls were all that excited by it.  The did have fun, but it wasn't like, "OH MY GOSH THIS PLACE IS AMAZING!!!"  After about two hours we were done with it and getting lunch. 

Oh, we did do a little side trip to Lafayette College, my father-in-laws Alma Mater.  The just built a new stadium complex and it is beautiful.  We let the girls run around of the turf for a little bit before we called it a day and headed home. 

Just getting ready for dinner so that is all for nowPeace out!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Diving Boards, Headaches & Sore Legs

Holy cow was I sore when I woke up this morning...I mean so sore that it hurt to move a muscle, even my fingers and toes.  Even though I was in quite a bit of pain (slight exaggeration) I knew that it was because I had a great weekend of training and also had a lot of fun with my family. 

I was up at 5:00AM to prepare for my three and a half hour ride, which I eventually left that house for at 5:45AM (apparently I am a slow starter).  It was a beautiful morning and as has been the case for pretty much every long weekend ride I have been able to watch the sunrise.  Like a complete idiot I decided to head down to the river and then ride up Federal Twist, my least favorite climb that although only a mile long just gets steeper and steeper with 15% pitch.  I was cursing myself on the way up but was psyched when I finally got to the top, knowing that I wouldn't have anything that tough for the rest of my ride. 

I wish that I had more to say about my ride, but fact is it was pretty uneventful.  I saw upwards of 30 deer, tons of road kill, few cars, and beautiful blue sky for the most part.  I pushed the pace when I could, but that is tough when there is a lot of ups and downs.  I think my total stats were:  64.5 miles, 3:30, ~18.3 MPH average.  Not really all that fast, but considering all of the climbing and descending I am OK with it.  I think my legs were still pretty sore from my Friday afternoon run (8.5 miles with speed work).

Immediately after my ride I went out for a 30 minute run and I felt awesome!  I don't know what it is, but I feel great running off of the bike.  3.95 miles, 30:15, 7:40/mile

I spend the rest of the day with my in-laws at our pool club.  We all headed over there and had a pretty good time until my almost 5-year old niece got stung my a bee.  Then the majority of the clan headed home, leaving me, my oldest daughter and my father-in-law to spend the next hour or so going off of the diving board.  I must have gone off the 1m spring board 50 times and did I pay for it.  My feet were killing me, so sore....but I had a lot of fun doing it.

Oh, celebrated my wife's birthday as well with Fudgie the Whale from Carvel.  So AWESOME!!!

I slept in a bit, well if you call being woken up at 6:30AM by two little girls sleeping in.  I took my time getting ready prior to my hour and 15 minute run.  My feet were killing me and my head felt like it had been hit repeatedly with a baseball bat.  I suspect that both ailments were the results of the numerous spectacular dives I performed off of the diving board.  Yes, I was paying for it now.  It was also raining out which eliminated all urgency in my leaving early.  All that aside I knew that I had to get my run in.  So off I went and it was slow going...like 9:00/mile slow.  Everything was sore and the best I could muster was a shuffle with my feet.  Again, not spectacular about my run, I just got it done.  Stats:  1:20:00, 8.8 miles, 9:00/mile

The rest of the day was a lazy, sit around the house and do nothing day.  It was raining consistently all day and I had no desire to go out and do anything.  Actually, we did run out and pick up some dwarf frogs for my daughter (a reward for my youngest finally swimming underwater).  After that it was relax!  Oh, that is until around 8:15PM I realized that I still had to do an hour on the bike, to loosed the legs up and completed the longest training week of my schedule thus far....14 HOURS!!!  So to the basement I went and banged out an hour on the trainer while watching Jersey Shore (love that show).

As I said REST DAY!!!  I am tired and sore.  I do have the day off from work...actually I have the whole week off from work.  So it is just me and the girls doing whatever we want to do.  We are in the process of building a ginger bread house, yeah, in August.  We are going to head over to the pool after lunch and I can guarantee that I will be keeping my diving to a minimum. 


Friday, August 20, 2010

Making Every Session Count

It has been such a good week of training.  I have been busting my butt in every discipline, really trying to maximize my training, with an eye on November.  I'm not saying that for the past 16 weeks of Ironman training I have been going through the motions or been sand bagging my workouts.  That isn't the case at all, the difference is that I finally feel 100% following my bout with Parvovirus B19, and I really feel like my training has gone up a level (such a cliche I know).  I can honestly say that every swim, bike or run this week has been done with 100% effort and focus.  I have concentrated on doing what needs to be done and getting the most of out each session.

Tuesday Night
I had a swim session to complete and I opted to do it at Fanny Chapman (the outdoor pool).  It was a good decision as the weather was perfect and the water seems so much cleaner (less chlorinated) than HealthQuest.  The work out was:

3,000yds = 500yd warm up, 8 x 50yd drills, 2 x 200yd @20 sec, 6 x 100yd @15 sec, 2 x 200yd @20 sec, 8 x 50yd drills, 300yd cool down

I felt awesome throughout the entire swim and my times were representative of that.  Every 100yd was below 1:45.  Yes, strides are being made in the water if that is possible.

Oh yeah, my wife and I finished painting all of the trim and doors on the second floor of our house.  It was a significant undertaking, but it really looks so brights and inviting up there now.  My boss, er, my wife gave me the rest of the week off from painting....isn't she wonderful!

I guess you could say that I slept in, although going to bed after midnight and waking at 6:00AM technically isn't "sleeping in".  I was going to get up and do my standard BRICK workout in the AM, but there was no way I was going to be getting up at 5:00AM to do it.  Instead I took my time getting ready and made my way into work at a normal hour.

After work I had to my BRICK, which I was then wishing I had done in the morning.  I went down to the basement, hoped on my bike and spun away for 45 minutes while watching "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" (my choice, no kids in the house, should I be embarrassed?).  After the bike I quickly changed and went out of my run.  I was a bit tired still from my Tuesday run workout, my calves and quads were definitely very sore.  I did my best to get my heart rate up to Zone 2, despite what my legs were telling me.  A good solid run, 3.7 miles, 30:20, 8:14/mile pace.

Back to the early morning swim at HealthQuest.  It had been a week since the 4:20AM alarm, I had almost forgotten what it was like.  In the pool my first mouthful of water was so chemically (is that a word) it made me wish I was doing the swim after work at Fanny Chapman.  I pressed on, happy knowing that I would be done with half of my daily training by 6:40AM. 

3,000m = 500m warm up, 8 x 50m drills, 16 x 25m @10 sec, 600m w/pull buoy, 16 x 25m @10 sec, 8 x 50m drills, 300m cool down

I like doing the quick 25m because it really makes me work and helps me to get faster for the longer distance.  I was breathing hard, my muscles were screaming, my lungs were achy, it was a good swim.  My 300m cool down was a nice easy swim, but I managed to do it in 6:08 (2:03/100m).  That is pretty huge for me, not even trying to swim hard and I was right around 2:00/100m.  Things are looking up!

After a solid day in the office, I made it home and had an hour and 15 minute ride ahead of me with some intervals.  I opted to just ride north and hit every hill I could find to get my heart rate up.  It was a slow ride, but not because I wasn't pushing it.  I was slow because the first 45 minutes was pretty much all up hill and I worked as hard as I could.  Ride stats:  1:15:30, 22.6 miles, 18.1 MPH (the last 30 minutes I averaged over 22 MPH).

So tired, but I got up and to the pool...again wishing I could do a post work swim at Fanny Chapman (not a possibility though, it is my wife's birthday, and we have dinner after work).  I vowed to work hard and make my swim count...and did I!

3,000m = 500m warm up, 8 x 50m drills, 10 x 50m @15 sec, 4 x 100m @20 sec, 10 x 50m @15 sec, 8 x 50m drills, 300m cool down

My heart was beating out of my chest after each 50m, I was pushing it hard.  I did my best to keep my form, body streamlined, good pull, all of that good stuff.  When it was all over I really felt like I left everything in the water (is that the same as when they say, "left everything out on the field"?).  I was really happy with my effort and as I type this I can still feel the soreness in my triceps and shoulders.

I still have my run (one hour and 15 minutes) coming up at lunch.  I am going to keep making every session count!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Run Workouts....kind of like Children's Medicine

I think that I have said it in here before that I am not a fan of Tuesday's.  Why?  Because I got from a tough weekend of training, then a day off, then swim workout and tough run workout.  I don't know, maybe it has been the hot and humid weather, but that Tuesday run has typically been a total bitch.  I was anticipating another crap-fest out on the road today as well (swim is going to come later on after work).

I was fortunate that my friend Chris was able to join me for my run today, a run that wasn't figuring to be a whole lot of fun.  I know that these workouts are only making me stronger and fitter for my big race in November, but that doesn't mean I have to like them.  It is kind of like when I give my daughters medicine, even though it tastes disgusting and they don't want to have to endure the horror of drinking it, ultimately it is going to make them better.  Here is my "medicine" for today:

1:00 in Zone 2, at :10 insert 3 x 6 minutes Zone 4 @ 2 minute jog (recovery)

So off we went at a nice easy pace for about 14 minutes....yup, accidentally did a bit of a longer warm-up.  Then I gave the word that it was time to kick it up to Zone 4 for the next six minutes, and a tough ass six minutes that it was (6:59/mile pace).  Then we jogged, a much needed and way too short two minute jog....BAM, we were back at it running hard up a gradual incline as my heart rate soared until rest came (7:25/mile pace)....again, the rest was not long enough, but I added an extra 30 seconds on to it.   Now we had one last six minute section left and we went pretty hard, it was mostly downhill and we had to run pretty good to keep our heart rate up in Zone 4, and then oops I accidentally forgot the time and we ran an extra 30 seconds (6:39/mile pace).  And then an easy recovery followed by a 3.5 mile run back to the office at ~8:10/mile pace.  Total stats:  7.5 miles, 59:19 (7:56/mile), Avg HR 155 BPM

Honestly the run sucked, both Chris and I were hurting afterwards.  Despite the pain, exhaustion and impending dehydration, we know that we took our medicine and tomorrow when we wake up we are going to be better for it.  For me, I know that come November 21st, I am going to be able to look back on days like today and know that is why I am successful.

Still have my swim workout tonight and I am going to make the most of that as well.  Have an awesome day!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Unofficial Covered Bridge Tour

What a great training weekend!  I sit here on Monday morning with my legs a little sore, my eyes a bit droopy, but with my confidence as high as can be.  My Saturday ride and run were a lot of fun....tough, but fun.  My Sunday ride and run started out slow, but finished great.  I am starting to think that doing an Ironman is something that I might be able to complete successfully and also within the initial goals I am setting for myself (under 12 hours).  I have tried to make my long Saturday rides challenging, lots of hills with long flat stretches sandwiched in between more hills.  My long Sunday runs I have started off at a slow pace and try to pick them up to sub-marathon pace for the last two miles.  Everything is going really well.

Saturday - Covered Bridges Training Ride
I got the idea on Friday afternoon to do an informal tour of the Bucks County Covered Bridges, well, not all of them, but most of them.  So I plotted out a course, wrote down some general directions and at 6:00AM on Saturday morning I began my trek.  My first bridge would be The Loux Bridge, about 7.5 miles from my house (I look like a tired old man in this picture, not a good thing)
From there it was a two mile ride to the Cabin Run Bridge...no that isn't a "peace sign", it is me trying to keep track of what bridge I was at (#2)...starting to wake up a bit, but still not all there, notice the dazed look.
After Cabin Run, I had a little six or seven mile ride to the Frankenfield Bridge (15.5 miles or so into my ride).  A note about the ride thus far, every bridge was in a little valley.  I would be screaming down a hill and bam I would have to stop when I got to the bridge, take a picture, and then have to climb out of the valley from a dead stop. 
A quick rolling ride, and about two miles later I was at the Erwinna Bridge.  It is definitely one of the less stellar looking bridges that I saw on the day.  It was a quick pic and then I was moving on (I didn't even bother taking off the helmet and glasses).
Two and a half miles down the road, and just on the other side of Frenchtown, NJ is the Uhlestown Bridge.  This is the only bridge that I didn't ride through, I don't know why; I guess it was because I had to ride up to it and turn around to go back over to Frenchtown.
Alright, so that was five bridges and I had only ridden about 20 miles, about 35 short of my planned total for the day.  It was time to get to work, so I went over into Frenchtown and then rode south along the river for about 16 miles or so, keeping my speed and cadence at respectable levels.  Then it was onto my last bridge of the day.....the Van Sant Bridge down in Solebury, PA, 40 miles into my ride.
I still had a bit of riding left to do and there would be no more picture stops.  The last 14 - 15 miles or so were a bear, pretty much a net uphill by the time I was done.  There were definitely some decent climbs and not a lot of downhills.  My average MPH isn't representative of how I rode; there was a lot of stopping early on to take pictures, thus killing my average.  No worries though, still a great ride.  Total ride stats:  54.28 miles, 3:01:00, 18 MPH.

Immediately after the ride I had a 30 minute run ahead of me and I felt so good.  I ran 3.9 miles at 7:48/mile pace.  I kept my heart rate in Zone 2 the whole time, and I probably could have gone faster if I needed to.  Such a good run.

The rest of Saturday was a family day.  After giving my bike a good cleaning (much needed), my oldest daughter and I ran out to get some Italian ice will my wife and youngest were doing some shopping.  Then we all went to the pool until around 5:30PM, lots of diving and submersion.  We finished up the night with a Family Room picnic while eating pizza.

I slept in until around 6:30AM, I was pretty tired as one might imagine.  I did want to get my training done early though, so I immediately went into the basement and put in my 45 minutes on the bike trainer while watching the third episode of Jersey Shore (I love that show).  45 minutes of spinning at ~100 RPMs while laughing my ass off at The Situation, Pauly D, Snooki and the rest of them.

I then had an hour and half run waiting for me.  Ugh, I didn't want to do it, but I had to.  I threw on my new Fuel Belt (thank you honey!) and I headed out.  I ran into Doylestown Borough, past the YMCA, where there was a kid's triathlon going on, then back through town and all the way home.  I felt much better with ever step that I took, but it took a while to get there.  I am happy with the last mile or so that I ran, right around 7:45 pace, that after a pedestrian 8:35/mile for the entire run.  Finishing strong always make you feel good about an average run.  Total run stats:  10.6 miles, 1:30:45, 155 BPM

The rest of the day was spent lying on the couch watching moves (2012) and golf.  I was really beat and not looking forward to the weekend being over.

Rest day today and I will be resting.  I slept until about 6:20AM and even that was way too early to get up.  I wanted nothing to do with getting up at that time.  Sayonara!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Need More Sleep

I need to get more sleep.  Seriously, this week I have only been getting about 5 - 7 hours of sleep a night.  Considering that amount of training I am doing (~2 hours a day), I should be getting at least eight hours a night.  Last night I had all the right intentions of getting to bed by 9:30PM knowing that I had to get up at 4:20AM for my swim workout at HealthQuest.  Well, my wife and I were almost done paining the trim and bottom half of my daughters bedroom, I told her that I was going to clean up my stuff and hit the hay.  After about ten minutes I realized that I should just suck it up and help her finish the job.  Next thing I know it is after 11:00PM and I am kicking myself for staying up so late.  Damn!

When that alarm went off this morning I was so beat.  The entire drive to the pool I was slapping myself in the face to stay awake.  I was in slow motion for a good part of my swim workout.  I know that I am going to be hurting during my run this afternoon.  Why do I do this to myself?  I really need to stop.

I was up at 5:15AM and went down to the basement and put in an hour on the bike trainer while watching the 2001 Ironman World Championships.  The ride was less than spectacular, but the race was awesome.  The fact that Tim DeBoom, an American, won it only about a month after 9/11 was so amazing.  I was getting goose bumps riding while I was riding.   

I decided that I would go swimming after work at Fanny Chapman, not thinking that it would be raining or a threat of a thunderstorm.  Well, it was pouring on the drive home and they kept saying on the news that there was going to be bad storms.  That effectively ended my hopes of swimming for the night.  Of course the rain eased up and the storms never came.  I was kicking myself for not going.  I then tortured myself by going to a soccer coaches meeting at 7:00PM, so boring and it was the same information that I have heard the past three years. 

Then it was time for painting.  I hate painting....but as my wife said, it had to be done.  I am just glad that we have two of the upstairs rooms totally done....and they are the biggest rooms as well.  Just one bedroom left, the bathroom door and the hallway.

I was up at friggin 4:30AM....I procrastinated getting out of bed for about five minutes.  I was in the water by 5:20AM and did my swim work out:

300m warm-up, 8 x 50m drills, 12 x 100m, 8 x 50m drills, 200m cool down

It was a "short" day, only 2,500m as opposed to 3,000.  I think there was a typo in my plan, but I wasn't going to complain.  I have no idea how long it took me.

I headed out at lunch to get my run workout in.  I gave my friend Scott a shout and was able to run the first two mile with him at a relatively easy pace, ~9:00/mile (Scott is training for the NYC  Marathon).  After he peeled off it was just me and I quickened my pace a bit, preparing myself for the 10 minutes of hell that was awaiting me at 45 minutes.  I had to do 10 minutes in Zone 4, and I wasn't looking foward to it.  I watch my Garmin seem to speed up at the time drew closer and then, BAM!  I was off.  Honestly it didn't feel all that bad.  I stayed in the right zone and my pace was around 7:13/mile.  Dang, I actually felt really good!  The one thing I have going for me was that it was only around 80F.  Finally, cool day for running.  Total run was around 7.2 miles in an hour.  A great work out for me!

Have a great day!  Adios.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Good Day....Flights Booked for Arizona

What a load off of my mind....my flight and the rest of my family's flights have been booked as of about 11:00AM today.  I have to give me wife some serious props as she has been checking on flight for the better part of the past two weeks, constantly checking to see if the cost of the flights would come down.  Well, today it paid off and round trip airfare from Newark to Phoenix on Continental finally dropped, so much so that we were able to use points/miles to get not one but TWO tickets.  Partner that with the drop in price from ~$400/ticket down to under $340/ticket and we are looking at my wife saving us a significant chunk of change.  So to my wife, GREAT JOB, TREMENDOUS JOB, STELLAR JOB!!! 

It feels so good knowing that we have that the flights out of the way and don't have to keep worrying about it.  Now I can focus on the task at hand which is getting training, training and more training.

Whew, I slept in a bit, till about 6:00AM and didn't have a workout in the morning.  I just got up and went to work.  I toyed with the idea of doing my run workout in the morning but thought getting a good nights sleep would be more beneficial.  Flash forward to 11:45AM and sleeping was looking like a bad idea as the temps were at 90F+ and the humidity so high.  I ran the beginning of my hour run with my work friend Scott, we both bitched to each other about work, family and anything else that came to mind.  It was a good time.  He bolted after two miles and I soldiered on, preparing myself for the speed work I had before me (5 x 3 minutes @ 1 min jog).  That 20 minutes of speed work absolutely killed me, I was so tired and so wished I had done it at 5:30AM when it was cooler out.  Ah, I am stronger for it, right?  All in all I was happy with my run and was even more thrilled to take a nice cold shower afterwards.  Run stats:  1:00:15, 7.2 miles

Following work I went to our pool club to do my swim workout, a nice outdoor 25 yd pool that is usually empty and can only be used by adults.  It was no different last night, only two other people swimming there is was perfect.  I wish I could say that my swimming was perfect, ugh, I am so not a good swimmer.  Regardless, I did my prescribed session (500yd warm up, 8 x 50 drills, 200-300-400-500yd @45 sec, 8 x 50, 300yd cool down), and I felt pretty good doing it.  I was able to maintain an average of about 1:45/100yds for the main set which I will definitely take...of course I wish I were faster, but heck don't we all wish that?  Swim stats:  3,000 yds, 53:00

I was starving after the swim and I came home to pasta and bread, courtesy of my awesome wife.  I ate so much.  Then it was up to our bedroom to paint some more. 

I was up and out of bed at 5:20AM, a tad later than I wanted, but no worries.  Headed to the basement to get in my 45 minute session on the trainer while watching the 2005 Ironman World Championships.  The ride was atrocious, I was just not feeling it and I was tired.  I pedaled and pedaled until I was done, then ran upstairs, put my running shoes on and did a 30 minute Zone 2 run.  Again, just didn't feel that great, maybe it was the heat or the humidity, I really don't know.  I think I averaged around 8:15/mile for the run, not a stellar effort.

Tonight is looking like another full night of painting (my oldest daughters room) which I LOVE (not really).  My wife has promised me that we can get ice cream when we are done, at least it is some sort of motivation to get the job done.  Have a great day out there!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Birthday Weekend

I just realized that it has been more than a few days since I last wrote on this here blog.  Dang, I must have been busy.....actually I was.  I had off from work last Thursday and Friday and spent it hanging out with my daughters since they were all done with camp (and my wife had to work).  The weekend was spent at the shore and there was a lot of training to be done...plus I celebrated my....oh geez....39th birthday.  That is the first time that I have written that down and I don't like the looks of it.  Anyhow, here is a recap of the past four or five days:

Up early and in the basement to do my hour ride.  Whew it was a bitch.  I am starting to learn how to ride on a trainer....no easy spinning unless recovering, try to get the heart rate up and keep the cadence up as well.  I was soaked after the hour.  Good workout!

The rest of the day it was all Daddy and Daughters.  We went to Ringing Rock County Park, banged on some rocks until the girls got bored, did some hiking until the girls go tired, saw a snake (I hate snakes),  and then ate some lunch picnic-style.  We had a good time. 

From there we went home, got out bathing suits on and headed over to the pool.  My wife met us over there around 5:30PM and we accomplished some milestones.  First, my oldest daughter finally dove off of the one meter diving board at the pool (after one belly flop)!!!  Second, my youngest daughter finally put her entire head under water....and is swimming under water as well!!!  It was a monumental day for both girls in our house.

I finished up the night by swimming 2.000 yards...was supposed to be 3,000 yds, but I had to cut it short and get home.

Wow, I was tired and I slept in.  I only managed a 30 minute run....that was it all day.  I knew I wasn't going to be able to get a swim in, just didn't have the time to do it.  It was another Daddy & Daughter day, which started with dropping my wife off at work, then me cutting the lawn.  After that we rushed over to the Bucks County Playhouse to see "Aladdin", which was performed only by children.  The girls really liked that...and of course lunch at McDonalds that followed (I could have done without that).  The rest of the day was spent running around doing errands and getting ready for our weekend at the shore.  We finally made if down there around 5:45PM.

Saturday - MY BIRTHDAY!!!!!
I was up at 4:30AM and after a bit of putzing around the house I was out on my ride by 5:20AM.  I headed north from Lavallette pretty much staying within sight of the ocean where ever possible.  I was moving at a pretty good pace, right at 20 MPH and feeling good.  I did have one issue, managed to get stuck at a draw bridge for about 10 minutes which stunk.

After that it was pretty smooth sailing all the way up to Sandy Hook, NJ, 40 miles away from where I started.  The weather was good, I felt great and I couldn't think of a better way to start my birthday.  After a brief photo op of the lighthouse, I was back in the saddle and on my way home....eager to see my family! 

Not much to report other than there were no real incidents (one idiot almost hit me when pulling into a parking space, but no harm done).  Ride stats:  80.13 miles, 4:01:13, 19.9 MPH (average), 91.5 RPM (average)

Immediately after my ride I went out for a 30 minute run.  I was surprised at how good my legs felt considering the four hour ride I just endured.  I ran the Lavallette boardwalk plus a little, then headed back to my 'rents.  Run stats:  3.75 miles, 30:00, 8:01/mile pace

The remainder of the day was spent up at the beach with the family.  It was a really good day, a fun day, a happy day.  We wrapped up the night with a great steak dinner, ice cream cake and presents!  My wife got me a Fuel Belt which I desperately needed, along with Shamwow (which my daughters insisted she must get me...I love the spokesman Vince) and some other great things.  My 'rents were way too generous.  It was a great day. 

I slept in a bit, getting up at 5:30AM.  I was out the door riding by 6:00AM, doing a 45 minute ride, just getting my heart rate up to Zone 2 and keeping my cadence at 100+ RPMs (~13 miles in 45 minutes).  I followed the ride with a 10.85 mile run south, through Ortley Beach, Seaside Heights and Seaside Park.  I felt surprisingly good and actually had to reel myself in a bit to keep my heart rate in Zone 2.  Run stats:  10.85 miles, 1:31:15, 8:24/mile (average)

After a shower a hearty breakfast, it was up to the beach.  I spend pretty much all of my day helping my oldest daughter learn to skim board....seriously for like three hours she practiced.  Yes, she is just the slightest bit determined to learn how.  By the end of the day she was doing great, so proud of her.  I was nice to spend the day with my family, we had a good time. 

Rest day today....thank God!!!  I was a bit sore when I woke up this morning, but not too bad.  The girls are at my 'rents for the week which means me and my wife will be doing some painting this week, ugh, not looking forward to it.  That is it for now, it should be a good week of training for me as I don't have to worry about too many schedules.  Peace out!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Parvovirus B19

I went to the doctor last Tuesday night because I just wasn't feeling well, in fact I hadn't been feeling 100% since before June 24th.  June 24th sticks out because it was that day that I came down with a pretty high fever and generally felt like crap for a solid two days.  I didn't know if it was a result of the triathlon I had done two days earlier or possibly I was having an harsh reaction to the numerous jelly fish stings I had received during the race.  Whatever the cause was, I dealt with it and thought I was better a few days later. 

Move forward a week and I played a soccer game on a Tuesday night.  The following day I was more sore than I can remember being, and it wasn't necessarily my muscles, it was my joints....even my shoulders were in pain.  I dealt with that for about a week before I finally felt better.  Over the next three weeks I dealt with periods of unexplainable pain.  My neck tightened up on me one morning while swimming as still has yet to go away.  My right wrist was killing me for two days and then went away.  My left shoulder was causing me discomfort for about a week and a half.  My right hip was tight and sore, but has gotten better.

Well, last Friday I heard back from the doctor, who had tested me for Lyme Disease and Parvovirus B19 (AKA Fifth's Disease), and I was told that I have Parvo.  It looks like I got it from my daughters school and that is what I have been dealing with for the past month and a half.  Apparently I will have to deal with it for at least another few weeks, possibly longer, and there is nothing I can take to make it go away.  I can take Tylenol, Advil, Motrin, etc. to alleviate some of the pain and discomfort, but I have more or less just learned to deal with what I am feeling.  Honestly, I am just happy to know that I have gotten a diagnosis and will be able to move forward.

So with all of that said, I have still been keeping up with my training and generally feeling pretty good about it.

AM - I was in the pool early as usual and did swim workout #6 from my training program.  That consisted of:  500m warm-up, 4 x 100m drills, 4 x 200m @20 sec, 6 x 100 @15 sec, 8 x 50m drills, 300m cool down.  I felt really good for the most part and I think I am getting better with my body rotation and my pull.  I really pushed myself during the swim and it showed.  Totals:  3,000 meters in ~1:02:30

PM - Lunchtime run with Chris (and Scott for the first two miles), on what turned out to be a quite a warm and humid day.  We both felt pretty good until 15 minutes in when we had to do 2 x 6 minutes in Zone 4 (heart rate), which translates to ~7:15/mile pace.  Holy crap it was tough and we didn't make it any easier on ourselves by having the second 6 minute take place on a pretty steep hill.  It only makes us stronger, right?  The last half of the run was pretty mellow and we did out best just to make it back to the office.  Came up a few minutes short of the planned one hour run.  Totals:  ~6.4 miles, ~53:00, 8:15/mile pace.

It was tough getting up this morning, really tough.  Down to the basement to put in 45 minutes on the trainer while watching the end of the 2007 Ironman World Championships that I started watching last week.  I wanted to watch the season two Jersey Shore premier but my DVR didn't recorded it. DAMN!!!  I was not feeling all that great during the ride, I just wanted to be done.  Once off the bike it was out on the road for a 30 minute run.  Actually, it ended up being around 25 minutes because it was getting a bit late and I needed to get back to the house and shower.  Total run:  3.09 miles, 25:30, 8:15/mile pace

That is about it for now.  I have off from work on Thursday and Friday so me and the little ones are going to be doing some fun stuff.  I hope the weather stays nice for us.  I am really looking forward to spending a couple days with the girls.  Cheers!

Monday, August 2, 2010

All Hail the Rest Day!

I am really looking forward to my rest day today.  The fact that I am supposed to absolutely nothing today with regards to training is such a relief.  No swimming, no biking, no running.  Ah sweet relief.  With all of that said, I had a really solid weekend of training!  I put in a great ride on Saturday followed by a really good run, then Sunday a quick ride followed by a decent run.  All in all I am very proud of what I accomplished.  Here are the details...

I was up and out of bed by 5:00AM, so that I could start my 3.5 hour ride early.  Well, it took me a little time to actually get going and I don't think I left the house until around 5:45AM (damn!).  I decided to head down across the river and into New Jersey, then south along Rte. 29 South.  I then progressed along what was the bike course of the half-iron distance triathlon (Jerseyman) I had done back in September 2008.  I forgot how tough a course it was, a lot of gradual climbing.  Around mile 30 I veered off the course and rode up about a five mile climb (Rte 579 in Pittstown) that was just a killer, but I plugged along and was looking forward to the descent....which was awesome!!!  I finally made it back down to the river and I flew along Rte 29 South averaging around 21 MPH (passing the runners participating in the River to Sea relay race).  Then made my way back home, putting in ~64.5 miles in 3.5 hours, for an average of 18.42 MPH

In front of NJ's only remaining covered bridge, wearing tube sock arm warmers.
Beautiful NJ country side, a hot air balloon can be seen way off in the distance.

A big ass corn field....most folks not familiar with NJ don't think such sites exist in NJ.

Immediately off the bike, I threw on my running gear and put in a 30 minute run.  I felt so great running.  I ran 3.75 miles averaging 8:05/mile pace, my legs just went and I followed.  My heart rate was in Zone 2 the whole time.  Just a great training day!

After my training was over at 9:50AM (that's right done with 64 mile bike and 3.75 mile run by 9:50AM!!!!!) it was house and family time.  I did some work around the house, we ate lunch, then we headed to the pool.  Following the pool we went to dinner at M.O.M.'s in Doylestown, went to GAP to get some clothes for the girls, had ice cream at Coffee & Cream, and then went grocery shopping at Acme.  Whew, that was a busy night, we didn't get home until after 9:00PM and the girls were exhausted!  Actually, I was exhausted too.

I guess you could say that I slept in...till 6:30AM.  I didn't leave the house until 7:15AM though, yet all of the ladies of the house were still passed out.  30 minute ride into town and back (9.3 miles). My quads were a bit sore from Saturday, but not painful.  Back to the house for a quick change and I was on the road running by 7:50AM (still no sign of life in the house, they all must have been pretty tired to be sleeping so late).

My run was pretty uneventful.  I was a bit sore and my pace a bit slow, but I ran what I was supposed to run (1.25 hours) in the heart rate zone I was supposed to hold (Z2).  I ran a relatively tough route, with a mile long climb two miles in.  Total run stats - 1:15, 8.75 miles, 8:33/mile pace.

I was done by 9:10AM, showered, did a bagel run for the girls, ate a pork roll, egg, & cheese sandwich (so good!), then passed out on the couch for about an hour.  A nap that was really needed.  I can honestly say that I didn't do anything else for the rest of the day.  I did want to go to the pool and relax there, but we had some pretty severe thunderstorms and very heavy rain, so leaving the house wasn't really in the cards.  No worries though, I was happy to just lay around for the day.  I think I was in bed by 9:30PM and asleep by 10:15PM.  I was beat!

REST DAY!!!  I am going to be taking it easy today, maybe I can head to the pool after work with the girls.  We'll see.

Final Thought
Last night before bed my wife was talking to my oldest daughter.  My little one told her that she doesn't think I praise her enough when she does a good job (e.g. last night was the first time she changed her earrings all by herself..although at the time I didn't know it).  It really got to me that I am her Dad and I should be her biggest fan and supporter.  Apparently I am not doing such a good job of it.  I have to do better.  I wear a blue rubber bracelet on my left wrist, it is from a World Cup Festival that my older daughter and I went to a couple months ago.  I wear it not only to remind me of the day we spent together, but also as a visual reminder for me to be patient with her and be supportive of her.  I guess it seems like it isn't doing its job.  I have to do better.